Extinct Amish communties

Readers and writers of Amish fiction usually think about new settlements forming and growing larger each year. During my research of Love Comes to Paradise, I discovered that’s not always the case. In Missouri, the oldest settlement was founded in 1953, but several communties were founded before the Civil War and went extinct. During the Civil War, the Amish were often at the mercy of both Union and Confederate troops since both sides stole their crops, cattle and pigs. The Hickory County settlement disbanded in 1882 due to crop failures, financial losses during the Civil War, and lack of congregational growth. A settlement near Centralia in Audrain County, (location of my fictional story) failed to thrive due to erratic weather, periods of drought alternating with heavy, persistent flooding. The last two Amish families moved away in 1917. Other extinct settlements existed in the Missouri “bootheel” during the 1920’s and 1930’s. They last around a decade before members moved away. I wish to thank Amish historian, David Luthy, for his wonderful accounts, Settlements that Failed, and Amish Settlements Across America: 2008. History certainly provides a plethora of plot twists for an author of Amish fiction!  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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4 Responses to “Extinct Amish communties”

  1. Thanks for listing the book Settlements that failed by David Luthy. I am interested in how or why amish settlements failed just like settlements that were founded in the 17th and 18th century here in the United States and those that failed.


  2. Very interesting!! The Amish seem to be or have been in more places than we know!


  3. I just finished ” Love comes to Paradise” and it was wonderful, I could hardly put it down to get anything done, it is love, faith and forgiveness and all of the wonderful Bible passages, Nora King thinks she is in love with Elam and follows him and then she really finds out a lot about herself. This is a must read


    Mary Ellis Reply:

    Thanks so much for your comment, Lois. I’m so glad you enjoyed Love Comes to Paradise. That book was a pleasure to write as well. I learned so much while out in Missouri.


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