Thursday, March 27, 2008

March 27, 1894

A special train was to make the trip to Cando, North Dakota on March 27, 1894. For several days prior to this date, Walkerton, Indiana was the scene of unusual activity. Everybody from around the Walkerton and Nappanee communities was busy loading household goods and livestock into freight cars.

From all over Marshall and Elkhart Counties in Indiana, they came to Walkerton with their families and household goods, livestock, farm machinery, in fact everything. Those who owned land either sold it or offered it for sale. They prepared to sever all connections with their old homes and to establish themselves permanently in new ones.

All told 350 Brethren boarded this special train with all their belongings to follow Elder Amos Peters to new homes near Cando, North Dakota. This large group was like many others as the Brethren who moved west seldom did so alone. Entire family groups often moved together which often had devastating effects on the congregations they left behind. In some cases, these mass migrations weakened congregations so much that they never did recover and were eventually disorganized ... even as new congregations were started in new areas.

Meanwhile, back in Walkerton, the work of loading the belongings of 350 Brethren onto the special train took a bit longer than expected and the March 27 departure was delayed until 2:00 am on March 28.

Sources: Planting the Faith in a New Land
Preaching in a Tavern,