37 responses to The Amish of Bee County, Texas

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    The Amish of Bee County, Texas (May 29th, 2012 at 07:01)

    Interesting and kind of sad, looks like I’m seeing the last gasps of an Amish settlement here in this post. Reminds me of the one in south Georgia in the mid 1990s that i had visited, except this one in Texas started and has lasted much longer until maybe now. Richard

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    Alice Mary
    The Amish of Bee County, Texas (May 29th, 2012 at 07:59)

    Thanks, Debbie, for the photos and description of this unique settlement—or what’s left of it.

    I agree with Richard about it being sad to see. Obviously, not every Amish settlement will thrive.

    Alice Mary

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    Carolyn K
    The Amish of Bee County, Texas (May 29th, 2012 at 08:17)

    I subscribe to The Budget, the Amish newspaper, and there are often articles in it about the Amish in Bastrop, Texas and in Lott, Texas. Does anyone know any more about these Texas Amish communities? Sad to see this one in Bee County seems to be declining. I guess even Amish are not immune to “church issues”. Also happens a lot in other church denominations, with church splits, etc. Sad that even Christians sometimes can’t get along with each other.

    The Amish of Bee County, Texas

    • Carolyn regarding Bastrop and Lott TX, unless those are brand-new Texas settlements that have started in the past few months, they aren’t horse and buggy Amish. The Budget has quite a few non-Old Order Amish writers among its scribes.

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        Yoder
        The Amish of Bee County, Texas (May 29th, 2012 at 09:28)

        Carolyn, The communities of Lott and Bastrop, as well as Grandview, Texas, are under the Beachy Amish umbrella. One clue when reading THE BUDGET, to know if they are horse-and-buggy Amish, is to notice if church was at “so-and-so’s house.”

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        Reuven Stoltzfus
        lott, bastrop (May 29th, 2012 at 16:15)

        lott, bastrop

        Erik,

        Lott and Bastrop are “beachy amish” , which is not old order although some there would have grown up old order. Lott has been there for some time and is not new.

        A book was published in 2006 about the church in Lott although the pictures in it are quite a bit older than 2006.

        http://www.amazon.com/Mennonites-Texas-The-Quiet-Land/dp/1585444979

        http://www.lottmennonite.org/ would be the congregation’s website.

        lott, bastrop

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    Beth
    The Amish of Bee County, Texas (May 29th, 2012 at 11:12)

    I visit the Amish/Mennonite group in Grandview for a church service or brunch with the bishop and his wife. I’s very small and doesn’t seem to be growing. I think Texas is a tough place for the Amish to live, but I hope they stick around:)

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      Debbie
      The Amish of Bee County, Texas (May 29th, 2012 at 15:33)

      Beth, I certainly agree with you. Its only May and its well over 90 already. We haven’t had substantial rain for a good number of years. As you can see from the pictures, it’s quite desolate where they are living. They are far from downtown Beeville which is a nice little town. It takes them two hours to get to the nearest Walmart so it is quite difficult to live there without driving.
      The women in the settlement have to wear dresses with high necks and long sleeves. They are very limited to the kind of fabric and color that they are allowed to wear and they have to tie the strings of their covering under their chin. Definitely not the kind of outfit you would wear in 110 degree heat. Amish are a resilient people but I am not sure if even they can handle South Texas.

      The Amish of Bee County, Texas

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    Ed
    The Amish of Bee County, Texas (May 29th, 2012 at 12:18)

    Before coming to Erik’s website I had no idea how mobile the Amish are and how frequently communities form, expand, and sometimes, die.

    I look forward to reading the book about Amish settlements that failed; there are probably a lot of lessons from the Amish experience of forming communities that can be applied by non-Amish, even to areas such as online communities.

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    Amy Annie
    The Amish of Bee County, Texas (May 29th, 2012 at 21:09)

    Hi, I was wondering if someone could answer a question for me. I’ve been watching some Amish documentaries on PBS and Nat Geo and I was curious, when Amish say “English”, exactly who do they refer to? Do they have names for people who are not culturally or through heritage, English? Like what would a black person or an asian person be called?

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      Are English only white? (May 30th, 2012 at 10:48)

      Are English only white?

      Interesting question Amy. I’d expect an Amish person might refer to a person’s skin color in the same-way that non-Amish people do when talking about people with a different skin color. I’ve heard Amish say that so and so is black, but I don’t recall anyone referring to a black person as “English”. My experience there is limited though.

      Mennonites are often referred to as Mennonites rather than “English”.

      Are English only white?

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        elizabeth clydelle grace
        The Amish of Bee County, Texas (October 27th, 2012 at 23:39)

        i am from houston can you tell me where the closest amish or mennenonite church is to me

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          OldKat
          Most likely ... (July 20th, 2013 at 21:50)

          Most likely ...

          in Bastrop off Highway 71. I was invited to worship with their church one time by a Mr. Beachy, but I never have had a chance to attend. If you look up “Sturdi-Built” or “Sturdi-Bilt” buildings (something like that)in Bastrop it is owned by Mr. Beachy. He seemed very open to visitors, almost evangelical.

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        Ricardo Aleman
        Visit (January 29th, 2013 at 03:52)

        Visit

        Hi, i would to like visit the amish bee of county. I been passed on 59 south, and i still don’t see them when they walk. Can you post and where I can visit them? I want to learn about their culture and experince.

        thank you,
        Ricardo Aleman

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        English-Chick
        English (March 19th, 2014 at 09:05)

        English

        Hey Erik,
        It’s been a couple years since you answered the post about why the Non-Amish are called English, but I would guess it’s because we speak English and they mainly speak different German dialects. Also, years ago…there were a lot of “English” around :) so that was always my understanding and that’s why I used the Name as English Chick since I’m not Amish.

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    Yoder
    The Amish of Bee County, Texas (May 30th, 2012 at 11:19)

    Amy, one reason the Amish would refer to non-Amish as English is because the non-Amish don’t speak Pennsylvania Dutch; they mostly speak English.

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    Beth
    The Amish of Bee County, Texas (May 30th, 2012 at 13:24)

    The second book in my series is set in Bee County so this has been an interesting topic for me:) Good timing Erik as I just got the edits. Thanks for posting this:)

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    The Amish of Bee County, Texas (May 30th, 2012 at 18:09)

    Actually the church in Grandview is just an independent Mennonite church. The minister and his wife came out of the Lott church years ago to start Grandview as an outreach church.
    It used to be alot bigger but they recently sent a bunch of families to East Texas (Timpson) to start an outreach church there. So… now Grandview has more growing room. :)
    I used to attend there myself for several years and still visit off and on now.

    I wouldn’t mind visiting this little Amish settlement in Bee County. I had heard of what used to be some Amish in Stephenville, but didn’t know there were any more left here in Texas. It’s hard to make a living off the land here with summers being 110* or more, droughts, etc. My heart goes out to them.

    The Amish of Bee County, Texas

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    Tandy
    Directions (June 13th, 2012 at 21:15)

    Directions

    Can you post how to get there? I live in Corpus Christi and would love to visit… Thank you.

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      Debbie
      The Amish of Bee County, Texas (June 14th, 2012 at 22:35)

      Tandy

      Take I-37 north toward San Antonio. Take exit 47 toward FM 534/ Swinney Switch. Take first right onto FM 534. Drive 2.8 miles to FM 796 and turn left. Drive one mile and turn right at Kinkler Lane. After you pass San Pedro Cemetery, make a right at Gaitan Lane. Their community is on the right side on Gaitan Lane. You’ll be able to see a few houses and a store at the beginning of the community. It is very small. I hope you enjoy yourself.

      The Amish of Bee County, Texas

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        Mary
        store hours? (July 14th, 2013 at 15:44)

        store hours?

        I have heard store is open only on Fridays?
        Do you know?

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          Debbie W
          The Amish of Bee County, Texas (July 14th, 2013 at 16:04)

          The store is open every day except Sunday. Also, one of the families has a stand in a parking lot in the middle of Beeville. I’m not exactly sure where it is but I’m sure the people at the store can tell you.

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    The Amish of Bee County, Texas (August 16th, 2012 at 14:39)

    I read about the Texas Amish in an earlier blog, but somehow missed this one. Thanks for all the info and pictures Debbie.I just talked to Bishop Borntrager and I plan to meet with him next week.

    He said there are now 8 families. Please send me any questions you might want me to ask. I will take more pictures in the area including the Combination Shop (inside and out),

    Any other suggestions?

    The Amish of Bee County, Texas

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    Debbie W
    The Amish of Bee County, Texas (August 17th, 2012 at 16:30)

    Bob the Quaker

    Have you ever been there before? It is quite different than other settlements. Let me know if you meet any others besides the Bishop. I talked with his son before and also with a family living at the end of settlement who are no longer Amish (they are the in-laws of the Bishop).

    The only families left are his sons and their families.

    I hope you enjoy your visit and let us know what happens.

    The Amish of Bee County, Texas

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    The Amish of Bee County, Texas (August 17th, 2012 at 18:28)

    1ST trip and I can tell from your pictures that it is different from others I’ve been to. We have a place in Lancaster, PA and I think there are more Tourists than Amish.

    Went to the Big Valley 2 times (above Harrisburg, PA) and that was very enjoyable. Best thing about it…..no tourists, unless I count myself :-)

    I’ll be letting you know my impression. Best regards

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    Debbie W
    The Amish of Bee County, Texas (August 17th, 2012 at 18:54)

    Bob the Quaker

    Lancaster is my favorite place. I just returned from there. As soon as our house sells in Texas we will be moving to Lancaster. We’re looking for some land (about 2 or 3 acres) to build. I only want Amish neighbors. Got any suggestions?

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    The Amish of Bee County, Texas (August 17th, 2012 at 19:28)

    We obviously think a lot alike. We looked for a place next to Amish, and just missed one on the hill outside Strasburg that overlooks the valley of many Amish farms. There was another for sale recently across from this one, but it included land all the way down the hill so was priced high (about $300,000).

    We live near San Antonio (job brought me here) and with our children and grandchildren here, that is why we have two places.

    I’ll be glad to check around for you since we will be there all of November. We have 2-3 Amish families we know well and maybe they can help.
    My direct Email is k4oce@gvtc.com. Regards, Bob

    The Amish of Bee County, Texas

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      Debbie W
      The Amish of Bee County, Texas (August 19th, 2012 at 18:41)

      Bob the Quaker

      I would appreciate that. As I said I just came back from there. I was busy looking but didn’t find anything. I would even consider a house on two or three acres of land as long as its not too old.

      When you go to Beeville, you must stop at the last house/shop. It’s a saddle shop and its owned by Ezra Hershberger(He commented on the Amish in Texas post). He and his family are very friendly.

      The comments that Valerie made are all true, unfortunately. If the Bishop is in the store, his sons won’t talk with the customers. If the Bishop isn’t there, they are really talkative.

      Hope you have a nice visit.

      The Amish of Bee County, Texas

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    Martin
    I would like to be amish. (August 23rd, 2012 at 22:24)

    I would like to be amish.

    I just turned 18 and would like to live the Amish way of life. Unfortunately I was not born Amish but would like to find someone who could take me under their wing and show me everything. I am eager to learn very willing to work hard and follow directions. I know I want to be Amish but don’t know anyone who will take me and mold me. My family is very supportive but they don’t know if the Amish would accept outsiders. I know I would love it. If anyone out there could lead me in the right direction I would be fever greatful. Thank you.

    I would like to be amish.

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      Richard P. Hobbs
      about wanting to become Amish (June 1st, 2013 at 06:19)

      about wanting to become Amish

      Im not Amish. I live in New York City. I have lived in Ohio and Pa. I have Amish friends. Martin. If you want to become Amish, maybe i can help you. Email me. Dearjesuspleasesaveme.amen@gmail.com
      Where do you live?

      Email me or call me 646 377 8333.

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      Richard P. HObbs
      HOw to become Amish (July 15th, 2013 at 11:05)

      HOw to become Amish

      Martin contact me if you want to become Amish.
      Im English, that is the term they use for non amish or non Pensylvainia dutch speakers English speakers, I think.
      Im not amish however I have several aMISH FRIENDS.
      iN oHIO AND pA. AND i THINK \EVEN FLORIDA.
      If you want to become Amish I believe basically you simply have to tell the church ( a church) that you want to become Amish.
      Also there may be some amish who have bnot been able to have children if so they might be interested in having your help on their frm and you might be bable to make some arrangements, or even if they have girls but no boys. They woudl teach you the amish ways and work.
      I know at least one bishop ( I think he is a bishop) or he is at least a minister in Ohio.
      Fell free to email me or contactme and we can try to help you out.
      Some Miennonite ( most menonite) have the same work ethiocs as the Amish do but they tend to understand Salvation better than many Amish do.
      You might want to consider Mennonite such as Spring Buggy Mennonites or Beachy Amish. They believe in Salvation which is a good thing.
      Many Amish believe in the ideas of Salvation in a way similar to the Catholics ( who they broke Away from origionally and so for them salvation is by works not by faith in the grqace of Jesus and by paking a personal acceptance of Jesus as your personal savior.

      The Bible says that it is by graace we are saved and that not of ourselves but it is the gift of God through Jesus Christ ( that means Messiah which in english is Savior.
      We need to admit that we are sinners hoefully lost by our sinful nature and that we can only go to heaven by accepting Jesus’ attonement on the cross as payment for our sins. Then we have a free right given to us by God to Go to heaven. There is nothing that we can od or must do that to belive in this idea to get us to heaven.

      We should asx belivers do Godly things, but there are two judgements. One for our works and one for our faith.
      IT is not our sins that keeps us from Going to heaven when we die but our believe in Jesus as our savior that gets us there. THen none of us in heaven will boast of it being our own acomplishments and works that got us there .

      There are Amish who beleive this but IO have not found it to be the main ideea amongst them and in fact most will argue this point in favor of works. Which may set them against God and his Good News Ofsalvation through Jesus our savior. They believe as do Catholics that Jesus death gives us the right to go to heaven but we muyst hen earn that right by obeying catholic doctirines and such which are all based on our works. This is the issue that created protestantism. BUt to day a true belevier in Jesu sis not a protestant protesting against the errors of the Catholic church as are the Amish but they are persons who have repented of their unbelief in their need of a mEssiah, a christ a savior to save them form their sinful nature as Jesus did do. Read the book of collossians. And ask God out loud to explainit to you. Sincerely humbly from your heart and you will come to understand this if you do not already understand it.

      HOw to become Amish

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    Richard P. Hobbs
    im seeking place i can move to (June 1st, 2013 at 06:27)

    im seeking place i can move to

    Ive recently adopted the WAPF weston a price foundation way of eating. I want to live in area that has green pasture all year long. Id like to have amish neighbors for milk?

    Any suggestions? Id like to be in southernmpst county in texas if i can find the right combination of things there.
    It seems the weather around Brownsville texas is warm but not tooooo hot. Perhaps tempered by the ocean nearby.
    Any suggestions or advice.

    im seeking place i can move to

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    Richard P. Hobbs
    any amish on hawaii or virgin islands or porto rico? (July 21st, 2013 at 07:19)

    any amish on hawaii or virgin islands or porto rico?

    are there any amish in hawaii or us virgin islands or puerto rico? i know there are some amish or menonite in Belize.

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    Sandra Engelke
    Store in Bastrop (September 5th, 2013 at 09:07)

    Store in Bastrop

    I purchased some furniture from the Youder’s store in Bastrop about 6 years ago, are they still in business, or could I purchase a hutch privately from them? I will travel to Texas within the next 9 months. Thank you

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    Anthony
    How big (October 24th, 2013 at 23:00)

    How big

    How big is the amish group in Beeville.

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