Unruh, Peter H. (1881-1943)

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Peter Hermann Unruh: minister and elder; born 23 January 1881 in Goessel, Kansas, USA, the eldest of six children of Peter P. Unruh (26 November 1852, Nikolaidorf, Molotschna Mennonite Settlement, South Russia - 7 March 1939, Harvey County, Kansas) and Anna (Klaassen) Unruh (7 March 1859, Elisabeththal, Molotschna, South Russia - 12 February 1901, Marion County, Kansas). He was married on 31 August 1905 in Hillsboro, Kansas to Susanna "Susie" Warkentin (11 October 1882, Marion County, Kansas - 28 January 1950, Alexanderwohl, Marion County, Kansas), daughter of Jacob Warkentin (1833-1903) and Katharina (Sommerfeld) Warkentin (1838-1903). Peter and Susie had two children, Elmer and Velma. Peter died at Goessel, Kansas, 20 July 1943 and was buried in the Alexanderwohl Cemetery.

Peter was raised in Goessel, Kansas, where he attended the Marion County Public School. He graduated from the Bethel College Academy in 1902. Upon graduation Peter taught as a public school teacher from 1902 to 1906 and farmed from 1907 until 1915.

Peter grew up in the Alexanderwohl Mennonite Church (GCM) and was baptized in this church on 26 May 1901. He served as an evangelist in the congregation from 1908 to 1910, was ordained a minister of the Gospel in 1910, and elder in 1915. He served as a Relief Commissioner to Russia under the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) from November 1922 to June 1923 and was for some years a member of the MCC and its vice-chairman in 1942.

Unruh was very active in the Western District Conference of the General Conference Mennonite Church, serving as a member of the Home Mission Committee (1916-1923), secretary of the Exemption Committee (1917-1918), and a member of the Peace Committee. He also served the larger conference as treasurer of the General Conference Mennonite Church Emergency Relief Board and as a member of the Committee of Doctrine and Conduct. As a member of this committee he authored What Mennonites Believe: Short Statement of Our Mennonite Faith. Peter was also a member of the Bethel College board of directors and of the Mennonite Colonization Board, and served as a member and president of Herald Publishing Company.


GRANDMA (The Genealogical Registry and Database of Mennonite Ancestry) Database, 7.04 ed. Fresno, CA: " California Mennonite Historical Society, 2013: #88553.

Warkentin, A. and Melvin Gingerich, compilers. Who's Who Among the Mennonites. North Newton, KS: Bethel College, 1943: 253-254.

Author(s) Harold S Bender
Date Published 1959

Cite This Article

MLA style

Bender, Harold S. "Unruh, Peter H. (1881-1943)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 27 Nov 2020. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Unruh,_Peter_H._(1881-1943)&oldid=132633.

APA style

Bender, Harold S. (1959). Unruh, Peter H. (1881-1943). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 27 November 2020, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Unruh,_Peter_H._(1881-1943)&oldid=132633.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 786. All rights reserved.

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