Mennonite Settlers Aid Society (General Conference Mennonite Church)
The Mennonite Settlers Aid Society was an organization incorporated in 1927, with headquarters at Newton, Kansas. Its purpose was to assist General Conference Mennonites who were looking for farm land to settle in solid Mennonite communities. The Society reserved large tracts of land for periods of time in which General Conference Mennonites could ask for membership and buy land. The Society did not finance settlers nor did it buy the land directly. It merely negotiated for large blocks of land with agencies such as railroads and lumber companies. One of the first acts of the Society was to reserve 50,000 acres of cutover timberland in northeastern Washington through the Great Northern Railway.
Three settlements were attempted—one each at Elk, Deer Park, and Newport, Washington. None of these settlements flourished, although in 1955 there was still a small Mennonite community at Newport, with a baptized membership of 54. This land was not suitable for general farming purposes. The Aid Society eventually disintegrated because it never enjoyed strong support. A number of the families attracted were Mennonite refugees who had come from Russia to the United States after World War I. The original founders and directors of the Settlers Aid Society were H. P. Krehbiel president, P. H. Unruh vice-president, A. J. Dyck secretary, and P. P. Buller and D. D. Unruh.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, p. 638. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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To cite this page:
MLA style: Fretz, J. Winfield. "Mennonite Settlers Aid Society (General Conference Mennonite Church)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 20 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/M46716.html.
APA style: Fretz, J. Winfield. (1957). Mennonite Settlers Aid Society (General Conference Mennonite Church). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 20 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/M46716.html.