Mennonite-Amish Culture in the Pen-Mar Highlands, page 4
only an elementary education—up to the eighth grade. This they claim is all that is needed to be a farmer. Most state laws require schooling until the age of 16.
From the beginning they have been adamant in refusing civic offices, bearing arms, or taking oaths. They coincide with Quakers regarding arms, and oaths. Refusal to engage in military conflict stems from the Waldensians in Italy, the Albigensians in southern France, the Mennonites in Switzerland and Germany, the Quakers in England. These various sects have from time to time been persecuted by their respective governments for their refusal to participate in war.
They have no records of litigation except when in conflict with the state regarding their religious practice. They never resort to law when they have personal quarrels. By reason of their spiritual relation to one another, and to the land, they live "above the law." They spend very little for church edifices; most of their religious meetings are held in homes. They have no paid ministry. They elect no representatives to interdenominational meetings, and have no membership in the World Council of Churches.
From such pattern of church, home, school, from such care and feeling for the soil—the land, wherever they have settled, not only flows with milk and honey, but society has been leavened by their zeal for work, their exemplary use of the land and the stability of their family life. Our present back-to-the-soil movement will heighten the prestige of the Mennonite-Amish culture.
THEIR PEN-MAR HIGHLAND HISTORY
"The Amish were among the pioneer settlers of Somerset County, Pennsylvania. They have always been most numerous in Elk Lick and Conemaugh Townships, and of course a wide dissemination in the others. There are no church records. According to tradition the Rev. Christian Yoder of Stoney Creek was the first resident Bishop. In Elk Lick Township Peter Livengood is said to have been a preacher, but it is also said that he later became a 'Dunker' (Dunkard). His son, Christian, was a strict member of the Amish church, but was not a minister. Jacob Miller was a minister of the church. He came from Berk's County prior to 1787. His son, Benedict Miller, born in 1781 was also a minister. He was called to the ministry in 1809 and ordained as a Bishop in 1837. His co-ministers were Peter Miller and Yost Yoder. Rev. Jonas Beachy succeeded Peter Miller as Bishop. Joel Beachy, a brother, became a Bishop in 1853. Moses B. Miller, a son of Benedict Miller, born in 1820, was also an Amish preacher, but removed to Cambria County, Pennsylvania. Daniel Harshberger, and later Manasses J. Beachy were also among the Elk Lick preachers. Jacob Stutzman, father of 'The Gram-
Felix G. Robinson
Ruth Enlow Library, Oakland
22 x 15 cms
Western Maryland, 1750-1963