Otto and Olga Klaus

Otto and Olga Klaus along with their two children, Aletha and Alfred, settled in Big Valley near Stettler, Alberta in 1922. Otto Klaus was born in 1881 in Vaike Maaria, a small town in central Estonia. He moved to Pranti Mets, a small village located between St. Petersburg and Moscow. It was here where he met his future wife, Olga Soop. In 1908 they wed in Moscow. A year later their first child, Aletha, was born. Continually searching for a better life, the family moved to Simbirsk, Russia.

During the Russian Revolution of 1917, Russian officials evicted the Klaus framily from their home. Most of their possesions were confiscated and subsequently recycled off to a Russian family. Disgruntled, Otto wrote his brother about the current political conditions in Russia. In turn, his brother invited Otto's family to settle in Canada. Otto and Olga returned to Estonia to await departure. Meanwhile, their son Alfred was born in 1920.

In 1922 they left for Riga, Latvia and waited two days before a small boat was to take them to Liverpool, England. They arrived in Quebec City nine days later. A train then transported them to Stettler, Alberta. Otto and his family stayed with his brother during the difficult first winter. The following year Otto and his family moved to a small shack adjacent to the Red Deer River. By 1938, Olga and Otto purchased a larger farm and incorporated more livestock. Olga and Otto participated in numerous events at Linda Hall and whole-heartedly promoted Estonian cultural development in their community.

Alberta's Estonian Heritage