Stopping in at the Bee County, Texas Amish Community

Reader Rebecca Rury recently took a visit to the only Texas Amish community, at Beeville in Bee County. She stopped in at the community’s best-known Amish business – Borntrager’s Combination Shop – but writes that she “didn’t get to chat with Mr. Borntrager as he was busy shoeing a horse.” Mr. Borntrager is the owner of the combination shop, and the bishop of this community. Rebecca does leave us with a few photos of the shop and scenes from the community:

In some states the buggy signs will indicate for how many miles you should expect to see buggy traffic, like in this example. Those tend to be attached to signs on main roads. So this gives us an idea of the range of the community. It doesn’t mean that Amish necessarily live across an eight mile stretch (this is quite a small community, not even a “full’ church district), but does indicate where they tend to travel on the roads.

Some Amish have the custom of placing the SMV triangle on the left side of the buggy, as we see is the case here. Is this better for visibility? It’s only a relatively small minority of Amish who do it this way.

Here we have a look inside the Combination Shop. Kind of a variety shop; I guess combination is something of a synonym for that more commonly-used word for describing these types of Amish shops (though this is not exactly a typical Amish variety store). We see an array of foods here (the sign on the register reads “Pastured Poultry Homegrown Chicken”). Also some horse tack items hanging from the rafters (the word that popped in my head is “hame”, but I’m not sure if that’s correct, not a horse person). Also hanging down in the middle here – is that a leather rifle case?

Looks like some more tack items here, canned goods, and some empty-looking bins that appear to have held some produce (sweet corn?).

Finally, a close-up on two items to make the sweet tooth happy. It seems it would be a real missed opportunity to not sell honey if you run a food business in Bee County. As it happens, Google gives the description of this business as “Honey farm in Bee County, Texas”.

For more on this unusual settlement, back in April we looked a video drive-thru of this community which revealed some views of the landscape and Amish homes in the area:

Each year when the Amish population estimates come out, you see smaller Amish states add new settlements. Texas is not one of those. It seems to just be Beeville in this state, year after year for over two decades (though there have been some smatterings of Amish in the state in the past). It doesn’t grow much; I guess not many Amish have found this an attractive place to live. But I’m happy that at least one Amish settlement continues on in the Lone Star State.

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    1. Lynn Maniscalco


      Just curious–when there is just one very small settlement like that in the entire state where will the young people find mates?

      1. Terry Frederick

        love at first sight

        they will pu a mate through letters,all over us and canada,at an amish wedding they have a supper for the young folks that are old enough to go to singing on sunday nites,if they all ready have a girl/boy relationship already they will be called to go in to the supper,boy always first ,the rest of the youmg folks are picked by two men, dont know if they are relation,again boy first,this is two ways they get together,oklahoma would be the next closes community,but they have relation all over us,so wants its anounced in church th e invites go out,,,then they call me ,i am a taxi driver for the amish,they ask if i am available for trip to texas from wisconsin,what is price ,will you do it cheaper ,no,14 peop;e hop in and divide up the bill,this is a good retirement job

    2. Sunflower


      Maybe that’s why the community has stayed so small? Young adults looking to marry might be visiting other states to find spouses. Erik- you are correct-it’s called a hame.

      1. Valerie

        Texas weather

        Im wondering if the weather has much to do with the lack of amish communities. It’s very difficult to grow things here, it had taken me five years to figure out how to grow some things. Im a Yankee as most amish are, I grew up on as lg. Farm, almost a thousand acres, its total culture shock trying to have a garden. And most you tubers don’t know what they are talking about.

    3. Sunflower


      Well, it’s part of it. The thick leather part is the collar, the hame goes over the collar.