Klassen, Peter Abraham (1825-1905)
Peter Abraham Klassen: elder of the Kronsweide Mennonite Church in Chortitza Mennonite Settlement; born 22 October 1825 in Insel Chortitza, Chortitza, South Russia, the second of ten children of Abraham Erdman Klassen (May 1802-12 January 1868) and Justina (Hildebrandt) Klassen (6 December 1800-5 March 1885). Peter's first wife was Anna Janzen (30 December 1828-1863), daughter of Jacob Janzen (16 November 1783-27 September 1851) and Margaretha (Eitzen) Janzen (17 March 1789-1 May 1840). Peter and Anna had four children: Anna, Justina, Peter and Abram. After his first wife's death, Peter married Anganetha Schultz (1 April 1832-7 December 1920) in 1864. She was the daughter of Johann Ludwig Schultz (10 June 1805-13 October 1850) and Agnetha (Harder) Schultz (b. 1812). Peter and Anganetha had four children: Aganeta, Maria, Johann and Helena. Son Johann Peter Klassen, who later also became the elder of the Kronsweide Mennonite Church, emigrated to Canada, and became one of the leaders there. Peter died 13 February 1905 in Neu-Schönwiese, Chortitza Settlement, South Russia, where he was buried.
Peter grew up on the island of Insel Chortitza. As a youth he took an interest in blacksmith work. After his marriage, Peter and his wife moved to Schönwiese. In 1868 the Klassens were part of the group that established the new village of Neu-Schönwiese where Peter owned a windmill. Peter served the Kronsweide Mennonite Church as a minister from 1851 to 1902, and succeeded Jakob Hildebrand as elder in 1867, serving until his death in 1905. Before his death, Peter arranged for the election of Jakob Wiebe as elder, allowing Klassen to eventually withdraw from his responsibilities as elder.
GRANDMA (The Genealogical Registry and Database of Mennonite Ancestry) Database, 6.02 ed. Fresno, CA:, 2010: #452111.
Klassen, Is. P. The Kronweide Mennonite Church in Russia: Its Villages and Elders. Translated by Edward Enns. Winnipeg, MB: Mennonite Heritage Centre, 1993.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, p. 192. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Enns, John H. and Richard D. Thiessen. "Klassen, Peter Abraham (1825-1905)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. April 2010. Web. 21 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/K53809.html.
APA style: Enns, John H. and Richard D. Thiessen. (April 2010). Klassen, Peter Abraham (1825-1905). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 21 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/K53809.html.