Southwest of Crookston where the road descends into the Niobrara River valley, a group of Amish newcomers from Michigan and Kentucky are setting down roots.

The Kilgore Amish have established a few businesses, including selling kits to assemble log homes, sharpening sawmill blades, pouring concrete and doing carpentry work. According to Paul Hammel and the Nebraska Examiner

Reuben Miller, the 46-year-old bishop of the Kilgore Amish community, said their draft horses aren’t quite acclimated yet to the drier grasses of the Sandhills, but they’re getting there. 

Miller described how he and his brothers sold a 160-acre farm on a busy corner near Holton, Michigan, and moved earlier this year to a 5,038-acre ranch along the Niobrara River south of Kilgore. 

The settlement, which includes Miller’s family of 13, may eventually grow to 15 to 20 families. That would be enough to rival the second-largest community in Cherry County: Cody, population 167.   

Miller said he was seeking a place with plenty of water and a place that wasn’t flat.

He said his group has been “blessed and pleased” by the friendly reception they’ve gotten from the local community.

According to the Nebraska Examiner, The new Kilgore settlement, is part of the “Michigan Amish Fellowship” or “Michigan Circle,” a “reformist” network of 33 settlements that has expanded across Michigan, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri, Montana and Wyoming.