Der Waffenlose Wächter

Jump to navigation Jump to search

Der Waffenlose Wächter (The Weaponless Watchman), first issue apparently January 1871, an 8-page (sometimes 4-page) 10.5 x 13.5 in. (later 12 x 19) monthly, later bimonthly 1878-79, monthly 1880-81, 24-page quarterly 1882-88, published by Samuel Ernst (1825-1909) at Millwood and Gap, Pennsylvania, transferred 1873-77 to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and back again to Gap (Millwood) 1877-83, moved to Olathe, Kansas, 1884-88. Published as a bilingual religious paper (German, English), successor to Acorn & Germ which had been published at Millwood by S. Ernstand E. Z. Ernst as a trilingual paper (German, English, and Pennsylvania-Dutch) as follows: 6 July 1870, 14 September 1870, and thereafter weekly to 7 December 1870. In an autobiographical statement Ernst states that he published the journal "for nearly 18 years." In a family history, a son of Samuel, E. Z. Ernst states: "He [E. Z.] was a publisher and printer by trade beginning the business in 1870, . . . publishing the Acorn & Germ' and the 'Waffenlose Waechter' with his father near Gap, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. In March 1877, he established the 'Sun beam' of Lititz, Pennsylvania in partnership with his brother-in-law, John G. Zook, but sold out and left for Kansas in 1879." About his father, E. Z. Ernst states, "They belonged to the Old Mennonites, organized and conducted a singing school at Millwood school district north of Gap, Pennsylvania, in 1870 and soon began publishing 'Waffenlose Waechter' for nearly 20 years." Ernst moved to Olathe, Kansas in 1884, bringing the paper with him and continuing its publication for several years. Inconclusive data does not permit an exact report concerning the paper, and only a few copies have been preserved in Goshen College Library and Bethel College Library. The publisher states the paper's policy as "neutral in politics and non-sectarian," although it quite clearly was directed primarily to Mennonites as the name would indicate. It carried some articles on Mennonite history.


Ernst, E. Z. A Condensed Genealogical Record of the Descendants of Sebastian Ernst. Los Angeles, 1927.

Ernst, Samuel. The 50th Anniversary. (n.p., n.d.-1898).

Author(s) Harold S Bender
Date Published 1959

Cite This Article

MLA style

Bender, Harold S. "Der Waffenlose Wächter." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 2 Jun 2023.

APA style

Bender, Harold S. (1959). Der Waffenlose Wächter. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 2 June 2023, from


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 868. All rights reserved.

©1996-2023 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.