Adrian Amish Mennonite Church (Nobles County, Minnesota, USA)

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Amish families from Waterloo County, Ontario, Canada began to settle in Nobles County, Minnesota, USA in 1891. The first to locate there were Nicholaus L. Jantzi and his uncle, Daniel Jantzi. By 1894 there were 12 families in the settlement, located 15 miles northwest of Worthington, the county seat. Thirty-five families are known to have lived there during the life of the settlement. The Amish farms grew corn and other grains, as well as hay and potatoes.

The Nobles County congregation was firmly established in March 1893 with the arrival of Joseph Gerber from Ontario. He had been ordained as an Amish Mennonite bishop in 1875. He led the Mornington, Ontario Amish congregation when a meetinghouse was built a little north of Poole in 1886. He sided with the meetinghouse group, though some members continued to worship in their homes and became Old Order Amish.

After moving to Minnesota, on 19 November 1893 Joseph Gerber ordained Jacob Gascho as minister and Joseph B.S. Jantzi as deacon. In 1894 Valentine Gerber, also a minister originally from Ontario, joined the community. No meetinghouse was built by the Nobles congregation, and Old Order Amish ministers regularly preached there. At the same time, ministers from meetinghouse Amish Mennonites also preached in Nobles County, especially visiting ministers from the Amish Mennonites in Ontario, including John Nafziger and Peter Spenler.

When the Nobles settlement finally failed, after families began to move away by 1903, some families chose Old Order Amish communities, especially in Michigan, and other families chose Amish Mennonite meetinghouse communities. Bishop Joseph Gerber and a number of families moved to West Branch, Michigan in 1908 and formed an Old Order Amish settlement. Deacon Joseph B.S. Jantzi moved back to Ontario in 1910, joining the East Zorra Mennonite Church. Minister Valentine Gerber also moved back to Ontario and joined the Blake Mennonite Church, but was affiliated with the Beachy Amish at the time of his death.

Amish historian David Luthy believes the dual nature of the Nobles settlement contributed to its demise in 1910.


Jantzi, Bruce, ed. Minnesota Meanderings: the Amish Mennonite Settlement in Nobles County, Minnesota 1891-1910. Millbank, Ontario: Minnesota Meanderings Book Committee, 2009.

Luthy, David. The Amish in America: Settlements that Failed, 1840-1960. Aylmer, ON: Pathway Publishers, 1986: 211-213.

Original Mennonite Encyclopedia Article

By Melvin Gingerich. Copied by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 1056. All rights reserved.

Adrian Amish Mennonite Church, which is now extinct, was located in Nobles County, Minnesota, about 15 miles (24 km.) northwest of Worthington. On 19 November 1893, Jacob Gascho was ordained to the ministry in this congregation, the first members of which came from Canada in 1891. Beginning in March 1893 the congregation held services every two weeks. In early 1894 the community numbered 12 families and 30 members. The Family Almanac of 1900 names Joseph Gerber as an Old Order Amish bishop, and Jacob Gascho, Joseph Grieser, Joseph Jantzi, John J. Miller, John Rupp, Joseph Schantz, and D. D. Schlabach as Amish ministers. In 1913-1916 these ministers were listed as Conservative Amish Mennonite. In 1917 no Amish preachers were listed in Minnesota, nor these men named in any other Amish or Mennonite lists.

Author(s) Samuel J Steiner
Date Published July 2017

Cite This Article

MLA style

Steiner, Samuel J. "Adrian Amish Mennonite Church (Nobles County, Minnesota, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. July 2017. Web. 1 Oct 2020.,_Minnesota,_USA)&oldid=165073.

APA style

Steiner, Samuel J. (July 2017). Adrian Amish Mennonite Church (Nobles County, Minnesota, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 1 October 2020, from,_Minnesota,_USA)&oldid=165073.

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