Johns, Joseph (1749-1813)

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Joseph Johns (Schantz) (1749-1813) was a Swiss Amish immigrant of 1769 who located in the angle formed by the converging Stony Creek and Conemaugh River on the present site of Johnstown, Pennsylvania in 1793. In a charter of 3 November 1800, he deeded most of his farm, together with a plot of 141 lots (with instructions for public buildings including a school and courthouse), for a town, Conemaugh. The name was later changed to Johnstown in his honor and made legal in 1834. During the 1950s the city's population held steady around 67,000 people. Johns, like other Amish men, moved away from the growing town to a farm nine miles (15 km) south, near the present village of Davidsville (named after Amish man David Stutzman), in 1807, where he and his descendants, including his son John and grandson, also named Joseph Johns (Amish members), are buried. A statue of Joseph Johns (by J. Otto Schweizer) was erected on the town square in 1913 on the occasion of the first centennial of Johnstown.


Mook, Maurice A.. "Amishman Who Founded a City." Christian Living 2 (July 1955).

Somerset County Deed Book: II, 246-247.

Author(s) John A Hostetler
Date Published 1957

Cite This Article

MLA style

Hostetler, John A. "Johns, Joseph (1749-1813)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 29 Sep 2023.,_Joseph_(1749-1813)&oldid=133420.

APA style

Hostetler, John A. (1957). Johns, Joseph (1749-1813). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 29 September 2023, from,_Joseph_(1749-1813)&oldid=133420.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, p. 116. All rights reserved.

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