German Settlement: Settlers from Germany had begun arriving in Alberta during the early 1880s. The completion of the Edmonton-Calgary Railway line eased the way for large groups to settle in the areas around Edmonton, Wetaskiwin and even Camrose but, generally speaking, these German settlers set up homes throughout the province.
The new German-speaking settlers in Alberta actually came from a variety ethnic and religious backgrounds and countries. They came from Austria-Hungary, Switzerland, Russia and even Russian Poland and Rumania, and by 1911 comprised the largest group of non-British settlers in the province. However, by 1916 their numbers, at least officially, had begun to decline somewhat. With the outbreak of World War One, all those of German descent were considered enemy aliens and, as a result, many preferred to list themselves under different nationalities.