Written by Forrest Moyer on June 18, 2020
Silas Manasses Grubb (1873-1938) was longtime pastor of Second Mennonite Church, Philadelphia, a congregation founded in 1894 as an outgrowth of First Mennonite, Philadelphia, where his father, N. B. Grubb, was pastor.
These were progressive congregations of the Eastern District of the General Conference Mennonite Church, and both father and son were educated and well-spoken. Both served as editors of The Mennonite, the denominational paper. Their congregations were filled with Mennonites who sought a modern city life rather than
Written by Forrest Moyer on June 10, 2020
Recently, a post about scrapple on the Pennsylvania Dutch At-Home Companion blog generated a lot of interest. This post contributes another primary source on scrapple, from Henry R. Bergey of Franconia Township, writing circa 1925.
Henry Ruth Bergey (1843-1925) was a farmer in ”Bergey Valley” along the Indian Creek in Franconia. This is the last entry in a manuscript notebook begun in 1924 when he was 80 years old. You can read more about Henry and his notebook in this post
Written by Forrest Moyer on May 15, 2020
The first part of this post, about Lydia Gross’s leadership in the Doylestown Mennonite Sewing Circle and proposed Women’s Missionary Society, was written by Mary Jane Hershey and published in the MHEP Newsletter in March 1996.
The rest of the post, written by myself, is about Lydia’s brief marriage to a tattooed ruffian named Henry Howlett, and how the marriage was intentionally forgotten by her Mennonite church and family. Though divorced, Lydia retained the respect of the church and
Written by Forrest Moyer on April 29, 2020
Title image: Women cleaning benches before annual communion at Deep Run in the 1940s.
Until the mid-20th century, Deep Run East Mennonite congregation — like many Anabaptists — held communion only once a year. Some members viewed the Lord’s Supper as a Christian version of the Jewish feast of Passover, which occurs annually (Timothy Rice, Deep Run Mennonite Church East: A 250 Year Pilgrimage, 1746-1996, p. 43).
The following interesting account was published in the newspaper Bucks County Intelligencer (Doylestown), May
Written by Forrest Moyer on April 22, 2020
This brief article was written by John Ruth for the MHEP Newsletter, January 1994. It recounts a patriotic event that took place at the Towamencin Mennonite Meetinghouse in 1993.
The Towamencin congregation received a request from the Daughters of the American Revolution for permission to relocate a marker the organization had placed, in 1927, at the junction of the Sumneytown Pike and Old Forty Foot Road, just across the intersection from the Meetinghouse. A current (in 1993) widening of the Pike
Written by Forrest Moyer on April 15, 2020
Schoolmasters who made fraktur for their students rarely signed their art. There are numerous artists who have yet to be identified or may never be known; but occasionally, evidence appears which allows historians and collectors to begin attributing artwork to a particular person.
This article, first published in the MHEP Newsletter January 1995 with the title “David Kulp, His Hand & Pen: The ‘Brown Leaf Artist’ Identified?”, describes a process of identification that may be considered typical. In this case, the
Written by Forrest Moyer on April 1, 2020
Newspapers are a great source of genealogical information, not only obituaries and death notices, but also estate and marriage notices, and — the best part — anecdotes and news about ancestors and relatives. As more papers are digitized and made available online, this wealth of information is more accessible than ever.
The list below of local newspapers was begun in 1992 by Joel Alderfer to assist researchers at the Mennonite Heritage Center, and is limited to Pennsylvania German areas of Bucks
Written by Forrest Moyer on March 18, 2020
This article was written by Joel Alderfer for the MHEP Newsletter in 1994, based on research done for the exhibit When This You See, Remember Me: The Experience of Mennonite Women.
Hanna Rittenhouse (1880-1977) was born in Towamencin Township, Montgomery County, the youngest child of Jacob K. Rittenhouse (1838-1917), a township school director, and Elizabeth D. Clemmer Rittenhouse (1840-1922). She enjoyed her grade-school education and graduated from the eighth grade in 1895, for which she wrote the class history. About a
Written by Forrest Moyer on March 11, 2020
Originally published in the MHEP Newsletter, May 1993, this rare letter details a family conflict over inheritance and possibly religion.
Elizabeth Oblinger was a sister of Christian Meyer/Moyer, early Mennonite deacon at Franconia, and sister-in-law of Henry Funk, the bishop. Here her husband, Nicholas, writes from far away — “beyond the Blue Mountain” (Palmerton, PA area) — to complain that Elizabeth has not received the inheritance due from her father’s estate. Nicholas wonders if perhaps the old father (Christian Moyer
Written by Forrest Moyer on February 11, 2020
Many of you know the story of the “Saucon Incident” during the American War for Independence — eleven men of the Saucon Mennonite congregation in Northampton County were imprisoned for refusing to pledge allegiance to Pennsylvania, and all their moveable property was sold on auction. If you don’t know the story, read it here. (The linked book, Sweet Land of Liberty by Francis S. Fox, is available in the MHC Library, along with John Ruth’s account of the incident in