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Trip Report
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Sun May 29

10:45am John Janzen, Pam Lamborn at Mt. Zion Mennonite Church, Elbing, KS

2:30p PHS 61


John Janzen, Anthropologist. This was my day to meet John Janzen at the Mt. Zion Mennonite Church in Elbing. In addition to being a professor at KU, he also has a home near Elbing.

Pam Lamborn of Peabody, who also attends Mt. Zion, suggested last November that John and I should get acquainted. Sunday morning she introduced us. We all attended the church service, and in true Mennonite tradition, I was invited to join a group for dinner afterward. Also in true Mennonite tradition, I was well fed, including the gooseberry-mulberry pie!

There I had a chance to talk to several people about the immigrants from the City of Richmond. They were interesting conversations, but I learned nothing new. I think we've solved all the easy problems!

Lois Friesen. At this dinner, I met Lois Friesen, who is a descendant of the Weber family of PA. She loaned me one of her Weber books, and it contained familiar names.

Ralph Schmidt. I also met Ralph, who is another Schmidt cousin of Nancy Pauls and of my Good cousins John and Meredith. Ralph lives on what he called the "home" place. Ancestors of this Schmidt family also arrived in 1874, but on the S. S. Nederland.

PHS 61, Main Event. That afternoon I returned to Peabody for more PHS 61 festivities, and met and talked with some more local folks, particularly about the story of the Jacob Stucky children.

John Janzen. John and I didn't get much time to talk in the midst of all the church events, so we made date for ice cream at 5pm in Peabody, and talked until nearly 10pm, a good deal of it sitting on a bench near the south end of main street.

It was a wide-ranging conversation. John couldn't help me with any specifics about the immigrants from the City of Richmond or the Vaderland, but we found plenty to talk about, and we agreed to meet again the next time I'm passing through. He gave me the names of some other people who might be more helpful with these specific immigrations.

John also gave me a copy of a book on Mennonite Furniture written by his wife and him. It also has maps of many of the European locations from which Mennonites emigrated in the 1870s. The maps were one of John's contributions to the book.

Reinhild Kauenhoven Janzen and John M. Janzen, Mennonite Furniture: A Migrant Tradition (1766-1910) (Intercourse, PA: Good Books, 1991).
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