Koop, Jakob B. (1858-1937)
| Jakob B. Koop family, 1897.
Jakob B. Koop: pioneer and farmer; born on 11 June 1858 in Russia to Johann M. (1831-1897) and Katharina (Barkman) of Muntau, Molotschna Colony. Jakob was third of 10 children. He married Helena Nickel of Waldheim in the West Reserve of Manitoba on 25 December 1883. The couple had 10 children, four of whom died in childhood. Jacob died on 25 February 1937.
Jakob B. Koop lived in Russia with his parents and siblings until 1874, when they immigrated to Canada, arriving in Quebec on 31 July. Jakob’s extended family was also part of the group. Many of the settlers chose to live in the East Reserve, where they initially settled in Blumenort. The village soon became too large for its borders, and Jakob’s parents and several other families built a new village, which they called “Neuanlage.” Jakob B. Koop obtained some property, bought oxen and horses, and began to farm the land.
Dedication to farming and a strong dislike of music were two of Jakob B. Koop’s attributes. Although he appreciated the preaching at the local church, he would always arrive after the singing was over and leave before the final hymn, claiming that the noise bothered his nerves. Even at home, Jakob would not allow his family to sing. He loved to laugh, however, and later generations remembered his cheerfulness.
Jakob B. Koop’s love for the land and for farming helped him succeed in his work. He and Helena lived in Neuanlage for ten years after their marriage, eventually moving onto their own land in the southeast corner of the district in 1893. The Koops enjoyed their life on the farm as they raised their ten children. Jakob farmed without modern machinery, using horses and traditional tools well after the advent of automation. He liked to work with his hands; if a sheaf of grain fell apart after going through the binder, he would gather it up in his arms and tie it up by hand.
Although Jakob accepted help with the farm work from his family, he always reserved the tasks of feeding the hogs and seeding the grain for himself. Others would prepare the fields, but Jakob always preferred to plant the seeds by hand, using his horses and traditional tools to ensure that all the rows of seeds were straight and that every spot was covered.
The meticulous nature Jakob B. Koop exhibited in seeding his fields was evident elsewhere. He farmed in an orderly fashion, cleaning harnesses, greasing wagon and buggy wheels, and inspecting fences for holes. Jakob could immediately detect any wire with insufficient tension or any staple coming loose, and he would quickly remedy the situation. For Jakob, work was not onerous, and he could enjoy himself in the process.
Life on the farm could be difficult, but Jakob B. Koop always tried to help anyone in need. He would supply meat and milk to his children’s families when the need arose, and he freely lent out his team of horses to his family for picking up firewood or other errands. When a grandson required special schooling arrangements, Jakob became involved in the process, and he also helped his sons obtain farmland for themselves. Jakob was concerned about the smallest aspect of his relatives’ lives, but he always had enough energy to spare for his two cats, Klaas and Fritz.
Jakob B. Koop was a dedicated husband, father, and grandfather, and a punctilious and generous farmer who enjoyed the daily pleasures of work and family.
GRANDMA (The Genealogical Registry and Database of Mennonite Ancestry) Database, 5.03 ed. Fresno, CA: California Mennonite Historical Society, 2007: #6630.
Plett, Delbert F. “Jakob B. Koop (1858-1937): Twincreek Pioneer.” Preservings No. 11 (December 1997): 43-46.
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MLA style: Huebert, Susan. "Koop, Jakob B. (1858-1937)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 2007. Web. 20 June 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/koop_jakob_b._1858_1937.
APA style: Huebert, Susan. (2007). Koop, Jakob B. (1858-1937). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 20 June 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/koop_jakob_b._1858_1937.