Kliewer, Gerhard (1836-1896)
Gerhard Kliewer: reeve and pioneer; born in May of 1836 to Peter Kliewer (1786-1860) and his second wife, Susanna (Kroeker) Kliewer (1811-1862) in Rudnerweide, Molotschna Colony, Russia. He was the third of nine children in the family. Gerhard was baptized in 1856 and on 10 July 1861, he married Helena Buhr (1840-1909), daughter of Peter Erdmann and Maria (Redekopp) Buhr of the Bergthal Colony. They had fifteen children, eight of whom lived to adulthood.
After his marriage, Gerhard and Helena Kliewer lived in the Bergthal Colony. In 1869 with their three young children, they had a narrow escape from drowning when their horse bolted and threw Helena and the children into the Dnieper River. Gerhard jumped in after them, and a passing gypsy managed to rescue all five of them.
Gerhard and Helena Kliewer, together with their five children, left for Canada on 21 June 1875 with others from the Bergthal Colony. Two children had died in Russia, but three daughters and two sons went with them. Gerhard kept a journal of the trip, detailing the travel through Hamburg to England and then over the ocean. The family landed in Quebec before traveling west to Manitoba by train and riverboat arriving near Niverville, Manitoba on 17 August 1875. The Kliewers settled in nearby Schanzenberg, where Helena’s parents and siblings had immigrated a year earlier, remaining there even after Helena’s family moved to the West Reserve a few years later.
Gerhard Kliewer had a brother Franz who immigrated to Canada in 1878 and worked as a teacher and town clerk in the Neuanlage and Grunthal area of Manitoba. Gerhard was also civic-minded and became the first Reeve of the Rural Municipality of Hanover, also known as Hespeler, which was formed in 1880. He served in that position from 1880 to 1882 and tried for a second term in 1893. He lost that election but later served on the local school board.
Gerhard died on 9 September 1896 in Schanzenberg, East Reserve, Manitoba.
Neufeld, Nettie. “Gerhard Kliewer (1836-96): Emigration Journal.” Preservings No. 11 (December 1997): 92-93.
GRANDMA (The Genealogical Registry and Database of Mennonite Ancestry) Database, 5.03 ed. Fresno, CA: California Mennonite Historical Society, 2007: #185402.
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MLA style: Huebert, Susan. "Kliewer, Gerhard (1836-1896)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 2007. Web. 24 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/kliewer_gerhard_1836_1896.
APA style: Huebert, Susan. (2007). Kliewer, Gerhard (1836-1896). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 24 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/kliewer_gerhard_1836_1896.