Illinois Amish Country

Amish tend to stay away from modern conveniences such
as electricity, computers, televisions, and motorized vehicles such as

The Amish

There are approximately 3500 Amish in the Arthur area. An average family
consists of six children.  When the young people are married they are
often given a parcel of land by one of the fathers from which they are to
make their living. An average Amish farm consists of approximately 80 acres.
Their main crops being wheat, oats, clover, and corn. Until a few years ago,
farming was their only way of life. Due to the fact that ground is no longer
plentiful, some of them are leaving farming for other ways of life such as
woodworking, canning, watch repair, and several are now employed at various
manufacturing jobs in the Arthur area.

Their homes are large with several rooms opening into one large room
where they hold church. The houses are furnished very simply with benches on
which the families sit to eat their meals. The floors are bare and the
windows are covered with plain colored cloth. The Amish women are good
cooks, but only cook plain foods raised on their farms, such as pork, beef,
chicken, turkey, and garden vegetables.

The Amish dress is simple with the men wearing dark colored high vests
over home-made shirts, collarless coats fastened with hooks and eyes. They
have their hair cut in a “Dutch Bob.” Their men wear beards, but the young
Amish shave until they are married. The Amish women dress simply with plain
ankle length dresses, black stockings and flat shoes. In the cold months,
they wear black wool shawls. Their heads have a covering or white prayer cap
which is worn inside the home or during church services, and wear a black
bonnet when outside. The girls dress like their mothers with the exception
of the prayer caps which they do not wear until they have joined church.


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