Penner, Heinrich D. (1862-1933)

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Heinrich D. Penner (1862-1933), a Mennonite (General Conference Mennonite (GCM) ) minister and teacher, was born at Schardau, Molotschna Colony, South Russia, on 9 March 1862 (25 February O.S.). He was the ninth of eleven children of Daniel Penner (19 November 1824 – 27 January 1871) and Gertruda (Fast) Penner (1 July 1828 – 14 May 1878). On 29 April 1884, he married Katherina Dalke (10 August 1864, Steinfeld, Molotschna Colony, South Russia – 16 January 1944, Newton, Kansas, USA) in Hillsboro, Kansas. She was the daughter of Cornelius Dalke (30 September 1831 – 15 February 1900) and Anna (Duerksen) Dalke (2 February 1837 – 22 March 1927). Heinrich and Katharina had 14 children: Rachel, Anna, Daniel, Christina, Clara, Ernst, Albert, Salomo, Linda, Ruth, Waldo, Hulda, Samuel and Verna (Salomo and Samuel died in infancy). He died on 26 October 1933 in Newton, Kansas.

In 1874 Heinrich came to America with his mother and stepfather, settling near Hillsboro, Kansas. In 1880 he was baptized by Jacob Buller, elder of the Alexanderwohl Mennonite Church. He obtained a good education through private study and taught at the Rosenort (Lighthouse) school 1885-1889, at the elementary school at Lehigh 1889-93, and at Bethel College 1893-1897.

On 27 July ____ Penner was ordained to the ministry by Elder J. S. Hirschler for the Hillsboro Mennonite (GCM) Church. In 1897 he organized the Hillsboro Preparatory School and taught there until 1913. In 1913-1918 he taught church history and German at Bethel College, and 1913-1930 he served as a teacher and spiritual adviser at the Bethel Deaconess Hospital and Home. He then served as co-pastor of the Mennonite church at Beatrice 1921-1926, and at the Geary (Oklahoma) Mennonite church 1926-1933.

Penner served on many committees concerned with schools, congregations, and the conference. He wrote the following booklets: Kurze Andachten fuer die Schwestern und ihre Pflegebefohlenen im Bethel Diakonissenhospital, Newton, Kansas (n.p.), pp. 118; Kurzer Leitfaden für den Religionsunterricht in der Kinderlehre (n.p.), pp. 32; Leibes- und Seelenpflege bei Kranken (Newton, 1916); Our Christian Catechism, Confession and Covenant (n.p.), pp. 7; A Short Course of Study in the Rudiments of the Christian Religion for High School Students, Deaconess Probationers, Students in Nurse Training Schools and Lay Workers (Beatrice, n.d.), pp. 42; The Twofold Nature of the Kingdom (Geary, 1932), pp. 16.


"Aeltester Heinrich Daniel Penner." Bundesbote Kalender (1935): 26.

H. D. Penner Collection, Mennonite Library and Archives (North Newton, Kansas, USA).

Wedel, P. J. The Story of Bethel College. North Newton: Bethel College, 1954.

GRANDMA (The Genealogical Registry and Database of Mennonite Ancestry) Database, 4.19 ed. Fresno, CA: California Mennonite Historical Society, 2005.

Author(s) Cornelius Krahn
Richard D. Thiessen
Date Published 1959

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MLA style

Krahn, Cornelius and Richard D. Thiessen. "Penner, Heinrich D. (1862-1933)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 6 Jul 2022.,_Heinrich_D._(1862-1933)&oldid=93265.

APA style

Krahn, Cornelius and Richard D. Thiessen. (1959). Penner, Heinrich D. (1862-1933). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 6 July 2022, from,_Heinrich_D._(1862-1933)&oldid=93265.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, pp. 134-135. All rights reserved.

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