Earlier this year Tom Geist shared his visits to Amish communities in Plains States, including Chouteau, Oklahoma, Hutchinson County, South Dakota, four Nebraska communities, and Yoder, Kansas.

The Amish have a scattered presence across the Great Plains, which you can see in this map taken from a directory dedicated to those states (photo by Janar S).

Central Plains Amish Directory

Today Tom gives us a look at another Kansas Amish community, at Garnett in the eastern end of the state (Anderson County).

When it comes to age, Kansas only has two types of settlements: the very old (100+ years) and the young (founded since 2000).

Anderson County Kansas MapGarnett belongs to the former group, having been founded in 1903 by Amish from Reno County, and boosted the following year by arrivals from Mississippi.

Like other Kansas settlements, the Garnett group is small in size (no Kansas settlement is larger than 3 churches).

Garnett Amish on NatGeo

You can catch a video glimpse of the Garnett community thanks to the National Geographic special “Amish at the Altar“.

A few years ago Amish from the Garnett settlement (a young man and his fiancee, along with his parents) appeared on camera for the program.

In the clip below, “elder” Laverne Keim discusses his community’s views on premarital sex, starting at about the 2:15 mark.

Tom’s visit to the Amish o f Anderson County, KS

Tom writes:

Garnett, Kansas has a population around 3,325. The Amish population is around 47 families, which encompasses 3 church districts.

I was struck by the lack of Amish stores here given the size of the community.

I was told that the Amish do not have a school just for their own kids either, but rather have a school that is paid for by public funds, but only has a couple of English families that attend it.

The community has some benefits/fund raisers, but usually only to help pay medical bills. They do allow English to attend these.

I met Mrs Harley C Yoder (Ruth Ann) who writes for “The Budget,” an Amish newspaper. No one in the area writes for the Die Botschaft.

Here is a Amish farm in Garnett on a somewhat rainy day.

Amish Farm Garnett Kansas Community

Schmucker’s Store. Elmer and Katie run this store at 19777 NW 1700 Rd-Garnett,KS.

Schmuckers Variety Store Garnett KS

They sell herbs, vitamins some books and a few other staple items.

Schmuckers Amish Store Anderson County Kansas Hours

This seemed to be the only Amish store in Garnett, now that an Amish grocery store closed down this spring in Welda, KS. (about 9 miles from Garnett).

Read more on the Amish at Garnett, KS.

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