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Gretna Main Street in the early 1890's. Note the absence of all trees. A tree planting program was begun in the mid 1890's.
in the 1890's. By the end ofthe 19th century one Gretna resident proudly proclaimed that Gretna was Manitoba's largest German town.
This burgeoning wheat center quickly added other services in addition to the elevators and grist mill. By 1890 Gretna had seven stores, two hotels, three elevators, two butcher shops, two blacksmith shops, a saddlery, six machine dealerships, two lumberyards, a livery, an ice warehouse, a druggist, a steam grist mill, a tailor, a law office, a new public school, a Mennonite teacher training school and a number of private bankers including the Siemens Brothers who took it upon themselves to look after Mennonite interests.
The Gretna Flour Mill was built by Jacob Peters in 1889 but was sold to J. P. Friesen in 1891. Friesen also bought Piepers Lumber Yard in 1896. Later the mill was operated by J. P.'s son Peter Friesen, and then became the property of John Wall who was the last miller to run the business before it went bankrupt in the 1930's. It was torn down in 1949.
Prominent businessmen included: Christian Pieper, who at one time or the other was an agent for Ogilvies, a lumber dealer, a farm implement dealer, and banker; Enoch Winkler, who was involved in the lumber and farm implement business and became the first Reeve of the R.M. of Douglas and M.L.A. for the Rosenfeld constituency; Otto