Heinrich R. Brandt: pioneer farmer and carpenter; born on 23 January 1838 in Tiegenhagen, Molotschna Colony, Russia, to Klaas (Nikolai) (1815-1857) and Maria (Reimer) Brandt (1814-1851). He was the oldest of four children. Heinrich was baptized in May 1858 in Russia, and on 5 October of that year, he married Anna Warkentin (1838-1873). The couple had three children, all of whom survived to adulthood. After Anna’s death, he married Katharina Warkentin (1850-1889) in Margenau, Molotschna Colony. The couple had two children, both of whom survived. Heinrich and his family immigrated to Canada, arriving in Quebec on 20 August 1874 before moving on to Manitoba. On 27 October 1889, Heinrich married Justina F. Unger (1864-1935) in Manitoba. The couple had 11 children, seven of whom survived. Heinrich died on 15 September 1909 in Steinbach, Manitoba.
Growing up in Russia, Heinrich R. Brandt experienced both the security of his parents’ farm and the insecurity of the Crimean War. Despite his frail health from a chronic lung condition, Heinrich worked as a teenager hauling military supplies for the Imperial Army in the war, an experience that exposed him to the horrors of armed conflict. When Heinrich was 19 years old, his father died. Klaas Brandt had been a wealthy farmer, and Heinrich and his siblings inherited a considerable sum of money. Heinrich went to live in Prangenau, where he married for the first time. By 1870, the family had moved to Steinbach in the Borozenko Colony. Heinrich kept busy working in a wagon-building business together with his brother-in-law, who was a blacksmith. Here, his first wife died during a smallpox epidemic in 1873, and this is also where he married Katharina Warkentin, a cousin of his first wife's.
In Manitoba after 1874 Heinrich R. Brandt established a farming operation like most pioneer Mennonite immigrants, and continued his carpentry work, building coffins for the local families and doing other custom work. He experienced the death of his 2nd wife, followed by a third marriage in 1889.
Although Heinrich R. Brandt had survived his early illnesses, his eyes had always troubled him. In the 1890s, the trouble became so severe that he had to have one eye removed, spending two months recovering in the hospital. He survived this ordeal, even continuing with his farming and carpentry work afterwards. He died on 15 September 1909 in Steinbach, Manitoba.
GRANDMA (The Genealogical Registry and Database of Mennonite Ancestry) Database, 5.03 ed. Fresno, CA: California Mennonite Historical Society, 2007: #5931.
Plett, Delbert F. "Heinrich R. Brandt (1838-1909), Pioneer Farmer." Preservings No. 12 (June 1998): 65-66.
|Date Published||January 2007|
 Cite This Article
Huebert, Susan. "Brandt, Heinrich R. (1838-1909)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. January 2007. Web. 25 May 2016. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Brandt,_Heinrich_R._(1838-1909)&oldid=79439.
Huebert, Susan. (January 2007). Brandt, Heinrich R. (1838-1909). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 25 May 2016, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Brandt,_Heinrich_R._(1838-1909)&oldid=79439.
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