Tidbits from the Sept. 2014 Meeting

The meeting this past weekend was a time of becoming reacquainted with Historian members and meeting new friends and relatives.  What an informative two days and what a wealth of information!  Most of us can not remember half of what we heard.  I am sure we will see a lot of the information in the upcoming Historians.

Ryan Graber’s presentation was given skillfully using PowerPoint, timelines, pictures and copies of old letters.  I heard that Ryan only had time to give a portion of his research.

Jim Yoder put together a booklet called “From Casselman Valley to Iowa Territory 1846-1870”.  It contains genealogy, stories and many pictures.  One of our new members told me afterward that all the information Jim Yoder’s has in his head should be written down and record kept of it.

Mary Lou Bower brought artifacts along from the Kalona Historical Society.  Her talk was interesting and down to earth.  She told fascinating stories of the first Amish settlers in Johnson county Iowa.

For those who came-it was good to see you, and for those that wanted to come and didn’t, we missed you!


Jim Yoder and a Table

September 19 & 20, 2014  should prove to be interesting meetings highlighting “The Role of the Amish of Somerset County, PA, in the development of the Amish settlement of Johnson County, IA 1846-1865”.  I have been at the archives twice and made copies two other times for a young researcher. We made numerous copies of letters from Jacob Swartzendruber, the first Amish bishop in IA. Ryan Graber has spent hours working on his topic for the meetings.  I am looking forward to hearing him speak.

Jim Yoder has more accurate knowledge about people and places in the local area than anyone else I know.  I refer anyone who needs information about our area to him.  And he loves to research and dig up new information.  Recently he willingly tagged many, many old photos for the Casselman Historians.  I am sure he knew some of the people, but he also found positive identification through other old pictures.  At a local auction this past Saturday a father of four bought an old table that was built in the late 1800’s.  Dana was only interested in the large sturdy table for seating additional guests in their home, not the ancestral value.  After he bought the table Jim Yoder came to him and told him how Dana and his wife Krystal are both related to the craftsman who built the table.

I hope you can come to the meeting and will find it informative and enjoyable.


The archivist for the Casselman Historians