Geauga-Trumbull Counties Old Order Amish Settlement (Ohio, USA)
In 1953 the Geauga County Amish settlement consisted of eleven districts and approximately 1,000 baptized members who lived in Geauga and the adjoining Trumbull County, Ohio. The first Amish family to move into the area was that of Samuel Weaver, from Holmes County, Ohio, in the spring of 1886. In 1887 Simon Mast from Holmes County and Ministers Dan Byler and Jacob Byler and families moved to Geauga from Lawrence County, Pennsylvania. A congregation was organized in 1887 with ten families from Holmes County and several from Lawrence County. Isaac Hershberger, a deacon from Indiana, joined the settlement in 1888.
The eleven districts in 1953 with date of formation are as follows: North Parkman 1953; South Parkman 1944; Troy 1897; South Middlefield East 1900; South Middlefield West 1946; Huntsburg 1921; Burton Station 1937; East Middlefield; Mast 1921; Mesopotamia South 1940; Mesopotamia North 1940. The latter two districts were in Trumbull County, but belonged to the larger Geauga County settlement. The entire settlement had 10 bishops, 13 deacons, and 20 ministers. -- John A. Hostetler
The Geauga County Old Order Amish Settlement in northeastern Ohio has pushed into Ashtabula and Trumbull Counties since 1960 making this the second largest Amish settlement in Ohio, and the fourth largest in the United States. It was founded in 1886 by settlers moving in from Holmes County, Ohio, 80 mi. (130 km.) farther south. Early families found this area to be poor farming land, but through perseverance have built up the soil to make it a productive community. Dairy farming, cheese, and maple syrup have become the primary products of Geauga County farmers. This community has seen an unusual amount of moving in and out by Amish families. It has been the source of Amish moving to many other communities in Pennsylvania, as well as a number of settlements in the Midwest.
A unique problem for the Geauga community has been the encroaching industrial and urban development of the city of Cleveland. There has been a great exodus of city dwellers moving out of the city eastward to the hills of Geauga. Much farmland has been gobbled up for urban development, resulting in high land prices and high taxes. In the 1980s Cleveland Electric sought to enlarge its power lines across Amish farms to bring electricity from a nearby nuclear power plant to stations servicing area industry.
The Geauga settlement is a prime example of the ever growing conflict between rural farming communities and industrial complexes moving to escape the blight of the city. Many Amish farmers now work in factories, some are moving away. Even so, in 1987 Geauga had 42 church districts (congregations) serving approximately 8,000 people. -- Samuel L. Yoder
In 2011 the settlement had an estimated 94 church districts with an estimated population of 13,255.
Burkholder, Moses and Mattie E. Burkholder. History of Geauga County. N.p., 1961.
Burkholder, Moses and Mattie E. Burkholder. History of the Amish. N.p., 1961.
Byler, Y. J. "First Amish Settlers in Geauga County, Ohio." The Budget (26 January 1950) (2 February 1950).
"The Twelve Largest Amish Settlements (2011)." Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies, Elizabethtown College. Web. 24 July 2011. http://www2.etown.edu/amishstudies/Largest_Settlements_2011.asp.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, p. 441; vol. 5, p. 324. 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. "Geauga-Trumbull Counties Old Order Amish Settlement (Ohio, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. July 2011. Web. 19 June 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/G42.html.
APA style: Hostetler, John A. and Samuel L. Yoder. (July 2011). Geauga-Trumbull Counties Old Order Amish Settlement (Ohio, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 19 June 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/G42.html.