The Penn Colony of Nebraska

Beginning in the year 1874, fourteen families and individuals left their homes in the Blooming Grove community in Pennsylvania and headed west to the raw prairie frontier in Nebraska. They were the descendants of German protestants who fled religious persecution and economic distress to emigrate to America in 1804 and 1817 in search of freedom and a better life. After leaving Germany, they had settled in a colony near Williamsport in Pennsylvania where life centered around farming and the Dunkard Meetinghouse. As a closed and isolated community, they maintained their cultural and religious identity as they prospered and grew over the years. When available farm land became scarce there during the 1870’ and 1880s, they migrated to the untamed land to the west, forming a community at Dawson, Nebraska where they became known as the Pennsylvania Colony of Nebraska. The group has recently restored one of the original homesteads of the colony and built a museum/community building to collect and preserve the artifacts and traditions illustrative of their history.