Wipf, an old Hutterite family, probably of Swiss
origin. We do not know when the Wipfs joined the brotherhood and how they
happened to settle in Alwinz, Transylvania. Perhaps they went there with the
first settlers in 1621. In any case in 1694 one Michael Wipf was made Vorsteher
(bishop) in Alwinz, though he was not particularly successful. The Wipfs of
today are probably not descended from this man but from another Wipf, whose
widow Annele together with her five children belonged to the few surviving
"old Hutterites" in Transylvania prior to the coming of the Carinthians
in 1756. She is expressly named by Johannes Waldner, the author of the Klein-Geschichtsbuch. She and the
children then went to Russia with the rest of the group. A Jakob Wipf was
"the teacher" ca. 1853. At that time a group of Hutterites led by Peter
Hofer (see Hofer) and Jakob Wipf separated from the Hutterthal colony to start
a new settlement, Johannesruh, named after Johann Cornies. Jakob Wipf must
have been a very alert and intelligent leader; he had attended the Mennonite Zentralschule
at Halbstadt, Molotschna, and received a teacher's license. In 1864, when this
group experimented for a few years with the re-establishment of communal living,
it became known as the "Lehrerleut", since Wipf was a teacher and was
generally known as Jakob Lehrer. In 1874 the great exodus from Russia began,
but at first only the Dariusleut and the Schmiedeleut went o America, settling
in South Dakota. In 1875-76 two Brethren from the Bon Homme colony, South
Dakota, went back to Russia to encourage the Lehrerleut, led by Jakob Wipf and
Peter Hofer, to come to America and to re-establish there their former
community of goods. This they did. In 1877 Wipf, Hofer, and 13 their families
migrated and established a colony at Old Elmspring, near Alexandria, South
Dakota, (later near Parkston), thus establishing the third Hutterite Bruderhof
in America. Jakob Wipf was its Vorsteher until his death in 1896. A number of
Wipfs, how ever, broke away from this communal living and
settled in and around Freeman, South Dakota, becoming known as the "Prairie Leut." They joined other Mennonite groups.
Zieglschmid, A. J. F. Das Klein-Geschichtsbuch der Hutterischen Brüder. Philadelphia, PA: Carl Schurz Memorial Foundation, 1947: 228, 257.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 964. 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: Friedmann, Robert. "Wipf family." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 20 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/wipf_family.
APA style: Friedmann, Robert. (1959). Wipf family. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 20 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/wipf_family.