chapter  I
10 Pages

Introduction

In the summer of 1882, a newspaper editor from Atchison visited several settlements of Mennonites from Russia in central Kansas. Nobel Prentis was no stranger to Mennonite settlers in Harvey, McPherson, and Marion counties. Milton Gordon has developed an assimilation model which lists seven stages in the assimilation process: behavioral assimilation, structural assimilation, marital assimilation, identificational assimilation, absence of discrimination, absence of prejudice, and absence of value and power conflict. The story of Mennonite Americanization is not simply that of Bernhard Warkentin and those who eventually left the Mennonite fold. The story of Mennonite Americanization is etched in the record books of the immigrant church established on the Kansas prairies in the late nineteenth century and serving as a hub of village life well into the twentieth century.