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period. Strategically placed as a farming center, Altona slowly in creased its number of businesses to serve the yet untapped outlying Mennonite villages. The town also contained the administrative offices of the municipality and an aggressive business elite. It was during this period that D. W. Friesen established his confectionary shop and post office that would later become one of Manitoba's largest printery and school supply businesses. While Altona also had its share of fires during this period, businesses were usually quickly rebuilt.
Plum Coulee, like Gretna, grew little in the period after 1900, largely because it was located too close to Winkler. Most of the financial power in the town was concentrated in the hands of a few business
D. W. Friesen Store and Post Office in Altona in 1916. Left to right: Peter H. Dueck, clerk; D. W. Friesen; and Peter Winter, clerk. Born in 1879, D. W. Friesen moved to Altona around 1905 from the village of Lichtfeld west of Altona where he had been a teacher. He had originally come to the West Reserve in 1893 with his step-parents, Mr. and Mrs. Cornelius Bergman. His first marriage to Maria Kroeker ended with her death in 1907, he later married the young widow Sarah Striemer. Having come to Altona as an implement dealer, Friesen soon changed occupations buying the Post Office and Confectionary Store from John B. Schwartz. Over the years this business expanded to include a school supply business, wholesale and commercial station ery and a printery. He was also the Altona agent for the Manitoba Telephone Company. In 1948 his business was bought out by his three sons who incorporated it as D. W. Friesen and Sons Ltd. D. W. Friesen was also active in community affairs serving as Deacon and Treasurer of the Altona Bergthaler Church. He was also the Canadian Treasurer of the General Conference, Foreign Mission Board.
Credit D. K. Friesen