Stark County Amish Settlement (Stark County, Ohio, USA)
At least four branches of the Amish Mennonites are found in Stark County - the Old Order Amish, consisting of three districts, with 215 members, the King group (now a district of the Old Order Amish) with 118, the Beachy congregation with 132, the Maple Grove Conservative Mennonite congregation with 126, and the Roman Miller group with some 200 members. The settlement is located in the northwest corner of Stark County and lies mostly within Lake Township, near Hartville. The first Amish settlers came to Stark County in 1905 from Geauga County. They were the families of Joseph D. Coblentz, their first minister, David C. Troyer, and John J. Stutzman. They at once organized a congregation. Daniel J. F. Miller was ordained minister in 1909, joined the Zook group in 1912, then returned to the Old Order, and was installed as bishop in 1918. David Schlabach, from Howard County, Indiana, served as bishop of the South District 1918-28, and then returned to Indiana. Seth H. Byler (ordained bishop in 1931) and Henry Sommers have charge of the King group, Jonas J. Coblentz (ordained bishop in 1937) serves the South District, Noah J. Coblentz (ordained 1941) the East District, and Wallace Byler the West District.
The King Amish group was formed in 1907 as an affiliate of the Zook branch of the Amish, found in Mifflin County and in Ontario, by settlers from Lawrence County, Pennsylvania, Joshua King being their minister. In 1912 the preachers Daniel J. F. Miller and Phineas V. Yoder led a schism from the Old Order Amish and with the assistance of Bishop John P. Zook of Mifflin County organized a new congregation. The withdrawal was due largely to differences on the application of the ban to members who joined other Mennonite branches. After six years, however, Phineas Yoder joined the King group and later the Conservative group. Joshua King (died 1937), the first minister and organizer of the King church, was ordained bishop in 1909.
The Pleasant View Beachy congregation was formed in 1947. Their ministers in 1957 were Alvin Wittmer, Ely Beachy, and Bishop Samuel Ott. The Maple Grove Conservative Mennonite Church was organized in 1922. In 1957 Roman H. Miller (ordained minister in 1935 and bishop in 1939) withdrew with his followers from the Conservative Conference to start a new unaffiliated congregation at Bethesda, about a mile west of Maple Grove. Until then all of the Amish groups had co-operated in the Lake Center Christian Day School, built in 1947, having an attendance of 129 in grades 1-10 in 1956. Since Miller's new start his group has established a small congregation at New Franklin east of Canton on the Columbiana County border and a mission in Canton.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 611. 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.
To cite this page:
MLA style: Keim, Noah A. "Stark County Amish Settlement (Stark County, Ohio, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 22 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/stark_county_amish_settlement_stark_county_ohio.
APA style: Keim, Noah A. (1959). Stark County Amish Settlement (Stark County, Ohio, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 22 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/stark_county_amish_settlement_stark_county_ohio.