Bern, Idaho

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unincorporated community
Bern is located in Idaho
Location within the state of Idaho
Coordinates: 42°20′23″N 111°23′10″W / 42.33972°N 111.38611°W / 42.33972; -111.38611Coordinates: 42°20′23″N 111°23′10″W / 42.33972°N 111.38611°W / 42.33972; -111.38611
Country United States
State Idaho
County Bear Lake
Time zone Mountain (MST) (UTC-7)
 • Summer (DST) MDT (UTC-6)

Bern is an unincorporated community Bear Lake County, in the U.S. state of Idaho. It is located in the southeast corner of the state, about four miles from Montpelier.

Notable residents[edit]

Foster Merlin Kunz, Vice President Marriott Corp. Author: Foster M. Kunz

Keywords: Kunz Family History; Schmid Family History; Foster M. Kunz; Johannes Kunz I; John Kunz II; John Kunz III; Karl August Schmid; Anna Landert Schmid; Knutti Family; Landert Family; Klossner Family; Bern; Bear Lake County; Idaho; Ovid; Bear Lake County Idaho; LDS History,
Year: 1980
Language: English
Collection: opensource
Notes: About the Author Foster Merlin Kunz; Birth: Jan. 25, 1960, Bern, Bear Lake County, Idaho, USA Death: Nov. 10, 1981,Sandy,Salt Lake County, Utah, USA From Obituary:"Foster Merlen Kunz, 65, a vice president of the Marriott Corporation for 29 years before his retirement in May, died of leukemia Tuesday at his home in Sandy, Utah. A vice president of industrial relations for the corporation, Mr. Kunz had served as vice president for governmental affairs for the past two years. Before joining Marriott, he was a special agent for the FBI for 10 years. Mr. Kunz was born in Bern, Idaho. He graduated from Utah State Agricultural College and earned a master's degree from Yale University. He was a former resident of Potomac and a former bishop and stake high commissioner of the D.C. Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Survivors include his wife, the former Helena Millard, whom he married in 1942, and a son, Blair L., of Sandy; two other sons, Gary M., of Windsor, Colo., and Milan F., of Salt Lake City; a daughter, Diane Smith of Windsor; two brothers, DeVirl (Bud) Kunz of Encinitas, Calif., and Kenneth K. Kunz of Salt Lake City; a sister, Merlyn Jensen of Montpelier, Idaho, and three grandchildren." Obituary Courtesy of the Washington Post, The (DC) 11/13/1981 (bio by: Bruce J. Black) Information Courtesy of

John Kunz II Founded the Bern Community in 1875. Courtesy of Deseret News, Centennial History of Bern, 8 August 1963. A Monument in honor of John Kunz II has been placed at Bern by citizens including Lyman Kunz.

John Kunz II at Bern, Bear Lake County, Idaho. Birth: Jan. 20, 1823 Bern, Switzerland Death: Feb. 16, 1890 Bern Bear Lake County Idaho, USA John Kunz II, (1823-1890) John Kunz II was born on Jan. 20, 1823 at Zwischenflueh, Canton Bern, Switzerland to Johannes Kunz (John Kunz I) and Rosina Katherine Klossner. John Kunz II was married to Rosina Knutti, daughter of David Knutti and Katharina Mani on Oct. 22, 1842. He and Rosina Knutti were baptized members of the LDS Church on Feb. 22, 1869 by Willard B. Richards and confirmed by Elder Christian Willie. On March 30, 1869 John Kunz II was ordained a teacher by Elder Karl G. Maeser. John Kunz II was ordained an elder on Nov. 4, 1869 by Elder Karl G. Maeser. On July 13, 1870 John Kunz II, Rosina Knutti Kunz and 8 of 10 children emigrated to the United States on the ship SS Manhattan. John Kunz and his Family arrived in Ogden, Utah and was greeted by Brigham Young on Aug. 5, 1870. Brigham Young called him on a Mission to Bear Lake Valley and introduce there the industry of making Swiss Cheese. The Cheese making factory was started in Ovid, Idaho and later moved to Bern, Idaho. John Kunz II built and owned the first house in the Bern Town Site which he named after his native Bern, Switzerland. He spent the rest of his in peace at Bern, Idaho. In 1876 Ephriam Jones came to Bern, Bear Lake County Idaho to teach John Kunz II children how to speak and write English. John Kunz II was the first presiding Elder in the Bern Ward, Monpelier Stake, Idaho from 1878 to 1890 for approx. 27 years. John Kunz II was ordained a Bishop on June 3, 1878 by Charles C. Rich at Bern, Bear Lake County, Idaho. He was married to a second wife in the Fall of 1884. John Kunz II died on Feb. 16, 1890 at Bern, Idaho. He was buried at Ovid Cemetery, Bear Lake County, Idaho.

Selections: Courtesy of Diane Steckler Rasi-Koskinen in her Book, The comfort of being together in Pease & Plenty, The William J. & Annie Schmid Kunz Family Story. Courtesy of Bruce J. Black at

History of Bern, Idaho The History of the Bern, Idaho Ward family story History of the Bern Ward, Bern, Bear Lake County, Idaho (Compiled by Kate Buhler) 1951 In 1875, John Kunz II moved from Ovid to the townsite of Bern, having been called here by Brigham Young. He named the new settlement after his native town in Switzerland. In 1876 he hired Ephriam Jones to come to Bern to teach his children to read and write the American language. That was the beginning of the first school teaching in Bern. All of the instruction, as well as church services, was held in private homes. In the fall of 1884, the first public school was organized with Alvin Rich as the first teacher. The school and all church services were held in a one room log house, located on what is now the Anthon Kunz place. John Kunz II, (my grandfather) was sustained as the first presiding elder of the Bern branch. The first two missionaries called from the Bern branch was in 1884. They were John Kunz III and David Kunz (my father),and were called to Switzerland. John Kunz II held the position of presiding elder until his death on February 16, 1890. That same year, John Kunz III was sustained as bishop, with Christian Kunz and John Bischoff as counselors, and John M. Kunz clerk. The Bern ward was then organized and John Kunz II held his position as bishop for 27 years. About the turn of the century, my father, David Kunz, was given the assignment to do the carpenter work on a new church building. It was located in lower Bern, on the property owned now by Elmer Buhler. The building was a large, one room, frame structure, high ceiling, with five long windows on each side, with a large, round, would burning stove in the center of the building. It was truly an improvement over the little log church. About the year 1908, the townsite of Bern was laid out by Joseph R. Shepherd, then president of the Bear Lake Stake. Upon his recommendation, the church house was moved to the new townsite, the present location of the new building. When the Montpelier Stake was organized in 1917, the Bern ward became part of the newly created Montpelier Stake. On January 21, 1917, Robert Schmid was sustained as bishop of the Bern ward, with Robert Kunz and J.P. Alleman as counselors, and Ruel V. Kunz as clerk. They served for thirteen years. On July 13, 1930, Parley Kunz was sustained as bishop, with David Buhler and John S. Kunz as counselors, and Robert H. Kunz, as clerk. They served nine years and on December 17, 1939, Orlando Kunz was sustained as bishop, Able Kunz and Edwin Alleman, counselors, with Walter Buhler as clerk. It was at this time that the people of Bern ward decided that it was time to build a new ward house, so on July 5, 1940, work commenced according to the Church plan of using donated labor whereer possible. From this date on the stupendous task of tearing down the old building, salvaging the material, and building an adequate place in which to worship continued. Work progressed very rapidly and the same winter, December 17, 1940, the first services were held in the new building. It was almost entirely completed and paid for at this time. The cost was around $8,500. The building is modernistic in design, and has an auditorium with a seating capacity of around 300, that can be enlarged by converting the adjoining Relief Society room, connected by large folding doors, into the main room. The bishop's office is also on the main floor. The building is equipped with modern plumbing facilities, a hot air heating system, and a modern kitchen, which is adjacent to the Relief Society room. The new structure has been used for all church services and recreational activities since its completion. On June 3, 1951 Bishop Orlando Kunz was released, and the same day, DelMar Kunz was sustained as bishop, with George Kunz and Rudolph Bienz as counselors, and Heber Kunz, clerk. With the united help of all the ward membership, they have cleaned, repaired and re-decorated the building and tonight September 16, 1951, it stands completed, awaiting the dedication as a "House of the Lord". Its beautifully landscaped grounds, its simple harmonizing furnishings, bring a feeling of peace to the hearts of those who worship within its walls. May the spirit of our Father in Heaven always richly bless this holy edifice, and those who made its construction possible. From Dedication Services, Sunday, September 16, 1951, 7:30 p.m. Bern Ward, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Bern Idaho. History Courtesy of Kate Buhler, 1951