DeKalb County was formed in 1837. It was named for the heroic General Johann de Kalb, a Continental Army officer from Bavaria, who was fatally wounded at the Battle of Camden, South Carolina. The original settlers to arrive in DeKalb County were migrants from New England who were settling the wilderness of what was then known as the Northwest Territory. These people were “Yankee” migrants, that is to say they were descended from the English Puritans who settled New England in the colonial era. In the 1870s immigrants from Ireland and Germany began arriving in DeKalb County, in large numbers.