The purpose of this index is to organize and give access to the materials of my grandfather, Jonas B. Miller (1870-1952). These materials represent a period of nearly a century and a half, beginning with the tally of votes at the time of ordination of Benedict Miller (1781-1837) in 1809 and extending to 1951. the year before Jonas B. Miller’s death.
Most of these materials came into my custody when given to me by my mother a few years before her death. In the process of receiving the JBM materials from her, some items were missed and were found later in the disposition of my mother’s estate and then added to the items which I had already received.
My father, Ivan J. Miller (1911-1989), had received these papers from his father, Jonas B. Miller, who had received various items from his father, Joel J. Miller (1844-1915). It is unknown how some of the earlier documents came into Joel J. Miller’s possession, whether from his grandfather, Benedict Miller, and his father, Joel B. Miller, or through the succession of Amish Mennonite bishops from Benedict to Jonas Beachy (1791-1878) to Joel Beachy (1818-1894) to Joel J. Miller.
These documents survived storage in attics and other places. After receiving them at Grantsville, Maryland, I took them to my home in London, Ohio, for processing for the purpose of placement into the archives of the Casselman River Area Amish and Mennonite Historians (a.k.a. The Casselman Historians,) which is back-home for the materials and for me. Placement in the archives provides for the materials to be preserved and accessible to a larger circle of researchers.
The files and the outline of this table of contents follow a mostly chronological sequence. The first section consists of pre-1891 items and is followed by five periods (1819-1895, 1896-1900, etc..) and a section named “Post 1950.” Additional sections follow, including: Undated, Note books, Collected Groupings (such as baptisms, weddings, funerals, elections), Sermon and Teaching Notes, and a section of any entries added after 2011.
Within each time period, the materials are placed into the following categories:
Church Administration – includes documents such as ceremonial forms, positions on
issues, lists of members, schedules of church services, and church-related projects
(example: Children’s Home.)
Letters to/from Church Leaders
Farm and Business
In addition to this index serving as a printed reference, it is intended to serve as an electronic reference through use of a search or find function with a word processor. Care has been exercised to include names and subjects as found in the documents as a way of enhancing the index function of this table of contents. Cross reference can be made to the materials among these papers that originated in the German language. Transcriptions (from handwriting to typed font) and translations (German to English) of these items have been put into a three-ring binder and into an electronic file titled “Transcriptions and Translations of German Materials Among the
Jonas B. Miller Paper” and ArchivalTranslationsJBMPapers2018 respectively.
I am pleased to make this reference work available to future researchers and others interested in this segment of history and the story these materials represent
Jonas B. Miller was an ordained minister in the Conservative Amish Mennonite Conference. He was ordained in 1897, thirteen years before the formation of the Conference. He served the Conservative Amish Mennonite Congregation in the Casselman Valley of Garrett County, Maryland, and Somerset County, Pennsylvania, with meeting houses known as Cherry Glade at Bittinger/Accident, Maryland; Maple Glen at Grantsville, Maryland; Oak Dale at Salisbury, Pennsylvania. He was an ardent advocate of the Conference in its formation and especially in the earlier decades of its existence.
Jonas served as editor of the English part of Herold der Wahrheit, from 1917 to 1949. His writings began to appear in that paper before his appointment as editor and are found regularly in its pages, both as editorials and as contributed articles, including occasional pieces in German. As servant of the Lord through the church, Jonas was not salaried as minister or as editor. He supported his family of eleven children by farming. He carved out a farm on land secured from his father’s larger farm. He built his farm buildings by a spring at the end of the present-day lane that leads east from present-day Dorsey Hotel Road about one-half mile east of Grantsville.
When he was fifty-two years of age, his beloved wife, Barbara, died of pneumonia, leaving him with a family of mostly young children. He lived as a widower the rest of his life. These Jonas B. Miller Papers cover a range of subjects, including farming, church ministries, family, personal relationships, and items of historical interest.
For further biographical information, see Gertrude Miller Schlabach, ed., Homecoming, @by the editor, 2012. A copy of this work is scheduled to be in the Casselman Historians Archives at Grantsville. – David I. Miller October 2011 (edited 2020)