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Amish Cemetery – Dodge City, Ford County, Kansas Pt. 1

Amish Cemetery is located about 20 miles southwest of Dodge City. Only 33 graves have been identified. The cemetery records are spotty, but it seems there is only one adult buried there. She was 32 years old.

The first group of Amish families arrived in southwest Kansas in 1906. The first families were Aaron A. Yoder, Levi J. Yoder and John D. Hochstetler. A few months later, the families of Preacher Manassa E. Bontrager and Christ E. Troyer arrived.

The community continued to grow until 1914-1915 when the wheat crops began to fail, and several families moved away. The worst blow came when the flu epidemic broke out in 1918-1919.

By 1926, there were only six families left and they were talking of moving back. John D. Hochstetler and his family moved back to Delaware in 1928. He was followed by the last four families. Ezra Bontrager stayed until the fall of 1929 when he also returned to Delaware. The last church service was on August 19, 1928.

John Hochstetler was born on May 15, 1878, in LaGrange County, Indiana. His growing-up years were spent there with his seven brothers and sisters. In 1900, he married Lovina Miller. The couple had no children of their own. They did adopt an infant, Alvin Kaufman, while living in Reno County, Kansas. The family came to Concord Township, Ford County on February 23, 1906.

There was no animosity toward the Amish. On Saturday afternoons, they would arrive in Dodge City to sell their eggs and cream and buy groceries. Their horse and buggy transportation did turn people’s eyes. There are no Hochstetler graves in their cemetery.

John, Lovina, and Alvin Kaufman moved to Delaware in 1928. Lovina passed away in 1952 and John in 1956. They are buried in Amish Cemetery, Dover, Kent County, Delaware. Research has not been able to locate the grave of Alvin Kaufman.

Note: The cemetery is located one mile north and ¾ mile east of the intersection of the Ford-Ensign Road and the Fowler Road, or five miles south and five miles west of Dodge City. The land for the cemetery was donated Eli J.S. Miller and his wife, Mary.


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