Overview

Ask any resident why they like living in LaGrange County and they will tell you, “it’s the community.”

LaGrange County is the essence of rural character, with whitewashed houses, beautiful gardens, and laundry flapping in the breeze. Quite simply, it’s Life, Simplified! You can’t help but feel the power and influence of the strong Amish and Mennonite cultures.

LaGrange County is located next the Elkhart, IN MSA and the Fort Wayne, IN MSA. Both communities have been below the national average in cost of living for years.

The low cost of living compared with the high quality of life makes LaGrange County a wonderful place to live, work and play.

Arts, Recreation & Leisure

Arts

From the many murals that grace our historic buildings, to cultural museums, to live musical theatre, LaGrange County has a bustling arts scene.

Recreation & Leisure

LaGrange County is home to Indiana’s Largest Fish and Wildlife area offering 11,500 acres of seasonal hunting, fishing, hiking, or paddling.

LaGrange is also home to an active park system boasting 11 properties located around the county. If you like to enjoy boating and the lake lifestyle LaGrange is the place for you with 64 natural lakes the southeastern part of the county is always bustling with activity and some great  You will see why the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin consistently rank LaGrange County as one of the top 10 healthiest counties in Indiana (6th in 2019)!

 

All throughout the year, residents and visitors alike can find a festival or event occurring in at least one of the many small towns and villages as well as hundreds of locally-owned restaurants and stores.

Amish Culture

LaGrange County and it’s neighboring community, Elkhart County, is home to one of the largest Amish settlements in the world. Worldwide, Anabaptists number around 1,200,000 in 63 different countries. LaGrange County has an approximately 44% Amish population, numbering somewhere around 15,000 individuals – and growing.

While no means inclusive, the Amish generally share a few beliefs:

  • Adult Baptism
  • Salvation is a gift from God through unmerited grace
  • Belief that the Sermon on the Mount is practical and should be taken and obeyed literally, honestly, and sacrificially
  • The Bible’s authors were inspired by God and inerrant.
  • Belief in the Holy Trinity, the Virgin Birth, sinless life, crucifixion, resurrection ascension, and the atonement of Jesus Christ.

The Amish generally avoid some common practices in society, such as political voting and military service. Additionally, in an effort to not be subservient to connections to the outside world, the Amish generally are not connected to the electrical grid.

About 3% – 5% of Amish earn their living from agriculture, while the majority work in the available factory jobs or own an entrepreneurial business. Amish owned businesses have a failure rate of only about 5%, whereas the non-Amish business failure rate across the United States is closer to 50%.

It is a common misconception that the Amish do not pay taxes – in fact, they pay the same as everyone else with the exception of Social Security, as many choose to not pay into the Social Security fund and do not receive any benefits from it or Medicare. While the Amish generally all speak English, most also speak a version of “Pennsylvania Dutch” which has its origins in southern Germany.

For more information on Amish Culture, please visit Menno-hof, the Amish and Mennonite Cultural Center located in Shipshewana in LaGrange County.

Check out housing profiles on our resources page here.

Community Involvement

Because good neighbors care about each other and the quality of life that we share, LaGrange County is able to support a wide range of effective community service organizations. The LaGrange County Community Foundation, United Fund of LaGrange County, Parkview LaGrange Foundation, Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service, ministerial associations, schools, councils and other interagency groups work side-by-side to ensure that our workforce has access to all the essentials that a caring community should offer.

Our combined focus on sustainable community development, education, health and human services, arts and culture along with a clean and healthy environment is second to none.

For an extensive catalog of philanthropic organizations serving LaGrange County, please visit the 2-1-1 Guide to Community Services.

The vision and generosity of the people of LaGrange County have created this diverse support system and the opportunity for every community member to contribute in his or her own way. In our county, people are the difference.