The Amish Community in Grantsville, page 2
Hochstetlers also arrived. By 1783 more than thirty Amish and Mennonite names appear in the tax lists of Somerset county, Pennsylvania, a number of them near the Maryland line several miles north of Grantsville, Md.
Probably they hesitated to leave the domain of the peaceful Quakers until the upheaval of the Revolution subsided. By the turn of the century they crossed the state line into Maryland and were acquiring lands in the vicinity of Grantsville. Having been a rural people in eastern Pennsylvania and for generations before in the Palatinate and Switzerland, they now took up land in this area and proceeded to turn it into productive farms. Their outstanding contribution to the economy of the community has been made in the field of agricultural production and conservation on their well-kept family farms.
A brief list of some of the earliest Amish settlers in the area with the year when their names first appear on the land records will show something of the influence they had on the community in the early days. Most of those listed below located across the state line in Pennsylvania but their descendants were soon living on the Maryland side of the line in the Grantsville community.
Yost Jother (Yoder), 1775; John Hershberger, 1775; Christian Gnagey, 1775; John Hochstetler, 1779; Christian and Jacob Mast (Maust), 1783; Peter Bitsche (Beachy-Peachey), 1785; Jacob Miller, 1795; Joseph Mast (Maust), 1795; Wilhelm Bender, 1840. With the exception of the Millers who have descended from various family heads, practically all the citizens of the Grantsville area who carry these family names are descended from these pioneers. The land bought by Yost Yoder in 1775, situated about five miles south-west of Meyersdale, Pa., has been in the Yoder name since 1775, passed six times from father to son in these one hundred and eighty-one years. It is occupied at present by Noah J. Yoder. Jacob Miller listed above was an influential leader in the Amish church. In the tax assessment list of 1798 he is owner of part of "Mt. Nebo," a tract located in Garrett county about six miles south-east of Grantsville. This land is occupied at present by Beachy Brothers. In 1814 he sold this land to his son Benedict who followed in the foot steps of his father as an influential Amish bishop. Some time later the Swartzendrubers, Brennemans and Ottos settled several miles beyond. "Mt. Nebo," is in the "New Germany" community, so named because of these German speaking Amish. The dam in the New Germany recreational area was originally built by the Amish minister and mill-wright, Jacob Swartzendruber, to furnish power for his mill. Some of the Brennemans moved across the mountain into the Bittinger vicinity, the Swartzendrubers
Ruth Enlow Library, Oakland
22 x 15 cms
Western Maryland, 1750-1963