Davis County is home to one of the largest Old Order Amish settlements in Iowa. The first Amish family purchased farmland south of Drakesville in Davis County in 1971 after scouting around numerous communities for several years. Lower farmland prices and people who seemed friendly and accepting were draws to Davis County. Other reasons also led the Amish to choose Davis County: a quality hospital within driving distance for a horse and buggy, bus services offered for longer-distance travel, and horse sales at the local sale barn.
Today, there are approximately 300+ Amish families in the county. By the fall of 2015, fifteen schools educated about 350 children in grades one through eight. In 1972, after years of struggle, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in the case of Wisconsin vs Yoder that the Amish had the right to educate their children according to their religious beliefs without interference from the government.
The community consists of well-kept farms and thriving businesses. The first Amish families that moved to the county made their living by farming, but they soon realized the soil in much of Davis County was not as fertile as the soil they had cultivated in other parts of the country. Gradually, family members began creating businesses especially where they saw a niche that was compatible with their craftsman skills and way of life. Stop by one of the local Amish businesses or the Davis County Welcome Center to obtain a map. Or click here for a pdf version of the 2016 map.
The Amish Produce Auction opened April 25, 2003 south of Drakesville. It continues to grow and attract buyers from a wide area. Both Amish and non-Amish growers provide garden produce, flowers, and ornamental plants throughout the growing season. Pick up a flyer at the Iowa Welcome Center for the current auction dates.
Many Amish businesses offer a wide selection of Amish-made, hardwood furniture, quilts, crafts and other items. Greenhouses are open in season. Several Amish grocery, bakery and general stores are open to the public Monday through Saturday.
(Information from: http://www.visitdaviscounty.com/)