Two New Amish States: Wyoming & Idaho

The Young Center of Elizabethtown College has just released annual Amish population estimates.  The big news: over the past year Amish settled two states with no existing communities.

Wyoming

Amish WyomingI had heard about Amish heading to Wyoming late last summer.  I’m told the new community has ties with Amish in southern Wisconsin.

At around half a million people,  Wyoming is America’s least-populated state, but one of the largest in area.  If Amish find the place suitable, they will have room to stretch their legs.

Idaho

I don’t know much about Idaho yet.  The Gem State most recently saw an Amish community from 2000-2004, in the vicinity of Bonner’s Ferry in Boundary County.

Amish IdahoLast year in “Could Amish be headed to your neighborhood?” I wondered how Amish might do in new locations.  Idahoan Rusty Downey wrote about her home: “much nicer weather conditions [than Colorado], much farm land and people love Amish crafts.”  Perhaps the new arrivals got Rusty’s message.  Another reader reported an “Amish sighting” near Nampa, which may have in fact been a Mennonite sighting, as some conservative Mennonites do make their home in the state.

In any case, Idaho and Wyoming are the latest Western states settled by Amish, joining Colorado and Montana and a number of Plains states.  Amish heading west have to adapt to differences in climate which affect the way they make a living.  You don’t see the same lush farmlands as in the East, one reason land is cheaper.

With the new additions, Amish can now be found in 30 states and one Canadian province.  The Young Center’s 2012 Amish population tables can be seen here.  You can also read the 2012 population trend summary.

Get the Amish in your inbox

Join 15,000 email subscribers. No spam. 100% free

    Join the Amish America Patreon for bonus videos & more!

    Similar Posts

    Leave a Reply to Richard from Amish Stories Cancel reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    21 Comments

    1. worth noting

      It’s also worth noting that this report and the one released by The Ohio State University last Friday show that Ohio’s Amish population is now greater than that of Pennsylvania. In addition, the Greater Holmes Co. area now has the world’s largest Amish population, surpassing Lancaster Co., according to the OSU report.

    2. Always interesting to hear when some of the Amish are stretching their legs a little and venture out to another state, kind of reminds me of what we English did so many years ago during the pioneering days. And I wish them much luck in their journey. Richard . http://www.Amishstories.net

    3. Rusty Downey

      YEA!!!! AMISH IN IDAHO WOULD BE GREATLY WELCOMED. WE LOOK FOR AMISH PRODUCTS IN STORES, FARMERS MARKET (WHICH WE HAVE A LARGE ONE IN THE CITY OF BOISE, THE CAPITAL) OUTDOORS EVERY SUMMER.
      WE DO HAVE MENNOITE AREAS AND HUDERITES ALSO. CLIMATE IS GREAT! LOW HUMIDITY! WILL LOOK FORWARD TO HEAR!
      OH, BY THE WAY. NO OFFENSE. I AM A GREAT GRANDMOTHER, UP IN AGE. LIVED IN HONEYBROOK PA. AND FAMILY HELPED SETTLE IN PA. AMISH COUNTRY. STILL LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING THE AMISH ENJOY IDAHO.

      1. Sorry for the mix-up Rusty! I’ve changed “his” to “her” above. I do not know where this Amish settlement has sprouted but it sounds like a small community is there, somewhere 🙂

        1. Amish In Wyoming

          I am a salesman (I sell aerial photographs) and was recently working in Crook County, Wyoming very near Devils Tower and ran across the Amish there. I told the fellow I talked that I didn’t know there were Amish in Wyoming. He said that they he moved there about two years ago from Iowa and his cousin who moved there also was from Missouri. There are five buildings. Two large houses, a cabin, a workshop and a stable.

          1. Amish & aerial farm photography

            Thanks for sharing about the Amish in Wyoming David. Interesting to hear about your occupation. I often see aerial photographs hanging on the walls of Amish farmhouses. Recently in Ohio I was admiring one from the early/mid-1960s. It was interesting to see which buildings had survived, which had disappeared, and how the trees had grown over a half-century. I think there is an appreciation among Amish for these photos–sort of like a photo of your business captured in one image. If you have a large farm I guess there is no better way to do it. Any sales to Amish customers?

    4. Tom

      My wife and I had dinner with Amish friends who were in our area for medical treatment. In conversation my friend said that his youngest son had gone to Wyoming elk hunting. Hunting is not my thing, but thought that it would be an expensive trip for a young Amish man. He went to the Amish settlement in Wyoming for the hunt on the cheap. This may be a new enterprise for the Amish.

      1. Wyoming Amish hunting outfitters

        An Amish “hunting community” which survives by running businesses lodging and guiding Amish from the East 🙂 I wonder if there is enough demand for that but an interesting idea. On a related note I have also wondered given the number of likely visitors to some Western communities whether those folks get worn out from all the guests. Perhaps it is not as much as I think it is.

    5. Alice Mary

      Good to hear

      I’m glad to hear the Amish are expanding Westward. I wasn’t able to read all the info here, but I hope the expansion Westward isn’t at the expense of the settlements they came from.

      I was a little surprised to see 2 Amish settlements/districts in Arkansas. My husband was visiting his Dad in that state just a week ago. Had I done a little research and realized there were Amish there, I might have been able to arrange some time off to go along & check them out.

      I certainly hope the Amish thrive in their new digs, wherever they are!

      Alice Mary

    6. Valerie

      Choosing their new communities-

      I’d be interested in knowing how they actually select where they settle. Example, 2 of the communities that are newer by comparisom, in Smyrna Mills Maine & in Unity Maine-it’s interesting to me because of the names of the areas they chose.
      In Revelation 2,3 when Jesus had a message for the 7 churches, only 2 of the 7 did He not require repentance, one being Smyrna, one Philadelphia-

      Do names of places attract them when they are scouting or is it merely coincidence? Many settlements in Indiana have Biblical names as well as some in Ohio & PA.

      At any rate-my son is in Wyoming working temporarily. It’s a beautiful state, and so is Idaho. I’ll have to send my son on a mission in WY-a scouting mission-no-he would just laugh at my request.

    7. I saw a couple of references to Hulett, WY in Die Botschaft recently. So I am assuming that is where the new Wyoming community is at. Right close to devil’s tower. But this is not official … just putting two and two together. Why else would two different Amish mention going to Hulett???
      If so, they wouldnt be too awful far from the Ashland, MT (I think I got that name right … maybe that community is now defunct, havent paid attention lately.) community. Well, not far by western standards, a couple hours in a vehicle. Not a nice Sunday afternoon buggy ride to the neighboring district. 🙂

      1. They are there

        Yes, they settled not far from Hulett. I was there a few weeks ago and spoke to one of them. They have been there for two years and they were planning a wedding with the community in Montana. I didn’t know where in Montana, must be Ashland.

    8. Yes, to the Amish community in Wyoming

      The Amish arrived in Wy. about a year and a half ago. Crazy Woman Realty sold a ranch to them and the Amish then divided it to suit their needs. We now have 6 families here with more and the way. I get calls about once a month or more from Amish in many of the Eastern states expressing interest in relocating to Wy. We have a closing set for early Dec. for our newest arriving family. One of the reasons that they chose this area, the northeast corner of Wy. is, this is the only zone 5, (you can grow a real garden here) fruit trees as well as grains, the same reasons that my Great-Grandfather homesteaded here over a century ago.
      The Amish are great folks and have accepted the Hulett community, and vice a versa, the English have welcomed them with open arms.
      If I can answer any questions, feel free to give me a call 307-231-2050 or check out our website, crazywomanrealty.com

      1. Wyoming Amish occupations

        Thanks for sharing Will. Do you know what the Wyoming Amish newcomers do for a living? It sounds like the climate is about the best for growing in the state, are they farming, small businesses? Thanks for your feedback.

        1. Wyoming Amish

          The new Amish families are raising livestock such as cattle and sheep along with construction work both new and remodels. A couple have tack shops and the newest arrive is a saddle maker (Rose Bud Saddlery). The women come to Hulett every Saterday (weather permitting) and sell pie, cookies, jams etc.

          1. Thanks Will, I appreciate the follow-up.

      2. My brother lives at Cody. I lived there for short periods of time, some 20 years back.
        Your comment about growing a garden … well, my brother got discouraged with gardening at Cody when he got a frost one year on July 4th!

        1. Check the location that I mentioned, the Northeast corner of Wyoming, elevation 3000 to 4500, the ONLY zone 5 growing area in Wyoming. Cody is in the Northwestern corner and is considered high plains desert, elevation of 5000 and greater.

    9. Greg

      I am wondering if the new settlement in Idaho reported this year is Old Order or New Order? The report in the Young Center doesn’t specify or say where they are located although it does say they have to be horse-and-buggy Amish to make the list. As Rusty said, they would certainly be most welcomed! I would be interested to know should anyone find out.

      1. Linda

        A New Order Amish settlement started in Salmon, Idaho, coming from St. Ignatius, Montana.

    10. Greg

      Thank you, Linda! I sense it could be in the near future that the southwest valley around Boise or even the eastern part of the state would have some appeal for starting a settlement.