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The Sugarcreek Budget

The Sugarcreek, Ohio Budget newspaper is a vital print lifeline stretching across the diverse Anabaptist settlements of North and South America.

Founded in 1890, this weekly paper out of Sugarcreek, Ohio, serves as an information exchange for families sometimes separated by great distances and formidable technological barriers.  The Budget is among the favorites when it comes to Amish reading material.

Sugarcreek, Ohio, home of the Budget newspaper.

Budget ‘scribes’ regularly report on local happenings.  Their writings are listed under the home settlement’s geographical header.

Many of the placenames indicate traditional Amish/Mennonite locales in Pennsylvania, Indiana, or Ohio.  A number, however, come from further afield, distant lands such as Belize, Haiti, or Romania, likely originating from more adventurous Mennonite or Beachy Amish settlers.

Besides the local news, you can also find all sorts of neat things for sale in the Budget–wind-up watches, cloth diapers, and something called a ‘no-crack’ freezer container, to name a few.

Ads in the Budget tell you where to get your ‘superior cow cream’ or even Himalayan Goji Juice, two items no doubt favored by Plain folk concerned for both their own and their animals’ health.

Service providers advertise as well–again, many of them health-related.  Perusing a recent issue you’d come across info on hernia relief, Tijuana dentistry, and even the frightening-sounding colon hydrotherapy.

How’s the weather in those parts?

Poems, children’s sketches, and petitions for contributions for needy members enduring misfortune also feature prominently in the 40+ page gazette.

But on to the meat of it:  in the Budget, readers learn of all sorts of happy occurrences:  marriages and births and successful moves and good crop yields, to mention a few of the most popular topics.

The Budget conveys tragedy as well.  Readers of a recent issue learned of an Indiana organic-farm poultry barn burning down, resulting in the loss of 17,000 young fryers, and much worse–a young Amish father of six who died suddenly of a burst appendix in the same community.

And finally, the Budget brings readers the seemingly mundane:  A big chunk of letters begin something like ‘spring is here and the weather is fine….’, ‘church was held at the Miller place…’, ‘the flowers are in bloom…’ and don’t really seem to say too much else.

My old man happened to pick up an issue, and joked about how ‘nothing’ really seems to happen in most of the letters.  He wondered, just when do they find the time to write about the corn growing?

I supposed that it might be what they do when they’re not on the internet or in front of the tube.

And maybe that’s just us taking a short view of it…with the weather playing such a prominent role in the agrarian-minded Amish-Mennonite world, it might come to mean the difference between prosperity and destitution.  At least it has in the past.

In any case, the Budget is a vital publication, anticipated and enjoyed by many in the far-flung Amish-Mennonite community.

It’s a modern-day relic in a modern world of internet, cell phones and email, a throwback ‘messaging system’ for a ‘peculiar people’, of whom many still choose to rely on the printed word for basic news and communication.

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    40 Comments

    1. Sean LaFianza

      I’ve read ‘the budget’ before along with an ‘old order’ newspaper at my friend’s house… i never thought about ordering it for myself… i’m going to do that now. thanks for the link!

    2. Lecy Thomas Ybarra

      My mother was born and raised in Sedalia, Missouri and her parents names are Obadiah and Leona Marquess and they lived without electricity; and had 15 children; when my mother met my father they moved to Texas and I was wondering if there are any records to see if any of my kinfolks were Amish. I recall growing up as a child we had no electricity and we lived off of the land. How do I go about finding out if somewhere in generation some one in my family grandparents or great grandparents were Amish.

      Sincerely
      Lecy Thomas Ybarra

    3. Amish genealogy tracing

      Hi Lecy,

      I do not know if a genealogy tracing service would be of help–frankly I do not know how they work. I do know that the Amish publish genealogies of their people, often going back to some of the earliest Amish settlers in the 1700’s. They are quite extensive and you may want to check into one of those.

      I don’t know that I’ve ever heard of the Marquess surname in connection with the Amish. That doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s not the case. But in truth it’s probably not highly likely, but you may want to take a look if you have reasons to feel as you do. I wish you luck and thanks for reading my blog. Hope you come again!

    4. Pingback: Amish publications- addresses, order, and subscription info | Amish America
    5. Mona

      Hi Erik,
      I have a question for my sister who lives in Illinois….she just moved there and she said she does see either Amish or Mennoites there, she doesn’t know the difference…neither do I !!!! Her question is how do the Amish grow potatoes ? Her son lives there and last yr. they planted potatoes and had no luck….said he thought the moles ate them…..is there a way to prevent this from happening??? And what kind of flowers do they plant near their garden to keep bugs, animals, birds,etc away???? She said they had noticed flowers growing in their gardens, but never knew what kind and the reason??? I told her I could ask you and if you didn’t know, you would find the answers from your amish friends….. Thanks Erik

    6. Alice Aber

      Hi Mona, I am in Illinois too and I can tell you first hand, gardens here last year did not do well at all.

      The flowers that are usually planted around gardens are marigolds. Use a variety of different heights. I surround my garden with marigolds and the rabbits and a lot of the other critters do not like them so will not pass them to go into the garden. Another trick is spreading moth balls around when the plants are all young yet.

      The Amish here wear solid colors, usually browns, burgundy, black, blue or dark green. No buttons or snaps, they use straight pins to close the clothes. The Mennonites will often vary into other colors even prints. Some use buttons and snaps.

      Tell them if they try potatoes again to make sure they are not planted where tomatoes have been planted the year prior. Something the tomatoes leave in the soil hurt the potatoes. Cant’ remember exactly what it is but I do remember not to plant them in the same spot or too close to each other.

      Hope this helps.
      Blessings, Alice

      1. Steve Stransky

        Potatoes

        Tomatoes and potatoes have a common scourge: potato blight. Never plant one where the other has been.

    7. Alice Aber

      Oh and Mona, if you want to email me with any other questions I will try to help. ceramics_lady@mchsi.com

      Blessings, Alice

    8. Crystal Anthony

      Hello,
      I’m a 21 year old female with a 14 month old and have always been interested in the Amish way of life and would like to know more. I live in Newfoundland, Canada so there isn’t really any other way of getting in contact with them other then to find ways online. If there is any way that you would be able to get me in contact with a member of the Amish community it would be GREATLY appreciated.

      Sincerely,
      Crystal Anthony

    9. Diane Morris

      Where can you buy the Budget?

      We are planning a vacation to Holmes County, Ohio. Where can you buy issues of the Budget?

    10. Budget office in Sugarcreek

      Diane, I’m not sure if they sell them there but if you want to go straight to the source, the Budget’s offices are in Sugarcreek, on the east end of the Amish settlement:

      134 N Factory St
      Sugarcreek, OH 44681

      Sugarcreek is a picturesque town and if you’re coming from I-77 you would probably pass through it anyway. I subscribed so never had to locate an individual copy but I’d think you could do so in the town.

      1. Patti

        BUDGET

        Hello Erik, got a question does the Budget have recipes in it? Can we just get a copy to see if we like it or not? I live in VA and no Amish near me (that I know of) and that makes me sad for I so admire the Amish and their way of life. Take care and God bless

        1. Linda

          Patti, if you’re still looking for a sample copy of THE BUDGET, yes, it is available for $4 prepaid. More details are at:

          https://amishamerica.com/amish-publications-addresses-order-subscription-info/ (posted Sept. 2010), or

          http://www.thebudgetnewspaper.com/subscriptioninformation.html
          as of April 2012

          And yes, the “Cookin’ with Maudie” column in THE BUDGET has about 4 recipes in each issue.

          1. Patti

            ????

            Thank you for the Budget info. And yes still interested.
            I will have to wait till payday now to order a copy. Fixed incomes are no fun at all. God bless, Patti in VA

    11. Parviz

      The Amish way of life

      I am a 62 year old Iranian male interested in knowing more about different cultures . Getting to know the Amish goes back to 2 months ago when I read something about them .
      In order that I can get familiar more about the Amish , their culture , and their way of life I like to find a reliable source .

      Therefore , I’d like to ask you help me find what I am looking for , an Amish pen pal

      Rgrds
      Par

    12. Mindy George

      Amish penpals

      My great-grandmother was born and raised Amish in Lancaster, PA. She for whatever reason left the community and eventually left the community to marry my great-grandfather. I would love to know more about the ways of the Amish life and possibly meet some of her family.

    13. PAM THOMAS

      FRIENDS IN THE AMISH POPULATION

      Hi, I live in the UK and am seeking to write to a amish lady to learn about how they live. Over here we do not have amish people living in this country so when we see the documentaries on tv and through the media we are most interested to learn about different cultures. I am writer here in the UK but I do enjoy writing to people of different cultures and different lifestyles. my grandmother used to live in the country and she had no electric and farmed the land, had orchards, grew her own food and was able to sustain herself from living off the land, plus she also dressed moderately and kept herself to herself the same as the Amish populations.

    14. Kathleen Percival

      Trachsels in Sugarcreek, Ohio area

      I had relatives living in this area and am not sure if they were Amish or Mennonite. Their last names were Trachsel and Beachy. If you are aware of these names, could you please advise? They were born in late 1800s and early 1900’s. Many left that area to live in Akron, Ohio.

      Thank you for any assistance.

      1. To Kathleen about Akron,OH

        Dear Kathleen, My family is from Akron, OH. I was born and raised there until age 7 when I moved to NC.I still have family in the area, including an aendi that lives in Massillon, OH.I also have a 90 year young great grossdawdi,but he’s not expected to live much longer due to various health issues, in the same town. I’ve lived in numerous states including WV,NC,TN,OH,KY. Feel free to e-mail me at shaneamason@yahoo.com.I look forward to hearing from you! P.S.Maybe we can help each other to research each others family histories!

    15. Dr.jim Schumacher

      Amish Dialect & High German

      Through all of my life, I’ve been a student of the German language. Probably that’s because I grew up during the Second World War in a German-American family. The result? I was forbidden to use the language. My years at The College of Wooster were spent as German major. That gave me the chance to make up for lost time! I was blessed to have as my advisor Dr. William I. Schreiber, a specialist in Amish studies & author of “Our Amish Neighbors.”. After fifty-two years spent as a Presbyterian Pastor, I find myself, in retirement, re-reading Dr. Schreiber’s book.

      Here’s my question: How helpful do today’s Amish church members find the Luter Bible? I realize that, for Old-Order Mennonites, Luther’s is — most probably –the ultimately authoritative translation. On the other hand, on the very few occasions I’ve had the chance to try High German with the Amish, I’ve rarely felt that I was understood. Perhaps I should add that folks from Germany have no similar conversational difficulties. What puzzles me is that Luther’s Bible created modern High German. Following Dr. Schreiber’s lead, I’ve begun introducing myself to the Ausbund. There, I discover a fascinating combination og High German & Dialekt. All of that intensifes my question about the relationship between those two versions of the German language.

      1. Dr. Schumacher, let me direct you to another thread we have on this topic, which might be able to provide insight and an answer to your question:

        https://amishamerica.com/what-language-do-the-amish-speak/

        Feel free to post this there as there are some quite knowledgeable commenters in this department.

        1. Dr Jim Schumacher

          Amish Worship & High German

          July 23, 2012

          To my friends from “The Budget:”

          One thing that makes it worth asking questions is trying to work out possible answers. In my earlier posting, I puzzled about what seemed to me an unexpected difficulty many Amish folks experience when confronted by High German. What really fueled my question is the fact that, like them, I frequently use the 1912 version of Martin Luther’s translation of the Bible. Since Amish services regularly make reference to the German Bible, and given the other fact that Luther’s Bible created modern High German, it would seem that language should be readily understood. During the past week, I’ve also secured a copy of the Ausbund. While the hymns included there are not in perfect High German, they’re really close enough! I was relieved to see that I could readily read their contents.

          Now… Back to my original question about familiarity with standard German… I believe I’ve worked out an understanding that works for me. The only question is whether or not it works for anybody else. Here goes!

          Mainline churches, including my own Presbyterian tradition, resolve all questions about the scriptures by reference to their original languages. Consequently, those of us who have spent time in mainline seminaries have been trained in Greek and Hebrew. Now, that doesn’t mean we sit around, chatting with one another in those languages. Instead, we were taught to read them and use them for exegesis. In retirement, I’ve enjoyed working with biblical languages on the internet. In that way, I find I have reference to more manuscripts than I ever did as a theological student. May it not be the case that, for today’s Amish, High German plays a role very similar to Greek and Hebrew? In matters of interpretation, Luther — in all probability — plays a role very similar to that of the original languages. Truth-be-told, however, that would probably come as a surprise to Luther! He was fluent in Latin, Greek, and Hebrew. That’s what enabled him to create his magnificent translation. Still, Dialekt is what people spoke and still speak at home and work. High German remains what we learned in school. Small wonder, then that the average church attender feels uncomfortable with a language he or she seldom uses.

          Any possibility I’ve answered my original question?

          1. Yoder

            Dr. Schumacher, my understanding is that the Luther Bible is the only High German Bible the Amish have used for close to 200 years. Before that, the Froschauer Bible was used. Even though High German is used in church services for singing, reading, and somewhat in preaching, it is hardly used in daily life for conversational talking. Sometimes the German will bring out something in a Bible verse that is not as plain in the English.

            If you don’t mind, I will copy some of this to the “What language do the Amish speak” post that Erik referred to.

            1. Dr. Jim Schumacher

              Servus!

              Herr Yoder!

              I’m very grateful for your comment! Until I read your remarks, I had never heard of the Froschauer Bible. That provides the basis for further and joyful research! I’ll be delighted to have any part of my remarks added to the comment stream.

              Jim Schumacher

    16. Sharon

      I used to subscribe to The Budget. I loved to read it and see the recipes and classifieds in it, too. I don’t subscribe now because it got too expensive for me with all the financial difficulties due to my husband’s numerous surgeries. I used to be able to find a copy here and there in one of the communites that was for sale. It makes very good reading – so interesting.

    17. Eli

      Small piece of Budget history

      I was recently given a cancelled check of my great grandfather’s (Amish) out of Fredericksburg, Ohio from Jan. 1948 made out to Royal Printing Company. The check is endorsed on the back with a stamp reading “Pay to the order of Citizens Bank Sugarcreek, Ohio Royal Printing Co. The Budget GEO. R. SMITH

      Interesting thing is, the check is written in pencil.

      Assuming this is for a subscription…1948 cost: $3.00

      1. Sadie

        Eli, that is wonderful! What a nice thing to be given — and to think of a check written not only in pencil, but for $3.00 (most likely) for an entire subscription. I love hearing about that sort of thing.

    18. Al in Ky

      The Budget 125th Anniversary

      The Budget newspaper will celebrate its 125th Anniversary August 7 and 8 in Sugarcreek, Ohio. In the July 1 edition of The Budget
      was the following information:

      “Friday, August 7, an Open House will be held at The Budget office from 1 to 5 p.m. You will have a chance to tour the office and meet the staff. This event is open to everyone, and is a great time for community people to come and chat with scribes, fellow readers, and view our operation. We will have free refreshments (hot dogs, homemade ice cream, popcorn, drink, etc.). All are welcome to stop in at the office at 134 North Factory Street in Sugarcreek.”

      “Friday evening at 7 p.m. John Schmid will be sharing in song at the Sugarcreek Community Pavilion… This free event is open to the public.”

      On Saturday, Aug. 8, The Budget will have its scribe (writers) gathering which is by invitation only.

    19. Al in Ky

      Budget Update

      In the 2/17/16 edition of The Budget, it was reported that The Budget now has circulation of over 17,000. There are over 950 scribes (local writers). There was a recent reunion of Budget scribes in Pinecraft, Florida, with scribes present from many states and Canada. The publisher of The Budget, Keith Rathbun, recently passed away unexpectedly. New publisher of The Budget is David Spector. Fannie Erb-Miller continues as editor of the national edition of The Budget. During a tour of The Budget office in August of 2015, I understood staff people to say that there currently is no waiting list for new scribes (local writers) to send in news. However, in order for news to be printed, a local Amish/Mennonite/other Anabaptist community has to have at least five households.

    20. The Sugarcreek Budget

      You got a very superb website, Gladiola I detected it
      through yahoo.

    21. Kelly Weaver

      Postcard from 1911 confirming subscription for one year for the Budget.

      My Dad has a postcard from the Budget confirming his subscription for . 20 cents. For one year! Dad has the postcard, if you would like a pic! So interesting!
      Thank you,
      Kelly

    22. Wanda

      Old copies of Sugarcreek

      Hello, My name is Wanda Kyle
      My grandparents Jacob and Anna (Schrock) Lee of Aberdeen, Mississippi took all “The Sugercreek Budget”, “The Family Compaion” I was wondering I you had an old copies of these. In 1970 my great Aunt Nancy Miller ( Mrs Daniel A. Miller) wrote a history piece in The Sugarcreek Budget.

      Best regards,

      Wanda Kyle

      1. marcus yoder

        John T. Lee

        You should be able to contact the Budget, as they should have this in there archives. You have a 2nd great grandfather John T. Lee who married my 3rd great aunt. I have the budget article about John getting gored by his jersey bull. I think I sent this to Erik.
        Marcus Yoder

    23. VINCENT p KLARSCH

      I would like to receive the Budget by mail. thank you
      Vince Klarsch
      612 Church Dr.
      Muncy, Pa. 17756
      c 570-337-5149

    24. k. Miller

      Subscribe

      How can I subscribe to the Budget? Please send link to my email. thanks!

    25. Would like to advertise in The Budget

      I work for a company called E-Cloth Inc. At E-Cloth, we believe cleaning should be clean. No additional chemical cleaners, no single-use nonsense. We are on a mission to reduce the number of disposable cleaning products that end up in out landfills and oceans globally. You can clean your floors, dishes, windows, stainless steel appliances, and even your car sustainably without unnecessary additional cleaners and only using water.

      We have many Amish Retailers as customers, and we would like to increase that across the US. We want to advertise to Amish and Mennonite buyers that have Retail Stores in their communities. Would this be a good place to do that?

    26. Richard Oliver

      Classifieds

      Do you have a section in your publication for buying/selling?
      I have a 2yr old bullmastiff that I would like to give to a good home.

    27. shane delello

      AMISH DRIVER

      Hello im a proffesional driver with several different trucks and vans to choose from ! also i have 35ft flatbed trailer to haul whatever u need ! $1.50 per mile regular rate or $2.00 per mile hauling depending on weight . thanks Shane call me anytime 315 604 7401 !!!

    28. shane delello

      RENTAL TRUCKS

      WE HAVE BRAND NEW TRUCKS FOR RENT !!!!! FORD!!!! CHEVY !!!!DODGE !!!GMC ….GAS OR DIESEL 3/4 TONS AND 1 TONS !!!!! FULLY INSURED GREAT MONTHLY RATES !!!! WORRY FREE NO MORE WORRIES ABOUT YOUR OLD TRUCK BREAKING DOWN AND RUINING YOUR DAY !!!!! CALL ME (3156047401) OR CALL (5853092558)

    29. shane delello

      NEED HAULING ??????

      ANYWHERE ANYTIME CALL ME!!!! SHANE 3156047401