The Amish Way of Life :
A Spirit of Yesteryear
The Old Order Amish are direct decedents of the Mennonite Anabaptist, a group that formed
during the Reformation in Germany and Switzerland. Founded by Jacob Amman in the late
1600's, the Amish felt that the Mennonites were too casual in their religious observance. The
Amish arose as a distinct community of believers whose lives were harshly governed by Biblical
law. In the 1720's, the first group of Amish emigrated to America seeking religious tolerance
and good farm land. Today there are Amish settlements in 48 states and Canada. The
three largest populations are found in north central Ohio, Eastern Pennsylvania, and Northern
Indiana. In the early 1950's the Amish immigrated to Jamesport, Missouri now the largest settlement
in the state. Currently around 175 families live on the rich farm land of the area.
Seeking separation from the confusions and superficialities of society, the Amish live in
modest homes on rural farms, and travel by means of horse drawn vehicles. Their peaceful
lifestyle evolves around a close-knit family, the discipline of their faith, and the utilization of
the land, all of which can be seen as you travel the rolling hills and country side in our area.
With a firm belief in the work ethic, the Amish men are busy on the farms from daylight to
dark. Their religion forbids any reliance upon technology, so they do not use electricity. The
tools and farm implements from a by gone era, are antiques and replicas of pre-World War II
relics. Fieldwork is done with the aid of horses and horse-drawn implements. The young and old
work side by side, elbow to elbow to ensure the acquisition of a trade and to work for a
common family goal. Skills are passed from generation to generation.
Amish women spend their days caring for the young children, working in a kitchen equipped
with kerosene and wood burning appliances, hand grinders, and cast iron.