Monday, July 14, 2014


Thought you might be interested as to how and why Anna and I ended up in New York State.  It might explain why some of us Amish move around.

Anna and I started out in Pennsylvania.  That is where we met and married in her parents home.  We had purchased a small farm that needed work on it like John's does.  First the barn was raised and over the first few years we were married, we remodeled the house to just the way we wanted it.  Also, we had two children, the first two and a half years we were married.

Knowing me, I wanted more land.  As land was, at that time and is today, expensive, I used that excuse to move to Ohio.  We were young and as young folks today including Amish, Old Order Mennonite and English, we thought we knew everything.  Before we moved my parents said: "The world won't change for you, the church won't change for you, you have to change." We didn't listen and moved.  Of course it helped that Eli and his wife had moved there first.

We were there for about three years. The Bishop that we had there passed and a new Bishop was drawn.  He started to change the ways of what we believed.  First we should read only German Bibles and not English, which was all right with us.  But, when he stated that being "born again"
was mental not physical. That is was the Englishers trying to change our religion.  Eli and I tried to explain.  We showed him in the Bible.  He decided that we did not fit in his ways.  So we decided to move before he shunned us.  So off to Indiana we went. Oh, we had two children in Ohio.

In Indiana, we settled in again.  We liked it there.  But things change.  Eli's Father passed do to a heart attach.  He went out to do chores and when he didn't come in for lunch, Eli's Mother went looking for him.  She found him in the barn - gone.  After the funeral Eli felt he should move home as his Mother still had 10 children living at home and would need help providing for them.  Also, I don't know if I mentioned this, but Anna and her sister Hannah are twin sisters.  Anna missed her sister along with the rest of her family.  So off we went - moved back to Pennsylvania.  We had  one child in Indiana.

Back in Pennsylvania, we were able to buy the farm we had before we left.  The owner after us had purchased some more property so it was larger than when we left - so we bought it.  We decided this was our home.  We were not moving again.  Our family grew by three more children.  Sometimes they were starting a settlement some place and wondered if we wanted to go, but we stayed where we were.  Nope, we weren't moving again.

A few years after her husband passed, an Amish man bought the farm next to Eli's Mother's.  He was a widower and moved to Pennsylvania to be closer to his family who could help him raise his six children.  Eli's Mother was asked to cook for them and clean their house in exchange for him helping on her farm.  Somewhere along the line they found they were ment to be together, married and united their families into one.

Our children grew and all but two married.  They started to move to other states.  We tried the grass isn't always greener on the other side of the fence, but one children's family by another children's family moved.  Honestly, we knew with the price of land and the shortage of it, they had to move.   We had children in four different states.

A group in our community considered moving to New York State.  Our final daughter at home, married and her husband was considering moving to New York.  Eli was part of our community on thinking of moving to New York and wanted me to go, among a few others going there to look over areas where we could settle.  At that time there were some Amish in Clyde, Seneca Falls and Waterloo.  So off we went.  We looked at different areas.  Spoke with different town officials to see if there would be a problem if Amish moved in.  How would their towns and villages accept us and more.  Eli and I even saw the farm Anna and I would later buy.

We got back and still we weren't going to move.  Over the next year, each of our children and family decided they would move to New York State if a settlement was founded.  Many of our brothers, sisters and their families decided they would move.  Even Anna's and my parents  decided they would move.  Eli decided he and his family would move.  We weren't going to move.  My thought was Anna would never leave her sister Hannah.  Nope, we weren't moving.

Before they left, they drew a Bishop for the new settlement and Eli was drawn.  He tried to talk me into moving and we weren't going.  No way.  No how. No why. Eli left and started the settlement.  Slowly Amish were selling where they lived and buying in New York.  We still weren't moving.

Until I came in from chores one night and Anna was sitting at the table.  John was out to singing that night.  I could tell by the look on Anna's face something was wrong.  She told me she was going to ask me to do something I didn't want to do.  I asked her what it was and she said move to New York.  Later, Anna said she thought I would get upset, but I didn't.  I asked her why.  She said all our children had moved out of state.  Now they were moving to this area in New York.  We would be closer there.  We would be together again.  Her parents would be there.  My parents would be there.  We'd be together again.  I told her she would be leaving her sister Hannah and her family.  Anna said New York and Pennsylvania were close states.  I asked about John and she said he wanted to go, too.

When John got home that night I spoke with him.  He, too, wanted to go.  The next day, I explained to Anna and John that we would have to sell the house we raised our family in. Still they wanted to go.  So I went down to the phone and called Eli.  I asked if that farm with the big house was still for sale.  He said it was. I told him we were buying it.  I can still remember Eli's laugh and said he knew we'd come.  So we got a certified check and sent it to Eli to pay for the farm.

There was a young Amish family that said if we ever wanted to sell our farm they would like to buy it.  I went to see them.  Gave them a good price, sold the farm and we moved.  I also again told Anna, it was our last move.

Do we regret the move?  No.  Oh we miss some friends in Pennsylvania.  Miss certain places we use to shop and eat.  But we go back a couple of times a year - visit friends, go to the shops and restaurants. We are among Old Order Amish that are born again. Our family is close here.  We have met some great people like Marilyn, Jean, David, Martha, Joseph, their families and more.  It's not as commercial here as it was in Pennsylvania.  We are very happy here.

So now Anna and I are drawing up plans for our new house and barn.  We have to get all sorts of permits before we can build.  What started me telling all about this?  Last night Anna and I got a call from Hannah and her husband.  They wanted to know if we built our farm where we plan to would there be a room where they could build a farm?  We had to talk with my daughter and son-in-law who are planning on buying our farm and they agreed to give up some more of the land. Most of Hannah's grown children's family are in New York and they felt it was time they moved.  Anna is so excited that Hannah is moving to New York.  Right next to us, no less.  So I told Anna, after this new farm,  we are not moving again,  She didn't say a word, but had a smile on her face. I wonder if she is thinking of Pinecraft in the future.

We prayed very much before we made any of these moves.  Well maybe not as much on the first one, but we did on the rest of them.  You never know what the Lord will ask you to do or where you will live.

Trust God's Wisdom,


New York State Of Mind said...

Good Morning Everyone,

Elmer and Anna sure moved several times. Glad they ended in New York State.

It looks like another beautiful day, but it is suppose to rain sometime today.


Anonymous said...

Hello Elmer, thanks for sharing how you +Anna came to live in NYS. How wonderful that your family is all together in one place, one community. I'm so excited for Anna that Hannah+ her husband will be coming up her to join you all! Sounds like all of you will be very busy between John's' wedding+building new homes etc! new changes coming with God's continued blessing! Take care, In Christ, Carol

New York State Of Mind said...

I apologize for deleting many of the comments on this post. I must have hit the wrong button. I am sorry for my mistake.