Marion County has a large Mennonite population. Towns with a predominantly Mennonite population are Hillsboro, Lehigh, and Goessel. The Mennonites are located primarily in the southwestern part of the county. The first Mennonites to come to Marion County were M. W. Keim and his friends from Johnstown, Pennsylvania, who bought 5,000 acres of land from Case and Billings during the winter of 1869-1870. The next Mennonite settlement in the county was established by Peter and Jacob Funk in 1873, who had come from Russia via Sommerfield, Illinois, and purchased land from the Santa Fe through the agent A. E. Touzalin. They established the Brudertal settlement (see Brudertal Mennonite Church). The next group to settle were the Krimmer Mennonite Brethren under the leadership of Jacob A. Wiebe, who settled west of Marion (Center), in the village of Gnadenau in 1874. Mennonites from Poland established the Johannestal Mennonite Church north of Hillsboro and the Friedenstal Mennonite Church near Tampa. The Alexanderwohl Mennonites from Russia settled in seven villages in the southwest corner of Marion County in 1874. In the center of the settlement the town of Goessel is now located. This group has spread into neighboring Harvey and McPherson counties. In addition to these groups, the Mennonite Brethren gradually concentrated in the Hillsboro area. They maintained the Mennonite Brethren Publishing House and Tabor College in Hillsboro.
The General Conference Mennonite churches in Marion County in 1955 were as follows: First of Burns, Alexanderwohl, Goessel, Tabor, Brudertal, First of Hillsboro, Johannestal, Lehigh, and Friedenstal at Tampa. The Mennonite Brethren have the following churches: Ebenfeld, Hillsboro, Tampa, Gnadenau-Lehigh, and Steinreich near Florence. The Krimmer Mennonite Brethren had the Springfield church. The Gnadenau mother church joined the Mennonite Brethren. The Mennonite Church group has the Catlin church near Peabody.
See also Kansas
Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. II, 39 f.
Cite This Article
Krahn, Cornelius. "Marion County (Kansas, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 4 Mar 2015. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Marion_County_(Kansas,_USA)&oldid=92599.
Krahn, Cornelius. (1957). Marion County (Kansas, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 4 March 2015, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Marion_County_(Kansas,_USA)&oldid=92599.
Herald Press website.
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