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The English River Congregation of 
the Church of the Brethren 




This monograph was compiled in 1920 as a case his- 
tory study of a local unit of the Church of the Brethren 
near South English, Iowa. A check of the work (made 
in 1929 and 1930) appears as a separate part of the 
monograph, although material secured in the later sur- 
vey is made use of throughout the study. 

The author of the monograph, Mr. Ellis L. Kirk- 
patrick, was a graduate student at the University of 
Kansas at the time the study was made. He is now 
Associate Professor in the Department of Rural So- 
ciology at the University of Wisconsin. 

This is the second number in the Iowa Monograph 
Series. The first, The Legislation of the Forty-third 
General Assembly of Iowa, by Jacob A. Swisher, ap- 
peared in 1929. 

Benj. F. Shambaugh 

Office of the Superintendent and Editor 

The State Historical Society of Iowa 

Iowa City Iowa 


In these days of " decline of the rural church' ' we have 
yet to find a thorough-going unbiased study of at least one 
active local rural congregation. The following treatise 
represents an attempt at this type of study. It pertains 
to an open country congregation of the Church of the 
Brethren which has "held its own" for more than three- 
quarters of a century. 

The study grew out of a desire to acquaint myself thor- 
oughly with the social background of the church of my child- 
hood and youth. The social and religious customs and tra- 
ditions of this church were not accepted by me as they were 
by my sister. They were not rejected on the grounds of 
any lack of spiritual appeal, however; rather, they were 
put aside more or less unconsciously in my amalgamation 
or interaction with society in general. 

My first introduction to the science of sociology sharp- 
ened my desire to trace the origin of the creeds, customs, 
and traditions of the church referred to above and to study 
their influence on a group which accepts them, in its rela- 
tion to other groups and to society as a whole. Do they 
tend to retard or to promote the development of the group 
of which they are characteristic! What reactions do they 
draw from neighboring social groups? Can these customs 
and traditions be held satisfactorily against a society im- 
mediately surrounding and intermingling with the group 
which possesses themf 

The first part of the study was made in the spring of 1920 
to fulfill the thesis requirement for a master's degree in 
sociology at the University of Kansas. This was revised, 



that is, reorganized and rewritten without any change of 
content, during the fall of 1929. The latter part of the study 
was conducted in the spring of 1929 and the winter of 1930, 
for the purpose of checking the conclusions or findings and 
the proposals which grew out of the former study. 

I wish to make acknowledgments to many for inspiration 
and assistance in connection with the study. Among them 
are F. W. Blackmar and W. R. Smith of the University of 
Kansas, and W. D. Grove, A. H. Brower, J. D. Brower, W. 
H. Brower, and other leaders of the local congregation, in 
particular. In addition I owe acknowledgments to all the 
persons who by responding so freely to questions asked in 
the survey made possible the major part of the study. Last- 
ly, I extend appreciation to all who responded to my letters 
requesting information on present trends in the local con- 

Ellis L. Kirkpatrick 

University op Wisconsin 
Madison Wisconsin 


Editor's Introduction 
Author's Preface 

Explanation and Plan of Study .... 

Origin of the Church of the Brethren 

Religious and Social Life of the Brethren 

Organization and Growth of the English River Con 

Social Study of the Local Congregation 
Summary of Findings and Conclusions 
Present Trends in the Local Congregation 











The church here considered comprises a typical rural con- 
gregation of the Church of the Brethren. It is the English 
River congregation and is located two and one-half miles 
east of the village of South English, Iowa. The original 
study was made in 1920 and the facts as stated usually 
refer to the situation as it existed at that time. (For changes 
which occurred between 1920 and 1929, see below pp. 93- 
101). The locality or neighborhood of the congregation 
covers an area equal to that of a civil township — thirty- 
six square miles. Approximately two-thirds of the land 
within the area is owned and operated by families of the 
Brethren faith. 

The boundary lines of the locality do not, however, co- 
incide with those of the civil township. They are irregular 
and indefinite; more so now than in the past. Doubtless 
they will become even less regular and less definite in the 
future. Apparently the area of the locality or neighbor- 
hood has expanded during the past quarter of a century. 
This expansion may have weakened the solidarity of the 
local group, for appearances suggest a noticeable blending 
of the activities, traditions, and customs of the congrega- 
tion with those of the population which surrounds it. 

The sect or denomination known as the Church of the 
Brethren is an organization of 120,000 members, chiefly in 
rural congregations of the United States. Prior to 1908, 
the parent body, as well as the local congregations and the 
individual members composing them, were knowTi common- 
ly as Tunker, Dunker, or Dunkard, and semi-officially as 



German Baptist Brethren. The national annual meeting 
or conference, held at Des Moines, Iowa, in 1908, referred 
"the matter of name to a committee for one year and after 
ample discussion and much unanimity and good feeling, 
the church name was changed from German Baptist Breth- 
ren to Church of the Brethren/' 1 In spite of this official 
change of name, however, local congregations of the or- 
ganization are still generally designated as Dunker or 
Dunkard. The English River congregation and the mem- 
bers which compose it are referred to more often by out- 
siders as Dunkard than as Brethren. 

The official change of name implied no change of creed, 
custom, or tradition. The devout Brethren of today, like 
the devout Friends and Mennonites, are conspicuous mem- 
bers of society. As described by Morgan Edwards, in 1770, 
"They use great plainness of dress, like the Quakers. They 
commonly wear their beards, the mustache alone being for- 
bidden. ' ,2 The men, particularly the ministers and deacons, 
wear coats with standing collars and avoid the use of neck- 
ties. The women wear bonnets, and occasionally hoods, 
with prayer caps or coverings when in attendance at church 

The church building which serves as the home of the 
English River congregation stands midway between the 
towns of South English and Kinross, Iowa. It is a frame 
structure, forty feet by sixty feet in size, plain in appear- 
ance and unadorned with trees or shrubbery. The building 
faces the highway which lies to the north. It is surrounded 
on one side and at the back by a large service yard, equipped 
with a long shelter shed for teams and automobiles. At 
the rear of the service yard is the English River cemetery. 

i Minutes of Annual Meeting of the Church of the Brethren, 1908. 

2 Edwards's Materials Towards a History of the Baptists in America, Vol. 
I, Pt. 4, p. 66. 


This was established in 1856 and enlarged in 1903 to its 
present size of approximately two and one-half acres. 

The neighboring church groups of the English Biver 
congregation are a Mennonite congregation, two miles 
south; the Methodist, Baptist, and Christian churches of 
South English; and the Methodist, Christian, and Catholic 
churches of Kinross. Each of these groups has a house of 
worship. Only two of them — the Mennonite and the 
Catholic churches — are supplied with resident pastors. 
The two Methodist groups constitute a half of one Methodist 
circuit which is presided over by one minister. The other 
two groups open their houses of worship for Sunday school 
regularly and for preaching services whenever supply pas- 
tors can be secured. 

Educational facilities of the neighborhood and the larger 
community are limited to the rural schools and the schools 
of South English and Kinross. Among the country schools 
which are concerned wholly or in part with the education 
of the children of Brethren families are Liberty, Locust 
Grove, Union, Prairie, and Washington. The Locust Grove 
school, which is located one and one-half miles south of 
the church, has practically all Brethren patronage. Liberty 
school, approximately half a mile northwest of the church, 
has the next heaviest Brethren patronage. Union, about 
three miles north of Liberty, Prairie, two miles east of 
Locust Grove, and Washington, two miles west of Locust 
Grove, have now, as in the past, relatively few pupils en- 
rolled from Brethren families. Likewise, the schools at 
South English and Kinross, the former with eleven grades 
and the latter with ten grades of school work have had 
relatively few pupils from Brethren families on their rolls. 

The locality has fair trade and market facilities and 
services. South English, the larger of the two towns, re- 
ports 330 inhabitants. Its trade and service facilities in- 


elude a railroad station, a post office, two general stores, 
a grocery store, a meat market, two drug stores, two res- 
taurants, a hardware store, a garage and filling station, two 
banks, a farmers ' grain and lumber company, a doctor, 
and a monument dealer. The village of Kinross has fewer 
inhabitants as well as fewer trade and service facilities. 
Its facilities include a railroad station, a post office, a gen- 
eral store, a hardware store, a bank, a restaurant, and a 
farmers' grain and lumber company. 

The market outlet for farm crops and live stock is fair. 
Produce is usually shipped from South English or Kinross 
to Chicago over a branch of the Chicago, Rock Island and 
Pacific Railroad which connects through Muscatine with 
the main line at Davenport. Satisfactory markets are not 
available for dairy or poultry products, fruits, or truck 
crops, any of which could be produced more widely than at 

The roads of the locality are in poor shape. None of 
them are hard surfaced or graveled and few if any of them 
are well enough graded to insure their being passable by 
automobiles during late winter and spring. Most of the 
roads are level, except in the northern portion of the locality 
where there are hills. The rights of way are wide and are 
seldom kept free from weeds and thickets along the sides. 

Farm land of the locality is well adapted to general farm- 
ing. The topography ranges from level to rolling and in 
a few cases hilly. The soil is a rich, black prairie loam, 
for the most part, and is well suited to corn, small grains, 
hay, and pasture. 

The following treatise of the religious and social life and 
activities of the Church of the Brethren as depicted in the 
English River congregation was undertaken with the two- 
fold purpose of studying: (1) the degree of loyalty of the 
local group to the parent organization; and (2) the relation 


of the local group and of the individuals composing it to 
other groups and individuals of the surrounding commun- 
ity and to society. 


The origin of the Church of the Brethren, of which the 
congregation near South English, Iowa, is a part, may be 
traced to the German Pietist movement which grew out of 
the Reformation. This movement arose after the adoption 
of the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648, which ended the Thirty 
Years ' War. 

The Pietist Movement. — Persons in Germany who had 
for their aim the revival of what they considered the "de- 
clining piety of the Protestant churches' ' were known as 
Pietists. According to Otho Winger, they "deplored doc- 
trinal differences and had more or less contempt for out- 
ward ecclesiastical arrangements. ' ,3 They were earnest 
students of the Bible and accepted the Scriptures as the 
true essence of spiritual life and practical Christian living. 

The Pietists were people from the lower class, that is, 
from the masses of society. They were the reactionaries 
against orthodoxy and scholastic learning. 4 History authen- 
ticates the belief that they were not seeking the formation 
of a separate church, but rather what they regarded as a 
purification of the lives of professing Christians. As dis- 
senters from the state church, undoubtedly they were called 
upon to bear persecution. 

The Pietist movement is credited by the Church of the 
Brethren with three direct beneficial results : the founding 
of the University of Halle in 1694; the reorganization of 

* Winger's History and Doctrines of the Church of the Brethren (1919), 
p. 16. 

'Gillin's The Dwikers a Sociological Interpretation (1906), p. 20. 


modern missions, about 1700; and the organization of the 
Church of the Brethren at Schwarzenau in 1708. 5 

Alexander Mack and His Followers. — Alexander Mack 
was the leading character in the founding of the Church 
of the Brethren, although it is doubtful whether Mack be- 
longed to the Pietists. According to the best authorities, 
however, he was greatly influenced by their teachings. He 
held much in common with Arnold, who wrote A Genuine 
Portraiture of Primitive Christians, with Felbinger, who 
prepared a Christian Handbook, and especially with Hoch- 
mann, who wrote a confession of faith while in prison in 
1702. 6 Mack is regarded as having been a careful student 
o£ the Bible and of various theological works. He is credit- 
ed with having known * i the history of the church from the 
apostolic age to his own time. Convinced that it was im- 
possible to live in the organized churches and equally im- 
possible to remain a Separatist, he resolved to organize 
a new church, based upon primitive Christianity .' ,7 

Mack called together eight associates, an earnest little 
body of seekers after truth. 8 Five of these were men and 
three were women. They mutually agreed to throw off all 
allegiance to all former creeds, catechisms, and confessions 
of faith, to search for the truth in God's book, and to go 
wherever that truth might lead them. Adopting the New 
Testament as their guide and declaring for a literal Ob- 
is Two Centuries of the Church of the Brethren (Brethren Publishing House, 
1908), p. 29. 

o Hochmann is held by Winger to have been a Puritan rather than a Separa- 
tist, since he could not see that it was best to organize a separate church. 

* Brumbaugh's A History of the Brethren (1899), p. 72. 

sWinger's History and Doctrines of the Church of the Brethren (1919), p. 
18. The group included Alexander Mack, Anna Margaretha Mack, George 
Grebi, Lucas Vetter, Andrew Bony, Joanna Noethinger Bony, John Kipping, 
and Joanna Kipping. 


servance of the commandments of Christ, the group gath- 
ered on the banks of the Eder River, near Schwarzenau, to 
administer the ordinance of baptism. There, after scripture 
reading, song service, and prayer, one of them baptized 
Mack, and Mack the seven others. Myers regards this bap- 
tismal ceremony as probably the first instance of trine or 
threefold immersion in all the country of the Palatinate. 9 
The method employed, in which the subject was immersed 
three times, in the name of the Father, the Son, and the 
Holy Ghost respectively, according to Matthew 28 : 19 
(Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in 
the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy 
Ghost), was adopted as the mode of baptism of the church. 
Following these baptismal services the group formed itself 
into a new church organization, with Alexander Mack as 
its minister and director. 

It appears from various accounts that this organization 
prospered temporarily. Protected from persecution by a 
kind prince, Count Henry of Wittgenstein, and led by Mack, 
a zealous minister, the congregation, ever obedient to truth, 
was given great power to witness to others. Missionaries 
went forth and new congregations were organized at 
Marienborn, Crefeld, and Epstein. The unity of purpose 
of the small band became a means of attracting additional 
followers. Discussion of various doctrines had drawn them 
from the mass of people with Pietist tendencies and re- 
vealed to them their potential similarity. Only those con- 
vinced of Mack's position had entered the original band. 
The consciousness of unity among themselves and of differ- 
ences from members of other religious or social groups 
made for zealous religious activity. 3 


• Two Centimes of the Church of the Brethren (Brethren Publishing House, 
1908), p. 31. 

loQillin's The Dunkers a Sociological Interpretation (1906), p. 63. 


Growth was phenomenal for a short time only. Difficulties 
were soon encountered, first in the congregations at Marien- 
born, Epstein, and Crefeld. To escape persecution in these 
places, members of the sect journeyed to the protected con- 
gregation at Schwarzenau. Soon the pressure from other 
provinces forced the Count of Wittgenstein to withdraw 
his protection. Only eleven years after the founding of the 
congregation at Schwarzenau soldiers of the state appeared 
there, took the babes and sprinkled them at the state church. 
A year later Mack led his group to Westervain, West Fries- 
land, in north Holland. Here they remained for nine years 
and later most of them emigrated to William Penn's colony 
in America. 

The congregation at Marienborn, in the Palatinate, grew 
until its success attracted the attention of its enemies, when 
it was abandoned by its members, most of whom went to 
Crefeld. The Epstein congregation broke up under per- 
secution, and its leaders with most of the congregation also 
fled to Crefeld. The Crefeld congregation, in Prussia near 
the Holland border line, is also reported to have endured 
much persecution. Here the baptizing of six members of 
the Reformed Church raised a protest from the state church 
which resulted in a four-year imprisonment sentence for 
the six members. In addition the ministers were seized 
and tortured. 

But "internal dissension " is held to have hindered the 
work of this congregation more than did persecution. 11 For 
example, a young minister who dared to marry outside of 
the church was expelled, against the opposition of many, 
and this kept one hundred people from joining the group, 
according to an estimate of one of the church members. 
Later another minister married outside the church, became 

11 Winger's History and Doctrines of the Church of the Brethren (1919), 
p. 21. 


a wine merchant, and withdrew from the church, after which 
the congregation ceased to function. 

Emigration to America. — Immediately following the dis- 
organization of the congregation at Crefeld in 1719, Peter 
Becker, one of the group, led a pilgrimage of some twenty 
of the families to America. The attention of these emigrants 
had been indirectly turned toward America through the in- 
fluence of William Penn, a Quaker from England. 12 Penn, 
who had experienced imprisonment for his religious beliefs, 
had gone on a preaching tour through Germany and had 
set forth the possibility of religious liberty in his new pro- 
vince in America. In addition, he had made known the laws 
passed by England confirming the " Frame of Government" 
for his new colony, founded on the land grant made by the 
King of England to his father in payment for debt. All 
persons acknowledging one Almighty and Eternal God to 
be the Creator, Upholder, and Euler of the world, and 
pledging themselves in conscience to live peaceably and 
justly in civil society were given promise of non-moles- 
tation. 13 

In 1682-1683 Penn transferred the title of 8000 acres of 
land in Pennsylvania to four men of Crefeld, and in 1683 
a group of thirteen emigrated to America where they found- 
ed Germantown. Eleven of the thirteen were Mennonites — 
members of a religious sect much akin to the Brethren in 

12 The Quakers were dissenters from the established church of England. 
They were led by George Fox of Leicestershire, who, through his ''longing 
for a higher and a more spiritual life", gathered together enough adherents 
to establish an organization in 1648. Owing to the incompatibility of doc- 
trines preached, Fox and his followers, including William Penn, suffered per- 
secution. Fox was imprisoned and others were transported to penal colonies. 
Molestations ceased after the Revolution of 1688 and the doctrines of the 
Quakers became more or less firmly implanted in Great Britain and America 
although the number of Friends has never been large. 

isGillin's The Bunkers a Sociological Interpretation (1906), pp. 101, 102. 



religious belief, economic pursuits, and social customs. 
Experiencing full freedom of worship in America, the Men- 
nonites sent back glowing reports to the fatherland. The 
Brethren who received these reports from their fellow 
townsmen became thoroughly convinced that a place of 
refuge and opportunity awaited them in America. 

Peter Becker and his companions landed at Philadelphia 
in 1719. Little is known of the trip except that the questions 
which had caused "internal dissension" at Crefeld were 
agitated en route. On landing at Philadelphia, the mem- 
bers of the pilgrimage scattered to neighboring regions 
and settled in different localities. 15 They made no attempt 
to hold services or to organize a congregation until 1722. 

Contacts with people of other sects, however, emphasized 
among the scattered members a need for group expression. 
Becker saw this need and started on a tour of visitation 
among the scattered membership. His visits were fruitful 
and within three years after landing, members of the group 
were holding meetings in their own homes in and near 
Germantown. The first baptismal service of the sect in 
America took place at Wissahicken Creek on Christmas 

i* Menno Simons, the founder of this sect, played a prominent part in the 
activities of the Anabaptists at Munster, Westphalia, 1525-1533. Convinced 
through private reading of his Bible that the doctrines of the Catholic Church 
were not right and that people were not living as they should, he sought Bap- 
tism by a Waldensian follower in 1536. (Walden was a Swiss who sought 
relief from Catholic persecution during the religious dissension of the twelfth 
century.) He was appealed to by a group of eight young men to become 
their spiritual leader. He taught and preached for twenty-two years in 
Holland, Prussia, and elsewhere. At times he met persecution heroically and 
at other times he avoided it through taking refuge in countries granting tem- 
porary religious liberty to Anabaptist followers. He is held to have pled for 
help to enemies, charitable deeds in quietness, no infant baptism, no military 
oath, no bearing of arms, no holding of military or civil office, a severe en- 
forcement of religious bans, and a separation of church and state. 

is Winger's History and Doctrines of the Church of the Brethren (1919), 
p. 24. 


Day, 1723. 16 A love feast was held on the same day at the 
home of John Gommery, and the Germantown congregation 
was formally organized with Peter Becker as its elder. 
Thus the initial step for implanting the Church of the 
Brethren in America was taken. 

Missionary zeal was manifest immediately. Becker with 
a band of fourteen "visited the scattered members, encour- 
aged those who believed and preached the Gospel to the 
unconverted." 17 The immediate results of the trip "were 
eleven baptisms, two congregations organized and two 
ministers elected. On and on through the pioneer settle- 
ments the Brethren ministers pushed forward, witnessing 
for Christ, comforting the scattered saints, baptising be- 
lievers, organizing churches and enlarging the kingdom of 

In America, as in Crefeld, the church body experienced 
"internal dissension". This began in the Conestoga con- 
gregation of which Conrad Beissel was the minister. 
"Beissel had not been very well indoctrinated and some 
of his early experience bore fruit in strange teachings." 
He denounced the marriage state, and advocated the Mosaic 
law and the seventh day as the Sabbath. He broke with 
the church in 1728, taking a part of his congregation with 
him. Later he is reported to have made proselyting trips 
through the territory of the Brethren. 

Except for the arrival of Alexander Mack from Germany 
the schism caused by Beissel might have been disastrous 
to the church body. Mack arrived at Germantown in 1729 
with one hundred and twenty-six associates, many of whom 
had received letters of invitation from Brethren relatives 
and friends in America. 

iflGillin's The Bunkers a Sociological Interpretation (1906), p. 110. 

17 Winger's History and Doctrines of the Church of the Brethren (1919), 
p. 24. 


Mack learned of the Beissel controversy on his arrival. 
Desiring harmony within the ranks, he attempted to turn 
Beissel 's attention again to the welfare of the entire group, 
but his efforts antagonized Beissel instead. With a number 
of influential members who had accepted his teachings, 
Beissel sought a new location on the banks of the Cocalico 
River, where he founded a communistic settlement, called 
Ephrata. He drew many recruits to this colony from the 
ranks of the Brethren, especially after Mack's death in 
1735. In spite of the loss of followers to the Ephrata colony 
the parent church continued to grow in numbers and to 
move forward under the stimulus of Mack's leadership. 
Mack was followed by other capable leaders, one of them 
Alexander Mack, Jr., who "labored for the welfare of the 
church." Because of the leadership of men of this type 
Germantown weathered the storms and extended her in- 
fluence to many neighboring congregations. As growth 
continued groups pushed out from here and elsewhere in- 
to newer, less-settled regions, organizing church bodies 
throughout Pennsylvania and adjacent Colonies. 

The growth of the church from 1724 to 1770 is described 
as good. 18 "The church prospered. Her elders wrought 
wisely and well. It was no small matter to travel long dis- 
tances, preach in private houses, organize new congrega- 
tions and at the same time maintain a growing family in 
a new country.' ' The Brethren were all Germans and their 
message was only to Germans, although the population 
was dominantly English. Their "success was wonder- 
ful' \ 

Westward Expansion. — By 1770 the Brethren organiza- 
tion, consisting of about one thousand members, had reached 

is Brumbaugh 9 a A History of the German Baptist Brethren in Europe and 
America (1899), p. 333. 


western and southern Pennsylvania and northern and east- 
ern Maryland; that is, congregations had been organized 
or ministers had held meetings in different localities in these 
regions. Thirty years later it had reached Virginia, West 
Virginia, Ohio, and Missouri. Another quarter of a cen- 
tury and the Brethren had entered Tennessee, Indiana, and 
Illinois and had organized congregations there. In 1850 
one church had been established in Iowa and twenty-five 
years later members of the sect had settled in Michigan, 
Kansas, Nebraska, California, and Oregon, some of them 
as organizers and ministers of local church groups. 

By 1900, approximately two centuries after the founding 
of the first church at Schwarzenau, i i settlements ' ' had been 
planted in Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Colorado, Utah, 
Idaho, Washington, and Canada, and the total number of 
communicants or members in the entire organization was 
more than one hundred thousand. 


Owing to the fact that they developed out of reaction to 
the policies of larger church groups which were socially dif- 
ferent, the doctrines of the Church of the Brethren pertain 
primarily to the conduct of the individual. At the time it 
was founded the Brethren organization represented a small 
group of like-minded persons, confronted with unfavorable 
social environment. Heterogeneity of the population pre- 
vented the getting together of a larger group. Conditions 
favored an organization as much unlike that of the orthodox 
churches as possible. The group was, in consequence, 
severely Protestant in nature with a set of doctrines which 
were largely negative in character. 

Doctrines. — The "tone" of the doctrines suggests that 
strict obedience was uppermost in the thought of Mack, the 
founder, who was eager to have the ordinances as "com- 


manded by Christ " accepted and honored. The doctrines 
and ordinances which were accepted by Mack and his asso- 
ciates included the following ideals: 

a. The Christian life is not a life of correct opinion on matters 
theological, but a life of piety begun by obedience to the command 
of Christ to be baptized, which baptism is followed by regeneration. 

b. The church is a holy institution composed of those who 
manifest regeneration by obedience to the commandments of Christ. 

c. The means whereby the church shall be preserved a holy 
institution of pious people is the ban as described in Matthew 18. 

d. The ministry is composed of men not highly educated but 
having scriptural qualifications and chosen from the ranks under 
the direction of the Holy Spirit. 

e. The initiatory rite of the church is baptism of adults only, 
through threefold or trine immersion. 

f. The Lord's supper is a full meal, eaten in the evening, for 
those only who have shown a pious life of obedience. It includes 
the rite of feet-washing, according to John 13. 

g. The organic law of the church is the Scripture, the New 
Testament, especially. This contains full provisions for the or- 
ganization and rites of the church and the statute law of the church, 
obedience to which is a condition of membership. 

h. The state is an institution ordained of God for the existence 
of powers of government that do not interfere with the conscience 
of individuals under its jurisdiction. This includes the refusal 
to take civil oath and to bear arms in defense of their country. 

i. Simplicity of life, especially of dress. In keeping with this 
ordinance members of the church dress plainly after a manner 
that easily distinguishes them from the world. Also, the church 
stands opposed to questionable amusements such as the theater, 
balls, dancing, circuses, etc. 19 

The fact that the foregoing doctrines and ordinances have 
been carried down practically unchanged through the gen- 
erations of two centuries is sufficient proof that they have 

i» Adapted from Brumbaugh 'b History of the German Baptist Brethren in 
Europe and America (1899) ; G-illin's The Dunkers a Sociological Interpretation 
(1906); and Winger's History and Doctrines of the Church of the Brethren 


been recognized as the highest ideals of pure and upright 
living. Now, as formerly, questions pertaining to the con- 
duct of different members of the organization are decided 
according to a literal interpretation of the Scriptures. The 
power of interpretation in respect to matters of conduct 
is vested in a governing board which is maintained in con- 
nection with the annual meeting or conference of the or- 
ganization. This board is guided in its decisions by the 
Scriptures. Where there is no "Thus saith the Lord" ap- 
plying to a question referred to it, the board makes a de- 
cision according to the spirit and meaning of the Scriptures. 
That decision is the rule of all churches for such cases as 
it covers; "All churches shall abide by it and any member 
who shall hinder or oppose it shall be dealt with accord- 
ingly." 20 

Government and the Governing Body. — The highest 
authority in the organization is vested in a body of dele- 
gates sent from the local congregations and from the State 
church districts to the annual meeting or conference which 
convenes at various places. There are forty-seven church 
districts throughout the United States. Delegates are 
chosen from the elders, ministry, deacons, and laity and 
may be either men or women. They must conform to the 
rules and customs of the church as regards plainness of 
dress, temperate living, and Christian fellowship. The 
apportionment of delegates is one for each 200 members 
or fraction thereof. 

District meetings are held yearly in each of the various 
State church districts. They grew out of necessity as a 
sort of exchange between local congregations and the an- 
nual conference. A great deal of the business formerly 
handled by this higher organization is now disposed of by 

20 Winger's History and Doctrines of the Church of the Brethren (1919), 
p. 200. 


delegates who assemble at some church in one of the several 
State districts. Local congregations are represented at the 
district meetings by an apportionment of delegates deter- 
mined by these meetings. Qualifications of the delegates 
for district meetings and for the annual meeting are 

The local congregation is the most important governing 
unit in the organization, since its official duty is to carry 
into effect the principles and work of the church. 21 Upon 
receiving members into membership "it provides an enter- 
tainment in which they may grow spiritually or it neglects 
this and leaves them to care for themselves. ' 9 The privilege 
of membership rests with the local congregation which may 
discipline its members, including its officers, and even expel 
them, but the defendant has the power of appeal to the dis- 
trict meeting or to the annual meeting for reinstatement in 
the church. 

The local church holds council meetings for the trans- 
action of business, including the election of officers. Each 
of these meetings is in charge of a presiding elder. In case 
the council meeting must consider an embarrassing situa- 
tion, such as the disciplining of a member, an elder from 
a neighboring church may be asked to preside. 

Candidates for membership in the church must pledge 
themselves to do all in their power to live in peace and har- 
mony with their brethren. The basis of their conduct is 
laid down in Matthew 18 : 15 — " if thy brother shall tres- 
pass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee 
and him alone : if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy 
brother" — and in the Golden Eule, Matthew 7 : 12 — 
i i Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should 
do to you, do ye even so to them : for this is the law and 

« Winger's History and Doctrines of the Church of the Brethren (1919), 
p. 203. 


the prophets." Members who become subject to discipline 
are paid a special visit by a deacon, or by some other 
authorized member who is considered to have a greater in- 
fluence on the one in need of discipline. 

Deacons of the local congregation are elected by the mem- 
bers, and are installed after having promised to serve faith- 
fully. Their duties include assisting the ministers, looking 
after the poor, visiting the sick, and the like. In connection 
with the church services, they may lead in prayer, bear testi- 
mony, and read the Scripture lesson. 

Ministers are elected by a majority vote of the local 
church, after prayer and Scripture reading, as a guide in 
determining qualifications of candidates. If no candidate 
receives a majority, a second vote is taken, following an 
additional prayer which precedes an announcement of the 
vote already taken. Any young man who feels called by 
the Lord to the ministry may make his desires known to 
the elders of his church. If his request meets the approval 
of two-thirds of the local church council, he receives con- 
sideration as a candidate. 

A candidate for the ministry must be sound in faith and 
doctrine. "He shall not be guilty of filthy lucre and not 
worldly-minded, but shall have the mind of Christ and withal 
shall be willing to suffer hardship as a good soldier of 
Christ. As exhorted by the Scriptures, the candidate shall 
make such preparation as will insure an efficiency approved 
of God. ' ' He is encouraged to take college and Bible train- 
ing although no educational standard is set for him. If he 
is unable to secure training at an institution, he may, with 
whatever help his local congregation may give him, take 
advantage of a home study course arranged by the Educa- 
tional Board of the Brethren Church. 

The duties of the minister include preaching, administer- 
ing baptism, and assisting the elders. On proving himself 


efficient the minister is ordained an elder. Additional duties 
of the elders are serving at communions, presiding at coun- 
cil meetings, anointing the sick, managing the church, train- 
ing the local ministers — of whom there may be an indef- 
inite number — and apportioning them to their duties ac- 
cording to their experience and ability. Such duties, of 
course, vary in the different congregations. 

Ministers who are financially able to do so are encouraged 
to preach the gospel without pay, a practice followed in 
the organization from its beginning. Those who are unable 
to preach without pay are assisted by the church in pro- 
portion to the time they devote to the ministry. Churches 
needing pastors may usually secure them for a reasonable 

Form of Services. — Belief of the Church of the Brethren 
in the ' i fundamental doctrines of Christian faith as taught 
in the Bible and acceptance of the New Testament ordinan- 
ces as essential" grew out of a reaction toward worship 
which was considered formal and below the ideals set by 
the Master. Officials of the church have ever made an 
earnest attempt to secure the unquestioned allegiance of 
all Brethren. They have let few opportunities to lead the 
indifferent and the wayward to the cause of the Master go 

Preaching services have been foremost among the forms 
of worship. Sermons are delivered regularly. Eesults 
secured through them "depend upon the spiritual power 
and the intellectual ability of the messenger". 22 Sermons 
delivered by some of the ministers are little more than mere 
pleas or exhortations. 

The sermons are preceded and followed by earnest prayer 
offered by one or more of the ministers or deacons. 

» Winger 's History and Doctrines of the Chwrch of the Brethren (1919), 
p. 228. 


The prayers are usually long and sometimes tedious to 
younger members of the congregation. Each is usually 
concluded with the Lord's Prayer. Prayer is offered while 
members of the congregation kneel. Prayer covering is 
worn by each of the sisters. 

Singing forms an important part of each service. In 
many of the churches it is conducted without the aid of a 
musical instrument, owing to the fact that the piano has 
not been sanctioned by the governing board of the organiza- 
tion. Without accompaniment, singing is often far short 
of what may be termed music, but in many of the local 
churches trained choristers are available, and in spite of 
the lack of musical instruments, some of the choristers have 
been able to get splendid harmony from the congregations. 

The Sunday school, which is comparatively new with the 
Brethren, has been encouraged and promoted during the 
past quarter of a century, by means of a general Sunday 
school board. The local school is under the supervision 
of a superintendent, assisted by a chorister. Graded lessons 
are now used and approximately 200,000 pieces of literature 
are distributed annually. "A five-year standard set re- 
cently by the Sunday school board, includes among its aims 
100 new schools started, $40,000 for missions, 15,000 new 
pupils, prayerful effort to lead unconverted attendants to 
Christ and daily study of the Sunday school lesson from 
the open Bible." 23 

The Christian Workers' Meeting, a fairly recent organ- 
ization, provides practical work for the young people of 
the church. Local groups of this organization hold Sunday 
evening programs in which both old and young persons take 
part. Programs usually include topics assigned to differ- 
ent members for special study and discussion. Participa- 

2« Winger's History and Doctrines of the Church of the Brethren (1919), 
p. 185. 


tion in these programs tends to develop "the thinking and 
speaking of the young people. ' ,24 

The annual love feast is regarded as one of the main 
" seasons' ' of worship by the Church of the Brethren. It 
is often the occasion for visits from neighboring elders and 
pastors, and provides a means of deepening the religious 
life and broadening the social realm of the local congrega- 
tion. The feasts usually convene on Saturday afternoon. 
The sermon of the afternoon is followed by the Lord's 
supper, a full meal, which is concluded with the "bread", 
the "cup", the handshake, the holy kiss, and a "God bless 
you". Just preceding the eating of the supper which is 
covered on the table the rite of feet- washing is administered 
according to John 13 : 4-5 — ' ' He laid aside his garments ; 
and took a towel, and girded himself. After that he poureth 
water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples' feet, 
and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded. ' ' 
Both brethren and sisters, each sex at different tables, 
participate in the service. A brief sermon or a prayer con- 
cludes the evening program. The love feast closes with 
Sunday services which are identical with those of other 
Sundays, except that the prayer may be offered and the 
sermon may be delivered by a visiting preacher. 

Previous to the love feast, members of the local church 
are visited by one of the ministers, deacons, or laity. This 
is for the purpose of strengthening the bond of Christian 
fellowship. These visits, in the boyhood days of the writer, 
were occasions for reverence and prayer. They tended to 
renew the faith of the "visited" in the gospel. 

The love feast has been a great social influence in the 
life of the Brethren. It has provided a common "meeting 
level" for all members of the local unit. The meals have 

2* Winger '8 History and Doctrines of the Chwrch of the Brethren (1919), 
p. 225. 


had a social air about them not provided in any other way 
in the average Brethren community, and the meetings are 
anticipated with pleasure by both adults and children. Sun- 
day services concluding the feasts are attended by larger 
audiences than usual both by members and non-members 
of the church. The exchange of greetings and ideas pre- 
ceding and following the different services creates a feel- 
ing of friendliness and a spirit of loyalty to the church. 

Benevolence. — The Church of the Brethren has always 
held the relief of its poor and dependents as a duty. Mem- 
bers of the local congregations are quick to help one an- 
other in distress. In addition, the church body for more 
than a century has provided for poor widows and their 
children. For more than a half century it has encouraged 
the building and maintenance of homes for its aged and 
its orphans. At present it has fifteen of these homes, using 
1500 acres of land, and valued at $150,000. These are con- 
veniently located throughout the various church districts. 

Industries and Occupations. — The Brethren are pri- 
marily an agricultural people. Driven from the fertile 
lands of the Ehine Valley, the founders of the organization 
turned westward to the lands of William Penn. They had 
heard of the agricultural advantages of the lands and the 
opportunities in Pennsylvania. They had been told that 
the land raised farm crops, fruits, and garden produce 
in abundance. Their attention had been called to the 
luxuriant grasses upon which horses and cattle could 
be raised and kept. "The land is full of buffaloes and elk", 
they had been told, ' ' twenty or thirty of which were found 
together. ' m They had been informed that they might find 
flesh enough to eat from wild animals and that they could 

ssGillin's The Dunkers a Sociological Interpretation (1906), quoting from 
Pennypacker 's Historical and Biographical Sketches, p. 186. 


thereby live better than the richest nobleman. Such a de- 
scription might have attracted the most unworthy from any 
land of "oppression", but the fact that the Brethren emi- 
grants came from a high type of farming population has 
long been unquestioned. They showed their judgment in 
their tendency to settle in fertile valleys in this country 
and in the zeal with which they cleared the land and planted 
it to crops. John L. Gillin holds that the Brethren are pri- 
marily farmers, ever alive to their business interests and 
quick to seize opportunities offered. 26 * ' Their appreciation 
is keen in matters pertaining to agriculture .... they are 
alive to the greatest discoveries, buy the most improved 
farm machinery, take the best farm papers and attend 
county and state fairs in order to keep abreast of all that 
is best in the w^orld in which they are concerned." 

It should be noted, however, that not all Brethren are 
farmers. There are Brethren business men, produce 
dealers, artisans, and laborers in some cities. There are 
also active produce dealers, carpenters, teamsters, and the 
like, among the Brethren in many villages. 

Education. — During the century and a quarter follow- 
ing their arrival in America the Brethren were indifferent 
and even hostile to higher education. With the exception 
of Christopher Sauer, Jr., and a few like-minded followers, 
they looked upon higher learning as a process following 
which the "educated would fail to return to the humble ways 
of the Lord." Sauer 's father, Christopher Sauer, Sr., a 
graduate of Marburg University in Germany, is credited 
with the honor of "transplanting German printing to the 
New World .... He edited and printed the first German 
newspaper in America .... and issued books, pamphlets 
and magazines in great profusion .... He was actuated by 

2c Gillin 's The Dunkers a Sociological Interpretation (1906). 


the big purpose of providing the most useful reading matter 
for his fellow countrymen in their new environment." 27 

Christopher Sauer, Jr., led in the founding of the Ger- 
mantown Academy in 1759. Later he served as president 
of the board of trustees of the Academy. He is character- 
ized as having been favorable to education, and he was an 
active champion of a broad and liberal education. His in- 
terest in behalf of the Germantown Academy was largely 
non-sectarian. His devotion to education was based upon 
a broad charity for the poor and needy. 

In spite of Sauer 's interest in education, the Brethren 
continued to regard learning as contrary to their religious 
well-being far into the nineteenth century. As late as 1852 
the annual meeting voted unfavorably on the question, 
' 'How is it considered by the Brethren if the Brethren aid 
and assist in the building of great houses for high schools 
and send their children to the same?" It was the opinion 
of the meeting that the Brethren should be cautious of 
minding the high things of life and should condescend to 
men of low estate. 28 

By 1850, however, the church included a few friends of 
education. This number increased gradually and the senti- 
ment for a higher education than that of the common school 
became too great to be resisted. The period of hostility 
and indifference to education changed to one of favor, 
through contacts with individuals and groups of other sects. 
This was inevitable in the great movement of expansion 
whereby the Brethren were brought face to face with lead- 
ers of other groups. Elements of superiority in these 
leaders and in many other individuals with whom they came 

27 Flory's Literary Activities of the Brethren in the Eighteenth Century 
(1908), p. 38. 

28 Minutes of the Annual Meeting of the General Mission Board, 1909, p. 


in contact were a challenge for higher education in the 
Church of the Brethren. The challenge was accepted. The 
first Brethren school was opened at New Vienna, Ohio, in 
1861, and the first college was established at Bourbon, 
Northern Indiana District, in 1870. 

The little "leaven" grew rapidly. During the half 
century between 1870 and 1920, the church established ten 
colleges, which it is now maintaining in a creditable manner. 
All of these colleges are under the supervision of a general 
educational board, appointed at the annual meeting, as pro- 
vided for in 1890. This board consists of seven members 
"whose duty it is to watch over the moral and religious 
influence of the schools and to see that the principles of the 
Gospel and church government be carried out as defined 
by the Annual Meeting. ' ,29 The board has recently adopted 
a positive policy. It plans to carry the forward movement 
of the church into its colleges and is striving for a realiza- 
tion of the following aims : 

a. Thirty-five hundred students enrolled, with five per cent pur- 
suing regular college courses. 

b. Three hundred thousand dollars raised for endowments. 

c. Twenty per cent of all students in regular Bible study, 
twenty per cent looking forward to definite Christian service and 
fifty per cent dedicating their lives to the ministry or to mission 

In the past the main contribution of the Church of the 
Brethren to society has been "a great mediocre class of 
substantial, worldly-wise, industrious, economical, peaceful, 
moral and religious citizens, possessed with more than the 
common virtues and with few vices. ' ,30 With the beginning 
of the twentieth century, however, we find coming from 

2» Winger's History and Doctrines of the Church of the Brethren (1919), 
p. 176. 

soQilliu's The Dunkers a Sociological Interpretation (1906), p. 213. 


their ranks men of intellectual ability and promise — in- 
cluding Professor M. G. Brumbaugh, University of Pennsyl- 
vania; ex-Governor Brumbaugh of Pennsylvania; D. L. 
Miller, traveler and lecturer; and Dr. D. W. Kurtz, presi- 
dent of McPherson College. With the growing interest in 
education as exemplified in the Brethren schools and col- 
leges many more men of this type will undoubtedly take 
their places among the leaders of the world. 

Citizenship and Government. — At the time the Church 
of the Brethren was founded the doctrines and ordinances 
included the idea of non-resistance — »• that is, the refusal 
to bear arms — and the refusal to take civil oath. Members 
of similar groups which had preceded the Brethren had 
been persecuted for their belief in matters which were held 
to belong to the "conscience". The refusal to take an oath 
may be traced back to the fact that this was held to be the 
sacred instrument of the state which had abused them. It 
might also be explained by the Biblical injunction against 
the taking of oaths. 

During the World War the Brethren as an organization 
held firmly to the principle of non-combatant service. At 
the same time, they joined whole heartedly in the work of 
relief and reconstruction. Different congregations pledged 
liberal financial support to the various lines of moral and 
religious welfare work among the soldiers. 

Although the Brethren have always "tried to keep free 
from entanglements of government ' ', they have not made 
the renunciation of voting and office holding tests of fellow- 
ship. Members have not been encouraged to vote or to hold 
office, however. To do either has been regarded as giving 
up the principle of non-resistance, since governments, to 
some extent at least, are based on force. On the other hand, 
"members have always been urged to be loyal to govern- 


merits as far as consistent with religious convictions ' \ In 
recent years the church has taken a more active interest 
in local, State, and national government to the extent of 
urging members to vote and of permitting them to hold 
public office. 

The Brethren have seldom resorted to law for the settle- 
ment of difficulties. Any member who desires to "go to 
law" must first have the consent of the church officials. 
Manifold decisions handed down from the governing bodies 
of the various annual meetings prove conclusively that the 
Brethren hold neither the use nor the practice of law in 
accordance with the Gospel. This position seems logical 
when it is recalled that relationships among the members 
of the society are based primarily upon the observance of 
the Golden Rule. Often, however, church trials cause as 
much unpleasant publicity in the community as a trial at 
law would occasion. 

Marriage. — In earlier years, marriage outside of the 
church was punishable by expulsion. At the present time, 
marriage outside the church is common and such a marriage 
usually results in the "conversion" of the non-member into 
the organization. While intermarriage, often through sev- 
eral generations, has been noted in many communities, kin- 
ship marriage has not yet become common enough to pro- 
duce any noticeable defects. The Brethren family con- 
tinues to be the primary source of membership in each 
locality. 31 When that source is exhausted the church may 
cease to grow, both in numbers and in vitality. 

In its endeavor to maintain purity of life and the mar- 
riage relation, the church for many years excluded from 
its membership i ' any one who had two living companions. ' ' 
Fornication and adultery have always been looked upon 

aiGillin's The Dunkers a Sociological Interpretation (1906), p. 221. 


as " grave sins, and sufficient grounds to cause any member 
to forfeit his membership. ' ,32 

Temperance. — The Brethren have held tenaciously to 
their original stand against intemperance. The use of liquor 
in any form has always been forbidden. Decisions against 
the manufacture, sale, and keeping of liquor are recorded 
in minutes of the annual meetings of 1781, 1832, and 1846 
respectively. While the church does not sanction the use 
of tobacco, it does not make its non-use a test of fellowship, 
except with ministers and delegates to its district and an- 
nual meetings. 

The church is in sympathy and accord with the purity 
reform movement. The annual conference of 1919 "made 
it the duty of the Temperance Committee to encourage 
teaching along these lines and to do all possible to promote 
the movement for greater purity in personal life and con- 

Dress. — The custom of plain dressing, a symbol of plain 
living, may be attributed to opposition to the "over-refined 
and elegantly dressed' ' in the churches during and imme- 
diately following the Reformation. Reasons for maintain- 
ing plainness of dress, at present, are based on the modesty 
of dress taught by Jesus and his Apostles. The particular 
form of dress, which seems to have held remarkably well 
for a century, is described in the following recommendations 
of a special dress committee which reported at the annual 
conference in 1917. 38 

a. The Brethren shall wear the hair and beard in a plain and 
sanitary manner. They, especially the ministers and deacons, shall 

" Winger's History and Doctrines of the Church of the Brethren (1919), 
p. 222. 

*3 There was no one established form of dress among the Brethren during 
the first century of the existence of the church. In order to enforce plainness 
of dress the annual conferences prescribed a particular form. 


wear the coat with the standing collar and are urgently advised 
to refrain from wearing a tie or other unnecessary articles of 

b. The sisters shall wear plainly-made garments, free from all 
ornaments and unnecessary appendages, a plain bonnet or hood 
as a head-dress, and their hair in a becoming Christian manner. 

c. No one shall wear gold for ornament or jewelry. 

Indications of "some very strained relations' ' over the 
question of dress are gleaned from the minutes of a number 
of the annual conferences. The report of the committee 
on dress to the conference of 1917 states that "the Church 
of the Brethren throughout her entire history stood firmly 
against the fashions of the age and extravagance in all man- 
ner of living and on the other hand has taught the principles 
of simplicity of life and personal appearance. The con- 
ference has from time to time adopted means and methods 
with a view of maintaining gospel simplicity in dress in the 
church body." 

The committee recommended that no brother be installed 
as minister or deacon and that no brother or sister serve 
as delegate to a district or annual meeting, w r ho does not 
observe the order of dress. In addition it was to be the 
duty of the church to teach faithfully and intelligently the 
simple Christian standard of dress. Finally, those who re- 
fused to conform to the method set forth and "followed the 
foolish fashions of the world were to be dealt with as dis- 
orderly members ; and in the dealing both the salvation of 
souls and the purity of the church were to be kept in view." 

Decisions of this type are supposed to be observed in 
general at the present time, but they are fully effective only 
in congregations in the open country and in the small 
towns. 84 In larger centers of wider and more varied social 
contacts particular form of dress has given way to practices 

aGillin's The Dunlcers a Sociological Interpretation (1906), p. 217. 


which render the Brethren non-conspicuous members of 

Recreation and Amusements. — There seems to be no 
historical basis for the refusal of the church to participate 
in recreational activities, including games, celebrations, and 
entertainments. It is reasonable to assume, however, that 
this refusal grew out of an earnest desire of the founders 
and early followers to put aside all things worldly. Par- 
ticipation in fairs, theaters, celebrations, games, dancing, 
and secret societies was formerly regarded as sinful and 
might be punishable by expulsion. Eecently, however, mem- 
bers desiring to attend fairs, picnics, and other recreational 
activities have done so, without fear of incurring church 

In many congregations patriotic celebrations have taken 
the form of well-planned, sane, religious, and social pro- 
grams. These, however, have failed to attract and hold the 
undivided interest of the young people. Group games in- 
cluding baseball and volley ball are common in some com- 
munities. Theaters, moving pictures, and dancing are still 
unsanctioned and membership in any secret society dis- 
qualifies a member from fellowship in most of the rural 

Dissension. — It should not be presumed that the Church 
of the Brethren has come through two centuries of progress 
without differences of opinion and difficulties. In several 
instances pressure brought to bear through counteracting 
social influences resulted in dissolution. New sects arose 
as branch organizations in various parts of the United 
States, including the New Dunker, the Far Western, the 
Bowman, the Old Order, and the Progressive. The remain- 
ing body, with which we are concerned here, is know as 
the conservative group. Of the branch organizations named 


above, only the Old Order and the Progressive need be con- 
sidered further. The former developed, or " remained' ' 
rather, out of opposition to a number of proposed changes. 
These included high schools, Sunday schools, protracted 
meetings, a paid ministry, and the single mode of feet- wash- 
ing. The Progressive element, on the other hand, favored 
better education, especially of the church ministry. In addi- 
tion, they were impatient at the insistence on church ritual 
and simplicity in dress "while many of the vital questions 
of the day were scarcely noticed. ' ' The Progressives repre- 
sented the younger members of the organization, primarily 
those who had attended high schools and had access to news- 
papers and magazines. They were followers of H. L. Hol- 
singer, publisher of the Christian Family Companion and 
advocate of a "free rostrum for the discussion of all sub- 
jects pertaining to the church." Holsinger started the 
Progressive Christian in 1878, with the avowed purpose 
of advocating progressive measures and reforms, "includ- 
ing a better educated ministry.' ' This paper declared it 
wrong to concentrate so much power in the hands of ignor- 
ant elders, many of whom could scarcely read a chapter in 
the Bible intelligently." 35 It broke the last bond of union 
between the conservative and the progressive elements in 
1880, the year in which the Old Order withdrew from the 
parent organization. Thus, individuals of the Progressive 
group began to realize the value of actual social contact with 
the world at large. 

Both the Old Order and the Progressive Brethren now 
have a fair-sized following. 

Cohesion. — Since the division cited above the conser- 
vative element has moved steadily forward along many lines 

as Winger's History and Doctrines of the Church of the Brethren (1919), 
p. 110. 


of progress. According to John L. Gillin, this was due 
largely to the fact that the church, not wishing to lose addi- 
tional members to the Progressives, relaxed her coercion 
of the individual sufficiently to allow more spontaneity of 
action. S6 A w^ide social intercourse and a means of com- 
munication was accepted. Schools and colleges which were 
soon established were rapidly filled with students. Gradu- 
ally, the social life of the group underwent a great change. 
The main goal of making people good gave way to a dynam- 
ic ethical force having for its aim the production of men 
of polish, culture, aggressiveness, vision, and constructive 
ability. At present, members of the Church of the Brethren 
are taking their places among the educated men of other 
religious denominations. Well may we conclude with Gillin 
that, "if the Brethren can adopt what the world has to give 
him and yet keep the solid strength and the deep moral 
earnestness of his past history, his personality will be none 
the poorer and society at large will be much the richer. 
Thus, will he be able to make his great contribution to the 
social life of which he is a part." 37 



In their westward movement in quest of homes and of 
undeveloped territory over which to spread their gospel, 
the Brethren reached the fertile valleys of Ohio, Indiana, 
Illinois, eastern Missouri, and Iowa by the middle of the 
Nineteenth Century. Growth and expansion of the parent 
body resulted from the establishment of Brethren " settle- 
ments' ' as members of the sect pushed on westward. The 
English River congregation near South English, Iowa, con- 
stitutes one of these settlements. In general, it is typical 

se Gillin 's The Dwikers a Sociological Interpretation (1906), p. 196. 
37 Gillin 's The Dunkers a Sociological Interpretation (1906), p. 225. 


in both origin and development of most of the rural con- 
gregations established. 88 

Location. — During the summer of 1854, a group of five 
families, including a minister, left Allen County, Ohio, in 
search of a favorable location. 89 They journeyed westward 
to Mount Vernon, in Linn County, Iowa, where they were 
welcomed by others of their sect. The five men left their 
families near Mount Vernon, and w T ere joined by four men 
of the Mount Vernon group, none of whom had families, 
in continuation of their search for a desirable location. 40 
According to notes kept by one of them, these men spent 
about six weeks on a "locating trip". In their "explora- 
tion" they arrived at the two-room cabin home of an early 
settler near South English at the opening of Sunday re- 
ligious services which were being conducted by a Christian 
minister. The minister of the Brethren group responded 
to an invitation from the Christian minister to preach. This 
was regarded as a union service. 

Similar services were held Sunday after Sunday for some 
time following. The Christians, the Methodists, the Bap- 
tists, and the Brethren cooperated in conducting them. 
Gradually, as these different denominations gained local 
strength, through the arrival of members from other sec- 
tions and through conversions, and as places of worship 
such as homes, barns, and schoolhouses became available, 
the locality became organized into separate church groups. 

ss See Zigler's History of the Brethren in Virginia; Winger's Indiana His- 
tory of the Chwrch of the Brethren; Blough's Western Pennsylvania; Gibson's 
Southern Illinois; Snyder's Middle Iowa; and similar publications issued by 
the Brethren Publishing House. 

«» The group included David Brower, minister, Solomon Wine, Daniel Wine, 
Jonas Stoner, and their families. 

40 These four men were Daniel and Abe Stoner, John Biggie, and Solomon 


Organization of the Congregation. — The nine Brethren 
were joined by their families in September, 1854. The or- 
ganization of the Church of the Brethren is recorded as 
having taken place during the fall of 1855 in connection 
with a love feast which was held at the home of one of the 
members, near the site of the present church building. 41 
Shortly preceding the date of organization the original 
group was enlarged by the arrival of co-workers, chiefly 
from Virginia. Various records show a charter member- 
ship of from 12 to 30, the majority of these records favor- 
ing the higher number. The minister of the group was or- 
dained as elder and placed in charge of the congregation. 
Two members were selected as deacons. 42 

Eegular church services at that time were held i ' in school- 
houses and in a few scattered cabin homes in the usual 
pioneer ways." The Brethren held no services at night 
except when visiting ministers were present or during the 
observance of communion. Necessary light for meetings 
at night had to be furnished by tallow candles or by the 
more common lard lamps. Church activities of the Breth- 
ren soon centered at the Liberty schoolhouse, which was 
built in 1855 or 1856, near the site of the present church 
building. According to notes which were kept by a pioneer 
settler this building "was a small frame structure with 
desks made of broad rough boards. The seats were made 
of rough slabs and the blackboard was a couple of painted 
planks. It stood a little east of where the church now stands 
and was used for a number of years by them as a meeting 
house." 48 This building was inadequate for the love feast 

*i This took place at the home of Solomon Wine, forty rods west of where 
the present church now stands. 

« David Brower was ordained as elder and Samuel Flory and Daniel Wine 
were installed as deacons. 

<s Blaylock's My School, Past, Present and Future (1904). 


or communion services and from 1856 to 1859 they were 
held in a large shed built expressly for the purpose. The 
sidewalls and roof of this shed were of prairie grass, cured 
as hay. From 1859 to 1865, when the present church build- 
ing was erected, these services were held in one of several 
large barns which had become adjuncts to some of the farm- 
steads of the neighborhood or community. 

The church building erected in 1865 was 40 x 60 feet in 
size. It was soon enlarged by the addition of a kitchen or 
workroom required in the preparation of the meal for the 
love feast. It was remodeled about 1905 and fitted with 
central heating and lighting systems, and with several small 
Sunday school rooms which open off the auditorium. The 
building is still in use. Though plain in appearance, it is 
a substantial structure owing to the care and upkeep it has 

Early Missionary Activities. — Early activities of the 
local congregation were not confined to the immediate local- 
ity or neighborhood. Different ministers of the Brethren 
sect held preaching services for several years following 
1854 in the schoolhouse near Rodman's Point, now South 
English. Brethren ministers preached also to audiences 
gathered at the various groves and schoolhouses of the 
neighboring localities, "scattered over the vast prairies". 
The trips to and from those places of worship had to be 
made on horseback or on foot. It is reported that some 
of the ministers serving in this way w T alked eight or ten 
miles both going and returning, and felt well repaid for 
their efforts. 

Three active church groups are at present evidence of 
the far-reaching influence of the English River congrega- 
tion of the early days. South Keokuk, about 20 miles south, 
near Ollie, Iowa, was organized in 1858. The church at 


Brooklyn, Iowa, approximately forty miles northwest, was 
started in 1866 from the Deep Eiver congregation which 
grew out of the English Eiver congregation in 1865. North 
Church in North English, a branch of the English Kiver 
group, was conducted in a building erected in 1889. It was 
organized as a separate congregation in 1916. 

Four local churches which were organized by the English 
Eiver group are now dissolved. These include Deep Eiver, 
mentioned above, Middle Creek, Oak Grove, and Crooked 
Creek. Dissolution of these congregations is held to have 
been due to lack of leadership, lack of cooperation, and 
failure to hold the young people. 

Complementary Church Organization. — The dates of the 
beginnings of several church activities and organizations 
are of interest. The first local Sunday school was organ- 
ized in 1877. For almost a score of years Sunday school 
services were held semi-monthly. Since that time they have 
been held weekly. The first series of revival "meetings' ' 
took place during the winter of 1875-1876. "Social meet- 
ings", now known as Christian Workers' Meetings, began 
in 1893. The annual Bible school started two years later. 
This is a tw T o weeks study of the Bible led by a special teach- 
er from Mount Morris College or Bethany Bible School. 

The first Ladies' Aid Society, known as the "Sisters' 
Aid", was organized about the year 1900. This is engaged 
in furthering active service of some form at the present 
time. The chief purpose of this society at the time of its 
organization was the ' * fitting out ' ' of members as they came 
into the church; that is, helping them to provide clothing 
where needed and assisting them in designing or shaping 
the various articles of "the dress" after the customary 
form of the Brethren. More recently the program of work 
of this organization has centered on the making of wearing 


apparel and the sending of both clothing and other pro- 
visions to several different homes for orphans or aged 
people. "Many boxes and barrels of goods have been sent, 
while poor at home have not been neglected." 

The local congregation has borne its part in the establish- 
ment and support of the Brethren Old Folks ' Home, which 
is located at Marshalltown, Iowa. It has furnished one 
member on the Board of Trustees ever since the home was 
established in 1904. During the preceding twenty years, 
it has also been well represented on child rescue and tem- 
perance committees. 

Since the adoption of the delegate system by the annual 
meeting or conference the local church has not failed to 
send its representatives to attend these meetings. 

Membership. — No record of membership is available for 
the congregation from the date of organization in 1855 un- 
til 1897. Notes kept by one of the members whose father 
served as a minister and elder during the early years of 
the congregation show 105 members in 1880, the date of 
division of the parent church body into Progressive, Old 
Order, and Conservative, and 184 members in 1897. 4 * This 
is an increase of approximately 150 members in fifty years 
if the larger number, thirty, is accepted for membership 
at the time the congregation was organized. 

Complete records of membership of the local church kept 
by the member referred to above, for the years from 1897 
to 1919 are given in the table on the next page. 

Membership received or lost by letter implies no exchange 
with churches of other denominations. The term "dis- 
owned" includes dismissal of those considered detrimental 
to the local organization as well as approval of requests by 

*4 The notes referred to were kept by A. H. Brower, whose father served 
as an elder from 1871 to 1879. 



members for disconnection. The large number lost by 
letter in 1917 includes 45 members who went to the North 

Membership Statistics, 1897-1919 


by letter 


by letter 



































































































































































English church, at the time of the division of the local con- 
gregation in 1916. 

Neighboring Church Activities in 1920. — The organiza- 
tion of local congregations of other sects kept pace with 
that of the Brethren during early settlement of the territory 
surrounding them. The Methodists organized a local group 


prior to 1858. They constructed a church building in the 
village of South English in 1858 and replaced it with a 
larger building in 1910. The membership of the Methodist 
Church ranges between 120 and 125. Their services are 
limited to regular Sunday school activities and to preach- 
ing by a circuit pastor once a week on alternate Sunday 
mornings and evenings. A church building erected by the 
Christians in 1872 is still standing. It is used for Sunday 
school services only. This Christian congregation now con- 
sists of only 45 members and has been unable to support 
a minister during the past fifteen years. The building which 
was erected by the Baptists in 1864 was moved near the 
center of the village and remodeled in 1909. 

Local church groups of Kinross, approximately three 
miles east of the Brethren church, include Methodist, Chris- 
tian, and Catholic. The Methodist church building was 
erected in 1902. It was closed during the past year. The 
Christian church was built in 1899. It was replaced by an- 
other building in 1917 and this is in use at present. The 
Christians have employed a resident pastor since 1918. 
Their membership is approximately one hundred and fifty. 
The Catholic structure erected in 1907 now serves as a place 
of worship for about sixty-five members. 

Mention should be made of the organization of a Mennon- 
ite congregation about 1900. This group erected a house 
of worship two miles south of the Brethren church building. 
This building is in use at present. The Mennonites, with 
a resident pastor, hold Sunday school and preaching ser- 
vices regularly. They have a membership of sixty. 

Economic and Social Development of Neighborhood and 
Community. — According to notes kept by early settlers of 
South English the locality chosen by the Brethren bordered 
on the edge of the great prairie to the south and east as 


well as on the timbered regions to the north and west. i ' The 
big prairie between there and Washington, about 25 miles 
southeast, was given over to deer and wolves. The wisest 
of us could see no way by which this prairie could be settled, 
there being no way to build fences, to keep warm nor to 
roast wild turkey, except with native timber and that was 
about all taken up by settlers who had preceded us along 
the timber line. Another reason why the prairie might not 
be settled was because thousands of acres of it were under 
water a good portion of the year. But, the deer and the 
wolves soon yielded to the settlers of which the Brethren 
congregation constituted a. considerable part. The tall 
prairie grasses gave way to crops of corn, wheat and flax. 
A team of ponies, or more commonly a yoke of oxen, hitched 
to a walking plow broke the soil. Wheat was sown in the 
spring mostly on corn stubble land without plowing. It was 
cut with the cradle, bound by hand and threshed with the 
chaff piler. If the chaff piler was not available the grain 
was tramped or flailed. No attention was paid to meadows 
since wild hay could be had for the cutting. Farming, at 
first, was not on a very extensive scale. Twenty acres of 
corn, 20 of wheat and 10 of oats was considered quite a 
farm." 45 

As a trading point Rodman's Tavern served the interests 
of the Brethren settlers and their neighbors. It was located 
in the "Old Town" of South English. It was a pioneer 
store and post office, "large enough to absorb all the cash 
of the settlers without doing much of a mercantile business 
either. Dimensions of the cabin housing the business, as 
well as the business man and his family, were 12 ft x 16 
ft" 46 

4 s W. D. Hall 's local newspaper clippings, 1902, obtained from files kept 
by Mrs. Leah Coffman. 

^Seerley's Old Settlers' Day Address, South English, Iowa, 1907. 


Mail reached the tavern by means of a stagecoach from 
Iowa City, then the State capital of Iowa, to Sigourney, the 
county seat of Keokuk County. The storekeeper's supply 
of goods was replenished from either end of the stage route, 
the latter of which had no railroad facilities. 

Considerable trading, including the marketing of farm 
produce, was done at Iowa City and Cedar Rapids, forty 
and fifty miles east and northeast, and later at Washington, 
twenty-five miles southeast. "It was next to impossible 
to get meal or flour without going to Cedar Rapids and 
owing to bad roads it was nearly impossible to make the 
trip and return with any considerable amount of provisions. 
A two-yoke team of oxen often stuck with four barrels of 
flour." 47 

Gradually these difficulties were overcome. Assistance 
to each other as new families arrived, together with the 
building of railroads and the establishment of additional 
towns soon removed some of the hardships of pioneering. 
The first railroad within reach of the community was built 
in 1871. It lay eight miles to the south and extended west 
to Oskaloosa. The town of Harper, eight miles south, be- 
came the nearest railroad station. The Burlington, Cedar 
Rapids, and Northern Railroad (now the Chicago, Rock 
Island, and Pacific) connecting Muscatine, Cedar Rapids, 
and Iowa City with Montezuma was constructed in 1879. 
It passed through South English. The village of Kinross, 
five miles east of South English, started with the establish- 
ment of a post office there in 1880. The Chicago, Milwaukee, 
and St. Paul Railroad constructed a branch line from Cedar 
Rapids to Ottumwa in 1884. This passed through North 
English, about six miles northwest of the Brethren church 

By 1890 the local church group had pushed out from the 

«7 Hall 's local newspaper clippings. 


center of its settlement through the major part of an area 
touching South English on the west, Harper on the south, 
Kinross on the east, and North English on the north. North 
English had become a field for an additional house of wor- 
ship, built in 1889. The area was cut across from east to 
west by the English Eiver, approximately two miles north 
of the present church building. In 1916 the river was taken 
as a dividing line between the two congregations. 

Native timber which was available north and west of the 
settlement was turned into lumber necessary for building 
purposes. This was supplemented occasionally from the 
markets at Burlington, and Muscatine, river towns on the 
Mississippi some sixty miles east. "It seems but yester- 
day ' \ stated one of the pioneers at an old settlers ' meeting 
in 1907, ' i that my father hauled the logs of oak, walnut and 
basswood from the wooded hills of the north and west to 
the saw mill. He planed the rough boards during the winter 
for siding and finishing the house." 48 Sills were hewn and 
shingles were rived from logs of oak. The task of build- 
ing was i ' the occasion for earnest cooperation among mem- 
bers of the community. Each settler was a builder. 9 ' Sev- 
eral of the pioneer houses of the congregation, built about 
1854, are in use at present. They are large, serviceable, 
non-modern structures in fair condition. 

Pioneer life in the community was markedly different 
from the life of the present. Practically all food was pre- 
pared and all clothing made in the home. "If we wanted 
meat", said one of the pioneers, "we killed a wind-splitter 
hog. If that was not to be found we resorted to deer, wild 
turkey, wild goose, squirrel, prairie chicken or quail. We 
had considerable range of choices in the preparation of corn 
for the table, among which was a long trip to the mill, grind- 
ing by hand on a grain or coffee mill, making the corn into 

^Seerley's Old Settlers* Day Address, South English, Iowa, 1907. 


hominy, or boiling and grating it. Any one of these meth- 
ods proved very satisfactory since no man or woman ever 
went to bed hungry or made apologies to callers because 
they had nothing to eat." 49 

Each family had its spinning wheel for both wool and 
flax, as well as its loom for weaving the cloth from which 
practically all articles of clothing w r ere made. Carding, 
spinning, coloring, weaving, and tailoring, carried on in 
the separate homes, consumed most of the leisure time of 
different members of the family. Most of the boots and 
shoes were made by the village cobbler. Shopping was 
noticeably limited. "It was a long way to the nearest stores 
and most of the settlers had nothing better than lumber 
wagons drawn by teams of oxen." 

According to the best information the local church group 
was favorable to the establishment and development of 
public schools. Many family names now found in the con- 
gregation appear in the school registers as far back as 
1854-1855 in both the Liberty and the South English dis- 
tricts. 50 Several pupils of both these schools have since 
held responsible positions, including a doctor of medicine, 
a mechanic, and a teacher. One of the pioneer Brethren 
taught the Liberty school during the winter of 1854 and 
1855 and another taught at least a term there several years 
later. By 1900, a few boys and girls from Brethren homes 
were availing themselves of high school opportunities 
through paying the required tuition at the South English 
high school. 

Elections for civil officers were held near the present site 
of South English as early as 1852. The voting precinct at 

*» Hall's local newspaper clippings. 

bo The local congregation centers in Liberty school district. The church 
building originally stood just west of the schoolhouse and about one-fourth 
mile east of it after the schoolhouse was moved to its present location. 


this point consisted of three townships, including Liberty 
and English Biver. Voting was usually carried on at the 
home of a pioneer. At the elections which were held a 
justice of the peace and a constable were to be selected, the 
former "to solemnize marriages and try cases and the latter 
to keep the peace.' ' Apparently there was little need for 
more officers since "the pioneers were men w T ho unanimous- 
ly paid their debts, lived within their means, and honored 
manliness and virtue. They had no use for the criminal, 
the law breaker or the indolent. ' 9 The pioneers of this sec- 
tion organized the Horse Thief Detective Agency and since 
the law breaker did not care to run the risk of turning out 
the entire community, property was left alone. ' * There were 
no locks on the doors of the homes. None w T ere needed. The 
honor of manhood was sufficient to protect property. ' ,51 
Although the Brethren of those days took no part in voting 
and probably had little or nothing to do with the above 
named association, they were undoubtedly under obligations 
to both of these agencies for mutual benefits. 

The Brethren neither patronized nor approved of saloons. 
"When I was a boy", states one of the present members 
of the church, in response to the question of the stand taken 
by the local congregation against the use of liquor, "there 
were three saloons in South English. The Brethren did 
not patronize them. Our people would never sign a petition 
for anyone to sell whiskey or anything of the kind even for 
medical purposes unless they had the confidence that the 
right granted through such petition would never be abused. 
As time went on it became much harder for the saloons to 
run. We advised strongly against patronizing them and 
many of us would not enter them, even on business not per- 
taining to them, except in cases of extreme need. I do not 
remember that the saloon question ever came to a vote but 

"Seerley's Old Settlers' Day Address, South English, Iowa, 1907. 


if it did those Brethren who voted, voted against it. It is 
35 years since there was a saloon in South English. ' ' 

According to records kept and to incidents related by 
several of the pioneers of South English, social life in the 
Brethren neighborhood and its surrounding community was 
enjoyable, inspiring, and uplifting in the early days. Homer 
H. Seerley says of these social events : i i In addition to the 
customary school work there were the weekly spelling 
schools, biweekly lyceums and Sunday evening singing 
schools. I feel some pride in our early spelling schools 
where one night each week during winters the best spellers 
gathered in one or other of the neighboring schoolhouses. 
Good order prevailed. We never had a row because my 
school always did the best to assist me and the example was 
good. The lyceum encouraged every man, woman and child 
to take part. Programs consisted of essays, recitations, 
dialogs and debates. Its objectives were intellectual better- 
ment, culture and progress." 52 

The general social activities of the larger community 
were supplemented by the " affairs of social interest" with- 
in the local congregation. One of these was the annual love 
feast, " which was always a community affair", says an- 
other pioneer. "The church used to invite us to supper 
following the communion service. We enjoyed this hos- 
pitality year after year until young rowdies began to take 
advantage of those good Brethren people with many prac- 
tices of misbehavior. This lack of behavior continued, in 
spite of the fact that special parties from town were ap- 
pointed to keep order, until finally the Brethren abandoned 
the practice of inviting the public to supper." 

Unifying Influences. — Until recent years major interests 
affecting the local congregation appear to have favored 

•'•2 Seerley 's Old Settlers 9 Day Address, South English, Iowa, 1907. 


unification rather than dissolution. Personal contacts of 
the Brethren with the world at large were from the coming 
of members from other congregations, from attendance of 
delegates at district and annual meetings, and from limited 
missionary journeys to and from neighboring congrega- 

Eeligious " practices ' ' or customs, including the plain 
dress and the close communion, the refusal to bear arms 
and to take the civil oath, and the non-participation in gov- 
ernment to the extent of refusing to vote tended to bind 
the local group into a unit. Avoidance of the use of law 
for the settlement of difficulties, the lack of agitation for 
higher education and the relatively small number of chil- 
dren of other denominations in the local schools attended 
primarily by Brethren children, the limitation on participa- 
tion in certain public gatherings and celebrations, and, 
finally, the tendency to marry within the denomination if 
not within the local group were also binding influences. 
Cooperative tendencies, strongly exemplified in the building 
of homes for newcomers, in aiding the poor, and in caring 
for the sick were equally unifying factors. 

The forces which, about 1880, caused the dissolution of 
the parent body into Progressive, Conservative, and Old 
Order, had little influence on the local congregation. Un- 
official records show only four members lost to the Pro- 
gressives and only five members lost to the Old Order 
Brethren from the time of the beginning of those organiza- 
tions until recently. 53 Two of those lost to the latter body 
have been recovered. Several families are reported as hav- 
ing gone to the Old Order Brethren during the past year 

53 According to one unofficial report one of the four Progressives started 
the "missionary activities" which resulted in the erection of the church build- 
ing in North English about 1890. This group was served by ministers from 
the parent congregation during the nineties, however, and was organized as 
a local congregation of the Conservatives in 1916. 


owing to dissatisfaction of one sort or other. There is no 
Old Order congregation close enough to permit of their 
regular attendance at church services, however. 

Productiveness of the land has aided in keeping the local 
congregation intact. Once under cultivation the land pro- 
duced, and continued to produce, in spite of the fact that 
little attention was given to the maintenance of fertility 
through the feeding of live stock. Farming proved a profit- 
able occupation and the land increased in value in even 
greater proportion than it did in adjoining localities or 
communities. Few crop failures from drouth, hail, or other 
causes have been experienced by members of the local 

Thus far the factors favoring unity have outweighed the 
tendencies toward dissolution of the local congregation. It 
is questionable how long this will continue to be true, how- 
ever. The influences w r hich have contributed to group soli- 
darity appear to be weakening. Seclusion of the local group 
is becoming more difficult. Barriers to travel and other 
means of communication are disappearing. Business con- 
tacts with the outer world are increasing. Formal educa- 
tion is broadening the outlook. Social participation with 
other groups is increasing. In view of these and other 
changes which are beginning to affect the solidarity of the 
local group a social study or analysis of the congregation 
is of interest. 


A social study of the local congregation was conducted 
by the survey method in 1920. Visits were made to 47 of 
the 65 homes represented in the membership of the con- 
gregation. The information obtained from these visits per- 
tained to the composition of the family ; birthplaces of the 
parents; education, including schooling, of the different 


members of the family; farm business aspects, including 
farm practices; family living conditions; and recreation 
activities and opportunities. It was recorded on survey 
blanks or schedules prepared especially for the purpose. 
The information for 17 of the schedules was secured from 
the male head of the family, for 15 it was secured from the 
female head, and for 15 it was secured from both. 

Thirty-nine of the 47 families lived in the open country 
and 8 lived in the village of South English. Thirty-five of 
the families were engaged in farming. Two other families 
living in the open country had retired on the home farms 
and two had retired on smaller (ten-acre) farms near the 
church. The eight families which lived in the village in- 
cluded three retired farmers, one teamster, three widows, 
and one unmarried woman. 

The 35 active farmers comprised 22 owners, 9 tenants, 
and 4 hired men. Three of the hired men were employed 
by the month and one was employed by the day throughout 
the year. Three of the owners and one of the tenants w T ere 
ministers. One of the owner-ministers placed farming sub- 
sidiary to church work. 

Composition of the Family. — The term, family, as here 
used refers to the persons who were living at home at the 
time of the survey. Adult sons and daughters who had 
left home are not included in the parental family. The 
parentage of 9 husbands and 8 wives in the families visited 
is accounted for in 9 other families included in the study. 
Several young people now in college are considered mem- 
bers of the families visited. There were 177 persons in 
the 47 homes of the study, including 43 male and 47 female 
heads of families. The 87 children were distributed among 
sex and age groups, as indicated in the table on the follow- 
ing page. 



The average age of male heads of families amounted to 
44 years, compared to an average age of 42.5 years for the 
female heads of families. The average size of family was 
3.8 persons. This was lower than a similar average for 
the State as a whole which in 1920 was 4.1. 54 





5 or less 








11 - 15 




16 - 20 




21 or more 








Birthplace of Parents. — Twenty-one of the 43 male heads 
of families were born in Iowa, 15 in Virginia, 5 in Illinois, 

1 in Missouri, and 1 in Indiana. Twenty-seven of the 47 
female heads were born in Iowa, 10 in Virginia, 3 in Penn- 
sylvania, 3 in Illinois, 2 in Indiana, 1 in Ohio, and 1 in 
Colorado. Parents of 33 of the male heads of families were 
born in Virginia ; 3 had parents born in Virginia and Iowa, 

2 in Virginia and Pennsylvania, 2 in Iowa and Pennsylvania, 
1 in Ohio, 1 in Indiana, and 1 in Illinois. Parents of 25 
of the female heads of families were born in Virginia, of 
7 in Iowa, of 3 in Pennsylvania, of 3 in Ohio, of 2 each in 
Ohio and Indiana, and Ohio and Virginia, and of 1 each 
in Illinois and West Virginia, Iowa and Pennsylvania, Iowa 
and Virginia, Ohio and Switzerland, and Ohio and Germany 
respectively. Nativity of the female heads of families, as 
well as of their immediate ancestors, shows the wider range. 

The data in the preceding paragraph bear out the pre- 
valent opinion that the English River congregation is pri- 

54 United, States Census, 1920, Vol. II, p. 1267. 


marily of "Virginia origin". While the first group of 
pioneers came from Allen County, Ohio, the homes of the 
majority of their followers seem to have been the better 
farming sections of Virginia, especially the Shenandoah 

Schooling. — Twelve of the 43 male heads of families had 
had more than eight grades of schooling or its equivalent. 
With the exception of one high school graduate, however, 
none of the 12 had gone beyond the tenth grade. Three of 
them had taken some work, including special Bible study, 
at the Mount Morris Academy. Another, a minister, had 
spent two years at the Bethany Bible Institute. The high 
school graduate had completed one year's work at Mount 
Morris College and had attended the Iowa State Teachers 
College during one summer term. Nine of the female heads 
of families had had high school work. Two of them were 
twelfth grade graduates, three had been students at the 
Mount Morris Academy, and two had taken special work 
at the Iowa State Teachers College. One of the two com- 
pleted the two-year teachers' training course. Four of the 
nine had taught at some time in the rural schools of Vir- 
ginia or Iowa. 

Nine of the boys had taken some high school work. Two 
of these had graduated from the twelfth grade, two dropped 
out in the eleventh grade, and the others were enrolled in 
school at the time of the study. Four of the girls were in 
high school. Another girl, a high school graduate, with 
six weeks normal training, was serving as a rural school 
teacher. One boy and one girl were attending the Mount 
Morris Academy. 

None of the parents of the heads of families included in 
the study had had more than eight grades of schooling. 
Fathers of two of the heads of families had been teachers. 


Fathers of sixteen of them and brothers of eighteen of them 
had served as Brethren ministers. 

The above figures indicate the lack of hostility, as well 
as indifference to, formal schooling of members of the local 
congregation. A further indication of this lack of hostility 
to education is gleaned from the answers to the questions 
of whether consolidated schools and better State institutions 
of higher learning, involving higher taxes, were favored. 
Twenty-five of the persons questioned favored higher taxes 
for consolidated schools, twelve opposed them, and nine 
were undecided. Seven of the favorable answers were 
qualified with "if for the best interest of education", "if 
the transportation problem can be solved", "if the school 
can be located in the open country and made a community 
center", "if consolidation does not mean a new building 
for a year or two", "voted against the plan proposed to 
get consolidation in our district", and "consolidate the 
schools, with higher taxes if necessary". Six of the un- 
favorable answers were qualified with, "not a good thing 
for the state of Iowa", "rural school is better if it could 
be had", "tuition plan in village serves as well", "trans- 
portation is the main draw back", "children are on the 
road too long", and "children are not benefited by being 
on the road from two to four hours a day ' \ 

Seventeen of the replies to the question, "Do you favor 
better State institutions of higher learning, involving or 
necessitating higher taxes?", were in the affirmative and 
eleven were in the negative. Nineteen of the persons ques- 
tioned were undecided. Five of the affirmative answers 
were qualified with, "they mean better opportunities", "I 
like to see men educated", "I think we need educated men", 
"better State institutions, higher taxes if necessary", and 
"if higher taxes are needed". Two of the negative answers 
were qualified with, "I like to see better schools, but taxes 


are high enough", and "how do they (State institutions) 
help the farmer?" About half of the undecisive answers 
were in the form of, "I don't feel much concerned about 
such things", "I'm not well enough read to answer", or 
"I can't answer intelligently". 

According to the opinions expressed by several of the 
persons visited, a closer relationship between the farmers 
and the State College of Agriculture would prove a decided 
advantage to the welfare of the neighborhood. Two of the 
men who had attended a farmers' short course several years 
ago felt well repaid for time and money spent in doing so. 
Three others expressed opinions to the effect that more 
advantage should be taken of help offered by the State Col- 
lege of Agriculture as a means of securing better results 
in farming. 

Fifteen of 39 farm families were receiving or had re- 
ceived at one time or another bulletins from the State Col- 
lege of Agriculture. Ten of the 15, in addition to 3 others, 
were familiar with the farmers' bulletins of the United 
States Department of Agriculture. Three farmers stated 
that they received benefits from the State Agricultural Ex- 
periment Station work through the columns of several farm 

Farm Business Aspects. — The size of farms operated 
by the 22 owners ranged from 52 to 280 acres with an aver- 
age of 144.4 acres per farm. For the 9 tenants the range 
was from 80 to 268 acres, with an average of 148.4 acres. 
The average size of farm for both owners and tenants is 
about midway between similar averages for Keokuk County 
and the State — 135.5 acres and 164.9 acres respectively. 55 

The average value of farm land, drawn from estimates 
as high as $500 per acre on the one hand and as low as $200 

55 Census of Iowa, 1915. 



per acre on the other hand was $333 per acre for the 31 
farms. A part of the wide range in estimated land values 
was due to differences in topography : the more rolling 
or rougher the land, the lower the estimated value placed 
on it. Some of the range in estimated values was attributed 
to differences in improvements on the land. 

Four of the 31 farms included in the study changed hands 
during the year ending April 30, 1920. This was to be ex- 
pected, however, since several farms not included in the 
study within the neighborhood and a relatively large num- 
ber outside the neighborhood changed hands during the 
same period. 

An indication of the diversity of farm operations may 
be gained from the average number of acres devoted to the 
three principal farm crop enterprises for the year of study. 

AU farm operators (31) 
OwDer operators (22) 
Tenant operators (9) 

Average Number of Acres per Farm in Crops 










Fifteen of the owners and seven of the tenants kept hogs 
and cattle. Five of the owners, and two of the tenants kept 
hogs only. Two of the owners raised no hogs or cattle other 
than for securing meat and milk for family living uses. One 
of the tenants had a fair-size flock of sheep. Twenty of the 
owners sold both corn and oats from the farm. One sold 
corn, and one sold oats only. Two bought corn for fatten- 
ing stock, primarily cattle which were shipped in car load 
lots when finished. 

The 22 owner operators employed paid labor for approx- 
imately 4 months per year, on an average. In addition they 


used unpaid labor amounting to the equivalent of a farm 
hand for 4 months per farm per year, primarily boys over 
fifteen years of age in the family. The tenant operators 
employed hired labor for 5.3 months per farm per year. 
There was no unpaid labor on the tenant farms. The wages 
paid per month to employed farm hands averaged $68 for 
owner operators, compared to $58 for tenant operators. 
Room, board, laundry, and pasture for a horse were fur- 
nished in addition to money wages paid to hired men who 
were housed with the employer's family. 

The wages received by three of the four hired men with 
families, employed by the month, were $68 per month on 
an average. The wage of the fourth, a day laborer, was 
$3.50 per day. In addition to money wages, each of these 
four families received perquisites in the form of house, 
fuel, garden plot, and pasture and feed for horse, cow, pigs, 
and poultry for home use. 

With one exception all of the tenants were renting on a 
"share-of-crop-and-stock" basis. In general, landlord and 
tenant each received half of the returns from crop and 
stock sales. One tenant paid cash rental on the larger part 
of crop land, including the farmstead. Four of the tenants 
were sons or sons-in-law of the landlords. Two of them 
were nephews of the landlords. The other tenants bore no 
kinship to their landlords. 

The prevalence of certain items of farm equipment and 
machinery is shown from the following statistics. Of the 
22 owner operators, 8 had silos, 2 had grain elevators, 16 
had gas engines, and 20 had automobiles. Of the 9 tenant 
operators, 3 had silos, 3 grain elevators, 6 gas engines, and 
8 automobiles. Three of the 31 farmers were hiring tractor- 
plowing done at from $3.00 to $3.50 per acre. The majority 
of them were driving 5-horse teams to double-bottom plows. 
" Two-horse' ' farming is no longer practised in the locality. 



Fourteen of the 31 farmers kept some purebred live 
stock — horses, cattle, or hogs. Three used registered pure- 
bred Percheron mares. One had registered Shorthorn cattle 
and another had registered Poland China hogs. "Pure- 
breds" seem to be growing in favor in the neighborhood. 
One farmer who dealt in registered horses and cattle con- 
ducted the business under a farm name, in partnership with 
his two sons. 

The automobile was considered a means of furthering 
the farm business, as well as a necessity from the stand- 
point of church attendance and family visiting. Although 
it was adopted as a means of conveyance here at a later 
date than in the adjoining localities and in the nearby vil- 
lages, it is now looked upon as a necessary farm fixture. 

Family Living Conditions. — The average number of 
rooms per house and the prevalence of certain kinds of 
modern improvements in the home are shown in the table 

and number of 


All farm homes (39) 
Owner homos (22) 
Tenant homes (9) 
Hired man homes (4) 
Retired farmer homes (4) 
Village homes (8) 





CO 02 
o O 



Number of homes having 











< z o 

« < * 



















In addition to those listed above, one farm home had 
water piped into the kitchen. Another had a sanitary in- 
door closet. Electric current in two of the homes included 


above was furnished from individual farm plants and stor- 
age batteries. 

None of the homes were supplied with labor saving con- 
veniences such as a pressure cooker, fireless cooker, or 
vacuum cleaner. With access to a "high line" which will 
provide electric current for village and open country in 
parts of southeastern Iowa, many farm homes of the local- 
ity will doubtless resort to the use of electrical appliances. 
One family had already installed a motor-driven washer. 
Two of the homes occupied by owners had sleeping porches 
— not in use, at the time — and two had glassed-in sun 
porches or parlors. 

In general, the farmsteads of the neighborhood were neat 
and well kept. Houses, barns, and outbuildings showed 
evidence of upkeep, from the standpoint of both repair and 
painting. The houses and barns were large. Eight of the 
31 farmsteads operated by owners and tenants had two 
barns, one large and the other medium in size. Barns were 
well supplemented by other buildings including cribs, gran- 
aries, hog houses, machine sheds, garages, and occasion- 
ally a workshop. A number of the farmsteads showed a 
poor arrangement of buildings, with regard to convenience 
in choring and to protection from disagreeable weather. 
The four country homes occupied by retired farmers com- 
pared favorably with all others. Gardens and lawns in 
connection with these homes were especially well cared for. 
All of the 39 farmsteads had large lawns which gave evi- 
dence of care and attention. 

The type of architecture of the houses seemed out of 
balance. Often the house appeared to stand out too con- 
spicuously against an open skyline rather than to blend 
with natural surroundings. This was true especially where 
no windbreak or grove of trees was located at the rear of 
the farmstead. In all cases there was a lack of coziness 



and attractiveness which could be provided from the plant- 
ing of additional trees and shrubbery, the former at irregu- 
lar distances in groups at the rear of the farmstead and 
the latter in properly arranged clumps on the lawn. 

Farm orchards showed unmistakable evidence of lack 
of care. Twenty of the farmsteads had traces of old or- 
chards which had disappeared through neglect. Young 
orchards ten to fifteen years old on twelve of the farms 
appeared fairly thrifty. A young orchard was being set 
out on one farm. Three of the farms had no orchards. No 
home was without a vegetable garden. Several of the fam- 
ilies had access to small fruits, including strawberries, bush 
fruits, and grapes. 

The prevalence of musical instruments in 47 homes is 
shown below. 

Classification and 





All families (47) 




Owner families (22) 




Tenant families (9) 




Hired man families (4) 

Retired farmer families (4) 


Village families (8) 


Four of the homes had both a piano or organ and a 
phonograph. General music was reported played in twenty- 
three of the homes, which were provided with musical in- 

Reading matter in the homes consisted of books and 
church publications, including the Gospel Messenger, daily 
papers, local papers, farm journals, and general magazines. 
Home libraries, most of which consisted of books of a re- 
ligious nature for the most part, were not widely used, ex- 
cept by ministers or others interested in church work, Sun- 



day school, or Christian Workers' Meeting. The average 
number of books in the home library and the number of 
families which subscribed to the Gospel Messenger and to 
local and daily newspapers are shown below. 

Classification and 








All families (47) 





Owner families (22) 





Tenant families (9) 





Hired man families (4) 





Ketircd farm families (4) 




Village families (8) 





Twenty-nine of the 47 families subscribed to the Mission- 
ary Visitor or the Brethren Year Book in addition to the 
Gospel Messenger. All of these publications are issued by 
the Brethren Publishing House at Elgin, Illinois. 

The local papers taken included the Keokuk County 
News, the Sigourney Review — both published at Sigour- 
ney, the county seat — the North English Record and the 
Keota Eagle. No local paper is published in either South 
English or Kinross. Seven families took two local papers 
and seven took two daily papers. 

The daily papers which were taken included the Des 
Moines Register and Leader, the Drover's Journal, the 
Davenport Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Herald, 
and Examiner, the Cedar Rapids Republican, and the Kan- 
sas City Star, listed in order of the number of subscribers. 

Among the 47 families there were 75 subscriptions to 
farm journals. The different journals with the number 
of families taking each were : Wallaces' Farmer, 28; Suc- 
cessful Farming, 13; Farm Journal, 11; Iowa Homestead, 


9 ; Breeder's Gazette and Country Gentlemen, 3 each ; Farm 
and Fireside, 2; and Power Farming, Farm and Home, 
Kimball's Dairy Farmer, Indiana Farmer, American Rab- 
bit Journal, and Spotted Poland China Booster, 1 each. 

The general magazines which were taken with the num- 
ber of families taking each were : Ladies 9 Home Journal, 
6; Pictorial Review and McCall's, 3 each; World Outlook, 
Saturday Evening Post, Today's Housewife, and Christian 
Herald, 2 each; and Youth's Companion, Mother's Maga- 
zine, American, Pathfinder, Woman's Home Companion, 
and Modem Priscilla, 1 each. Fifteen of the 47 families 
took no general magazines. One family took 4 general 
magazines, in addition to 3 farm journals and the Gospel 

Participation in Recreational and Social Activities. — 
Participation in recreational and other social activities de- 
pends to some extent on the available leisure time, which 
in turn may depend on the length of the work day. The 
length of work day, based on the breakfast and supper hour 
inclusive, ranged from 5 : 30 A. M. to 8 : 00 P. M. The serv- 
ing time of breakfast averaged 6 : 00 o 'clock for the 35 
families engaged in active farm operations and 6 : 15 o 'clock 
for the 12 retired farmer and village families. The time 
of serving supper averaged 6: 45 and 6: 10 o'clock respect- 
ively. After a deduction of 45 minutes for breakfast and 
1 hour for dinner was made, the actual work day was 11 
hours long. 

The pressure of farm work was given by several of those 
who were interviewed as the cause of too little family visit- 
ing in the neighborhood. In 36 of the 47 families, visiting 
was limited to Sundays. The other families visited during 
week days also, four of them on week day afternoons and 
three of them on week day evenings. The visiting of 29 


families was chiefly among relatives and church people. 
That of the 18 other families was less limited to families 
of the Brethren denomination. The Sunday visits usually 
followed the morning church service, until chore time in 
the evening. As many as three or four families often par- 
ticipated in these gatherings, where all enjoyed the sociabil- 
ity which accompanies a well-prepared Sunday dinner. 

Eighteen replies to the question, "Do people visit as 
much as formerly!", were in the negative. The principal 
reasons given for this were lack of time and failure to be 
sociable. Chief among the suggestions for bettering this 
situation was "Open the homes more than we do", which 
was given by 9 of the 18 interviewed who thought people 
visited less than formerly. Seven of these 9 suggestions 
were further emphasized with, "encourage our young folks 
to be together", "have well planned entertainments", 
"plan with them and not for them", "have well directed 
programs and games", "have parties like we used to have", 
"provide wholesome entertainment", and "have more so- 
ciability". Other suggestions for bettering the situation 
in regard to visiting included : "encourage young folks to 
meet to play games", "provide books and magazines of 
general interest", "learn to be more sociable", "be more 
neighborly", "take time to go during the week", and "have 
more social gatherings". 

Recreations in the home included reading, music, games, 
Bible study, and church work. In eighteen instances, read- 
ing and music constituted the principal recreational activ- 
ities. In three instances, music alone was regarded as 
affording enough pastime. Seven families which had no 
musical instruments found sufficient diversion in reading. 
Four families played games and two enjoyed trips to the 
woods, in addition to music and reading. Four families 
gave reading and work and two families gave Bible study 


and church work as pastimes. The seven other families 
specified no definite pastime or recreational activity. 

Thirty-six answers to the question, ' ' Do you favor games 
in the home! ", were in the affirmative and seven were in 
the negative. Four replies were to the effect that games 
of the right kind, only, were approved. Forty-five of the 
parties questioned were opposed to card playing. Two saw 
no "harm in cards if played properly", that is, if played 
without cheating or gambling. Flinch, checkers, and chess 
were played in two homes where cards were disapproved. 
With one exception, all parties interviewed were opposed 
to dancing. 

For the most part, regular social gatherings within the 
neighborhood of the local congregation are limited to the 
Christian Workers' Meeting which is conducted by adults 
and young people at the church each Sunday evening. The 
program rendered at this meeting is more religious in 
nature than is the average program of the Epworth League, 
the Christian Endeavor, or the Baptist Young People's 
Union. The primary aim of the local Christian Workers' 
group is in accord with that of the parent organization ' ' to 
do definite practical Christian w r ork. It is not an aid society 
or social club but it is the church organized for work — the 
service department of the church." 56 Locally the meetings 
are regarded as "social" in nature, however. The local 
group regarded itself as constituting a part of the per- 
sonnel of the "Society". Through careful planning of 
the program all members of the church, young people es- 
pecially, served as leaders or other participants of the Sun- 
day evening meetings. 

A larger local gathering regarded as social in nature 
takes place annually on the Fourth of July. This centers 
at the church. The greater part of the day is given over 

se See Brethren Tear Bool;, 1920, p. 25. 


to a sermon of a patriotic nature and to a basket dinner 
which follows it. The program is continued at one of the 
homes during the evening where the program consists of 
games and "visiting". Formerly adults and young people 
met separately. The plan adopted the last two years where- 
by all meet together is proving more satisfactory. Prac- 
tically all families attend these meetings. Only three fam- 
ilies reported attendance at outside Fourth of July cele- 

The need for more social gathering — group activities 
of a social nature — is felt by many persons of the con- 
gregation. Seventeen of the 47 parties interviewed, chief- 
ly leaders in the church, expressed a desire for games or 
other recreational activities in which adults and young 
people might participate. Some suggestions as to just what 
these games or activities should be were given. Three were 
in favor of baseball, and seven were in favor of games in 
which all could take part. 

Opinions as to where these activities should be held dif- 
fered. Two of the persons who expressed a desire for them 
favored the church as a meeting place. Ten of the inform- 
ants opposed the church as a recreation center, and five 
were undecided on this question. Those who opposed the 
church as a meeting place gave no definite reasons, while 
those who favored it held that people might as well meet 
at the church as elsewhere for all properly supervised 

The local congregation, as well as the community, has 
lacked literary society work for the twenty years preced- 
ing the survey. The last "literaries" conducted by the 
young folks were held at the Locust Grove schoolhouse, one 
and one-half miles south of the church, during the winter 
of 1899-1900. The programs consisted of songs, recitations, 
and debates. These meetings were recalled with pleasant 



recollections by a majority of the persons who were inter- 

A revival of interest in the "old time spelling school" 
occurred during the winter of 1903-1904 in connection with 
a "thousand word" contest which was conducted through- 
out the county by the county superintendent of schools, but 
no attempt was made locally at continuing these spelling 
programs during winters following. 

The majority of the persons visited regarded the Chautau- 
qua and the lyceum course as beneficial ' ' community ' ' activ- 
ities. It is during the last decade only, however, that they 
have had the privilege of attending the Chautauqua. A 
few of them have attended the five-day Chautauqua held 
regularly at South English the past several seasons. Most 
of those who have not attended, attributed their lack of at- 
tendance to the stress of farm work or to the fact that cer- 
tain numbers of the program were not up to standard in 
quality. The number of families represented by the at- 
tendance of at least one member at one Chautauqua pro- 
gram during the past year is shown below. 

Classification and 
number of families 













All farm families (39) 





Owner families (22) 





Tenant families (9) 





Hired man families (4) 





Retired farm families (4) 




Village families (8) 





Lyceum or other entertainment courses have been pro- 
moted irregularly by the high school pupils of South Eng- 


lish and Kinross. Attendance at these programs, which 
have consisted of lectures and musical numbers, was limited 
to one or more persons from 29 of the 47 families during 
the past year. 

In five of the families which contributed to Chautauqua 
and lecture course attendance the children only attended. 
Four families not represented in the attendance at Chautau- 
quas and lecture courses as specified above attended one 
or more special lectures given in the church during the year 
preceding the survey. 

Attendance at State and county fairs was limited usually 
to one or two persons per family. "The husband or the 
boys go occasionally or were there once" is characteristic 
of the majority of the replies to the question concerning 
attendance at the fairs. 

Lack of greater attendance at the State fair is due in 
part to inconvenience in making the trip. The State fair 
is held at Des Moines, a day's journey from South English 
by railroad. The trip may be made direct from Harper, 
nine miles south, in three or four hours. It may be made 
by auto, also, provided the roads are favorable. The county 
fair is held at What Cheer, some twenty miles west. It is 
easily accessible by train. Until recently this fair has given 
very little attention to the exhibition of farm produce, stock, 
and poultry or to other aspects of farming and rural living. 

Four of the farmers who had never attended the State 
or county fairs held that a fair "is a good thing" and that 
"it makes for better farming". Two others expressed the 
idea that some sort of a local agricultural fair might be 
found worth while. 

Membership in Farm Organizations and Cooperation. — 
Only 8 of the 39 farmers were Farm Bureau members. One 
of these was president of the township unit and another 


was a director of the county organization. The president 
of the county organization, not a member of the Brethren 
group and not included in the survey, lives in the neighbor- 
hood of the congregation, within a half mile of the church 

Ten of the 39 farmers believed they got definite aid from 
the Farm Bureau, 19 expressed themselves as getting no 
aid from this organization, and 10 were undecided on this 
point. Six of the 13 replies to the question, i ' Can the Farm 
Bureau be made a definite means of helping the farmer! ", 
were in the affirmative. These were qualified with "if they 
get a practical man for county agent", "if farmers will take 
an interest in it", "if farmers get thoroughly organized", 
' i it gives help indirectly now ' ', and i i it will prove its value 
in time ' \ The remainder of the 13 replies were in the form 
of, "don't know since I don't attend the meetings", "can't 
tell, yet", and "it's too new to tell much about it". 

Several farmers held memberships in the Farmers' 
Union, an organization centered in the community west of 
South English, although the advisability of maintaining 
two farm organizations was questioned by some of the mem- 
bers, who were eager to know what the Farmers ' Union of 
the State planned to do for the farmers. 

A number of farmers included in the study were members 
of the Farmers' Shipping Association, an organization 
started recently as a means of securing a more direct mar- 
ket for the sale of live stock and for the purchase of farm 
supplies. Several who had been members had withdrawn 
from this organization, on the charge of mismanagement. 
Those who had withdrawn were "satisfied with the old way 
of selling and buying". Their feeling that the profits taken 
by local stock buyers and by the Farmers ' Grain and Lum- 
ber Company of South English were exorbitant apparently 
became less pronounced after a trial at actual cooperation 


in the Shipping Association. Seven farmers included in 
the study held stock in the Farmers' Grain and Lumber 
Company and six held stock in the Farmers' Savings Bank, 
both of South English. 

The spirit of cooperation so characteristic of earlier times 
in the neighborhood of the Brethren congregation was re- 
garded by several of the farmers with whom it was dis- 
cussed as being noticeably "on the wane". Among the 
probable reasons given for this were that the farmers were 
too busy to cooperate and the "change of the times" dur- 
ing the preceding 20 or 30 years. 

Fifteen of the 39 farmers included in the study responded 
to the question, "What is the biggest problem confronting 
farmers of your neighborhood or community 1 ' ' These re- 
sponses included "better roads", "cooperation", "learn- 
ing to cooperate", "price fluctuation; market drops when 
cattle and hogs are ready", "lack of leadership", "securing 
labor", "control of packing house profiteers and land 
speculators", "prevention of strikes working against in- 
terest of farmers", "unsteady market; price is usually off 
when hogs are ready", "being forced to sell stock at prices 
below cost of production", "low prices of produce and high 
cost of farm necessities", "improvement of farm life", 
"high cost of tankage and other feeds which the farmers 
have found necessary", and "hard to tell which problem 
is biggest". 

Hard surfaced roads were favored by 18 of the 47 parties 
who were interviewed and opposed by 16. Six of the re- 
sponses which favored surfaced roads were qualified with 
"surfaced roads must come in Iowa", "we need all the 
improvements we can get on roads", "I'm working hard 
to get them", "they are coming in Iowa", "if secured in a 
conservative way", and "if for nothing more than the com- 
ing generation". Five of the responses opposing surfaced 


roads were emphasized with the expressions, " we're not 
ready for them", "dirt roads are good enough", or "dirt 
roads are satisfactory". 

At the time the survey was conducted roads of the local- 
ity were almost impassable. Owing to heavy rains, poorly- 
drained places were rutted until cars could scarcely be 
driven over them. Owing to this situation the percentage 
of answers favoring surfaced roads may have been higher 
than it would have been during a period when roads were 

According to the study, members of the Brethren con- 
gregation are sharing an interest in and giving passive 
support to governmental activities. Three-fourths of the 
eligible male voters voted at the general election in Novem- 
ber, 1918. "Voting was heavy" at a recent election on the 
question of the consolidation of local public schools. Some 
of the women reported voting on this occasion. The per- 
centage of eligibles in the congregation who vote at the 
elections for local, State, and national offices appears to 
be increasing. 

The congregation carried its part in the financial support 
of general activities during the World War. The rumor 
of one or two attempts to evade selective service exists but 
there is no substantial evidence in proof of the fact. Three 
of the young men included in the survey entered the service 
under the last selective draft. Two of these were in train- 
ing less than two months when the Armistice was signed 
and the other served a year in motor corps work overseas. 

Morality and Civil Life. — The determination of the 
moral tone or standard of any neighborhood or community 
is exceedingly difficult. Moral codes embody more than a 
registration of proceedings on the record books of county, 
township, village, or church organization. Many immoral 


acts escape the attention of courts and church groups, while 
others appear to lie outside of the reach of either of these. 

The settlement of difficulties through the church rather 
than by law credits the local congregation with few records 
of court proceedings. This, however, does not mean that 
the church method of procedure continues to be as efficient 
as formerly or that it is now held by all parties interested 
as being entirely satisfactory. The opinion that courts 
would settle quarrels of neighborhood significance more 
quickly, more quietly, and more justly appears to be gain- 
ing ground in the community. 

During the past twenty years the local church dealt with 
not less than ten cases each of which has assumed commu- 
nity-wide publicity. That these might have been handled 
as satisfactorily and with less publicity through civil courts 
is probable. Two families of the congregation were dis- 
solved through divorce within the past decade. Three 
illegitimate births, in connection with each of which families 
of the church were implicated, occurred during this same 
decade. The larger community surrounding the congrega- 
tion and including the villages of South English and Kin- 
ross is recorded as having ten divorces and twenty-five 
illegitimate births within the two decades preceding the 
survey in 1920. 

The moral tone of a neighborhood or a community can 
not be discerned altogether, however, by the number of 
immoral acts recorded in its disfavor; consideration must 
be given to the opinions of the leaders within or concerned 
about the welfare of the neighborhood or community. 

Seven out of ten leaders within the congregation, includ- 
ing ministers, deacons, and laymen, responded affirmatively 
to the question, "Is the moral tone of the neighborhood or 
community rising ?" Two of these felt that the moral tone 
was not rising as rapidly as it should. The question was 


discussed with five persons outside of the congregation, 
yet within the immediate community, including leaders and 
Sunday school officers in neighboring churches. Four of 
these agreed that the moral tone was rising. Evidence in 
support of the four affirmative answers included the aban- 
donment of the "cooler", the temporary lodging place for 
peace disturbers in South English, the absence of drunken 
men on the streets and highways, and the increasing per- 
centage of church workers among business men of the 

The five leaders outside the congregation viewed the ques- 
tion largely from the standpoint of the entire community, 
including the village. On the other hand the Brethren lead- 
ers appeared to look at the situation primarily from the 
standpoint of the immediate neighborhood. Neither of these 
groups, however, ignored the influence of all church groups 
in the endeavor to maintain the highest possible moral 
standard for the entire community. 

Fifteen leaders — ten of the Brethren and five from the 
community — responded to the question, "What is the 
greatest need of the church to maintain ordinances and 
traditions, to interest the young people in spiritual growth 
and to have the widest influence in the neighborhood or 
community?" Responses of the Brethren leaders with 
reference to the maintenance of ordinances and traditions 
were : "study them more", "study, teaching and prac- 
tice", "better teaching and reasoning", "better teaching, 
more preaching", "more study, better class of teaching", 
"teach more Gospel", "occasional teaching is sufficient", 
"give less attention to doctrines and traditions", "not 
necessary to maintain all of them", and "not concerned 
with traditions". Three of the five leaders of other de- 
nominations responded to this phase of the question with, 
"sound Bible teaching, including reasoning", "well enough 


maintained through present day preaching", and "not im- 
portant in our church". The other two of these five leaders 
answered that they had nothing to say on this point. 

Suggestions from the Brethren leaders on how to interest 
the young people in spiritual growth included : "become 
more spiritual ourselves", "give them a chance to do active 
work", "give them something to do", "have well directed 
activities", "provide better leadership", "give more free- 
dom", "have more social life", and "entertain them". 
Suggestions from the five leaders from other denomina- 
tions were : "see that older people do the right thing", 
"let those in the church live better lives", "let all cooper- 
ate and pull together", "have higher standards for adults", 
and "provide a good pastor". 

Needs suggested by the Brethren leaders for widening 
the influence of the church in the neighborhood or commu- 
nity included : "live nearer the Gospel", "live according 
to the teaching of the Gospel", "get those in the church 
to live up to their professions", "apply the Golden Eule", 
"bring young people together more", "open the church 
for social uses ", " give practical active Christian service ' ', 
and i l organize all forces of the community for constructive 
w 7 ork". Suggestions of the five leaders from outside the 
Brethren Church on this point w r ere : "get those in the 
church to live better lives", "get all to do right", "be es- 
pecially friendly", "have organized effort along social 
lines", and "have higher standards for adults in the 

The fifteen leaders responded also to the question, 
"From the standpoint of the neighborhood or community, 
what is the biggest problem or task confronting your local 
church!" The responses received from the Brethren lead- 
ers included : "saving young people", "developing lead- 
ers for the continuation of church work", "keeping young 


people interested", "holding the interest of young folks", 
"keeping the members active", "getting the members to 
live the simple life", and "getting people to live up to their 
profession". Responses from the leaders of other denomi- 
nations to this question were : "knocking out selfishness", 
"getting organized social and religious effort", "main- 
taining principles and showing the world the need of a 
Savior", "getting people to attend services", and "getting 
people really converted". 

Church Membership and Religious Activities. — In 38 of 
the 47 families both the husband and wife were members 
of the Brethren congregation. Two husbands who were 
members of the Brethren had wives belonging to churches 
of other denominations, and two wives who were members 
of the Brethren had husbands who were non-church mem- 
bers. The four women who operated their own households 
in South English were members. Only one family studied 
had no direct connection with the Brethren group ; the hus- 
band was a non-church member and the wife belonged to 
another denomination. Seventeen of the 31 children from 
6 to 15 years of age were members of the Church of the 
Brethren. Twenty-one of the 26 who were 16 years of 
age or over were members. One child of this group be- 
longed to a church of another sect. The adult male member- 
ship, 40 in all, included 3 elders, 1 minister, and 7 deacons. 
The total membership included in addition 17 other leaders 
of church activities — the president and vice president of 
the Christian Workers' Meeting, and the superintendent, 
assistant superintendent, teachers, and assistant teachers 
of the Sunday school. Nine of these leaders were high school 
graduates or had attended college, either Mount Morris 
or the Iowa State Teachers College, for at least a semester. 

The membership of the church is represented in 65 fam- 


ilies, 46 of which were included in the survey. 57 The local 
congregation is under the supervision and care of 3 elders, 
1 minister, and 10 deacons. No records of church attend- 
ance are available. Eegular church attendance was held 
to be slightly higher than the attendance at Sunday school 
which averaged 93, 135, and 92 persons respectively for the 
years 1915, 1917, and 1919. The lower figure for 1919 was 
held to be due to sickness, chiefly "flu". 

Money raised for the support of all church work increased 
from about $50 in 1880 to $400 in 1900 and to about $1200 
in 1919. The expenditure for home mission work amounted 
to less than $200 in 1900, $555 in 1911, and $725 in 1919. 
Assisted by the Sunday school of the North English church 
the local Sunday school now supports a missionary worker 
in China. 

A budget of $3000 for the first year's allotment of the 
Interchurch World Movement fund was raised by the local 
congregation during the last week of April, 1920. It seems 
probable that this amount will be increased annually dur- 
ing the next four years. In general, the Interchurch World 
Movement met with favor throughout the congregation. 
Several members expressed a feeling of uncertainty, how- 
ever, as to just what the movement might accomplish. 

Financially, the local congregation has held its own, as 
compared with the neighboring congregations of other de- 
nominations. The membership also has remained steady 
or shown a slight increase. The supreme test of any local 
church, however, lies not in the matter of funds or of mem- 
bership but in its power to gain and hold the interest of 
the young people, that is, to fit them for the best possible 
service to humanity. Whether the local Church of the 
Brethren is gaining or losing ground in this respect is 

57 As noted above one family in the survey had no membership in the con- 


difficult to determine. The opinions of all leaders and work- 
ers in the local congregation were sought in connection 
with this point. 

Fifteen of the 29 leaders and workers with whom the 
matter was discussed felt that the church was not holding 
the interest of the young people as it had in years past. The 
other 14 were of the opinion that the opposite was true. 
The majority of the 14 agreed with the other 15, however, 
in declaring that the interest of the young people was not 
held as it should be. Among the suggestions for improve- 
ment in this respect were more social life, better educated 
ministers, a new church, a piano in the church, less restraint 
in regard to dress, and the development of a community 
center like that of the Brethren congregation in Orange 
Township, Black Hawk County, Iowa. 58 

Thirteen of the 29 leaders expressed an opinion concern- 
ing the use of a piano in the church. Seven of these favored 
its use and six opposed it. Those who favored its use held 
that a piano ' ' would be found a great help in Sunday school 
and Christian Workers ' Meetings ", " that it would be much 
help to the chorister", that it "had as well be in the church 
as in the home", or that "other Brethren churches had 
pianos". Those who opposed its use gave as their chief 
reason, "such things must be kept out of the church". 

Fifteen of the 29 leaders expressed themselves on the 
matter of restraint with particular reference to dress. Six 
of these held that the church was placing too much emphasis 

58 In the Orange Township community the church and the consolidated 
school form a religious, social, and educational center in which farmers are 
" retiring ' \ Through various activities including church services, musical 
programs, and well-directed recreation, games, etc., interest of the young 
people has been held, notwithstanding the fact that the city of Waterloo is 
not far distant. In fact, the close proximity of the city seems to have acted 
as a challenge to the local congregation to provide clean rural entertainment 
well enough diversified to hold the interest of its young people. 


on restraint. Reasons given in substantiation of five of 
these answers were : "form makes little difference so long 
as people dress sensibly", "a particular cut of clothes 
should never keep one away from church", "a neck tie 
should not keep one out of a responsible position in the 
church", "more time should be given to constructive church 
matters", and "the Bible doesn't say any one should wear 
any particular form of clothes". On the other hand, 6 of 
the 15 held that restraint was not over emphasized in the 
congregation. Reasons given by 3 of these were : "form 
is giving way fast enough ", " form is giving way too rapid- 
ly", and "it must be controlled through teaching on plain- 
ness". The other responses were, "boys are not under too 
much restraint; girls might have a wider choice", "the 
matter is giving us trouble", and "it is causing us more 
concern than ever". 


From an ecological standpoint the Brethren congrega- 
tion, near South English, Iowa, has experienced a gradual 
expansion during the sixty or more years of its existence. 
There has been noticeable enlargement of the territory sup- 
porting the Brethren constituency. With better means of 
communication, of travel especially, the membership has 
tended to push out from the center in all directions. Mem- 
bers no longer hesitate to locate in or beyond South English 
and Kinross, in an attempt to gain economic or other ad- 
vantages. Since 1900, eight families have located in South 
English and two families have located in Kinross, whereas 
only one family lived in the former village prior to that' 
date. Several Brethren families now reside outside of a 
ten mile radius from the church building. Balancing this 
outward movement of expansion to some extent, is the ten- 
dency toward centralization evidenced by the location re- 


cently of three homes near the present church building. It 
seems probable, however, that the majority of the Brethren 
who retire will continue to locate in the village of South 

Coincident with the outward movement of the Brethren 
families is the inward trend of people of other denomina- 
tions. Although this may be of little or no concern to the 
local congregation at present it is a force which may ulti- 
mately affect the unity of the group. It is to be hoped, how- 
ever, that steps similar to those taken by the Brethren of 
Orange Township near Waterloo, Iowa, may not yet be 
resorted to as a means of controlling this situation. In the 
Orange Township congregation ' l a committee was appoint- 
ed to devise a plan or system through which farms to be 
sold were to be disposed of — in such a way as to enable 
control of the incoming population as to desirability. ' ' This 
does not imply that such a plan might not be resorted to 
by the English Kiver group as a means of self-preservation 
when this congregation has attained the state of social de- 
velopment now held by the Orange Township group. 

Economically, families of the local congregation have 
prospered. Patient, persistent toil, combined with an ab- 
sence of crop failures and a continued rise in land values, 
has made the typical Brethren of the locality fairly well- 
to-do. He has reared his family, made it possible for his 
children to follow in his occupation — with certain few ex- 
ceptions — satisfied his cultural wants, and given the need- 
ed financial support for the work of his church. 

Noticeable progress is being made in the modernization 
of homes. Families not having modern homes expressed 
themselves as desiring to have them or as planning to have 
them as soon as possible. Undoubtedly the majority of all 
homes of the congregation will be completely modernized 
within another decade. Furthermore, a majority of farm 


women will doubtless be using modern electric and other 
equipment such as power washers, vacuum cleaners, and 
pressure cookers. 

The local congregation has experienced an increasing in- 
terest in education, especially in the Mount Morris College. 
Progress in secondary education in the neighborhood or 
community, however, seems not to have kept pace with the 
desire "to see people better educated". 

Better methods of communication, including rural mail 
delivery, telephone, and automobile, have expanded the con- 
tacts of the group with the world at large. The telephone 
which provides a ready means of visiting while remaining 
at home may be one of the causes of the lack of sociability 
within the neighborhood of the congregation frequently re- 
ferred to by members of the community. The daily paper, 
made accessible by rural delivery, has put the typical family 
of the locality in closer touch with the outside world. The 
automobile has become a means for getting families together 
for church activities, but it has been an equally effective 
means of "contacting" these families with society at large. 
Practically all persons of the local congregation are inter- 
mingling more freely in a larger and more varied human 

Territorial expansion, economic prosperity, the improve- 
ment of farm homes, better methods of communication, and 
the like, have been accompanied by a growing support of 
all church work including home and foreign missions, bene- 
volences, and the "forward movement". The Sunday school, 
established in 1877, has grown from a small group of work- 
ers meeting semi-monthly to a gathering of the entire 
church membership organized into various departments and 
clashes. The Christian Workers' Meeting has been accept- 
ed as a means of furthering and deepening religious ex- 
perience, and the "Sisters' Aid" has become the principal 


channel for the provision of funds and other goods for the 
different home and foreign mission outposts. 

The church building has been remodeled and partially 
modernized, better to meet the needs for all church services. 
It now comprises seven separate class rooms for Sunday 
school use, although all are small, in addition to the audi- 
torium which is used for the four additional classes as well 
as for the regular preaching services. The church yard 
shows no improvement, however. It is destitute of shade 
trees and shrubs which in many other congregations add 
comfort and beauty and furnish desirable places for neigh- 
borhood gatherings, such as basket dinners and other social 

The net membership of the church has shown no appre- 
ciable increase since 1896. The church roll carries approx- 
imately 40 names in addition to those carried a quarter 
century previously. Furthermore, church letters which 
have been granted during this period are not greatly in 
excess of letters which have been received. Increases in 
membership appear to correspond quite closely to increased 
interest in the new church activities, that is, the Sunday 
school and the Christian Workers' Meeting. 

In the face of many counteracting social influences the 
local congregation appears to have maintained a high de- 
gree of loyalty to the parent organization. It has held 
strongly to the traditions and customs of the larger group, 
known locally as " faith and practice". From a religious 
standpoint, members of the congregation have observed the 
Golden Eule toward each other and toward individuals of 
other denominations with whom they have intermingled. 
The local congregation lias done all in its power to main- 
tain peace and harmony, within the local group and with 
society at large. 

Notwithstanding the progress and development noted 


above and an unquestioned loyalty of the group to the par- 
ent organization, the feeling exists throughout the congre- 
gation that there is a lack of the sociability characteristic 
of former days. "People are not as sociable as they used 
to be", members say, and the spirit of genuine neighbor- 
hood cooperation appears to be growing less evident. 

In the community surrounding the local congregation the 
churches of other denominations are declining. One church 
in Kinross closed its doors and the three churches in South 
English are moving all too rapidly in that direction. Not- 
withstanding this fact, Brethren families are retiring in 
South English. In addition, the families who do retire 
there are composed of individuals who find it difficult to 
attend church services in the country, evening services 

The church groups of South English are not gaining and 
holding the interest of the young people as they should. 
From pioneer days to the present, boys of South English 
and vicinity have not had a place to meet in groups, other 
than in village restaurants or on street corners. Here their 
pastimes have included loafing, smoking, swearing, and 
listening to and repeating foul stories. 

The prevailing opinions of a number of church leaders 
are to the effect that the moral tone of the neighborhood 
or community is rising. But certain immoral acts or prac- 
tices, including illegitimacy, appear to be increasing es- 
pecially in the larger community surrounding the local con- 
gregation. Although increased immoral tendencies can not 
be attributed definitely to the lack of vigorous social activ- 
ities in the community at large or to the prevalence of re- 
ligious restraint within the Brethren congregation the mat- 
ter deserves careful observation and attention. 

The public schools of the villages of South English and 
Kinross rank below those of many rural communities. One 


of the reasons for this seems to be the unwillingness of 
school patrons and others to vote for the higher local taxes 
necessary to provide better and more modern school sys- 
tems. Probably the real barrier to progress lies in the lack 
of active cooperation between different families and differ- 
ent larger social groups, regardless of religious sects or 

In view of the above findings, the local congregation may 
see fit to consider the matter of striving to go beyond the 
maintenance of loyalty to the parent organization. The 
realization of this objective, as well as the passive applica- 
tion of the Golden Rule, has failed to meet the challenge 
for service among the young people of the neighborhood 
and the larger community. To do unto others as one would 
be done by, although an ideal guiding principle in daily 
life, does not always imply giving the greatest possible 
service to humanity. The teachings of Christ are the same 
today as during the time when He spoke to and among men, 
but the relationship of father to son, brother to brother, 
and friend to friend differs materially. The negative "Thou 
shalt not" Christianity is giving way to the active principle 
of service as embodied in Christ's teachings. The true re- 
ligion of the future promises to deal with social uplift more 
than with personal salvation. The great task, then, of any 
religious sect or denomination becomes twofold : "The 
church must give the individuals what they want and the 
individuals must be made to want what the church should 
give them." 59 

On the assumption that the local congregation, without 
incurring disfavor of the parent church body, may care to 
embark on a more active forward looking program of ser- 
vice for the immediate neighborhood and community the 
following suggestions are offered. 

s» Pratt's Applied Sociology, p. 324. 


(1) It appears that the development of sociability could 
be enhanced through a well-arranged series of gatherings 
within the local congregation. These might start in a con- 
servative way, preferably in the homes as semi-monthly or 
monthly evening meetings during the winter. Although 
all members of the congregation could not be accommodated 
at any one home at the same time some plan of reaching 
all homes in the course of several years' time could be de- 
cided upon. Provision could be made for the playing of 
well-selected and properly directed games at these meetings. 

(2) Study clubs might form an interesting and valuable 
pastime during these evening meetings, particularly during 
the winter. Young people, as well as adults, will find 
pleasure and profit from the careful study of good books, 
particularly those relating to rural life, under the guidance 
of capable discussion leaders. Books adapted for such 
study include : The Country Church and the Rural Prob- 
lem and Chapters in Rural Progress, by K. L. Butterfield; 
The Country-Life Movement, The Holy Earth, Universal 
Service, and What is Democracy? by L. H. Bailey; Farm 
Boys and Girls, by W. A. McKeever ; Rural Life, by J. M. 
Galpin; Rural Sociology, by P. L. Vogt, and Constructive 
Rural Sociology, by J. M. Gillette. The choice of the book 
to be studied should be made by the study group with the 
approval of the discussion leader. Some considerations in 
the choice of any book are its contribution to actual every- 
day Christian living and its adaptability for study by the 
discussion method. The leader of the study group should 
draw expressions of opinion from others. 

(3) Neighborhood or community recreation is desired 
by many individuals of the congregation. This type of 
activity is worthy of trial, under the careful direction of 
a leader, preferably a young man or woman who has had 
college training. The leader should have good judgment 


and a fair knowledge of activities which are suitable for 
different occasions or gatherings, such as relay races, hand 
ball, and group games. Baseball, basket ball, and volley 
ball are ideal games for boys, the two latter are enjoyed 
by girls as well. An assortment of games adapted for 
gatherings of different types and sizes may be had from 
Games for the Playground, Home, School and Gymnasium, 
by Jessie B. Bancroft. 

The value of wholesome recreation is now recognized by 
leading authorities of the Church of the Brethren. D. W. 
Kurtz of McPherson College holds that "proper games and 
play can be made a part of education .... In wholesome 
play there is more than physical development, for many 
games require a high degree of alertness and there is the 
accompanying spirit of happiness that gives healthy tone 
to the entire system/' He adds : "A boy can play a game 
of ball in such a way that the boys who play with him will 
be drawn to the Master — Good temper, fairness, courtesy 
and honesty, as well as freedom from swear words and other 
evil expressions can not help but impress boys who have 
not been so careful' \ 60 

Participation in these group games and activities should 
be extended to members of families outside of the congre- 
gation. It appears that the time has come for an extension 
of Christian service to the larger community and such ex- 
tension can be developed most effectively through social 
contacts between individuals of all denominations. If Chris- 
tian living is to be vital and enduring it must be broad in 
its application as well as practical in the results which it 

(4) An open field for religious services exists in the 
village of South English. With the failure of two of the 
local churches to provide ministers and with preaching 

eo Kurtz 's Studies in Doctrine and Devotion, p. 293. 


services on alternate Sundays only in the third church build- 
ing, the people of South English are ready to do active 
Christian work under the direction of an efficient leader. 
Efforts here must be directed wisely in order that friction 
does not result among individuals of various denominations. 
Initial activities may well be confined to occasional sermons 
delivered incidentally for the benefit of the Brethren but 
primarily for all who may wish to attend. The use of one 
of the church buildings of the village would doubtless be 
freely granted. 

A similar field of service exists in the village of Kinross. 
While the work must proceed with caution and must be of 
slow development for the present, efforts in this direction 
from the Brethren should be no less worthy of approval 
by the parent organization and no less significant in the 
4 'sight of the Master' ' than were those of pioneer days. 
Nor should they be less far-reaching in results accomp- 
lished. Although present day methods must differ from 
those of pioneer times the motive remains the same — the 
extension of Christian service among one's fellowmen. 

(5) The possibility of developing a rural community 
center is worthy of careful study. A community center, 
however, means more than a church building and residences 
grouped about it. It implies a free interchange of interests 
and activities along agricultural, recreational, social, and 
religious lines. An active growing community center would 
mean a larger building suited and fitted for agricultural 
meetings, community fairs, entertainments, suppers, socials, 
games, and educational gatherings. Whether a community 
center building in this particular community should be 
located near the present church or in the village of South 
English would be difficult to determine. Geographically, 
the center of the congregation lies nearer to the church 
building than to South English. From the standpoint of 


trade facilities and schools, however, the center of the 
larger community is the village of South English. Kegard- 
less of the location, no community building should be erect- 
ed until a thorough study of a number of the best in the 
United States together with the activities which they house 
has been made. 

The community center idea will doubtless attain its high- 
est development and prove most satisfactory under the 
guidance of an efficient rural leader, preferably a teacher 
or a minister. Through closer association with the various 
individuals, boys especially, the minister will gain a better 
understanding of the social and religious life of the con- 
gregation. In return the congregation will become more 
widely acquainted with and give freer response to the prin- 
ciples of Christian living as exemplified by the minister. 

(6) The matter of providing a more highly educated 
ministry for the local congregation requires serious con- 
sideration. The feeling that there is a lack of general edu- 
cation among the religious and social leadership of the con- 
gregation seems to be growing. The time may be near at 
hand when at least one of the local ministers should have 
special university training for social leadership, in addition 
to the course of study offered at Mount Morris or some other 
Brethren college. This training for leadership calls for 
some knowledge of the social sciences, particularly sociol- 
ogy, and of the principles of technical agriculture. The 
minister who is to be the social leader of the community 
might well be a graduate from a college of agriculture. 
Some young man or woman from the local congregation 
could be urged to complete the courses of study at both 
Mount Morris and the Iowa State College, or some other 
similar college of good standing. It may soon be possible 
for the student to secure a fair knowledge of technical agri- 
culture at one or other of the Brethren colleges. Neverthe- 


less the candidate for rural leadership will gain a broader 
vision of the interrelationships of rural life through attend- 
ance at a State college or university. He will develop a 
keener insight into public affairs and a deeper interest in 
community welfare. He will have, also, a clearer under- 
standing of the social and economic problems which pertain 
to the every-day activities of farm people. Thus, he should 
be of inestimable service in connection with matters of pro- 
duction, farm organization or management, cooperative 
marketing, improvement of farm homes, and betterment 
of rural life generally throughout the neighborhood and 
the community. 

The program of work forwarded by the minister with 
college and university training need not replace the present 
day religious activities of the local congregation. Rather, 
it may supplement the sermons delivered by the local minis- 
ters. It should be social in nature, with the ultimate goal 
of service to the entire community. It may include organ- 
ized play, well planned social gatherings, study clubs, and 
religious education classes. It can be extended readily to 
the villages of South English and Kinross, as parts of the 
local congregation's larger community. 

Although the better educated minister will serve pri- 
marily as a social leader he should be able to assist with 
the usual church services. He should be able to deliver 
a sermon occasionally, particularly for the people in the 
two villages. His duties in the form of social and religious 
leadership will necessitate his receiving material financial 
support for himself and his family. 


This local congregation has not escaped the influence of 
social change during the decade following the year 1920, 
when the preceding study was made. This is more evident 


in some respects than in others. It is noticeable particular- 
ly with regard to the giving way of "form of dress' ' and 
to the adoption of newer types of church activities. For 
convenience the effects of social change are considered in 
about the same order as the findings and conclusions pre- 
sented in the preceding chapter. The presentation is based 
on observation and information obtained from two personal 
visits to the congregation in 1929 and 1930 and on addition- 
al data obtained through correspondence. More than a 
dozen leaders of the local group, in addition to several lead- 
ers of other groups, were interviewed or communicated 
with by correspondence. The chief purpose of this final 
study was to check as far as possible the present trends 
in the congregation and the larger community against the 
findings or conclusions of the former study. None of the 
trends or changes can be attributed to any purposeful con- 
sideration of the study so far as it can be ascertained. 

There is apparently little if any change in the boundary 
of the territory of the congregation. A limited expansion 
of the area is probable but this can not be detected without 
the use of detailed maps. About the same number and per- 
centage of the total number of families live in the villages 
of South English and Kinross. One retired family has 
moved from South English to near the church building; 
thus there are four "retired" families in this location. 
Some "recruits" have come in from other congregations. 
These include the wives of several of the young men who 
attended the Brethren College at Mount Morris. 

The coming of improved highways will doubtless mean 
a noticeable expansion in the territory of the congregation 
within the next few decades. Recently the road which pass- 
es the church has been taken into the county highway sys- 
tem. It was widened and graded the past summer and will 
be graveled soon to serve as a connecting road between 


two State highways which pass through South English and 
Wellman. Access to these improved highways will tend 
to extend the radius of the locality in at least two directions. 

Farming continues to be moderately prosperous through- 
out the locality. Few farms were "lost" during the severe 
agricultural depression which began about 1920. The sev- 
eral farms that were lost had changed hands during the 
period of highest inflated land values, immediately pre- 
ceding 1920, with relatively small initial payments. This 
does not imply that the locality of the congregation was 
not hit by the depression, but that farming was well enough 
capitalized to "weather the storm" more effectively than 
it did in many other farming localities. 

Farmers of the locality seem to be more progressive than 
in 1920. Farm operations seem to be adjusted more than 
formerly to meet changing situations in regard to soil needs, 
organization methods, and marketing facilities and oppor- 
tunities. There is evidence of a greater interest in agri- 
cultural college and experiment station work, State and 
county fair exhibits, and agricultural extension activities. 
The greater interest in localized extension activities is at- 
tested by increased membership in the Farm Bureau, the 
recognized agency through which these activities function 
in the State of Iowa. 

Modernization of the homes continues at a more rapid 
pace than formerly. More than three-fourths of the houses 
are now equipped with central lighting systems serviced 
by an electric high line and many of these are fitted with 
modern "conveniences" such as electric washers, irons, 
stoves, grills, and refrigerators. Three-fifths of the homes 
now have radios and practically all have pianos or other 
musical instruments. 

Interest in formal education has increased materially dur- 
ing the decade. This is evidenced by an increasing number 


of students at Mount Morris College and in the high schools 
at South English and Kinross. The majority of the stu- 
dents who have finished at Mount Morris have returned to 
the locality to take up farming. The others are teaching 
in various localities of Iowa and other States. 

Through increased interest and support the school sys- 
tems at South English and Kinross show improvement. 
Both have State-approved four-year high school courses 
with extra-curricular athletic and forensic activities. Both 
i i put on basket ball games, plays, public speaking contests, 
farm bureau lectures and other community activities. Chil- 
dren from Brethren families take prominent part in all 
these activities, especially in basket ball, public speaking 
and plays. The Brethren patrons attend these activities 
and seem to get real enjoyment out of them. ' f 

During the past year the Kinross school district which 
now includes what was formerly the Liberty and Prairie 
districts erected a new high school building. The building 
is modern in all respects, with i ' one of the best rural school 
gymnasiums in southeastern Iowa." 

More numerous contacts of members of the congregation 
with the world at large, in the form of attendance at high 
school and college by the youth, extended travel by the 
adults, and radio programs have resulted in a broadened 
and more active local leadership. This is evidenced in the 
forwarding of newer and more vitalized programs of church 
work, including affiliated activities and in the participation 
of members in the leadership and support of general or- 
ganizations of the locality and the larger community. Sev- 
eral of the Brethren women are home bureau leaders for 
their school districts, including one who serves as township 
home bureau chairman. These and other members of the 
congregation are sharing the responsibilities of leadership 
in other matters of interest to the locality and the larger 



community to a much greater extent than formerly. Many 
of the boys and girls of the congregation are participants 
in the 4-H Club work. Ministers and Sunday school teach- 
ers are giving more consideration to the affairs of the State 
and the nation than ever before. 

Membership of the congregation has practically held its 
own during the decade. A loss of ten members, mostly by 
letter between 1919 and 1920, was almost recovered by bap- 
tism and letter by 1928. 

Membership Statistics, 1920-1929 






















3 fc 


The old church building is still serving the needs of the 
congregation. It is regarded as inadequate by many, par- 
ticularly by the young people. Interest in a new building 
has resulted in the raising of a " little money in an un- 
official and semi-private way by different groups (classes, 
etc.) ,, and these funds "are being held for the purpose of 
being applied toward a new church building whenever the 
time may come for such." At its last business meeting the 
church decided to start a building fund and designated a 


committee to see to the loaning of such fund to the best ad- 
vantage. It is probable that the present building will be 
replaced by a $30,000 to $50,000 structure before the end 
of the present decade. 

During the past ten years the local congregation is credit- 
ed with the adoption of an enlarged program of church 
work. An offering is taken regularly by means of the en- 
velope system. The annual church budget for all purposes 
now amounts to $3400, more than one-third of which goes 
to the General Mission Board of the parent organization 
for home and foreign missions. 61 Additional offerings, 
taken on special occasions, are devoted to specific purposes. 
Provisions which are contributed by the Sisters' Aid to 
different orphanages and old peoples' homes are not in- 
cluded in the budget. 

The presiding elder is now given $100 annually; other- 
wise the ministers serve without pay as formerly. During 
the summer of 1927 the congregation employed a visiting 
minister to assist with pastoral activities and "to work 
with the young people". 

The newer church activities include the development of 
a daily vacation Bible school as a means of imparting re- 
ligious education to the children of the congregation and 
"surrounding community". Two summers ago, when the 
Brethren had thoroughly established the school they asked 
neighboring church groups to cooperate and transferred it 
to the village schools of South English. There "the Breth- 
ren furnished some of the teachers and about 25 per cent 
of the attendance" of approximately two hundred. They 
were "responsible for the transportation and had fine co- 
operation in getting people to donate their cars." 

ci The Forward Movement funds pledged amounting to about $3000 in 1920 r 
$1800 in 1921, and $1200 annually thereafter are designated General Mission 


The newer activities include also the holding of separate 
Sunday evening programs for young people — persons 
i i from twelve years of age to marriage/ ' These young 
people now hold their programs in the basement of the 
church while the adults conduct their Christian Workers ' 
Meeting in the auditorium, except when "most of the young 
folks are away at college.' ' During the past winter those 
at home have met with the adult group and all have "had 
a good time" conducting a discussion program on "The 
Christian Attitude Toward War", an outline issued by the 
Federal Council of Churches. 

The young people 's group of the local church is especial- 
ly active. It is a vital part of the Brethren Young People's 
Department of the parent organization, and sends repre- 
sentatives or delegates to district, State, and other young 
people's conferences, and entertains conference groups in 
return. "When their conference was held here (at the local 
church) the young married people gave them a banquet in 
the church basement. The conference had camp life, re- 
ligious and recreational programs and advisors who were 
of the best." 

New developments in local Sunday school work include 
participation in "mission projects and the World's Friend- 
ship Movement", which reach the primary, junior, and in- 
termediate departments, particularly. There is increased 
interest and cooperation in county, State, and other Sunday 
school combinations. In the summer of 1928 the local con- 
gregation sent a delegate to the World's Sunday School 
Convention at Los Angeles. 

The Sisters' Aid program of work has been expanded 
and vitalized. Its activities include "all day" meetings at 
the church and other group meetings for sewing, quilting, 
and preparing supplies for "bake sales", bazaars, and the 
like. During the past few years the Aid has served suppers 


at the Baptist church building and "ice cream socials in 
the park" in South English, as well as luncheons at dif- 
ferent farm auction sales within the locality and the larger 
community of the congregation. 

The church is now opened to programs of a spiritual 
nature including "White Gift", "Missionary Play", and 
"Easter programs". These ordinarily replace the regular 
preaching services. Last year the Easter program was in 
the form of a cantata, under the direction of a well-trained 
local choir leader. It involved the use of a piano which had 
been placed in the church during the preceding summer. 

The use of the piano ' i adds much to the spirit of the reg- 
ular church and Sunday school services", and enables the 
congregation to have good music, and local leaders in the 
different kinds of church work now "think good music is 

Distinctive dress is no longer observed by the younger 
members of the congregation and less attention is paid from 
the pulpit to the form of dress. The local congregation is 
marked with less restraint in regard to dress and to certain 
other aspects of social life than at any time in its history. 
On the other hand it appears to be giving more attention 
to the preparation for active Christian service in the neigh- 
borhood, the larger community, and the world at large. 

The situation in the local churches in South English and 
Kinross shows no improvement. Although the Methodists 
at South English now hold preaching services weekly, the 
Baptists have recently discontinued preaching services, 62 
and the Baptist Sunday school is reported as being "almost 
petered out ' \ The Christian group still maintains a fairly 
good Sunday school but has no preaching service. The 
Methodist church building at Kinross is now used as a 

62 The additional Methodist service at South English was made possible 
by the dropping of Kinross from the local circuit. 


dwelling house and the Christian church there is without 
a pastor. No Brethren services have been held in either 
South English or Kinross during the past ten years and 
it is doubtful if a move in this direction at present or in 
the near future would be desirable or advisable. 

Recapitulation. — The English Eiver congregation of the 
Church of the Brethren has experienced marked progress, 
particularly in the furthering of Christian service, during 
the past decade. This is evident in the adoption of pro- 
grams of work which have "held the young people better 
than any other church in the community' 9 and in the de- 
velopment of a leadership with vision and a desire to serve. 
The congregation has become much less conservative and 
much less reluctant to try new activities during the decade. 
Apparently its chief objective has become the extension 
of the principles of Christian living in the light of new 
conditions confronting the local neighborhood and the 
larger community. With this objective as a goal in the 
future one may safely predict another three-quarters of 
a century of service by the local congregation to the im- 
mediate neighborhood, the surrounding community, and the 
world at large. 


Agricultural Experiment Station, State, 

work of, 61 
Agriculture, interest in, 31 
Agriculture, United States Department of, 

work of, 61 
Allen County (Ohio), emigrants from, 42, 

America, emigration to, 19-22; church in, 

21; newspapers in, 32 
American, subscriptions to, 68 
American Rabbit Journal, subscriptions to, 

Amusements, attitude toward, 39 
Anabaptists, activities of, 20 
Annual meetings, holding of, 34 
Arkansas, Brethren churches in, 23 
Armistice, signing of, 76 
Arnold, writings of, 16 

Bailey, L. H., book by, 89 

Bancroft, Jessie B., book by, 90 

Baptism, ceremony of, 17 

Baptisms, number of, 47, 97 

Baptist Church, location of, 13; members 
of, 42, 48; reference to, 100 

Baptist Young People's Union, program of, 

Baseball, interest in, 90 

Becker, Peter, work of, 19, 20, 21 

Beissel, Conrad, opinion of, 21, 22 

Benevolences, 31 

Bethany Bible Institute, 45, 59 

Bible, reference to, 15; study of, 27, 45, 
69 (see also Scriptures) 

Bible school, development of, 98 

Black Hawk County, church in, 82 

Blackmar, F. W., acknowledgment to, 8 

Bony, Andrew, reference to, 16 

Bony, Joanna Noethinger, reference to, 16 

Bowman, Mr., reference to, 89 

Breeder's Gazette, subscriptions to, 68 

Brethren, appearance of, 12; schools of, 
13; social life of, 23 

Brethren, Church of the, study of, 5; mem- 
bership in, 11, 26, 32, 80; naming of, 
12; origin of, 14-23; government of, 25- 
28; benevolences of, 31; erection of 
building for, 44 ; support of, 81 ; attitude 
of, toward music, 82 

Brethren Old Folks' Home, support of, 46 

Brethren Publishing House, reference to, 

Brethren Tear Book, subscriptions to, 67 
Brethren Young People's Department, work 

of, 99 
Brooklyn, church near, 45 
B rower, A. H., acknowledgment to, 8 
Brower, J. D., acknowledgment to, 8 
Brower, W. H., acknowledgment to, 8 
Brumbaugh, M. G., work of, 35 
Buffalo, number of, 31 
Burlington, Cedar Rapids, and Northern 

Railroad, 50 
Burlington, markets at, 51 
Butterfield, K. L., book by, 89 

California, Brethren churches in, 23 

Canada, Brethren churches in, 23 

Cards, playing of, 70 

Carpenters, number of, 32 

Catholic Church, location of, 13, 48 

Cattle, production of, 31, 64 

Cedar Rapids, reference to, 50 

Cedar Rapids Republican, subscriptions to, 

Chautauqua, benefit of, 72, 73 
Chicago (Illinois), produce shipped to, 14 
Chicago Herald and Examiner, subscrip- 
tions to, 67 
Chicago, Milwaukee, and St. Paul Railroad, 

Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad, 

reference to, 14, 50 
Chicago Tribune, subscriptions to, 67 
China, missionary to, 81 
Christ, reference to, 27; teachings of, 88 
Christian, attitude of, toward war, 99 
Christian Church, location of, 13; members 

of, 42, 48, 101 
Christian Endeavor, program of, 70 
Christian Family Companion, publication 

of, 40 
Christian Handbook, publication of, 16 
Christian Herald, subscriptions to, 68 
Christian Workers' Meeting, 29, 67, 70, 80, 

85, 86, 99 
Church membership, discussion of, 97 
Churches, members of, 97 
Citizenship, discussion of, 35, 36 
Civil life, discussion of, 76 




Cocalico River, reference to, 22 

Cohesion, discussion of, 40 

Colleges, attitude toward, 41, 92, 93 

Colorado, Brethren churches in, 23; refer- 
ence to, 58 

Community center, development of, 92 

Conestoga (Pa.), congregation at, 21 

Conservatives, reference to, 46, 56 

Corn, production of, 49 

Country Church and the Rural Problem, 
The, 89 

Country Gentlemen, subscriptions to, 68 

Country-Life Movement, The, 89 

County agent, work of, 74 

County fair, attendance at, 72, 73, 95 

Courts, attitude toward, 77 

Crefeld (Europe), church at, 17, 18, 19, 21 

Crooked Creek, reference to, 45 

Customs, discussion of, 55 

Dancing, opposition to, 39, 70 

Davenport, reference to, 14 

Davenport Times, subscriptions to, 67 

Deacons, work of, 25, 27, 28, 87, 38, 77 

Deep River, church at, 45 

Democracy, What isf, 89 

Des Moines, conference at, 12; State fair 
at, 73 

Dee Moines Register and Leader, subscrip- 
tions to, 67 

Dissension, discussion of, 39 

Divorce, attitude toward, 77 

Doctrines, discussion of, 23-25 

Dress, discussion of, 37, 38, 45, 46, 55, 

Drover's Journal, subscriptions to, 67 

Dunkard, reference to, 11, 12 

Dunker, reference to, 11, 12, 39 

Easter program, reference to, 100 

Economic development, discussion of, 4S-54 

Eder River, reference to, 17 

Editor's Introduction, 5 

Education, discussion of, 32-35, 85 

Edwards, Morgan, quotation from, 12 

Electricity, use of, 64, 65 

Elgin (Illinois), reference to, 67 

Emigrants, number of, 58 

Emigration, discussion of, 19 

Employment, discussion of, 63 

England, reference to, 19 

England, Church of, 19 

English River, 51 

English River cemetery, location of, 12, 13 

English River congregation, members of, 
12; history of, 14, 15, 58, 59; growth 
of, 41-56, 101; influence of, 44, 84; 

membership of, 46 (see also Brethren, 

Church of the) 
Ephrata Colony, reference to, 22 
Epstein (Europe), church at, 17, 18 
Ep worth League, program of, 70 

Fair, attendance at, 72, 73 

Family, composition of, 57, 58 

Far Western Brethren, reference to, 39 

Farm and Fireside, 68 

Farm and Home, subscriptions to, 68 

Farm Boys and Girls, publication of, 89 

Farm Bureau, members of, 73, 74, 95 

Farm hands, wages of, 63 

Farm Journal, subscriptions to, 67 

Farm organizations, membership in, 73 

Farm products, shipment of, 14; sale of, 

50; exhibition of, 78 
Farmers, number of, 32; cooperation of, 75 
Farmers' Grain and Lumber Company, ref- 
erence to, 74, 75 
Farmers' Savings Bank, stock in, 75 
Farmers' Shipping Association, members of, 

74, 75 
Farmers' Union, members of, 74 
Farming, 56, 57, 60, 61, 73 
Farms, size of, 61, 62; conditions on, 65 
Felbinger, writings of, 16 
Forty-third General Assembly of Iowa, The 

Legislation of the, publication of, 5 
Four-H Club work, reference to, 97 
Fourth of July, celebration of, 71 
Fox, George, influence of, 19 
Friends, reference to, 12; coming of, 19 
Fruit, production of, 31, 66 
Funds, raising of, 81 

Gal pin, C. J., book by, 89 

Games, playing of, 39, 90 

Games for the Playground, Rome, School 

and Gymnasium, 90 
Gardens, use of, 66 
General Mission Board, work of, 98 
German Baptist Brethren, reference to, 12 
German Pietists, movement of, 15, 16 
German town (Pennsylvania), founding of, 

19, 20; church at, 21; Alexander Mack 

at, 21 
Germantown Academy, founding of, 33 
Germany, William Penn in, 19; emigrants 

from, 21 ; reference to, 32 
Gillette, J. M., book by, 89 
Gillin, John L., opinion of, 82, 41 
God, reference to, 19 
Golden Rule, use of, 36, 79, 86, 87 
Gommery, John, home of, 21 
Gospel Messenger, publication of, 66, 67; 

subscriptions to, 68 



Government, discussion of, 35, 36 
Grebi, George, reference to, 16 
Grove, W. D., acknowledgment to, 8 

Halle, University of, founding of, 15 

Harper, town of, 50, 51, 73 

Henry, Count, reference to, 17 

Hogs, raising of, 64 

Holland, meeting in, 18 

Holsinger, H. L., reference to, 40 

Holy Earth, The, 89 

Homes, description of, 64, 65, 84, 95 

Horse Thief Detective Agency, organization 

of, 53 
Horses, raising of, 31 

Idaho, Brethren churches in, 23 

Illinois, settlement of, 23, 41; emigrants 

from, 58 
Indiana, settlement of, 23, 41; emigrants 

from, 53 
Indiana Farmer, subscriptions to, 68 
Industries, discussion of, 31, 32 
Interchurch World Movement, support of, 

Iowa, Brethren church in, 23; pioneers of, 

41 ; roads in, 75 
Iowa City, capital at, 50 
Iowa Homestead, subscriptions to, 67 
Iowa Monograph Series, publication of, 5 
Iowa State College of Agriculture and Me- 
chanic Arts, work of, 61 ; mention of, 92 
Iowa State Teachers College, students at, 
59, 81 

Jesus, reference to, 37 

Kansas, church in, 23 

Kansa3, University of, graduate of, 5; ref- 
erence to, 7, 8 

Kansas City Star, subscriptions to, 67 

Keokuk County, county seat of, 50; farm- 
ing in, 61 

Keckuk County News, publication of, 67 

Keota Eagle, publication of, 67 

Kimball's Dairy Farmer, subscriptions to, 

Kinross, churches at, 12, 13, 48; town of, 
13, 14, 50, 51; mention of, 67, 73, 77, 
83, 87, 91, 93, 94, 100, 101; school at, 

Kipping, Joanna, reference to, 16 

Kipping, John, reference to, 16 

Kirkpatrick, Ellis L., work of, 5; preface 
by, 7, 8 

Kurtz, D. W., service of, 35, 90 

Ladies' Aid Society, organization of, 45 

Ladies* Home Journal, subscriptions to, 68 

Land, productiveness of, 56 

Law, practice of, 36; avoidance of, 55 

Letter, members received by, 47 

Liberty school, pupils of, 13 ; meeting at, 

43 ; records of 52, 53 ; reference to, 96 
Linn County, pioneers of, 42 
Liquor, attitude toward sale of, 37 
Living conditions, discussion of, 64 
Locust Grove school, pupils of, 13 ; meet* 

ing at, 71 
Lord 's Prayer, use of, 29 
Los Angeles (California), convention at, 99 
Love feast, holding of, 30, 48 
Lyceum, influence of, 54, 72 

McCaU's, subscriptions to, 68 

McKeever, W. A., book by, 89 

McPherson College, president of, 35; men- 
tion of, 90 

Mack, Alexander, work of, 16-19, 22; ar- 
rival of, 21 ; death of, 22 ; mention of, 
23, 24 

Mack, Anna Margaretha, reference to, 16 

Mail, delivery of, 50, 85 

Marburg University, graduate of, 32 

Marienborn (Europe), church at, 17, 18 

Marriage, discussion of, 36, 55 

Marshalltown, reference to, 46 

Maryland, settlement of, 23 

Members, reception of, 97 

Membership, growth of, 47, 97 

Menno Simons, work of, 20 

Mennonite Church, location of, 13; mem- 
bers of, 19, 20; organization of, 45 

Mennonites, reference to, 12 

Methodist Church, location of, 13 ; members 
of, 42, 47, 100 

Middle Creek, reference to, 45 

Miller, D. L., work of, 35 

Ministers, work of, 28, 37, 38, 44, 77, 97 

Ministry, candidates for, 27 

Mission Board, work of, 98 

Missionaries, work of, 17, 21, 44, 81 

Missionary play, presentation of, 100 

Missionary Visitor, subscriptions to, 67 

Mississippi River, towns along, 51 

Missouri, settlement of, 23, 41; emigrants 
from, 58 

Modern Priscilla, subscriptions to, 68 

Montezuma, 50 

Morality, interest in, 76 

Morals, discussion of, 76-78 

Mosaic law, reference to, 21 

Mother's Magazine, subscriptions to, 68 

Mount Morris Academy, students of, 59 

Mount Morris College, teachers of, 45; at- 
tendance at, 80, 94, 96; interest in, 85; 



mention of, 92 
Mount Vernon, residents of, 42 
Munster (Europe), reference to, 20 
Muscatine, reference to, 14; railroad to, 

50; markets at, 51 
Music, interest in, 66, 69, 100 
Myers, Mr., reference to, 17 

Nebraska, churches in, 23 

New Dunker group, reference to, 39 

New Testament, acceptance of, 16, 28 

New Vienna (Ohio), school at, 34 

Newspapers, subscriptions to, 67 

North Church, building of, 45 

North English, church at, 45, 81; mention 

of, 51 
North English Record, publication of, 67 

Oak Grove, church at, 45 

Occupations, discussion of, 31 

Ohio, settlement of, 23, 41 ; emigrants 

from, 42, 59 
Oklahoma, churches in, 23 
Old Order of Brethren, reference to, 39, 40, 

46, 55, 56 
01 lie, reference to, 44 
Orange Township, church in, 82, 84 
Orchards, growing of, 66 
Oregon, churches in, 23 
Orphanages, support of, 31 
Oskaloosa, 50 
Ottumwa, 50 

Palatinate, 17, 18 

Parents, birthplace of, 58 

Pathfinder, subscriptions to, 68 

Penn, William, influence of, 19; lands of, 

Pennsylvania, land in, 19; settlement of, 

22, 23; conditions in, 31; emigrants 

from, 58 
Pennsylvania, University of, graduate of, 

Perchoron horses, 64 
Philadelphia (Pennsylvania), 20 
Pictorial Review, subscriptions to, 68 
Pioneers, coming of, 49; homes of, 51, 52 
Poland China hogs, 64 
Power Farming, subscriptions to, 68 
Prairie school, pupils of, 13; reference to, 

Preface, 7, 8 

Presiding elders, work of, 26, 98 
Primitive Christians, A Genuine Portrait- 
ure of, publication of, 16 
Produce, sale of, 50 
Progressive Brethren, reference to, 39, 40, 

46, 55 

Progressive Christian, publication of, 40 
Property, protection of, 53 
Prussia, reference to, 18 
Purebred stock, raising of, 64 

Quakers (see Friends) 

Railroads, development of, 50 

Recreation, discussion of, 39, 68 

Reformation, reference to, 15, 37 

Reformed Church, members of, 18 

Religious activities, discussion of, 80 

Religious customs, 55 

Religious liberty, discussion of, 19 

Religious services, form of, 28 

Revival meetings, holding of, 45 

Rhine Valley, reference to, 31 

Roads, development of, 75, 76 

Rodman's Point, school near, 44 (see also 

South English) 
Rodman's Tavern, reference to, 49 
Rural Life, publication of, 89 
Rural Progress, Chapters in, 89 
Rural Sociology, publication of, 89 
Rural Sociology, Constructive, publication 

of, 89 

Sabbath, observance of, 21 

Saloons, opposition to, 53, 54 

Saturday Evening Post, subscriptions to, 

Bauer, Christopher, Jr., opinion of, 32, 33 
Saner, Christopher, Sr., reference to, 82 
School, growth of, 41 
Schools, maintenance of, 13, 54; discussion 

of, 59, 60 
Schools, county superintendent of, 72 
Schwarzenau (Europe), church at, 16, 18, 

23 ; meeting near, 17 
Scriptures, interpretation of, 25; reading 

of, 27 
Seerley, Homer H., quotation from, 54 
Sermons, preaching of, 28 
Shenandoah Valley, emigrants from, 59 
Shorthorn cattle, 64 
Sigourney, reference to, 50 
Sigourncy Review, publication of, 67 
Sisters' Aid, work of, 85, 98, 99 (see also 

Ladies' Aid Society) 
Smith, \V. R., acknowledgment to, 8 
Social activities, discussion of, 48-54, 68 
Social study, discussion of, 56-83 
South English, churches in or near, 5, 11, 
12, 13, 15, 41, 44, 47, 48, 52, 53, 83, 
84, 96; town of, 13, 14, 50, 51, 67, 74, 
77, 78, 87, 90, 91, 92, 93, 95, 98, 100, 
101 ; settlement of, 42 ; store at, 49 ; 



saloons at, 53, 54; residents of, 57; 
Chautauqua at, 72 

South Keokuk, organization of, 44 

Spelling school, holding of, 54, 72 

Spotted Poland China Booster, subscrip- 
tions to, 68 

Stagecoach, travel in, 50 

State Fair, attendance at, 72, 73, 95 

State institutions, 60, 61 

Successful Farming, subscriptions to, 67 

Sunday school, holding of, 13, 29, 45, 48, 
67, 81, 85, 86, 97, 99 

Sunday School Convention, delegate to, 99 

Swisher, Jacob A., article by, 5 

Telephone, development of, 85 
Temperance, discussion of, 37 
Temperance Committee, work of, 37 
Tenants, number of, 65-67 
Tennessee, settlement of, 23 
Texas, Brethren churches in, 23 
Theaters, opposition to, 38 
Thirty Years* War, 15 
Timber, extent of, 51 
Today's Housewife, subscriptions to, 68 
Transportation, means of, 55, 98 
Travel, means of, 56 
Tunker, reference to, 11 

Unifying influences, discussion of, 54-56 

Union school, pupils of, 13 

United States, Brethren churches in, 11, 25 

Universal Service, 89 

Utah, Brethren churches in, 23 

Vetter, Lucas, reference to, 16 

Virginia, settlement of, 23 ; emigrants from, 

43, 58, 59 
Vogt, P. L., book by, 89 
Votes, casting of, 76 

Wages, discussion of, 63 

Wallaces' Farmer, subscriptions to, 67 

War, attitude toward, 99 

Washington, 49, 50 

Washington (State), Brethren churches in, 

Washington school, pupils of, 13 

Waterloo, church near, 84 

Wellman, 95 

West Friesland, meeting at, 18 

Westervain (Europe), meeting at, 18 

Westphalia, Treaty of, 15 

West Virginia, settlement of, 23; emi- 
grants from, 08 

Westward expansion, discussion of, 22, 28 

What Cheer, fair at, 73 

Wheat, production of, 49 

Whiskey, sale of, 58 

Winger, Otho, quotation from, 15 

Wisconsin, University of, teacher in, 5 

Wissahicken Creek, reference to, 20 

Wittgenstein, Count of, 17, 18 

Woman's Home Companion, subscriptions 
to, 68 

World Outlook, subscriptions to, 68 

World's Sunday School Convention, dele 
gate to, 99 

World War, reference to, 35, 76 

Vacation Bible School, development of, 98 Youth's Companion, subscriptions to, 68