Woodford County (Illinois, USA)
The first body of Amish Mennonite settlers in Woodford County came as emigrants from Alsace in 1831 and settled in Worth Township along the Black Partridge Creek northwest of the present town of Metamora. In 1833 Christian Engle, a bishop ordained in Europe, organized this body of believers into a congregation. The members met in homes until 1854, when a brick meetinghouse was constructed, called the Partridge Church. Most of the settlers later moved to the prairies east of Metamora and formed the Metamora congregation. The Partridge Church was the first German church west of Ohio and the second of any denomination in Woodford County; it was for years the church home for all Mennonite immigrants, although they may have settled at some distance. In 1834 a settlement was made near Congerville, known as the Mackinaw Settlement. This later developed into three congregations: Roanoke, Goodfield in Woodford County, and North Danvers in McLean County. Goodfield later merged with the Tremont congregation to form the Morton Mennonite Church.
In the late 1950s there were two Mennonite Church congregations in Woodford County - Metamora and Roanoke, with a total membership of 722. The General Conference had a congregation at Congerville with 117 members. Many other Woodford County residents were members of the Calvary Mennonite Church (General Conference Mennonite) at Washington. An independent Conservative Amish Mennonite congregation was located in Linn Township, about five miles northwest of Roanoke. This group had its origin in the "Sleeping Preacher" movement in the early part of the century. In 1958 it had 172 members.
There were approximately 1,500 Mennonites living in Woodford County in the late 1950s, about 7 per cent of the total population. In addition there was approximately the same number of the Apostolic Christian faith sometimes called the "New Amish," who have much in common with the Mennonites in their origin and doctrine. The Mennonite Home for the Aged at Eureka was operated by the Mennonite Board of Missions and Charities (Mennonite Church) through a local board.
|Author(s)||Tilman R Smith|
Cite This Article
Smith, Tilman R. "Woodford County (Illinois, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 18 Oct 2017. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Woodford_County_(Illinois,_USA)&oldid=141460.
Smith, Tilman R. (1959). Woodford County (Illinois, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 18 October 2017, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Woodford_County_(Illinois,_USA)&oldid=141460.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, pp. 976-977. All rights reserved.
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