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Enoch Winkler - Gretna Merchant and MLA. Enoch Winkler was born in Waterloo County, Ontario, and worked as a phar macist in Berlin (Kitchener), Ontario be fore coming to Manitoba in 1873. His close association with the Mennonites came about because he was living with the Berlin telegrapher. On one occasion when the telegrapher was out Winkler took a message for Jacob Schantz giving him the date of arrival of the first Men nonites to Canada. When Schantz learned that Winkler spoke both German and English, he persuaded him to accom pany the group as interpreter. In 1877 he set up a lumber business in Emerson to supply these settlers with building mate rial. When the railway came through Gret na in 1882-83 he was quick to realize the business opportunities there and relo cated to Gretna in 1883. As a German speaking businessman Winkler was very popular with the Mennonites serving as Mayor of Gretna, Reeve of Douglas (1885-86) and Liberal Member of the Leg islature for the Rosenfeld Riding from 1888-1899.
insisted, allowed each person to educate his/her children as they wished.
Anti-Catholic propaganda was a large part of the election of 1892 as Erdman Penner was repeatedly branded as a sympathizer of Catholic interests. His transgression it seems was to have sent his daughter to a Catholic school in St. Boniface and to have Catholic supporters in Gretna." It should be mentioned that the 1890 School Legislation, which restricted public support to non-sectarian public schools, did not represent an educational crisis for Mennonites, since they did not expect financial support for their confessional schools, but only a guarantee of their right to operate their own schools at their own expense.
Although Mennonites were not willing to elect one of their own, they were also not willing to see an Anglophone elected. In the 1892 provincial election in the Rhineland riding, west half of the R.M. of Rhineland, Valentine Winkler, Liberal, a German native from Morden, easily defeated N. Bowman, Conservative.
Liberal domination in the area continued well into the twentieth century with a brief interlude in 1899 when William Hespeler, an