McPherson County (Kansas, USA)
|McPherson County, KS
U.S. Census TIGER/Line map
McPherson County, Kansas, is located immediately south and east of the center of Kansas. This county of 895 square miles was organized in 1870. A year later the first Mennonites (MC) arrived from Elkhart County, Indiana, settling in the southeastern part of the county. In December 1872 Bishop Henry Yother of Nebraska held communion services with the group in McPherson County, which became the West Liberty congregation near Windom and the Spring Valley congregation near Canton. The total membership was 163 in 1955.
The Mennonite migration from Russia in 1873 ff. resulted in several settlements in the eastern and southeastern areas of the county. General Conference Mennonite congregations established at this time were Friedenstal near Roxbury, Emmanuel south of Canton, Hopefield-Eden west of Moundridge, Christian immediately south of Moundridge, Hoffnungsau southeast of Inman, and Bethel south of Inman.
In the early 1880s the John Holdeman family moved to McPherson County from Missouri and promoted among the Polish Mennonite settlers between Canton and Moundridge the new group which he had founded in 1859, the Church of God in Christ, Mennonite. The result was the establishment of the Meridian congregation east of Moundridge, and the Lonetree congregation north of Moundridge. The Zion church at Inman is also of this group. The total membership of these three congregations in 1955 was 885. The Mercy Hospital was established in Moundridge by the Church of God in Christ, Mennonite.
The Zoar Mennonite Church southwest of Inman was established by the Krimmer Mennonite Brethren group when the General Conference group established the congregations named above. In 1955 it had 335 members. The Zoar church established the Zoar Academy and Bible School in 1915, maintaining it until it was discontinued soon after World War II.
General Conference Mennonite churches in McPherson County in the mid-1950s included Eden, Hopefield, West Zion, First of Christian, and Emmanuel, all of Moundridge; Inman, Hoffnungsau, and Bethel, of Inman, First of McPherson, and Friedenstal near Roxbury, with a total of 2,625 members. Of a total population of 23,670 in the county in 1950 more than one fifth were Mennonites, most of whom lived in the southeastern half of the county, and the total Mennonite membership of all branches was 4,005.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, pp. 433-434. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
©1996-2013 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.
MLA style: Schmidt, John F. "McPherson County (Kansas, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 19 June 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/M3859.html.
APA style: Schmidt, John F. (1957). McPherson County (Kansas, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 19 June 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/M3859.html.