Aberdeen Meeting Room, ID

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The Aberdeen Meeting Room (TW) was founded by George Jacob Storrer (b. 1886 Germany - d. 1958 Walla Walla, WA), previously of American Falls from 1905, around 1912 in Aberdeen, Bingham, Idaho, and meets thru present day.

George Storrer and three other young men from Germany were presumably in fellowship in Germany, and emigrated to the U.S., he had roots among the PB in his old country, and settled initially at Walla Walla, WA, and relocated to American Falls by 1905, and was hired on with his three friends by Cornelius & Paula Klassen for their farm in Aberdeen. George attended a conference at the Kansas City Meeting Room, MO, where two laboring brothers ministered, Walter Potter (Chicago, IL) and a Mr. Fleck. George invited Walter to visit with Cornelius & Paula in Aberdeen, to admit to being in fellowship that year, which he was accepted. In 1912, Cornelius & Paula Klassen, George Storrer, Jacob Elias Landvatter, and one other started the Aberdeen Meeting Room.

About 1992, Harold Klassen led a split starting a smaller assembly colloquially known as Aberdeen Fellowship, that is presently aligned with a network known to some as Renton brethren (initially composed of ex-Taylor, Jr. brethren that exited in the early 1970's what is now the PBCC), and they meet on the outskirts of town with several other families.

Klassen family

Cornelius Klassen was born in 1877 in Germany, the son of John Klassen & Katherine Dyck Klassen, of Mennonite faith. He departed from Bremen, Germany, arriving in the U.S., on the ship "Havel" on April 6, 1893, at the age of 16, to assist his half-brother John Klassen on a farm in Kansas. Meanwhile, Paula Hege was born Dec. 4, 1885 in Germany, to Rev. Jacob Hege (b. 1843 Baden, Germany - d. 1926 Paso Robles, CA), Mennonite pastor, & Elizabeth Landis Hege (b. 1847 Baden, Germany - d. 1926 Paso Robles, CA) who initially settled in Wisner, Nebraska.

Jacob Risser, a (Gen. Conf.) Mennonite from Ohio, homesteaded in 1881 in northeastern Nebraska in Cumin county, purchasing an extensive tract of land from earlier settlers southwest of Wisner, and employed young Germans from Ohio and Iowa, some of whom after marrying, returned to this area to settle as Risser's neighbors, including Peter Boehr, Jacob Showalter, and Henry Leisy, and they organized Salem Mennonite Church between 1889-1892, with a meeting house constructed on a small plot of land donated by Jacob Risser 4 1/2 miles south, and 2 miles west of Wisner. Jacob Hege and his family settled there in 1893, and he may have been among the initial pastors there, the small frame building accommodated 75-100 people. Other pastors include Daniel J. Brand (1871-1945), Sam P. Preheim (1881-1952), Gerhard J. Toews (1897-1987), and J.D. Epp. The services until 1920 were in German. Years of drought forced many to relocate to the east, or the west coast, and the church folded by the mid-1950's. See A Brief History of the Mennonites in Nebraska (1953) by Paul Kuhlman for more history on this. Salem folded by the mid-1950's.

It is also worth noting that in one of the very first Mennonite churches planted Nebraska, known as Bethesda Mennonite Church, in Hendersonville, planted in 1874 by 35 Russian Mennonite families, there was a secondary school built in 1902, with classes 1903-1943, and the first two teachers were J.J. Friesen, and Christian Hege (b. 1878 Germany - d. 1971 San Miguel, CA), the latter being a son of Jacob & Elizabeth Hege (elder brother of Paula Hege Klassen). Jacob & Elizabeth later relocated to Hot Springs, California, and nearby Paso Robles where Jacob pastored a Mennonite church, and owned a ranch that employed Cornelius Klassen. This is where Cornelius met Jacob's daughter, and married her at the age of 18. Jacob & Elizabeth Hege and their family, including their married daughter Paula and her husband Cornelius Klassen homesteaded at Aberdeen, Idaho in the spring of 1904, and Jacob was the founding pastor of the First Mennonite Church of Aberdeen in 1907. Christian Hege later pastored the same Mennonite church in Paso Robles that his father did.

Early Correspondents

Early 1900's

  • George Jacob Storrer (b. 1886 Hielbrone, Germany, emigrated 1905; d. 1958 Walla Walla, WA) 1905-1918+;
  • Jacob Elias Landvatter (b. 1885 Unterersesheim, Germany - d. 1966 Portland, OR) 1908-1933+; emigrated 1908;
  • Rudolph Horsch (b. 1889 Hammersheune Bavaria, Germany - d. 1971 Aberdeen, ID) +1923-1927+;
    • emigrated in 1911, homesteading Aberdeen; Mennonite in later years;
  • Cornelius Klassen (b. 1877 Germany - d. 1950 Aberdeen, ID) 1912-1950

1930's+

  • Arthur Jacob Klassen (b. 1907 Aberdeen, ID - d. 1993 Seattle, WA) 1912/+1937-1966+;
  • Henry C. Geisbrecht (b. 1900 Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo, CA - d. 1966 Aberdeen, ID) +1937-1966;

1960's+

  • Otto Rudolph Klassen (b. 1917 Aberdeen, ID - d. 2001 Aberdeen, ID) 1917/+1951-1994+;
  • Timothy Edward Brown (b. 1925 Sierra Madre, Los Angeles, CA - d. 2017 Aberdeen, ID) 1947/+1966-2010+;
  • Ralph Donald Klassen (b. 1930) 1930/+1969-2010+

1980's+

  • Richard Herman Geisbrecht (b. 1942 Aberdeen, ID - d. 2010 Aberdeen, ID) +1985-2010;

Also See

Sources