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Williams County Mennonite Church (Mennonite Church), also known as Hoffers (now extinct), located north­ west of West Unity, Ohio, was founded in 1842-1843 by settlers from Canada and from Lebanon and Lancaster counties in Pennsylvania. Located in the "Black Swamp" area of northwestern Ohio, the county offered cheap land for easterners who had become bankrupt during the financial panic of Martin Van Buren's administration. Daniel Leh­man, Peter Borkholder, and Isaac Hoffer, a preacher and later a bishop, were the first settlers. Others who followed a little later were Joseph Borkholder, Jacob Eberly, Samuel and Solomon Lehman, Jacob Delp, Menno Naragang (?), John Detweiler, Abra­ham Metzler, Moses Koch, John Dill, Martin Myers, William Rhodes, Levi H. Eberly, and a Kilmer family who had moved from Crawford County, Ohio. Ministers ordained from the congregation were Levi H. Eberly, Martin Myers, and Joseph Borkholder. For the first few decades the congre­gation gave promise of growth and built a small meetinghouse on the northeast corner of Hoffer's farm. After the bishop's death in 1880 the congre­gation declined. His successor, Abraham Lehman, following the lead of Jacob Wisler of Indiana, prohibited Sunday school and other young people's religious activities. Some members moved to Elk­hart County, Indiana, or united with the local Church of the Brethren or other denominations in the neighborhood. The small well-kept cemetery plot back of the barn on the late Bishop Hoffer's farm provides the last resting place for the older mem­bers of the congregation.


Umble, John. "Extinct Ohio Mennonite Churches." Mennonite Quarterly Review  XVIII (1944): 36-48.

Author(s) John S Umble
Date Published 1959

Cite This Article

MLA style

Umble, John S. "Williams County Mennonite Church (West Unity, Ohio, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 30 Apr 2017.,_Ohio,_USA)&oldid=86126.

APA style

Umble, John S. (1959). Williams County Mennonite Church (West Unity, Ohio, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 30 April 2017, from,_Ohio,_USA)&oldid=86126.

Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Kitchener, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 957. All rights reserved.

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