In 1893, Kitchener, Ont., businessman Jacob Y. Shantz secured land from the government and railway, and he promoted the Didsbury, Alta., settlement to eastern Mennonites. The West was a great unknown to many, who felt they would never see their westbound relatives again once they departed for the land of “buffaloes and Indians.” In 2016, Donita Wiebe-Neufeld, in the pages of the Mennonite Historical Society of Alberta newsletter, would wonder, “Who lived on the family farm east of Didsbury before we did? . . . Why am I not aware of their stories?” In 1950, M. Weber drew from memory the shelter that greeted the first settlers to the district.
For more historical photos in the Mennonite Archival Image Database (MAID), see archives.mhsc.ca.