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IS THERE A DOCTOR IN THE CHURCH? 5 centuries of Schwenkfelder doctors influence their faith & the medical profession






Editor: Gerald A. Heebner Business Manager: Michelle Pritt Design: Robin Hepler, Artist: Frank Batson Photographer: Lee Schultz Reporters: William Potts, IV, Central Rev. Edward O. Winslow, Missionary Leah Tyson, Olivet Karen Kriebel, Palm Diana Weir-Smith, Perkiomen School Glenna R. Fulmer, In Retrospect




In this Issue

Publication Committee Rev. David W. Luz, Chair Jean S. Ross, Secretary Luanne Stauffer, Treasurer Publication Office Schwenkfelder Library & Heritage Center 105 Seminary Street Pennsburg, PA 18073-1898

AGATHE STREICHER 16th century physician in Ulm and follower of Caspar Schwenckfeld.


CHRISTOPHER HEYDRICK 19th century physician in the service of mankind and God.


THE SCHWENKFELDIAN is published during the Winter, Spring, and Fall quarters by the General Conference of the Schwenkfelder Church, under the direction of the Publication Committee, in the interest of the churches. Material presented in this magazine does not necessarily represent the beliefs and teachings of Schwenckfeld or the Schwenkfelder Church.

$12.00 per year, $5.00 per copy. Free to each Schwenkfelder Church member household.

MARTIN JOHN 17th century physician and collector and writer of Schwenkfelder hymns.



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20th century physician, author, teacher, and public health advocate.



Spanning five centuries, Schwenkfelders have been medical practitioners since the time of Caspar Schwenckfeld. The story opens with a reprint of an article by Fritz Richter presenting 16th century physician Agathe Streicher. Dr. Allen Viehmeyer explores the lives of 17th and 18th century doctors Martin John and Abraham Wagner. Then, Candace Perry uses correspondence to depict Christopher Heydrick who practiced in the 19th century. Finally, Jerry Heebner writes about Dr. James Anders and his influence on 20th century Schwenkfelders and others.


Updates from Central, Olivet, and Palm.

PERSONAL NOTES Marriages, births, and deaths.

IN RETROSPECT Looking back at the accomplishments of members.

ABRAHAM WAGNER 18th century physician, poet, and immigrant to Pennsylvania.


SOUNDS OF SUMMER Schwenckfeld Manor hosts a Summer concert series.


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ISSN 0036 8032

If you move, please advise us promptly, giving both your old and new addresses to ensure uninterrupted delivery. To discontinue mailings, email or call 215679-3103.

Agagathe Streicher




f the 1,252 documents published or discussed in the Corpus Schwenckfeldianorum, 411 were written for or to women. That is almost one-third. Those women recipients of Schwenckfeld’s letters were ardent followers of his and they copied his letters and often distributed those copies among other friends of the Reformer. Due to the letters and copies of those letters, a lot of Schwenckfeld’s writing was preserved, often in several copies. That is one of the great merits of the women of that time. We also know that they did one other thing—they tried to create a homelike atmosphere when he was visiting. They knew about the loneliness of that exiled nobleman. The Streicher family of Ulm, that is Helene Streicher, a widow and her five daughters and one son, played an outstanding role in Schwenckfeld’s life after he had left Silesia in 1529. The contact was established through a letter written by Katharina Streicher, the oldest of the five daughters, to the well-known Reformer. She wrote that letter in June 1537, when Schwenckfeld was visiting in nearby Stetten on the Rems.1 Schwenckfeld soon wrote a very kind answer, which you’ll find in the fifth volume of the Corpus Schwenckfeldianorum,2 (pp. 691-696). That exchange of letters opened the door to the Streicher home in Ulm, which in the course of time became haven, home, and a sort of “Heimat” (refuge) for the Reformer. Here he spent the last months of his life, lovingly taken care by the family until the end came on the tenth of December 1561. Let us look at that remarkable family first before we’ll center on the youngest daughter, Agathe! The father Hans Streicher, of whom we know little, died in 1522 and left his wife, Helene, with five daughters and one son.3 Agathe, the youngest daughter, was two years old when her father died. The mother had a shop in their house at the Sattlergasse, opposite the Ulm City Hall.4 She was born Rockenburger and was related to the Gienger family, one of the richest families in Ulm. Those two facts (shop and being related to the Giengers) made it possible that she, as a widow, was able to give all her children an excellent education. It was the time of the Reformation and important men and women were frequent guests in the Streicher house.



It was, perhaps, during the summer of 1537 that Schwenckfeld, too, was invited to the Streichers, after that exchange of letters with Katharina Streicher.5 By that time, Schwenckfeld had become quite well-known in Ulm. He had met the former mayor of Ulm, Bernhard Besserer, when he stayed in Augsburg. Besserer invited Schwenckfeld to Ulm to stay in his house. That was in 1534, about three years before the direct contact with the Streicher family. Schwenckfeld’s stay in Ulm lasted five years, from 1534-1539. During that period he wrote a dozen books. One of these books6 contained a summary of his Christological views. These views were in direct contradiction to the views of Ulm preachers and theologians. They gladly fought against him recalling Schwenckfeld’s refusal to recognize the Wittenberg Concordia of 1536 which was in sharp discord with his interpretation of the Supper. The debates became so vehement that Schwenckfeld preferred to leave Ulm. The friendship with the Streicher family remained intact. His mail was sent to the Streicher address, and there was a steady flow of correspondence between the two parties. Schwenckfeld, for instance, sent his greetings to the mother and her “zuchtig” (well mannered) daughters. More than letters were received from his friends in Ulm. During those desperate two years when hiding as “Eliander”7 [Elijah] in the Franciscan Monastery in Esslingen—it was after the confiscation of the castle in Justingen—Schwenckfeld received “certain things” from the Streicher family. Those “certain things” were probably victuals. In acknowledg-


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ment thereof, he enclosed with his letter to the Streichers “a little crumb from his meditations” as he called it. During those catastrophical days prior to Schwenckfeld’s escape to the Esslingen Monastery, the two Streicher women, Katharina and Agathe, showed extraordinary greatness. The following had happened: Georg Ludwig von Freyberg, Schwenckfeld’s host for seven years, was disowned. The castle of Justingen was confiscated8 by imperial troops and Schwenckfeld’s books and manuscripts likewise. Von Freyberg fled and sought shelter in Ulm. Schwenckfeld, too, hurriedly fled to the Monastery in Esslingen. That happened in early 1547. The city of Ulm had surrendered to the imperial army and the Emperor Charles V, himself, had entered Ulm on the 18th of January 1547. He took quarters in the house of the mayor, Hans Ehinger. Knowing that the Emperor was in their city and having heard of the confiscation of the Justingen castle, the two Streicher women did an unheard of thing for women of the Middle Ages: they paid a visit to Charles V and asked him for mercy. That visit was not without result. Property and castle were later on restored. Schwenckfeld’s health never was good. When he was 33 years old, he had to withdraw from court service due to the impairment of his hearing. He suffered from that impairment the rest of his life. In fact, it was the reason that he met with his followers in comparatively small groups, the so-called conventicles. He was several times secretly in Ulm where von Freyberg was in hiding and where he was always welcomed by the four Streicher women.9 And how Agathe, the physician, took care of him, particularly later on when Schwenckfeld’s tuberculosis had progressed and when it interrupted his sleep due to violent coughing spells! Warmheartedly Agathe reported: “He woke up during the night, his mouth and throat full of mucus. On account of that he had to get up three or four times during the night to clean himself and use “Gurgelwasser” (gargle). After that he enjoyed “ain warm brülin” (a warm bouillon) and went back to bed again. He usually had a deep sleep, without pain, until those coughing spasms started again.” Agathe Streicher had asked him to stay at her home so that she could give him the necessary care.10 He remained very weak and was almost unable to speak, write, meditate and pray as he used to. He slept an hour longer than prior to his return to Ulm and he retired an hour earlier. During the harvest time, he had a craving for grapes and other fruit. Unfortunately, they did not agree with him. In spite of his weakness, he continued to dine at the table with the family. Each morning he stood by his bed and prayed. He did the same at night time, praying for himself and his hosts asking that God protect him and the entire household from enemies, fire, terror, and evil dreams. On November 7, he withdrew from the dining table to his room where he remained to the end. He had loyal friends who came to his bedside. He told them that he was ready to leave this world. On December 5, he called the family to his bed and commended them to God. On the eighth, at two o’clock at night, he was carried to another room which had a more comfortable bed. A few friends had gathered around him. He was not able to

recognize them and thought they were his enemies, the preachers of Ulm. He addressed them and told them that he had come here at the invitation of Agathe Streicher to get her help as a physician. He explained the main points of his teachings until daybreak. At that time he recognized them as not being his enemies, but his followers. He died peacefully on Wednesday, December 10. Agathe Streicher did not do one thing in her report—she did not say one word where Schwenckfeld found his final burial place. She knew that his enemies would take vengeance on him, even after his death. The editors of the Corpus Schwenkfeldianorum assumed that Agathe Streicher and her sisters laid Schwenckfeld’s body to rest in the cellar of the Streicher house. This assumption always seemed unthinkable to me—the dark, low-ceiling cellar of the Streicher house was, in those years prior to refrigeration, something like an extension of the kitchen upstairs. In summertime, dairy products and meats were kept there to prevent them from quick spoiling. In wintertime, several barrels were stored there with pickles, sauerkraut, etc. Almost every cellar had a sand pile. Carrots and other roots were kept fresh in that sand. There was the winter supply of potatoes stocked up, several hundred pounds. On shelves all along the walls stood, likewise, hundreds of glass jars with canned fruit and vegetables. (There were no canned goods available in stores at that time!) Agathe Streicher, a physician, could not have possibly suggested that cellar as the burial place. Hygenic considerations simply speak against it. Furthermore, she and her sisters, I am sure, had the definite good taste that their friend—a nobleman, a well-known scholar, their spiritual leader— deserved a burial place suitable for a man of distinction. Agathe, as a physician, was obviously constantly on the road, visiting her patients. She could have hidden Schwenckfeld’s body in her coach and she could have driven him to a safe burial ground. Seeing her, a physician, in her coach would not have given reason for suspicion. In fact, recent research reports: “Without doubt there was a possibility to get the dead body disguised and secretly out of Ulm, particularly since at

the city gates at Söflingen there was a Herr von Watzfeld, whose wife was related to the Streicher family.”11 This quote I took from Franz Michael Weber’s book on Kaspar Schwenckfeld and seine Anhänger, (followers, or supporters) Stuttgart, 1962. In fact, Weber dwells on the question “Where was Schwenckfeld buried?” He refuses the cellar as a burial place and believes the Reformer was laid to rest in the family tomb of Freiherr von Freyberg. That tomb was behind the altar of the church in Öpfingen. Weber: “Up to our days exists a traditional view that ‘der Schwenckfelder’ is resting behind the altar. It certainly must have appeared to his friends more fitting and more dignified to have him buried in the church of his friend of many years, Georg Ludwig von Freyberg.”12 Agathe Streicher was about 41 years old when Schwenckfeld died. She was already a well-known physician at that time. She lived for almost twenty years after Schwenckfeld’s death, and at the end of her life she was known “landauf, landab als die Ärztin, die einst ans Sterbebett eines Kaisers gerufen worden war”13 (up and down the countryside as the physician who once had been summoned to the bedside of a dying emperor). These recent findings are new within Schwenckfeld research, and they are the main reasons that I am writing this article for The Schwenkfeldian. We know little about Agathe’s educational background as a physician. She obviously did not and, as a woman, could not have had a full university training at that time. She started practicing rather early and was successful with certain “Streichersche Kuren.” (Streicher’s cures/therapies) That success aroused the envy of two Ulm physicians (Dr. Neiffer and Dr. Fuchs) and of Ulm pharmacists. They complained about the Streicher treatments at the city council and asked that those treatments should not be allowed within the Ulm territory. The council actually wanted to prohibit Agathe Streicher’s “Kuren” unless she come to the city hall and take the oath of physician. She did that. She appeared in the “Steuerhaus” (tax office) in Ulm in March 1561 and swore that oath. n

This article is an edited reprint of an article by Fritz K. Richter which was originally published in the January 1981 issue of The Schwenkfeldian.

7 Signifying another Elijah. 8 The reason for that confiscation, stirred up by the Ulm clergy, was von

1 Schwenckfeld was well-known to Ulm people, since he had made his home

with the former mayor of that city, Bernhard Besserer, in 1534. Prior to 1535, Schwenckfeld had visited in Ulm twice.

2 From here on abbreviated as C.S. 3 The names of those five daughters: Katherina, Helene, Anna, Maria, and

Agathe. C.S. V, p. 477 lists those names but speaks of four daughters only. Selina Gerhard Schultz in her biography Caspar Schwenckfeld von Ossig (1946, 1977), p. 274, speaks of five daughters. This discrepancy could stem from the fact that Maria obviously was called Maria-Magdalena or Margaretha. How the C.S. ended up with the number four is a puzzle to me. The son’s name was Hans-Augustin. He became “Stadtarzt” (municipal physician) of Ulm in 1561, four weeks after his sister, Agathe, had taken the oath incumbent upon the position as doctor of medicine. Although the C.S. (XII, p. 987) lists him as a Schwenkfelder, he definitely was not as close to Schwenckfeld as his mother or sisters.

4 That house had been standing until the last war (WWII) when Ulm was

badly bombed. The Streicher house, I was told, was “abgerissen” (razed) in the clean-up process.

5 Katharina was born in 1515. She became a staunch friend of Schwenck-

Freyberg’s sheltering a heretic (Schwenckfeld) for seven years.

9 By the year 1549, there were only four Streicher women left at the Ulm

residence. The mother had died that year and the daughter, Helene, had moved to Augsburg to make her home with the Eislers, very devoted Schwenkfelders.

10 Schwenckfeld on his deathbed: “I am here in Ulm on account of Agathe

Streicher. She is known everywhere because God gave her the gift of healing. She did everything possible to help me, but it obviously was not God’s will that she should help me.” (C.S., XVII, pp. 1024-1025.) It is not clear how the very much weakened Schwenckfeld managed to return from Memmingen to Ulm. In a recent article “Agathe Streicher—Arztin zu Ulm,” in the Ulmer Forum of the University of Ulm (Winter 1979/80, Nr. 52) by A. Seiz-Hauser, an Ulm municipal librarian, the author says: “Ale Schwenckfeld im Herbst 1561 in Memmingen an Dysenterie erkrankt lag, holte ihn Agathe Streicher heimlich nach Ulm in ihr Haus, urn ihn dort zu behandeln and zu betreuen.” I do not know where Seiz-Hauser found the information that Agathe Streicher, herself, went to Memmingen to bring Schwenckfeld secretly to Ulm. It is, however, very likely, and it sounds very much like one of Agathe Streicher’s doings. (Repeated inquiries about Seiz-Hauser’s source of information remained unanswered. I’ll refer to her article in the Ulmer Forum later on in my essay.)

feld’s teaching and a disseminator of his literature. She must have been particularly close to him. In the Schwenkfelder Library at Pennsburg, there is a copy of the so-called Worms Bible (1529) which belonged to Schwenckfeld. It contains a handwritten note by Schwenckfeld himself (1555). In that note, he said that this Bible should become the property of Katharina Streicher of Ulm, after his death.

11 All translations into English by the author of this article. 12 I visited the church at Opfingen in 1976. I definitely felt that that is the

6 The Honor, Glory and Exaltation of the Man Jesus Christ, 1537 (C.S., V,

13 “Everywhere across the land, as the physician who once was called to the

pp. 780-797).

place where Schwenckfeld was buried. The family tomb of the von Freyberga was walled-up a few decades ago. deathbed of an emperor” (Ulmer Forum, Winter 1979/80, p. 28).





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a ar



ohn the Younger




rdinary people rarely write about their lives, and Martin John the Younger is no exception. He does give us glimpses into his life from time to time, but not too many. These are little gems found here and there in his correspondence, his Schwenkfelder history, publications, and essays. There are also two biographical sketches by anonymous writers. The better known one is very short, just six or seven sentences, written probably in the first half of the 18th century, but well after his death in 1707. A newly discovered biography (VB 2-18) in the Schwenkfelder Library & Heritage Center collection is lengthy, some 20 manuscript pages, and dated 1744. It contains many interesting data unknown until now.

BIOGRAPHICAL HIGHLIGHTS Martin John the Younger was born in 1624 in Mittelwalde, a small town in the territory known as Glatz located in the southern tip of Lower Silesia near the Czech Republic. His father’s name was George and, in the year 1628 when Martin was four years old, soldiers were quartered in his home to force the family to become Catholic by any means. Consequently, his father fled one night with him, his mother, and his father’s sister from Mittelwalde to the Harpersdorf area. The family fled Mittelwalde because, in 1622, this territory fell under the rule of the Habsburgs, who declared that all subjects (most were Lutheran) had to become Catholic. As Schwenkfelders, the John family moved northward to the Harpersdorf area because it was a strong center of Schwenkfeldianism at that time and Schwenkfelders were living there in relative peace. Other than this one incident virtually nothing is known about his youth. In the preface to his Little Bee Book he does mention that he had become interested in bees and beekeeping when he was about 14 years old. About 1653, Duke George Rudolf von Liegnitz-Wohlau, a protector of the Schwenkfelders, died. Within a short time of his death there was a general and severe persecution of the Schwenkfelders in his territory. Schwenkfelders were complaining about the shameful lifestyle of the Lutheran pastors and, in Schwenkfelder eyes, their false teachings. The leaders, Balthasar Jäckel and George Heydrich, were put into stocks, put into prison, and otherwise punished

for their disrespect of the clergy and non-participation in church attendance and rituals. A short while later, in 1658, John the Younger, about 34 years old, was also speaking against the church doctrine and the clergy as well as holding conventicles or small Bible study groups outside the church, and so he, too, was put into prison for some nine months. Soon after his release, at the end of 1658 or the beginning of 1659, the persecutions died down. About 1668, the Schwenkfelders in the Harpersdorf area began corresponding with a Lutheran pastor by the name of Christian Hoburg (1607-1675), who was living in Latum, Germany, near Düsseldorf, in the far western part of Germany. Hoburg, often maligned by orthodox Lutherans, was a very popular pietist at that time and had published seven books between 1640 and 1665, all in the pietistic-mystical tradition. Several Schwenkfelders had obtained and read some of Hoburg’s publications and felt that he was a kindred spirit. The only surviving letter to Hoburg written by John the Younger suggests that John initiated the correspondence in the name of the Schwenkfelder community in February or March 1668. Hoburg wrote a reply, dated April 10, 1668, to the entire Schwenkfelder community. Of this correspondence, ten letters by Hoburg survive; the last of which is dated 1675, the year of Hoburg’s death. Of these ten Hoburg letters, four were written specifically to John the Younger; the others were addressed to the Schwenkfelder community at large. In his letters to the Schwenkfelders, Hoburg expresses his enthusiasm for Caspar Schwenckfeld and his writings, especially on the separation of inner spiritualism and outer religion. About two years after this exchange with Hoburg began, in October 1669, at the age of 45, Martin John and his fiancée Ursula Gaissler started out on a journey going first southward to Bamberg and then north and west to Holland. One of their stops was in Latum, where Hoburg united Martin and Ursula in marriage. From there the couple returned to Silesia via Hamburg, Magdeburg, and Leipzig, THE SCHWENKFELDIAN


among other cities. Nothing else is known about Ursula, and there is no mention of any children from this marriage. There is no record of her death, but John the Younger’s biographer states that she died many years before he did, and that he did not marry again. After returning from his trip, John resided in Laubgrund and was friends with George Hauptmann (1635-1722) of Lauterseiffen, another physician and Schwenkfelder spiritual leader. John the Younger died in 1707 at the age of 84. Before his death, John had often given a good portion of his money to the poor people where he lived as well as to Christoph Hoffmann (father of Balthasar Hoffmann) in Niederharpersdorf, and Barbara Wermer in Armenruh for distribution to poor people there. After his death, his money was distributed to the poor. He was very concerned about all the money he had accumulated.

HYMN WRITER The most recent study of Schwenkfelder hymnology suggests that one of the activities John the Younger engaged in while on this trip was collecting the Schwenkfelder hymns he found in that part of the German empire. Ute Evers (Das geistliche Lied der Schwenkfelder, 2007 [Schwenkfelder Hymns]) suggests that Silesian Schwenkfelders lived in virtual isolation from South German Schwenkfelders; that John’s trip to southern Germany was surely the first and probably the last direct contract between Silesian and South German Schwenkfelders. John alludes to this isolation of the two groups in his preface to the Kurtzer Bericht [Short Report], where he wrote, “In Franconia and other places I spoke with many people, all of whom knew more about our blessed Schwenckfeld than we here since he had lived and died over there in the empire. Besides, we have not come into possession of all of Schwenckfeld’s books—it is obvious from his papers that he wrote a second part to his Epistolar. Melchior Pfaff from Nuremburg wrote to me saying, ‘Indeed, my friend, if you had read Schwenckfeld’s last works you would have seen something quite different.’” Evidence suggests that John either brought South German Schwenkfelder manuscript hymn collections back to Silesian or copied out for himself whatever Schwenkfelder hymns he found in that region. The first appearance of these South German hymns in Silesian hymn compilations did not occurr until after John’s death, some 30 years after his journey. Evers suggests that these hymns were found among his personal papers after his death, and since the Silesian Schwenkfelders were not acquainted with the hymns of the Schwenkfelders in Southern Germany, the Silesians erroneously thought that John had written the hymns. Consequently, there are several Silesian Schwenkfelder manuscript compilations of hymns attributed to Martin John the Younger, but Evers has shown that virtually all of these hymns are found in manuscript hymn collections preserved in southern Germany. However, a handful of hymns attributed to John the Younger have not yet been found in other manuscripts. Is it possible that John wrote these? Evers also suggests that the Silesian Schwenkfelders came to know Daniel Sudermann’s hymns through John’s collecting efforts during his trip or through his correspondence with South German Schwenkfelders after returning to Silesia. Interestingly, John the Younger never mentions writing hymns nor do any contemporaries mention

that John wrote hymns. The attributions of hymns to John come only after his death.

C O N S E R VA T I V E S A N D L I B E R A L S Born in the same year, 1687, Balthasar Hoffmann and George Weiss were young men 20 years of age when John the Younger died in 1707. All three doubtless knew one another, coming from strong Schwenkfelder families. Besides, there must have been a close relationship between John the Younger and Balthasar Hoffmann’s father Christoph, since John made him a trustee for distributing alms in Harpersdorf. Interestingly, John the Younger is hardly mentioned in Hoffmann’s writings and, in a letter written assumedly to Abraham Wagner in 1732, George Weiss wrote about the estrangement between John the Younger and some Schwenkfelders, “When there was no contact between him [John the Younger] and us, he immersed himself in correspondence with various foreign friends so as to have Christian and kind communication; a call went out from there as if a flare went up, and the truth came clean to light as if one had never heard the truth before. Therefore, he acquired the books of many of them which were then being published, such as those of Jacob Bomen [Boehme], Doctor [Johann Wilhelm] Petersen, Hiel [Immanuel, pseudonym for Heinrich Jansen von Barreveldt], [Jane] Lead, and others.” With his words “him and us” Weiss clearly singles out Martin John the Younger as belonging to a small, probably a very small, group of Schwenkfelders that was somehow different in religious points of view than the group that George Weiss, and surely Balthasar Hoffmann, belonged to. The use of “foreign friends” here may, but probably does not, indicate contempt for the relationships that Martin John the Younger had developed beyond the Schwenkfelder community. John the Younger was certainly exploring spiritual paths that led him beyond the bounds of Schwenkfelder beliefs, a suggestion which is confirmed by the list of authors mentioned, all of whom were very spiritualistic, even mystic, in their views of Christianity. It should be noted that some Silesian Schwenkfelders had an interest in perhaps not all of Jacob Böhme’s writings, but certainly in his Way to Christ. In the case of the “foreign friend,” Hoburg’s Theologia Mystica was certainly popular among many Silesians. Other than John, Hübner, and Wagner there seems to have been no interest in the writings of Lead or Petersen.

MEDICAL CAREER John the Younger began his career as a carpenter and cabinet maker. Later, perhaps after 1658/59 at about 34 years of age, he became unfit for this occupation due to a severe fracture and thus decided to pursue a career in medicine. In a ca. 1695 letter, John wrote that he had taken his concern about a livelihood to God, “I did not know what I could do in the world, since God had not given me a healthy body for hard work, and prayed to God that He lead me wherever He wanted, and He brought me

Manuscripts from the Schwenkfelder Library & Heritage Center collection: 1. A copy of Martin John’s Short Report of the Schwenkfelders. John was interested in the story of the Schwenkfelders and wrote the earliest history of the group from the time of Caspar Schwenckfeld to John’s own imprisonment in the mid1600s. (manuscript VC 5-3) 2. The first page of the section of this hymnal containing hymns attributed to Martin John. (manuscript VB 3-1)


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Publications miraculously to medicine.” Nothing is known about how he acquired the knowledge and skills to pursue a medical career, but he seems to have been very skilled and well respected for his abilities. The only report about his career appeared in a 1706 religious publication [Unschuldige Nachrichten von Alten und Neuen Theologischen Sachen] a few months before his death, stating that “he was very fortunate in his cures and became known far and wide.” The biographer writes that during his lifetime John the Younger served several thousand people—young and old, rich and poor. Around 1680, when John the Younger was about 56 years old, he took on a 12 year old apprentice, Melchior Hübner, a son of his sister and her husband George Hübner. The biographer calls Melchior a “Vetter und Pflege Sohn” [relative and orphan or ward]. Melchior lived in his master’s house for the next 30 years until John the Younger died in 1707. Eventually, around 1724, Melchior Hübner takes on an apprentice, a Schwenkfelder boy named Abraham Wagner (1715-1763). Thus, a line of Schwenkfelder medical practitioners was perpetuated through apprenticeships—Martin John the Younger to Melchior Hübner to Abraham Wagner. Among his personal papers the only hint that John the Younger was a medical practitioner is found in a letter to Roscius. Virtually all the knowledge we have about his career comes from secondary sources. Gottlieb Liefermann, for example, in his 1713 dissertation, is the only one who calls John the Younger “a botanist and medical practitioner.” Abraham Wagner is the only Schwenkfelder to write, however scantily, about the physician Martin John the Younger, when he mentions in his tribute to Melchior Hübner the master-apprentice relationship between John the Younger and Melchior Hübner. In his own manuscript medical handbook, Wagner makes reference to eight of John the Younger’s preparations: Aperient Mixture, a Draught, Elixir of Property, a Fracture Plaster, Life Giving Powder, Strong Purgative Powder, Tempering Powder, and White Cephalic Water. John the Younger, himself, mentions in his Little Bee Book some eight therapies from honey and wax.


As a heretical group the Schwenkfelders were not permitted to publish anything. Yet, Martin John issued two actual publications during his lifetime. Under the pseudonym Matthias Israel, John was able to get Erasmus Weichenhan’s Postil printed in Sulzbach by Abraham Lichtenthaler in 1672. This Postil had existed in manuscript probably before 1598, when Weichenhan died, and of the three postils used by the Silesian Schwenkfelders, Weichenhan’s seems to have been the most popular. Twelve years later, in 1684, John the Younger published his own slim book on bees, beekeeping, and bee products called the Little Bee Book. The only known copy of this book is in the Schwenkfelder Library & Heritage Center collection. In addition to the Bee Book itself, John wrote two short articles using a bee motif, in which he compares both Christ and Christians to the development and activities of bees. These essays are entitled “Ein Bedencken von den Bienen” [Reflections on Bees] and “Ein Bedencken, was die Nature der Bienen bedeutet” [Reflections on what the Nature of Bees Means].

True leaders always have some detractors. Martin John the Younger was not an exception. He was never officially a leader of the Silesian Schwenkfelders, but his actions in defense of Schwenkfeldianism and his concern for the physical as well as the spiritual wellbeing of his community brought him respect and affection. Perhaps he was isolated by some members of the community for his apparent straying from the orthodox Schwenkfeldianism by being open to other religious points of view, but the large number of copies of his letters, essays, hymns, and other writings as well as his publication of Weichenhan’s Postil, all indicate that much of his consul, criticism, and ideas were respected and led to his great popularity and admiration among Schwenkfelders in Silesia and Pennsylvania for many generations. n




A brahamW


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W agner


S C H W E N K F E L D E R P H Y S I C I A N , P O E T, I M M I G R A N T T O P E N N S Y LVA N I A


n 1955, Andrew Berky, then Director of the Schwenkfelder Library, published a biography of Abraham Wagner entitled Practitioner in Physick. In the preface to his book, Berky wrote that his “biography of Abraham Wagner is a fragmentary reconstruction at best” (p. vii). A number of papers written in Wagner’s hand are still preserved in the Schwenkfelder Library & Heritage Center and there are a few references to him in various documents from the 18th century, but the paucity of information about Wagner requires any biographer to conjecture more than he would wish.

In the 50 some years since Berky’s book was published, very little has been added to our knowledge about Wagner. The only study of his life and contributions to Schwenkfelder society since then is this author’s article “Abraham Wagner and George de Benneville: Physicians of Body and Soul” (published in Medical Theory and Therapeutic Practice in the Eighteenth Century: A Transatlantic Perspective, edited by Jürgen Helm and Renate Wilson, 261-79. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner, 2008). In addition, a website devoted to the study of Wagner’s (and de Benneville’s) medical notes with explanatory and introductory material can be found at

FA M I LY H I S TO RY Abraham Wagner was born March 22, 1715, in Oberharpersdorf and baptized March 24, 1715, in the local Lutheran church (Refuge Church). His mother, Anna Jäckel, was born about 1690 in Niederharpersdorf and died in 1749 in Pennsylvania. She was a daughter of Hans George (aka Beyer-Hans) Jäckel and Maria Hauptmann (died after 1737), the daughter of George Hauptmann (1634-1722), a physician and prominent Schwenkfelder spiritual leader. Wagner’s father, Melchior Wagner of Langneundorf, died in 1736 in Görlitz at an unknown age. His father was a small farmer while residing in Harpersdorf, but conditions placed upon Schwenkfelders who fled to Görlitz prevented him from acquiring land there. Abraham had a younger sister, Susanna (1717-1742), and a younger brother, Melchior (1725-1784). In 1737, the widow Wagner came to Pennsylvania with her three children.

YEARS IN SILESIA 1715-1726 Very little is known about Wagner’s childhood. While there are no direct statements about Wagner being apprenticed to Schwenkfelder medical practitioner Melchior Hübner, there is ample circumstantial evidence to be certain that that was the case. There are some indicators that suggest that Wagner may have been as young as five or six years old when he became an apprentice and lived with his master and family in Hockenau, about two hours on foot northwest of Harpersdorf. Whose influence destined Wagner to become a medical practitioner? Perhaps his great-grandfather, the Schwenkfelder physician George Hauptmann (ca 1634–1722), was influential, but he died when Abraham was just seven years old. Perhaps his mother and/or grandmother Hauptmann (George Hauptmann’s daughter) endeavored to have him follow in his great-grandfather’s footsteps. Undoubtedly a part of Wagner’s apprenticeship program included

basic education as well as training in medical practice. Evidence of early education for Wagner is found in a manuscript copy book from 1724 when he was nine years old. This copy book contains excerpts Wagner copied from the writings of Caspar Schwenckfeld (1489/901561) and Christian Hoburg (1607-1675) as well as letters by Martin John the Younger (1624-1707). A second, more mature hand, corrected the boy’s copying errors. Two years later, he penned his ownership signature on the cover of a Greek grammar book.

Y E A R S I N S A XO N Y 1 7 2 6 - 1 7 3 6 The pressure for conversion to Catholicism, the failure of the Schwenkfelder delegation in Vienna to secure tolerance, and the subsequent departure of many Schwenkfelder families from Harpersdorf and vicinity did not cause the Wagner family to leave their home and farm immediately. The Jesuit missionary priest Johann Milan baptized the day old infant Melchior Wagner on January 12, 1735, who, Milan wrote, was brought to him voluntarily. In April 1726, Melchior Hübner, Wagner’s apprentice master, and family were among the first Schwenkfelders to flee to Görlitz. Assumably, Wagner, who had been living with the Hübners for more than two years as an apprentice, went with them, but there are no detailed records about children. There is a remote possibility that Wagner returned to his family home in Harpersdorf at that time, but perhaps he did not do so until 1734 when the Hübner family left Görlitz and joined a group of Schwenkfelders headed for Pennsylvania. In January 1736, the Wagner family finally abandoned their farm in Harpersdorf and fled to Berthelsdorf. They had been in Berthelsdorf just a few weeks when they, along with several other Schwenkfelder families, moved to Görlitz on February 23, 1736. The Wagners remained in Görlitz about a year during which time his father Melchior died. After a total lack of any sign of Abraham Wagner’s existence between 1726 and 1737, we have an unbound manuscript booklet in which Wagner recorded, in chronological order, hymns that he wrote. Above the 17th hymn he penned, “folgende hat der Autor zu Bertholsdorff in Sachsen gedichtet” (the author wrote the following in Berthelsdorf, Saxony). The hymn is dated 1737 (no month is given). At the end of the 24th hymn Wagner noted, “Diß ist das letzte in Sachsen gewesen” (this was the last one in Saxony) 1737. The next hymn is prefaced with “fernere fortsetzung geistlicher Lieder des Authoris in Pensylvanien” (continuation of the author’s hymns in Pennsylvania). It is undated, but the following hymn is dated 1742. THE SCHWENKFELDIAN


Y E A R S I N P E N N S Y L VA N I A 1 7 3 7 - 1 7 6 3 Wagner was a 22 year old young man when he arrived in Pennsylvania with this widowed mother, younger sister, and brother. At this point the family split up. The mother and the two younger children went to live with her sister Rosina (Jäckel) and Abraham Beyer, while Wagner went to Falkner Swamp to live with Melchior Hübner. After Hübner’s death, just nine months later, the Wagner family acquired a farm and moved there in December 1738. Three years later, Abraham’s sister Susanna married and within a year after their mother’s death, in March 1749, both brothers married and settled on separate, near-by farms. Abraham and his wife, Maria (Jäckel), lived on the farm until her death in 1760. Abraham died three years later at the age of 48. They had no children. Wagner’s sister, Susanna, had died in 1742 and now his brother, Melchior, was the sole survivor. The Silesian Schwenkfelders, themselves, were not an entirely united and homogeneous group. There were at least two groups. One group was conservative and separatist; the other group more liberal, less separatist, and mystically oriented. Initially, these two groups continued to exist in Pennsylvania. The conservative group seems to have still been the dominant group and had within its ranks the major leadership figures George Weiss, Balthasar Hoffmann, Christopher Schultz, George Kriebel, and Christopher Hoffmann. The liberal group included Martin John the Younger, George Hauptmann, and in Pennsylvania Melchior Hübner and Abraham Wagner. Strikingly, all of these less conservative Schwenkfelders were physicians. Although Wagner’s religious orientation was more mystical than conservatives such as Balthasar Hoffmann and Christopher Schultz preferred, and although he owned and read books written by nonSchwenkfelders—to the chagrin of separatist conservatives—Wagner, seems to have been much respected by conservatives Hoffmann and Schultz. One reason for their respect was doubtless the fact that Wagner was very knowledgeable and well-read in the scriptures and Schwenckfeld’s writings. Notes left by Hoffmann indicate that he and Wagner discussed doctrinal issues from time to time. Moreover, there is no evidence that Wagner ever strayed from the Schwenkfelder sect, despite his reading of radical pietists and abiding friendship with a Lutheran (Mühlenburg), a Moravian (Meyer), a Univeralist (de Benneville), and several other non-Schwenkfelders. Hoffmann and Schultz were the impetus behind the 1762 Schwenkfelder hymnal and its principal editors. Their high respect for Wagner and their recognition of his ability, and perhaps popularity as a hymn writer, is clear from the significant number of his hymns incorporated into the hymnal.

THE POET There are three main sources of Wagner’s poetry. First is the manu-

script collection entitled Andreas Wächters Gesänge und Lieder wie er sie hinter ein ander von Zeit zu Zeit gedichtet. Second is the Schwenkfelder 1762 printed hymnal called the Neu-Eingerichtetes Gesang-Buch, and the last is a 1742 broadside with Wagner’s reworking of Thomas à Kempis’ A, B, C in der Schule Christi. Wagner maintained a manuscript collection of his hymns since 1732. He gave this collection the title Andreas Wächters Gesänge und Lieder wie er sie hinter ein ander von Zeit zu Zeit gedichtet (Andreas Waechter’s Hymns and Songs, as he composed them from time to time). This octavo, stitched manuscript of 128 unnumbered pages was intended to record the final, clean copy of each hymn he wrote until 1754. It contains 53 hymns.“Andreas Waechter” is a pseudonym for Abraham Wagner, who, as a teenager in Silesia, used pseudonyms or initials to indicate ownership of books and manuscripts. In the 1720s, Balthasar Hoffmann also used pseudonyms for his writings. These Schwenkfelders may have concealed their identities because books and manuscripts written by Schwenkfelders were often confiscated and destroyed. The first hymn in the collection is dated May 7, 1732. It is entitled “Das andächtige Gebet S. Augustini um Besserung des Lebens und neuen Gehorsam, in Reimen verfasset (Meditat. S. August. Cap. 1)” (“Devotional prayer of Saint Augustine for improving life and new obedience, composed in rhyme (Meditations of Saint Augustine, Chapter 1)”). The 23 stanzas of six lines each in rhymed couplets suggest that, although an early endeavor, Wagner had probably been writing verse for some time. This hymn is not the product of a beginner. It is too sophisticated in form and organization. It is impossible to say how young Wagner was when he began to experiment with writing verse. He exhibited some precociousness as a child so it could easily have been in his preteen or early-teen years. Also, the use of a pseudonym in the manuscript title points to the late 1720s. Like many hymn writers of his time, Wagner was not a musician so he crafted his verses to fit known tunes. When the first printed Schwenkfelder hymnal, the Neu-Eingerichtetes Gesangbuch, was being compiled in 1762 Wagner was one of several Pennsylvania Schwenkfelders who submitted hymns written specifically for this hymnal. Wagner’s contribution was 12 new hymns; only Balthasar Hoffmann submitted more. Many of Wagner’s hymns must have been popular among the Pennsylvania Schwenkfelders because they appeared in the second and third revisions of the hymnal, each of which contained a greatly reduced number of hymns. Wagner is also the only Schwenkfelder whose hymns appeared in the hymnals of other groups. The Brethren community printed “Gott Vater! Dir sey Lob und Danck” 1826, 1870, 1874, 1897, 1893, (1895, Elgin/Ill. 1903) and “O milder Heiland, Jesus Christ!”

Manuscripts from the Schwenkfelder Library & Heritage Center collection: 1. A page from Wagner’s Remediorum Specimina shows symptoms and remedies for an infant’s cough. He wrote, “It is good against the cough to administer a laxative, such as a laxative syrup of mallow or powdered jalap, etc. so that the moisture can be drawn off the breast. After that, fresh sperma ceti mixed with sugar and administered in broth or a similar medium are very good.” (VB 1-8) 2. A page from Wagner’s medical notebook called Remediorum Specimina shows stomach chills, lists symptoms, and suggests various cures including Martin John’s “Life Giving Powder” and Melchior Hübner’s “Aromatic Essence.“ (VB 1-8) 3. Wagner kept this manuscript notebook of the hymns he wrote over the years. In the middle of the left page is the note that from this point forward are the hymns that the author wrote in Berthelsdorf. (VN 22-12) 4. The portion of Abraham Wagner’s hymn notebook showing the last hymn written in Saxony 1737 (left page) and the first written in Pennsylvania—”Our Father in Heaven.” (VN 22-12)


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in 1826, 1870, 1874, 1897, 1893, (1895, Elgin/Ill. 1903); and Mennonites included “Gott Vater! Dir sey Lob und Danck” in hymnals printed in 1792, 1804, and 1841.

THE MEDICAL PRACTITIONER Evidence of Wagner as a medical practitioner is found in just two documents. The major document is a manuscript entitled Remediorum Specimina aliguot ex Praxi A.W. The second, minor document is Wagner’s will and codicil. Both provide valuable information about Wagner’s demeanor and practice. The content of the Remediorum Specimina that medical historians find interesting and exciting is Wagner’s therapies for specific symptoms and his critical observations on the efficacy of these therapies. In Wagner’s time, much was written about theory of medical conditions and therapies, but very few clinical observations were recorded on specific reactions to certain therapies. Wagner recorded which therapy he applied, indicated the dosage, and how he applied it. He also included the recipes for the therapies, naming the ingredients and their proportions. Following the traditions of Schwenkfelder medical practice, Abraham Wagner cited not only his own preparation, such as alexipharm to treat epilepsy, but also preparations by George Hauptmann and Melchior Hübner. A preparation by the other Schwenkfelder physician Martin John the Younger, called Lebenspulver is found no less than three times throughout the manuscript. Other preparations by Melchior Hübner are mentioned, and there are three references to George Hauptmann’s “golden pills.” Many Halle preparations, in addition to bezoar powder, are cited as well as references to Halle resident physician and professor of medicine Dr. Georg Ernst Stahl, and his students Samuel Carl and Johann Junker. Other physicians including George de Benneville and Johann Adolph Meyer are also mentioned. The three physicians, Abraham Wagner, George de Benneville, and Johann Adolph Meyer, lived in close proximity in Pennsylvania. The 2 Remediorum Specimina manuscript shows that Wagner obtained medical information and recipes from them, and surely provided the same to them. These three men shared an interest in medi3

Medicinal Recipes The following three excerpts from Abraham Wagner’s Remediorum Specimina provide some insight into his procedures and observations. • Rheumatism is a species of arthritis which attacks the muscular parts whereas arthritis also seizes the joint and other connecting parts. Against rheumatism, the following was of marvelous assistance to a man who had been quite miserable for four or five months (July 18, 1745). Tincture: tartrate of antimony (one ounce), oil of anthos (one ounce). Dose: 30 drops, morning and afternoon in tea. Item-Essence: sulphuris theophor. Evening, about 40 drops in tea made from hyssop or marjoram. On the ninth of August they called for this doctor [AW] again, whereupon he was fully recovered, much to the amazement of many people. (Practioner in Physick by Andrew S. Berky, p. 109-110) After he listed five different therapies for “Darmgicht” (intestinal colic), Wagner wrote: • A certain woman who was afflicted with this sickness for a long time, with many relapses, had me summoned, because at the time she had not had a bowel movement for six days. I made her a clyster of marjoram, myrtle leaves, two pounds boiled in water, olive oil, etc. for an enema because it was all I had at hand. I directed her to use them and that same night she was relieved. Also gave her cream of tartar because she had a fever. She recovered finally. (Practioner in Physick by Andrew S. Berky, p. 106-107) Under epilepsy Wagner noted:


• If the child or patient is quite restless and the pustules do not want to break out, the following was often of use: alexipharm powder (A.W.), Halle bezoar powder, equal parts of each, a dose every three hours; this soon brought them out. I have given small children the golden heart powder which my beloved great-grandfather, George Hauptmann, as well as the beloved Melchior Heebner found especially good when the convulsions began. (Practioner in Physick by Andrew S. Berky, p. 115) THE SCHWENKFELDIAN


cine and religion. Meyer was a physician in the Moravian communities of Bethlehem and Lititz. De Benneville, resident of the Oley Valley and then Germantown, was a Huguenot radical mystic who combined doctoring with preaching the Everlasting Gospel with emphasis on the restoration of all things. There is ambiguity about whether Wagner met one or both of these men first in Europe or Pennsylvania. Medical researcher Dr. Renate Wilson has noted that one or two recipes in the Remediorum Specimina are strikingly similar to Halle preparations, which were supposedly secret, proprietary medicines. This causes speculation in regard to how Wagner could have acquired these formulae. One of Wagner’s Pennsylvania friends was Heinrich Melchior Mühlenburg, the patriarch of American Lutheran orthodoxy, who had been trained in Halle including time in the hospital there and who imported Halle preparations and dispensed them to his parishioners in Pennsylvania. Was Mühlenburg Wagner’s source for Halle medicines? There are no unambiguous answers to this question, and I, too, can add my own speculation. Wagner lived with Hübner in Görlitz as early as 1726 and, according to Wagner’s tribute to the man, Hübner practiced medicine in Görlitz. If Hübner was not already acquainted with Halle preparations, then it is likely that he became acquainted with them after he arrived in Görlitz in 1726. Moreover, some pharmacy was pursued in Herrnhut and medical preparations produced there were possibly under the influence of Halle. Was Wagner introduced to Halle pharmaceuticals in Herrnhut or had he already been in contact with them during his apprenticeship in Görlitz? Very little more can be said about Wagner as practicing physician. No observations or comments about this role have been discovered in Schwenkfelder or other sources. The few dates included in the Remediorum Specimina indicated that Wagner began writing down this information about 1740. What was his purpose in compiling this information? There may have been two reasons. The foremost was probably a record of the most effective therapies and materia medica for his own reference and study. Secondly, he may have compiled this information for a successor to his practice. There is no record of anyone apprenticed to Wagner. His brother, Melchior, ten years his junior, has been suggested as successor, but there is no unequivocal evidence that he assumed the practice upon his brother’s death. The only other documents in regard to Wagner’s medical practice are his will and codicil. They point to considerable wealth gained from his medical practice and to his pietistic concern about his neighbor and the poor. Important in this regard is the fact that in his will he forgave all medical debts of poor people. After his debts and funeral expenses were paid, he requested that the estate was to be turned into cash. It is estimated that his estate amounted to £1,000. Two-thirds of the cash was to go to his brother, Melchior, his only survivor, and one-third was to be distributed among the poor, regardless of ethnicity or religion. This final third was to be distributed in the following way: within one year of his death, £20 cash was to be distributed among poor people by four custodians having £5 each; within one year of his death, £10 cash was to be expended for the purchase of Bibles, psalmbooks, and hymnals—Schwenkfelder, Lutheran, and Reformed, in English and German for distribution to poor adults and children; as soon as possible, £20 was to be contributed to the Pennsylvania Hospital; and the remaining money was to be distributed by the custodians to needy poor people within ten to twelve years. Abraham Wagner was the last Schwenkfelder physician trained in an apprenticeship program under the guidance of an older Schwenkfelder physician. After a gap of 30 years, the next Schwenkfelder medical doctor, Christopher Heydrich (17701856), was trained in an academic environment. Wagner carried on some therapies of the older Schwenkfelder practitioners, but always applied up-to-date medicines and even formulated his own. Medical books were not his only reading material, as he was widely read in Schwenckfeld’s works and those of contemporary religious writers. Perhaps Wagner found inspiration for his vocation in Schwenckfeld’s 1545 publication The Heavenly Balm of the True Physician Christ, For the Healing and Eternal Good Health of the Miserably Sick and Corrupted Mankind. For Wagner, Schwenkfeldianism and medical practice went hand-in-hand. n


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Christopher eydrick H




s the 18th century drew to close, some members of the Schwenkfelder community were choosing the traditional path that had been followed by their forefathers and mothers; their vocations were farming or rural trades; their homes were log and built on some acreage, perhaps added on to as the families grew and became established; and their lives centered on the close knit Schwenkfelder community, in terms of worship, schools, and choosing a spouse. Some Schwenkfelders, however, would choose a different course, and strike out on their own, far away from the lives they knew in southeastern Pennsylvania. One of these individuals was Christopher Heydrick.

FA M I LY H I S TO RY Heydrick came from a family firmly rooted in the faith. His paternal ancestor, Georg Heydrich, had been imprisoned at Liegnitz in Silesia for refusing to baptize his children, among other charges against him, and remained under lock and key— and at some point even in stocks—for three to four years in the early 1650s (see the Spring 2009 issue of The Schwenkfeldian for more information on Heydrich’s courageous stand against the authorities). Balthasar Heydrick, Christopher’s grandfather, immigrated to Pennsylvania in 1734 with his wife, Rosina (Heebner) Heydrick, and their son Christopher. The couple settled in Lower Frederick Township. Rosina lived only a few short years after arriving in their new home and died in 1738 when their second son, George, was only one year old. Balthasar remarried in 1741 to Maria Hoffrichter and the couple had four more children. Their son, Abraham, born 1743, was Christopher’s father. Abraham had the good fortune to marry quite well. Though his family owned property and was well established in their community, Abraham needed to seek his own opportunities and in 1767 he married Susanna, daughter of Christopher and Maria (Schultz) Yeakle, of Chestnut Hill and Springfield Township, Montgomery County. Christopher owned extensive real estate in that section of the county, including the corner of present day Paper Mill Road and Bethlehem Pike. Information about Abraham Heydrick is sketchy and more research is greatly needed to identify his activities in Springfield TownTHE SCHWENKFELDIAN


ship and what property he actually owned. Family tradition says he owned a store in the Wheel Pump Hotel on Bethlehem Pike, and that he was quite well off. Christopher, born 1770, was Abraham and Susanna’s second eldest child and first born son. Virtually nothing is known about his formative years, but when he reaches the age of 18, existing archival material in the collection of the Schwenkfelder Library & Heritage Center and the Mercer County Historical Society allow us to piece together a portrait of a young man striking out on a new and very different path.

F O R M A L E D U C AT I O N Heydrick was a member of the class of 1788 at the College of Philadelphia which, along with the Academy, would become the modernday University of Pennsylvania. A survey of the class and graduate lists of the College in the late 18th century reveals that he was one of perhaps ten or so students of apparently German descent—meaning those who bore German surnames. The majority of the Germans attending in the 18th century do not appear until the 1790s. His father’s expense records, however, note that Abraham paid six pounds tuition to the Friends Academy in October of 1789, so it is unclear if Heydrick quit the College for one of the Quaker-run schools in Philadelphia or Germantown. Family tradition records in the Genealogical Record of the Schwenkfelder Families that Heydrick was educated by David Rittenhouse, but there is no documentation of this other than what seems to be oral tradition. Interestingly, however, in Abraham Heydrick’s accounts of Heydrick expenses for October 1789, there is mention of his purchasing two globes and fare to Princeton. Could this have been to visit Rittenhouse’s famed orreries (mechanical models) at Princeton—the 18th century equivalent of a planetarium? Rittenhouse was no longer teaching at the College of Philadelphia as Professor of Astronomy, though he was a trustee in the late 1780s. It is pleasant to speculate that perhaps Heydrick was taking some sort of classes with him during these years, hence the source of the family lore. There were many Rittenhouses in the Germantown and Roxborough vicinity where Christopher grew up, but David was not living there at the time. By 1790, Christopher Heydrick was enrolled in the School of Medicine at Penn. His father’s accounts list medical books purchased by the future physician and fees for lectures by the Philadelphia medical luminaries of the day: Christopher attended lectures by Dr. William Shippen (3 pounds 15) in 1790 and Dr. Benjamin Rush (4 pounds 10) in 1791, and, also during those years, was apparently mentored by Dr. Benjamin Say. Abraham paid Say 25 pounds a year in 1790, 1791, and 1792. Christopher purchased medical books for his studies—probably including this book, Observations on the principles of the old system of physic: exhibiting a compend of the new doctrine: the whole containing a new account of the state of medicine from the present times, backward, to the restoration of the Grecian learning in the western parts of Europe by John Brown (1787), which is now in the collection of the College of Physicians and bears Heydrick’s signature. Additionally,


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in January 1792, Abraham paid 8 pounds 12 for a pocket case of surgical instruments. In October of 1791, nearing the end of his academic studies at the School of Medicine, Christopher received a letter from his great uncle, Abraham Schultz (1747-1822). Schultz was Christopher’s uncle by marriage; he was married to Maria Yeakle, a sister of Christopher’s mother Susanna. Schultz’s eldest son, Benjamin (1772-1814), may have been influenced by his relative Christopher to attend Penn, as he graduated from the School of Medicine in 1795. Benjamin’s published dissertation, An Inaugural Botanico-Medial Dissertation on the Phytolacca Decandra of Linnaeus, is in the collection of the Heritage Center. Late in 1799 or early in 1800, Christopher wrote to Benjamin with a proposal for some sort of business deal, perhaps a partnership in a medical practice. Benjamin’s extant reply, in the collection of the Mercer County Historical Society in Mercer, PA, dramatically references his current woes. “If therefore I would leave my creditors and go to Chestnut Hill for a short time,” Benjamin writes, “they would naturally become inquisitive about my fluctuating in business and a certain ruin would without a spirit of inspiration follow every one of my steps until my property and manufacturies would meet with an entire annihilation.” Benjamin may be referring here to a disastrous attempt to start a balsam farm in Hereford Township, Berks County, which closed sometime in 1800. He further added, “I am therefore cautious how I conduct myself, I am to tell you the truth, even afraid to disclose your kind offer to any one them (sic), for fear they would rush upon me and crush me all to pieces.” Benjamin seemingly had a tragic end in Snyder County, PA, where he lived out the remainder of his days; he had some sort of accident and ended up overseeing the amputation of his own damaged limb.

MEDICAL PRACTITIONER Perhaps Abraham Schultz, a dedicated and learned Schwenkfelder teacher and pillar of the community, recognized the lure of the big city and a secular life. He was also well aware of Christopher’s lineage, and the sacrifices of Georg Heydrich (original spelling) on behalf of the Schwenkfelder group. Schultz’s “admonition” as he calls it to young Christopher, regarding

Noble Endeavor his noble endeavor, is very telling of the state of affairs among the Schwenkfelders in the late 18th century, as well as Schultz’s concern for a young relative who was striking out beyond the pale of what was the norm for a young person of Schwenkfelder descent. His concern was probably justified, as numerous Schwenkfelders had left the flock in the 18th century, and upheaval in the quiet communities from war and assimilation and new ideas would have a profound affect on many families. Christopher began his career as a physician in 1792 without receiving a degree from Penn. Family tradition holds that he “graduated with high honors from the University of Pennsylvania” (according to the Schwenkfelder Genealogical Record) but Penn’s documentation proves otherwise. His father purchased a horse at 37 pounds (approximately $165) and a saddle for the 22-year-old doctor, and Christopher was on his way. Precious little information about Heydrick’s early career as a physician—or for that matter, his career in general—survives. He started working as a physician approximately a year prior to the horrible yellow fever epidemic in Philadelphia, which killed thousands, but there is no existing information on whether or not he was involved in caring for the victims. By 1798, Christopher was elected to membership in the Philadelphia Society of Medicine and served at some point as a physician at Pennsylvania Hospital. His exact association with the College of Physicians is undetermined, though his autograph was acquired by the renowned Dr. Samuel Gross for a collection of signatures of Philadelphia doctors, which is in the collection of the College. In the collections of the Schwenkfelder Heritage Center and the Mercer County Historical Society, there are several receipts from apothecaries who were dispensing medications to Christopher, including Moses Bartram, son of renowned botanist John Bartram. The medicines represent standard treatments of the day for various ailments, including jalap and Glauber’s salts as laxatives; cantharides or Spanish fly, which was used for a multitude of problems, and opium. Another letter in the Schwenkfelder Heritage Center’s collection is very interesting from the standpoint of Christopher’s heritage and family ties. Rosina Kriebel wrote to Christopher, probably ca. 1800, about her varied symptoms. As our Associate Director of Research Dr. Allen Viehmeyer points out, Rosina uses the “er” form of address with Christopher, a common form to address one’s betters (of a higher social standing) in the mid-18th century. She asks that he write back in German, as she can’t read English. This Rosina may be Rosina (Wiegner) Kriebel (1755-1834), the mother-in-law

In October of 1791, nearing the end of his academic studies at the School of Medicine, Christopher Heydrick received the following letter from Abraham Schultz. The letter now resides in the collection of the Mercer County Historical Society, Schultz writes: Your researches into the art of physic I always looked up on as a noble endeavour, by this you may become a useful member of society, in particular, if it should be your foremost wish and desire, to do the utmost in your power to alleviate the miseries of the sick and infirm part of mankind as shall come under your care. We find in holy writ that the feeding of the hungry and the clothing of the naked is allowed on the last day by the judge of the living and the dead to be a service done to him so it will undoubtedly be a service to him when the lame and the sick are relieved & comforted by an upright physician for any candid service to mankind is a service to God. Next to a teacher of the Gospel I think there is not a class of men that should be more circumspect and careful to promote the happiness of mankind than a physician. A physician I believe should be a man of sound religious principles and a tender conscience, his chief aim should not be temporal honour or emolument (which is the most delusive phantom of our depraved nature) but as above said an ardent desire to promote the happiness of mankind. Whether such principles are now and then inculcated by your teachers I do not know, but such principles I suppose would not be unworthy to any professor of your faculty. As to matter of religion I hope you will not be indifferent to what denomination you conform, all what I wish to say unto you on this head, is in the first place to examine seriously that doctrine which was professed by your forefathers. For which they left house and home and being stript of all worldly comforts, were forced to seek an asylum in the land of liberty, if we now should desert their doctrine on account of some worldly advantages or vanity, such conduct would not be reason but infatuation, for I can see no justifiable reason for leaving any religious denomination, other than erroneous principles in their doctrine, or general immorality of their members, it is true that many members of our Society [the Schwenkfelders] are too much bend upon singularitys but it is true likewise that others by degrees successfully strive to lay them aside, what I fear on this account, is that our posterity will be more entangled in the vanity of this corrupt world than in the mean singularity of some of their forefathers. These Lines I hope your good sense will accept in good part, not as a censure, but as a kind and well meant admonition, such is the wish of your affectionate friend and uncle. —Abrm Schultz THE SCHWENKFELDIAN



I’m sending you a few lines about my circumstances. I am being severely racked again by hysterics. A short time ago I had another attack of heart-pounding, but it wasn’t too hard. Since then I’ve had so much hysterics and now it is much worse. From time to time I puff up and I feel so nauseous and think I should vomit. I have such salty phlegm in my mouth and at times such great agitation or restlessness in my belly. My womb rises and falls and causes pain here and there. I have my monthly courses at about the right time (but not much) as I had the last time. I had such great agitation in my belly and pain here and there. Then I had a burning [sensation] on my chest, which I had for four or five days, that bothered me a great deal, and when I have this agitation I am so weak and dizzy it’s as if I am going to faint, and then it goes away again. So I am thinking that I could use thing, if you would suggest something. From time to time I have a lot of agitation in my limbs, too, and then in my head as well. These attacks usually come at night and sometimes I get some chills, too. If you write back, then please don’t write to me in English. I can’t read it. —Rosina Kriebel


SOCIAL CHANGES The path Christopher Heydrick had chosen for himself continued to be quite different than that of his grandfather, Balthasar, or even his father. Though Abraham Heydrick was a Revolutionary War veteran, a fairly well to do store owner, a man of means and property, he stayed within his own sphere of the so-called Heydrick’s Dale in Springfield Township. Within Christopher’s own extended family, the children of his generation married a mixture of Schwenkfelders, persons of probable Mennonite or Brethren descent, and others —even some with English names! This is sharply juxtaposed with other Schwenkfelder families of the same period, who were still marrying other Schwenkfelders exclusively. In 1793, Christopher, himself, married Mary Care, the daughter of Peter Care Sr. of Roxborough, who served in the Revolution and fought under Armstrong at the battle of Germantown. They were not Schwenkfelders and their ethnic origin is undetermined. They kept some good company in their Roxborough neighborhood, however, living in close proximity to Rittenhouses and Liveseys. In the early years of the Heydricks’ marriage, they lived in Germantown or Chestnut Hill, evidenced by the many legal papers and financial documents that exist from the period 1795-1805. At some point around 1799, they may have lived with Mary’s family. During that period their children were born: Harriet in 1795, Caroline in 1797, and Charles in 1799. In 1805, Christopher purchased property in Lower Merion Township and moved the family there. Christopher and Mary’s children received educations much more in


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keeping with the gentrified English speaking population than their rural Schwenkfelder contemporaries. In 1804, Christopher obtained the services of Elizabeth Booth to teach the children “the rudiments of the English language and needlework.” She must have lived with family as a governess of sorts, as she witnessed a document for Christopher and also wrote to Mary, in 1805, when she may have accompanied Harriet to stay with her maternal grandparents. An example of the fruits of Harriet’s education is this 1813 letter she wrote to her father in her exquisite hand. The content is interesting, as she tells Christopher:


Three weeks have elapsed since I left the city yet I have not sufficient fortitude to hear the alarms of the fever. The wind when it is the most tranquil is less able to bear alarm, so when I began to feel quite easy with regard to myself, you may judge my sensation when I heard that Abraham Yeakle’s son had the fever, but Grandmother said that Dr. Fry always represented diseases worse than they are, and that he had the rheumatism wether (sic) she did it to deceive me or not I cannot say however I am willing to be deceived. I was received by all my relations with affection and kindness. I have been at the library, but there is not a catalogue printed of what has been added since 1807 for they only lately recovered a collection, but I can borrow Mr. Snyder’s in which it is written. My time has been employed chiefly in reading and sewing. I have nothing more to say at present, but if I remain here longer I will write again. I will conclude by remaining your affectionate daughter.


of Christopher’s cousin, George Heydrick. It may have been a great advantage to have a professional physician to discuss one’s ailments with, but unfortunately Christopher’s response is unknown. Rosina wrote:

Harriet may be referring to a typhus epidemic in Philadelphia that claimed the life of the great Dr. Rush in April of the same year, and her own nervousness about coming down with the fever. When young Charles came of age, he was tutored by a doctor in Lower Merion, then later, following in his father’s footsteps, he attended the Philadelphia Academy and, then, the University of Pennsylvania, apparently studying medicine. Charles was also receiving private French lessons at the same time, as befitting a young cultured man launching a professional career in the early 19th century.

FRONTIER CALLING In 1801, Christopher traveled to western Pennsylvania, in part to view lands in the “Donation District” that were owned by his father, and, also, to confer with his brother-in-law Peter Care Jr. about trading down the Ohio. Family tradition maintains that Abraham Heydrick served as a private in the Revolution, and actually saw action (something of a rarity among the Schwenkfelders), hence his ownership of donation lands, which were lands set aside by the Pennsylvania General Assembly to be given to each Pennsylvania line soldier and officer who served until the end of the war. The lands occupied parts of Lawrence, Butler, Mercer, Venango, Crawford, Warren, and Erie counties. Existing correspondence with Peter Care Jr., at the Mercer County Historical Society, indicates that Care was taking merchandise such

Labor of Love as linen cloth, tin ware, whiskey, coffee, and other commodities down the Ohio River to trade for furs, which could be resold in Philadelphia. Christopher continued his medical practice in Philadelphia, but the call of the frontier seems to have been a siren song for him. The family moved to 75 North 5th Street in Philadelphia, in 1813, and remained there for at least a few years. Christopher probably practiced out of his home. In 1815, he was chosen as a Resident Member of the Cabinet of Sciences in the city. The function of this organization is unknown, but seems to have been involved in the proposed establishment of a botanical garden. By the late 1810s, the Heydricks’ son, Charles, had left the city for points west and eventually for his family’s lands in Mercer. A marvelous letter survives in the collection of the Mercer County Historical Society, written to Charles while he was living in New Berlin (presumably Union County) from a city friend named George Herberger. Identifying all of the places, events, and characters that Herberger mentions is a challenge, but some could be found. There is the strong impression that Charles Heydrick and his friends lived the high life in the city. Charles never practiced medicine according to family tradition, but other historical sources claim that he practiced in Venango and Mercer counties. Christopher’s hard sell must have worked to induce Mary to leave home and family in Philadelphia for the wild western Pennsylvania frontier. In 1819, the family left Philadelphia for good. Christopher first settled the family in Mercer County, where the History of Venango County reports that he practiced medicine for a time. At some later date, Christopher moved to the property he had so eloquently described in his 1816 letter to Mary, which Charles occupied and farmed as of 1826. Mary died in 1835 and Christopher lived another 20 years thereafter, but was blind for approximately the last decade of his life. Their daughter, Caroline, moved with the family in 1819 and married a local boy, and Charles had already begun to establish himself in the area, but sister Harriet had married Nathaniel Hood of Philadelphia, in 1814, and stayed in the city. Hood was a bank clerk and accountant, and later a merchant in the city. A clue, in part, to the Heydrick family’s religious leanings perhaps could lay with the choice of pastor who married the couple; the esteemed Rev. Joseph Pilmore, who was rector of St. Paul’s Protestant Episcopal Church on 3rd Street. The Methodists had a strong presence in western Pennsylvania during the early 19th century, so the Heydricks most likely attended those services in Mercer.

DEEP CONNECTION Christopher Heydrick’s life was truly an exception to the paths that were taken by the large majority of American Schwenkfelder descendants of his generation. What remains endlessly fascinating, however, is the way the family stayed connected to their Schwenkfelder heritage, in spite of being a family that removed itself from the fold, at least in terms of lifestyle and faith. Christopher’s grandson and namesake, Judge Christopher Heydrick, would become a leading force in the establishment of the Schwenkfelder Historical Library, even though he lived on the other side of the state. It was through the efforts of his grandfather and his father Charles, that the rich stories of the ancestors would stay alive in the hearts of their descendants, if not in their daily lives. n

Christopher Heydrick’s Philadelphia years were coming to a close. In August 1816, he wrote the following letter to his wife, Mary, while visiting his lands in Mercer County: My Dear It is now a long time since I have wrote to you but it is never too late to do good. The solitary ride I have described to you of journey to Franklin must need have impressed your mind that the farther I went the more so—but happily it is to the contrary. For after leaving Franklin on to Martins a beautiful plain of country. Settled farm after farm all the way up French River to our farm—O! How different the scene settled all around our farm with Christian people who aid one another like one family, the harvest conducted in such a manner that all go home sober after luncion (sic). They look for no supper, 3 out of 4 farms all their harvest, cut without licour (sic). There is society in this place, a library of 3 or 400 volumes is near us, a church on a beautiful eminence, an orderly graveyard with head stones cut in memory of the dead. From our farm to Meadville a county settled with eastern people, the road fit for a chain, 14 miles in Meadville and around about—that County will settled which was proved by the number of people at church where I heard a good sermon. Our farm is beautifully and advantageously situated on the banks of the French River. This River is navigable with long boats carrying from 10 to 20 tons from Franklin where it enters the beautiful Aleganey (sic) River, at all times navigable on the river through the corner of our farm. Boats pass to Waterford within 14 miles of land carriage to Lake Erie, So that all kinds of luxuries are carried past our door or it may be said at (illegible). But more about our farm. This has a beautiful level bottom of black mould 40 acres the north of it cleared then it takes a little rise about as much as our old farm house in the meadow, then continues on a level for a good distance then meet another such a rise and continue here to the hill which is covered with chestnut and all other kinds of timber proper for the place. We have also a good (mill seat) as French Creek passes through and an (illegible) and the first rise a ground a beautiful situation indeed. Springs 2 which can lie either (illegible) at the door or carried where we please to a choice of 2 beautiful sites on one of which young Martin has built (home and) barn and milk house. I have (illegible) at his harvest. His wife is in the house and Martin lets it out for the calves to one Hood—and went to attend Mr. Harriot’s sawmill, along with his brother Thom there they can earn themselves three dollars a day without much hard work—sawmills are the road to fortune in this country. The port is watery. I must close and tell that I am and have been on all my excursion as healthy as a buck. So when I come home and by that time I think that your conjecture of causes will have vanished. Of that I could chat with you. I have seen no woman like you in all my travels. God grant that I may find you well when I arrive. Etc. THE SCHWENKFELDIAN


JamesA T

here is no more prominent doctor from the Schwenkfelder faith in the 20th century than Dr. James M. Anders. He had a very high regard for his Schwenkfeldian ancestry and frequently stated that his direct ancestors were God-fearing, sober, industrious, and unswervingly upright. He gladly stated that he was directly descended from Balthasar Hoffman who, with two others on behalf of the Schwenkfelder group, presented numerous petitions to King Charles VI in Austria asking for tolerance for this body. FA M I LY H I S TO RY James was the son of Christina Kriebel (Meschter) and Samuel Dresher Anders. He was born at Fairview Village, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, on July 22, 1854. James was the fifth generation in line of descent from the widow, Anna Rinewalt Anders, who arrived on September 22, 1734, with the main body of Schwenkfelders from Europe. Dr. Anders was the sixth of nine children born to his parents, three of whom never reached eight years of age. He remembered his father to be a plain, unassuming farmer of honest convictions and of the strictest integrity. He also remembered him as stern in the ruling of his family, stressing obedience and respect for older people. Daily family worship was the custom. His father had a pleasing personality, made friends readily, and, in return, enjoyed their friendship, so that the community in which they lived held him in the highest esteem. His counsel, in both business and agricultural matters, was considered most valuable and was sought after by friends and neighbors. His father must have held his son in high regard as well. After James had attained some distinction in scholarship in the local public schools and later in the nearby Norristown schools which he later attended, having shown himself to be especially apt in mathematics, it is stated that prospective teachers in the neighborhood would bring math problems to “Jimmie� for solution.

C O N T I N U I N G E D U C AT I O N Since James was so proficient in his studies and also taught in the local school successfully, it became the desire of his father that James should study for the ministry. He attended the academic department of the Mennonite Theological


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A nders


P H Y S I C I A N , A U T H O R , T E A C H E R , T R U S T E E , P U B L I C H E A LT H A D V O C AT E Seminary in Wadsworth, Ohio. He was appointed teacher of mental arithmetic during his time at Wadsworth. His training there prepared him for his next move. He determined that the field of medicine instead of theology should be his life’s work. After completing his preparatory work at Wadsworth, he entered the medical department of the University of Pennsylvania from which he graduated in 1877. Ten years after graduation, he authored a small publication on how each member of his class was faring. While attending the University of Pennsylvania, he “read medicine” during the summer and vacations with Dr. George K. Meschter. As an undergraduate, he was chosen one of twelve students comprising the Alfred Stille Medical Society (Ed. Note: Alfred Stille was one of the founders of the American Medical Association). Upon graduation, he was awarded the degree of Doctor of Philosophy as well as the George B. Wood Prize for the highest general average attained by any member in his class and for his original essay on “Transpiration of Plants.” Many years later, his work was confirmed by French observers and, in recognition of his earlier research, the French government made Anders an Officer de l’Instruction Publique et des Beaux-Arts.

CAREER ACHIEVEMENTS During the first decade after his graduation, Dr. Anders continued his studies in natural history subjects. His original investigations on certain plant functions led him to discover that all flowering plants and odoriferous (yielding an odor) foliage possess the power to convert the oxygen in the air to ozone. He was the first to show, by experiment, that when growing plants are cultivated indoors they tend to increase and maintain a proper degree of humidity and are, therefore, beneficial to health. As a result of his investigations along this line, he was tendered the chair of Forestry and the Relation of Plant Life to Health at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia. In his professional capacity, Dr. Anders served as visiting physician on the staff of the Protestant Episcopal Hospital of Philadelphia, the Jewish Hospital, Philadelphia Hospital, Widener Home for Crippled Children in Philadelphia, and the Hospital for the Insane in Norristown. But it was with the Medico-Chirurgical Hospital in Philadelphia (chirurgical is an obsolete term for surgical), that he gained prominence. Beginning in 1889, when he was made lecturer at the hospital, he progressed through chairmanships of Hygiene and Pediatrics, Clinical Medicine, and then became the Professor of the Theory and Practice of Medicine, a position he held for 25 years. In 1898, Dr. James Anders published his large work, The Theory and Practice of Medicine, which in the early 20th century was the most widely used textbook of its kind in the medical schools of this country. In addition, he wrote more than 100 articles for the leading medical periodicals, scientific and other magazines, and read papers before the foremost medical and scientific associations of the nation. At a meeting of the Philadelphia County Medical Society, held five

months after Dr. Anders’ death, in connection with Health Day, a colleague, Dr. George E. Pfahler, read a lengthy memoir on the achievements of Dr. Anders. In this paper, Dr. Pfahler gave a list of 41 organizations and committees in which Dr. Anders held membership, in many of which he was actively engaged, and the list did not include the church positions that he held. Another list Pfahler presented named 138 scientific contributions made by Dr. Anders to medical journals and other scientific publications. The list of articles written by Dr. Anders and published in professional journals does not include the many contributions made to the cause of general education published in college magazines. He made hundreds of public addresses before civic, historical, scientific, and health organizations and he was a frequent broadcaster of health programs, over the radio, in his later years. He also contributed many articles of a religious nature to the columns of church papers and magazines. In 1911, Dr. Anders joined with Dr. L. Napolean Boston to publish a textbook of medical diagnosis. He served as 44th president of the Philadelphia Medical Society and founded a library for that Society in 1910. He was still Chairman of the Library Committee when he died 26 years later. He gave the equivalent of $65,000 in today’s dollars to sustain the library that he founded. A bust of Dr. Anders stands in the library of the Society memorializing him as the founder of the library. The College Physicians of Philadelphia was instituted as early as 1787 and, just about 100 years later (1888), Dr. James Anders was elected as a Fellow. The American College of Physicians (ACP) incorporated in 1915 and they located in Philadelphia where they currently reside. At the ACP website, we learn that “the first Mastership in the College was presented in 1923 to Dr. James M. Anders, who served the College as President for two terms. He was recognized for his extraordinary service to the College and for being one of the most outstanding internists and medical teachers of his day.” He, along with Dr. John Roberts, was instrumental in establishing a new section on Industrial Medicine and Public Health with the American College of Physicians. In March 1921, Dr. Anders was unanimously elected President of the American College of Physicians and, three months later, the American Therapeutic Association chose him as their President, as well.

SERVING A HIGHER PURPOSE James Anders seemed to find a myriad of projects that interested him. Early on, he promoted public health and proposed a Public Health Day to raise the awareness of everyone to maintain their bodies through healthful activities. He chaired a Noise Abatement Committee and stressed the need for people to live in sanitary homes when he first chaired a group called Better Homes Committee in Philadelphia. He, then, was selected to lead a group called Better Homes in America. As director and treasurer of this group in 1930, THE SCHWENKFELDIAN


he helped stimulate interest in the project by offering awards to school children who produced prize-winning posters and builders who constructed homes that utilized sanitary and good housing qualities. For many years, Dr. Anders was intensely interested in the Home Teaching Society for the Blind, an organization fostering the teaching of the blind in their homes instead of in institutions. The plan was to have teachers of Braille and Moon systems visit the homes of the blind. They offered a free Circulating Library for the Blind. Dr. Anders ultimately became president of this Society. He also spoke out on the need for proper diet and the avoidance of obesity. As a well-merited reward for his achievements in medicine, public health, civic betterment and literature, Dr. Anders was made a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor of France in 1923. A year later, he received the title of Master of the American College of Physicians, the first Fellow of the college to be so honored. In that same year, he wrote the historic address, “History of the Philadelphia County Medical Society,” on the occasion of their 75th anniversary and received the Strittmatter Award which is awarded to physicians for outstanding work in the field of medicine. He was awarded honorary degrees at the University of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Military College of Chester. In addition, Ursinus College conferred three honorary degrees—Doctor of Philosophy (1890), Doctor of Laws (1896), and Doctor of Science (1927). As late as 1934, when Dr. Anders was relinquishing many of his activities and retiring from some of the many committees and boards on which he served so many years, he, together with Dr. Chevalier Jackson, accepted membership on the Board of Trustees of the Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania. The two doctors successfully spearheaded a drive to raise the school’s rating from “B” grade to “A” grade. Dr. Anders proposed the name of Dr. Catharine Macfarlane of the Women’s Medical College to be a Fellow of the College of Physicians and she was the first woman elected to such an honor. Dr. Anders was well known and respected in political circles too. In 1892, Mayor Edwin Stuart appointed him a member of the Civil Service Examining Board for the Philadelphia General Hospital. In 1898, Mayor Warwick made Dr. Anders a member of his Advisory Board and in 1912 he was made a member of the Citizens’ Committee of 100 on Municipal Reform and Charities. Two years later, Mayor Blankenberg requested that Dr. Anders be a member of the Board of Health in Philadelphia. Mayor Smith, in 1918, appointed Dr. Anders chairman of the Committee of Physical Reserve, to have charge of public physical education in the city. Even the state government recognized his prowess when Governor Tenet appointed Dr. Anders to represent Pennsylvania at an International Congress on School Hygiene, held in Buffalo, NY, in 1913. During World War I, Dr. Anders at the request of Governor Martin Brumbaugh of Pennsylvania, formed the Medical Advisory Board for the examination of registrants entering the United States military service, and he served as Chairman of the Board until the close of hostilities abroad. In addition, he was a member of the medical section of the Pennsylvania State Council for Defense, and served as vicepresident of the Senior Medical Service Corps and chairman of the

Committee on Physical Research, which was a nationwide movement to improve the physical standard of American men and women.

LEADER & MASTER Dr. Anders said that he considered his greatest achievement to be his successful efforts, in 1916, in bringing about the union of the former Medico-Chirurgical Medical College with the Medical Department of the University of Pennsylvania to create the Graduate School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania. This merger was accomplished over strenuous opposition. Dr. Anders was automatically made Professor of Medicine and Clinical Medicine, a position he held until he resigned in 1927. A testimonial dinner recognizing his achievements, that year, drew more than 500 physicians and friends to honor his 50th anniversary in the practice of medicine. Earlier, it was stated that he was proud of his Schwenkfelder heritage. As a charter member of the former Board of Missions, James was instrumental in organizing the First Schwenkfelder Church of Philadelphia where he served as moderator, from its inception, and he was the initial president of The Society of the Descendants of the Schwenkfeldian Exiles upon its formation in 1920. He was a member of the Board of Trustees for Perkiomen School, serving as vice president and president. He left two legacies in his will to Perkiomen School and provided for the awarding of a medal to a member of the Junior School who should show excellence in his studies during the year. The Genealogical Record indicates that, on April 30, 1903, James Anders, at age 49, married Margaret Gertrude Wunderlich, a woman who was 22 years younger than he. They lived at 1605 Walnut St. in Philadelphia and had no children. Dr. Anders was held in such high regard by his Schwenkfelder peers that a special supplement to The Schwenkfeldian was published in May 1937. It is worth observing that tributes to him and his many talents are noted by his contemporaries. An Author—Dr. H. Leon James wrote about Dr. Anders’ writings. He begins with the textbook Theory and Practice of Medicine which ran to 14 editions and was found worldwide. Over 50,000 volumes were published. In collaboration with Dr. L. N. Boston, he co-authored three editions of a textbook on medical diagnosis. In 1934, he had published Meditations in Verse, a collection of nearly 100 poems that he had written on such subjects as nature, courage, faith, patriotism, and biography. He also wrote the introduction to the Genealogical Record of the Schwenkfelder Families published in 1923 by the Board of Publication of the Schwenkfelder Church. A Teacher, Practitioner & Consultant— Drs. George Pfahler and David Reisman describe his ability to lecture without notes. Honesty, courtesy, and conscientiousness gave him an air of dignity while still maintaining a warm friendliness toward those he met. A Public Health Promoter— Dr. William Krusen relates his

Sources: A Memorial to James M. Anders, publ. by General Conference of the Schwenkfelder Church, May 1937; The Exile Herald, publ. by The Society of the Descendants of the Schwenkfeldian Exiles, May 1937; The Genealogical Record of the Schwenkfelder Families, publ. by the Board of Publication of the Schwenkfelder Church, 1923; Meditations in Verse, publ. by Friends of James M. Anders, 1934; Twentieth Century Schwenkfelders, publ. by the Schwenkfelder Library, 1984; “Memorial, A tribute to Dr. James M. Anders, M.D.,” delivered by G.M. Piersol, M.D.; obituary in a Philadelphia newspaper. BOOKS PHOTOGRAPHED BY JERRY HEEBNER. PORTRAIT COURTESY OF THE SCHWENKFELDER LIBRARY & HERITAGE CENTER.


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personal involvement with James Anders for over 30 years. He relates that Dr. Anders was appointed to the Philadelphia City Board of Health in 1914 and continued through 1936. He was instrumental in establishing Public Health Day in Philadelphia and suggested the formation of the Committee of Hygiene and Sanitation at the Philadelphia College of Physicians in 1912. A Director and Trustee—Dr. George Omwake noted that James stepped into his father’s shoes as a trustee at Ursinus College and gave 42 years of service to the school. He regularly attended meetings, promoted the construction of a science building that would provide a research facility, and urged his friends to financially support the College. Mr. Clarence Tobias noted that Dr. Anders served as a trustee of the Perkiomen School for many years, including serving as its president for a period of time. He was exceedingly generous to the school in terms of money, urging others to follow his example of support. A Worker in the Schwenkfelder Church—Mr. Wayne Meschter commented that Dr. Anders played such an important role in the founding of the First Schwenkfelder Church of Philadelphia serving as its moderator from its beginning up until the time of his death in 1936. He said that those closely associated with James Anders remember his counsel in administrative problems, his financial support, and his inspiring spiritual advice in times of difficulty.

A LIFE WELL-LIVED Dr. James M. Anders died while vacationing at Blue Hill Falls, Maine, on August 29, 1936, from bronco-pneumonia. It is apparent, by the testimonials that he received, that he was as beloved by his neighbors in Maine as much as by those in Pennsylvania. A memorial service was held in the Congregational Blue Hill Church in Maine and another was held in Pennsylvania. The one in Philadelphia was conducted by his long-time friend Rev. Harvey Heebner in which he recounted the many accomplishments of Dr. Anders. Perhaps Rev. Levi S. Hoffman best summarized the life of Dr. James M. Anders. “He was reared on the farm in the days when there were no improvements in the house, no intricate machinery to relieve the burdens in the barn and out on the fields. Under these circumstances he grew with others in physique, in intellect, in experience, in morals, and in spiritual personality. He decided to become a doctor, no doubt, to make a living, a life, and to render noble service. But he also decided to become a teacher of doctors, a leader among physicians. He not only became a leader but a master. He wrote books which became sources of authority in their departments. He was an impressive talker and a sympathetic listener. He ministered among the upper classes but he also stooped down to aid the low. He was elected as a president of institutions and boards. He was called in for consultations in many serious moments; and numerous are the testimonies; we think that Dr. Anders saved the life of our mother, our father, our child, our president, etc. When the Philadelphia Schwenkfelder Church was started, he cast in his lot with the others and remained steadfast to the end. He respected the religion of his parents and did even more than make their dreams come true.” n

A Prayer By Dr. James M. Anders We thank thee Lord for mercies past, We thank thee for all mercies new That thou dost on our pathway strew, ‘Tis gratitude from first to last We owe thee on this holiday For blessings near and far away. For health and strength to do the task Allotted to each soul, with zest, And after toil, enjoy the rest For length of days, and what men ask, Thus bow before His holy shrine, With one loud voice their thanks combine. For friends to sympathize and trust When gloom bids happiness depart, And unseen scepters wound the heart; For love Divine, the conqueror, must All wickedness subdue—things wrong That to a sin-sick world belong. For liberty so free to man Without a serpent’s secret lure To make existence insecure; For men who love the right, remove The awful, selfish of gain With which forsooth the proud were slain. For sea-tinged rain and sunshine bright, The treasures wrought of fertile soil That fill the laps of all who toil; For flowers and birds aflight That charm the eye and feast the ear To tell that summertime is here. Dr. Anders wrote Meditations in Verse which was published by his friends in 1934. He wrote poems about faith, nature, biographies, patriotism, sentiment, courage, and retrospection. “A Prayer” is one of his faith poems. THE SCHWENKFELDIAN


our facilities



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The angel tree project was concluded and the collected Christmas gifts were delivered to Philadelphia children of incarcerated fathers or mothers. On December 3, gifts were delivered to First Church Worship Center and a week later to the Schwenkfelder Missionary Church by Central Church members. Pat Marburger leads this Christian Endeavor program. A traditional lighting of the Advent wreath was continued during the church service on December 4, the second Sunday of Advent. Lighting the wreath were Andrew, Amy, Grace, Ruby, Eve, Audrey, and Luke Ramsey. Also, on this date, Central Church hosted two performances by the United Schwenkfelder Choir under the direction of Edward Beiler. The third Sunday of Advent was celebrated on December 11. The Advent wreath was lit by Steven, Stefanie, Julia, Olivia, and Lauren Keyte. The traditional service was punctuated by a wonderful Chancel Choir (Director Sally House) presentation of “The Winter Rose.” Soloists were Cheryl Walborn, Pete and Marcy Shenkle, Vernon Seipt, Gail Davis, and Patricia Simpson. Central’s senior pastor, Rev. David McKinley, was the narrator. The fourth Sunday of Advent was celebrated on December 18. The Advent wreath was lit by Bruce, Linda, Brandon, and Eric Rothenberger. Three Christmas Eve with holy communion services were conducted on Satuday, December 24, at 2:00 p.m., 7:00 p.m., and 9:30 p.m. The sermons by senior pastor Rev. David McKinley were entitled “A Sense of

Expectation.” The Advent wreath Christ candle was lit by Rev. William Kalajainen, the Barry Simpson family, and the Bruce Rothenberger family, respectively. Many thanks are appropriate to the many church choir members who provided vocal and instrumental glory to God (leadership provided by Sally House, Patricia Simpson, and Joanne LeppingIrvine). At the 9:30 p.m. service, church tradition continued with a solo presentation by Robert Krauss, who sang “O Holy Night.” Christmas worship continued on Sunday, December 25. A beautiful Christmas morning service was provided to those in attendance. Praise and glory to the Christ child was provided with a music service. Much appreciation is offered to pianist Karen Dix; organist Donald Eby; soloist Patricia Simpson; the Choir Ensemble; vocalists Bryanna Dix and Eve, Grace, and Ruby Ramsey; and the Women’s Ensemble. Pastoral leadership was provided by David McKinley and the music leadership was provided by Sally House. Thanks to the many people who assisted with the Red Cross blood drive and who donated blood or platelets at Central Church on December 27. Can you imagine a greater Christmas gift to a person in need of a transfusion, especially at this time of year? Central Church members offer a grand thanks to Linda Schmidt, Barbara Rodenbough, Jim Shaw, Ed Sturm, and Jessie Miller for their hard work to facilitate this enterprise. People in attendance at the Sunday earlier morning worship service on January 15 were treated to a special program. Sarah Van Kai, a resident of Myanmar, was interviewed by Rev. David McKinley. She discussed her

Christian witness in Myanmar and experiences at the Tyndale Theological Seminary, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, where former Central pastor Dr. Drake Williams, PhD, is presently serving as a professor. Following her graduation from Tyndale Theological Seminary, Sarah received a Master’s Degree. It’s always an exciting day when anyone joins Christ’s church. Central members joined the celebration on Sunday, January 22, when William and Marge Corner and Elizabeth Ulrich were received into the membership at Central Church. We welcome them warmly and extend God’s embrace. The people who participated in the youth Sunday church services on February 12 were members of the Scouts, Youth Choirs, and Combined Youth Choirs. Also included were Amelia Stetler, Leigh Kelly, Chris Krupp, Sean McGinley, and Valerie James. Zach Reyburn, Jake Skrzat, and Kaitlyn Yocum delivered the service message. The annual love feast communion service was held that evening in Fellowship Hall. Our CRAVE and WIRED groups spent February 24 through February 26 at Blue Mountain enjoying Christian fellowship and skiing. Youth Pastor Julian Scavetti was in charge of this foray into the wild white (snow) and blue. The annual congregational meeting was conducted on February 26, the first Sunday of Lent. Prior to the meeting, a luncheon was provided by the Board of Deacons members and the Taste of Fellowship group in our Fellowship Hall. Later that afternoon, the Chancel Bell Choir presented a concert at the Brittany Pointe Estates retirement com-

Worship: 9:00 a.m., 11:15 a.m. Church School: 10:00 a.m.

Worship: 8:00 a.m., 10:00 a.m. Church School: 9:00 a.m.

Worship: 10:15 a.m. Church School: 9:00 a.m.

Central Schwenkfelder 2111 Valley Forge Rd., Lansdale, Pa. 19446 610-584-4480

Olivet-Schwenkfelder United Church of Christ 619 Township Line Rd., Norristown, PA 19403 610-539-7444 •

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Palm Schwenkfelder P.O. Box 66, Palm, PA 18070 215-679-5321


sitespecific Church Briefs

munity. The Chancel Bell Choir is directed by Patricia Simpson. Many, many activities occurred during the month of March including the Women’s Christian Fellowship silent auction; collection of non-perishable food items by the Junior Sunday School class for delivery to Manna on Main Street, Lansdale, Pa; celebration of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Ladies’ Aid Society by a display in Central Church’s Fellowship Hall; our annual pork supper on Saturday, March 10; and the women’s retreat weekend to Morris, Pa., on March 23-25. Proceeds from the pork supper will be used to help refurbish the church organ. Church organist Donald Eby treated everyone to a recital after the supper. ✞

OLIVET It’s the most wonderful time of the year, at least according to a popular song (and a very overused ad). On Saturday, December 3, we enjoyed a holiday craft and vendor show with all the proceeds going to our capital improvement fund. The youth took center stage, literally, on December 18, when Michael Schrack, Kyle Sakamoto, Cassie Thacker, Gregory Briggs, and Alex Nyce presented our annual Christmas pageant. They were assisted by stagehands Doug Emerson, Vince Nyce and Rich Stiteler. We start them young here at Olivet! Four-year-old Aaron Nyce served as usher along with his dad, Karl, that day. Once again, those who were grieving were offered comfort at the Blue Christmas service on Wednesday, December 14. On a hap-

pier note, everyone at the Christmas Eve candlelight service enjoyed the beautiful music provided by our choir, bell choir and soloist Megan Williams Pilz. As has become our annual custom, we collected gifts for the children at Bethany Children’s Home. This year, we also revived a tradition from the Norristown Church and had a hat and mitten tree. Seventy-nine items were collected and donated to Cradles to Crayons. January 10 marked the start of a new program and a new way to help those in need. The group Next Steps was formed to offer resources and support to those seeking employment. It was led by Nancy Houyoux, B.S.N., M.B.A., and was opened to the local community as well as church members. January 22 found us gathering for lunch and our annual congregational meeting. We were honored to welcome Rev. Si Belden, of Montgomery Home Care and Hospice, for our health and human service Sunday on January 29. Mission and benevolence focused on collecting items for Laurel House during the month. Laurel House is a comprehensive domestic violence agency serving individuals, families, and communities throughout Montgomery County. February started off with our Souper Bowl of Caring. Youth Serve prepared the delicious soup. At that time, a freewill offering was taken and canned goods were collected. Women’s Fellowship recognized Valentine’s Day with the sale of peppermint bark. Sara Posen was in charge of candy making and sales. Wednesday, February 22, our members journeyed to Trinity UCC to enjoy a soup supper and then join in the

Ash Wednesday service to hear Pastor Leslie Kearney preach. All enjoyed a duet by Jenny Smith and Beth Slating during worship on February 26. Also, Linda Severson, a L’il Angels aide and mom, instructed us in the use of our brand new automated external defibrillator (AED) following the services that day. Olivet started the annual collection of items for the Chester County Migrant Ministry this month with February’s emphasis being on blankets. Ahoy maties! March 5-10 was the Olivet Schwenkfelder UCC week at Capt’n Chuckey’s Crab Cake Co. A percentage of all purchases, accompanied by the mention of our church, was donated to our capital improvements fund. Olivet was the host church for the ecumenical Lent service on Wednesday, March 7. The following Saturday, our newly formed Men’s Club sponsored a spaghetti dinner fundraiser. It was Youth Serve’s turn on Sunday, March 25, to sponsor a ziti dinner under the leadership of Doug and Cheryl Emerson. That same day, Women’s Fellowship started their sale of homemade Easter candy eggs and chocolate covered pretzels. It was time for some exercise after all that eating, so, we held a family bowling night at Facenda-Whittaker Lanes. Sheila Tornetta was in charge of the arrangements. March was the month for donating towels and wash cloths to the Chester County Migrant Ministry. ✞

Schwenkfelder Library & Heritage Center 105 Seminary St., Pennsburg, PA 18073 215-679-3103 Mon.: Closed • Tues., Wed., Fri.: 9–4 Thurs.: 9–8 • Sat.: 10–3 • Sun.: 1–4

Schwenckfeld Manor 1290 Allentown Rd. Lansdale, PA 19446 215-362-0227 Office Hours: Mon.–Fri. 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

PA L M The winter season at Palm had many activities to remind us of our call to help others in need. Our mission team got ready for their trip to Biloxi, MS. This year, the team included Sarah

Schwenkfelder Missionary 2010 Reed St. Philadelphia, PA 19146 215-334-4658 Worship: 10:45 a.m. Church School: 9:30 a.m. Perkiomen School 200 Seminary Street Pennsburg, PA 18073 215-679-9511



Badman, Bob Croll, Dan Ferry, Anne Goda, Kristin Howerter, Joanne Jalowy, Barbara Pence, Lee Schultz, and Constance Wildonger. The group left on January 7 to work with Back Bay Mission, a mission supported by donations to Our Churches’ Wider Mission. While the team was in Biloxi, they partnered with the mission team from Pilgrim Church UCC of Duxbury, MA. The two teams worked together to help build a new home. The team spent every day on site and came home each night exhausted but happy to be part of a team making such a positive difference in the lives of a family. The team did have time for some fun, too. They celebrated Constance’s birthday, spent an afternoon in Ocean Springs, and celebrated the end of the week with the Our Pilgrim members at The Shed. The mission team greatly appreciates our Palm Church members for the generous donations made so that they were able to make the trip and

leave a significant donation to the Back Bay Mission so they can continue with their ministry in Biloxi. Our youth had several activities this winter to join in on, too. On December 2, Lisa Stitt opened her home to the youth for a viewing of the Nativity Story movie. The attendees enjoyed light refreshments and hot chocolate while they watched the movie to get everyone in the mood of the season. Barb Master chaperoned a trip to see the United Schwenkfelder Choir in Worcester on December 4. The group also enjoyed lunch together before heading home. The Children’s Christmas program, this year, was held on December 19 and was called “Star of Wonder.” It included such stars as Superstar, Shooting Star, Lucky Star, Falling Star, Rock Star, and the North Star. After the worship service, light refreshments were served to celebrate the fantastic performance. Palm Church held a youth lock-in on

spotlight Personal Notes

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Scott Herster to Sara Miller at the Carriage House in East Greenville on September 25, 2011. (Central) Ryan King to Kelly Hornbaker at the Tyler Arboretum on October 1, 2011. (Central) Eric Long to Kristina Lepley at the Palm Schwenkfelder Church on October 16, 2011. (Palm) Daniel Moher to Amanda Watters at the Pen Ryn Mansion in Bensalem on August 6, 2011. (Central)

Audrey J. (Harner) Cook, age 94, wife of the late Charles J. Cook, of Frederick; January 21, 2012. Services February 11, 2012; interment at Palm Schwenkfelder Cemetery. (Palm)

BIRTHS Quinn Patrick DeHaut, son of Michael and Nicole (Watters) DeHaut, August 1, 2011. (Central) Brayden William Mears, son of William and Alissa Mears, September 16, 2011. (Olivet) Ian Richard Ross, son of Christopher and Kimberly (Karschner) Ross, January 5, 2012. (Palm) Julia Marie Smigo, daughter of Jamie and Jacqui (Gramm) Smigo, February 9, 2012. (Central) Miya Lillian Yoder, daughter of Nick and Michelle (Gabel) Yoder, March 31, 2012. (Palm)

DEDICATIONS Olivia Ann Hoffman, daughter of Bradley G. and Melissa A. (Keyser) Hoffman, November 13, 2011. (Palm)


January 20. Starting at 6:00 p.m., the kids enjoyed pizza and ice cream sundaes. There was a family snow tubing event on February 3. Last year was so much fun, the youth planned another trip for this year to Bear Creek for an evening of snow activities. Barb Master and Karen Shultz organized our college care packages this winter. A package, filled with goodies and notes of blessings and encouragement, was sent to our college church members who may be missing home. Palm Church members donated the contents for all of the boxes. Thanks to Barb and Karen and the donators for helping to make our college kids know they are remembered and cared for. This year, we held a women’s retreat on January 27-29. This was an opportunity for the women of Palm to get away with other women who wanted to share their faith, participate in Bible study, worship together, and just have some fun. ✞

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Robert G. Hoffman, age 85, husband of Ruth (Slabey) Hoffman of Worcester, formerly of Lower Gwynedd; February 22, 2012. Services March 2, 2012; interment at Garden of Memories in Worcester. (Central) Barbara (Englund) LeCarter, age 71, wife of Robert (“Nick”) LeCarter of Collegeville, formerly of Lansdale; March 2, 2012. Services March 7, 2012; interment at Whitemarsh Memorial Park. (Central) Paul C. Oschwald, age 78, husband of Nida (Sinclair) Oschwald of Pennsburg; December 17, 2011. Services December 23, 2011. (Palm) Naomi (Cassel) Roesener, age 92, wife of the late Wilbur Roesener, of Souderton; February 5, 2012. Services February 9, 2012; interment at Garden of Memories in Worcester. (Central) Richard Treffinger, age 83, husband of Charleen (Reiss) Treffinger of Green Lane; December 1, 2011. Services December 14, 2011; interment at Palm Schwenkfelder Cemetery. (Palm)

heritage In Retrospect 50 YEARS AGO The Men of Central sponsored a concert given by the Juniata College Choir in the sanctuary on Sunday afternoon, January 28. Following the concert, the men served dinner to the choir members in Fellowship Hall. Various members of the congregation were overnight hosts to the choir group. Palm Church hosted the United Schwenkfelder Choir members and guests on Saturday evening, January 13. After a turkey dinner was enjoyed, the group was entertained by Roy Bittenbender, young son of Mr. and Mrs. Owen Bittenbender, who presented a program of slight-of-hand illusions. A business meeting was held to close the evening activities. At the District Conference, held in the Palm Church on January 23, a special resolution of recognition was made and presented to Elmer K. Krauss for over half a century of service to the congregation as a trustee. Similar action was taken that such recognition also be given to Foster Schultz who served as treasurer for 20 years and Florence Schultz as organist for 30 years. The purchase of properties near Norristown Church was discussed at the church’s annual congregational meeting. It was agreed, by vote, that for the present, the location of the church on George Street would not be changed. A further meeting was held to discuss the matter within 30 days. Rev. J. Maurice Hohlfeld and Pastor Harvey K. Heebner of Philadelphia Church attended the 12th Annual Assembly of the Division of Foreign Missions of the NCCC in the U.S.A. held at the Ambassador Hotel in Atlantic City, from January 30 through February 2, 1962. The Christmas Eve snow did not deter our annual presentation of “The Hanging of the Greens” at the Lansdale Church. All 50 children and young people taking part in the service were present. The Senior C.E. group of the Lansdale Church sponsored the vesper service on


January 21. Guest speaker was Mr. Wilbur Seipt, who showed slides of his trip to Haiti when they delivered bulls to help the growth of this small country. At their mid-winter meeting of the Board of Trustees at Perkiomen School, the main discussion centered around the progress of the campus development program. Their announcement of a very generous gift of $30,000 by Mr. and Mrs. Walter F. Hollenbach of Jersey City for a new science and classroom building to be known as Hollenbach Hall was most welcome news. ✞

25 YEARS AGO The music department at Central Church had news of special gifts. A beautiful Austin organ console was donated by a church member and new hand bells were a gracious gift by church families. Central Church had winners in three divisions of the Montgomery County Sunday School Association’s teen talent competition held at Faith Church of Worcester on May 3. Winners were Karen Kratz, Kristy O’Brien, Cindy Oyler, Sherri Clemens, Lisa Ehring, Julie Lamphere, Kenji Kinoshita, Lauren Smith, Linda Heebner, and Nancy Kreisher. From Lansdale Church, Melissa Anders took first place in the science fair at Indian Crest Jr. High and honorable mention at the Montgomery County science fair. Debbie Janke had a lead in the North Penn High School play as fairy godmother in “Cinderella.” She was also voted into the National Honor Society. The Perkiomen School Concert Choir, Yeoman, and a quartet presented musical selections during the April 26 service at Palm Church. Headmaster George K. Allison of Perkiomen School unveiled a special portrait of past Headmaster Dr. Stephen Roberts during the school’s annual alumni weekend. Dr. Roberts served as headmaster from 19521966, and his portrait hangs in the main

hallway of Kriebel Hall along with the portraits of Dr. Kriebel and Dr. Tobias. On Sunday, January 18, the Deaconess Board of the Philadelphia Church sponsored a concert featuring the a capella group Chosen Vessel. The young men in the group were former prison inmates who found the Lord and whose ministry was to share the love of God in song. ✞

10 YEARS AGO The Senior Choir at Lansdale Church presented a cantata and drama entitled “A New Heart for Christmas” that was well received. It was announced that the property next to the church had been purchased to make room for possible future expansion. At Palm Church, the cantata “Journey of Promises” was presented by the special choir, with the service being concluded by a candle lighting by all in attendance. Members of Central Church filled 100 shoeboxes with small gift items to be sent to missionaries Greg and Linda Stirzel in Vienna, Austria. The boxes were distributed to refugees from more than 60 countries who had found their way to camp there, often with nothing but the clothes on their backs. The cantata “Who Was That Man?” was performed at both services on Palm Sunday by the Chancel, Dorian, and Junior Choirs at Central Church. The cantata was written by Karen Gallagher and Dottie Heebner. Members of Olivet were very busy and industrious with varied activities including a Thanksgiving breakfast, the annual roast beef dinner, soup suppers during Lent, a hanging of the greens and Advent workshop, and a parents’ shopping day out for preschool parents. Perkiomen School’s arboretum received a facelift as part of the school’s beautification program. The genesis for the arboretum restoration project began in 2000, when the school wanted to add a sense of arrival to the campus and a focus on its entrance. ✞





PUBLICATION OFFICE 105 Seminary Street Pennsburg, PA 18073-1898 Published during the Winter, Spring, and Fall in the interest of the Schwenkfelder Church. To discontinue mailings, call 215-679-3103 or email

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