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Valentine Winkler. Born near Neustadt in Grey County, Upper Canada in 1864, Val entine moved to Emerson, Manitoba in 1879 to work in his brother, Enoch's, lum beryard. When Enoch moved to Gretna in 1883, Valentine came with him and opened his own grain and lumber busi ness in Morden shortly thereafter. He also began farming in 1888 and was elected the first Reeve of the R.M. of Stanley serv ing from 1890 to 1892. The village of Winkler was named after him and he opened a grain and lumber business there in 1892. He was elected to the Provincial Legislature as a Liberal, and served the Rhineland Constituency from 1892-1920. He also served as Minister of Agriculture and Immigration from 1915 to 1920. In 1900 he ran for a seat in the House of Commons but was defeated. He was a Mason and a member of the I. 0.0. F.
return the Liberal candidate, Valentine Winkler, despite the fact that Roblin's Conservatives were in power. Winkler's main attraction, other than the fact that he was of German descent, was that he was seen as a friend of the Mennonites at a time when Mennonites were still hesitant at electing one of their own members. Roblin's Conservatives, however, were winning over more Mennonite adherents as time went on. In fact in the 1907 provincial election Cornelius Bergman, a former reeve, ran as a Conservative against the Liberal, Valentine Winkler.
In the federal riding of Lisgar, Rhineland voters also supported the Liberal Party, but were usually outvoted by the Conservative English Canadians in the western half of the riding where there was a much larger turnout. Mennonite support for the Liberals held up throughout the period, but by 1911 this support was waning. In the election of that year only 51.1 per cent of the Mennonite voters in Lisgar voted Liber al," despite the fact that the Conservative candidate W. H. Sharpe was seen as an enemy of Mennonite privileges.
In the municipal sphere politics were still controlled by the Bergthaler and Sommerfelder Mennonites, with few of the Reinlaender Church members voting. Elections for reeve were held regularly every year and from 287 to 526 men voted annually depending on the issues and interest. The most important issue during this period was drainage.
One interesting development in municipal politics during this