Adams County (Indiana, USA)
|Adams County, IN
Source: U.S. Census/TIGER map
Adams County, Indiana, is located in the east central part of the state. In the 1950s the Mennonites and Amish were located in the southern half of the county. The settlement extended west into neighboring Wells County. Berne was the center of the community, which also included the villages of Monroe, Linngrove, and Geneva in Adams County and Vera Cruz and Reiffsburg in Wells County.
The first Mennonites to arrive in the community were Christian and Peter Baumgartner, who settled in 1838 near Vera Cruz, Wells County, just across the Adams county line; this was the earliest Mennonite settlement in Indiana. The next year their father, David Baumgartner, a minister, arrived and started a church. These settlers and the ones who followed were from the Jura in the canton of Bern, Switzerland. During the 1850s large groups from the Jura came directly to this settlement and purchased land around the present town of Berne. Amish from the Jura and Alsace began to settle here in 1853. The Amish group was divided in 1866, when Henry Egly, a bishop in the church, organized the first Defenseless Mennonite congregation, later known as Evangelical Mennonite Church (in 2003 the group became the Fellowship of Evangelical Churches). This group was further divided by the formation of the Missionary Church Association in 1898.
The Christlicher Bundesbote and The Mennonite, official publications of the General Conference Mennonite Church, were printed at Berne until 1936. The Mennonite Book Concern, a publishing company, was also at Berne.
Sprunger, Eva F. The First Hundred Years, A History of the Mennonite Church in Adams County, Indiana, 1838-1938. Berne, IN, 1938.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, pp. 10-11. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Gratz, Delbert L. "Adams County (Indiana, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1955. Web. 19 June 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/A266.html.
APA style: Gratz, Delbert L. (1955). Adams County (Indiana, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 19 June 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/A266.html.