York County (Pennsylvania, USA)
York County, PA, was the fifth county carved out (1749) in Eastern Pennsylvania. It has 914 square miles with a population of 202,737 in 1959 (401,613 in 2004). Michael Danner, of the Mellinger Mennonite (Mennonite Church) congregation in Lancaster County, crossed the Susquehanna River by 1719. The scattered Mennonites at first used private homes for their services; by 1774 Danner, a county commissioner, had obtained a grant from the Penns for 12 acres for church and cemetery purposes. This was the start of the Bair's Hanover congregation, three miles east of the borough of Hanover. In 1798 a request for a lot in York (City) was ordered canceled, but in 1805 such a lot, with similar purposes as at Bair's Hanover, was granted. The meetinghouse at Strickler's, between Wrightsville and Hellam, was built about 1798, the Garber meetinghouse at Menges Mills in 1814. In the Manchester area the Hoover union meetinghouse and private dwellings were used until the substantial stone church was built in 1820. At Witmer's the first meetinghouse was built in 1818, and at Hershey's in 1825. By 1826 a church had been built at Bair's Hanover. Mennonites, scattered well over York County, used at least one other union church. At the turn of the century the leaders were Henry Strickler, Andrew Gerber, and Abraham Flury in the eastern district, Henry Kendig, Joseph Updegraff, and David Witmer at York, John Roth and Abraham Geib at Manchester, John Lethra, Henry Sipe, and Joseph Hershey in the middle district, George Forrey, John F. H. Hershey, and Andrew Boyer at the Gerber church; at least some of these men were ordained. The first known bishop was Abraham Roth (1773-1854), followed by John Hostetter (1791-1866), Frederick Stauffer (1813-84), and Daniel Shank (1832-1906). The churches were then supplied until 1926, when Noah H. Mack (1881-1948) served; Richard Danner was ordained in 1935. The total Mennonite membership, taking a new lease on life by colonization, was 375 in 1957, with two missions in York.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 1008. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Landis, Ira D. "York County (Pennsylvania, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 18 June 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/Y6736.html.
APA style: Landis, Ira D. (1959). York County (Pennsylvania, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 18 June 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/Y6736.html.