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similar to the one that had existed in Russia and, in fact, had many of the same leaders.

Village government was headed by a Schulze or mayor who along with his council was in charge of providing schools, pastures and streets, and was in charge of organizing village work. The reserve or more properly the colony was headed by an Obervorsteher who acted in a manner similar to a reeve today. He was responsible for looking after roads and bridges and the observance of colony ordinances .. The Ober­ vorsteher would communicate with the various village Schulze in writ­ ing and would head meetings of the Bezirksamt District council."

The election of the first Obervorsteher of the Reinlaender Colony, Isaak Mueller, probably took place at Fort Dufferin before the immi­ grants divided into village groups. Mueller, while he had held a similar post in Russia, still needed to be confirmed in Canada because a number of immigrants were not from the same colony in Russia."

Issak Mueller Home in Neuhorst - Nicknamed "Kaiser" Mueller, Issak Mueller was elected the first Obervorsteher of the Reinlaender Colony in the West Reserve in 1875. Dynamic, strong-Willed and authoritarian he was one of the most important public figures in the West Reserve. He had great organizational skills setting up villages, administering the food and seed grain and setting up colony government. It was Mueller who in the face of a Manitoba blizzard organized the erection of a line of posts from Emerson to the Pembina Hills to guide travellers. He was born on June 19, 1824 and had served as Oberschulze on the Fuerstenland Colony in Russia before coming to Canada. He was 51 when he came to Canada in 1875 and settled in Neuhorst with his wife Gertrude and his children and grandchildren. After his career as Observorsteher he settled down to farming in Neuhorst. His thatched roof house stood in the village of Neuhorst until 1959.

Credit: Elma Kehler

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