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history and colony government of the area. In 1880 when municipal organization was made mandatory, the provincial government con­ vinced the Reinlaender Mennonite Church to accept municipal organi­ zation by promising the Reinlaender Gebietsamt that it would duly confirm candidates the Church appointed.

When Issak Mueller was appointed the Warden of the municipality in 1880 the municipality became co-terminus with the Reinlaender Colony, beginning a long tradition of symbiosis. It is for this reason that this history is titled Volost and Municipality. Volost here refers to the colony form of self-government that the Mennonites brought with them from Russia.

The original spelling of the municipality as Rineland in the Stat­ utes of 1880 was, either an anglicization of Reinland, or an attempt to differentiate the municipality somewhat from the Mennonite Village of that name. The spelling of Rineland was changed to Rhineland in 1881.2

This evidence, while it does not affect the designation of a centen­ nial year, has repercussions for the municipal historian. Because of the numerous boundary changes of the R.M. of Rhineland, the geographic limits of this study will also change. Until 1916 this history will encompass what was originally the larger R.M. of Rhineland (1880-83), the combined R.M.'s of Douglas and Rhineland (1883-1890), and the larger R.M. of Rhineland (1890-1916). After 1916 the study will focus exclusively on the present R.M. of Rhineland.

Although much has been made of changing municipal boundaries, this study is not intended as simply an examination of municipal activities and politics, rather it is intended as a local history of the area.

Similarly, the book will not focus solely on the history of the Mennonites of the area. While Mennonites constitute by far the largest group in the municipality, they cannot be considered apart from the German Lutheran settlers and businessmen around Rosenfeld, Plum Coulee and Gretna, the Roman Catholic, Presbyterians, and Jews in the various trading centers of the municipality, or the Anglo Saxon and French settlers to the east of the municipality.

This centennial history is an attempt to explain the spirit and changes in the area encompassed by the R.M. of Rhineland and its relation to province and country.

FOOTNOTES FOR THE INTRODUCTION

  1. H. H. Hamrn, Sixty Years of Progress (1944).
  1. Sources for this information include the Memoirs of Peter Elias (1913) Mennonite Heritage Center; Lists of Council Members in the Manitoba Gazette for years 1880-83; and references in R.M. of Rhineland Council Minutes 1884.

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