Bricker, Elias (1853-1939)

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Catharina & Elias Bricker

Elias Bricker: Mennonite pioneer and church builder of the Mount View Mennonite Church near High River, was born 28 April 1853 at Hawkesville, Ontario, and died in Calgary on 13 January 1939. He married Catharina Snyder (3 October 1854-19 February 1944) in 1874. They were the parents of five sons and four daughters.

The Brickers were among the first Mennonite settlers in what became the province of Alberta. Elias and his father first came west from Ontario on a homesteader's excursion sponsored by the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1889. The family moved in 1891, establishing their farmstead near the line of a new railway being built from Calgary south to Fort MacLeod, between Okotoks and High River. Other prospective Mennonite pioneers soon followed.

The Brickers were eager to see new Mennonite congregations organized among the new settlers. With Elias Bricker's encouragement, the Mennonite Conference of Ontario sent S. F. Coffman west in 1901. Coffman lived with the Brickers when meeting with the settlers in the High River area, and the Brickers became charter members and wholehearted supporters of the Mount View Mennonite Church when it was organized late in 1901.

Elias Bricker also served as one of the early local postmasters, but moved to Calgary in 1918. There he became active in distributing tracts and religious literature to the homes of Calgary residents, trying to contact every household in the city at least once.

During the last years of his life Elias Bricker suffered much as a result of ill health, and was mostly confined to his home. He died at the age of 85 years and is remembered as a pioneer homesteader/farmer and as a church builder and supporter.


Regehr, T. D. Faith, Life and Witness in the Northwest, 1903-2002: Centennial History of the Northwest Mennonite Conference. Waterloo, ON : Pandora Press, 2003.

Elias Bricker obituary, Gospel Herald (9 February 1939).

Stauffer, Ezra. History of the Alberta-Saskatchewan Mennonite Conference. Ryley, Alberta: Alberta-Saskatchewan Mennonite Conference, 1960.

Fencelines and Furrows. Calgary: Fencelines and Furrows History Book Society, 1969, available at the Glenbow Alberta Institute.

Gladys-Dinton through the years, 1883-1964, available at the Glenbow Alberta Institute.

A Century of Memories, 1883-1983. Okotoks and District, available at the Glenbow-Alberta Institute.

Author(s) Ted D Regehr
Date Published December 2003

Cite This Article

MLA style

Regehr, Ted D. "Bricker, Elias (1853-1939)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. December 2003. Web. 20 Mar 2019.,_Elias_(1853-1939)&oldid=122381.

APA style

Regehr, Ted D. (December 2003). Bricker, Elias (1853-1939). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 20 March 2019, from,_Elias_(1853-1939)&oldid=122381.

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