Elmspring Hutterite Colony (Alexandria, South Dakota, USA)
Elmspring (South Dakota) Hutterite Bruderhof was established in 1877 on the James River at Alexandria near Parkston, South Dakota, 65 miles (105 km) northwest of Yankton, by 13 Hutterite families from Johannisruh, Ukraine, Russia, led by Jacob Wipf, a teacher and preacher. This was the last of the three original Hutterite colonies to be established in North America and is the one which with its descendant colonies or Bruderhofs has been called the “Lehrerleut,” one of the three Hutterite subgroups. The development of daughter colonies was as follows: (1) in 1892 Rockfort Bruderhof, six miles (10 km) north of Elmspring; (2) in 1900 New Elmspring, three miles (five km) southwest of Elmspring; (3) in 1910 Milford Bruderhof in Beadle County, 80 miles (130 km) north of Elmspring. Due to persecution experienced during World War I a considerable number of families removed to Alberta in 1918, establishing there five Bruderhofs, viz., Milford (Raymond County) and Rockfort, Elmspring, and New Elmspring (all three in Magrath County), and Big Bend in Woolford County. In South Dakota, Milford and New Elmspring were closed, while Elmspring and Rockfort continued but in affiliation with the Schmiedeleut. In 1955 the Lehrerleut had 30 Bruderhofs, 19 in Alberta, 8 in Montana, and 3 in Saskatchewan, with a total population of ca. 3,000 souls.
Joseph Hofer and Michael Hofer, the two Hutterite conscientious objectors who died in Alcatraz prison during World War I as a result of brutal treatment by the military prison officials, came from the Elmspring group.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, pp. 190-191. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
©1996-2013 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.
MLA style: Entz, Joh. P. and Harold S. Bender. "Elmspring Hutterite Colony (Alexandria, South Dakota, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 22 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/elmspring_hutterite_bruderhof_alexandria_south.
APA style: Entz, Joh. P. and Harold S. Bender. (1956). Elmspring Hutterite Colony (Alexandria, South Dakota, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 22 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/elmspring_hutterite_bruderhof_alexandria_south.