Family Newsletter Jacob Hochstetler Family Association Volume 30, No 4 December 2016
The Legacy of Daniel E. John Henry Hochstetler Mast, Part II (DJH 663) By Ervin R. Stutzman
By Janice Hostetler
ohn Henry Hochstetler (Hostetler), the son of Elias and Nancy Ellis Hochstetler, was born April 8, 1851 in Shanesville, Tuscarawas County, Ohio. John was only 11 years old when his father Elias passed away at the age of 39, on his way home after being discharged from service in the 85th Indiana Regiment. Elias died at Nicholsville, Kentucky. It’s hard to grow up without a father in your life, but John seemed to do very well for himself. At the age of 19, John was living in Winona, Minnesota. I have to wonder what took him that distance from home. In August 2010, I found an article written by Jason Kinney, president of the Owen County Historical Genealogical Society (OCHGS). The article was about the history of Coal City, Indiana. In Portrait of John Hochstetler as a young the historical Coal man. City, the depot is a point of pride for their community. It is the only depot left in Owen County and serves as a community building and museum. In about 1820 the first pioneers who permanently settled in Jefferson Township, south of Coal City, [near] Stockton founded in 1852, moved two miles southwest to Coal City to be near the railroad. The Cincinnati and Terre Haute Railroad was constructed through the town in 1873.
n the first article in this two-part series, I introduced Daniel E. Mast as an influential leader and writer. After his death, his admirers collected his writings in a 748-page book, Anweisung zur Seliekeit, later translating it into English in a volume titled Salvation Full and Free. Perhaps they were motivated to remedy the pattern Mast observed: “We Amish Brethren live such empty lives and pass away, leaving so little Spiritual writings back to instruct our descendants in our faith.” (263) Unless otherwise noted, all quotations from Mast below are from Salvation Full and Free, with page numbers following in parentheses. Mast traveled and taught widely, using his church office as a deacon and later as a minister to share his ideas. He visited nearly all of the Old Order Amish churches in North America, traveling mostly by train.1 Once when Daniel preached in a distant congregation, a local minister offered a subtle critique in his “zeignis” (testimony) to Mast’s sermon by saying: “Er haut vielleicht schier zu viel Englishse Worte geused. He used a few too many English words.” When Daniel rose to close the church service, he acknowledged the critique by saying he assumed that the preacher meant to say ge-braught instead of ge-used. His German-speaking hearers immediately sensed the humor in his gentle retort, since “ge-used” presses the English word “use” into service as a supposedly German expression. The irony in the incident propelled the spread of this tale across Amish communities by word of mouth.2 Although Mast may have used too much English for the tastes of a fellow minister, he expressed concern for the retention of the German language in his writing. He once lamented: “We are quite often conSee Legacy, page 2
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fronted with young people in convert classes who can scarcely read (German), and some cannot read at all; (how can illiterates be instructed in Christian doctrine?)” (98). Further, he wrote: “I fear that once the English predominates, the Amish way of life will also become extinct.” (189) However, Mast wasn’t primarily concerned to preserve the Amish way of life. His articles in Salvation Full and Free reflect a determination to provoke his beloved church toward a more faithful lived expression of Anabaptist faith. His writings reflects the influence of pietistic and evangelical theology of men like Moody, Spurgeon and Wesley, adapted for an Amish audience. It is said that Dwight L. Moody once returned from a trip to report that only one person on the journey had asked him about his salvation—an Amish man he met at the train station in Chicago. That man was said to be Daniel E. Mast.3 Mast’s view of salvation was rooted in the atonement of Jesus Christ, expressed in the following quotations: “Full salvation rests altogether on the finished atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ on Calvary, where enough blood was shed to bring full salvation to all people who are willing to forsake their sinful ways and accept his grace.” “I would define full salvation to mean: complete redemption, complete victory over sin, full overcoming power, standing in the saving grace of Jesus Christ insofar that ‘there is therefore now no condemnation in them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.’”(95) “So the redemption, the atonement and the cleansing of our sins we find in the blood of Christ, and nowhere else, while the keeping is in the power of the Almighty.” (154) Rhetorical scholar Gerald Mast of Bluffton University summed up Daniel Mast’s approach to the atonement of Christ in this way: “In all his writings, Page 2
Mast sought to hold together a confidence in the full and finished work of Christ with a simultaneous demand for following Christ in the fruits of discipleship.”4 Mast’s approach to Biblical theology and ethics made him stand out among the Amish ministers of his day. Steve Nolt, a scholar of the Amish, observed that Mast was one of the early Old Order Amish to encourage personal piety. Beyond that, Nolt viewed Mast’s contributions to the Herold der Warheit as a precursor of the midc e n t u r y Ami s h “Mission Movement,” which gained considerable influence in the Hutchinson-Partridge area in the generation that followed Mast.5 Most of Mast’s articles were an exposition of scripture or a discourse on a particular theme. The first series of articles printed in Salvation Full and Free is an exposition of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, inspired by his An 1846 Ausbund owned reading of John Wesby Daniel Mast. Above, ley’s works. Mast wrote: “I used much of Mast’s autograph in a [Wesley’s treatise on used Ausbund. Photos supplied by author. the Sermon on the Mount]; but I wrote it in my own words, with slight modifications, as Wesley is quite rigid in the arguments he raises.” (461) “I doubt, if I had ever undertaken, or thought of going through the entire Sermon on the Mount, had I not read Wesley’s writings.” (461) Mast often pled for clean living, such as abstaining from tobacco. Writing about a conversation he had with a Holdeman Mennonite*, Mast said he was embarrassed to admit that Amish church members used tobacco: “I did not tell him that we have even ministers and bishops among us who use tobacco.” (93) Mast warned youth: “Flee the companionship of the cigarette smokers, for you cannot be a life-long cigarette slave, and enjoy the joyous liberties of the children of God.” (305) Mast valued the spiritual contribution of women. In addition to his emphasis on their roles as mothers and grandmothers in the home, he wrote: “Read the JHFA Newsle er, December 2016
Hochstetler, from page 1 th
16 chapter of Romans, see how Paul praised those sisters; they did more than serve foods, they also served at the spiritual table; they were servants of the apostles, like nurses in an operating room assist the surgeon by reaching him the needed instruments.” However, he could not visualize a leadership role for them in public worship beyond singing. He wrote: “Again the sisters are needed in our public worship. Imagine our song service without women’s voices, is like a sled on bare ground.” (326) Although Mast expressed a dry sense of humor in his daily life, he often critiqued the use of jokes and lighthearted speech. For him, life was a serious matter to be approached with sincere devotion to God and responsible interaction with others. Perhaps the last sentence in Salvation Full and Free will also serve well as the last sentence in this article about his life: “Prove all things, hold fast that which is good for your spiritual health, your full and free salvation.” (522) ɧ Erratum: “The Legacy of Daniel E. Mast, Part 1” incorrectly stated that Daniel E. was a descendant of Jacob Maust, the bishop who succeeded Bishop Jacob Hertzler. Correction: Daniel E. Mast was a descendant of Jacob and Barbara (____) Mast whose birth and death dates are unknown. Thanks to reader Lemar Mast for this correction. ERS 1
Miller, L.A., “Mast, Daniel E.,” Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. III, p. 536. 2 This story was related to me by the late Alvin C. Yoder of Hutchinson, Kansas. 3 This story was told to me by the late David L. Miller of Hutchinson, Kansas. 4 Biesecker‐Mast, Gerald J. “Anxiety and Assurance in the Amish Atonement Rhetorics of Daniel E. Mast and David J. Stutzman, The Mennonite Quarterly Review, 73:525‐538, 1999, p. 533 5 Nolt, Steve, “The Amish ‘Mission Movement’ and the Refor‐ mula on of Amish Iden ty in the Twen eth Century.” The Mennonite Quarterly Review, 65:7‐36, 2001, p. 9. *Editorial note: The Holdeman Mennonite reference is to John Holdeman who founded the Church of God in Christ, Mennon‐ ite denomina on.
Ervin R. Stutzman (DBH 14056), Harrisonburg, Va., is the historian and novelist author of the Return to Northkill trilogy on Jacob Hochstetler and his two sons, Joseph and Chris an. Ervin serves as the execu ve director of Mennonite Church USA.
Thanks to the railroad and nearby coal mines, Coal City developed into a thriving small town. The post office was relocated to Coal City in 1879. Coal
Wedding license issued to J.Hochstetler and P. Burger. Author’s note: This is the only place his name appears as John J.H.Hochstetler.
City can trace the beginning of its history to Stockton, since most of the businesses and residents of Stockton relocated to Coal City. John Henry Hochstetler was one of the residents and business owners who relocated to Coal City. He erected a business house on the east side of Main Street (near the barbershop) in 1868 and moved his general store from Stockton to Coal City. Later John worked in the coal mines. John and Phebe [Phoebe] Burger married in Owen County, Ind., on January 1, 1874. To this marriage there were born six children, namely: Anna, born Sept. 29, 1874, Ind.; Samuel J., born July 4, 1878, Ind.; Amanda Belle, born Feb. 4, 1881, Ill.; James E. born Sept. 26, 1883, Ill; Effie Alice, born Jan. 26, 1887, Ind.; and Sylvia, born July18, 1887, Ind. Samuel J. (my great-grandfather) married Margaret “Maggie” Streeter. On the 1900 Census of Clay County, Ind.: John Hochstetler, age 59 born Ohio; Wife Phoebe, age 59 born Ohio; Grandson James T. Smith, 15 born Ind.; Granddaughter Fairie B. Starr, 5 born Ind. John began making his living as a farmer and later a miner and also at one time had a general store business. He was a man of many trades and must have done well with each trade. Obituary for Phoebe (Burger) Hostetler— Mrs. Phoebe Hostettler, 76 years old, 112 Sycamore Street, died at 11:00 Wednesday night at the residence. She See Hochstetler, page 4