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Klaas Peters and his wife Katherine Loewen. Born in 1855 in Russia,.Klaas Peters came to Canada with the Mennonite Fuerstenland group in 1875, and became a member of the Reinlaender Church. He farmed in the Rhineland area until 1889 when he was asked by the Bergthaler Church to investigate immigration possibilities in the west, and inquire if reduced fares could be obtained from the CPR. In 1891 he became an immigration agent for the CPR working among the Mennonites. He wrote many articles in Mennonite newspapers describing the land further west and urging Mennonites to move west. In the 1890's he was excommunicated by the Reinlaender Church and he became a member of the New Jerusalem Church. He was ordained a Swedenborgian Minister in 1902. During World War I he was the Waldeck Mennonite area representative on the wartime delegation to Ottawa. Dur­ ing the war, however, Peters was tried and convicted for illegally issuing military exemption certificates in Saskatchewan and was fined two hundred dollars. He died in 1932.

Credit: CMCA

was essential if the church wanted to keep villages intact during these turbulent times.

The Breakup of Agricultural Villages

The migration of Mennonites from Rhineland in the 1890's did much to weaken village cohesiveness. While emigration partially re­ lieved the landless problem, many who left were also landholders who sold their lands. The Reinlaender Church tried to regulate these sales to preserve the village structure and land holding system, but many villages broke up nevertheless.