William (Buffalo Bill)
and Ida Ehrenwerth

Wilhelm was one of the first Estonian immigrants to settle in the Peace River area in 1927. His business interests included purchase of furs from native trappers in the region. William Ehrenwerth came to Canada from Estonia about 1916 and after getting settled he asked Ida to come from Estonia to marry him. William and Ida moved to Peace River in 1926 and settled on a homestead in the Weberville community

The Ehrenwerths later moved into the fur-buying business, which they continued to pursue for about 30 years while also doing a bit of farming. The Ehrenwerths ran posts at Little Buffalo, Peerless, Loon, Big Buffalo (later Bison), Little Fish (later Haig), Big Fish (later Sawn) and Prairie (later Lubicon) lakes. Ida worked in the trading posts, which collected furs from the Aboriginal people who had extensive traplines in the region. Bill hauled freight over long distances with horses or dog teams. There were summer and winter trails; the trip could be made over frozen lakes and muskeg in winter but in summer the route went around these areas.

When working at his first post, Little Buffalo, William acquired the name "Buffalo Bill." This happened for three reasons: non-Estonians found his surname difficult to pronounce, his first name was William and his post was called Little Buffalo. The nickname because so common that William even received mail addressed to Buffalo Bill.

William and Ida obtained some farm land in Wesley Creek. They had four children: Hans, Eva, Otto and Edgar.

Alberta's Estonian Heritage