Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Johann C. “John” Reimer (1894-1990)

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John Hamilton Gordon Russell
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Educator, farmer, historian.

Born at Steinbach on 30 October 1894, son of Johann W. Reimer and Maria T. Barkman, he became crippled at the age of 15 by a severe attack of rheumatoid arthritis. While bedridden for three years, he became proficient at the mandolin. He taught at the private Blumenhof village school from 1916 to 1919, when the school was closed.

On 6 July 1919, he married Maria D. Loewen (c1897-1986) at Steinbach and they subsequently had one daughter and five sons. They bought a farm in the Prairie Rose district and he began teaching in the public school system, at Ekron School (1922-1923), Blumenhof School (1923-1925, 1926-1928), Blumenort School (1928-1939), Shakespeare School (1943), and other places. After receiving additional training at Altona, he taught for another 16 years.

In 1949, he chaired a committee to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the arrival of Mennonites in Manitoba. He began to collect artifacts and information on early Mennonite settlers which led to the establishment of the Mennonite Heritage Village in 1967. He served as its Curator until 1974 when he was declared Curator Emeritus. In recognition of his contributions to the preservation of Mennonite history, he received a Centennial Medal from the Manitoba Historical Society and received an honorary life membership in the Manitoba Mennonite Historical Society (1980).

He died at Steinbach on 19 March 1990 and was buried in the Steinbach Memorial Cemetery.

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Mennonite Village Museum / Mennonite Heritage Village (Highway 12, Steinbach)

Sources:

Birth registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

Obituary [Maria Reimer], Winnipeg Free Press, 22 March 1986, page 31.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 21 March 1990, page 40.

Reimer, John C. (1894-1990), Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online.

We thank Ed Krahn for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 1 February 2022

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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