The April Historian to be David I. Miller’s last as editor

After almost 35 years of editing The Historian–which was first published in 1989 (see Beginnings here)–David I. Miller has asked the Executive Committee to step down as the founding editor following the upcoming April issue. If you appreciate his contribution over these three decades, let him know! (I am writing this without his knowledge.) He celebrates his 90th birthday on March 30, and he and Erma (my mom) celebrate their 69th wedding anniversary on March 28. He has agreed to write a farewell column for the April issue, and I’m sure he will continue to contribute articles and research to the bulletin. And don’t worry–two excellent editors have agreed to continue the legacy of The Historian, beginning with the July 2023 issue. For now, though, you can see the newly published January 2023 issue by clicking HERE [pdf].

David I. Miller talking with his granddaughter Carrie Beitzel (daughter of Kenneth & Jenny Miller), who is holding little Simon— his older brother is Lewis, the namesake of his immigrant ancestor. Carrie’s husband is Andrew Beitzel, the son of Titus and Beth Beitzel and the grandson of Wilbur and Annie Beitzel. Wilbur is the son of Daniel and Anna Beitzel, whose father was Lewis Ludwig Beitzel, who immigrated from Germany in 1859 and lived on the Joel B. Miller farm in Grantsville, Md., (pictured in the banner photo above). This photo is from the David & Erma (Bender) Miller Christmas gathering on December 29, 2022 at Rosedale Bible College. David had a knee replacement a few weeks before and so was using a walker.


Glimpses into the Casselman Valley Amish Church Experience, 1825 – 1850

The stone house of Abraham Beachy (1757-1833), West Salisbury, PA, built in 1809 with stones on the farm. Presumably, Amish church services were held here. Source of photo unknown.

In the October 2022 issue of the Casselman Historians, David I. Miller writes:

In the early years of the settlement, the typical first homes of the immigrants were log cabins. But sawmills were built very soon and, increasingly, houses were framed. The US census of Elk Lick Township shows a comparison of “cabins” and “houses” in the township in the years 1820, 1830, and 1840. On the chart below, note that cabins increased from 1820 to 1830, but not from 1830 to 1840.

Houses, however, steadily in-creased in each of those decades, going from 113 to 151 to 174. By 1840, 84% of the homes in Elk Lick Township were classified as House rather than as Cabin. If the cabin/house statistics of Elk Lick Township are proportionately true of the Amish people, many were living, not in log cabins, but in houses built of sawn lumber by 1840.

Capture.JPGwwThe Abraham Beachy house just south of West Salisbury is an example of a commodious situation. Built in 1809, the house was occupied by Amish members of the Beachy family (Abraham/Peter A.) during the period of this study.

Susanna Petersheim’s Ausbund, dated one year before her baptism. Later, she became the second wife of Wilhelm Bender.

John Hochstetler built a house of sawn lumber in 1805. He referred to it in his will as the “little house,” implying a larger house on the farm. Benedict Miller’s house of 1835, now located in Spruce Forest Artisan Village at Grantsville, could have been a place for church services, along with the older farm house. Apparently various homes in the Amish community were capable of accommodating at least the people of their own north or south area for a church service. [READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE HERE]

Sewing Circle Day in the 1950s

sewing circleIn the the July 2022 issue of The Historian, Ruth M. Yoder writes:

Eight-year-old Marietta goes up the stairs to bed. This evening Mother did not help with barn chores. Tomorrow women from Maple Glen will arrive. Getting the house ready meant straightening up the living room, clearing off the kitchen counters, and adding all the boards to dining room table to accommodate the dozen or more sewing machines.

Tomorrow is Sewing Day. Father and brother James have toted boxes upon boxes of fabric from upstairs and lined them up along the center of the stretched-out table. [Read more HERE]