Altona (Manitoba, Canada)
Altona, a southern Manitoba town, located approximately 70 miles (115 km) south of Winnipeg and seven miles (11 km) from the United States border, was founded in 1895. It is the seat of Rhineland municipality. The Altona village population was 3,434 (2001), of whom the vast majority were Mennonite. There were six Mennonite congregations in Altona: the Altona Bergthaler Mennonite Church, the Altona Evangelical Mennonite Mission Church, the Altona Mennonite Church, the Altona Reinlander Church, the Sommerfeld Mennonite Church and the South Park Mennonite Brethren Church.
The soil in the Altona district, predominantly a heavy black loam, is admirably suited to diversified farming. Sugar beets, sunflowers, corn and soybeans as well as the normal grain crops, play a vital role in production. The Altona area is noted for its high quality poultry flocks, as well as for its herds of registered Holstein and Shorthorn cattle. This diversification has proved highly beneficial to the economic stability of the area.
Local industries in the 1950s included Co-operative Vegetable Oils Ltd., producing sunflower seed oil, oil-cake, Pres-to-logs (hulls for fuel), feed, Safflo, soybean oil and meal; Rhineland Co-op Hatchery-Chicks; Altona Farm Machine Shop, making custom built farm machinery and attachments; D. W. Friesen & Sons Ltd., commercial printing and stationery; Altona Feed Service Mill, poultry, hog and cattle feed; Manitoba Dairy and Poultry Co-op, eggs and poultry; and a puffed wheat company.
Its service industries in the 1950s included four grocery stores, three general stores, 11 garages and implement dealers, two barbers, one druggist, four fuel dealers, two jewelers, two lumber dealers, two beauty shops, three shoe repair shops, two clothing shops, four confectionery, two blacksmiths, two restaurants, one bakery, one bus depot, one theater, one bookstore, one dairy and two lawyers.
The educational facilities of Altona in the 1950s included Elim Bible School, one three-room elementary school, and a senior high school. The total school enrollment at that time was over three hundred. The Manitoba Department of Agriculture extension service had an agricultural school representative stationed in town. An agricultural school was operated during the winter months together with a home economics course under the auspices of the local agricultural society and the extension service.
The 30-bed capacity Altona Hospital was completed 31 May 1948. Four doctors served the area at that time. The Altona Echo, editor D. K. Friesen, had a circulation of about 1,900. Its service organizations were the Altona Chamber of Commerce; Rhineland Agricultural Society; Rhineland Branch Canadian Legion, B.E.S.L.; Altona Women's Institute; Altona and District Community Club; Federation of Southern Manitoba Co-operatives; and the Red River Mutual Fire Insurance Company (all-Mennonite and incorporated).
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, pp. 81-82. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Hamm, H. H. "Altona (Manitoba, Canada)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1953. Web. 19 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/A4547.html.
APA style: Hamm, H. H. (1953). Altona (Manitoba, Canada). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 19 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/A4547.html.