Hess Family History:
Plain and Fancy Mennonites
Above: Preacher Jonas H. Hess and wife Annie S. (Franck) Hess. Residents of the log farmhouse from 1862 to 1910.
(Portraits of their six children are below.)
The farmstead was first surveyed in 1730 as a 200-acre tract for Hans Hess (ca. 1683-1733). This Hess patriarch immigrated to Pennsylvania in 1717 with his wife Magdalena (ca. 1680s-1767) and their children. The family emigrated from Germany or Switzerland. The Hess' European history is uncertain, although Hans and Magdalena are the first Hess immigrants known to arrive in America.
Hans and Magdalena's oldest son Jacob Hess (ca. 1706-1741) built the first house on this tract ca. 1730s, with wife Veronica. This Hess family received title to the farm from the Penn family in 1735.
The present log farmhouse was built ca. 1744 for Jacob's widow Veronica and their children. Their oldest son Johannes (1730-1778) was the next owner, with wife Susanna (Landis) Hess. In 1784 their eldest son Christian Hess (1757-1816) received this farmstead. Six years later, in 1790, Christian deeded this part of the farm to his brother, John Hess (1768-1830), and wife Esther (Hershey) Hess (1769-1824).
The next farmstead owners were John and Esther Hess' youngest son Henry Hess and wife Catherine (Huber) Hess. In turn, their youngest son became the next owner, Preacher Jonas H. Hess, with wife Annie S. (Franck) Hess, followed by their son Henry F. Hess and wife Anna C. Shenk.
In 1922 the farmstead left the Hess family until 1985 when it was purchased by Clarke E. Hess, a great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandson of the immigrant Hans Hess. Clarke Hess spent several years restoring the buildings for use as his residence.
Hess Brothers and Sisters Born in the Log Farmhouse:
(They dressed fancy in their youth, and dressed plain in adulthood.)
Above: (Clockwise, from top left): Christian F. Hess (1867-1940), Catherine F. Hess (1865-1959), Fannie F. Hess (1871-1959), Ellen F. Hess (1881-1959), Henry F. Hess (1873-1959). (They were dressing fancy, before joining church).
Below: Three of these same Hess sisters later in life: Fannie (Hess) Betzner, Catherine (Hess) Musser, and Ellen (Hess) Charles.
Below: Their oldest sister Lizzie F. (Hess) Bucher (1863-1927).
Elsewhere: More Mennonite Relatives of the Homestead Hesses:
Fancy before joining church. Plain after joining church.
Above: Matching baptism certificates for Mennonite husband and wife when they joined church in 1848, five years after their marriage. Mary Musselman (1823-1878) and Henry H. Stoner (1825-1894), great-great grandparents of Clarke Hess. They were baptized by Preacher Henry Herr, and their sponsors were the Gemeinde (the congregation).