Aeltester Jacob Wiens was born on May 11, 1855 to Jacob Wiens and Anna Friesen. He came: to Canada with his parents on the S.S. Sarmatian. This ship arrived in Quebec City on July 6, 1675. The Wiens family then settled in Reinland, Manitoba. Here, he met his future wife, Helena Wall. She was born April 3, 1854, to Johann Wall and Helena Hildebrand. The Wall family came to Canada on the S.S. Peruvian, arriving in Quebec City on June 30, 1878.
Jacob Wiens and Helena Wall were married April 4, 1880. They had no children of their own but adopted two children in Manitoba. One child was Franz Harder, who later became an Old Colony minister in Saskatchewan, and the other was Maria Janzen, who later married a Wilhelm Friesen.
Aeltester Wiens was elected as a minister in the Old Colony Church on Oct. 25, 1888, in Manitoba. He served the church as a minister until he moved to Saskatchewan in 1899. He was ordained as elder of the Saskatchewan Old Colony Church in 1 by Aeltester Johann Wiebe of Manitoba.
Aeltester Wiens lived in Neuanlage where he built a house in May-June of 1899. He took up a homestead near Gruenfeld, west of Osler on SW 2, Tp. 40, R 5, W of 3. His foster son, Franz, also took up a homestead near him. In 1900, he broke 10 acres and cropped 0; in 1901, he broke 16 acres and cropped 10; in 1902, he broke 15 acres and cropped 16.
In 1903, he owned 10 horses, 14 homed stock and four pigs. In the village of Neuanlage, Aeltester Wiens built a 22x32~ framed house, valued at $400 He also built a framed stable and framed granary valued at $500.
Jacob Wiens not only served the community as the leader ot the church but also as a veterinarian. He loved animals and knew many home remedies that were easily applied and at minimal cost.
When the provincial government forced the closure of the Old Colony private schools, Aeltester Wiens led a large group of Mennonites to Mexico. Aeltester Wiens and his wife moved to Mexico in the fall of 1926. Here Aeltester Wiens passed away April 14, 1932. He served, as a minister for 12 years; and as elder for 31 years and eigbt months. He preached 1,571 sermons; 370 funerals; baptized 1,391 people, and married 11 [number not clear] couples.
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Mennonite Historical Society of Saskatchewan (MHSS)
Room 900 - 110 La Ronge Road, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, S7K 7H8
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