Our beloved Mennonites

The USA Today article here describes the circumstances that caused the Ervin Kropf family, and some other Mennonite families, to move here a few years ago from Huntsville, Missouri. The migration was due to a change in Missouri’s law that now requires a photo be taken of all who get a driver’s license, something Ervin and his family object to, saying it’s a forbidden graven image.

Arkansas law provides a religious exemption from requiring a photo to get a driver’s license, much to the benefit of our local community, who have welcomed the Mennonites with open arms. Since our county is right on the Missouri state line, the Mennonites are as close as they can be to their old connections in Missouri. They bought the then-closed general store at our community of Dalton (their store is now the only business in Dalton) and have turned it into a wonderful, and apparently prosperous, business. The Kropf family’s Dalton Country Market is often packed with customers enjoying the wonderful sandwiches they prepare to order, using their own fresh-cooked bread and your choice from about a dozen different meats and cheeses.

They also offer shelf after shelf of wonderful, hard-to-find foods like oat bran, sesame sticks and candies that they buy in bulk and repackage for retail sale at wonderfully low prices. In season, their fresh produce is the best available locally. It’s a reminder of how much better food was in the old days, when it was grown locally, picked when ripe and eaten fresh, as opposed to the picked-green, tasteless produce from California, Texas, Florida and Mexico we’re so accustomed to these days.

A trip to the Dalton Country Market is becoming a must-do for any visitor to our community. I’d post a photo, but they asked me not to! So go in person to see what they have created in their new  home here in the Ozarks!

Leave a Reply