Yoder Case, Maine Amish, Hymn Singing, "Homemade" fabric softener and "Farm to Table"
By Kevin Williams
We've been following the disturbing story of the murder of Amos Yoder, 79, and the assault on his wife, Marjorie.
I called the Kentucky State Police to clear up a few details:
Some media reports have indicated the couple was "choked", but Kentucky State Police public information office Stu Renke says that is not the case, it was "blunt force trauma."
I spoke to someone who lives close to the Yoders and have gleaned a little bit of information about the settlement (I am not a huge fan of anonymous sources, but in this case I'm more interested in what the person had to say rather than who the person was):
AMISH OR MENNONITE?
I've seen differing reports about whether the couple was/is Amish or Mennonite, the source says that they "refer to themselves as Mennonites and do use horse and buggy on Sundays and for weddings and funerals." The source said that everyone in their area knows one another:
"Where we live is mostly farmland. They are real nice people,easy to get along with," the source said.
It doesn't really matter whether they are Amish or Mennonites, it's a tragedy. A friend of mine says Amos Yoder is Amish and she is a credible source. Why the discrepancy in reports? Guthrie, Kentucky, where is murder took place, is home to the New Order Electric Amish, a small group of progressive Amish. From Todd County's website:
Todd County is home to the oldest Amish settlement in Kentucky. Founded in 1958, the “Guthrie community” is home to “electric” New Order Amish that originate from a now-defunct Amish church at Stuarts Draft, Virginia. Though they dress plain, use the horse-and-buggy, and speak Pennsylvania Dutch, New Order Amish differ somewhat from Old Order Amish in that they tend to have a greater focus on missions and outreach and are generally liberal on technology – such as the use of electricity in homes, and tractors and other modern machinery on their farmsteads. While New Order Amish dot the rural landscape in southern Todd County, a growing settlement of Old Order Mennonites exist in the northwestern portion of the county near Fairview.
I'm thinking that the Yoders are part of this group.
SOMEHOW WHO KNEW THE YODERS?
The source also said that everyone would have known the Yoders were away on Sunday morning except that, the source said, "they probably didn't go that Sunday" because Marjorie had just had knee replacement surgery. That meshes with my own gut feeling....that a Sunday morning in such a rural location seems like an odd, odd time and place for a murder unless it was someone who knew the routines of those involved. This is pure speculation on my part, but....that's my gut feeling.
The source said that Marjorie Yoder had to undergo reconstructive surgery on her face from the injuries but was well enough to attend church recently.
And that is all I have. Trooper Stu Recke says: "If anyone has any information no matter how trivial, and callers may remain anonymous, call 270-676-3313 with tips."
Recke says several calls and tips have been received, but nothing has panned out yet.
I'll keep monitoring this story.
AMISH IN MAINE: The Bangor Daily News paid a visit to the growing Amish settlement around Unity, Maine over the weekend. Read this really nice, indepth story here and come away hungry for doughnuts!
AMISH HYMN SING: The Nicholas Stoltzfus Homestead in Pennsylvania hosted an Amish singing last week as a sort of "living history" presentation. Wow, clicking here is worthwhile just to hear the beautiful, haunting harmony of pure Amish singing.
SIMPLY AMISH: We check in with talented Amish writer, Arlene Schmidt this week who shares a recipe for homemade (sort of) fabric softener. I say sort of one of the ingredients is "Sauve conditioner"...so....anyway, click here to read. Arlene comes from the Swiss Amish traditions of the Berne, Indiana area.
LANCASTER EMBRACES FARM TO TABLE: Interesting read about how the "farm to table" movement is really gaining steam in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Click here.