Date of Graduation

Summer 2014

Degree

Master of Arts in History

Department

History

Committee Chair

Brooks Blevins

Keywords

religion, church history, Waldensians, Waldenses, Ozarks, American West, Americanization, agriculture, Monett, Missouri-southwest, Barry County

Subject Categories

History

Abstract

Medieval Europe's lone surviving heretical sect, the Waldensians, colonized southwest Missouri in 1875, settling in Barry County after 700 years of contentious existence. Emigrating from Europe and South America, the Waldensians settled in several regions throughout the country, but as of 2014 there remain only two extant colonies in the U.S.: one in Valdese, North Carolina, and another, the original colony which is the focus of this study, in Monett, Missouri. The purpose of this study is to provide an academic history for an overlooked ethno-historic group within the Ozarks. The experience of the Waldensians in Barry County is reconstructed through church archives, newspapers, and local histories. This history of the Waldensian settlement in southwest Missouri preserves a rare, bloodstained relic; explores the complexities and hardships of agricultural immigrants in the late-nineteenth century; highlights diversity in the Ozarks; and gives insight into how and why the Ozarks came to be populated.

Copyright

© Christopher W. Nash

Campus Only

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