Swiss Mennonite History

Anabaptist Origins

The Anabaptists and other groups originated in the Protestant Reformation of the sixteenth century. Martin Luther, a Roman Catholic priest, initiated a series of events beginning on October 31, 1517, which shook, divided, and in some instances revitalized Christianity in Western Europe and which are collectively known as the Reformation.

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Swiss Origins

The early Anabaptists were educated and urban–but the persecution drove them from the cities and towns to the remote and relatively inaccessible highlands and mountain fringes of the fertile areas of the Canton Bern. Here they hid and persisted in spite of persecution, through the centuries to the present time. Persecution, of varying intensity, was the lot of the Swiss Anabaptists (Mennonites) until the middle of the eighteenth century.

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The Palatinate

The severe persecution inflicted on the Swiss Mennonites during the latter part of the seventeenth century and the beginning of the eighteenth, resulted in the migration of several hundred Mennonites to the Palatinate. There had been large movements of Swiss Mennonites to the Palatinate prior to this time, especially in the first years of Anabaptism, but such settlements were largely destroyed by persecution and the Thirty Years War (1618-1648).

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To Volhynia

Two groups of ethnically Swiss Mennonites also proceeded to Volhynia, and met and merged there into a larger community. One group from South Germany, coming as part of the Mennonite movement to Galicia in 1784-86, consisting of nine families (prominent were Krehbiel, Miller, Schrag, and Zerger), left the Galician Mennonite settlement in 1796 and attempted unsuccessfully to integrate themselves into the Hutterite Bruderhof located in the northern Ukraine on the River Desna at Vishenka.

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Historical Documents

SMCHA History

First Incorporators  – Read pdf

“Corporation” @ 1895 in German translated   Read pdf

KS State Articles of Incorporation   Read pdf

SMCHA Correspondence 1975 1977   Read pdf

1976 Study Conference at Bethel College   Read pdf 

1979 Pioneer Heritage Festival Days guide   Read pdf

1982  Not for profit Annual Report   Read pdf 

Presidents – Read pdf

Officers  1978-2019 – Read pdf 

Board Executive Officers Summary 1979-2019  Read pdf

Board Trustees 1978-2018  Read pd

Churches Originated

History SMCHA Time Line 1999-2018  Read pdf

History of Annual Meetings 1979-2019   Read pdf

Summary of Annual Meetings 1979-2019   Read pdf

History of Annual Banquets 1980-2018  Read pdf

Summary of Annual Banquets 1980-2018    Read pdf 

History of Fall Fest Events  See 1989 program    Read pdf

History of “Only Schweitzer Spoken Here” Events 2003-2014 Read pdf

History of Scholarships Awarded 1980-2018   Read pdf

History Scholarships 1979 1981    Read article 

Hopefield Land History   Read pdf

History of SMCHA Significant Activities 1975-2018    Read pdf

History of SMCHA Information from Files at MLA 1973-2000  Read pdf

Legal information on SMCHA properties   Read pdf 

Marker maintenance agreement with Hopefield 1997   Read pdf  

Monument 2003 Warranty Deed & Survey   Read copy

View township maps, videos, and historical documents.

View Historical Resources

SMCHA Stories

A Brief History of the Anabaptist Schrag/Schrock Family and Their Sojourn in Switzerland and Germany Watch Video

Arnold Wedel  Read pdf 

Fern Goering    Read pdf

Maynard and Marlene Krehbiel  Read pdf 

Vic Goering   Read pdf  

Wayne Ensz   Read pdf

Wilbert Goering  Read pdf 

History of Elyria, Kansas 2014  Read pdf

Alta Mill   Read pdf 

Schrag Works to Preserve Local Dialect    Read pdf

John Schrag   Read pdf 

John Schrag Espionage Case (printed 1967)   Read pdf

Freeman-Pioneers who helped build Freeman, Freeman now   Read pdf

Freeman SD Arboretum  Read pdf

Andrew Schwartz biographical sketch 1984  Read pdf

Book Baehr – Most Unforgettable Character I’ve Met by Ada Mae Goering   Read pdf

Church Histories

1874 to Hoffnungsfeld 1882 to Eden   Read pdf

Burns History   Read pdf

Eden Mennonite history   Early report by Rev. C. J. Goering 1935  Read pdf

Faith Mennonite History Sept 2016    Read pdf

First Mennonite of Christian History   Read early history 1973

First Mennonite Church, Halstead, KS  Read pdf    Read pdf

Garden Community Church  Read pdf

Hopefield History Oct 2017  Read pdf

Kingman Mennonite Church History

First Mennonite Church of McPherson History       History Update to 2019  Read pdf

Pretty Prairie Mennonite Churches  See 75th Anniversary Brochure.  (See also Pretty Prairie Drama presentation in 2010 listed under Features)  Read pdf    Read pdf

First Mennonite Church of Newton – Read PDF


Learn more about past anniversary celebrations.

1943 Memorial Marker
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75th Anniversary   Read pdf   

100th Anniversary

1973 Centennial plans & first annual report 1974   Read pdf 
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125th Anniversary
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Swiss Fest program & Emigration Song   Read pdf   

Celebration at Hopefield Mennonite Church
Celebration at Eden Mennonite Church