8 responses to The Only Amish Community In Texas (21 Photos)
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    JM
    Comment on Amish in Texas (April 12th, 2017 at 09:31)

    Amish in Texas

    Amish tried to settle in Texas long before that. There were some in the early-to-mid-1980s, at least. They were from Indiana and were trying to establish a settlement in the northeastern corner of the state. It only lasted a few years.

    By the way, when I tried clicking the link to this article from my email, it just got hung up and wouldn’t finish getting here. I had to come here manually. Maybe the error was on my end but just thought I’d let you know.

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      Comment on Earlier Texas Amish Settlements (April 12th, 2017 at 10:38)

      Earlier Texas Amish Settlements

      You’re right JM, the first community in Texas was actually way back in 1909. From our Texas Amish page:

      But the first bona fide settlement did not arise until 1909, near the town of Plainview in Hale County.

      Amish historian David Luthy informs us that this area was already home to an Old Mennonite congregation. Five Amish families, from Daviess County, Indiana and Ford County, Kansas, settled the region. However, drought and the lack of ministry led to this settlement’s disbandment just five years after its founding (The Amish in America: Settlements That Failed 1840-1960, pp 456-8).

      http://amishamerica.com/texas-amish/

      There was something like a migrant Amish community in the 80s outside Fort Worth, maybe that’s the one you are referring to? Here’s the relevant excerpt:

      As for more recent times, by the late 1980s Amish had begun living in the area of Stephenville in Erath County. The unusual Stephenville community consisted primarily of “migrant” Amish that worked on local dairy farms.

      An article from the time notes a community roughly 20 families in size, where many of the Amish have phones and “live in small houses or mobile homes with electricity”, typically provided by their English employers(“Stephenville Journal; Faraway Amish Try to Keep Faith”, Peter Applebome, New York Times, August 25, 1987).

      http://amishamerica.com/texas-amish/

      Thanks for letting me know about that email click through challenge, I haven’t heard it from others so might have been a local issue, but if I do I’ll look further into it.

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    JM
    Comment on hmm (April 12th, 2017 at 13:10)

    hmm

    Oops, I mis-read and thought it said “early 1990s,” not “early 1900s.” That’s what I get for reading before I’ve had all my coffee! 😉

    Thanks for the reply, Erik. No, it was not the Stephensville community. It was in a tiny town called DeKalb, in Bowie County. I don’t know when they arrived. I was just a toddler. I think they left by the end of the 1980s. They definitely did not have phones or electricity. They didn’t even have plumbing. They used outhouses. They were Old Order Amish, and quite poor. But I think their poverty was because they were new there and so small and isolated. Like one of your articles says, that tends to be the case with such communities. They weren’t so poor back home in Indiana; it was a rough adjustment for them. And they weren’t able to make it, economically.

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    JM
    Comment on aha (May 9th, 2017 at 18:02)

    aha

    Alright, I think I finally figured it out. It seems that the Amish I knew in the mid-80s were only one family, but they had at least one relative in the Stephensville settlement. This family was basically a guinea pig to see how well they could do; if they succeeded, more would join them from their home community in Indiana. But they did not succeed. The climate was not conducive to farming, and without local support, living so far from things, it was just too hard. They ended up leaving after just a couple years. I guess that’s why nobody’s written about them! But now you, at least, know. 🙂

    • Interesting JM, thanks for swinging back to share this. I enjoy these histories even if they are of communities that ultimately did not last. If you read accounts of failed communities, climate affecting farming is often a cause of struggle. If you like these stories of past Amish settlements, there is a fascinating book I can recommend called The Amish in America: Settlements That Failed 1840-1960 which tells in rather great detail the story of dozens of failed Amish settlements, some in places you wouldn’t expect.

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        JM
        Comment on histories (May 9th, 2017 at 19:12)

        histories

        You are very welcome, Erik. Thank you for the reading suggestion!

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        Comment on Curious (July 25th, 2017 at 13:46)

        Curious

        I very interested in the amish and mennonite faith and people I live in central texas is there a community near me

        • There are no Old Order Amish in central Texas, but there are probably some sort of Mennonite communities or perhaps Beachy Amish near you. Here’s a site that might help: http://www.beachyam.org/churches/tx.htm

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