Copyright © 2001. 2013
® Canada Copyright Registration  No. 490341
to William J. Milner, March 8, 2001.


August Altwasser and Ottillie Rosalie Redlich

The Fifth Child of Gottlieb Altwasser and Euphrosine Beier

Information about Gottlieb Altwasser and Euphrosine Beier

August Altwasser was born in Minjatin.

Image produced from maps by ©Jerry Frank 2000

August Altwasser was born on January 2, 1884 in Minjatyn or Kamenka (Kamionka), Volhynia, Russia. He married Ottillie Rosalie Redlich in the spring of 1909 in Lang, Saskatchewan. August passed away in 1962 in Regina, Saskatchewan and is buried in Regina Memorial Gardens.

The family story from "Yellow Grass Our Prairie Community",1980, states August was born in Kamionka. On the other hand, his father's Bible and other hand written family documents all indicate Minjatin as being correct. As well, the Bible entries seem to have been written by Gottlieb since the entry for August states: "Mein son August is born in Minjatin on 2/14 Januar 1884".

An early photo of August and Tillie

The August Altwasser Family taken in About 1950.

Back row from left to right: Sylvia, Waldemar and Gertrude Altwasser.

Front row from L to R are Ottilie Redlick Altwasser, Ernest, Emilie and August Altwaser.

1916 Census

Province of Saskatchewan, Moose Jaw, District 7, Page 4, Lines 2 - 9

Children of August Altwasser and Ottilie Rosalie Redlich

  • Emilie (Millie) Adelgunde Altwasser born December 8, 1910. She married Walter Fichtemann in 1928. Millie and Walter had five children, two boys and three girls. Millie passed away on October 19, 1986 in Estevan, Saskatchewan.

  • Ernest (Ernie) Altwasser was born in 1914 in Verwood, Saskatchewan and married Ida Irene Altwasser on July 12, 1939 in Yellow Grass. Ernie and Irene had a family of two boys. Ernie has passed away, but the date is unknown at this time.

  • Gertrude Altwasser was born in 1917 in Verwood, Saskatchewan. She married Herbert Newman in 1937.

  • Waldemar G. Altwasser was born in 1925 and married Mildred Forsyth in 1949.

  • Sylvia Altwasser was born in 1929 and married Earl Reid in 1953.

August Altwasser and Ottillie Redlich

Submitted to "Yellow Grass Our Prairie Community" (1980), Page 269.
By Ernest Altwasser

My father was born in 1884 in Kamionka, Russia.. His ancestors were of German origin. He was the second member of his family to come to Canada, arriving in Yellow Grass in 1902. His sister Florentine (Florence) had previously arrived in 1898 or early 1899 and then moved to the United States. His parents, two brothers and two sisters came to Canada in 1905 followed by another brother in 1907. He worked for farmers for a couple of years, then purchased a walking plow and some oxen and did custom work breaking the prairie sod for $3.12 an acre. He could break about 1 1/4 acres per day. He was batching at the time and set up his headquarters on 36-10-17-W2. Later he was able to buy horses for about $600 per team and rented land near Yellow Grass.

My mother Ottillie Redlich was born in 1893 in the Province of Volgnia (Wolhynia), Russia, which was the same area my father came from. She came to Lang, Saskatchewan in 1900 with her parents. She attended school there for only two weeks, but later learned to read and write and do some arithmetic. She walked to school and later to work, sometimes 2 1/2 miles and sometimes four miles. She started working out at the age of eight and continued until the time she was married at 16 years. Her pay was as little as $2 per month. Some of those years were spent working at the Lang Hotel. As she walked back and forth to work she gathered cow chips for fuel along the railroad tracks. Sometimes the engineer would throw out some coal for her as the train was passing by. Mother had seven sisters and two brothers.

My parents first met at church held at Beautiful Plains School, which was located on land my father had broken.

They were married in the spring of 1909 at Lang and farmed the Henry Erb farm about two miles Southeast of Lang that year. Mother at 16 years of age, had 28 men to cook for at harvest time. Of course she had her 11-year-old sister Hulda to help her.

My father had been looking for a homestead for several years and got one about 1 1/2 miles north of Verwood, Saskatchewan. He started breaking the homestead land while still farming at Lang, and moved back and forth to Lang by team with feed and equipment, a distance of about 90 miles. In the fall of 1909 they moved to Verwood and built their own buildings.

Mother talked about how proud she was of her white shiplap floors after they were scrubbed. Groceries were not delivered in those days. Mother would hitch up a horse, take six pounds of butter and a basket of eggs and drive to Willow Bunch (about 15 miles) and bring back other groceries.

The closest delivery point for grain was Moose Jaw, about 90 miles, with horses. Sometimes in the winter dad would bring a load of groceries to the store in Willow Bunch on his way back from Moose Jaw, about 100 miles. He would get paid about $22 per load. The horses shoes would get dull and they had difficulty pulling the heavy loads uphill. On one of those trips he spent the night in a hollowed out snow-bank. He said he didn't mind it but he felt sorry for his Percheron horses. Dad also dug wells at Verwood with his well digging machine.

In 1910 their first child Emilie (Millie) was born. Her parents took her by team and sleigh to visit at Lang (90 Miles) when she was a month old. Ernest was born in 1914 and Gertrude in 1917, both at Verwood.

In 1918 my parents purchased the E-1/2-32-9-16-W2 and SE-5-10-16-W2 and the SW-4-10-16-W2 at Yellow Grass from a Mr. Metheral. In 1927 they bought the W-1/2-33-9-16-W2 from Mr. A. G. Wilke. Farming was done with Percheron horses until the tractors came. Dad had dairy and beef cattle and hogs and poultry. During the summer there were usually two hired men.

Harvesting was done with a 12-foot and a14-foot push binder with six horses on each. Threshing was done with Rumely threshing outfits, complete with cook car and bunk cars. Mother often cooked for about 20 men. Dad usually looked after both ends of the threshing outfit, getting up about four and having his meals at the outfit. Later a stook loader helped to reduce the needed manpower. A lot of custom threshing was done for about 5 cents per bushel. Combines came to our farm around 1936. The Rumely engine was also used for breaking the NE-11-10-16-W2, which had been bought by Walter Fichtemann.

In 1925 a new house and verandah was built on E 1/2-32-9-16-W2. It had 72 feet of verandah and mother had the windowsills filled with potted flowers as long as they lived there. It was a big job to clean it up during the dust storms of the 1930's. That decade was one of drought, sand storms, rust, grasshoppers and poor crops. Oats seeded at Buttermilk Lake in 1931 and 1937 provided feed for the livestock. In 1937 we sold 18 head of cattle, from one to three years old, for 1 1/4 cents per pound.

Waldemar G. was born in 1925 and Sylvia in 1929.

Dad was active in helping to build the Lutheran Church in 1924. The basement was dug with horsepower and the cement was mixed by hand.

In 1945 the E 1/2-32-9-16-W2 and the SE-5-10-16-W2 was sold to Stanley Hansen. The W 1/2-33-9-16-W2 was sold in 1943 and the SW-4-10-16-W2 was sold in 1945 to son Ernest Altwasser.

My parents then made their home in Regina. Dad still farmed in Roleau and Pense for a number of years. He died in 1962 at age 78 and was buried in Regina Memorial Gardens. They had over 53 years of married life together. Mother married Gustav Witzke in 1965. She died at the age of 86 in 1979 and is buried beside Dad in Regina.

Another Olga Altwasser
Excerpts from a letter and conversation with Gertrude Altwasser Neuman,
daughter of August and Ottillie Rosalie (Redlich) Altwasser, September 2003.

There was also another Olga Altwasser who worked for my mother while mother was caring for Grandma Altwasser. We had a lot of fun trying to teach her English, especially getting her to say 'girl'.  It always seemed to come out 'grill' and we would all laugh together. I was very young at the time and do not know much about her or to which branch of the Altwasser family she belonged. She came from Poland between the two World Wars and I do know she married Edward Albert and resided in Edmonton. They had one son "Eddie" who, after he married lived in Edmonton. I do not know of his whereabouts any more.

Is This the Missing Olga?

When the immigration information for Olga Altwasser first came to light, it didn't seem to fit with any known facts. However, Olga's arrival in 1927 does fit in with Gertrude's memory above and the subsequent death of her Grandma, Euphrosine Altwasser, in 1929.

Source:  Canadian Archives Immigration Records (1925-1935)

Surname: Altwasser
Given Name: Olga
Age 20
Sex F
Nationality Polish
Date of Arrival: June 11, 1927
Port of Arrival: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Ship: Frederik VIII, Scandinavian American
Reference: RG76 - IMMIGRATION, series C-1-b
Volume: 1927 volume 10
Page: 69
Microfilm reel: T-14810

Additional data source (2008): Canadian Passenger Lists 1865 - 1935,

  • Sailed from Copenhagen, Denmark on June 2, 1927.
  • Arrived Halifax, Nova Scotia on June 11,1927.
  • Country and Place of Birth: Kurgany, Poland.
  • Passage paid by a friend.
  • Occupation: Domestic.
  • Destination: Frederick Altwasser, Yellow Grass, Sask.
  • Father: Adolph Altwasser, Wielkopole, Poland.
  • Passport Number, Date and Place of Issue; 1o9 [Sic] Kostopol, May 5, 1927.
  • Landed Immigrant.
Adolf Mystery Solved:   Which Adolf Altwasser is the father of this Olga?




Copyright © 2001. 2013
® Canada Copyright Registration  No. 490341
to William J. Milner, March 8, 2001.

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