Our Pike County MO
Our Amish Community is made up of what is called the "Old Order Amish" or what others may call "The Simple People."
Those of us who live, work, and socialize with this unique group of people know they are anything but simple. They are a close-knit community bound together by their beliefs. No different than any other citizen here in Pike County Mo.
Every aspect of their daily life helps them to reinforce their values of simplicity and their devotion to their religion, family, and community. This provides for a morally upright, hardworking, way of life.
The Amish use the same bible as most religions use. They base their doctrine on the New Testament. Romans 12-2 says, "be not conformed to this world." Their way of life to them is the right way to live, although they do not believe in imposing their beliefs upon others. They image their way of life on the basis of the way Jesus Christ lived while on this earth - peace loving, upright, gentle, kind, living close to the earth and as no nonsense as possible.
They disregard the modern way of life and are content in doing so. No electricity, no phones, no cars, (only horse and buggy), kerosene lamps for light, gasoline-powered machinery to run such as a sawmill and or washing machine.
They are a 'traditional" group of citizens who preserve their traditions and uphold the values they treasure from the Bible. This is no different than any other religious people. Their church services are held in the language of High German, most of them speaking enough High German to get through and recite Bible Scriptures. They speak amongst themselves in a Pennsylvania Dutch dialect, (another form of High German). They speak to those "outside" the faith in English. The tradition of keeping this dialect for generations is their way of staying in touch with their roots. This is no different than the immigrant traditions of our own ancestors. They believe that a member of the order stays with the faith by choice as well as being baptized by that same choice.
The church dictates the layout of an Amish Community. Each church district is home to 15-30 families. Each church district is self-governing and each church leader, called a "bishop", is the elected leader of his own community. He's in charge of the religious aspect as well as the personal and mental well being of his members. Church is held every other Sunday at a member's home. The designated home prepares all week for that specific day concentrating mainly on the preparation of the food being served and the cleaning of the home. Other members also help with the food. The younger members of the faith use the time after the services for courtship time or "Courting". The young couple goes out in a buggy, either to town for a visit to the Dairy Queen or a trip to see the river or whatever else might be fun to see and do.
HOW DID THEY COME TO BE IN PIKE CO. MO?
One of the sources of conflict with modern society was the Amish belief regarding education. To them an eighth grade education was good enough for any successful Amish person. After graduating from eighth grade, the boys were given instruction in farming along with some carpentry. The girls were given instruction in sewing, cooking, canning, cleaning, and gardening. The Amish felt this was all a person needed to live a successful life. This belief led to trouble with to the national education laws. The law stated no one under the age of 15 could leave school. Most eighth graders were only 14.
In the early 1940's in Jay County and Adams County Indiana the closing of the country schools led to busing to larger schools. The Amish wanted more say in how their schools were to be run and what was to be taught. They wanted a place where they could live and have their own schools. In the mid 1940's they struck out to find that place. Their first stop was Bowling Green, Missouri, after which they continued their trip with stops at Sikeston, Missouri, and Huenuald and Ethridge Tennessee. After returning home to Indiana, Jacob Miller, Eli Yoder, and Moses Schrock returned to Bowling Green where they picked out farms to buy and placed down payments on them. Then the group went to Jefferson City to speak to the State Superintendent of Education about having their own schools, and what would be required of them to do so. The State Superintendent granted them the permission to have their own schools. In the fall of 1947 the Beachy family of Delaware came to Bowling Green and bought farms. They were the first Amish to move everything here and live here.
Maple Branch – 1948 – Began with 10-12 school age children. 1947-48 did a term at Concord School a public schoolhouse. This schoolhouse was on the Dan Beachy Farm.
Woodlawn – 1950 – Located 4 miles south of Curryville on what is known as the Henry Borntrager farm, this school was built in the late 1800's and used as a public school until early 1940. Woodlawn remained open until 1968. In 1994 Hickory Grove was crowded and Woodlawn was reopened.
Shady Creek – 1950 – This was the 3rd private school. Located north of Curryville on the Dave Eicher farm, this school was called the Eicher School until 1961. In 1962 it moved to the Sam Schwartz Farm and became called Meadow View. In 1979 this school moved to the Melvin Hilty Farm and was finally called Shady Creek.
Pleasant View – 1967 – Located in the southern part of the community, just northwest of "Farmer" on the Amos Yoder farm. Pleasant View is still there today and still used.
Hickory Grove – 1968 – Found just 3 miles south of Curryville on the Joe Whetstone Place, this school is now owned by Danny Eicher.
Clover Hill – 1976 – Prior to its closing in the 1984-85 school year, this school was located just 2 miles south of Curryville.
West Yoder- Hilltop – 1970 – Originally located on the Ura Yoder farm, in 1974 this schoolhouse was moved to the Henry Yoder farm. In 1985 this school was moved again, this time to the Harry Glick Farm where it was renamed Hilltop because it was on a hilltop. In 1990-91 Hilltop school was moved to the Enos Girod farm and became a home.
Sunny View – 1978 – Closed in 1986, Sunny View was originally located on the southeast corner of the Phenias Mast farm in the southeast part of the community. In 1989-90 it was moved to the Rudy Borntrager farm where it is now a home.
Businesses in the Amish Community
Eicher Cabinet Shop – This shop has been in business for 20 years. Well known in the Pike County and surrounding areas, they design and customize kitchen cabinets and vanities made out of Oak, Cherry, Maple, and Hickory.
The surnames of families located here are or have been: Miller, Burkholder, Yoder, Schrock, Gingerich, Schwartz, Troyer, Hershberger, Beachy, Borntreger, Wagler, Eicher, Hilty, Girod, Whetstone, Lee, Kemp and Mast.
Other counties from which they came were: Buchanen County, Iowa; Allen County, Indiana; LaGrange County, Indiana; Daviess County, Indiana; Orange County, Indiana; and Snyder County, Pennsylvania.
Pike County, Missouri is pleased to be a home to these simple people. The Amish are no different than any of us. Yes, they – dress differently, ride in a horse and buggy, do not use electricity, live close to their faith, and – yes – they make the best baked goods around. But really they are just neighbors to the rest of us. They ask only that you respect their way of life, be respectful on the roads when you meet them and, most of all, respect their wishes by not taking a picture of them as it is against their beliefs.
|The Amish in General|
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