Clifford Kaser and the Seven Day Adventists

After sleeping on it, I have a couple of second thoughts about Clifford Kaser, the Seven Day Adventists and their affect on the Kaser Family Story.

Clifford left Clark while so many of his siblings, and his mother, even after his father died, stayed close to each other in that small community. It is purely speculation on my part, but I wonder if he was persona non grata after he changed his religion to Seven Day Adventists?  I have not yet been able to find out what church the Kaser family belonged to in Clark, but it is a fairly good bet that when Joseph Kaser’s father left Germany, it was part of the flight of those in reformist religions–like the Lutherans and the Mennonites.

And my second thought concerning Cliff Kaser and his family concerns food. I noticed a sad lack of talk about food in my article on Clifford. Particularly, were they vegetarian?  My father and his brother Keith certainly were not, but they left the Seven Day Adventists church. I can’t remember if my Aunt Irene ever served meat, although I know she stayed with the Adventist–even took me to a service in a small country church once.

Paul Kaser Tacoma Park MD, Seven-Day Adventist

Paul Kaser (center dark suit) with Seven Day Adventists in Tacoma Park MD 1913-1914

The Seven Day Adventists (established in New York state in 1863) are great believers in a healthy mind/healthy body/healthy soul connection, which includes vegetarianism. It is interesting to note that J.H. Kellogg of Battle Creek Michigan (brother of the founder of the giant cereal firm) was an early leader in the church. He was a medical doctor, and focused on nutrition and developed breakfast cereals. He split with them in the early 20th century.

The Adventists supported medical schools and sanitariums. They started a food processing company to serve a medical center run by the church. That became the Loma Linda Food company .The establishment of a Loma Linda plant in Mt. Vernon, Ohio (where Clifford and Mamie were married) is credited with the strong growth of Adventism in that part of Ohio. Mt. Vernon is in Knox County bordering Coshocton and Holmes–the counties that divided the community of Clark where the Kasers lived.

To follow the history of Loma Linda Foods, it became secular, selling to Worthington Foods (also founded by an Adventist doctor, and now both labels are produced by Kellogg–full circle. The Sanitarium Health Food Company in Loma LInda California, still owned by the church, still produces soy-based meat substitutes and other health foods.

So more investigations are in the works to see how this relates to my ancestors who were members of the Seven Day Adventist Church!

One thought on “Clifford Kaser and the Seven Day Adventists

  1. Samuel Albert

    Thanks for a very informative article that sheds some light on Seventh day Adventists. As Adventist we believe that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit and we therefore have a duty to take good care of them. That is the reason why Adventist are encouraged to be vegetarians and to refrain from smoking and alcohol.
    We are still associated with some production of meat substitutes and hospitals the most popular being Loma Linda.

    Reply

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