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M. S. (Menno Simon) Steiner Papers

Overview

Abstract

Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Diaries

Photographs

Correspondence

Notes and Miscellaneous Materials



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M. S. (Menno Simon) Steiner Papers, 1869-1911 | Mennonite Church USA Archives

By Colleen McFarland

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Collection Overview

Title: M. S. (Menno Simon) Steiner Papers, 1869-1911Add to your cart.

Predominant Dates:1885-1911

ID: HM1/033

Primary Creator: Steiner, M. S. (Menno Simon) (1866-1911)

Extent: 7.4 Linear Feet. More info below.

Arrangement: By series.

Date Acquired: 02/13/1952. More info below under Accruals.

Subjects: Mennonite Board of Missions, Missionaries - Illinois, Steiner, M. S. (Menno Simon), 1866-1911

Forms of Material: Correspondence, Photographs

Languages: English

Abstract

Personal papers of a Mennonite minister, evangelist, and first president of the Mennonite Board of Missions and Charities.

Scope and Contents of the Materials

These papers are divided into three series:

(1) Diaries, 1893-1907

(2) Photographs, circa 1890-1910

(3) Correspondence, 1885-1911

(4) Notes and Clippings, 1869-1911

Biographical Note

Menno Simon Steiner was a Mennonite minister and evangelist from Ohio.  He was the president of the Mennonite Board of Missions and Charities.

 

1866         Born near Beaverdam, Ohio on April 30, 1866 to Christian Peter Steiner  and Barbara Thut.

1885         Joined the Riley Creek Church

1887         Graduated from Bluffton High School; became a teacher

1889         Became the first secretary of the Mennonite Book and Tract Society

1891-92   Studied theology at Oberlin College

1893         Ordained as a minister on March 9 by Bishop John F. Funk; founded the Home Mission in Chicago

1894         Married Clara Daisy Eby on April 8, together they had 5 children

1897         Moved to a farm near Columbus Grove, Ohio

1899         Wrote Pitfalls and Safeguards; became the first president of the Mennonite Board of Charitable Homes

1901         Helped to organize the Mennonite Old People's Home near Rittman, Ohio

1903         Wrote a biographyof John S. Coffman entitled John S. Coffman

1906         Became the first president of the Mennonite Board of Missions and Charities; remained president until his death

1911         Died on March 12 at the Bluffton Sanitarium

Subject/Index Terms

Mennonite Board of Missions
Missionaries - Illinois
Steiner, M. S. (Menno Simon), 1866-1911

Administrative Information

Repository: Mennonite Church USA Archives

Accruals:

Mrs. J. C. (Esther) Meyer, Acc. 2357, 07/18/1972

Dorothy Bixel Aschenbrenner, Acc. 4507, 05/28/1985

Esther Steiner Meyer, Acc. 4998, 11/03/1986

Esther Shenk Buckwalter, Acc. 6580, 05/07/1996

Alternate Extent Statement: 13 archives boxes and 2 half archives boxes

Access Restrictions: These materials are open to public research.

Use Restrictions: Researchers are responsible for using in accordance with 17 U.S.C. Copyright owned by the Mennonite Church USA Archives.

Acquisition Source: L. E. Steiner, Esther S. Meyer, Acc. 160

Preferred Citation: M. S. (Menno Simon) Steiner Papers, 1869-1911.  HM1-033.  Mennonite Church USA Archives - Goshen.  Goshen, Indiana.

Other Note: Photographs associated with the M.S. Steiner papers were at one time placed in a separate photo collection (HM4-166).  The photos were returned to the M.S. Steiner papers in 2011.


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Diaries, 1890-1907],
[Series 2: Photographs, circa 1890-1910],
[Series 3: Correspondence, 1885-1911],
[Series 4: Notes and Miscellaneous Materials, 1869-1911],
[All]

Series 4: Notes and Miscellaneous Materials, 1869-1911Add to your cart.
Box 1Add to your cart.
Folder 2: Funeral Notice, 1911Add to your cart.
Folder 3: Biographical Notes, undatedAdd to your cart.
Box 10Add to your cart.
Folder 8: Notes on Lectures - Oberlin College, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 9: New Testament Notes, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 10: Bible Outlines, 1895Add to your cart.
Folder 11: New Testament, Homiletics, 1891Add to your cart.
Folder 12: Teaching Methods, undatedAdd to your cart.
Box 11Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Homiletics, 1892Add to your cart.
Hard-bound, lined-page notebook, approx 6" x 8 1/2" x 3/8" thick.  First page inscribed: "Homiletics.  Notes from Prof Currier; Secon [sic] term 1891&2".  (I.e., Steiner's year at Oberlin.); notes fill about half the book.  A few handwritten documents folded in.
Folder 2: Confession of Faith and Ministers' Manual, 1893Add to your cart.
The small (appox. 4" x 5 1/2", 127 pp.) Confession of Faith and Ministers Manual (Elkhart, Indiana: Mennonite Publishing Company, 1890).  On flyleaf, in Steiner's handwriting:  "M. S. Steiner Elkhart, Ind.  3-9-'93.  Was chosen of God to the Ministry in early life, Called by the Churc h on Sunday March 5th and oordained (by J. F. Funk*) on the evning of the 9th (Thursday) of March 1893 A. D."  [*this phrase a superscript addition, obviously an editorial addition).  No marginal notes, underlining, or other addition to the text itself.
Folder 3: Sermon Notes, Dates, and Texts, 1893-1894, 1902-1903, 1908-1910Add to your cart.
3 small bound and lined notebooks with semi-hard covers. One has on early page: "This book was presented to M. S. Steiner for SErmon Notes, by E. J. Bercky [sic; E. J. Berkey], July 29th, 1894.  Chicago" -- but the sermon notes in it bear dates from 1893 [i.e., did Berkey or Steiner take the notes?]  The actual sermon notes are few and cursory.  Another book is marked on flyleaf as Steiner's journal and name & address book. Its entries few and often not dated, but some with dates from 1902 and 1903.  The third book has, inside front cover, "M. S. Steiner  Columbus Grover Ohio.  March 14 - 1908."  All but a half-dozen of its pages are empty, but those with notes show some places he preached and texts he used, in 1908, 1909, and 1910.
Folder 4: Account Books, circa 1885-1889, 1892Add to your cart.
Two pocket-size books approx 1/4" thck.  Accounts in one (pencilled, and intermittent, are from at least 1885 to 1889; in the other the only dates seem to be 1892.  Familiar names show up, such as D. H. Bender, D. S. Yoder.  In the second, at least some of the records are of money received for "M. P. C. stock" [Mennonite Publishing Company].
Folder 5: Miscellaneous Notebooks, circa 1885-1903Add to your cart.

Eight pocket-size notebooks:

    1. Seems to be notes kept on a trip in Kansas and Nebraska in 1885, visiting both "old" and "Russian" Mennonites and also the Brethren college at McPherson, Kansas.  Some very interesting critical comments not just by Steiner (that a certain church's members frequented saloons) but also by Mennonite he met (including a "Pre. Grebill's" comments on John Horsch, others on Funk's publications."

     2. Small, pocket-size Memoradum book, 1st page inscribed: "Memorandum of M. S. Steiner, Elkhart, Ind.  Words & definition."  Not many entries, but a few definitions of words ranging from "sanguine" to "transubstantiation."  One rather long discourse on dancing.  Very probably from years 1890-1893.

     3. Very small notebook, 1st page inscribed "M. S. Steinver's Memo9randum.  March 21, '91  Elkhart, Ind. 320 Main St.  Notes on various thoughts.  A longer discourse on "Masonry compared with the Church."  One on Drunkenness.  Etc.

      4. 1st page inscription: "Memorandum of M. S. Steiner's notes and comments gathered during travels and on public occasions.  M. S. Steiner, Elkhart, Ind.  320 Main St.  March 21, 1891.  Soon an "Index of Subjects," Alphabetically from "Adversity" through, e.g., "Infant Baprtism" to "Soup for Sinners".  Then entries on at least quite a few of those.

     5. 1st page says "Memorandum, Cooper Union New York, Dec. 10th 96  Moody Meeting Notes"    Inside one entry is dates Dec 11 - '96.  Notes are extensive, handwritten seemingly very rapidly and almost attempting a transcription.

     6. Inscribed on first page, "Lectures  Delivered at Bible Conference  Scottdale, Penna  Dec 28.96 to Jan    97.  By J. S. Coffman  D. H. Bender  M. S. Steiner.    Clara E. Steiner  Cranberry, Ohio.  [Clara Eby Steiner]"  (Coffman lectures: "The Lost World", 4 on "Plan of Salvation"; 3 on "Ordinances and Symbols"; "Church Government"; "The Worker".)  (Steiner lectures: 3 on "Sermon on the Mount"; 7 on "Acts of the Apostles"; "Tests of Prophesy".)  No notes on any D. H. Bender lecture.    3. Inscribed on first page, "Lectures  Delivered at Bible Conference  Scottdale, Penna  Dec 28.96 to Jan    97.  By J. S. Coffman  D. H. Bender  M. S. Steiner.    Clara E. Steiner  Cranberry, Ohio.  [Clara Eby Steiner]"  (Coffman lectures: "The Lost World", 4 on "Plan of Salvation"; 3 on "Ordinances and Symbols"; "Church Government"; "The Worker".)  (Steiner lectures: 3 on "Sermon on the Mount"; 7 on "Acts of the Apostles"; "Tests of Prophesy".)  No notes on any D. H. Bender lecture.

     7. Small bound notebook.  Begins with inscription "J. S.Coffman, biographical statistics...."  Has notes on life of John S. Coffman (d. 1899); rather obviously these were notes for the biography of Coffman the family asked Steiner to write, which became John S. Coffman: Mennonite Evangelist (1903).

     8. Small bound notebook.  Apparently no date indicated.  Wide variety of notes and entries, from one on Kisses to one on "The Labor Question" to one on Revelation.

Folder 6: Miscellaneous Notebooks, circa 1887-1908Add to your cart.

8 very small notebooks:

    1. Contents are miscellaneous names and addresses, quick thoughts, short discourses (e.g., Prohibition in Iowa), record of payment for Herald of Truth subscription--one record datelined Wayland Iowa and dated Aug. 9 '87.

    2. Contents are miscellaneous notes and thoughts.  A list of illustrations to use in Temperance lectures.  A short discourse on Nonresistance in the Old Testament.  Etc. etc.  One entry dated  "Mon Sep 26, - 92"

    3.  On cover:  "The Summer of 1893."  Notes apparently from "Dr. Scofield on Revelation at Moody Institute, Chicago.  An entry that says "Moody's Address.  Emphasises [sic] Singing and study of the Bible.  His idea of advertising."  Etc.

    4.  On cover:  "November 1894  Canton  Ohio.  One page on "a siphelistic girl" in Ohio; another entry on a young man in Pennsylvania who lost his mind from self-abuse, masturbation [Steiner used the word]. An entry beginning: "In a Rut.  The M. church is in a rut.  She should be teaching the world the nonresistant faith and instead is excluding herself from the public on every side...."

    5.  Few entries.  One short one noted the cost of a "fancy dress ball" on Feb. 10, 1897 ("1/4 million).  Many empty pages.

    6.  Small notebook well filled with substantial thoughts on a variety of topics.  One entry has the date "July 31, 91"

    7.  Very small booklet.  One entry, is "Locating a College, not a Pleasure Resort"--suggesting that the book may be from 1901-1903, when Elkhart Institute was yielding to a new college at a new location.

    8.  Very small booklet.  The last entry, headed "Intro to Clara's Booklet" may suggest 1907 or 1908 (her booklet's date is 1908).  Flyleaf says "M. S. Steiner, Pandora, Ohio."  Has what may be an interesting entry on Daniel Kauffman.  Some material on Christian's relation to politics. One entry is about a "nigger."  Etc.

Folder 7: Clippings:  Antichrist, Business morality, etc., undatedAdd to your cart.
Half-dozen clippings.
Folder 8: Clippings:  Temperance, undatedAdd to your cart.
Two clippings, one from the paper Ram's Horn.  Both have items on women and alcohol or saloon.  Some political articles--a Ram's Horn one commenting on slavery, temperance, and political influence of Mormons.
Folder 9: Clippings:  Race Problems; corruption of business in politics, undatedAdd to your cart.
Four or 5 clippings, undated and unidentified.  Ambiguous about revealing Steiner's beliefs and attitudes.
Folder 10: Clippings:  High school fraternities (in Chicago), 1908Add to your cart.
2 yellowed clippings, one dated March 13, 1908, and the other appearing to be from the same context.  They are on a controversiy in Chicago over fraternities in high school.  See www.http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=F30613FA385A17738DDDAA0994D1405B888CF1D3.
Folder 11: Clippings:  The world's and Chicago's downtrodden, 1898-1904Add to your cart.
2 clippings.  One, unidentified, prints Richard Le Gallienne "The Cry of the Little Peoples."  An online source (http://books.google.com/books?id=w9oaAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA249&dq=Gallienne+%22Cry+of+the+Little+People%22&hl=en&ei=wJZvToygJovEgAeRztiMBQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCsQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=Gallienne%20%22Cry%20of%20the%20Little%20People%22&f=false) showing pages from Public Opinion, August 1900, indicates the book was an expression of anti-imperialism that arose from the Spanish-American war (i.e., "little people" are the politically and militarily weak peoples of the earth, such as the Filipinos).  The other is from The Pilgrim, March 1904, with an article on Chicago, sympathetic to its immigrants, by the eventually-famous, highly progressive attorney, Clarence Darrow.
Folder 12: Clippings:  Missions & Philanthropy, ca 1907-1910Add to your cart.
Four clippings.  Three, probably from about 1905-1910 (one is from the Toledo Blade of March 22, 1907), are about philanthropies of John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, and Helen M. Gould (daughter of Jay Gould, late-nineteenth-century business tycoon).  The fourth, from Literary Digest of 1907 (p. 671) has an article on the cultural benefits that Christian missions were having on Chinese.
Folder 13: Clippings:   Life Insurance, ca 1906 ?Add to your cart.
Half-dozen or more unidentified clippings that appear to have come in the wake of Burton J. Hendrick's expose of life insurance company abuses, printed in McClure's magaine in 1906.
Folder 14: Clippings:  Nonresistance, ca 1904-1907Add to your cart.
About a dozen clippings, some dated, mostly 1904-1907, and mostly about war, armament or disarmament, etc.  Some on topics such as treatment of prisoners, and one or two seemingly not related to the theme of nonresistance.
Folder 15: Clippings:  Nonresistance, 1904Add to your cart.

Handwritten notes (Leonard Gross handwriting?) about Steiner's positions re nonresistance.  Typed manuscripts:  [Gross,] "Is War Justifiable? Two Sides to the Question, from the Standpoint of the Year 1904" (for printed version see Mennonite Historical Bulletin, Jan. 1976, pp. 2-3); typescript of Rev. J. W. Hill, D. D., "Is War Justifiable?" (from the Ada [Ohio] Record, 1904, according to Gross); typescript of part of "Is War Justifiablle: Rev. J. W. Hill in a Reply to M. S. Steiner..." (see citation below).  Clippings:  Rev. J. W. Hill, D. D., "Is War Justifiable?" (from the Ada [Ohio] Record, 1904, according to Gross; article says "Paper Read Before the Ada Ministerial Association); M. S. Steiner, "'Is War Justifiable?'  The Subject from ... an Adherent of Non-Resistance" (from the Bluffton Leader, April, 1904, according to Gross): and "Is War Justifiable: Rev. J. W. Hill in a Reply to M. S. Steiner..." (marked "Bluffton Leader May 25th 1904).

Other clippings: one marked "From Times-Democrat, Lima O., April 12 - 1904" on end of a court case in which Swiss Mennonites at Pandora had been quarreling; and M. S. Steiner, "Pine Bluff," apparently in the Bluffton Leader, datelined Pine Bluff, Arkansas, Feb. 25, 1904, describing a Steiner visit there, visiting at least two acquaintances from Pandora [Ohio].

Folder 16: Sermon Notes 1, undatedAdd to your cart.
Handwritten notes on many different topics, for (or potentially for) sermons.  The stack of paper is 3/4" deep, many of the sheets quite small and some of the content cryptic and sketchy.
Box 12Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Sermon Notes 2, undatedAdd to your cart.
Handwritten notes on many different topics, for (or potentially for) sermons.  The stack of paper is 5/8" deep, many of the sheets quite small and some of the content cryptic and sketchy.
Folder 2: Sermon Notes 3, undatedAdd to your cart.
Handwritten notes on many different topics, for (or potentially for) sermons.  The stack of paper is 5/8" deep, many of the sheets quite small and some of the content cryptic and sketchy.
Folder 3: Sermon Notes 4, undatedAdd to your cart.
Handwritten notes on many different topics, for (or potentially for) sermons.  The stack of paper is 3/8" deep, many of the sheets quite small and some of the content cryptic and sketchy
Folder 4: Minutes of National Christian Association, Pandora, Ohio, undatedAdd to your cart.
Handwritten, not well organized.  Perhaps these were raw notes before the typing, which may also account for lack of dates.
Folder 5: Miscellaneous Clippings, 1895, 1904, and undatedAdd to your cart.

In envelope labeled "Articles on Trips South" (a "Mennonie Board of Charitable Homes" envelope): a clipping (not identified or dated) by a William Curtis on the people of Appalachia; and one by Steiner, "Louisiana Rice Fields," datelined "Lake Charles, Louisiana, March 7, 1904")

In (Home Mission, Chicago) envelope labeled "Of Interest to Mennonites": a printed tract calling Christians to do home mission work, with pencilled marking "Home Mission Advocates, Lancaster, Pa, '95; a clipping about Methodist Church's General Book Committee, with printed date March 9, 1895 and penciled markings "Epworth Herald Chicago" and a marking that includes "What M. P. C. ought to be"; an article on the first annual Ohio Mennonite Sunday School convention, from the Wooster Daily Republican, September 7, 1895.

In a (Mennonite Board of Charitable Homes) envelope labeled "Lectures to Women" an unidentified, undated clipping of Elaine Goodale Eastman, "Child Culture in the Home  I--The Willing Mother"

In a (Mennonite Board of Charitable Homes) envelope labeled "Argentine South America" an undated clipping apparently from the Toledo Times, with subtitle: Residents of Argentina Have Qualities Peculiar to New England"

A few other scraps of paper with jottings.

Folder 6: Miscellaneous Financial, 1907, 1908Add to your cart.
Two documents: One of Treasurer's Office, Allen County, Lima, Ohio, dated June 8, 1907, seeming to be bill for taxes on the Louisa Snavely estate (estate often mentioned in Steiner's correspondence; another that appears to be bill to Mennonite Board of Missions and Charities from Mennonite Publishing House, Scottdale, Pennsylvania, dated July 28, 1908, for some printing.
Folder 7: Marriage Outline, undatedAdd to your cart.
One large sheet with very large writing in black crayon, with outline titled "Marriage"; possibly to put on an easel for a talk to a small audience.
Folder 8: Pitfalls and Safeguards by M. S. Steiner, 1899Add to your cart.
Copy of Steiner's "First Book" (as dedication page says).  Published by Mennonite Publishing Company, Elkhart, Indiana, 1899.  (The book has much content about evil or temptations: money, city environment, wrong recreation, theater, dance, saloon, fashions, wrong courtship, good and bad friends, etc., but also more positive chapters on home and religion.
Folder 9: Rudimentary Psychology for Schools and Colleges by G. M. Steele; Moral Philosophy, or the Science of Obligation by James H. Fairchild, 1889, 1869Add to your cart.
Two textbooks whose flyleaf inscriptions in Steiner hand indicate to be from his Oberlin year, 1891-1892: one on moral philosophy, one on "rudimentary psychology."
Box 15Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Sunday School Congerence Guest Lists, 1903-1907Add to your cart.
Folder 2: Nonresistance by M. S. Steiner, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 3: Histories of Logan and Champaigne Counties Sunday School, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 4: Articles Intended for the Young People's Paper, circa 1895Add to your cart.
Folder 5: Notebook, 1907Add to your cart.

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Diaries, 1890-1907],
[Series 2: Photographs, circa 1890-1910],
[Series 3: Correspondence, 1885-1911],
[Series 4: Notes and Miscellaneous Materials, 1869-1911],
[All]


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