Mennonites in Illinois

By Willard H. Smith

Mennonites in Illinois

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  • ISBN: 9781579107710
  • Pages: 616
  • Publication Date: 10/3/2001
  • Retail Price: $59.00
Web Price: $47.20
Web Price: $47.20

Mennonites in Illinois

By Willard H. Smith

paperback-logo

PAPERBACK

  • ISBN: 9781579107710
  • Pages: 616
  • Publication Date: 10/3/2001
  • Retail Price: $59.00
Web Price: $47.20

About-

This book is a history of all branches of Mennonites (including the Amish) from their first arrival in the state of Illinois around 1830 to the present.

It deals briefly with Mennonite origins in Europe in the 16th century, points out how the Amish split off from the Mennonites in the 1690s, and depicts Mennonite-Amish migrations to America, especially those who came in the 19th century and settled in Illinois.

The work portrays the divisions that developed, mostly after the Civil War, and how the story became more complex. It describes the effect of the "Awakening" and the influence of Fundamentalism and other forces on the Illinois Mennonites, including the pressures toward American acculturation.

The author points out also the significant trend toward cooperation and unity in recent decades, especially among the (Old) Mennonites and the General Conference Mennonites.

Smith is uniquely qualified to write this book. He is a native of Illinois with a thorough knowledge and understanding of the customs and beliefs of Illinois Mennonites. His family was among the early Mennonite settlers in the state, and active in the spiritual life of their community.

Smith himself has studied and thought history for many years, has written many historical articles, and is the author or several books. As a professor at Goshen College, he had the support of other Mennonite historians and ready access to library and archival material relating to Illinois Mennonites.

Endorsements & Reviews-

"Mennonites were not latecomers to Illinois. The first ones arrived about 1830 - just twelve years after statehood. Some acquired farms by patents directly from the federal government. Mennonites came from Eastern states and directly from Europe. They settled originally in the timberlands, then subsequently were among the first to settle on the open prairies.

While Mennonites lived within the culture of the times, they were a somewhat separate people with distinctive religious beliefs. Mennonites find their sources not in military chronicles or in political trends but in biblical perceptions and in the lives of individuals and the group. In this book, the author discusses and interprets those perceptions and events.

Mennonite groups and individuals in Illinois had a profound effect on Mennonites generally. They were in the forefront when Mennonites dealt with issues concerning missions, education, and service programs. Some were prominent in the resolution of controversies that arose during the 'Awakening' of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries."

Peter G. Shultz, President
Illinois Mennonite Historical and Genealogical Society

Contributors-

Willard H. Smith

Bio(s)-

Willard Harvey Smith, professor emeritus of history at Goshen College, Goshen, Indiana since 1972, was born to John J. and Catherine E. Smith on October 15, 1900, at Eureka, Illinois. He was married to Verna Graber at Wayland, Iowa, on September 3, 1930.

He received his formal education at Goshen College (BA), University of Michigan (MA), University of Chicago (postgraduate work), and Indiana University (Ph.D.).

At Goshen College he was Instructor in History (1929-35), Dean of Men (1932-35), and Professor of History (1937-72). He headed the Department of History and chaired the Division of Social Sciences from 1949-68.

Smith was director of the Mennonite Central Committee work in Paraguay (1944-45) and in Mexico (1955). He led student groups to Europe (1953) and to Mexico and Central America (1955-57, 1961, 1964, 1972).

He is author of Paraguayan Interlude (Herald Press, 1950); Schuyler Colfax - The Changing Fortunes of a Political Idol, Indiana Historical Bureau (1952); William Jennings Bryan, Christian Reformer (Bryan College, 1969); and The Social and Religious Thought of William Jennings Bryan (Coronado Press, 1975). He has contributed to Indiana Magazine of History, Mississippi Valley Historical Review, Proceedings of Indiana Academy of Social Sciences, Mennonite Quarterly Review, Journal of American History, and Journal of Negro History.

Smith's professional affiliations include Mennonite Historical Society (Board of Directors and Consulting Editor, 1940-); American Historical Association; Organization of American Historians; and Indiana Academy of Social Sciences (Board of Directors, 1963-65). He is a former member of the Indiana History Teachers Association (president 1954).

A member of College Mennonite Church at Goshen, he enjoys music and travel.

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