Iowa has been home to Amish settlements for many years. In the 1960s, for instance, Buchanan County was site of many skirmishes between the Amish church and local government over compulsory education issues. Kalona, in Washington County, has long been Iowa’s largest settlement and a favorite destination for visitors. With vast swaths of rural relatively inexpensive farmland the state is appealing to the Amish. It’s always fun to read about new settlements and the Cedar Rapids Gazette showcased one of them over the weekend. Apparently the Amish have begun settling around Delhi, about an hour west of Dubuque and about 45 minutes northeast of Cedar Rapids. CAPTION: A farmer plows the fields near the new settlement of Delhi, Iowa. Photo from the Cedar Rapids Gazette. The article does a good job of describing what is a fairly common reason for a new settlement: philosophical and/or religious differences among Amish. There are several aspects of the piece that I found interesting, from names to religious reason for the split. (Helmuth is a familiar name, but it’s not terribly common and Christner is not an Amish surname that I’ve run into much at all..the spelling of Borntreger is also not the main variant of either Bontrager or Borntrager…and Lori is an unusual first name among the Amish). The photographs included with this article are also interesting, so be sure to click on them. I think the subtext you can take away from this article is that the Delhi settlement us a little more progressive and practical than the purely agrarian one they left behind. Interesting reading! Check it out here.
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