Meet the Amish of Davis County…
Davis County is home to the most Amish families in the state of Iowa. The Amish community in Davis County is located west of Bloomfield in the Drakesville and West Grove communities. The community consists of well-kept farms and thriving businesses.
Currently there are about 1,400 Old Order Amish living in Davis County. The first Amish family purchased farmland south of Drakesville in Davis County in 1971 after scouting around numerous communities for several years. Lower farmland prices and people who seemed friendly and accepting were draws to Davis County. Other reasons also led the Amish to choose Davis County. A quality hospital within driving distance with horse and buggy was essential. At that time Bloomfield also offered bus service and there were horse sales at the local sale barn.
Today, there about 300 Amish families in the county. By the fall of 2015, fifteen schools will educate about 350 children in grades one through eight. In 1972, after years of struggle, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in the case of Wisconsin vs Yoder that the Amish had the right to educate their children according to their religious beliefs without interference from the government.
The first Amish families that moved to the county made their living by farming, but they soon realized the soil in much of Davis County was not as fertile as the soil they had cultivated in other parts of the country. Gradually, family members began creating businesses especially where they saw a niche that was compatible with their craftsman skills and way of life. Today only about a dozen families make their living entirely by farming. There are over 90 businesses listed on the Amish Business Map that can be downloaded from the website or can be obtained at the Davis County Welcome Center on North Highway 63 in Bloomfield.
The Amish Produce Auction opened April 25, 2003 south of Drakesville. It continues to grow and attracts buyers from a wide area including Hy-Vee stores from as far away as Des Moines. Both Amish and non-Amish growers provide all types of garden produce, flowers, and ornamentals throughout the growing season. Pick up a flyer at the Iowa Welcome Center for the current dates of the auction.
Two large Amish stores, T-Corner Woodworking and Yoder Kountry Korner, offer a wide selection of Amish-made, hardwood furniture, quilts, crafts and other items. Greenhouses are open in season. There are several Amish grocery and general stores that open to the public Monday through Saturday.
Southern Iowa Produce Auction season begins April 8, 2016 and will be in operation every Friday through October 28, 2016. Tuesday auctions begin April 19, 2016 and continue through June. Additional auctions are added in June and July. A complete listing of dates is available at the Welcome Center or many Amish businesses.
4 team hitch preparing for spring planting.