Mennonite Historical Society of Alberta
Johann E. Peters
(10 Aug 1865, Kronsthal, Chortitza, Russia - 29 May 1955, Portland, Oregon)
Account of immigration trip of 1876 written in 1942/43.
I, John Peters born Oct 8, 1865 (FN timeline) in Kronsthal South Russia. Father Johann Peters Mother Agatha Neufeld also in Russia. I was the 5th child out of 16 children I remained in Russia until we left for America on June 1, 1876 I attended School 4 years (FN education) my Teacher was Mr Wm. Remple (FN WM Rempel) a good Christian Man from whom I learned to pray and tell God all my needs and praises. In the day of my departure he gave me are member card which reads"Practice truth and uprightness Through life until your grave and never swerve one finger's breadth away from God's own way.
Then we sailed on a little boat on the Dniepper River which mines in the Black Sea. The time we reached the Sea it was very nice and calm but after a little a great storm overcame us we were all on deck for the boat had no cabin, and the Storm got so severe that Men could not stand on his feet without holding on something. Everyone thought we were lost but everyone on the ship prayed very hard to God and promised to be true to him forever. and God was mercifull and saved us all, so we arrived in Odessa where I saw a train first time of my life. Then we took the train to Hamburg, Germanie. from Hamburg we sailed on the North Sea to London, Eng then by train to Liverpool then on the Atlantic Ocean to Quebeck then to Toronto then on the Superior Lake to Duluth then in some part of the U.S.A. to Fargo then we sailed on the Red River to West Leen Canada that was the destination. then a few of our uncles met us on the arrival and took us up to Reinland where Father bought a little house which was built 4 feet deep in the ground but had a waterproof Grass Roof (FN include image here) the second night we were their a furius Electrick Storm broke loose and kept on for 12 hours we surely thought the World came to an end.
O how sad we was to find a Country like this all we wished we could go right bak, but that was quite hard traveling does days so we had to stay and make up with the weather Come what may and O the millions of mosquitos! We were just as the children of Israel of siting on the River and Wheeping. and that was not all, all the wants we had to make up with, we came out of every good things we needed and here was nothing.
Well I mus go back to our Journey on the Ocean we had one of the very latest Model of a ship 50 feet Wide and 550 feet long (FN image of ship) it took 13 days to cross the Ocean. The first few days was very pleasant then about 5 days big wind one good thing it came from the front of the ship. the waves was from 40 to 50 feet high O how we boys enjoy walking back and forth in the ship when the ship raised up we hardly could walk up hill but when it went down then hu, hu, it even Tickled in the stomic then we had a few days very heavy fog one day the ship Captain blew his fog horn we did not know what it ment But at the very noon hour as we all set at the dinner Table it gave an awful Crash so that all the dishes from the Table fell on the floor soup and all, O was that a frite. We all thought now our ship was broken to pices but god's almight hand saved us all. the ship ran against a mighty Ice Berg my Dad said it was about 100 feet above the water line we had about 100 Ton of Ice on deck, but very little damage was done to the ship O werre we glad that the good Lord saved us again from going in the Water. well the 13 day was gone so quik that we only got Raisin pudding once. The ship served that every Sunday so we only got it once and O how I liked it most of the People did Not like it.
Then as we came to Toronto Ontario (FN photo of Toronto harbour then). The Canadians were so glad that they got a bunch Dutchmans they treated us with fresh Cheese and a lot of boiled smoked hams. O I never eat or got better thiese now,but a lot of our folks threw it out the Windows and said it was made of horses milk O how Crazy they Were. I wish I could buy such a good cheese right now I would dig right in, horse cheese or not. but as we came on the home stead these good Ontario fellow sold us thing to eat what not even fit for a dog the send us bakon from great big hogs but yellow as paint and flour about the same. Yes we had a hard time until we were able to help ourself.
Bak to the homestead with the Electric storm there were only 2 frame building on that little Village (FN Reinalnd streetscape) we moved to, and both were broken to pices that night but we had to face the musik if we wanted are not, but here am now about 77 Year old is ind it wonderfull?
Then Dad bought 2 pair of Horses and we starrd to break up Prairie but alas the wheat was $2.00 per bushel and Oats comparing so that cost too much for horse feed so we gave up breaking land with horses and Dad bought 2 yoke of Oxsen then I had to drive Oxsen by Plowing and have handled oxen for 5 years by that I was about growing up then Dad traded the Oxen of for Horses that was a great relive for me after I was up to 21 I learned the Catacismus and Join the Church by Sprinkling baptismon 1887. Mother, my Wife were also in the same rank and on the 16 of July 1887 we were married in my Fathers house after the Wedding We took abode at my Wifes Folks and stayd with them until March 1889 on the 10 of May 1888 Lena was born, on March 1889 we went in Lumber business with some other man but we did not have much luck, on July 16, 1889 our son John was born. on March 29,1891 a daughter Agatha was born. on Febr 18, 1892 she died. on Jan 6. another daughter Agatha was born who died Jan 10, 1941. on April 13, 1894 Lizzie was born, on March 29, 1896 Mary was born, on July 21 1899 Susie was born, on Dec 6, 1902 Katie was born, on June 29, 1906 Anna was born. Lena Died Dec 17, 1922. Lizzie Died July 23, 1905.
In 1895 both of us got converted through the Preaching by Rev George Burgdorf then I bought a well drilling outfit wich I used a few years then I was buying Wheat a few years for some Comp. on 1899 I went to Saskatchewan to took up a homestead an march 1901 we took all we posessed in farm outfit tryed farming until 1905, then we sold the farming out and then Mother and I took a trip to Manitoba and in our absent our daughter Elizabeth at home got a paralytic strocke and Died before we got home.
Before we went to Winnipeg I bargained with some Elevator Machinery Which should cost $2300 but in Winnipeg I happened to see some one else who sold the kind of michinery and I bought the outfit for $1300 then I went to Prince Albert to buy Lumber for the elevator. the first Man I saw who owed a Saw Mill he told me his Rock bottom price which I though was pretty fair although I did not make a bargain after that in the same town I looked in to a other sawmill so the asked me what I was interested in I told him I want to buy some 75000 feet lumber to build a Grain Elevator and that man quoted me that amount of Lumber for $1.00 per 1000 feet less than the first man so I saved $1700.00 then we did build the elevator in Longhorn and run it for one year, Sold it in 1906 for $5500.00 and build one in Dalmeny then traded of the Elevator for farmland and went to BC where I bought 160 acres of loged of land which I divided in 10 acre lots and gave each Child 10 acres then I build a little sawmill and planted fruit trees but not much success because Hakup was not able to handle was we could raise so we sold out and left B.C. for Oregon. (FN oregon)
But Oregon did not gave us satisfaction so we went back to Sask where we bought a flour mill and got our three married children as partners but that did not give satisfaction so we sold the mill and went back to BC that was in 1913 where we stayed until July 1914 then left for Ore. where we bought a 5 acre tract which we kept for about 2 Years then sold to P.G. Penner and bought a 10 acre trackt 3 1/4 Mile North of Fir Villa, sold it and went to Portland and worked in the ship yard for about 9 month then bought a 20 acre trackt at Polk Station and sold it after a bit and bought 16 acre at Independence on which we got a 160 acre of Land in Canada which we traded of for a house in Dallas (FN Oregon residency) which we later traded off for some land at Philomoth, which we finely traded of for a 10 acre in Falls City, in the meantime I bought another 10 acre tract at Falls City which I traded of four 160 acre at Alsea Country which I sold and came back to Falls City then I traded of that Falls City Trackt for a Dallas house which we sold and bought this little house in which we are still living and hope all our wandering will have an end until to the grave and rest.
Last Updated 11 Nov 2001