Florentina (Flora) AltwasserThe Third Child of Friedrich Altwasser and Wilhelmine Wilde
The Family of
Ferdinand was born in Russia in 1867. Florentina was born in Poland in 1871 but her family emigrated to Russia when she was six months old.
They were married on February 2, 1888. With son, Carl and baby daughter Melida, they emigrated to Canada in 1893, working for a while at Morden, Manitoba, then taking up a homestead at Lemberg NWT. Emily, Frederick and Emil were born at Lemberg, also another son who died in infancy in 1895.
In 1901 they moved by wagon to the Yellow Grass district and purchased a farm (35-10-17 for $3.50 an acre. The first year they worked hard digging wells, finally locating one with enough water to meet their need. Firewood had to be hauled from Trossachs. Emma was their first child born at Yellow Grass. Samuel, born in 1903 and Elsa in 1906 died two months after birth.
Ferdinand had a keen interest in the affairs and development of the community. He had high hopes for agricultural advancement. By 1910, the yard displayed a large house and barn as the result of satisfactory progress. The entire family shared the farm work. Often, while their mother helped in the field, the children tended to the household tasks, herded the cattle some distance from the home, milked cows and cared for their ponies.
In 1913, scarlet fever struck their household. Within 24 hours, two teen-age sons, Frederick and Emil, died. They were buried in one grave. Two years later, Florentina's husband died. Torn and troubled by these events, she had the courage and determination to fulfill their original plans. She continued to farm with hired help. Her widowed father, F. Altwasser, came to live with her in 1915. That same year, Friederick, Carl and Mabel Bannmann were welcomed into her home. Their mother, Emma [Altwasser] Bannmann had died of cancer of the breast after surgery in Rochester, USA.
|1916 Canada Census |
This Canada Census image reflects the family household situation in 1916.
Florentina's lifestyle was typical of all pioneer women of her day. Many remember the flavorful homemade bread and the crunchy dill pickles, which were packed in a wooden barrel. Her greatest contribution to the community was in the giving of herself. She befriended young and old, acted as midwife, offered financial and moral support to the less fortunate and continued to lend a helping hand to her family.
Florentina's home was a special attraction to her grandchildren during the summer holidays. It was then she practiced the "Tom Sawyer" technique. Many a task was accomplished simply because she was capable of convincing them that work could be fun! However, there was always a reward in return. She would drive them into town and each received a ten-cent bag of candy. She was one of the few women of that era who drove a car.
A grandson, Vernon Domes, came to work for her in 1936. She retired in 1948, renting the farms to Vernon and another grandson, Walter Timm. She then made her home with daughter Melida and would visit the rest of the family. In 1953 Vernon purchased 35-10-17 and Walter purchased S-11-10-17.
She moved to Saskatoon with daughter Melida in 1955, then came to Weyburn to daughter Emily in 1966. Due to failing health, she became a guest at the Nursing Home and later at Souris Valley Hospital where she died at the age of 102.
Her son CARL married Anna Marie Obst. He died in 1970 and his wife lives in Calgary, Alberta. MELIDA (Mrs. A. Timm) died in 1974. EMILY (Mrs. L. Weber) resides in Weyburn. EMMA (Mrs. A. L. Domes) died in 1973. Mabel married Robert Zotzman and they live in Regina.
"Love for one's fellows and brave heart are the most useful gifts" - Burke.
As told to her grand daughter Martha Wuschke and handwritten by Martha.
e-mail from Karl Lenz on May 11, 2001.
Good Morning Jack, |
The story was written by Martha Timm married Wuschke soon after she came back from a 10 year missionary term in Nigeria, Africa. The last page notes that the story was recorded in 1957 and is initialed 'MW' (Martha Wuschke). In the Yellow Grass Book, Martha indicates that she got back from Africa in 1955 and was married in 1956. Aunt Flora died in 1973 at the age of 102 years.
On the top of the 3rd page, Florentine indicates that her grandmother sometimes carried her. I don't know which grandmother this was. Her grandmother Altwasser(Anna Christine Frieske Altwasser Hiller - born in 1822) may have lived in Volhynia with her second husband Daniel Hiller. It also could have been her grandmother Wilde (Anna Christine Radke Wilde Fuchs - born in 1821) who may also have moved to Volhynia after her marriage to her second husband George Fuchs. I just don't have the answer to this, since the later death records in Poland and Volhynia are not available in the later years.
Very Best Regards,
Funeral service for Florentina Krieger, 102 was held at Peace Lutheran Church here with Rev. E. R. Moody officiating.
Mrs. Krieger was born in Poland and moved with her parents as a baby to Russia. She married Ferdinand Krieger in 1888. In 1889 her husband was called to serve in the army and she and her mother made their living by spinning thread from flax straw and weaving cloth. In 1893 Mr. and Mrs. Krieger and their two children came to Winnipeg where Mr. Krieger worked on a farm. They then moved to Lemberg, where they took up a homestead in 1894. In 1901 the couple moved by covered wagon to the Yellow Grass district. In 1915, Mrs. Krieger's husband died and she continued to run the farm with hired help. In 1948 she retired and rented her farm to her grandson. In 1955 she moved to Saskatoon where she lived until moving to Weyburn in 1966. Predeceased by her husband, five sons and two daughters, she is survived by three daughters, Mrs. Emily Weber of Weyburn, Mrs. Melida Timm of Saskatoon and Mrs. Mabel Zotzman of Regina, 26 grandchildren, 72 great grandchildren and 32 great great grandchildren.
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