Business among the Mennonites in France and Switzerland

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The Swiss and French Mennonites until the mid-20th century were exclusively agricultural in occupation. In a few cases, in Alsace in particular, the farms were really operated as large businesses, but commercial and manufacturing enterprises were few and usually small. The largest of these in this two-country area were probably the enterprises of Joseph and Jean Kennel. brothers at Chassey (Haute-Marne), France. The Joseph Kennel operations included a sawmill and lumber-export business, a furniture factory, and a cooperative cheese factory. Jean Kennel organized a chain of rural cooperatives which operated elevators, sold farm machinery, seed, and fertilizer, and did custom farming. Emile Winter at Schirmeck operated a small textile factory. A few French Mennonites were retail merchants. In Switzerland there was no large business among the Mennonites except the wholesale flower-growing businesses of the Doblers at Muttenz near Basel and Samuel Nussbaumer in Zürich. Fritz Wüthrich operated a small hand weaving establishment near Langnau. The total number of Mennonite businessmen in these two countries was so small in 1950 as to have no effect upon the basically agricultural character of the churches.

Author(s) John Howard Yoder
Date Published 1953

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Yoder, John Howard. "Business among the Mennonites in France and Switzerland." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1953. Web. 6 Dec 2021.

APA style

Yoder, John Howard. (1953). Business among the Mennonites in France and Switzerland. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 6 December 2021, from


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, p. 481. All rights reserved.

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