Monday, September 14, 2015


Someone asked if the Amish and Old Order Mennonites had to voluntarily increase food production during World War II, and if so the impact it had on everyone.  I was not on the earth during that time, so I had to investigate that to get an answer.  My and Anna's Grandparents are with the Lord,  so I went to our parents, Grandmother Olive and Grandfather Albert, and a few other Amish and Old Order Mennonite.

During World War II, the farm production wasn't really increased more on Amish and Old Order Mennonites farms because they were already doing as much production as they could.  When I said could, there were problems during World War II - like being able to get seeds to plant, getting extra men to work on their farm during planting and harvesting seasons (a problem farmers still have), selling some of the food they grew due to the tightness of money, and more.  During World War II it was a hard time on Amish, Old Order Mennonites and Englishers.

Grandfather Albert and Grandmother Olive remember when they were children people coming to their door because they were hungry.  Sure some of them were hobos who just didn't work.  But they mostly were people that had lost everything they had.  Sometimes it was a Mother with children because her husband had gone to war.  Sometimes it was men who came back for war.  Grandmother Olive's Mother use to make them up a plate of food  as they sat on the porch.  Sometimes her Father use to let them sleep in the barn at night, give them a hot breakfast in the morning on the porch and send them on their way.

As far as Amish or Old Order Mennonite food being shipped to England during the war, they didn't think so.  Englishers farmers may have, but they didn't.  Now when we say that, we can't talk for all Amish or Old Order Mennonites, just in general.  They were, I am sure, Amish and Old Order Mennonite who may have but most did not.  They did sell what they could and gave much of it away to those in their area who didn't have food.

Which leads to another subject.  Even thought Amish and Old Order Mennonites do not believe in serving in war, some did.  Going back to the Civil War, some Amish and Old Order Mennonites served in the Army during the war.  Some of the Amish supported the North (Yankees).  In order to get out of military during that war, you could either pay $300.00 or get someone to serve for you.  But some young folks back then, like today, wanted to serve and did.  Some died serving, some came home injured and some came home when the war was over.

During World War I, the government did not allow all Amish and Old Order Mennonite not to serve for religious beliefs.  Some did because they worked on farms, but some did not.  Those that were taken for service that refused to wear a uniform or do what they were asked to do were jailed, beaten, and more.  Again, some young Amish and Old Order Mennonites did go and serve because they wanted to.

During World War II things changed a bit for Amish and Old Order Mennonites.  When drafted into service some worked in hospitals, on farms that raised for those in service and more.  Again, some Amish and Old Order Mennonites did serve during the war in combat because they wanted to.

In fact in wars since the Civil War to today, some young Amish and Old Order Mennonites have served in the military.  We do not encourage our young men to do that - it is against our beliefs.  But as all young folks, they have wanted to go, wanted to serve and have done it.  Some have died in service.  Some have come back to their Amish and Old Order Mennonite ways.  Some have joined the Englisher world.

Trust God's Wisdom,


Tom said...

War is never a good answer to problems.

Anonymous said...

Well said, Tom.
Once again, thank you, Elmer, for today's post.

Some questions for possible future posts......
Did all the families come to NY from PA?
Do members of their church groups also live in other parts of NY? If so, where?
Does Jean still sell baked goods? If so, would she tell us more about doing so?
What are the older boys doing these days?
Would Bishop Joseph and Bishop Eli be willing to tell us a little about their lives and families?

New York State Of Mind said...

Good Morning Tom,
I agree with you.


New York State Of Mind said...

Good Morning Anonymous,

I will see that Elmer gets your message. Also will see that the folks gets your messages. I know they appreciate questions.


Angela Tucker said...

Good morning, Marilyn. I agree with Tom, too. :-(

New York State Of Mind said...

Good Morning Angela,

The Amish do too and so do the Old Order Mennonites. But, as Elmer said, when there is war some young men do go. I agree with Tom, too.


New York State Of Mind said...

Hi Folks,?
We are taking about war here. How about a good story? Some friends of mine own a cottage in Sodus. During the pouring down rain they heard a kitten crying under their shed out back. One of them went out and it took an hour and half, in the rain, to get it out. They immediately took it to the vet, got it's shots, dewormed, and checked over. Seeing they have two dogs and two cats - they had a full house. They tried to find who owned it, but when they couldn't find them said they wouldn't give it back to anyone who would send it out in the pouring rain. Kitten is only 6 weeks old and weight 1 pound, two ounces. So they put it on facebook to find it a home. Someone they knew adopted it. Now kitten has a forever home.


Vickie said...

What an extremely interesting post Elmer. Thank you for sharing.
I am glad the kitten is going to it's forever home. ♥

Lily said...

War is never good. So sad.

Other topics:
What are the main differences in clothing between Amish and Mennonite?
What articles of clothing are made, and what are bought?
What is the latest with Jean & David's children? (they are well blessed with their children)
Also, curious on anyone's views on how the environment(God's creation) is being handled by humans in general?

Everyday I look forward to this post.

dynnamae n said...

An interesting post today. When there are Amish or Mennonite young people that want to join the military, I am glad they are allowed to do that. No one likes war, I wouldn't think, but history shows from the beginning of time, it has always been with us. May God always bless those that serve our country. I so enjoyed the rescue and good outcome of the kitten. Thank you for sharing that with us, Marilyn. Thanks to Elmer for answering questions and sharing his wisdom with us too.

New York State Of Mind said...

Hi Vickie,

I will see that Elmer gets your message.

I am so glad the kitten has gotten a forever home, too.

Hugs to Mable and Henry,
Marilyn and Pierre

New York State Of Mind said...

Hi Lily,
War is sad and we have so many of them.

Also will see that they get your messages.


New York State Of Mind said...

Hi Dynnamae n,

The Amish do not allow their young men to join the military, but a few men do it anyway. Yes, we do have many wars. I agree, may God Bless those that serve our country. Glad you enjoyed about the kitten, too.