Tuesday, February 8, 2011

John P. & Barbara Schwartz: Not Just My Grandparents But A Darn Good Amish Story!

Grandpa and Grandma Schwartz
Photo from July 23, 1965
The following was written up in an unknown newspaper and to make things more vague, I don't even know when it was written.  It refers to Grandpa Schwartz and then goes on to explain about Amish, their traditions and how they live.  If any of the family remembers where this was originally written please let me know.  I repeat it here both as a reminder to family and as an aid to my friends who aren't quite sure what the Amish are all about.


     Blue Creek Township received its first Amish family shortly after the year 1900 as an Amish family by the name of John P. Schwartz moved into section 31.  Another Amish family, the George Paleys, lived in section 29 and their son attended the Kimsey School in 1908.  Mrs. Paley and Mr. Schwartz were brother and sister.
     Since that date Amish have migrated into the township from other places and now the population is one-fourth Amish.  There is one Amish school in the township.  Another Amish school was a victim of an arsonist a few years ago.  Several of the students are bused to other Amish schools in Monroe Township.
     The Amish people are known to be quite respectable and peaceable, and are deeply religious and loyal to their belief and their way of life.
     Most of the Amish males are carpenters and do their own carpenter work and are willing to help others in need.  They hold church services every other Sunday in their homes and serve lunch after the service.  The younger folk gather together on Sunday evening for a hymn or folk sing.
     Most of the Amish have large families.  Most of their weddings are on Thursday.  After the wedding ceremony a dinner and supper are served to all the friends and relatives and as many as 250 to 300 people attend.
     Amish do not own cars and tractors, and do not have electricity in their homes.  Most of them have milk cows, hogs, chickens, and several horses.  They use their horses for transportation and for their farming.
     Bishop Moses E. Schmidt operates an up-to-date blacksmith and buggy shop in Blue Creek and has a good business, not only with the Amish, but with neighbors and farmers from a distance.  Some of the Amish have established their own work crews and contract carpenter work to be done for other people and business.
     The Amish have large gardens and the women do a lot of canning and preserving.  In the wintertime, they do their own butchering and the women fry down the meat, and also can some.  Their fruit cupboards and basements are always well stocked.
     The Amish are divided into Church Districts, and the Districts have services on alternating Sundays.  When the Amish do not have services in their own district, they go to church in the visiting district.

This is a good basic description of what Amish are like, but still misses capturing the essence of who we know and the family that we love.  It does begin to explain a little of the foundation though.

I wish I remembered Grandpa.  That said, I've seen alot of him in my dad and uncles through the years.  I have heard that he was a hard headed man.  But I can also guess that he held a drive within him, a love of God and family, dedicated to his work, could have a huge heart for others, disciplined his children with a rod (not a time out!), was his own man and was a leader in his own right.  Would love to know how much of that hit the nail on the head!

Now for a recipe from Grandma.  This is her Mixed Pickle recipe she used for canning.  I know it sounds odd to put beans, pickles and celery together, but you have to try it before you scoff at it.  Nova (Blount) Brill supplied this recipe as well as the two from my last post.  Nova is the daughter of my Aunt Lil, dad's sister.

Mixed Pickles Recipe for Canning
1 qt. soup beans
1 qt. lima beans
1 qt. small onions
1 qt. small pickles
1 qt chopped peppers
1 pk. half green
1 pk. half ripe tomatoes
4 bunches chopped celery
1 pt. prepared mustard
1 Tbl. turmeric powder
vinegar and sugar to taste

A peck is a measure of dry volume and equals 8 dry quarts.  Cook beans, onions and celery separate. Peppers and tomatoes are heated in salt water 10 mins. Mix and can. Tomatoes are quartered and seeds are removed.


  1. Your aunt Lil was my grandma. I enjoy reading your posts about the Schwartz side of the family.

    Great Grandpa Schwartz (your grandpa) was always kind to us kids. We always enjoyed going to visit them in Nottawa.

  2. Great to meet a new Cuz! There are so many of us, it seems we never get done meeting new family.

    By the way, Mom & Dad always thought the best of Lil, what a great soul!

    You remember Grandpa! Would love to hear any specific memories that you have of him.

  3. Aunt 'Lil was my Grandma, too. I'm your cousin Gerald's daughter, now living in Virginia. I just made the comment that I remember your grandma's wooden shoes. I was very young then.

  4. I don't recall anyone mentioning that Grandma ever wore wooden shoes! Didn't realize that tradition continued so long in this country.

  5. Hi! I believe I'm also a cousin. My name is Mary (Troyer) Kelso, I'm a daughter of Josephine (Schwartz) Troyer and granddaughter of John P. Schwartz. Not the same John P. Schwartz, but a cousin. His father was Peter P. Schwartz who I believe was a brother to your grandfather. I may be way off on that part, but I don't have a genealogy book in front of me to set me straight.

    My family and I live just outside of Nashville, TN.

  6. Great to meet you Mary. The family seems to have spread out across the country, its nice to meet more of the family!