(Continued from Thursday.)


Joseph Kreider, son of Jacob, the Gelder, was married to Mary Light, b. Aug. 3, 1795 and d. May 15, 1877. This marriage brought together likely the two largest families of Lebanon county. It is not the first marriage between the Kreiders and the Lights, nor was it the last.

The fathers of Joseph and Mary were likely intimate friends, for we find that Henry Light and Jacob Kreider together bought 142 acres of land in East Hanover township of one Martin Bucher, on Oct. 3, 1797. These two men we regard as the fathers of the above couple. This land remained in the names of these two men till after their deaths, when Henry Light (likely Jr.) and John Light as executors of Henry Light, and Joseph Kreider as agent for the heirs of Jacob Kreider, deceased, sold this farm to John S. Kreider.

Joseph Kreider bought a farm of Henry Light, likely his father-in-law, on April 3, 1822. It is located on the road from Mt. Zion to Jonestown, a little west of the road from Lebanon to Fredericksburg, to the south of the Swatara Creek. It had been bought by Henry Light from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania on March 13, 1811. The Kreider ownership brought to the tract its prominence.

Joseph Kreider was doubtless a religious man. Both he and his wife were from the Mennonites. Joseph was a trustee of a small log church built on this tract. We shall say more of it later. Both he and his wife were first buried in the cemetery connected with this little church, but after the sale of the property, their remains were removed to the United Zion Children church northeast of Jonestown. They had but three children:

Before taking up these children of Joseph Kreider of the Swatara, we wish to consider the little log church.


This is one of the lost churches of Swatara of which Dr. Ezra Grumbine wrote so interestingly for the Lebanon County Historical Society. See Vol. I of the Society's publications.

The house was built of logs, which fact would lead us to think it was erected before the Revolution. But this particular tract was settled some what late, it being purchased from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as late as 1811. Logs were likely much in evidence yet and so were used. Dr. Grumbine says it was built in 1838 for a school house; and he gives the names of two of the teachers-Ferdinand Deitzler and John Peter. It was built on the land of Joseph Kreider on a rocky slope or hill, called "Ox-Head," likely because some one had seen in its shape a resemblance to an ox's head.

The Doctor says it was built by the farmers of the community, which was to be expected in the building of a school house. Each farmer brought a log or two, gave some labor, and some contributed money. Abraham Light and Christian Wenger constituted the building committee.

There is an incident related to the writer which Doctor Grumbine does not give. There were two preachers in the community, whose given name in both cases was Christian. The one, after having brought his log, turned to the other and said: "Now, Crist, bring your log that you promised."
The answer came, "I did not promise a log."
"Crist, you know you promised a log."
"Crist, you know I did not promise a log." A quarrel followed.
The neighbors thought this was too bad, and insisted that the preachers make up, which they agreed to do. Peace was restored. Then one turned to the other and remarked: "Now, Crist, we are friends; but you know, Crist, that you did promise to give a log."
"Crist, you know I did not promise to give a log."
And the quarrel was on worse than before. "He that repeateth a matter separateth very many friends."

The school was likely Kreider's school before it was Kreider's meetinghouse. When the public school system was accepted, the log school house was deemed inadequate.

Dec. 15, 1847, Joseph, Sr., transferred the part of his farm on which stood the school house to his son, Joseph L., who the following year transferred, for $1.00, 81 perchers of land on which the house stood to Joseph Kreider, Sr., Henry Light and John Firestein, as trustees of the meetinghouse, designated as "Church of Christ," but commonly designated Kreider's. The deed states that it is "for the sole purpose of a place of religious worship of God by the people of the Church of Christ and for a place of burying the dead; as also the privilege unto Christian Wenger to hold his meetings in the house of the above tract of land."

"Rev. John Light preached the dedication sermon to a crowded house. Others who preached here says Dr. Grumbine, were Rev. Chas. H. Linebach, Reformed; Revs. Henry Gelbach and John Light, United Brethren; Rev. John Firestein, United Zion Children; Rev. Christian Wenger, of the German Baptists; Rev. George Petry, Winebrennarian; and Rev. Christian Siegrist.

The last trustees were Henry Bean, David Light and John Firestein. Joseph L Kreider always looked after the house. The last religious service was that in connection with the burial of Mrs. Joseph Kreider in the summer of 1877. From this on the house was neglected and fell prey to vandals. The property was sold Jan. 11, 1896, for $55, the land bringing $5 and the house $50. The bodies here buried were removed to the other cemeteries, likely the most to the cemetery of the United Zion Children church northeast of Jonestown, to which place the Kreider bodies were removed.

There are two points in Dr. Grumbine's paper about which something should be said. He says that in the earlier days a distinction was made between church people and meetinghouse people. He calls attention here to a distinction that is worthy of a great church historian, a distinction in truth, that is being obscured today. The Lutheran and Reformed were church people; the Dunkers, Zion Children, River Brethren, now Brethren in Christ, the United Brethren, the Evangelicals and Winebrennarians, and also the Mennonites, were called meetinghouse people. The former belong to Protestantism, and are Pauline; and the latter belong to Brethrenism and are Johannine; Protestantism tries to spread its wings over Brethrenism today and include it in itself for the simple reason that Brethrenism is the ruling phase of Christianity in the modern world. Christ has place for both in his Church, but the saddle belongs to Brethrenism just now, and through the grace of God given to her, she is able to fill her appointed place. Peter wanted to know what John should do. Christ replied: "If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee, Follow thou me." There were things beyond Peter, and when Paul spread himself beyond his measure, he made a calf of himself. Consider the four beasts in Revelation that praise God. The people who distinguished between church people and meetinghouse people knew something. It was "Kreider's meetinghouse."

The Doctor's other point is this:

He says in substance that the little house failed to leaven the community with peace, for there is [??] section in the county that has furnished more litigation than the neighborhood of this log meetinghouse, and then he calls it a German Baptist church and a Dunker church. The German Baptists as they were previously designated, is the church in which the writer is an unworthy minister, and the faith of which church is his faith. The German Baptists are the same as the Brethren, Church of the Brethren, often called Dunkers. Now Christian Wenger, mentioned as the main preacher in Kreider's meetinghouse, was not of the Church of the Brethren, as it is denominationally designated. None of the preachers designated by the Doctor are Brethren preachers. The failure to leaven that community with the peace of God rests with these that preached there. None of the blame is due the Brethren, for they were not in it. The Doctor was so considerate as to tell us that the Brethren so far as his experience went, and it went pretty far, always paid their doctor bills; and a people who pay their doctor bills are poor people to count on for litigation.

The Doctor says that he has visited some of the noted churches across the sea, but never has he received the sense of satisfaction which was his when he looked back at a little group gathering to worship in the little log church on the hill. What would have been the difference in the result, if in place of the Reformed preacher, say Elder Abraham Zug, of Richland.


Joseph Kreider, who lived on the south side of the Swatara, a little west of Freeport Mills, on the road from Mt. Zion to Jonestown, had, as we have seen, three children, two sons and one daughter. We shall now become acquainted with these children: