A Day in My Life: Iowa Amish

Last week, after my son’s college graduation in Illinois, I drove over to Iowa for some library book events and to meet with some Amish families, plus see their communities. Lots of differences to observe! Black top buggies, no scooters or bicycles allowed. Prayer coverings for women were more modest than the Lancaster “heart” style. It covered up ears and went nearly to the forehead/hairline. (“Two fingers” distance, my Amish friend said.) That might fit with something else I heard–Buchanan County, Iowa, is known to have very conservative Old Order Amish churches. Seven churches in a radius of about 7 miles by 7 miles.  The schoolhouses were the biggest surprise–two towns of Buchanan County agreed to provide public schoolhouses (one or two rooms), but the teachers had to be certified English teachers. Some teachers came to one of my library events; I turned the tables on the talk and tried to learn as much as I could about their life work among the Amish. Fascinating! Stay tuned for another blog post soon on that topic…

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About Suzanne

Suzanne Woods Fisher writes bestselling, award winning fiction and non-fiction books about the Old Order Amish for Revell Books. Her interest in the Plain People began with her Old Order German Baptist grandfather, raised in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Suzanne's app, Amish Wisdom, delivers a daily Amish proverb to your phone or iPad. She writes a bi-monthly column for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazine. She lives with her family in California and raises puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. To Suzanne's way of thinking, you can't take life too seriously when a puppy is running through your house with someone's underwear in its mouth.


  1. Lori says:

    I would love to spend a week on an Amish farm and learn from them!!

  2. Brenda says:

    lovely pics and thoughts thank you we were coming back from vacation out west and wanted to stop in Iowa but had to stick to our schedule to get home . thanks again I enjoyed the visual tour

  3. Linda Laws says:

    Can you tell me what the gallon jugs are used for? I don’t think I have ever saw them used before!



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  5. Kathie from CA says:

    Thanks for sharing. Hope to get there myself one day soon.

  6. Lila De Penning says:

    I live in Washington,iA, about 15 miles from Kalona,IA, a one of the larger Amish community. I have heard many interesting stories about the Amish and have a great deal of respect for them and their way of life. Have you ever considered visiting Kalona and maybe write a book (or a short series) based from there.

  7. I was born in Buchanan County , IOWA. My parents moved to Wisconsin when I was still in grade school, but I returned and married in Buchanan County, Iowa. Then after 5 years I moved to Wisconsin, and now live in Michigan for around 25 years. My parents were always Amish, but I left with my family after searching many years for a deeper Spiritual walk with God over and above just a strict religious setting, which I could not find in any of the Amish churches. The Amish way of life has many advantages and is not “hard” if you grow up in that setting, but there seems to be more of a focus on religious rules and regulations on the outside, more so than the focus on a pure and clean heart on the inside, which can only be received through regeneration of the Holy Spirit, according to the Bible.

  8. Donna Ratliff says:

    Amazing. These (most) pictures give me such warm feelings. I like farm life, but even more amazing are the lifestyles. If ever I would have the opportunity, I would like to visit for a week and live amongst the Amish. We can learn so much from them. Not “speaking my mind ” for any reason other than thanks for the opportunity to view from a distance.
    I did visit with my family for a few hours one Saturday in Ohio, but I think we were on a commercial tour. Would love to watch and participate in their every day lives. I’d like the barn part, as long as the mice were gone 🙂