History of BRETHREN Publications_German Baptist; Church of the Brethren COB Dunkard_Washington County PA Genealogy and Family History_Little Washington

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Washington County 'Little Washington' Pennsylvania
 Genealogy and Family History



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* Overlapping time periods may make this history seem confusing...  

"The following is a list in date order of the various Brethren periodicals mentioned on the FOBG website. I have included the Brethren denominations with which I believe they would be affiliated. The information on the library page indicates that "[m]ost of the obituaries in these periodicals have been indexed."  I know that The Vindicator is affiliated with the Old German Baptist Brethren (and indexed), and The Gospel Messenger is affiliated with the Church of the Brethren (and indexed). Given the dates of publication and having checked the chart located at the COB history website which shows the dates of the various splits in the church, I believe the [last] three periodicals would be German Baptist Brethren." [Submitted by Ginni Morgan, James Shuman, on the BRETHREN-L@rootsweb.com mailing list, with additions by Judy Florian.)

April, 1851 to 1873- The Monthly Gospel Visiter, later became the Gospel Visitor The first paper published for the Brethren. German Baptist Brethren was originally The Monthly Gospel Visiter -  April 1851 was the first issue.  Founded by Henry Kurtz, a German Immigrant.  Kurtz stated in the first issue (April, 1851) that his purpose was "..... to exhibit and defend the pure and unadulterated gospel or our Lord Jesus Christ...." Despite the founder's attempts to be conciliatory in his promotion of the new magazine, some Brethren felt it smacked of worldliness and cheapened the gospel. it was only after two years of deliberation that Annual Meeting, in 1853, concluded that The Gospel Visiter was harmless and hold be permitted to continue as a private venture. 

The earliest publication of this usually gave just a brief obituary, stating the person's name, death date, age, and the person's church district - and little else.  Contained uplifting articles and items.

1856 In 1856 James Quinter joined Kurtz as associate editor of The Gospel Visiter.
Dec., 1856 The Visiter become the Visitor in Dec., 1856.
1865 Kurtz retired in1865, and Quinter became editor.
1873 - The Primitive Christian In 1873, a year before the death of Kurtz, Quinter purchased The Gospel Visitor and H. R. Holsinger's Christian Family Companion and united the two into one paper, The Primitive Christian, after several months under a double banner. It evolved into The Gospel Messenger.
1882  The 1882 Annual Meeting of the Brethren (the Old German Baptist Brethren had withdrawn in 1881) recognized the paper as the official organ of the church. (Per the Brethren Encyclopeadia.)


1870 - The Pilgrim 1870 - The Pilgrim


1864-1874 - Christian Family Companion Christian Family Companion 1864-1874, was the second Brethren paper.  It began Jan. 3, 1865, edited and published by Henry R. Holsinger at Tyrone, Pa. -- a weekly paper. 
1865 By 1865, the editor was being called upon by Annual Meeting to answer to charges of advocating unacceptable ideas.
1873  By 1873 the paper had some 5,000 subscribers. (across numerous states)  But Mr. Holsinger, weary of the continued controversy and the unpleasant friction between himself and the Brethren leaders, offered to sell the Christian Family Companion to James Quinter, editor of The Gospel Visitor. Quinter accepted the offer, bought the paper, and consolidated the two. In Jan.,1876, the consolidated paper became The Primitive Christian.


Christian Family Companion and Gospel Visitor 1874-1875
Jan. 6, 1874 Christian Family Companion resulted from a merger of the Christian Family Companion and The Gospel Visitor. First issue of this is dated Jan. 6, 1874. James Quinter, editor. 
Jan. 4, 1876 On Jan. 4, 1876, the name was changed to The Primitive Christian, still under Editor Quinter.



The Vindicator (1870-present) Old German Baptist Brethren (OGBB)
The Vindicator is a monthly publication of the Old German Baptist Brethren (OGBB). It originated in Montgomery County, OH near Dayton in 1870. The first editor was Samuel Kinsey, under the supervision of Peter Nead. It is still being published monthly in Englewood, OH (Montgomery County). It is edited and published by a committee of seven, plus an office editor. The paper contains selected articles, essays, poetry, editorial comments, church business news, and obituaries of OGBB members and their families. [Submitted by Bonnie Layman Lair on the BRETHREN-L@rootsweb.com mailing list.]
March 1, 1870 - The Vindicator According to the Brethren Encyclopedia, p. 1306, the first editor of The Vindicator was Samuel Kinsey, minister, who began publication March 1, 1870.
1883 - 1889 Joseph Immel COVER became Editor
1889 - 1899 John and Henry Garber
1899 - 1901 Henry Garber (alone)
1901 - 1947 John M. Kimmel
1947 - 1972 Lester Fisher

An index to the obituaries published in The Vindicator, is available from Alva C. Riffey (R.2, Box 59, Westphalia, KS 66093); and the summaries of The Vindicator obituaries are available from Rosa L. Brovont (2040 E St Rd 218, Camden, IN 46917-9705). The index is less than one hundred pages long. The summaries are in 5 volumes.


Various publications - between 1870 and 1883.
between 1870 and 1883 34 various magazines - New periodicals appeared almost ever year (Thirty-four of them between 1870 and 1883), but many lasted only a year or two. Mergers of newspapers and name changes were frequent in this time period.
1875 - Der Bruderbote (which means The brother messenger) Der Bruderbote - Later called The Brethren at Work (1875)
1876-1883 - The Brethren at Work The Brethren at Work (1876-1883) German Baptist Brethren (?).  Edited and published by James Quinter.  

From 1876 to 1833 these two papers, one published in the west and one in the east, competed for patrons. 


Merges of Publications
The Gospel Visitor April 1851 - 1873
Before 1856 it's was called the The Gospel Visiter 
l Christian Family Companion 1865-1873 
The Pilgrim & The Weekly Pilgrim 1870-1876 
The Primitive Christian 1876-1878 
The Brethren At Work 1875-1883 
 On January 2, 1872 The Pilgrim was re- named The Weekly-Pilgrim. It was published under this tile until January 5, 1875, when it re-adopted it original name. 
On October 31, 1876, The Pilgrim was united with the Primitive Christian to from The Primitive Christian and The Pilgrim. On July 3, 1883, this magazine was consolidated with the Brethren at Work to become The Gospel Messenger. It was not until the 1882 Annual Meeting of the Brethren (the Old German Baptist Brethren had withdrawn in 1881) that a The Primitive Christian (resulting from a merger of The Gospel Visitor and Christian Family Companion papers) was recognized as the official organ of the church.


The Primitive Christian (1876-1883) 
under Editor James Quinter - Jan. 4, 1876
German Baptist Brethren (?)
becomes The Gospel Messenger
(As shown on a table before this one...) 

Jan. 6, 1874

Christian Family Companion resulted from a merger of the Christian Family Companion and The Gospel Visitor. First issue of this is dated Jan. 6, 1874. James Quinter, editor. 
same date On Jan. 4, 1876, the name was changed to The Primitive Christian, still under Editor Quinter.
June 19, 1833 issue  Finally, in the June 19, 1883 issue of The Primitive Christian, the consolidation was announced.
 July 3, 1883 The Gospel Messenger (1883-1964) German Baptist Brethren/ Church of the Brethren (COB) - In 1883 the two major brethren newspapers The Primitive Christian and Brethren At Work merge into what is now The Gospel Messenger.

July 3 was the first issue of the new paper, The Gospel Messenger.


The Church of the Brethren has put out a complete index of obituaries for the The Gospel Messenger on an CD (1883 to1964). 1964 was the last year The Gospel Messenger published obituaries in the paper. 

Gospel Messenger Obit Index on CD - The Messenger CD Obituary Index sells for $29.95. First class shipping on this item would be $4.50 - order using a credit card by phone @ 800/441-3712. by fax @ 800 /667-8188. We accept all major credit cards Visa, MC, Discover and Am Exp. You may also order by mail and enclose a check for $34.45 for merchandise, shipping and handling. - Brethren Press Customer Service


pre-1897 Brethren Publishing House - a privately owned business
1897 The Brethren Press, which had formerly been the Brethren Publishing House, began in 1897.
l899  The Publishing House had been a privately owned business. In l899 it moved from Mt. Morris Ill to Elgin, Ill.

Elgin became the headquarters in 1899. Whether the publishing headquarters was of importance at that time to the majority of Brethren in rural areas nationwide is unclear. Probably by the early 1900s this resource became more important to common rural people. [From discussions with Ferne Baldwin from Manchester College, on the BRETHREN-L@rootsweb.com mailing list.]


Inglenook magazines -  According to the Brethren Encyclopedia, this magazine was published 1900-1913.  

Volume 3, no. 14 is dated April 6, 1901. According to OCLC's WorldCat, Volume 2 was 1900 (I'm guessing a 1899 start, then) and the magazine continued through 1913. 

Page 12 of the aforementioned The Inglenook 3:14 includes the publishing information and the following information:

"The subscription price of the Magazine is one dollar a year. It is a high-class publication, intended for the Home, and for the interest, entertainment, and information, of old and young.

"Articles intended for publication should be short, of general interest, and nothing of a love story character or with either cruelty of killing, will be considered.

"Manuscript submitted to the Editor will be at the entire risk of the writer, and will be returned, if not found available, if a request to do so accompanies the copy.

"Subscribers wishing the address of their papers changed should invariably give the old address at which they received their Inglenook.
"Agents are wanted everywhere, and any reasonable number of sample copies will be furnished free. All communications relating to the Inglenook should be addressed as follows:

"Brethren Publishing House, "(For the Inglenook.) 22-24 S. State St., Elgin, Ill."

"[Entered at the Post Office in Elgin, Ill., as Second-class Matter."

Most if not all, of the Inglenook magazines are at the Brethren Heritage Center in Brookville OH.


The Inglenook Cook Book
1901 "Inglenook Cook Book." The original _Inglenook Cook Book_ (with '"Cook Book" appearing as two words) was published in 1901.

1901 reprint is now in paperback

1911  It was revised and enlarged in 1911.  The Brethren Publishing House (now The Brethren Press) published three editions of the Inglenook Cook Book.

Here is the "Preface" to the 1911 edition:

"The recipes of the Inglenook Cook Book, with very few exceptions, were contributed by sisters of the Church of the Brethren who long have had the reputation of being excellent cooks. From its first publication the Inglenook Cook Book has been exceedingly popular with all classes and has enjoyed a wide circulation. Its great popularity led the publishers to revise and enlarge the book. New recipes and new features were added so that in its present form it rightfully ranks among the best cook books on the market. Though many of the recipes have never appeared elsewhere in print the Inglenook Cook Book lays no special claim to originality. Its chief claim is that its recipes have been _tried_ and are _recommended_. 
And further, the recipes are stated in simple language so that they are readily understood."

the 1911 reprint is in hardback

1941 _Granddaughter's Inglenook Cookbook_ (with "Cookbook" appearing as one word), was published in 1941.

 "In the fall of 1941 a call for recipes was made to the women of the church with the result that in a few months more than five thousand recipes were in hand."... "Thus to the granddaughters of those who furnished the recipes for the original Inglenook Cookbook, and to others, we offer this word of appreciation for the recipes received for this book."

And here is the "Introduction to This Edition" from the _Granddaughter's Inglenook Cookbook_. (Also, on the page before the title page the following dedication appears: "To better homemaking this book is dedicated."):

"In 1901 the first Inglenook Cookbook [sic] was published. It contained 1000 recipes furnished by the women of the Church of the Brethren and their friends. The book was an immediate success and continued to be used in Brethren--and other--kitchens for more than forty years. In 1970 the Inglenook was reprinted from the original plates, and is currently in print.

"By 1940 the granddaughters of those who furnished and who used the original recipes were ready for their own cookbook [sic], one that would again reflect their practical experience with recipes but that would also utilize up-to-date nutritional information. In 1941 they were invited to offer their best recipes for the new volume and from the 5000 that were received the recipes in this book were selected by committees of homemakers.

"_Granddaughter's Inglenook_ has been as successful as the original for which it became, instead of a replacement, a supplement. More than 75,000 copies of the Brethren Press edition have been sold, chiefly to families in the Church of the Brethren. but also in 1940 an identical edition was distributed by Harper and Brothers to the general public.

"In order that _Granddaughter's Inglenook_ can continue to serve new generations with recipes that are still current and choice this new edition is offered. Personal credit remains with each of the original recipes. Acknowledgement is also due to the University of Illinois College of Agriculture and Ball Brothers for special materials; Bethany Hospital [a Church of the Brethren-run hospital in Chicago] for recipes for the sick; National Livestock and Meat Board and American Meat
Institute for charts. New illustrations for this edition were arranged by Helen Kauffman and Doris Walbridge, and photographed by John Fike and Don Honick."

the 1941 reprint is in spiral binding

1981 In 1981, the Brethren Press reprinted the original 1901 edition.

There was also an _Inglenook Doctor Book_, published 1903 and reprinted as a paperback in 1975. The "Doctor Book" is out of print, but all three of the "cook books" (or "cookbooks"!) are still available from The Brethren Press. The 1901 reprint is in paperback, the 1911 reprint is in hardback, and the 1941 reprint is in spiral binding. I don't think I am allowed to mention prices, but all are quite inexpensive.

There is also an Inglenook Doctor Book which was put out by the Brethren Publishing House in 1903 and reprinted in 1975 in paperback form. I don't know whether or not there have been other re-printings. The title page says "Contributed by Sisters of the Brethren Church, Subscribers and Friends of the Inglenook Magazine." It does not claim to be medical book, but a collection of "tried and true" home remedies. 

I have a copy - rather dog-eared thanks to my seventh grade students who used it in their research of the 19th century. I know that the Brethren Heritage Center has at least on copy, but I don't know where else it can be found. 

Brethren Discussion List. Archive Index by month and year at:


The website of The Brethren Press can be reached through a link from the official (i.e., nonprofit) Church of the Brethren website, which also includes many kinds of information about the history and heritage of the church:


Also see:
"Brethren ROOTS," a quarterly Newsletter of the Fellowship of Brethren Genealogists (FOBG ) which was organized in 1966. 

Editor is: A. Wayne Webb. 

FOBG is sponsored by the Historical Committee of the Church of the Brethren. Current (2004) 

Contact: http://www.cob-net.org/fobg/ 


Ron McAdams
7690 S. Peters Rd.
Tipp City, OH 45371-8933

Subj: [BRE] Social Hisory Question 
Date: 4/23/2005 3:16:04 PM Eastern Daylight Time 
From: meskeezicks@icqmail.com 
To: BRETHREN-L@rootsweb.com 

I have just been reading through a copy of "History of Pipe Creek Church of the Brethren" by Willis Maugans, 1986 original printing updated 2002, as this is the congregation some of my lines were from. The last chapter is chapter IX and called The Ladies Aid. One of the things I try to do in my genealogy more than even to try and figure out the lines is to try and get a picture of how people lived. I am especially interested in what life was like for the women in my lines. At any rate, this chapter explains what the women's group did and one of the things to enable them
support the missionary work in their area involved fund raising. Quite a bit of this fund raising involved quilting and other sewing. There is a listing of things done to raise money and among this list is selling Inglenook Cookbooks. Which brings me to my question. 
Was the publishing of the Inglenook Cookbook done to provide fundraising for mission work? I had always assumed it was more of a sharing of recipes among the women of the church for the development of their homemaking skills. Anyone know the purpose of the publishing of the cookbook? 

Just now I went downstairs and checked my mother's two copies: the 1911 edition, and the 1976 reprint of the 1941 edition.

(No mention of mission work here.)

(No mention of mission work here, either.)

Most likely, the particular Women's Fellowship (or "Ladies Aid Society," I think you said it was) decided to raise money by buying one or another of the three editions in bulk (wholesale price?) and reselling them at retail or above retail. It may even be possible--or not--that there was a special program set up by the publishing house, for the books to be sold in exactly this way, especially through women's auxiliaries or such (with the local group to decide whether to charge full price or not, thus
also the local group would decide what to do with the profits--if any).

It's certainly possible that this might have been done, but I don't know whether the publishing house actually set up a bulk purchase program.

The Brethren Press did offer reduced prices for advance bulk sales of the new Brethren Hymnal in the 1980s, but that was a different book in quite a different decade!


If you can add to the history of Brethren newspapers, please email me.



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