Newton-Jasper County Old Order Amish Settlement (Indiana, USA)

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Newton County, Indiana is located along the northwest side of Indiana on the Illinois border. On the east it is bordered by Jasper County. Amish families settled near Mt. Ayr in the 1870s.

It is not known who the first Amish settler was, but early residents were Jacob A. Kauffman (1837-1916), Benjamin D. Miller (1819-1905), Eli J. Stutzman (1847-1928), Abraham Troyer (1846-1906) and Nathan Chupp (1825-?). All of these settlers had been born in Holmes County, Ohio, though some had lived elsewhere before moving to Newton County.

Bishop David H. Hochstetler (1818-1885) moved to Newton County in about 1876 from Breman, Indiana. One of his daughters married John Anderson (originally Augustus Walbus), a Danish man who came to North America in 1873 and worked for the railroad. He adopted the more "English" name from his foreman. While building a rail line near Breman, he boarded with the Hochstetler family and fell in love with Lovina Hochstetler, married her, and joined the Amish. Their son, Albert Anderson, would be the last bishop of the Newton-Jasper County Amish settlement.

Poor weather and crops in the early 1890s led many families to consider moves to other locations, including Oklahoma, North Dakota, Florida and Mississippi. Thirteen families moved to Mississippi in 1896, and the following year five families moved to North Dakota. At least 20 families remained in the Newton-Jasper settlement.

The formation of the Burr Oak Mennonite church eventually led to further shrinkage of the settlement. In 1950 the last minister, Albert Anderson, moved to the Lagrange County settlement. About 10 families remained at this time. Some moved away, and after 1955 the rest purchased automobiles and left the Old Order Amish.


Luthy, David. The Amish in America: Settlements that Failed, 1840-1960. Aylmer, ON: Pathway Publishers, 1986: 95-100.

Original Mennonite Encyclopedia Article

By Eva Weber Carper. Copied by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, p. 868. All rights reserved.

The Newton-Jasper County (Indiana) Old Order Amish settlement was begun about 1872, when several Amish families from Ohio settled near Rensselaer in Jasper County, Indiana, but soon moved about 15 miles (25 km) west into Newton County near the small town of Mount Ayr. Others joined them from near Goshen, Indiana. Until 1914 this group constituted one congregation, but in that year another group of Amish from Daviess County, Indiana, settled about 15 miles (25 km) further east in Jasper County, near the small town of Parr, creating a second congregation. In 1914-1923 the two groups were served by one ministerial body, with services alternating. At the peak the number of families was about 60.

About 1910 a large group, possibly half, left for Mississippi to found a new colony on cheap land, but the experiment was a failure. Meanwhile the group left behind gradually dwindled, and when in 1947 their last bishop left, only 10 families remained, which by 1957 had declined to three families, and they were without a minister. The four successive bishops of the Newton-Jasper settlement were David Hochstettler, his son Wallie Hochstettler, David Miller, and Albert Anderson. In the late 1950s about one-third of the Burr Oak Mennonite congregation (53 members) came from the Old Order Amish group.

Author(s) Samuel J Steiner
Date Published July 2017

Cite This Article

MLA style

Steiner, Samuel J. "Newton-Jasper County Old Order Amish Settlement (Indiana, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. July 2017. Web. 9 Aug 2022.,_USA)&oldid=165176.

APA style

Steiner, Samuel J. (July 2017). Newton-Jasper County Old Order Amish Settlement (Indiana, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 9 August 2022, from,_USA)&oldid=165176.

©1996-2022 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.