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Colfax County, New Mexico U. S. Census TIGER/Line map
Colfax County, New Mexico, was once the home of a group of Old Order Amish Mennonites from 1921-1925. Eleven families from Reno County, Kansas, consisting of Bontragers, Nissleys, and Mullets, lived in the southeastern part of the county 26 miles (42 km.) east of Springer, 6 miles (10 km) north of Highway 56, on Point of the Rocks Road (towards Hogback Butte). Some of the families were farther east, just across the line in Union County.

The only minister of the church was Abe Nissley. Land agents were successful in inducing Amish as well as others to move into that part of the country. In 1921 bountiful crops were raised, but after that there was a severe drought for many years, and the settlement disappeared. Most of the Amish returned to Kansas, while some went to Custer County, Oklahoma. The D. Y. and Susan Bontrager family remained in the southern part of the settlement until 1929. Susan was the daughter of preacher, Abe Nissley. The Bontrager family survived through production of diversified crops, including pinto beans and onions. They also manufactured adobe building blocks.

Additional Information

Lehman, Marilyn. "Descendants return to site of failed Amish settlement: Pilgrimage to New Mexico a search for the past, celebration of present." Mennonite Weekly Review (14 December 2009). Web. 28 July 2010.


Map:Colfax County, New Mexico, Old Order Amish Settlement Map

Author(s) John A. Hostetler
Larry Miller
Date Published July 2010

Cite This Article

MLA style

Hostetler, John A. and Larry Miller. "Colfax County Old Order Amish Settlement (Colfax County, New Mexico, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. July 2010. Web. 24 Jan 2017.,_New_Mexico,_USA)&oldid=62979.

APA style

Hostetler, John A. and Larry Miller. (July 2010). Colfax County Old Order Amish Settlement (Colfax County, New Mexico, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 24 January 2017, from,_New_Mexico,_USA)&oldid=62979.

Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Kitchener, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, p. 635. All rights reserved.

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