Education in Pretoria

Public school was begun in 1904, shortly after the village of Pretoria was formed; the Abraham J. Loewen family had arrived two years earlier. The language of instruction was German, with Russian as the second language, and the children started school at age 7 or 8. Jacob Loewen began school in the fall of 1910. In his memoirs, he describes his early education experiences at some length, and for the most part, this account is based on his memoirs.

Life in Pretoria Before The Turmoil

Pretoria, Village #14 in the Orenburg settlement, was founded in 1903. Owing to the Mennonites’ sympathies with the Afrikaans-speaking Boers, as opposed to ‘the English’, of South Africa, Pretoria was named after the principal city of the Boers. It consisted of a wide dirt road separating two rows of houses, with approximately 15—17 homes on either side of the street. A public school stood on the north side of the street, in the middle of the village, and a high school stood (die Zentralschule) at the end of the street, on the south side.


Both the Prussian census of 1772 and the diary of Aeltester Gerhard Wiebe refer to Baumgart, Prussia, as the residence for Elias Peters. Son, Daniel Peters, and Elisabeth Brandt had only one child, according to records – Daniel Daniel Peters (1794 – 1879). He came to Russia in 1806 with his maternal grand-parents, Jakob J. and Susanna Brandt, although this fact is contradicted in some documents.

Daten aus Dokumenten vom Archiv Tomsk

Svistunovskii Bezirk, Dobrovolskaya volost, Barnaulsky uyezd (später Dolino-Chernavka, jetzt Dolinka, Blagoveshchensky Bezirk, Altai Gebiet. Dolinka, Kreis Blagoweschtschenski, Altai-Gebiet), die aus den Provinzen Jekaterinoslaw, Taurien und Ufa zugewandert sind. Dokumenten aus dem Staatsarchiv der Region Tomsk von Jakob Razlaf