The Magical World of Indiana

Arthur Amos and family, 1963

When I was a kid, one of my favorite outings was going down to Topeka, Indiana to visit our Amos great-grandparents. Because we only went once or twice a year and because life there seemed so amazingly different, those trips were very exciting.

Topeka, located just 25 miles south of the Michigan border, is a small town in the heart of Indiana’s Amish country. As a kid, I remember the magic of turning off the main highway, going round a bend and, voilà, we were in a magical world—a long-ago land where people drove horse and buggies and dressed in old-fashioned clothes.

This is the land of our Amos people; even though, no, we’re not Amish.

Four generations, oldest to youngest: Arthur, Roland, Bruce, Scott

Roland, whose birthday we celebrate today, was born in Corunna, just a few miles east in DeKalb County. (His grandson Roland Scott also celebrates his birthday today—happy birthday Scott!)

Roland’s parents, Beatrice and William Arthur, who went by Arthur, were also from this area and eventually lived in DeKalb, Noble and LaGrange Counties. They did so specifically because of the Amish.

“He (Arthur) was a blacksmith first in Swan, Indiana,” says Duane. “He came to Topeka because at that time farmers were shifting over to tractors. He could see there wasn’t going to be much demand. But there were a lot of Amish near Topeka and there would always be demand.”

In the weeks ahead, we’re going to shift our attention to the Amos branch of the family tree. As I talk with the Amos Boys and look at old pictures, it’s intriguing not only because this area of Indiana is different than our own, but also because it’s home to ancestors we know little about.

But something also becomes poignantly apparent—something I didn’t think about before. The magical world of Indiana isn’t one we all share. In fact, a whole branch of our family gets left out—Jerry’s family.

After the wonderful reunion we had together three weeks ago, leaving part of us out seems kind of weird.

20 thoughts on “The Magical World of Indiana

  1. Scott……….Happy Birthyday! You were a handsome little dude. You and your sisters must have recieved your good looks from Jeanie. Of course Bruce and Roland could pass for soap opera stars or hot Italian guys. Jennifer always thought a young Roland resembled Clark Gable.

  2. Happy Birthday Scott! Yes, quite the handsome dudes they all are! And isn’t it interesting how formally everyone is dressed! Why weren’t you guys wearing suit jackets at our reunion a few weeks ago?!

  3. Several of us were wondering the same thing Terri. In the back row, l-r, are Bruce, Jeanie, Duane (just a little showing) holding Dave, Harriet, and two people we don’t know. In the middle row is Shelley, unknown, Vicki, Hazel (Arthur’s second wife), and unknown. In front are Diahann, Arthur, Scott and Terri.

    I remember this picture taking. I was being ornery (can’t imagine that!) and the unknown woman behind me was cheering me up.

    Anyone know who everyone is?

    • I am the girl holding Diahann;s (such a cutie) hands in the picture. I am Dorothy Loughman’s daughter, Eleanor. William Arthur Amos was my grandpa and Hazel was my grandma. I tripped over your blog quite by accident. I stayed in the house pictured on the blog several times with my mother. I have also been in the blacksmith shop. I visited Uncle Roland and Aunt Harriet as well.. I remember my cousins, Bruce and Duane and their children. I have many happy memories of being in Indiana with my grandparents and remember the reunion pictured. Thank you for creating this blog. There is so much interesting info.

  4. Pingback: Our Very Own Clark Gable | Those (Expletive) Amos Boys

  5. Oh my gosh. I couldn’t believe this blog. I am the girl on the right side of the Amos Party Indiana 1963. My parents are in the back row next to me. I visited Uncle Arthur as a little girl. I was fascinated that he was a Blacksmith. Also visited Roland in Lansing – memory serves me – didn’t he and his sons own McDonalds. I am surprised by the family Bible. I understood my Grandfather’s name was Charles Edward Amos not Edwin as in the Bible. He was dead before I was born. My father was Robert Lawton Amos born August 22, 1902 in Kendallville.
    May I become part of your blog.
    Beverly Kay Amos Shively

    • Hi Beverly! Makes the world seem much smaller doesn’t it?!? I’m Vicki, and I’m the one standing with my hand on Grand Grandpa Arthur Amos’ shoulder. A bit older than in that picture…I’m 61 now. Welcome! It will be a pleasure getting to know you! My dad is Bruce Amos, and he is the one who was part owner in a McDonalds.

      Are you on Facebook? We have an Amos Family Blog that we all keep in touch on.

      Vicki Amos Waggoner

      • I am on Facebook but don’t know how to use it very well. My name is Beverly Shively on Facebook. Facebook took my picture from Classmate and transferred it years ago. The picture was taken about 2005. I have not added anymore. I don’t know how to get you into my friends or how to use Facebook as a group. Yesterday I got an email from Di. I was so excited about your blog. I have found a picture of my Dad, Robert Amos with his Mom and Dad, Charles E. Amos (Uncle Arthur’s brother). I don’t know how to get it to your blog.
        I wrote a short email message about my family to Di.

        Beverly Amos Shively.

    • Thank you so much. I am excited about connected to the Amos family. I just started in Oct 2013 researching the family. I am hungry for info and can fill in the people on two of your photos – part 1963 and the gentleman in one photo with Uncle Arthur sitting. My dad is the man in the striped jacket. Boy was he proud of that jacket.
      Beverly Amos Shively

  6. Hi Beverly! This is exciting – more relatives!!! I am the little Blondie standing in front of you in the picture. I tried figuring out the relationship…cousins twice removed?!?

    • I am not good at figuring that out. I take your word for it. I have just been .working on this family history since last October. I am hungry for any information. What kind of information do you want. I sent you a email. Edit it anyway you would like. I found a picture of my father in 1903. I cant find a picture of Charles E. Amos but he looked alot like Uncle Arthur.

      • I did find a picture of Charles E. Amos with my Dad when he was a little boy.


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s