Missouri Amish

The Missouri Amish population is North America’s 7th-largest

missouri amishThe Missouri Amish population has seen rapid growth in recent years, in part due to Amish migration from other states.  Today Missouri is home to over 9,000 Amish in 81 church districts and 38 settlements (Young Center, 2010).

Missouri Amish communities include:

  • Seymour-the area near Seymour in Webster County, with a population of roughly 1,500, is home to the largest community of Amish in Missouri
  • Jamesport-Jamesport is perhaps the best-known Amish community in Missouri
  • Clark-Along with Seymour and Jamesport, this community in Audrain and Randolph Counties is one of the three largest Missouri Amish settlements
  • Bowling Green-The Amish settlement near Bowling Green in Pike County is Missouri’s oldest
  • Small settlements-Numerous small Amish settlements are found across Missouri, with well over a dozen founded in the last decade


Missouri’s largest Amish settlement is found near the town of Seymour in Webster County (founded 1968), and consists of a dozen church districts.  The Amish at Seymour are a markedly conservative affiliation with ties to the Swiss Amish community in Berne, Indiana (Adams County).

Swiss Amish have specific customs, such as the use of open-top buggies, and speak a different German dialect than most Amish (read more on Swiss Amish).  Common last names in the Seymour community include those typically found in Swiss Amish communities, such as Schwartz, Hilty, and Graber.

Amish woman in open buggy in Missouri
An Amish woman travels by open buggy in the Seymour, MO community

The Amish at Seymour live in the eastern half of Webster County, with most addresses at Seymour but also including the towns of Fordland and Marshfield.  The Webster County Amish make a living by farming as well as in other occupations such as construction and operating small home enterprises such as produce sales.

In recent years the Amish at Seymour have come into the media spotlight on numerous occasions.   An Amish fiction writer set a series of novels in the county’s Amish community.   Amish here were spotlighted for their quickness to rebuild following a 2006 tornado.  And a sex abuse case which occurred in this community made headlines in late 2009.


The Jamesport settlement, lying in Daviess County in the northeastern quadrant of the state, was founded in 1953.

Though it is often pegged as “Missouri’s largest Amish community”, at 8 church districts Jamesport is only about 2/3 the size of the settlement at Seymour (assuming districts of roughly the same average size).

Jamesport is perhaps the best-known Amish community in the Show-Me State, thanks in part to a fairly developed tourist industry and efforts made by local businesses to attract visitors.

Amish sewing machine by window
Sewing machine in an Amish home in Jamesport, Missouri

Jamesport has a flourishing Amish business community, including bakers, horseshoers, furniture shops, and grocery and dry goods stores (read more on Amish furniture in Missouri).

A local map featuring Amish shops as well as numerous guided tours with stops at Amish homes, farms, and businesses testify to the community’s orientation towards visitors.  The Jamesport community also features a sizable produce auction.


The Amish settlement at Clark in Randolph County was founded in 1953 primarily by Iowa Amish seeking greater freedom after conflicts over education in the state (see “Clark, Missouri Old Order Amish Settlement”, GAMEO).  Today Clark is one of the three largest Amish settlements in Missouri, with 9 church districts (roughly 1,200 Amish).

Two Amish buggies under a shelter
Buggies parked under a shelter in West Plains, MO

The Clark settlement in fact lies in both Randolph and Audrain Counties, and takes in area near the towns of Madison and Sturgeon.  The Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online (GAMEO) describes the Amish families of the Clark settlement living “in a tightly knit area with Amish farms adjacent to each other for miles along its country roads”.  Amish shops that sell rugs and leather, bakeries, and other businesses dot the community.

Bowling Green

The Amish settlement in Pike County near Bowling Green is the oldest Amish community in Missouri (founded 1947).  Like the Amish at Seymour, the  Bowling Green community originated from a Swiss Amish community, that of Jay County, Indiana (adjacent to Adams County).

This community, though being founded first, is relatively small compared to the three mentioned above, with only 3 church districts as of 2008.

Small Missouri Amish communities

Like Wisconsin, Missouri is also home to a high percentage of small Amish communities. Of the state’s roughly 3 dozen Amish settlements, 23 consisted of a single church district as of 2008.

Other notable Missouri Amish settlements are found at LaPlata (1976, 4 districts), Windsor in Henry County (1975, 3 districts), and Canton in Lewis County (1986, 3 districts).

Pumpkins at an Amish auction
Amish inspect an autumn harvest at the North Missouri Produce Auction

A settlement founded at roughly the same time as Seymour and Clark has not seen the growth those two communities have.  Anabel in Macon County (1957) is today a single church district in size.

Like the community at Seymour, the settlement at Greentop in Schuyler County (2003, 1 district) is a Swiss Amish group, but with ties to the Swiss community in Allen County, Indiana.

Extinct Amish settlements in Missouri

Though the oldest settlement today was founded post-WWII, Missouri first saw Amish settlement before the Civil War.  Starting in the 1850s a number of Amish communities were founded and went extinct, maintaining a sporadic Amish presence in the Show Me State into the 1930s.

Amish historian David Luthy notes that the first Amish community in Missouri came about in the mid-1850s near the town of Wheatland in Hickory County.  Amish from a number of states, including Indiana, Iowa, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, settled in this community.

During the Civil War, Amish in the area frequently found themselves at the mercy of both the Union and Confederate armies, who took grain and cattle and in at least one case purchased pies using counterfeit money (Settlements that Failed, Luthy, p 241).  Among the Hickory County settlers was Jackson Knepp, who had joined the Amish from another faith background and eventually moved to Daviess County, Indiana, where there are dozens of Knepp households today.

Amishman on horse
An Amishman rides horseback in the settlement at Canton, MO (Lewis County)

The Hickory County Amish settlement eventually went extinct in 1882, with numerous families moving to other settlements in Missouri.  Luthy cites reasons for settlement failure including “crop failures, financial losses during the Civil War, lack of congregational growth, and rough neighbors” (Settlements that Failed, Luthy, p.243).

A half century before the present-day Clark-Madison settlement came about in Audrain and Randolph Counties, another Amish community existed near the town of Centralia in Audrain County.  This community was started in 1898 by Amish from Iowa in search of cheaper land.

Luthy explains that the Amish in Audrain County encountered challenges including alternating excessively wet and dry weather.  This community never grew large, and went extinct when the last two Amish families left in 1917.  Luthy describes it as a “transitional group, more liberal than most Old Order Amish but more conservative than the Amish-Mennonites” (Settlements that Failed, Luthy p. 250).

Other extinct settlements were found in the southeast corner of the state, in and near the so-called “Missouri bootheel”, at Poplar Bluff in Butler County, and Sikeston in Scott County.  Both were relatively short-lived settlements, lasting about a decade each during the 1920s and 30s (Settlements that Failed, Luthy pp. 250-257).

A few modern-day Missouri Amish settlements have failed as well.  Communities at Licking in Texas County (founded 1995) and Downing in Schuyler County (2000) both ceased to exist in 2008 (Amish Settlements Across America:2008, Luthy).

Amish thriving in Missouri

Amish have found Missouri especially attractive for settlement in recent years.  Nearly half of Missouri’s 38 Amish settlements have been founded since the year 2000.

Over the past 20 years, Missouri’s Amish population has grown by over 150%, well outpacing the typical growth rate of around 100% (see Young Center, Amish Population Trends 1991-2010).  The excess growth rate in this case is due to in-migration from Amish communities in other states.

Amish are attracted to new areas for numerous reasons, including land prices, proximity to population centers, and the presence of other Amish groups, which may compel or deter settlement.  Missouri has likely attracted Amish for these and other reasons.

With larger communities in states such as Indiana, Pennsylvania and Ohio experiencing population and other pressures, rural states with accessible farmland such as Missouri, Wisconsin, and New York are likely to continue to see high rates of in-migration and growth rates above the norm.

For more information, see:

Amish Settlements Across America: 2008, David Luthy

The Amish in America: Settlements that Failed, 1840-1960, David Luthy

The New American Almanac 2010, Raber’s Bookstore (Baltic, Ohio), Ben J. Raber

“Amish Population by State (2010)” and “Amish Population Change 1991‐2010” Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies, Elizabethtown College (http://www2.etown.edu/amishstudies/Population_by_State_2010.asp; http://www2.etown.edu/amishstudies/PDF/Statistics/Population_Change_1991_2010.pdf)

Yoder, Samuel L. “Clark, Missouri, Old Order Amish Settlement.” Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1986. Web. 19 October 2010. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/C544.html

Miller, Jacob J. and Samuel L. Yoder. “Bowling Green, Missouri, Old Order Amish Settlement.” Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1986. Web. 19 October 2010. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/B687.html.

Photo credits: All photos by Don Burke

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    1. dino foppiano

      amish girl

      is a book about amish live write by Emma Gingerich title RUNAWAY AMISH GIRL the great scape

    2. Kelli Browning


      I am very interested in your am sharing faith and need to talk with someone… Please email me back thank you!

    3. horse drawn carriage repair

      my carriage built in 1989 incurred some damage. needs a new tongue for single tree and tongue for double tree and a new folding top. It needs to be refinished. it was in my barn when the 5/22/2019 tornado demolished all my outbuildings. I would like to find A builder and repair shop for horse drawn vehicles as near as possible to pittsburg ks. I appreciate any help you can give me.

      1. Mary Ann

        Buggy Repair

        You may want to contact Stephen Stoltzfus in Grovespring, MO. He may be able to help you.

    4. Samantha

      I would like to speak with a bishop or ex member.

    5. Tiffany Adams

      Old farm equipment

      Myself and my cousin own a lot of old farm equipment and wanted to find an Amish community that would be interested in purchasing some or all of it

    6. The second family of Amish that moved to Seymour in 1968 was the Peter P. Schwartz family they had 18 children. They bought a farm 1 mile north of Seymour, Mo.,off of highway 60 on Skyline road. In 1972 Petie N. Schwartz one of Peters sons started his farm on some off his dads land and it is off of Skyline Rd on Brumback Rd.I watched Petie build his farm house,barn and out buildings and that was very interesting. My family have property across the road from them. We have always been close friends. My late husband and I have attended a Christmas program at their school and watched them do thrashing. I have learned a lot about their customs and ways of life from them.I know several other Amish families also but not as well as these.

      Aletta Fox Hutchins Seymour, Mo.

      1. found you...Thanks Erik

        Thanks for the link to find this thread.
        I thought I recognized the name as I know a Pete E Swartz that is a harness maker. I was excited when I thought that he was one of he original Amish in this area but looks like a different guy after all.

        Brumback Rd is where Pete E Swartz lives next to his son Joe that dairy farms and more….

        1. Haley

          Would you be willing to contact these people for me about dairy?

        2. Aletta Fox Hutchins

          Joe that is the Pete Schwartz that I watched build his farm in 1972 or 73 .

    7. Links not working

      I just received the following email:
      A new comment has been posted on “Missouri Amish” on the Amish America blog. To go directly to the new comment, click https://amishamerica.com/missouri-amish/#comment-663688. Aletta K Hutchins said: “The second family of Amish that moved to Seymour in 1968 was the Peter P. Schwartz family they had 18 children. They bought a farm 1 mile north of Seymour, Mo.,off of highway 60 on Skyline road. In 1972…” To read the original post, click https://amishamerica.com/missouri-amish/. To unsubscribe from comments on this post, click https://amishamerica.com/?cmnt_id=7231&cmnt_t=8fa484312b250514af7a4b4df288e3c0.
      I was going to respond but none of the links work and I can not find the post to put the reply in the correct place.
      Joe Tittiger – Seymour MO

      1. Sorry for that Joe, thanks for letting know. The links should work now. Or you should be able to go directly to that comment here: https://amishamerica.com/missouri-amish/comment-page-3/#comment-663688

        1. Robert Brown


          We are looking to see if your community would like a very large tree in my back yard. Please email make it as TREE Amish

          we are located in Springfield Missouri.

    8. Marcie


      May I suggest an edit to this article? The Downing Community is alive and well. I am friends with at least a dozen families from here.

      1. Downing 2.0

        Marcie, thanks for the comment. It sounds like that is probably a new settlement which started up after the previous one dissolved. This happens sometimes.

        The source I used for this article showed that there was an Amish settlement in Downing from 2000 to 2008. I checked and it looks like another community started up in the Downing area also in 2008, so it must have been not long after the previous one ceased to exist. This happens from time to time, when a different group of Amish goes in to settle an area where Amish previously lived.

        One example is the community at Burke’s Garden, VA, which I just visited a couple of weeks ago. They had an Amish community there for most of the 1990’s before it failed. Then another one started up about eight years ago.

        It’s an interesting phenomenon, it’s possible that the second group of Amish who goes to a place sees a previously-settled location as appealing for similar reasons to those which drew the initial group. They might have a sense of what caused the first settlement to fail, and believe that that factor or factors will not affect them in the same way.

        In any case I’d be curious to hear, if you get a chance to ask the families you know, when they came to Downing and when they say the first families in the settlement arrived.

      2. Sheri

        Amish in Licking

        We recently moved to Licking this spring and it seems they have resettled here in the past 10yrs and look to be doing quite well. Our roads run parallel to each other and I look forward to meeting families and learning. Like how do they get their laundry so clean and neat?!

      3. Sheri

        Amish in Licking

        We recently moved to Licking this spring and it seems they have resettled here in the past 10yrs and look to be doing quite well. Our roads run parallel to each other and I look forward to meeting families and learning.

    9. Lisa Baumgardner

      Amish cultural appropriation for financial gains via YouTube by non-Amish man.

      This man is dressed up as an Amish man in videos posted to YouTube. He has sponsors based on his videos and gains financially. Please visit and determine for yourself if he is legit and should be allowed to continue his channel. https://www.youtube.com/user/growinginfaithfarm

    10. Neal Franke

      Licking Mo

      There is still a group at Licking Mo. They moved there about 8 years ago from Burnes Indiana. Mostly Schwartz and very good people.

      1. Haley

        Hi there. I was wondering if you know of any Amish near licking with dairy cattle? I’m north north of Rolla and looking for a nurse cow. I was told to check with local Amish but not sure where to start. I do not exactly what to go door to door.

    11. Does anyone know about Schuyler County, MO?

      Does anyone know anything about a potential Amish settlement near Lancaster – not the very well-known Lancaster in Pennsylvania – but the small town in Schuyler County, MO?

      We have seen a somewhat dated report of a small Amish community near there, but wanted to confirm its continued existence (or extinction), and if anyone knows anything else about it.

      1. Erik, I have been through that general area at least once, and in some parts a couple of times. I have pictures from Greentop/Queen City and Unionville, and others a little more removed from Lancaster. I don’t know if there is a chance these could be what you’re looking for.


        1. Thanks, Don! I know it is not the Greentop/Queen City or Downing area. There were apparently about 8 families in 2016 in the vicinity of Lancaster, but I don’t know how close. Perhaps it is the Unionville area, as that is nearish Lancaster, but in the opposite direction from Downing. Do you recall more or less when you took the Unionville photos?

          1. Erik, all the pics I took from that immediate area were back in the summer of 2014.

            1. Great, thanks. On second look Unionville is probably too far outside the Schuyler Co. line to be what we’re looking for, but I’ll pass it along.

    12. Haley


      I am in south central missouri. I Am looking to buy a nurse cow or very gentle milk cow. I have been told to check with the Amish. But don’t know where to start. Wondering if anyone has any type of relationship with Amish in their area.

    13. Looking for an amish crew to build my retirement home around the lakes area in southern Missouri in three years from now does anyone know someone around there I can be reached at 575-571-6968 thanks Don Malzahn

    14. Jordan

      Horse Training

      Hi there!

      I was wondering if anyone might know of an Amish family in Missouri that would be interested in taking a “problem horse” that is mostly draft and training/using him to help with their farm work or pull a cart.

      The owners do not want the horse back, nor do they want any money for him. They just want him to go to a good home where he can be a pasture mate or to someone who wants to try him at a new job other than being a riding horse. They have done everything right by this horse, but he has made it very clear he will never be suitable for riding.

      If you know of anyone in the Amish community there that is a gifted horse trainer or would like to take on this horse, that would be very helpful. I took a young draft horse I owned to an Amish community in Missouri over a decade ago to be broke/trained and they did an amazing job with her.

      1. Becky Iannaccone

        Jordan @ horse training

        Just outside of Princeton in Mercer county there is a guy Dan Mullet that trains horses and uses them on his farm. I don’t have his phone number, but if you google “Modena Variety Store” and call the store, John Borntrager can either give you Mr.Mullets number or take a message to pass to him. Dans boys are in the business of training as well – good hands for training.

    15. Katie

      Closest Amish communities to STL

      Hi guys. I live in west county St. Louis Missouri. I was wanting to source pastured eggs and raw milk cheese. What are some of the closest Amish communities near me that I can go to for these items?
      Any information is greatly appreciated

      Thank you!

      1. Hey Katie. I’m nearly your neighbor, just an hour or so away in Potosi.

        I know there is an Amish community in Bowling Green, which wouldn’t be all that far north of you. I don’t recall any in MO that would be closer. I know there are some communities over in IL, but I don’t recall what would be closest. And I don’t know if any of these would be a good source for the items you’re looking for.

        It’s a bit dated now, but this link is my go-to source for finding Amish communities by state. Just jump over the introductory stuff and go straight to the listings for MO and IL.


        1. Katie

          Thanks Don

          Hi Don,
          thank you for letting me know. That’s what I thought to be the closest to st.louis as well. I’m thinking to make a trip and see if I can source those products.
          I looked up all the cities on that list and it looks like bowling green is the closest from that list as well.

          If anyone else knows a community even closer, or a source for pastured eggs or raw cheese please let me know!
          Thank you

        2. Katie

          Thanks Don

          Hi Don,
          thank you for letting me know. That’s what I thought to be the closest to st.louis. I’m thinking to make a trip and see if I can source those products.
          I looked up all the cities on that list and it looks like bowling green is the closest from that list as well.

          If anyone else knows a community even closer, or a source for pastured eggs or raw cheese please let me know!
          Thank you

    16. Andrew B


      (Sorry if this is a repost — I’m not confident my first comment went through.)
      My family and I (four in total) will need to stay near Lohmon, MO in the near future, for a couple of weeks (or maybe a month). One of our dear relatives is ailing, and we want to be close by. But I don’t want to stay in a hotel that long. And I don’t see any B&Bs near Lohmon. I wondered, are there any opportunities to stay in or near one of the Amish communities near Lohmon? I don’t imagine there are… but I had to ask. Thanks!

      1. Andrew B


        Naturally, I meant Lohman. I’m afraid my fingers are moving more quickly than my mind.

    17. Jason Reynolds

      Amish strong along US60 between Seymour and Fordland

      Just wanted to update everyone that I saw 4 Amish folks with their carriage and horse along US60 between Seymour and Ford land. Was awesome to see. Still going strong there. I wish I had more time today.

    18. Laura Smith

      Looking for Amish goods

      Recently,we learned people in Texas travel to Missouri to purchase food items, farming supplies.
      Is this sale for certain times of year?
      One lady told me Amish community also has auctions.
      Please let me have some info. We are very interested in learning. Thank you.

    19. Sib

      Builders in Licking MO.

      Workers Needed Spring-Earliest March— Fall-Latest Nov 2022.
      Times are flexible.
      I am seeming workers to build a Shed. 30×24 or so on a slab (site and slab already contracted for March 2022).
      Just structure and one door.
      Possibly some finishing work as well but plan to do all this mostly on my own.

      Sib text

    20. Lindsey Trulock

      Moving to Amish Country

      My husband and I are looking at relocating to Missouri and are interested in purchasing an Amish house. Is there a real estate publication or agency that caters to the Amish so that we can see properties available? Thank you!

      1. JASON

        Amish Real estate

        I’d look for a realtor in Seymore, MO specifically call them and tell them what you are looking for.

        From what I have seen, Seymore to Fordland have a large Amish community. I see them while driving US-60 7/10 times.

        I will say Cabool, Mountain Grove, Licking and Norwood have an Amish Presence.

        However if want old order, stick with the Fordland and Seymore areas.

    21. KenC

      Home builder

      I want to build a home and a pole barn on my property in the Summerville / Mountain view area. Are there any Amish builders that work in this Area?

      I would like my house on a walk out basement.

      1. Jason

        Pole Barn builders…. Id contact Byler Supply.

    22. Jerry Crutchfield

      new community sites

      I live in central Mo and sale real estate. Is there an Amish or Mennonite Institution that could buy cheaper large parcel of land and broker it out to a new community?




    24. Patricia Hall

      Amish Help

      I am looking for an Amish Family that will Do repairs and help with household chores for an active elderly couple in Kirksville, Missouri.

    25. Gregory Jenner

      Missouri Amish

      Love the Amish. Got to learn allot on what they do. Plus I got to meet a few Amish people when l was working at McDonald’s. Magnificent people and hard working as well. I would love visit an Amish community and learn the language and the way they do things. I know they got the name after Jakob Ammon the founder of the Amish. Learned that from last week which l didn’t know about