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Schmiedeleut, one of the three Hutterite kinship groups (the other two being the Dariusleut and the Lehrerleut, so named because its founder, Preacher Michael Waldner, was a blacksmith (Schmied) in Russia. Michael Waldner was the first to re-establish communal living in Bruderhof form, which he did in 1859 in one end of the village of Hutterdorf in the Ukraine (see Dariusleut). The Waldner Bruderhof migrated to South Dakota in 1874 and settled the Bon Homme Colony near Yankton. This was the first Hutterite Bruderhof in America and is commonly, though wrongly, thought of as the mother Bruderhof of all Hutterites in America. The second kinship group, the Dariusleut, which was established in 1860 in the same Hutterdorf village in Russia, arrived in South Dakota later in 1874 and did not establish its first Bruderhof (Wolf Creek) until the next year, 1875. In the late 1950s the Schmiedeleut Bruderhofs in the United States were all in South Dakota, and those in Canada were all in Manitoba, and they were the only group having Bruderhofs in these two locations. Their leader or bishop was Peter Hofer, James Valley Colony, Starbuck, Manitoba, who was chosen in 1951. Following is a list of the Schmiedeleut Bruderhofs as they existed in 1957.

Census of Schmiedeleut Bruderhofs

Name of Colony Address Founded Pop. 1957 Head Preacher
Schmiedeleut Bruderhofs in South Dakota
Bon Homme Tabor 1874 90 Jacob Waldner
Glendale Frankfort 1949 130 John Waldner
Gracevale Winfred 1948 104 Sam Wipf
Huron Huron 1944 135 Jacob Wollmann
Jamesville Utica 1937 95 Paul Wurz
Maxwell Scotland 1949 113 Joseph Hofer
Millerdale Miller 1949 74 John Waldner
New Elm Spring Ethan 1936 145 Sam Wollmann
Pearl Creek Iroquois 1949 130 Michael Waldner
Platte Academy 1949 102 Joseph Waldner
Riverside Huron 1949 80 John Waldner
Rockport Alexandria 1934 123 Dan Wipf
Rosedale Mitchell 1945 114 Joseph Waldner, Sr.
Spink Frankfort 1945 142 John Wipf
Tschetter Olivet 1942 144 David Decker, Sr.
Clark Raymond 1955 75 Fred Waldner
Blumengard Wecota 1950 73 Jacob Hofer
Total     1,869  
Schmiedeleut Bruderhofs in North Dakota
Forest River   1950 Closed in 1955  
Schmiedeleut Bruderhofs in Manitoba: census data as of April 1958
Barrickman Headingly 1920 124 David Hofer
Bloomfield Westbourne 1954 65 John R. Hofer
Blumengard Plum Coulee 1922 107 Jacob Waldner
Bon Homme Elie 1918 155 Joseph Wollman
Crystal Springs St. Agathe 1954 91 Jacob Kleinsasser
Elm River Newton Siding 1934 105 Jacob Z. Hofer
Gruenwald Dencross 1956 92 Joseph P. Hofer
Huron Benard 1918 123 Joseph Glanzer
Iberville Headingly 1919 131 Andreas Gross
James Valley Starbuck 1918 98 Peter Hofer
Lakeside Headingly 1946 126 George Wipf
Maxwell Headingly 1918 135 George Waldner
Milltown Benard 1918 84 Michael Waldner
New Rosedale Portage la Prairie 1944 191 Jacob Maendel
Oak Bluff Morris 1954 89 David J. Hofer
Poplar Point Poplar Point 1938 151 Fred Waldner
Riverdale Gladstone 1946 140 David Wurz
Riverside Arden 1934 81 John J. Hofer
Rock Lake Gross Isle 1947 124 Michael Gross
Rosedale Elie 1918 206 Jacob K. Hofer
Spring Valley Brandon 1956 87 Jacob Waldner
Sturgeon Creek Headingly 1938 104 Samuel Kleinsasser
Springfield Anola 1950 126 Samuel Waldner
Sunnyside Newton Siding 1940 125 Joseph Kleinsasser
Waldheim Elie 1935 106 Michael Waldner
Rose Valley Graysville 1958 69 David Waldner
Total     3,035  
Grand Total     4,904  

Author(s) Harold S Bender
Date Published 1959

Cite This Article

MLA style

Bender, Harold S. "Schmiedeleut." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 22 Feb 2019.

APA style

Bender, Harold S. (1959). Schmiedeleut. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 22 February 2019, from


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, pp. 467-468. All rights reserved.

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