Baumerthof (Alsace, France)
Baumerthof, an estate in Upper Alsace near Altkirch, which was settled probably soon after the Thirty Years’ War (1650) by Mennonites from Switzerland. There is evidence that about the middle of the 18th century Daniel and Hans Rich lived there. They were "tenants and milkers." The inhabitants belonged to the church at Neineich, which was represented in the Amish conference at Steinselz in 1752. The Ordnungsbrief of the meeting at Essingen in 1779 was signed by Peter Kaufmann as the representative of the congregation. It did not have a meetinghouse, but met at various farms such as Baumerthof, Birkenhof, Blochmund, Liebenstein, Leyhäuserhof, Montigo, and Schweighof. The earliest meeting at Baumerthof took place on 20 June 1790; it was led by Peter Rich of Birkenhof. Peter Rich and Hans Roth of Feldbach were then the elders. On 28 October 1798, Hans Klopfenstein of Buringen and Hans Rich were ordained on the Baumerthof. On 19 September a conference was held here, attended by outside preachers, to settle a dispute between Peter Rich of the Birkenhof and Peter Rich of Liebenstein. It was, however, not settled until at a second meeting at Baumerthof on 5 April 1801. The "peace that was made" was to be entered into the church records. On 17 January 1802, Peter Rich of Baumerthof was ordained as preacher. At a meeting on 8 December 1802 it was forbidden that a member should secure a fellow member’s farm through mortgage-foreclosure. ("Dass keiner dem andern sein gut weglehnen darf bei Bannstrafe.") On 24 July 1803, another conference gathered there in the "church room." Hans Freienberg of the Basel congregation at St. Jakob and preachers from three other congregations were present. Two preachers were removed from office. At a meeting on 16 October 1803 the Ordnungsbrief adopted at St. Jakob near Basel on 2 August 1803 was read and accepted. On 26 November 1803 Peter Rich of the Baumerthof was removed from office and on 3 December 1809, reinstated, after the charge brought against him had been proved false. At a meeting on the Baumerthof on 21 May two brethren were excommunicated because they had "used the sword." They had evidently accepted military service. Two years later this question greatly disturbed the Mennonites of Alsace-Lorraine. They sent two brethren to Paris to assert their nonresistance. On this matter there were many meetings with Palatine Mennonites and many conferences as at Bildhausen near Schlettstadt, at which Peter Rich of Baumerthof represented his church. Mention must also be made of the definite position taken in a conference at Baumerthof on 17 February 1811 against "offensive marriage of cousins."
Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe; Schneider, 1913-1967: v. I, 14.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, p. 250. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Neff, Christian. "Baumerthof (Alsace, France)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1953. Web. 19 June 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/B37790.html.
APA style: Neff, Christian. (1953). Baumerthof (Alsace, France). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 19 June 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/B37790.html.