About Hanover
The RM of Hanover comprises an area slightly larger than the area set aside as a Mennonite reserve in 1873. This tract of land was referred to as the East Reserve. In 1880 the province organized the area as a municipality and named it Hespeler, after the man who brought the first settlers to the area in 1873. On May 25, 1881 the municipality of Hanover was established when the whole province was reorganized. At that time the east reserve was separated into two municipalities, Hespeler in the north and Hanover in the south. In 1890 the municipalities of Hespeler and Hanover were merged to create Hanover, as it is known today.
The area was settled by five different ethnic groups... Mennonites, Ukrainians, Germans, French and Anglo Saxon. In the early years over 50 communities were established but many did not last long. The communities of Steinbach, Niverville, Blumenort, Grunthal, and Kleefeld became the trading centres and they still exist today. Steinbach became the major trading centre for the region and it was established as a town in 1947. Niverville, the only other incorporated community within Hanover, was incorporated as a village in 1968.
Much of the land in Hanover was not ideally suited to grain farming. The area had course [coarse] textured soils, was largely wooded and had major drainage problems. While grain farming was possible some of these characteristics lead to the diversification of agriculture that the municipality displays today. Diversification into dairy, hogs, poultry, honey, potatoes and sugar beets has made Hanover a leader in the production of many of these products in Manitoba. Hanover has been highly productive in hogs since the 1940's but in the last twenty years the area began to specialize in hog production. This specialization created the need for agriculture related services like feed mills, hatcheries, transportation, farm implements and other agriculture services that make up the economic base of Hanover today.
**Excerpts from the book, "Hanover: One Hundred Years" written by Lydia Penner.