Reimer, Peter B. (1885-1966)

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Peter B. Reimer (1885-1966)

Peter B. Reimer, Mennonite businessman, was born in Steinbach, Manitoba, Canada on 12 November 1885. His parents, Abram W. Reimer (1860-1930) and Aganetha Barkman (1859-1955), had come to Canada from South Russia in 1874. Peter was the second of seven children and the grandson of Klaas R. Reimer. He married Helena P. Friesen (1889-1920) in 1907 and they had five children together. Unfortunately Helena developed diabetes and died in 1920. Later that year Peter married Helena's sister Katharina P. Friesen (1894-1967). Together they had 12 children, 8 of whom survived to adulthood.

Peter B. Reimer was a colorful, adventurous character in his youth. He left school at the age of nine and went to work in the family lumber business. There he proved himself an asset because he had an unusual gift for math and was able to do rapid mental calculations. Peter was restless though and soon headed off to Winnipeg where he attended barber college. With his newly acquired haircutting skills, Peter went into business for himself by opening his own barber shop in Steinbach. It wasn't long though before he rejoined the family business at his father's request. Peter lived and worked in Giroux, Manitoba until 1917 when the business expanded by opening a new store in Steinbach. Here Peter became the manager of "The Steinbach Meat Market" and gained the nickname "Butcha" Reimer. Peter's family was growing and in 1923 they moved into a larger house built by John I. Friesen, which they called "Schloszkinderreich." Peter was a man of strong faith and old-fashioned morals. He admired self-discipline, initiative and resourcefulness, which he tried to pass on to his children. Eventually the meat market developed into a general store which with the help of the whole family managed to keep afloat during the Great Depression. In 1943 fire destroyed the store and an adjoining lumber yard. Peter rebuilt but the strain was too much and resulted in a heart attack. The store was taken over by his children but Peter continued to work in the meat department for 10 years. His family business eventually developed into what became known as Reimer Transport. Peter had many strengths and weaknesses, and perhaps he could have been more successful in his business, but success did not seem to be his main objective. "He simply believed in doing with all his might the things he was called to do." Peter B. Reimer died on 9 April 1966.


Kennedy, Charlotte Reimer. "The one with the hat: Peter B. Reimer (1885-1966)." Preservings No. 9, Part I (December 1996):34-36.

Author(s) Sharon H. H Brown
Date Published April 2006

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MLA style

Brown, Sharon H. H. "Reimer, Peter B. (1885-1966)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. April 2006. Web. 25 Jun 2018.,_Peter_B._(1885-1966)&oldid=126268.

APA style

Brown, Sharon H. H. (April 2006). Reimer, Peter B. (1885-1966). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 25 June 2018, from,_Peter_B._(1885-1966)&oldid=126268.

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