Memorable Manitobans: Abram Arthur Kroeker (1892-1981)
Born at Winkler on 6 December 1892, he was educated at the Mennonite Collegiate Institute and Manitou Normal School. He taught school for a few years then joined his brothers in a general store and automobile business. In 1928, he bought a farm about six miles from Winkler to allow his family to experience that way of life. Having little experience in farming, he attended extension meetings at the Morden Experimental Station where he was introduced to the concept of crop rotation. He became a pioneer reformer in Mennonite communities, using chemical fertilizer and developing a new technique of corn drying. He introduced new crops into Mennonite farming, such as sunflowers, potatoes, and sugar beets.
In 1914, he married Elizabeth Nickel (1894-1981) and they had five sons and four daughters. He helped in the establishment of Winkler Bible Institute, Winkler Home For the Aged, and Camp Arnes on Lake Winnipeg, for which he received a Good Citizenship Award in 1970. He was made an honorary life member of the Vegetable Growers’ Association of Manitoba (1969), received a Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal (1977), and was inducted into the Manitoba Agricultural Hall of Fame (1990).
He died at Winnipeg on 5 February 1981 and was buried in the Winkler Cemetery.
“Six Manitobans to receive good citizenship awards,” Winnipeg Tribune, 18 November 1970.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 7 February 1981, page 47.
Obituary [Elizabeth Kroeker], Winnipeg Free Press, 18 February 1981, page 70.
A History of Horticulture in Manitoba: 1880-1980 by Peter J. Peters, 1988, pages 307-310.
Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by John M. “Jack” Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.
Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 17 October 2021