Gortner New Order Amish Settlement (Oakland, Maryland, USA)

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The Gortner New Order Amish settlement south of Oakland, Garrett County, Maryland, USA was established by Peter Gortner from [Germany] in 1848. Other family names that soon arrived included Pfeil and Miller from Germany, and Yutzy, Slabach, Selder, Beachey, Gnagey, Schrock, and Petersheim from Somerset and Cambria counties, Pennsylvania. Somerset County lies directly north of Garrett County.

The settlement remained small, and none of Peter Gortner's children remained Amish. Daniel Beachy, who lived across the nearby West Virginia border, was the first bishop for the congregation.

In 1948 an abandoned Grange Hall was moved and converted into an Amish church house. This was similar to the Somerset County Amish who also had church houses, though this was an anomaly for Old Order Amish. In the 1940s the settlement also began to use tractors both in the fields and to drive to town.

By 1970 the church building was also used for Sunday school, clearly placing the formerly Old Order Amish group into the New Order Amish category. They had accepted electricity in 1963 and telephones in 1967. One of their members in 2004 was a registered nurse who drove his tractor to the hospital where he worked in the emergency department. Horses and buggies continued to be used for travel to the church house. Most settlement families continued to be farmers, especially dairy farms.

The Amish attended the local public school until 1957, when plans for bussing students to more distant schools were announced. A compromise agreement with the local school board was arranged that allowed the school to remain if the Amish would construct a new school building. The Swan Meadow School remained a public school that primarily served the local Amish and Mennonite community.

In 2014 the bishop was Alvin Daniel Beachy, and the ministers were Samuel J. Yoder and Reuben Peachey. There were one district with a total of 68 family units. Gortner was part of the "electric" New Order Amish.

See also Garrett County Old Order Amish Settlement (Garrett County, Maryland, USA)


New Order Amish Directory (2014): 136-149.

"New Order Amish strike a delicate balance between what's forbidden and what's necessary." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 21 November 2004. Web. 19 March 2020. https://www.post-gazette.com/life/lifestyle/2004/11/21/New-Order-Amish-strike-a-delicate-balance-between-what-s-forbidden-and-what-s-necessary/stories/200411210184.

Waldrep, G. C. "The New Order Amish and para-Amish groups: spiritual renewal within tradition." Mennonite Quarterly Review 82 (July 2008): 395-426.

Additional Information

Address: Oakland Maryland


Denominational Affiliations:

New Order Amish

Ordained Ministers of the Gortner New Order Amish

Name Years
of Service
Daniel J. Beachy (Bishop) 1855?-?
Peter Gortner (d. 1903) 1865-1903
Jonas C. Petersheim (d. 1937) 1898-1937
Daniel J. Swartzentruber (d. 1950) 1903-1950
Lewis M. Beachy (d. 1958)(Bishop) 1908-1958
Eli D. Beachy (d. 1988) 1935-1988
Daniel J. Petersheim (1895-1972) 1944-1972
Norman N. Schrock (1924-2008)
Edwin E. Beachy (1925-2009) 1972-2009
Alvin Daniel Beachy (1953- )
Samuel J. Yoder (1957- ) 1993-
Reuben Peachey 2008-

Author(s) Samuel J Steiner
Date Published March 2020

Cite This Article

MLA style

Steiner, Samuel J. "Gortner New Order Amish Settlement (Oakland, Maryland, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. March 2020. Web. 27 Sep 2020. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Gortner_New_Order_Amish_Settlement_(Oakland,_Maryland,_USA)&oldid=166911.

APA style

Steiner, Samuel J. (March 2020). Gortner New Order Amish Settlement (Oakland, Maryland, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 27 September 2020, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Gortner_New_Order_Amish_Settlement_(Oakland,_Maryland,_USA)&oldid=166911.

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