The early settlers who came to the Mequon area in the 1830s were Yankees from New York state and English, followed by Germans and Irish. These new settlers found a very different place from the Mequon of today. The entire area was covered with dense forest. The Milwaukee River, which runs through Mequon, was fast flowing, with falls and rapids and underground water courses, offering never failing-fresh-water springs. The only type of road available through the area was the Green Bay Trail, which wound its way due north and was barely passable by the settler's wagons. The word "Mequon" is said to have come from an Indian word "Miguan", which means "ladle", because the river in Mequon was shaped like an Indian ladle.
During 1839, the first of the German settlers were Saxon-Germans from Saxony, who purchased a large tract of land along North 76th Street. Then came the Pomeranian Germans, from the Prussian state of Pomerania, who bought more than 1,000 acres to the north and west of the Saxons.
That same year, 43 families, all members of a Lutheran congregation, came from Northern Germany and settled in the western part of Mequon. They named their tiny colony, Freistadt, loosely translated as "free city". These people came in search of religious freedom and held their initial church service that same year.