Winnipeg  (p. 161)


The Mennonite colonies in Russia and Prussia elected twelve delegates who were to make a tour through the prairie provinces and states to look for suitable land for future settlements.

The Molotschna Colony sent Leonard Sudermann (1821 – 1900) the elder of the church in Berdyansk and Jacob Buller (1827 – 1901) the elder of the church in Alexanderwohl. The Kleine Gemeinde from the Borosenko Colony sent David Klassen (1813 – 1900) from Heuboden and Cornelius P. Toews (1836 – 1908) from  Grünfeld. Paul Tschetter (1842 – 1919) a minister, and his uncle Lorenz Tschetter (1819 – 1879) both from Neu-Huttertal represented the Hutterites. Elder Tobias Unruh (1819 – 1875) from Karolswalde near Ostrog represented the Dutch-Prussian Mennonites in Volhynia. Andreas D. Schrag (1821 – 1899) a layman from Futor near Bubno represented the Swiss Mennonites in Volhynia. Elder Wilhelm Ewert (1829 – 1887) from Obernessau near Thorn represented several Mennonite churches in West Prussia that wanted to retain pacifism as a tenet of faith.

The Bergthal Colony elected two men to carry out this momentous task: Jacob Peters (1813 – 1884), their sixty-year-old Oberschulze from the village of Heuboden, and Heinrich Wiebe (1839 – 1897), a thirty-six-year-old minister from Schönfeld. A third man, Kornelius Buhr (1826 – 1885), who owned a large estate east of Bergthal, went along at his own expense.

The delegates came to Winnipeg in 1873, the year the city was incorporated. This map points out places of particular interest to the Mennonite pioneers.

The Manitoba Free Press published many articles on the Mennonite immigrants.

The Mennonite delegates stayed in the Davis Hotel from June 17 to July 1. They met Lieutenant Governor Morris in Government House in Upper Fort Garry. The delegates were photographed in front of the Dominion Land Office on June 18, 1873.

The first contingent of Mennonite immigrants was photographed on the International at the steamboat landing on the Assiniboine River on July 31, 1874.

On June 3, 1875 Jacob Barkman and Jacob Friesen drowned as they attempted to cross the Red River from St. Boniface to Winnipeg.