Amalie (Mollie) Altwasser
The Sixth Child of Friedrich Altwasser and Wilhelmine Wilde
Friedrich Wilhelm Lenz and Amalie Altwasser - ca 1912.
Amalie (Mollie) Altwasser born September 1, 1877 near Derazna, Shitomir Parish, Volhynia, Russia and baptized at Dombrowka, married Friedrich Wilhelm Lenz of Vibank, SK but previously of Schlanow, Neumark, Brandenburg, Germany on August 13, 1900 at Zion Lutheran Church, Neudorf, NWT, Canada. Amalie passed away on January 29, 1967 and was buried at Vibank, SK.
The Children of Amalie (Mollie) Altwasser and Friedrich Wilhelm Lenz
Amalie (Mollie) Altwasser and Friederich Wilhelm LenzSelected text from "A Journey of Discovery", (2005)
Karl A. Lenz.
Amalie was the fourth daughter born to Friedrich W. Altwasser and Wilhelmine Wilde and was born in the Shitomir Parish of Volhynia, Russia on September 1, 1877 based on the Julian calendar, and on September 13 based on the Gregorian calendar (Western European and North American calendar). She was baptized at Dumbrowka Derazno (Drashna), Rovno, Volhynia, Russia, on September 6, 1877 (September 18, 1877 on Gregorian Calendar. Her sponsors were Carl Tonn and Anna Beyer. In Canada Amalie always celebrated her birthday on October 14. In the 1901 census, her birth date is listed as October 8, 1877. The reasons for the discrepancies in the date are unknown, however, it is likely that the parents never had copies of the birth records, and with the births of about 12 children to keep track of, they didn't always get it right.
In talking with Elsie Lenz Posehn in 1995, she told me that her mother Amalie always said that her birthday was either two weeks before or two weeks after St. Michaelis day in the church calendar. There is a St. Michaelmis day on September 29, (Gregorian Calendar) and two weeks before this would be September 15 (which is fairly close to the correct birthday for Amalie) and two weeks after would be October 14 (which is the day she celebrated her birthday).
Amalie came to Canada with her parents and was listed as a spinster, age 19, on the ship's record log. In actuality she was only 16 1/2 years old on the trip to Canada in 1894. Amalie and her family came over from Europe on the same ship and at the same time as the Hermann Lenz family. It was on this voyage that Friedrich W. Lenz and Amalie Altwasser met for the first time. A family story notes that they liked each other, but that Friedrich's parents thought he could do much better since the Altwasser family was very poor and the Lenz family had much greater means. Anyway, when they arrived in Canada, the two families went their separate ways.
Once in Canada the Altwasser family homesteaded near the future site of Lemberg, SK., and the Lenz family homesteaded near MacLean, NWT. Meanwhile, Friedrich had married in 1898 and within a year his wife gave birth to a son. Things must have gone terribly wrong with the birth since within nine days of the child being born, both mother and son had died.
The story has been told that Friedrich again started looking for a prospective bride after the death of his first wife but was unable to find one. Someone suggested that he consider looking up Amalie Altwasser, the young girl he had met on the boat trip to Canada. He took the person up on the suggestion and he found that Amalie was still single and working as a domestic helper at the Federal Experimental farm near Indian Head. He made contact with the Altwasser family and specifically with Amalie, and as the saying goes, the rest is history. They were married on August 13, 1900 at Neudorf, NWT.
Friedrich and Amelie made their home on Friedrich's homestead on the SE-18-16-14-W2 about fifteen miles east of McLean. The land was then referred to as being located in the south Qu'Appelle area and later in the Vibank area.
The family home for the first ten years had been a 14 by 32 foot log house complete with dirt floor. All the children except for the youngest, Elsie, were born there. Despite the humble accommodations, their home was always open to company. In the early years before Vibank became the commercial center for the area, many people who travelled to Qu'Appelle for supplies stopped and stayed the night with them, sleeping on a straw bed hurriedly made on the dirt floor. Conditions improved considerably with the construction of a new two story house in 1912.
Over the years the family made steady progress farming. On a 1926 map of the Vibank rural area Friedrich is shown to be the owner of five quarters of land. At some time he had purchased his brother Paul's homestead quarter and another quarter section across the road to the east of Paul's quarter. In 1920 he had purchased an additional 1/2 section of land southeast of Vibank from Richard Koch, referred to as the Kronberger farm.
A 1935 photo of the Lenz farmstead shows the two story house built in 1912 with a large garden area in the foreground and a new barn to the right. In the fall of 1940 Friedrich and Amelie bought a two story house in Vibank, located next to the Lutheran Church.
Friedrich Wilhelm Lenz died of a heart attack on October 5, 1948 at the age of 75 years in Regina. Funeral Services were held in the Lutheran Church in Vibank, and burial followed at the Lutheran cemetery located on his homestead northeast of town. He was survived by Amelie, his wife of 48 years and by seven children, 24 grandchildren and many great grandchildren.
Amalie continued to live in Vibank and near the end of her life, she lived for various periods of time with each of her children and their families, but especially at her sons' homes. Even in her late eighties she loved to read despite her failing eyesight (at different times she had cataracts removed from both eyes), she loved to braid rugs and was always a bright light within each household she lived. She was always kind and gracious in all of her interactions and was always willing to help and do whatever she could for the family she lived with. Amalie died in Regina on January 29, 1967 at the age of 89 years. The funeral service was held in Vibank and she was buried beside her husband in the Vibank Lutheran Cemetery. She was survived by seven children, 25 grandchildren and 35 great grandchildren.
As related by grand daughter Evelyn Lenz Knutson
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to William J. Milner, March 8, 2001.