Old Order Amish

Posted by Dave Tabler | November 21, 2017

When you’re in Oakland or Grantsville, MD, you’re in Old Order Amish territory. If you’re not Amish yourself, you may be wondering just how that group got its name. You’d have to go back to the Zurich, Switzerland of the 1690s and make the acquaintance of one Jakob Amman. Amman’s roots were in the Anabaptists, a movement that had sprung up in 1525, in direct conflict with the Roman Catholic Church. The Catholics practiced infant baptism; the Anabaptists believed solely in adult baptism.

Originally known as Swiss Brethren, the Zurich group soon became referred to as Mennonites—a like-minded group led by one Menno Simmons had formed about the same time in the Netherlands, and the tag stuck with the Swiss Brethren as well.

By Jakob Amman’s time, a serious dogmatic dispute had arisen amidst the Mennonites over the practice of Meidung, or shunning of excommunicated members. This practice had been more important in former times, but had lapsed.

Amman, determined that the Meidung should be observed strictly, traveled extensively throughout Switzerland and Alsace between 1693 and 1697 preaching exactly that, and was so insistent that his followers formed a separate camp, excommunicating all other Mennonites who did not practice shunning.

Amman’s conservative Anabaptist followers became known as “ammanasch,” a name which was corrupted eventually to the present “Amish.”

Hounded constantly by the Catholic Church, the Amish immigrated to Pennsylvania, where other religious groups had fled, seeking religious freedom. Many Amish settled first in Lancaster County, PA, and subsequently migrated westward to other parts of Pennsylvania and down into western Maryland. Later Amish immigration from Germany in the 1800’s had more to do with avoiding military conscription than with physical persecution.

There is a difference of opinion as to whether the Amish are a church or an ethnic group, as they do not actively evangelize, and conversions to the group are not common.

The Amish prefer to let their strong and silent lifestyle serve as an example of Christian living. The most important institution within the Amish community is the church. The Bible is interpreted literally and directly. The Mennonite hymn book, the “Ausbund,” is believed to have appeared in 1564 and is still used today by the Old Order Amish.

The worship service includes the singing of four hymns in High German. The German dialect used in everyday discourse, and the more formal German or High German used in worship services, tend to make the group exclusive, although everyone is welcome to attend church or convert to the faith.

Title page of the Ausbund Hymn Book, 1564Title page of the Ausbund Hymn Book, 1564

Garrett County, MD has two communities of Old Order Amish. German immigrant Peter Gortner purchased property four miles south of Oakland in 1850 and established a farm in an area that is today known as Pleasant Valley.

The Old Amish congregation was probably organized in 1855. Church services were held in Gortner’s house in the 1850’s-1860’s, and Peter Gortner is identified as the first minister of the church located there. Peter Gortner Jr. later enhanced the original farm by constructing grist and saw mills, a store, and a post office that was officially designated Gortner.

Joseph Slaughbaugh had a significant influence on the town when he purchased 723 acres in approximately 1857, referred to as Ashby’s Discovery Tract at a tax sale in Cumberland, MD. Slaughbaugh’s siblings moved to the area and developed farms on the expanse of land.

Joseph Slaughbaugh’s house served as the worship center during the 1860s. The Slaughbaugh family donated land for construction of Union Church in Gortner, aptly named as it combined Mennonite and Old Order Amish congregations. Through the preaching of John Holdeman several families left, including two preachers. Daniel Beachey was the first bishop in the congregation. After his death in 1897, bishops from the Somerset churches served the congregation until 1908, when Bishop Lewis M. Beachey was ordained.

Other families who settled in Gortner include Pfeil and Miller from Germany, and Yutzy, Slabach, Selder, Beachey, Gnagey, Schrock, and Petersheim from Somerset and Cambria counties, Pennsylvania.

The settlement always considered itself as one church district, even though in the early days of the settlement several families lived about ten miles west of Oakland, near Aurora and Eglon, WV.

The second western Maryland Old Amish community formed as an integral part of the Amish settlement along the border of Somerset County, PA. Grantsville was the Maryland side center of the settlement; it began in a small way about 1770. This area was in the valley of the Casselman River and so has long been called the Casselman Valley district.

The original settlement here was largely built up by German immigrants from Hesse and Waldeck in 1830-1860. Since numerous Grantsville Amish families moved westward to Holmes County, OH, and Johnson County, IA, before 1860, the community never grew large. The Grantsville Amish community ultimately became almost totally Conservative Amish or Beachy Amish.

 

Sources: Old Order Amish Settlement: Diffusion and Growth, by William K Crowley, Annals of the Assn of American Geographers, Vol. 68, No. 2, June 1978
www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/G3755.html
www.mountaindiscoveries.com/stories/ss2003/gortneramish_plain.html

Amish appalachia appalachian+history appalachian+mountains+history Garrett+County+MD Mennonites Old+Order+Amish

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Black Draught and Wine of Cardui

Posted by Dave Tabler | November 20, 2017

When the Civil War ended, two Federal soldiers, Z. C. Patten and T. H. Payne, were mustered out of the army in Chattanooga. They formed a partnership for selling paper, blankbooks and miscellaneous stationery supplies. Business in Chattanooga was in a disorderly state because of the chaos caused by the war, and the rapid surge forward of business reorganization.

Zeboim Carrter Patten (1840 – 1925), taken just after the Civil War. Courtesy Wikipedia.

Zeboim Carrter Patten (1840 – 1925), taken just after the Civil War. Courtesy Wikipedia.

Soon after its formation the Patten-Payne partnership acquired control of the debt-laden Chattanooga Times. This fortunate deal perhaps inspired Z. C. Patten to favor a program of expansion, while his more conservative partner wished to hold on to the property which they already owned.

Patten, however, gave rein to his expansive ideas and bought the formulas of Thedford’s Black Draught and McElree’s Wine of Cardui, and organized the Chattanooga Medicine Company for large-scale production of these medicines.

Fourteen years after the end of the war Chattanooga had practically recovered from the rigors of reconstruction, and was rapidly becoming a prosperous city of the postwar South. Falling under the spell of southern progress, Adolph Ochs of Knoxville, an enterprising lad of twenty, began his illustrious career with the struggling Chattanooga Times.

He was offered the paper for the modest price of $800, but, even with the aid of his friend Colonel E. A. James, he was unable to borrow more than $300 on his note. In two years, however, the youthful publisher had increased his paper’s business to such an extent that it cost him $10,000 to complete the purchase which was originally offered him for $800. The lack of $500 cost him $9,500.

Before Ochs became owner of the paper a negotiated sale was necessary to clarify its final disposition. Through this deal, arranged by Z. C. Patten, Ochs became indebted to the drug manufacturer, and the two later developed a warm friendship.

Doubtless it was because of this friendship that Adolph Ochs was tempted to violate a rule of publishing ethics which he upheld so rigorously in his later years as publisher. In addition to his responsibilities in the management of his paper, he became the second president of the Chattanooga Medicine Company.

A rare photo of Adolph Ochs, about the time he was beginning his career as a Knoxville journalist. Courtesy Metropulse.

A rare photo of Adolph Ochs, about the time he was beginning his career as a Knoxville journalist. Courtesy Metropulse.

Thus it was that medicine making and newspaper publishing in Chattanooga were intimately linked for a brief time. Ochs, however, in later years went on to bigger things in New York, and Z. C. Patten’s medicine company concentrated its attention on the rich medicine trade of the New South. Sticking rather faithfully to the territory of the ex-Confederate states, with Kentucky, West Virginia and Missouri added for good measure, the Chattanooga Company sought business at every crossroads store.

Publicity was the soul of the business, and salesmen were instructed to see that the name of the two medicines became household words in the region. Freely they wielded the tack hammer and paintbrush.

The only paint used on many barns and buggy sheds in the South was that which proclaimed in black and yellow the inseparable names of Black Draught and Wine of Cardui. In 1884, when the Pure Food and Drug Act was unknown and the lid was off, a medicine manufacturer’s ad writer was constrained by no inhibitions when it came to boosting his products.

Of Wine of Cardui, a newspaper ad said, ‘This pure wine is a simple vegetable extract without intoxicating qualities, and has proved to be the most astonishing TONIC FOR WOMEN known to medical science.”

Twenty years later when Samuel Hopkins Adams published his “Great American Fraud” articles, he mentioned the advertising of the Chattanooga Medicine Company as not being suitable reading material for a family gathered around the breakfast table.

In keeping with this reformer’s cryptic remarks, some of the Cardui ads do constitute a revealing chapter in medical publicity. Somewhere in the periphery there seemed always to be a literate husband who was anxious to testify to his mate’s suffering and final cure.

“My wife,” said a well- known gentleman, “has been in delicate health for fifteen years. She suffered fearfully every month with pains and excessive menses. Doctors could do her no good. One bottle of McElree’s Wine of Cardui restored her health, and she gained eighteen pounds of weight in two months while taking it.”

This was good stuff, but not good enough, and being a little carefree in the wording of his sentences, the copywriter took his lead from the enthusiastic husband.

He said, “McElree’s Wine of Cardui is recommended as a tonic for delicate ladies. It was tested in 7000 cases and cured 6500 of them. Its astonishing action mystified Doctors, delighted sufferers, and restored thousands of suffering women to health and happiness.” Obviously a batting average of 6,500 out of 7,000 cases was enough to mystify the doctors and delight the sufferers.

Likewise for a puny and failing wife to gain eighteen pounds from taking one bottle of Wine of Cardui explains why Z. C. Patten’s friends sometimes chided him by asking whether his “female preparation” was “a beverage or a medicine.”

Interestingly enough, in sixty years of ad writing, the man at the copy desk has grown considerably more conservative. He has become exceedingly skeptical of the word cure; in fact, there is no such word in his glossary, and he will not let a grateful patron become so exuberant in praise as to say that she has been healed.

Chattanooga Medicine Company published this 1912 cookbook as an ad giveaway, liberally sprinkled with ads for both Wine of Cardui and Black Draught. Courtesy Digital Library of America.

Chattanooga Medicine Company published this 1912 cookbook as a giveaway, liberally sprinkled with ads for both Wine of Cardui and Black Draught. Courtesy Digital Library of America.

 

Illustrative of this was the moderation with which Mrs. John A. Bailey, R.F.D. 2, Arab, Alabama, wrote in 1914 that “my use of Cardui dates back to my mother’s home, she would give me Cardui when I needed it and it always seemed to help me. I have used it since, when needed. Cardui is the only tonic I have ever used.”

Even Samuel Hopkins Adams’ gentleman of the Victorian breakfast table would find practically nothing in the new-style advertising to offend his sensitive womenfolk.

Frankly Thedford’s Black Draught has become a forthright laxative containing, in its liquid form, “extract of senna, rhubarb, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, and annis.” In powdered form the formula is essentially the same.

Even more interesting is the candid warning which appears on the back of the traditional yellow pasteboard packages. “Some people,” say the manufacturers, “have a tendency to rely too much on laxatives, which, if continued a long time, may lead to too much dependence on them. Medical authorities advise against this.”

This admission within itself constitutes a significant chapter in American social progress, which perhaps explains why Black Draught has been able to enjoy a rich market for so long a period.

 

Source:  Clark, Thomas D. Pills, Petticoats and Plows; The Southern Country Store. New York: Bobbs-Merrill, 1914, pp. 248-251. Print.

Special thanks to Cindy B. Cady for her help with this article.

3 Responses

  • Kassie says:

    I found a bottle of Cardui today in an old shed of the house I just moved to. The house was built in the 50s. The bottle seems to be original, still in most of the packaging, and is full. I can’t find a date on it. Is this a rare find?

  • Erik Schulz says:

    Hi, Kassie, I was wondering if you still have this bottle. I am a student that is researching medicinal products from the 1880’s-1920’s. I am not sure on the worth of the bottle I have one in a collection, but it is in pieces. If you don’t mind I would really like to get more information from you to further my research.

  • JustAnOldGuy says:

    There was always a Black Draught box in my grandparent’s medicine cabinet. The article also brought back memories of another ‘patent’ medicine, Hadacol Tonic, and a little gray kitten I had as a child. I gave him the name “Hadacol” because I ‘hadda call him sumpthin’.

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Cold Winter Shadow

Posted by Dave Tabler | November 17, 2017

When a cold winter shadow I cast on the ground
And frost from the foothills is creeping all around
I now and then glance down the road towards the town
In a kind of a hope you’ll be coming on down

It must have been November when I left you to the train
I watched your carriage disappear in the lonely western rain
And I wiped the rain from off my face and turned the way I’d come
And drove our old spring wagon thru the hills near Edmonton

Winters here are very long, the roads are thick with snow
A year is gone since first you left, no courage left to go
I know I should leave, but you won’t know where I’ve gone
Be kind of nice to have you here with Christmas coming on

Kentucky folk song, anonymous

appalachian history
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Hard work, fresh air, and plenty of food

Posted by Dave Tabler | November 16, 2017

Shortly after taking office in 1933, President Franklin Roosevelt announced plans for creation of a “conservation army.” FDR at first saw the Civilian Conservation Corps primarily as a forestry organization — fighting fires, planting trees, thinning timber stands, stopping soil erosion and floods — but the field personnel of the State and Federal agencies involved soon realized that CCC labor might also be directed toward the construction of forest improvements–particularly roads, trails, buildings, and recreation sites. The CCC men literally built the foundations on which the national forests now stand.

Camp Ellison D. Smith F-l, located near the Whetstone Road in Oconee County, was the first CCC camp to be located in South Carolina. This and two others soon to follow employed approximately 800 men at their peaks, and remained operational for nearly 10 years.

Oconee State ParkThe men of these camps built Oconee State Park, Long Mountain Fire Tower, and Walhalla Fish Hatchery, and rebuilt Highway 107. There were many other less obvious projects. Millions of trees were planted; girdling to kill undesirable rotten trees was done on thousands of acres; growth plots for long-term forest inventory were established. Erosion control work was done on eroding fields which were on farms purchased by the Forest Service; property boundaries were surveyed, painted, and posted, in addition to wildlife being stocked.

Hard work, fresh air, and plenty of food were considered essential for CCC employees to accomplish one of the goals established by the office of education, “to develop an appreciation of nature and of country life.” And to that third end, here is the 1938 Thanksgiving menu for Camp 1:

OLIVES
GIBLET GRAVY
CANDIED SWEET POTATOES
GUAVA JELLY
FRIED CORN
FRUIT PUNCH
SWEET PICKLES
CREAM OF PEA SOUP
SALTINES
ROAST TURKEY
CRANBERRY SAUCE
ROAST PORK HAM
HOT ROLLS
LETTUCE SALAD
BUTTER
CELERY HEARTS
OYSTER DRESSING
CREAMED CAULIFLOWER
GRAPE JELLY
CREAMED POTATOES
PUMPKIN PIE
FRESH FRUITS
PLUM PUDDING
CIGARETTES
ICE CREAM
NUTS
COFFEE
MINCE MEAT PIE
ASSORTED CANDIES
BRANDY SAUCE
CIGARS
FRUIT CAKE

Oconee State Park was listed in the National Register of Historic Places on June 16, 2004.

sources: http://ftp.rootsweb.com/pub/usgenweb/sc/oconee/history/MR-03.txt
www.nationalregister.sc.gov/oconee/S10817737015/index_2.htm

related post: “He is now in the C.C. Camp”

CCC Oconee+State+Park Oconee+County+SC appalachia appalachia+history appalachian+culture

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Criminal Syndicalism comes to Harlan, KY

Posted by Dave Tabler | November 15, 2017

http://xroads.virginia.edu/~MA05/luckey/amj/dreiserbig.jpg
In November 1931, as chairman of the National Committee for the Defense of Political Prisoners, well known author Theodore Dreiser organized a special committee to infiltrate Kentucky’s Harlan coal mines to investigate allegations of crimes and abuses against striking miners. The self-appointed group of left-leaning writers (including Theodore Dreiser, Lewis Mumford, John Dos Passos, and Sherwood Anderson) listened to various members of the mining communities—the oppressed—in order to learn about this vivid example of class warfare, and place it in the context of international class struggle.

Though many miners welcomed the Dreiser Committee’s interest in their plight, others in the community perceived the group of writers as Communist intruders. It should be noted that during this period, the Communist-led National Miners Union rivaled the United Mine Workers of America for a dominant union role.

Dreiser’s life was threatened for calling attention to the matter. Dreiser, John Dos Passos, and others on the “Dreiser Committee,” as it was called, were indicted by the Bell County Grand Jury for criminal syndicalism, and a warrant was issued for Dreiser’s arrest.

 

“It is characteristic of our whole American attitude just now,” said Mr. [Sherwood] Anderson. We are a speakeasy country. Liberal thinking is strictly private almost everywhere. That is what makes me glad for Theodore Dreiser. He and those other people have had the nerve and the manhood to go down there into Kentucky, where there is apparently a reign of terror. They went openly, and only after other men and women had refused to go. Mr. Dreiser wanted to call public attention to what was going on. He wanted truth. And then too, he spoke out loud in a speakeasy country. He said in public what millions of Americans think in private. For that he is accused of criminal syndicalism.”
–NY Times, Dec 7, 1931

 

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Governor of New York at the time, said he would grant Dreiser an open hearing, and John W. Davis agreed to defend the Committee. Due to widespread publicity and public sentiment, however, all formal charges against Dreiser and the Committee were dropped.

Sources:

http://tinyurl.com/2wjyms

http://tinyurl.com/3a6687

http://tinyurl.com/3crnta

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