Neufeld, Peter D. (1821-1922)
|Peter D. Neufeld age 78
with his second wife,
Anna Hildbrandt, age 63,
taken circa 1899.
Peter D. Neufeld: entrepreneur and centenarian; born on 16 February 1821 in Rosenthal, Chortitza Colony, Russia, to Jacob (1792-1870) and Maria (Doerksen) (1798-1877) Neufeld. Peter was the second of eight children. He married Susanna N. Bergen (1825-1887) on 11 June, 1844; the couple had 13 children, 6 of whom died in childhood. Susanna died in 1887, and Peter married Anna Hildebrandt (1836-1927) in 1905. Peter died 21 October 1922 at the age of 101 near Steinbach, Manitoba.
Peter grew up in a time of transition for the Mennonites of Russia. His family first lived in Rosenthal, Chortitza Colony, but moved in 1837 to Schönthal in the newly formed Bergthal Colony, established in response to overcrowding in the Chortitza Colony. Peter D. Neufeld was baptized on 31 May 1843 in Bergthal and married just over a year later, on 11 June 1844. The couple soon started a family, but the first three children died before age 2 and another three died as children.
Peter Neufeld’s family life may have had its share of tragedy, but his business life was very successful. He likely owned cattle and was very knowledgeable about treating their ailments, but his real accomplishments were in entrepreneurial schemes. He owned a store and an inn in Bergthal, and later in his career he also bought a Wirtschaft in Schönthal. However, he left them behind when the entire Bergthal Colony emigrated from Russia in response to the government’s changed attitudes towards the Mennonites. Peter and his family arrived in Quebec, Canada on 27 July 1874 and then settled near Steinbach, Manitoba in the Ebenfeld district. There, Peter and his sons bought large tracts of land and began to establish a new life in Canada. The family regained much of the wealth they had lost in immigrating to Manitoba, and Peter was soon one of the richest farmers in the district. Peter died on 21 October 1922 in Steinbach, Manitoba and was buried in the Pioneer Cemetery.
Peter D. Neufeld was a dedicated farmer and businessman. Through the tragedies and successes of his life, he remained committed to his community and his family, leaving behind him a long line of farmers and entrepreneurs just like him.
Toews, Audrey. “Peter Neufeld (1821-1922): Centenarian” Preservings No. 11 (December 1997): 64-68.
©1996-2013 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.
MLA style: Huebert, Susan. "Neufeld, Peter D. (1821-1922)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 2007. Web. 19 June 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/neufeld_peter_d._1821_1922.
APA style: Huebert, Susan. (2007). Neufeld, Peter D. (1821-1922). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 19 June 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/neufeld_peter_d._1821_1922.