A graduate in medicine of the University of Wurzburg, Germany,
he grew discontented in his homeland and migrated to America as
a young man. After visiting a half dozen Central Pennsylvania communities,
he settled at Blooming Grove where he practiced for 40 years. He
The following story is taken from a journal begun on July 6, 1869,
by Dr. Ernst Max Adam. It is translated from the German by Prof.
Levi J. Ulmer, head of the Science Department at the Lock Haven
State College and descendant of German immigrants who established
the Dunker community of Blooming Grove, six miles north of Williamsport,
about 1805. Assisting him was Charles F. Ulmer, a cousin.
From his own words:
Looking to the Almighty and Omnipotent Searcher of all hearts
before whom every thought and act is revealed, I take my pen to
share with you a short story of my life without attempting to conceal
the dark shadows which oft times were the fault of none but myself.
I was born on Nov. 20, 1801, in Meissen, in the kingdom of Saxony.
My father, a rich merchant and tradesman, was kind and gentle, seldom
using the rod. When necessity demanded punishment, he delegated
this duty to the mother who assumed her official duties with such
seriousness that frequently howling and the chattering of teeth
on my part were the visible results.
Every Sabbath my parents attended the House of Worship, and every
morning at family worship my mother sang a hymn. On ever page of
my father's ledger were the words, "With God." It is a
great joy to me that I can follow my parents as a witness of the
truth, and that I cannot remember a single unbecoming or harsh word
that was spoken in our home
As early as my sixth year I had a premonition of death, which
could have occurred in the following way had the Almighty not prevented
It was winter, and the Elbe, a large stream that flows by the
city, was frozen over. My brother and I stepped on the ice to amuse
ourselves. Under the main span of a bridge, which crosses the Elbe
was a deep hole which seldom froze over. We went straight to this
dangerous place, to the outer edge of the thin ice, to see whether
the water was as deep as the stick I carried in my hand. As we squatted
ourselves on the ice I thrust the stick into the water to fathom
Suddenly we were interrupted and frightened by a loud cry from
the bridge. A man standing there, noticing us, called to us in a
loud voice, "Children! Go instantly back to land or you will
This command somewhat hurt my pride. Laughing at the man, we continued
The man now shook both fists at us and cried: "I will go
at once to your mother and tell her."
This threat worked like a charm. Hastily retreating, we ran to
our home expecting to receive 12 lashes from the ox-goad. Fortunately,
we got home first and the man made no report.
Thanks be to the Lord for this rescue from the danger of death.
The following incident of my childhood experience illustrates
the error of the saying that children inherit innocence and purity
(The reproduction of the journal by the Blooming Grove Historical
Society in May, 1978, was part of the Society's observance of the
sesqui-centennial of the Blooming Grove Meeting House, built in
1828. It was the place of worship for early settlers, and was both
a community and religious center for the German Dunkers who established
their homes in Blooming Grove. In July of 2005, the Society will
observe the 200th celebration of the first German settlers making
homes and establishing a colony in the Blooming Grove area of Pennsylvania
north of Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Information on this observance
may be obtained by contacting President Mark Roller, 1329 Country
Club Drive, Williamsport, Pa. 17701.)