New Treasures: Archives of the Mennonite Church
By Dennis Stoesz, Archivist
What follows is a sampling of personal papers and organizational
records that have come into the Archives during the last six
months of 1998. They are listed alphabetically by the name of
Central Mennonite Church, 1925-1974, Elida, Ohio. Three
record books, 1925-74, from this extinct church, which was begun
by members of the Pike and Salem Mennonite Churches. The earliest
book, 1925-31, includes a list of the 79 charter members, as
well as financial records of the first six years. The other two
books are a Financial Record Book, 1932-1951, and a Minute Book,
1971-74. 3 Files. Donor: Fred Stalter, Elida, Ohio, and Loretta
Troyer, Goshen, Indiana.
Hostetter, Doug, Fellowship of Reconciliation, Nyack, New
York. Papers, 1995-97, on Hostetter's project of writing
and publishing the Bosnian Student Project: A Response to Genocide
(Pendle Hill Publications, 1997, 40 pages), a project for which
he was the director from 1993-98. Includes background research,
correspondence, written drafts and the published pamphlet. The
project assisted more than 150 Bosnian students from various
ethnic and religious traditions to escape the war zone in Bosnia
and come to the United States to continue their education. Since
1993, Hostetter has been the Interfaith / International Secretary
for the Fellowship of Reconciliation. Earlier he served as Executive
Director of the FOR, 1987-93; worked with the American Friends
Service Committee, 1980-87; with the United Methodist Office
for the United Nations, 1971-80; and served as a volunteer in
Vietnam, under the Mennonite Central Committee, 1966-69. The
archives holds Hostetter's journals, correspondence, photographs,
tapes, films, posters and artifacts from his experience in Vietnam,
as well as from his ongoing involvement in peace and justice
since then. The official records of the Fellowship of Reconciliation
are found in the Swarthmore College Peace Collection, Pennsylvania.
6 linear inches. Donor: Doug Hostetter.
King, Levi J., 1844-1916 and Barbara Ellen (Yoder), 1845-1910.
Papers, 1897-1917, and taped interview, circa 1970, covering
three generations from Mifflin County, Pennsylvania to West Liberty,
Logan County, Ohio. Includes last will and testament of John
Y. King (1819-1906), Mifflin County, and 1916 obituary notice
of son Levi J. King, Logan County, Ohio. Also includes diary,
1910-17, of a son of Levi and Barbara, John Y. King (1879-1968);
and diaries, 1905-13, of a daughter of Levi and Barbara, Delilah
J. King (1887-1974). Diaries include church membership records,
1913-17, of Bethel Mennonite Church, West Liberty, Ohio, where
John Y. King served as minister; schedule of preachers; and life
on the farm. Additional items in the collection include a District
#4 Public School class record, 1898-99, District #4, Liberty
Township, Logan County, Ohio, and two school souvenir cards,
1897-1902, with J. B. Hooley and Harvey B. Yoder as teachers.
Interview is with Aunt Lila (Delilah King), about her years as
a child, as taped by Kenneth King, circa 1970. 5 linear inches.
Donor: Carol Oyer from the John S. Oyer Estate, Goshen, Indiana.
Levi J. was John S. Oyer's grandfather.
Locust Grove Mennonite Church, 1943-1990s, Elkhart, Indiana.
Records, 1951-85, including a file on special events, 1951-68;
balloting of church officers, 1957-70; church council reports,
1956-75, and annual reports, 1956-75. 5 linear inches. Donor:
Rev. Aden Horst, Elkhart. Horst was a pastor of this congregation
for a number of years.
Mennonite Board of Missions, Voluntary Service Department,
1946- , Elkhart, Indiana. Records, 1954-97, as organized
into three sections: Closed Out Units, 1954-97; Service Units,
1964-87; and General Records, 1954-97. This program had its origin
during and after World War II, and some of the first units were
overseas, 1946-51, in Poland, Belgium, and Ethiopia. The Mission
Board's VS program, however, began in earnest in 1948 and a total
of 257 units have been opened across Canada and the United States
from that time up to 1997. Some units only lasted a year, while
others have lasted for more than 30 years. The directors of this
program have included Laurence Horst, 1946-49, Levi Hartzler,
1949-52, Boyd Nelson, 1952-54, Ray Horst, 1954-74, John Eby,
1974-79, Rick Stiffney, 1979-81, Dale Wentorf, 1981-83, Mary
Herr, 1983-84, Dave Miller, 1985-88, Rick Kulp, 1988-90, Suzanne
Lind, 1990-91, and Saul Murica, 1991-98. Miles Reimer, 1998-,
currently administers this program as a joint venture between
Mennonite Board of Mission and Commission on Overseas Missions.
8.75 linear feet. Donor: Ethel Hoffman, Coordinator of Office
Mennonite Central Committee, 1920- , Communications Department,
Photographs, Akron, Pennsylvania. Photographs, 1984-89, including
prints, negatives and contact sheets, of this organization's
involvement around the world with people suffering from poverty,
conflict, oppression, and natural disaster. Photographs include
the work across United States and Canada, as well as Bangladesh,
Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Chad, Chile, China,
Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Germany,
Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Jamaica,
Jordan, Kampuchea, Kenya, Laos, Lebanon, Lesotho, Mexico, Mozambique,
Nepal, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan, Paraguay, Philippines, Somolia,
South Africa, Soviet Union, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Thailand,
Uganda, Vietnam, West Bank, Zaire, Zambia and Zimbabwe. 8 linear
feet. Donor: Irene Leaman, Records, Library and Archives Manager.
Mennonite Church General Board, 1971- , Elkhart, Indiana.
Records, 1987-89, including correspondence and reports of the
work of the General Board. Some of the personnel during this
time period included James M. Lapp as Executive Secretary; Samuel
Hernandez, Georgia Lovett and Miriam Book as Associate Secretaries;
and Eloise Glick, Freida M. Myers, Kathryn E. Rodgers and Mildred
E. Schrock as Administrative Assistants. 6.25 linear feet. Donor:
Scott Hartman, Accountant.
Meyer, Albert J., Goshen, Indiana. Papers, 1953-58,
of Albert J. and Mary Ellen (Yoder) Meyer's voluntary service
in Valdoie, France, and Basel, Switzerland, under Mennonite Central
Committee. Materials include correspondence and papers from many
peace conferences and organizations that Meyer was involved in
while in Europe, such as the annual conference of the American
Mennonite Students in Europe, which became known as the Concern
Group. The most important conference was the Puidoux Theological
Conference in 1955 on "The Lordship of Christ over the Church
and State", for which Meyer acted as the organizer and secretary.
This conference was initiated by the Historic Peace Churches
in response the World Council of Churches statement that "war
is wrong, and contrary to God." The conference became a
historic event when it brought together not only Quaker, Church
of the Brethren, Mennonite and Fellowship of Reconciliation thinkers,
but many European theologians representing a vast spectrum of
positions on what had happened in World War II. Collection also
includes correspondence with fellow MCC volunteers, with John
H. Yoder, with Clarence Bauman, with family and friends back
home, and about MCC's ongoing service and mission projects. 2
linear feet. Donor: Al Meyer.
Ore Bank Farm Documents, 1821-1929, Union Township, Mifflin
County, Pennsylvania. Documents such as deeds, land agreements,
maps, bonds, mortgages and estate sales which reflect land ownership
of this Amish farm from Long Christian Zook (1776-1851) in the
early 1800s to Joseph E. Sharp (1885-1967) in 1929. Names of
persons found in the papers include Henry Bawel, Jonathan L.
Byler, Christian Detweiler, David Z. Detweiler (1850-1913), Fanny
Detweiler, Simon K. Detweiler, Charles L. Diffenderfer, Joseph
M. Flemming, Magdelena Zook Hartzler, Jacob C. Hertzler, Elizabeth
Zook Kanagy (1819-1897), Simon Kanagy (1829-1891), Logan Iron
and Steel, Joseph Miller, Jonas Z. and Amelia Peachey, Christian
Peachey (d. 1886), Christian Sharp, Elizabeth K. Sharp (1839-1905),
Jesse D. Sharp (1908-1997), Jonas J. Yoder, Jonathan J. Yoder,
Benjamin Zook, Catherine Zook, David Zook, Joel Zook (1807-1875),
Samuel S. Zook (1824-1851). Other materials include a dower
book, 1853-1900, of Magdelena C. Zook (1827-1913); guardianship
papers, 1821-23, of Catherine Koenig; and patent papers, 1897.
6.5 linear inches. Collection on loan to Archives by John E.
Sharp, Goshen, Indiana.
Pratt, Dorothy Ann Overstreet, Granger, Indiana. Interviews,
1994, by Pratt of eight Amish, three Mennonites and one Church
of the Brethren on their experiences as conscientious objectors
in World War II. Interviews include descriptions of the person's
growing up years, involvement before the war, work and life in
the Civilian Public Service Camps, reasons why they were conscientious
objectors, and evaluations of their experiences. Interviews are
transcribed and fill 30 pages. Restriction on use of materials
is that names of individual Amish cannot be used. Pratt conducted
these interviews in connection with her dissertation on "A
Study of Cultural Persistence, The Amish in LaGrange County,
Indiana, 1841-1945," University of Notre Dame, 1997 - available
from Mennonite Historical Library. 1 File. Donor: Dorothy Pratt.
Troyer, Clarence, 1907-1997. Sermons, 1940-1989, of
Troyer's work as minister (1940) and bishop (1948) in the Upper
Peninsula, Michigan. Collection also includes a notebook, 1930-31,
when Troyer attended the Kitchener Mennonite Bible School; and
two notebooks, ca. 1947, used by Troyer in teaching many winter
classes at the Michigan Mennonite Bible School at Fairview, Michigan.
In 1940, Clarence Troyer and his spouse Wavia Irene Troyer (1908-1987),
with their children, moved from LaGrange County, Indiana, up
to the Peninsula as church planters under the Mission Board of
the Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conference. Troyer first served
at Wildwood Mennonite, 1940-52, located near Engadine, but his
work came to focus primarily on his bishop oversight of the ten
Mennonite churches which began there between 1937-1952, and his
work with the Conference. He retired his bishop responsibilities
in 1980, wrote a history of The Mennonite Church in the Upper
Peninsula in 1986, and continued to preach in the Mennonite churches,
in the nondenominational church at Curtis, Michigan, and on the
radio at Newberry, Michigan. 15 linear inches. Donor: Steve and
Rachel Nolt, South Bend, Indiana, on behalf of the children of
Clarence and Wavia I. Troyer.
Yoder, Jonathan G., 1904-1991 and Fyrne A. Miller, 1904-1995.
Films, 1937-1953, of Mennonites in India, as taken by Jonathan
Yoder. Dr. Yoder served as superintendent of the Dhamtari Christian
Hospital, Dhamtari, Madhya Pradesh, India. Yoder together with
his wife, and children, served under the auspices of the Mennonite
Board of Missions, Elkhart, Indiana, from 1937-45, and again
from 1947-53, 1957-58 and 1978-79. They also served at Landour,
India in 1960 and several years in Nepal, 1961-63, 1970-72 and
1975-76. Materials also include films by a sister, Rhea Yoder,
when she taught at the school at Woodstock, Landour, India, from
1948-59. There are a total of sixteen 8mm films, in both five
and seven inch reels. 15 linear inches. Donor: Paton Yoder, Goshen,
Mennonite Historical Bulletin, January 1999