11 responses to South Dakota Amish

  • Alice Aber
    Comment on South Dakota Amish (May 13th, 2011 at 07:26)

    Amish Relocating


    When you are a group of Amish such as this group here, how do you go about first making the decision to relocate, then where to relocate to? How do you know this would be a good location? I guess I am particularly interested in how they would research the area first? In today’s world of computers to make research easier for most of us I don’t imagine a “conservative” Amish group would utilize a computer so just how do they go about gathering information before they pick a location?

    Blessings, Alice

    South Dakota Amish

  • Alice Mary
    Comment on South Dakota Amish (May 13th, 2011 at 13:05)

    Do they pay for reference services?

    Having just completed another reference class (for my LTA certificate), I’m wondering if they don’t pay for reference services(like other “researchers” do in the medical/science fields)…or even have “English” friends do the internet searches for them for free? Do they use Realtors? I guess it would depend on their particular group, and how conservative they really are. I don’t see how different it is (having the English do research) from being driven in cars to distant towns for medical appts., or visiting.

    Like you, Alice, I’m interested in what it takes to decide to move to a very different location. Who decides? The Bishop? Who is “allowed” to settle elsewhere…or, are you TOLD you have to go?

    I’ll be watching for comments on this topic!

    Alice Mary

    South Dakota Amish

  • Scouting new settlements

    Alice and Alice, thanks for kicking off the comments on South Dakota Amish :)

    Alice A they would probably make a scouting trip, which is something you see the Amish do going back hundreds of years. Of course it’s easier now with public transport and cars to be hired. In some cases in the past Amish have bought land sight unseen but often they like to get a sense of what they’re getting into, which I could understand :)

    Interestingly land agents would often target Amish and Mennonites to settle an area as they were seen to be good for the local economy. So you would have handbills and ads directly marketing to Plain people, in both English and German.

    South Dakota Amish

  • Amish real estate agents

    Alice M, on realtors, yes some Amish do use real estate agents. There is an interesting section on this in the book Amish Paradox.

    What’s funny is you actually have a few Amish actually even becoming real estate agents. I remember seeing this occupation in an Amish directory a number of years back, which surprised me at the time, but now, not really.

    As to reference I am not sure I have a good answer b/c not exactly sure what type of info you mean…but Amish will of course use public libraries, and some have internet access in other ways (cell phone, non-Amish workplace). But certainly not all or even most do, and you might have someone getting some help from an English person. I’ve looked up stuff online before for an Amish friend.

    The decision to resettle is really a personal one, based on any of a number of factors. Could be for better economic opportuniy, less congested area, or simply to found a church with Plainer standards.

    South Dakota Amish

    • Austin
      Comment on South Dakota Amish (May 27th, 2012 at 13:12)


      There are some amish/Mennonite folks here in Oklahoma, but they are more toward the middle of the state. We’ve had alot of farmland change hands in the past few years and some just use it for sod grass production. There is currently a big amount of good soil for sale with two well stations on it in roland oklahoma on hwy64, i would love to have these sort of people for neighbors! I don’t know how to get the word to them. With alot of factories closing it’s a great opportunity for a self-sufficient people to take advantage as more land will become available when people move away or get too old. Do you know any Amish agents that could spread this word?

      South Dakota Amish

  • Alice Aber
    Comment on South Dakota Amish (May 13th, 2011 at 13:56)

    Hey Erik,

    Even before the scouting trip to check it out, what would give the idea to go to a particular area? Especially one where there are no Amish there to begin with?

    I can understand the land agents targeting plain people to move to an area. But aside from that, I really don’t think they throw a dart at a map and then think “let’s go check it out.” After all, even though they can hire drivers and such its still a lot harder for them to just pick up and go than it would be for us “English”.

    Alice Mary brought up a good point about possibly having some research it for them.

    I guess my own desire to move someday and doing a lot of research of other areas has led me to these questions. I know I can’t afford to just pick some place on a map then take a scouting trip. That is a big investment in time and money to not have a pretty good idea before hand that I would probably like the area.


    South Dakota Amish

  • How Amish find a new place to live

    Good point Alice A, you may hear of an area which is popular among other Amish groups, for instance. Like in New York, Karen Johnson-Weiner describes in her book at least a couple of cases where Amish groups settled near (but not too close) a pre-existing community that was of a different affiliation.

    It’s a good question though. I’m sure there is research that would go into it in many cases. You’d really want to know what land prices are, will there be a ready market for your milk, and if you’re lucky what you might expect from non-Amish locals.

    I’m also sure some have noticed areas while on trips to other places–settlements or even say a hunting vacation–which has led to the idea to relocate. If I recall correctly I believe that is what happened with the Lancaster Amish who ended up in Wayne County, Indiana in the 1990s.

    South Dakota Amish

  • Alice Aber
    Comment on South Dakota Amish (May 13th, 2011 at 15:54)

    I imagine they would have to research for a long time. I know I sure have and I am still not sure where I would move to if I had the opportunity and the money, LOL.

    Thanks Erik!

  • Lee
    Comment on South Dakota Amish (December 13th, 2011 at 00:28)

    SD Amish

    When our forefathers came to SD, the realators advertised in English and in German to get the immigrants from Europe to come here. I question the advertising in German to entice Amish today, as all Amish speak English remarkably well, even without accent, unlike the many Hutterites already in SD.

    I would say part of that is the Amish have much interaction with “the world” unlike the Hutterites who live isolated on communes far from town.

    Thousands of Amish come through SD every year to doctor at the famous Ortman Clinic in Cansistota so this is how Amish were familiar with this area and they struck a deal with a local auctioneer I believe in getting their land to settle here. After the first year, they’ve already had a family sell out to an “English” man and they’ve left SD.

    I’m sure to many Amish who come from places with high land prices, SD land prices seemed reasonable but the Dakotas do not have the climate that eastern states have. That’s why Amish settlements in the northern Dakota failed.

    South Dakota Amish

  • Tom Geist
    Comment on South Dakota Amish (February 10th, 2014 at 22:24)

    If you build it....they 'might' come....

    My “Central Plains (Amish) Directory” indicate that the first 3 Amish families to arrive in Tripp,SD was April 28th 2010. A Bishop, a deacon and another family. All of them were closely related. May 19th 2010 another family came from Tomah, Wisconsin. May 27th, another family, then August 26 yet another.

    Most of the cropland was rented out for 2010 yet so they spent time on building projects. 5 dairy barns were built that first summer plus two machine sheds, one house and a basement house. They got themselves a trailer house and used it as a school. In 2011 2 more barns and 3 houses were built.

    One of the families moved to Minnesota in June 2011 but another family moved in, from Minnesota. A proper school house was built.

    Shortly after the first families arrived to Tripp they found that the closest Hutterite colony was a close distance away. The Hutterites came to visit often and they would bring garden items and chickens. The English people in the area also were friendly and not as modern as some from back East.

    I am hoping to take a trip to Tripp in March with a stop in one of only two Amish settlements in Nebraska along the way. (Orchard,NE) Looking forward to the trip, though it’s still winter.

    South Dakota Amish

    • Tom Geist
      Comment on South Dakota Amish (March 22nd, 2014 at 00:35)


      I was lucky enough to travel to Tripp, South Dakota on March 12th 2014. They now have 9 families there, as they just got a new one recently.

      In talking with the Bishop he says the group was pretty well welcomed to the community. The only brouhaha mentioned by the Bishop was when one or two locals didn’t like the horses droppings left behind. Most people did not have any problem with it.

      I found the Bishop and his wife, and a couple other Amish family’s open and very nice. It would be fun to go back up sometime when I would have more time to spend. (and when everything is green)

      Tom….Lincoln, NE LincNebr@hotmail.com

      South Dakota Amish

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