Metz, Christian:see Amana Church SocietyAmana Church Society
, corporate name of a group of seven small villages in E central Iowa, clustered around the Iowa River NW of Iowa City; settled 1855 by members of the Ebenezer Society. The society originated in one of the Pietist religious groups of 17th-century Germany.
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Metz, Christian(1794–1867) religious reformer; born in Neuwied, Prussia. A carpenter by trade, he participated in a religious revival (1817) and became the leader of a group of German mystic-pietists known as Inspirationists. In 1842 he led some 800 followers to America and purchased 5,000 acres near Buffalo, N.Y. They moved west (1854) and bought 18,000 acres in Iowa, which became incorporated as the Amana Church Society (1859). He wrote voluminously and impressed many people with his patience, tolerance, and administrative skills. The Amana Society eventually spread to seven adjacent villages, all run under a system of communal property, labor and activities—originally agricultural but gradually expanding into manufacturing. It is often regarded as the most successful of the utopian-communist experiments in America. In 1932, the secular affairs of the group were reorganized as a kind of joint stock corporation. The Amana brand of appliances is their best-known product.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.