Monday, July 21, 2008

John Herr Handles A Thief

John Herr was born in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania in 1848. He grew up in Myerstown where he was married to Anna Zug in 1869. In 1871 was elected to the ministry and later served as an elder and presiding elder. He was an early advocate of Sunday Schools and helped to establish Elizabethtown College.

One night Herr was awakened in his farm home by the noise of robbers in his smokehouse. He found one thief standing at the door of the smokehouse to receive the hams that were handed to him from a thief on the inside. Although Herr approached quietly, the thief on the outside was frightened and fled to safety without warning his colleague. The Brethren elder then took the thief's place at the door in order to receive the hams. The other thief, who could not see him, asked how many they should take. Herr replied that they might as well take them all.

The second thief, now aware that he had been trapped, started to run away but the elder proposed that he take along a ham for his family. The thief refused, but Herr insisted and also reminded him, a neighbor whom he recognized, that if ever he was hungry he should not bother to come at night since he could have what he needed if he would simply ask.

John Herr never revealed the identity of the thieves. When they met him later they could not look him in the eye.

Source: Ken Morse, The Brethren Encyclopedia