Archiver > BRETHREN > 2000-01 > 0948727125

From: Don Ronk <>
Subject: Berryessa, Santa Clara Co CA c 1905
Date: Mon, 24 Jan 2000 22:18:45 +0700

I recently sent the following information to a CA list and have since decided
perhaps some on the Brethren list might use it. The folks referred to formed a
Brethren Church, not a COB. But some of the surnames are familiar ones and may
well descend from COB families, just as Albert T Ronk did. It should be noted
perhaps that the community of Berryessa, near San Jose, was flooded with the
building of Lake Berryessa and no longer exists - and which may account for
disappearance of the congregation mentioned by Albert. don
This bit from Uncle Albert Ronk's memoirs may fit into some family histories,
so thought I would send it along. Except for the Ronks, there is NO further
information available in the book on these families or the congregation in
Berryessa. Hope it helps someone. don
Father [David William Ronk] was an Elder in the Brethren Church. When we moved
to Santa Clara County, we found a goodly number of Brethren members living
there. There was the Jacob Metzger family whose fruit ranch joined the Jacob
Miller ranch; Jakie Millers residence was across the road from the Berryessa
corner store; there were several of the Miller children married and each had
sizable families - Etta, married to Dr. Wilson, lived at Milpitas; another
daughter, Mrs. Bundys family, was near Pala; Henry and family lived in San
Jose; while Charlies were near Campbell. Mollie and Maizie Miller were yet at
home. The Allie Millers, nephew of Jacob, also lived in San Jose. A Latshaw
family from Kansas and our gang added up to about 40 members. Father thought
there should be a Brethren congregation at Berryessa. When the families were
gathered together there was agreement. Elder Roger Darling had come to the San
Joaquin valley as district evangelist for the California churches. Father felt
he needed some help to organize, so they sent for Elder Darling to assist.
Darling came, the church was organized and plans layed for Sunday School and
worship services. When the new school house had been built, the old one room
school property fell back to original owners through deed specifications.
Brother Miller owned the ground and offered the building for use. We all
the effort and cleaned the place up, which, with paint and paper, made a
respectable chapel. Elder Darling was appealed to, so he resigned his work as
district evangelist and became our pastor.Darling was a young widower when he
came and he and Mollie Miller formed a friendship which soon led to marriage.
We moved to Elk Grove when the Berryessa Church was about a year old.
occurred in the ensuing years that caused suspension of the congregation, I
never knew what. Darling and Mollie operated a funeral home in San Jose for
years afterward.

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