A New Amish Country Store (Haven, Kansas)

A new store has opened in one of Kansas’s oldest Amish communities. Owners Robert and Elaine Headings bought an existing Amish store’s inventory (Anna Borntrager’s Country Variety Store) to outfit their new store. They also added some items.

The business is now called R & E Country Store, and it opened about three weeks ago (any guesses where the new name came from?). The community is Haven, aka Yoder (Reno County).

R E Country Store Haven Kansas Amish
Photos unless noted otherwise by Alice Mannette/The Hutchinson News

Anna Borntrager had run her store for over 30 years. We first heard about it in a guest post by Tom Geist in 2014. This is what Anna’s place looked like then:

Country Variety Store Haven Kansas
Photo by Tom Geist

The new store appears to be quite a bit larger.

Worth noting: the couple is described as Amish, even though their last name is not typically Amish. I have never seen the last name Headings attached to an Amish family before. So unless there’s a mistake here, that leads me to think this is probably a couple who joined the community (also supporting this theory: Elaine is also not a common Amish first name, and Robert, not really either). *Update: helpful commenters suggest that I am likely wrong on this theory, and that this albeit rare-for-Amish name has a longer history among Amish/Mennonites – see the discussion below.

Inside, it looks like a classic Amish variety store:

Amish Store Shelves

Some of the items you’ll find:

In addition to the sewing supplies, the store carries several types of bilingual Bibles – English/German – and psalm books. They also have German readers, toys, kitchen supplies and gift cards. Their inventory is continually growing, especially with fabrics.

Elaine wants to have a place where people can see the merchandise, instead of ordering from a catalog or heading off to Hutchinson. Along with specific black and tan hats and boots, the store carries black sweaters and coats, as well as specific scarves.

They also sell hand-crocheted doll caps made by the Headings’ daughters.

If you’ve visited Amish communities you’ve likely come across a store just like this. These are usually some of my favorite places to stop to pick up a grab bag of interesting things, and hopefully learn a little bit about the community from whoever happens to be working there. These places cater to the Amish but there is usually plenty there for English shoppers as well.

Fabrics Amish Country Store Kansas

Elaine says “We wanted this to be for the community”…”We also thought this was something our girls could do when they grew up.”

R & E Country Store can be found at 12304 Obee Road, Haven, KS (620-465-2733).

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    1. Jack L. Craig

      The name Headings

      I may be wrong, but I believe that the last name “Headings” is found among the Amish at Yoder and the Hutchinson district south west of Hutch. Not as usual Petershime (SP), Mast, Yoder, Bontrager, Miller.

      1. I don’t ever recall seeing the name attached to Amish before, so that is interesting to hear, as are the comments from Anna, Lowell and Larry below. Thanks all for the info.

    2. Amish name

      Headings is actually not an uncommon name among the plain people in the midwest. My parents were friends with a family named Headings from Kansas, years ago. Amish-heritage.org

    3. Lowell

      Also many plain Mennonites in Oregon with the Headings name

    4. Larry Fisher

      According to the Headings family tree, a William P. Headings Jr. 1798 – 1878 is listed as Scotch-Irish, born and died in Mifflin County, Pennsylvania. He is noted as being Amish, but some of his children may have left the faith (some possibly Mennonite). The Headings of Reno County, Kansas are his descendants. It appears that his Kansas descendants are both Amish and Mennonite (old order?).

      William P. Headings was married twice, first to Barbara Glick and then to Nancy A. Stutzman and had children by both.

      1. So that would make it one of the non-Germanic origin Amish names. There are a decent handful of those but they tend to have a smaller footprint. I did not see any ministers in the community listed in the latest Raber’s Almanac with the Headings surname (but of course that is just the ministers). Now I’m curious how many Amish households might have this surname. I do have a Kansas directory but not at hand, so I’ll have a look when I can get ahold of it. I have updated the post with a note to check the comments for this discussion.

        1. To tack one more thing on, this discussion brought me back to an old post based on an early Family Life article. Might be of interest: https://amishamerica.com/unusual-amish-names/

    5. Dan Hochstetler

      Amish first names

      It’s probably best to retire the obsolete idea that certain first names are not found among the Amish. True, certain names might not be very freqently found in certain settlements, but might be quite common in other settlements. And I have seen the most unexpected names among some Amish. As an Amish-born career public school teacher who has always had some Old Order Amish students in northern Indiana, I have seen cycles of common celebrity names come and go among the (non-Amish) students (like 10 to 15 years after the celebrity’s high point!) And these same names might appear later among the Amish–but out of the cycle! Also, David Luthy some years ago did a series of articles in Family Life of surnames added to the Amish which were not of Amish immigrant origin (e.g. Chupp, Glick, and certain names found in Lancaster Co. hardly found anywhere else).

    6. Levi Helmuth

      looking for an old post hole digger

    7. Marcia Hedrick

      Loomed kitchen rugs

      I’m looking to replace my loomed amish rag rugs we purchased about 15 yrs ago in Ronks, PA

      Can anyone point me in the right direction?

      Marcia Goldsmith-Hedrick