MARY'S GENEALOGY TREASURES
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Wilson Hutterite Colony

Water Works Wonders
A History of the White, Wilson, McMahon,
River Junction School Districts Pages 79 - 80
John Wurtz Senior and John Wurtz Jr.

The Hutterite Bretheren of Wilson arrived from South Dakota by train, on June 18, 1918, with seven carloads of goods and livestock. There were 45 people, "Souls", belonging to four families: Wurtz, Walter, Hofer, and Tschetter. Later on they were joined by members of the Stahl family.

By 1952 the colony had grown to 140 people, so there was a division of the colony, with the Walters and Tschetters going to Westlock (Pibroch). Another division took place in 1962 to form the Waterton Colony. Most recently, the Keho Lake Colony was established in 1981, beginning with three sections of land. The Wilson Colony now farms twelve sections or more.

Schooling for the children begins with kindergarten from the age of three years to six years, when they learn German. This is followed by regular "Provincial" education at a school on the Colony property, from grade one through nine, and terminates when the student reaches fifteen years of age.

In the first school there were 35 students including the outside families of Wocknitz, Tracht, Stanko, Hydechuck, Bishop, and Bob Murdock. This was called the Allenby School. The first teacher was Mrs. Robinson who came from Oyen which is east of Calgary. She taught at the Wilson Colony for sixteen years, living in the teacherage on site. She was succeeded by Mr.Rycroft who taught there until 1947. In the early 1930's all of the non-Hutterite students, except the Stankos left in order to attend the Wilson School.

The Hutterites began farming with horses and then supplemented that power with J. I. Case steam engines, and then John Deere tractors with lugs and also D-6 Caterpillar tractors

As a matter of interest, the Bawlf and Ogilvie elevators were in place at Wilson Siding in 1918-1919. Later when the dust storms began, the Bawlf engine house filled with drift soil, from time to time and the Hutterites were enlisted (paid) to clean out the sand.

Allenby School

In 1918 Hutterian Brethren from South Dakota established a colony at Wilson. As soon as they had erected the necessary buildings, they lobbied for a school, which could be used as a church. They agreed to build and maintain a school as well as a teacherage provided it was built on their land. The school was built - the only school from Coaldale south to Stirling. It was named by the Department of Education after General Allenby of World War I fame. For several years families other than Hutterites sent their children to the Allenby School.

Allenby School is still in use on the Wilson Hutterite ,Colony as of summer 1995.

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Copyright 2000
Mary Tollestrup