Nebraska Amish

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The Nebraska Amish are perhaps the most conservative group of Old Order Amish, descendants of the Anabaptists and Mennonites.

The present Nebraska Amish districts are found in Mifflin County, Pennsylvania, with small extensions into Centre, Huntingdon, and Union counties. The Amish came into this region of Pennsylvania as early as 1791. Around 1880, Bishop Yost H. Yoder led nine families from Juniata County, Pennsylvania, to Gosper County in south-central Nebraska, founding an Old Order settlement that would last until 1904, three years after Bishop Yoder's death. Yoder went back to the Kishacoquillas Valley in Pennsylvania in 1881 to assist a conservative Amish group. Yoder was living in Nebraska, and the group was nicknamed the Nebraska Amish by others.

Like other Old Order Amish, the Nebraska Amish do not use motorized equipment or indoor plumbing, and wear very conservative clothing. Differences include the fact that the men do not wear suspenders and the women do not wear bonnets (wearing black kerchiefs and flat straw hats instead). Other differences include the fact that they do not place screens on their doors or windows, men only wear white shirts, curtains are not used in homes, buggy tops must be white, men's hair must be shoulder length, no lawn mowers are allowed and houses must not have projecting roofs.

A group called the Zook faction broke away from the Yoders in 1933, and constitute a separate "district", holding their own worship services and having their own bishops. Though differences exist, they are unnoticeable to outsiders. As of 2000, the Nebraska Amish had eleven districts and 775 members, mostly in northeastern Mifflin County.[1] Since the late 1970s they have split several times. Groups include the Rufus Zook group, the Chris Yoder group, and others. Reasons for splits are difficult to obtain. Because Nebraska Amish have a small number of youth, they allow dating over the line. So young people of different Nebraska Amish groups can date each other, however when they want to marry they have to decide which of the groups they will join. Nebraska Amish practice bundling.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Kraybill, Donald; C. Nelson Hostetter (2001). Anabapist World USA. Scottdale, Pennsylvania: Herald Press. p. 68. ISBN 0-8361-9163-3. 


  • Amish Society, by John A. Hostetler
  • The Amish in America: Settlements that Failed, by David Luthy
  • Mennonite Encyclopedia