Southbury was one of several towns formed out of a parcel of land purchased from the Paugussett Indians in 1659, and there are a few things about the town that really stand out.
One of its claims to fame is the fact that Southbury is the only community in the country with the name “Southbury,” which is why the town seal reads “Unica Unaque,” meaning “The One and Only.”
But this appellation not only applies to the town itself; it also applies to its residents. In November of 1937, villagers of what was then little more than a farming outpost got word that a large plot of land (about 178 acres) in the Kettletown district of Southbury had been bought up by Stamford resident Wolfgang Jung from its owners, Frederick T. Andrews and Garfield Morrison.
The sale looked fine on the surface until the residents started looking into his plans for the land. They discovered that he was a member of the German American Bund, an organization of ethnic Germans living in the United States who supported Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany, then in its infancy. Its leader, Fritz Kuhn, was considered the leading anti-Semite in the country. Word soon got out that they were, in fact, planning to build their largest training facility in the country right there in Southbury! Residents immediately called a town meeting and set up a zoning department there and then with one simple rule: no military activity excluding the United States Army. The law was adopted on December 14, 1937, after which construction ceased and the Bund eventually sold the land.
The comprehensive declaration was read in a loud clear voice by a proud and patriotic resident named Jennie Hinman. “Be it resolved,” she said firmly, as a crowd of 200 people listened, “that the display of any emblem or of any flag not accompanied by the American flag, on any land or water in this township, or the wearing of any dress or uniform indicating allegiance to any foreign power on public roads or streams in this community shall be prohibited and forbidden.”
In 2012 a documentary was created entitled “Home of the Brave: When Southbury Said No to the Nazis.”
Thus a group of farmers were able to band together and repel a notorious enemy. “Unica Unaque,” indeed!
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