Beginning in 1874, hundreds of peace-loving Mennonite
immigrants settled in central Kansas. They had left their
former homes in Russia because a hundred-year-old
immunity from established religious orthodoxy and
military service was being threatened.
The Alexanderwohl community, so named because of a solicitous visit by Czar Alexander I with Prussian Mennonites in 1821, had lived happily in southern Russia for more than 50 years before coming to America. Originating in the Netherlands in the 16th century, the community moved to Prussia in the 17th century and later to Russia, always seeking freedom from intolerance and persecution. Their decision to come to America and Kansas, where they chose lands in Marion, Harvey, McPherson and other nearby counties, was due largely to the efforts of the Santa Fe railroad's foreign immigration department. With them they brought the hard winter wheat which has since helped to make Kansas the breadbasket of the world.
The Alexanderwohl church is typical of many Mennonite congregations in this part of Kansas. Today these religious folk prosper in a modern world while retaining their original philosophy of freedom and manner of worship.
Historical marker on K-15