Wayne County Amish (Ohio, USA)
The Wayne County (Ohio) Amish congregation was founded in Green Township in 1818 by David Stutzman, Henry Yoder, and Peter, Abraham, and Jacob Schrock from Somerset County, Pennsylvania, and by David Zook, Christian Lantz, Jacob Yoder, and Christian Brandt from Mifflin County, Pennsylvania. Plank families were also prominent in the settlement at an early date. In 1834 David Zook moved to Fairfield County, Ohio leaving the congregation in charge of Jacob Yoder and Hannes Yoder, bishops. The settlement grew rapidly. Before 1850 the 300 members organized a northern and a southern district and soon after that date began to adopt a more liberal discipline later known as Amish Mennonite. In protest Hannes Yoder, bishop, and Emanuel Hochstetler, preacher, with a small following withdrew to maintain the strict Old Order until the former's death about 1860. After 1855 a large majority of the congregation followed the more progressive leadership of John K. Yoder, bishop, to found what eventually became the Oak Grove Amish Mennonite Church. When the Oak Grove congregation built a meetinghouse in 1862, a small number under the leadership of Emanuel Hochstetler again withdrew, but the little band became extinct even before his death.
During the early years of the 20th century Amish from the overcrowded Amish settlement in Holmes and Tuscarawas counties began to move into southeastern Wayne County. The first year in which the Mennonite Yearbook lists Amish preachers with a Wayne County address is 1913. In that year Samuel E. Yoder, formerly a preacher in Tuscarawas County but ordained bishop before 1906, and Daniel Wengerd and B. J. Yoder, preachers, give Fredericksburg, Wayne County, as their address. This is the first year that either Wengerd or B. J. Yoder is listed as a minister. Within recent years the expansion from Holmes and Tuscarawas continued northward and northeastward into Wayne and southward into Coshocton County. In 1957, Wayne County had fourteen "districts" or congregations with a total baptized membership of 1,061 in seven districts around Fredericksburg, one each near Dalton and Mt. Eaton, three at Apple Creek, and one north, one south of Orrville. Eleven bishops, thirty ministers, and ten deacons served the fourteen Wayne County Amish districts.
Umble, John S. "The Oak Grove . . . Mennonite Church." Mennonite Quarterly Review XXXI (July 1957): 156-73.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 902. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Umble, John S. "Wayne County Amish (Ohio, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 23 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/W412.html.
APA style: Umble, John S. (1959). Wayne County Amish (Ohio, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 23 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/W412.html.