Mennonites in Illinois (Paperback)

Mennonites in Illinois By Willard H. Smith Cover Image
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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.

About the Author

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.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781579107710
ISBN-10: 1579107710
Publisher: Wipf & Stock Publishers
Publication Date: October 1st, 2001
Pages: 616
Language: English