Friedrich (Fred) Altwasser Sr.
The Fourth Child of Karl Altwasser and Anna Christine Frieske
The Fred Altwasser Family
Back Row from the left:
August Teske, Fred Altwasser Jr., Gustav Domes, Frederick Lenz. Second Row from the left:
Frank Banman, Lydia Teske, Bill Domes, Bertha Altwasser, Otillia Domes, Mollie Lenz, and Ferdinand Krieger. Front Row from the left:
Emma Banman, Julia Domes, Fred Altwasser Sr., Wilhelmina Altwasser, Florentine Krieger.
Second Row from the left:
Frank Banman, Lydia Teske, Bill Domes, Bertha Altwasser, Otillia Domes, Mollie Lenz, and Ferdinand Krieger.
Front Row from the left: Emma Banman, Julia Domes, Fred Altwasser Sr., Wilhelmina Altwasser, Florentine Krieger.
Friedrich Wilhelm (Fred Sr.) Altwasser
Friedrich Wilhelm Altwasser was born in 1847 in Chwalborzyce, Poland. He married Wilhelmine Wilde on February 2, 1866, in the Lutheran Church in Poddubice, Lodz, Poland. Fred was the first in his family to move from Poland to Volhynia and also the first of two brothers to emigrate from Volhynia to Canada. He died in Yellow Grass, Saskatchewan on October 6, 1935. His family story appears in the book Yellow Grass Our Prairie Community.
The Children of Fred Altwasser and Wilhelmine Wilde
More Research Notes
Friederich W. was born in 1847 in Chwalborzyce, Dabie, Poland, the third son of Karl and Anna Christine Friske Altwasser. He was eight years old when his father died in 1855 and was raised mainly by his mother and stepfather, Daniel Hiller. Friederich married Wilhelmine Wilde in the Lutheran Church in Poddubice, Lodz, Poland in 1866.
Friedrich was not a miller like his forebearers or his older brother August, but worked as a farm hand and labourer in Lesnik and Pencznew in the Poddubice area of Lodz, Poland. Lesnik is located west of Podubice and south of Unijow on the west side of the Warta River.
1872 to 1894
The family moved to Volhynia in the summer of 1872 to a small community near Drashna (Derazna or Derazno) in the Rovno district. The rest of the children were born in Volhynia at Tomaschew (1873), Derazno (1877, 1880), Dombrofka (1882) and Derazno (1888). His eldest daughter Julianna married Wilhelm Domes in 1888 at Drashna. In Volhynia Friederich was listed as being a colonist and by 1894 he had made plans to immigrate to Canada.
In April 1894
Friedrich's passport was issued at Shitomir on March 10, 1894 and indicated that he was a retired soldier and a peasant. The cost of the passport was listed at ten roubles, and it was noted that Friedrich Wilhelm Altwasser with his family was departing for a foreign country and that there was no obstacle to it. The passport was stamped at the point of departure at Alexandrov, Volhynia, Russia on April 11, 1894. The passport was further stamped at Warsaw on April 21, 1894 when the family was issued an immigration permit by the German general consulate. On April 23, 1894, a Pasrevision was issued to the family at the railroad station in the German border town of Thorn.
The journey from Thorn, Germany to Liverpool, England is not documented on the passport. However it is known that the British conducted a major business transporting immigrants from Hamburg by ship to Hull, England where they traveled by train to Liverpool and thence onward by ship to the US, Canada, and the rest of the world. The next record of the family journey to Canada is on the passenger list of the SS Parisian
The SS PARISIAN
Liverpool, England to Quebec and Montreal, Canada.
Images of the SS Parisian's passenger list, showing as listed, the names of the Friederich Altwasser family
On May 3, 1894, the Friedrich Altwasser family boarded the SS Parisian in Liverpool, England and sailed for Canada. Other immigrants to Canada boarded similar ships in later years. They would state that Yellow Grass, Saskatchewan was their destination because they knew or were related to Fred Altwasser Sr. Some of their names come to light in Destination: Yellow Grass.
Fred Altwasser Sr. and Wilhelmine Wilde
Submitted to "Yellow Grass Our Prairie Community" (1980), Page 273.
Many of the German people, at the invitation of the Russian Government, left Germany and moved to Russia and so it was with the Altwassers. The Altwasser name in High German means high water which in this sense refers to the high tide of a seashore. [sic]
Fred Sr. was born in 1847 at Drazny, Wolhynia, Russia, where he worked as a carpenter and a farmer. In 1866 he married Wilhelmine Wilde, born in 1848. Together they had a family of eight girls and five boys, of whom only eight lived to come to Canada with their parents. In 1894 they homesteaded on NW-20-20-9-W-2 near Lemberg, NWT, becoming British subjects in 1899. Here they built log buildings with sod roofs, living in them until 1901. They then moved to Yellow Grass in a covered wagon. Some of the children accompanied them to the Yellow Grass area.
Fred Sr. purchased N-1/2-27-10-17-W2 in 1901 [sic], which at the time was CPR land and built a house and barn on the NE corner. It was here that Fred Sr. with the help of his son Fred Jr. broke the land with two oxen. One ox was much bigger than the other. As it happened one night the bigger ox untied himself and with his long horns gored the smaller one to death. As a result, their first horse was purchased to take its place. In 1906 Fred Jr. took up a homestead NE-32-5-20-W2 near Ceylon, SK. However, because the land was considered not fit for cultivation and at the same time his help was required back home, no improvements were made and Fred Jr. returned home shortly thereafter.
It was about this time that it was thought that Yellow Grass would be built on a site where Ibsen at one time was and as a result Fred Sr. donated some land from the SW corner of NW-27-10-17-W2 (very close to the curve of the present highway. Three people were buried here in unmarked graves: a Mrs. Derring, a sister of Ernie Teske and a Mrs. Domres (Mr. G Klatt's grandmother).
In 1910 Fred Jr. rented the land from his father with many stipulations in the lease. Some being that Fred Jr. had to give one acre of land to Fred Sr. and to plough and harrow same to be used as a garden and also to keep his cistern full of water. At any time Fred Jr. would want to buy the land, he could do so at a cost of $13, 500 for the half section.
Fred Sr. continued to live in his house until his wife died in 1916. Then he lived with his son Fred Jr. for one year. Then upon the death of his daughter's husband (Florentine Krieger) he lived with her for the rest of his life. He died on October 7, 1935 having at that time 38 grandchildren and 85 great grandchildren. Both he and his wife are buried at the Yellow Grass cemetery. He was a charter member of St. John's Lutheran Church, Lang, Saskatchewan, being very devoted to his faith and beliefs. He also was a member of the agriculture Society at Lemberg SK.
The eight Altwasser children are: JULIANNA who married William Domes, FLORENTINA married Ferdinand Krieger, OTTILIA married Gustav Domes, MOLLIE married Frederick Lenz, EMMA married Frank Banman, AMELIA married Ludwig Obst, FRED Jr. married Bertha Heebner and LYDIA married August Teske.
The National Archives of Canada has an on line search utility for Western Land Grants information. However, seaching for the name Altwasser in this data base didn't produce the expected Lemberg SK homestead information. We know he homesteaded, so why not? Another search using the land description provided in the family story revealed that Fred's name in the data base was transcribed as Friderich Attwasser.
Yellow Grass Land Purchase
In the Lang, SK history book (Lang Syne) under The Rudolph Lieske Story, it notes that Rudolph, on horseback, helped the Altwasser's drive a herd of cattle to Yellow Grass in the spring of 1902 after Rudolph had seeded his land. This likely means that the Altwasser's were making their major move to Yellow Grass in the spring of 1902.
The Glenbow Archive CPR Database reveals the date of purchase and other details about the Yellow Grass farm described in the family story. During the 1901 April census, the Fred Altwasser family was still living in the Lemberg area and noted that he owned 480 acres of land. The information below explains the location of the other 320 acres of land.
The CPR land record also includes a payment schedule for the purchaser, showing how much principle and interest was due on which dates, and how much was actually paid by the purchaser. The volumes are very large and fragile, with each entry spanning two pages. The Glenbow Archivist welcomes you to visit Glenbow in person and shoot the entry for research purposes with a digital camera. It will probably take two or three shots to get the entire entry. The Archives is open to the public Tuesday through Friday from 10 am to 5 pm. You do not need an appointment and there is no entry charge for researchers.
1911 Canada Census
The 1911 Canada Census image for this family is faint and barely legible at the Collections Canada web site. The household is comprised of Fred Sr., Wilhelmeine, Fred Jr., Melida and an employee, Edward Lentz. A year later, on June 18, 1912 in St. John's Lutheran Church, Lang, Saskatchewan, a double wedding took place. Son Fred Jr. married Bertha Heebner and daughter Melida (Lydia) married August Teske.
Double Wedding of August and Lydia Teske and Fred and Bertha Altwasser
According to Leona Altwasser Gess, Friedrich W. and his son travelled free to the new world, since Friedrich W had helped the travel agent to sign up a number of families to leave Russia. The Agent told him " Sie und der Jungen fahren frei" (You and your son travel free).
More Personal Glimpses
When I was very young, my grandfather stayed at our house. Every evening, before he went to bed, he would go to his room and pray out loud to God. You could hear his voice everywhere throughout the house. I feel very privileged to have been able to hear my grandfather praying to God.
Obituary for Friedrich W. Altwasse r
Death claimed another of the pioneers in the person of the late Friedrich Altwasser of Yellow Grass, SK, who passed away at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Florence Krieger with whom he had resided for a number of years. Funeral Services were conducted Tuesday at the home, also at Peace Lutheran Church by Rev. Mr. Friecke in German and Rev. Heinzig of Lang in English. Neighbours and friends gathered to pay their last respects to one of their oldest citizens. Mr. Altwasser was born in Poland on February 24, 1847 and was in his 89th year and until a few days before his death was around as usual, bright and cheery. Mr. Altwasser came to Canada in 1894 with his family, settling in what is now known as the Lemberg district, later moving to Yellow Grass in 1902 where he has since resided and where he made many friends, and was highly respected. Predeceased by his wife 18 years ago, also seven of his children, he is survived by one son Fred Altwasser Jr. of Yellow Grass and four daughters, Mrs. Lenz of Vibank, Mrs Gustav Domes of Lang, Mrs. Florence Krieger and Mrs Julia Domes of Yellow Grass. Pallbearers were six grandchildren, A. G. Domes, Edward Altwasser, Carl Krieger, William Lenz, of Yellow Grass, A. Domes and F. Domes of Verwood. Internment was made at Yellow Grass Cemetery, with P. M. Chrichton having charge of arrangements
About Their Ship
The Parisian was the first large steamer of the Allan Line, at 5,359 tons, sailing in May 1881. She was the first to have bilge keels to dampen the rolling, thus reducing seasickness. In 1902 the Parisian was equipped with the first wireless. Used on the Liverpool to Canada and the USA service Parisian was scrapped in 1914.
Details: Length 440.8ft x beam 46.2ft, two funnels, four masts (rigged for sail), steel construction, single screw and a speed of 14 knots. There was accommodation for 150-1st, 100-2nd and 1,000-3rd class passengers. Built by R. Napier & Sons, Glasgow, she was launched for the Allan Line 4th Nov.1880. Her maiden voyage started on 10th Mar.1881 when she left Liverpool for Halifax and Boston and on 28th Apr.1881 she started her first Liverpool - Quebec - Montreal sailing. In 1899 she was fitted with triple expansion engines and her sailing rigging and one of her funnels removed. Fitted with Marconi Wireless Telegraphy in 1902, she started her last Liverpool - Halifax - St John NB sailing on 16th Mar.1905. On 25th May 1905 she commenced the first of four Glasgow - New York sailings and on 25th May 1906 transferred to Glasgow - Boston sailings with 2nd and 3rd class passengers only. London - Quebec - Montreal voyages started on 30th Apr.1908 and on 17th Sep.1909 she resumed the Glasgow - Boston route. She commenced her final voyage between Glasgow and Boston on 31st Oct.1913. In Jan.1914 she was scrapped in Italy.[North Atlantic Seaway by N.R.P.Bonsor, vol.1,p.315-6]
What is Altwasser?
Translated literally Alt = old wasser = water.
One translation of the German altwasser into English is oxbow.
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