Baer, John (1797-1858)

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John Baer, an early publisher of Mennonite writings, was born in Upper Leacock, Pennsylvania, 31 January 1797, a son of Andrew Baer (d. 1805) and great-grandson of John Henry Baer, the Swiss Mennonite pioneer settler (1727). He grew up in Lancaster. In 1821 he was sole owner of Der Volksfreund and in 1834 he also purchased the Lancaster Beobachter. These he merged as the Lancaster Volksfreund und Beobachter, the only German newspaper in the city. This was continued by his sons. In 1819 he published the first large folio Bible published in America. In 1828 he continued the Agricultural Almanac started by William Albright and in 1833 started also the German Pennsylvania Almanac, continuing both for years. Later it became Baer’s Almanac, (later Baer's Almanac & Gardener's Guide) the 189th issue (2009) of which was released by Gerald S. Lestz of the firm, John Bear's Sons.. For years he published many items for the Mennonites, succeeding Joseph Ehrenfried. Reuben A. and Christian R. Baer continued the firm as John Baer's Sons; grandsons John F. and Charles S. Baer continued the firm until the mid-20th century.


Ellis, Franklin, and Samuel Evans. History of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania: with biographical sketches of many of its pioneers and prominent men. Philadelphia, PA: Everts & Peck, 1883: 500-501

Meginness, John Franklin. Biographical annals of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, containing biographical and genealogical sketches of prominent and representative citizens and of many of the early settlers ... [Chicago, ILL]: J.H. Beers & Co., 1903: 152-3.

Klein, Harry Martin John. Lancaster county, Pennsylvania ; a history. New York, NY: Lewis Historical Pub. Co., 1924: v. IV, 408.

Additional Information

Website: John Baer's Sons

Author(s) Ira D Landis
Samuel J. Steiner
Date Published 2009

Cite This Article

MLA style

Landis, Ira D and Samuel J. Steiner. "Baer, John (1797-1858)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 2009. Web. 13 Apr 2024.,_John_(1797-1858)&oldid=165789.

APA style

Landis, Ira D and Samuel J. Steiner. (2009). Baer, John (1797-1858). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 13 April 2024, from,_John_(1797-1858)&oldid=165789.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, pp. 1061-1062. All rights reserved.

©1996-2024 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.