Daviess County, Indiana – History of Amish Community
Amish beliefs date back to Germany in the late 1600’s, where Jacob Ammann established what became today’s Amish beliefs and traditions. The Amish living in Daviess County hold strongly to their German heritage. In fact, German is often the first language learned by many Amish children.
Today Old Order Amish continue to keep their lives simple, requiring little or no use of modern day conveniences. The Amish believe it important for Christians to be separate from the world, both inwardly and outwardly. Old Order members reflect this belief in their dress, their form of worship, their language and their use of technology.
Many Amish are gifted craftsmen. Following tradition, Amish men are often highly skilled in farming techniques, woodworking and carpentry, while the women hone their abilities at baking, quilting, sewing and craft making. Families pass on their specialties to generation after generation. Daviess County hosts a large variety of authentic Amish-owned and managed businesses, including quilt shops, buggy shops, cabinet and furniture stores, restaurants and craft stores.
The majority of Amish businesses are open six days a week year round (except certain holidays like Easter and Christmas), but nowhere will you find an Amish business open for regular commerce on Sundays. The Amish adhere strictly to their belief in not conducting any type of business on their day of worship. Church services are held in Amish homes with anywhere from 35-45 families in attendance each week.
Amish children in Daviess County attend several different schools located throughout their communities. Currently, there are 10 Amish one-room school houses in Daviess County where Amish children are taught usually until the age of 15.
“Apparently the first group of Amish and Mennonites to settle in Indiana came directly from Switzerland in 1838. In the 1840’s and 1850’s others moved in from Pennsylvania and Ohio. It is believed that the first Daviess County Amish settlement was located just east of Odon. The first Daviess County Amish land purchase came in 1868 by Peter Gingerich. By the mid 1890’s there were two colonies within 12 or 15 miles of each other.”
–Daviess County Indiana History by L. Rex Meyers