Dover Old Order Amish Settlement (Dover, Delaware, USA)
In 1955 Kent County, Delaware consisted of four Amish districts having about 250 members, located west of Dover. Amish families from various states moved to Kent County. The first to come were the families of Bishop David Y. Miller and Jacob K. Miller in 1915. Others came from Geauga County, Ohio, Oscoda County, Michigan, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, Somerset County, Pennsylvania, and Ford County, Kansas. The original settlement was divided into two districts in 1928, and the west district of the original settlement was divided in 1933. In 1946 several Byler families with others consisting of about 18 families moved to Catlett, Faquier County, Virginia. In 1947 a more progressive congregation was organized under the leadership of Bishop Seth Byler of Stark County, Ohio. The bishops in 1956 were John D. Hochstetler, D. Leroy Nissley, Eli S. Miller, and Simon W. Byler. -- John A. Hostetler
Later migrations to the Dover area (also known as Kent County) came from western Amish communities in Kansas, the Dakotas, and elsewhere. The Dover-Hartley community thus has many Amish who migrated west and then returned to the East Coast. Growth has been slow but steady. Many families moved away seeking "greener pastures" or affiliated with area Beachy Amish Mennonite and conservative Mennonite churches. Amish farms along the Hartley-Dover road are limited in growth opportunities because of industrial expansion. Farmers have grown primarily vegetables and produce for urban markets (truck farming). However, in the 1980s, this community moved into wheat and corn growing. Many heads of households, for economic reason, have established small shops or taken up furniture-making and repair businesses. The Dover settlement was the first Amish community to establish a formal parochial school (private Christian schools). Apple Grove School for grades one through eight was founded in 1925. By 1984 the community had grown to eight congregations with more than 1,300 people. -- Samuel L. Yoder
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, p. 166; vol. 5, p. 244. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Hostetler, John A. and Samuel L. Yoder. "Dover Old Order Amish Settlement (Dover, Delaware, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1990. Web. 20 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/D69.html.
APA style: Hostetler, John A. and Samuel L. Yoder. (1990). Dover Old Order Amish Settlement (Dover, Delaware, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 20 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/D69.html.