Arapaho Mennonite Mission

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Work among the Arapaho Indians was begun by S. S. Haury in 1880. When the General Conference Mennonite Church was searching for a mission field, Haury went to the Indians in Oklahoma in 1877, where he made contact with the Arapaho. He reported to the Mission Board that he intended to return to them as a missionary for the next year. However, the actual beginning was delayed until 1880, when he was helped by voluntary workers to erect the necessary buildings. A school built in Darlington, Oklahoma, was destroyed by fire 19 February 1882, and was replaced by a brick building. In 1882 the United States government transferred all of its buildings except one at Cantonment to this mission. At Christmas 1882 there were 14 workers on the field, among whom were S. S. Haury, H. R. Voth, J. A. Funk, and O. S. Schultz. In the fall of 1883 the schools at both mission  stations  – Darlington and Cantonment  – were opened. G. A. Linscheid taught the Cantonment school from 1895 until 1898 as a missionary.

In 1884 J. J. Kliewer succeeded S. S. Haury and in 1888 the first convert was baptized. In 1896, because the Indians were moving away and the children were required to attend government schools, the Darlington station was abandoned. Gradually the Arapaho centered around Canton. In 1926 the church membership was 75 and in 1952 it had risen to 111.   The J. J. Kliewers served in the mission field, 1884-1897; J. A. Funk, who reduced the Arapaho language to writing, 1896-1920; the H. T. Neufelds, 1921-1927. They were followed by the G. A. Linscheids, and later by the Arthur Friesens and Alfred Wiebes.


Cheyenne and Arapahoe Messenger (1930-1939).

Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. I, 80.

Kaufman, Edmund G. Development of the Missionary and Philanthropic Interest Among the Mennonites of North America. Berne, IN: Mennonite Book Concern, 1931: 135-140.

Krehbiel, Henry P. History of the General Conference of the Mennonite Church of North America, 2 vols. Newton, Kan.: H. P. Krehbiel, 1938: v. II, 13.

Author(s) Cornelius Krahn
Date Published 1953

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Krahn, Cornelius. "Arapaho Mennonite Mission." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1953. Web. 18 Mar 2019.

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Krahn, Cornelius. (1953). Arapaho Mennonite Mission. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 18 March 2019, from


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, pp. 144-145. All rights reserved.

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