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Memorable Manitobans: Cornelius P. Toews (1836-1908)

Pioneer, community leader.

Born in Russia on 11 June 1836, he was chosen in 1873 as the delegate of the Blumenhof Kleine Gemeinde of Russia to inspect immigration possibilities in America, joining eleven other Mennonite delegates. In 1874, Toews would lead the first group of Kleine Gemeinde to Manitoba. He settled in the East Reserve village of Grueunfeld, serving as mayor, fire chief, and teacher. In 1876, he constructed the first windmill in the East Reserve, but tragically, in the same year, a fire destroyed his house and barn, along with all of its contents. In 1881, Cornelius and his wife were rebaptized and went to join the Church of God in Christ. In 1885, Cornelius sold his Gruenfeld property and established a farm near Steinbach, which he sold in 1898 and retired to the Greenland area, where he died on 21 February 1908.


This profile was prepared by Kris Keen.

Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online,

Page revised: 11 October 2008

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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