Klippenstein, Peter (1831-1904)

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Peter Klippenstein: artist and teacher; born on 23 March 1831 in the Bergthal Colony, Russia, to Johann and Margaretha (Sawatzky) Klippenstein. He was the oldest of eight children. Peter was baptized on 12 June 1850 in Russia. On 21 January 1854, he married Anna Klassen (1834-1910), daughter of Martin and Katharina (Rempel) Klassen. The couple had 11 children, six of whom survived. Together with his family, Peter immigrated to Canada in 1875, arriving in Quebec on 6 July before moving on to Manitoba. He died on 7 June 1904 in Neu-Bergthal, Manitoba.

Peter Klippenstein grew up in a prominent family in the Bergthal Colony, Russia. His uncle, Peter Klippenstein, was a mayor in Heuboden, and his father was a deacon in the Bergthal Church. One of Peter’s brothers was a leader in the emigration from Russia in 1874 to 1876, when almost the entire Bergthal Colony left for North America in response to changes in the government’s policies towards Mennonites. Peter took a leadership role quite young, becoming the teacher in the village of Bergthal when he was only 15 years old. He began work on an arithmetic problem book and a teacher’s manual, called a Rechnungbuch. In the available spaces, he drew Fraktur art, a form of calligraphy similar to medieval illuminated manuscripts. On 21 January 1854, he married Anna Klassen and began to establish a home, where they lived until the extended Klippenstein family moved to Canada.

Many Mennonites left Russia between 1873 and 1876. Peter’s extended family joined the emigrants, travelling on one of the many ships crossing the Atlantic. The group arrived in Quebec on 6 July 1875 and then continued west to Manitoba, where the Klippensteins settled in Bergthal, Chortitz, and Rosenthal, East Reserve. Peter, Anna, and their children went to Bergthal, where they bought a homestead. The family was soon quite wealthy. In 1881, Peter and his brother Bernhard decided to move to the village of Neu-Bergthal, West Reserve, near Altona. Peter wanted to take the frame of the housebarn from Bergthal to the new location, and he carefully marked each beam of wood with a Roman numeral for re-assembly in Neu-Bergthal. On arriving in the town, he put the structure back together with new shingles. The Klippenstein family lived in Neu-Bergthal for many years. Peter died there in 1904 and Anna in 1910. They were both buried in the local cemetery.


GRANDMA (The Genealogical Registry and Database of Mennonite Ancestry) Database, 5.03 ed. Fresno, CA: California Mennonite Historical Society, 2007: #219701.

Plett, Delbert.  “Peter Klippenstein (1831-1904), Fraktur Artist.” Preservings No. 13 (December 1998): 114-116.

Author(s) Susan Huebert
Date Published 2007

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Huebert, Susan. "Klippenstein, Peter (1831-1904)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 2007. Web. 29 Nov 2022. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Klippenstein,_Peter_(1831-1904)&oldid=95559.

APA style

Huebert, Susan. (2007). Klippenstein, Peter (1831-1904). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 29 November 2022, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Klippenstein,_Peter_(1831-1904)&oldid=95559.

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