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Lake Lenore, SK

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Gerwing Family History in Saskatchewan

The Gerwing family in Saskatchewan and Canada descend from Heinrich Gerwing, born in 1847 in Alstätte, Germany. Heinrich’s father was an agricultural day-labourer without land, and his sons faced the same future, so Heinrich immigrated to the United States in 1867. He brought tools to carry on making wooden shoes, and his farming skills. He left behind a brother and two sisters.

His brother had one son who died young and 6 daughters, one of his sisters had no children so his North American descendants have relatives in Alstätte but they don’t bear the Gerwing name. There are other Gerwings in Alstätte, probably distantly related. In fact, when one meets a Gerwing and says that our ancestors are from Alstätte they invariably reply, “But I, too, am from Alstätte” There is still a concrete foundation in a meadow near Alstätte that marks the location of Heinrich’s birthplace.

Heinrich married Bernadine Rohling at Pierz, Minnesota on July 29, 1873. Eight sons were born in quick succession: Bernhard, Heinrich, George, Anton, John, Joseph, William and Christoph. One daughter was born but soon died. Bernardine died of cholera in March 24, 1888.

Heinrich then married a widow, Anna Wesseling, whom he had known in Cincinnati where he worked before taking up a homestead in Minnesota. Anna Besseler was a widow of George Wesseling from Rulle in the Province of Westphalia. Anna was probably from the same area of Germany. Anna had one child, Herman. Heinrich and Anna had two more sons, Albert and Gerhard.

Heinrich & Anna Gerwing & Family Standing in Dark Jackets (l to r) John Gerwing (1883), Anthony Gerwing (1878), Joseph Gerwing (1884), Bernard Gerwing (1874), William Gerwing (1887), Christ Gerwing (1886), Henry Gerwing (1875), Herman Wesling (1886), George Gerwing (1881). Standing in White Jackets (l to r) Albert Gerwing (1889), Gerhard Gerwing (1891) Seated (l to r) Heinrich Gerwing (1847) and his second wife Anna Wesling (1850)

Heinrich & Anna Gerwing & Family
Standing in Dark Jackets (l to r) John Gerwing (1883), Anthony Gerwing (1878), Joseph Gerwing (1884), Bernard Gerwing (1874), William Gerwing (1887), Christ Gerwing (1886), Henry Gerwing (1875), Herman Wesling (1886), George Gerwing (1881).
Standing in White Jackets (l to r) Albert Gerwing (1889), Gerhard Gerwing (1891)
Seated (l to r) Heinrich Gerwing (1847) and his second wife Anna Wesling (1850)

With 11 sons Heinrich looked for opportunities to set them up in farming. Some Benedictine monks from Minnesota were organizing an emigration to an area of Saskatchewan called St. Peter’s Colony. In 1903 the six oldest came to Lake Lenore, Bernhard with his wife. These seven, plus other young men looking for homesteads, built a two-storey log house in the summer of 1903.

Over 100 years later this house has been restored and stands across from the church in Lake Lenore.

Heinrich, Anna and the younger boys came to Lake Lenore in 1904 to join their older brothers. He became the news correspondent from Lake Lenore to the St. Peter’s Bote, now the Prairie Messenger. Their Catholic faith was a significant part of their lives. In his obituary published in the St. Peter’s Bote on Nov. 16, 1905, the writer talks about how Heinrich walked several miles to check for stumps and rocks in the road in preparation for the arrival of the Bishop from Prince Albert.

Heinrich did not live long in his prairie home. In 1905 he died from blood poisoning after he accidentally cut himself on his leg with his own knife. His oldest son, Bernhard, followed his father in death in 1906. The youngest son, Gerhard, died a few years later of pneumonia at the age of 17. It seems he was hunting geese on Lake Lenore and broke the new ice to fish the geese out. Pneumonia was fatal back then. Heinrich’s second wife Anna lived as a widow in Lake Lenore until 1936.

Joe Gerwing Place Name: Lake Lenore, SK Joe Gerwing, Anton & unidentified person Joe & Anton discuss cutting the crop with a binder. Joe Gerwing's Lake Lenore farmstead in the background.

Joe Gerwing
Place Name: Lake Lenore, SK
Joe Gerwing, Anton & unidentified person
Joe & Anton discuss cutting the crop with a binder. Joe Gerwing’s Lake Lenore farmstead in the background.

Two sons returned to the United States. Anton returned to Pierz to marry and move to California saying the winters were too cold in Saskatchewan. Christoph also returned to Pierz and married. It was through his presence in Pierz that the Saskatchewan family maintained connections to Minnesota.

The sons of Heinrich who remained in Canada and had descendants were: Bernhard, Henry, George, John, Joseph, William and Albert as well as stepson Herman Wesling.

Here are their stories:

Bernhard and Agnes Schmitz

Bernhard left behind a young family when he died soon after his father. In a brief memoir written in 1973 Agnes talked about her move to Saskatchewan.

“I was married on a Wed. Apr. 29, 1903 to Bernard Gerwing at Pierz, Minn. Left home the following Monday morning May 14 to Little Falls on farmer wagon and horses. Left there by train for St. Paul, Minn. There stayed with brother Henry until next day. Tues. evening left St. Paul for Canada arrived at Portal on the boundary at 5 o’clock in the evening May 8. There had to get off the train and walk into Canada to North Portal. Had to show all our papers and passports.”

She travelled for several more days to get to Rosthern and then waited for 3 weeks for her husband who arrived with a freight train bringing some cattle.

“…so on to Lake Lenore where our homestead was supposed to be. Took us a whole week to get there by horses and farm wagon and when Barney stopped the horses and said this is our house I was shocked. A great big lake and 2 tents with Indians. I said no it can’t be but Barney said yes it is, come on, so it was and it was a good home. Indians were very good, never any trouble, and the year 1903 never to be forgotten.”

Ben (Bernard Joseph) was born in 1906, the first son of Bernard. Along with some cousins, he left Lake Lenore in 1928 and never looked back. In Kelowna, BC, Ben married Erna Merke. They had four sons, Howard, William, John, and Daniel. Ben considered himself something of a renegade, adopting a left-wing philosophy. Even in his later years, he loved to visit Cuba, which he believed to have one of the most socially advanced systems. He died in Vancouver in 1995.

Howard worked in the library at the University of Victoria until he retired in 1992 to Duncan, BC. Howard was married first to Julia Levy and had two sons Nicholas (deceased) and Ben. Howard then married Marina Syssojew (deceased) and had two daughters Katherine and Elizabeth.

William married Judy Alderson and worked for many years in the family’s framing and art establishment. They had three children: Krista, Jaimie and John (Me). Krista has two boys named Nathan and Gabriel and live in Bussingy, Switzerland. Jaimie married Byron Black and lives in Calgary and has one son, Will. John married Lindsay Baker and lives in Toronto. They have two daughter Lily and Hanna.

John ran a successful real estate and insurance office, called Gerwing, North & Co. He and his wife Gail Hamilton have two daughters, Jana and Lisa. Jana married Michael Fahy-Hawkins. They had two daughters Ava and Ivy.

Bernard’s second son Leo had two children, Clifford and Marjorie. Marjorie became a lawyer and was the first woman to be appointed a judge on the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal.

Henry and Susanna Wolsfeld

Henry Gerwing (Vater) came with his father, and his wife, Susanna Wolsfeld (Mutter), and most of his brothers in the first wave of settlers to St. Peter’s Colony in 1903, staking out homesteads near Lake Lenore. The following year his wife, Susanna, wrote an engaging letter to her folks back in Minnesota. Her letter gives a housewife’s view of life in the new country. (Can be read at ic.gc.ca/Humboldt/stpeters/letr103a.htm)

An early Gerwing threshing crew Place Name: Lake Lenore, SK

An early Gerwing threshing crew
Place Name: Lake Lenore, SK

Five sons and two daughters came of their marriage. Their first grandchild could not say Grossvater and Grossmutter so they became known as Vater and Mutter and the names stuck even outside the family. At the Gerwing reunion in 2003, nearly 500 people counted themselves as their descendants or married to their descendants.

Henry Gerwing never was a prosperous farmer. His family lost land during the depression. They lost one son, Alois, to a terrible accident in 1931 when another son, Peter, ran over him with a steel-lugged tractor. They lost Peter in 1943 to a heart attack at age 39.

Two of their sons, Tony and Jack, entered the armed forces in World War II, leaving the two girls, Susie and Katie, to run the farm. They labored valiantly for several years before tossing in the towel. They took jobs with their uncle Albert in the Lake Lenore Hotel. Vater and Mutter lived in Lake Lenore for some years before retiring to Saskatoon, joining their children, Hank, Jack and Katie. Both died there, he in 1952, and she in 1963.

The Catholic faith was an essential part of who the Gerwings were and are. Mutter was known along with her sister Kate for their devotion to St. Anne. Mutter’s decorations for the little altars for the annual Corpus Christi processions around the school grounds were always the talk of the day. The Gerwings have always been stalwarts of the Parish of St. Anthony in Lake Lenore. Two grandsons, Daniel and James, became monks and priests at St. Peter’s Abbey in Muenster. Both eventually left to marry and raise families. One granddaughter, Audrey, became a nun with the Sisters of Sion.

Sports also played an important part in the lives of this branch of the family. Two grandsons, Alois and Raymond, were inducted into the Saskatchewan Baseball Hall of Fame as members of the Saskatoon Ambassadors. Later generations are following in this tradition.

Many stories exist about Vater’s antics. Once he was out in the pasture when his young bull attacked him and knocked him down. Not knowing how to finish him off, the bull kept nudging him. Each time Vater rolled closer to the fence and finally under it. The bull did not survive the day.

Another story often told about Vater and some of his boys were that they were lost in a snowstorm while hunting deer. Hopelessly lost and cold, they prayed for help. The sky cleared almost immediately. They found the North Star and their way home.

Vater loved to clown around in front of the camera. In his last years he was confined to his chair with the effects of diabetes, to which he lost one leg. He loved kidding with his grandchildren, playing on words in English and German. He drew silly pictures. He loved his old curved pipe and his beer.

Singing and the arts were also part of the family tradition. Their youngest daughter, Katie, was among the more powerful sopranos in the Lake Lenore church choir for many years. Katie followed her mother’s tradition of excellence in sewing, knitting, and crocheting, and her exquisite baked strudel.

Gerwing Brothers taken in Henry's backyard Year: late 1940s or early 1950s Place Name: Saskatoon, SK Gerwing brothers around the 1940's Left to right: Albert (1889-1955), William (1887-1973), John (1883-1972), George (1881-1963), Joseph (1884-1963), & seated Henry (1875-1952)

Gerwing Brothers taken in Henry’s backyard
Year: late 1940s or early 1950s
Place Name: Saskatoon, SK
Gerwing brothers around the 1940’s
Left to right: Albert (1889-1955), William (1887-1973), John (1883-1972), George (1881-1963), Joseph (1884-1963), & seated Henry (1875-1952)

George, Katherine Gaetz and Emma Ahle

George Herman was born October 19, 1881. He and some friends were sent to St. Peter’s Colony area and help with a topographical survey. They came to the Lake Lenore district in February 1903. He and a friend lived for some time in an overturned wagon box and then returned to Minnesota to help his parents and brothers move.

One early winter, he worked in Rosthern at the hotel. There he experienced an unusual event. A hypnotist came through town and demonstrated his unusual abilities. Apparently one of his subjects was a very “macho” young fellow and when he heard some of the embarrassing bits about the performance, he threatened the hypnotist who had to be rushed out of town. When the hotel manager suggested that George’s job should include cleaning the spittoons and chamber pots he quit!

George and his friend Mike Abel married two sisters, Katherine and Anna Gaetz in a double ceremony in the first wedding in St. Anthony’s parish in 1906. George and Katherine moved to a farm west of Lake Lenore, but he was looking for something different. One year he took the family to the Okanagan, hoping to start an orchard, but they were so overcome with homesickness that they returned to Saskatchewan to continue life as storekeepers. When the railroad bypassed the original town site, all the buildings were moved further east and a post office was added to the store. George became the postmaster, a position he held for over thirty five years. He remembered well the day his mother’s house was moved – the logs helping with the moving rolled free and both of his legs were broken!

George and Katherine had six children when the 1917-18 flu hit the village. Katherine and two children died, and he was too sick to attend the funerals.

In 1920 he met Emma Ahle. She grew up in Nebraska and at seventeen had graduated from Teacher’s College. She was teaching in Casper, Wyoming when her Aunt and Uncle from Saskatchewan wrote that teachers were wanted in St. Peter’s Colony. She broke off her engagement to marry and decided to try something new. She was teaching in Willmont, near Fulda when she met George, whose brother John, was married to her cousin, Molly. They were married in Nebraska in 1920 and added nine more children to the family.

Anna, the oldest daughter was in the first class of students at St. Ursula’s Academy at Bruno. She became a teacher and later married Henry Ahle from Nebraska, the younger brother of Emma. They moved to the Smeaton/Snowden area. Mary, the next daughter, spent time as a postulant with the Ursulines but left the community, moved north to Choiceland and married Alex Brown. Frances took nurse’s training at St. Paul’s hospital in Saskatoon, worked in Alberta as an operating room nurse and in British Columbia as matron in smaller hospitals. George joined the navy at the beginning of the war, married Laura, an Italian girl in Winnipeg and made that city his home.

Syl had one-year of university when he joined the army and spent five years overseas. He married Janet from Manchester and they made their home in Lake Lenore where they took over the Post Office. After Grade Twelve, Benedict joined the Royal Canadian Air Force and for five years was a tail gunner on a Lancaster bomber. After the war he worked at the Leduc oil fields, mining in northern Canada and then farming at Lake Lenore.

Rita was a talented musician and after teaching in schools around Humboldt, married Arthur Tagseth and lived in Humboldt. Her passion was her family, the church, and music. Maurice joined the Bank of Montreal, spent two years in the New York office and then travelled Canada as a bank inspector. Later he married Yvonne and settled in Edmonton and Salt Spring Island. Severin also joined the Bank of Montreal and while in Punnichy, married Emily. They moved around western Canada and made their last home in Winnipeg. Bernadette taught in country schools for several years, met Leander Greuel while teaching in Cudworth, and raised their family on a farm near Bruno. Dolores entered the Ursulines, a teaching order of religious nuns, leaving after twenty six years to take her Masters in Theology in Toronto. She now works with the Jesuits in Guelph.

With a big family, our house in Lake Lenore was often full of visitors. For several years the grand children of Smeaton lived there so they could attend high school. Often at Christmas there were twenty or more people who would stay for two weeks, but never at any time did we have the joy of all of us being together at one time.

Joseph and Anna Gessner

Joseph Gerwing was born June 29, 1884 at Pierz. On August 1st 1916, he married Anna Gessner, the daughter of Ludwig and Francesca Gessner from Marysburg, SK. Anna was born in Brunn, Bavaria on the 9th of June 1898. Joseph & Anna had nine children:

Leo George Gerwing – April 19, 1917 – November 11, 1979
Herman Joseph Gerwing – July 24, 1920
Alfred John Gerwing – March 15, 1923
Elizabeth Mary Gerwing – December 11, 1924 – November 23, 1985
Clara Susanna Gerwing – March 30, 1926
Theresia Pauline Gerwing – June 7, 1928
Mary Gerwing – May 30, 1930 (died at birth)
Veronica Ludvena Gerwing – January 11, 1932
Joseph Alois Gerwing – July 30, 1937

In 1903 Joseph moved with his brothers who took up quarter section homesteads in the Lake Lenore area. Joseph’s property (SW-2-40-21-W3) was approximately 2.5 miles NE of the present day village of Lake Lenore. He was a member of the Lake Lenore church choir and played the guitar. Most of the buildings in Joseph and Anna’s yard including the two-storey house and hip-roofed barn were constructed between 1915 and 1920.

The farming was done with horses.
Plowing – 6 horses and a 2 bottom plow
Discing – 6 horses on a 10 ft. tandem disc
Cultivation – 6 horses on an 8 ft. cultivator
Seeding – 4 horses on a 20 run drill
Cutting the crop – 4 horses on an 8 ft. binder

A custom-operated threshing machine powered by a steam-driven tractor harvested the grain. Later, Joseph purchased a wooden International thresher powered by his brother Henry’s Titan International Tractor. Joseph developed blacksmithing skills and was able to shape iron and sharpen plowshares with the aid of a coal-burning forge in his shop.

Joseph was one of the founding board members of the Solo School District (According to Bill Barry, this was the only school district named after a card game!) in 1930. Anna loved to spin wool, knit and crochet, producing socks, mittens and sweaters for her family. She crocheted doilies, and tablecloths passing on her skill to her family. In the evenings, illuminated by a coal-oil lamp, Anna read to her children, usually a novel written in German and borrowed from the St. Anthony Church library.

Anna was a great cook. One of her specialties was raisin and cottage cheese strudel. She was often the head cook at church bazaars. An avid gardener, Anna grew large quantities of vegetables. Neighbours who ran out of potatoes towards spring could always find a supply to tide them over in Anna’s basement. Joseph enjoyed taking his family fishing at Meyers Lake. He made all types of sausage, and sauerkraut as well as dandelion and raisin wine. He liked to cook “sauerkraut-gamüse” which consisted of potatoes and sauerkraut boiled together in a large pot.

Joseph and Anna’s first automobile was a Grey-Dort car purchased in the early 1920’s.

One of their favorite pastimes was playing Rummy and Pinochle. During the long winter evenings they would play Buck or Solo with the neighbours until the wee hours of the morning. Their greatest pleasure was to “hang a stinkbuck” on someone.

Anna died in 1952 at 54 years old. Joseph continued to be involved in the farm along with his son Alfred until 1955 when he had an auction and retired to the village of Lake Lenore. Each afternoon he would walk to the local pool hall for a friendly game of cards with his friends. Joseph liked to chew snuff and always had a “spittoon” somewhere in the house. He loved to have his children and grandchildren come for a visit always taking time to talk or play cards with even the youngest. Joseph died in March of 1963.

John Gerwing and Amalia Schulte

John was born in 1883 in Pierz. In 1903 he claimed a homestead but moved back to Pierz and married Amalia Schulte on January 12, 1908. Amalia was born in Nebraska, the oldest daughter of Heinrich Schulte and Sophia Velder.

John and Molly farmed in Pierz where two children, Ewald and John, were born. After some poor crops, they decided that Saskatchewan had better prospects and moved in 1912 purchasing a partly improved quarter section for $3500. In the first years they lived in a log house with a leaking sod roof. A huge barn was built in 1915. John’s oldest son remembered the shingling cost $40.

Eleven more children were born: Sophia, John, Esther, Gerhard, Laura, Clem, Hugo, Fred, Alphonse, Felix and Charlie.

Molly had a yearning to go back to the States so in 1927, after attending a Eucharistic Congress in Chicago, they revisited Nebraska and bought a farm. They moved in October, 1928 taking 4 horses, 6 cows, furniture, 100 chickens and lumber loaded into a boxcar. Their oldest son Ewald was left in Saskatchewan to manage the farm.

The first year in Nebraska was good but then the drought and the financial collapse of the stock market began. Two more children were born, Rosemary and Fred, making a total of 15, 11 living.

These difficult years remained etched in the children’s memories. Running for their lives to get to the root cellar before the tornado hit, the dust storms, praying for rain while kneeling on rough cement to try and impress upon God their need. The final story is of Molly –telling them one day that if it didn’t rain by tomorrow they were going back to Canada. It didn’t rain and they left! Luckily they hadn’t sold the farm in Saskatchewan!

All the children had to contribute to farm life to an extent unimaginable today. Ewald remembered a long trip to Humboldt with a load of cattle. Then his father went with the cattle to Winnipeg and Ewald had to drive the horses home. Night came and he lost his sense of direction and sat in the wagon crying until he fell asleep. When he awoke he was in a yard just south of Marysburg. The horses had taken him there. The family took pity on him and gave him a bed and sent him home in the morning. His brother John remembers hauling grain to Lake Lenore at the age of 4. He wasn’t big enough to see over the wagon box!

With 12 children and 5-6 hired men, cooking and cleaning were a huge job for Molly. She also tended the chickens and cared for a large garden, washed, ironed and cleaned the house.

Music was a big part of their lives. John loved to sing and spent many Sunday afternoons singing with the family. Later he would enter himself and his sons in local amateur hours. He bought musical instruments hoping that some of his children would learn. He was rewarded when Alphonse became interested in piano and went on to a long career, teaching and enriching the musical life of the province, eventually being awarded the Order of Canada for his efforts. John had a song on an album of folksongs of Saskatchewan recorded in the early 1960’s.

Life had some adventures too. John and his brother Bill shipped pigs to Winnipeg each year and accompanied them to oversee the sale. Saskatchewan had “prohibition” but not Manitoba. They told several people that they might bring some whiskey back and when they returned with a case the police were waiting. The whiskey was confiscated and they were fined. How embarrassing! John never drank to excess and never swore. When working out in the fields he would start the day with “Giddap in Gottes Namen”, “Giddap in God’s name.”

In the early 1940’s they moved off the farm into town. Soon after, Molly’s cousin Emma came home from the hospital in Humboldt saying that there was a cute little red-haired girl there. A few days later they decided to adopt her. Her name was Pauline and she became a special member of the family. She was 1 year old.

John died in 1972 at the age of 88 and Molly in 1976.

Herman Wesling and Marie Schulte

Herman (also Wessling or Wehsling) was the stepson of Heinrich, grandson of dairy farmer Herman Wehsling who married Catharina Efke in Münster, Germany. They likely had only one son Gerhard / George Wehsling, born in 1844. He immigrated to the United States in 1871 and homesteaded in Millhousen, Indiana, a thriving community of German Catholic immigrants.

Bernhard Gerwing's original house Place Name: Lake Lenore, SK The original Bernhard Gerwing house built in 1903 as it looks today. Herman Gerwing is in the doorway.

Bernhard Gerwing’s original house
Place Name: Lake Lenore, SK
The original Bernhard Gerwing house built in 1903 as it looks today. Herman Gerwing is in the doorway.

George initially worked as a labourer. On February 6th, 1879 he married Anna Bessler. In 1883 they bought 40 acres of land for $400.00, raised cattle and had a small dairy. George and Anna had five children: Anna, Catherina, Henry, Maria and Herman. The first four children died between the ages of 9 and 18 months.

George died on June 1st, 1886 and on July 19th, Anna sold the farm for $475.00. Anna remained in Millhousen with Herman until 1888 when she married Heinrich Gerwing and moved to Minnesota. In 1904 Herman moved to Lake Lenore, with his stepfamily. His initial homestead quarter was approved in 1908, 3 miles north east of Lake Lenore. He married Marie Schulte, Amalia’s sister, on February 4th, 1913 in Pierz.

On the farm they raised cattle and grain. By 1908 Herman had built the house and farm yard. He died on April 13, 1919, probably in the flu epidemic, and was buried in Lake Lenore.

Ida, their daughter, married Joseph Bobinski. Joe worked on the CNR and the world revolved around this. Their children were Ronald, Georgene, Marjorie, Bruce, William and Thomas.

Herman junior married Ethel Dyck and lived in Lake Lenore. Herman farmed and worked in an auto repair partnership at Jaskin’s. Their children were Bev, Joann and Milton.

Alex married Delphine Puetz and farmed in Marysburg and later worked at the Humboldt Golf Club. Their children were Eric and David.

Martha married Raymond Puetz the youngest in the Puetz clan and farmed in Marysburg. Their children were Joan, Lyle, Dwayne, Cyril, Ellen, and Sandy.

William and Anna Atkinson

Bill was 19 when he came to Canada to take out a homestead in 1904. In Feb of 1913 he married Anna Atkinson of Freeport, Minnesota and returned to Canada right after the wedding. Annie was Irish but spoke German all her life because she grew up in a German community. Annie lost her father early when he was struck by lightning at 35. She was very religious and the Catholic Church played a big part in their lives. The children would walk 2 miles to school and back and often in the evenings, back to the church for Novena’s.

Their oldest child, Wilfred was born in 1915 followed by Loretta, Rosemary, Katherine, Richard, Daniel and Fred.

They farmed in Lake Lenore until 1928 when they moved back to Minnesota staying for only a year and a half. Fortunately, they hadn’t sold their Saskatchewan land.

The farm was close to town and was a great location for barn dances. Local musicians sat on a platform built for the hay track. Bill was quite musical and played in several local bands for many years. He was a fun-loving person and was renowned into his 70’s for standing on his head! Sundays were days of family visits and card games like Solo and Buck. Bill was also an expert sewing machine repairer, a skill he’d picked up in Minnesota when farming income was low.

Wilfred moved to Manitoba and then to BC. He was in the insurance business, involved with the Knights of Columbus and for a time, a hostel in Vancouver for returning war veterans. Rosemary married Orville Bourque and moved to Quebec. One of her children, Michael, became a pediatrician. Another son Mark Bourque was with the RCMP for many years. After his retirement he was involved in peacekeeping activities in Haiti where he was shot and killed in December of 2005. Loretta Hergott stayed in Humboldt and Catherine LaBrash in Parkside and Humboldt. Both married and had families.

Richard, Daniel and Fred all farmed around Lake Lenore and later Daniel and his daughter Yvonne carried on the Gerwing tradition of managing the post office. Richard married Caroline Hartl and had 3 children. Daniel married Bernice Hackl and had 6 children.

Bill and Anna moved to Humboldt in 1952. Anna died in 1966 and Bill in 1973. He continued to repair sewing machines till the end.

Albert and Alice Lynch

Albert Gerwing was born in Pierz, Minnesota in 1889. At the age of 16, he followed his brothers north to Canada where they settled in Lake Lenore. He later met Alice Lynch and married her in October, 1911. Their first house was one-half mile east of the church.

Albert loved fishing and hunting. He owned the best of rifles and shotguns. The meat was put to good use, and the coyote skins were sold for extra cash during the winter months. His favourite pastime was goose hunting, which he continued to do all his life.

Along with hunting and fishing, Albert also enjoyed sports. When curling came to Lake Lenore, the curlers had to purchase their own rocks. Albert had a pair of rocks he had gained second-hand. On them was engraved a “W”. These rocks were always called the “W’s” and were carried in a box to each game. Albert also coached the girls’ softball team with Emil Hauser. The girls were taken to games in the surrounding area in cars or the back of trucks.

Albert was adventurous and always willing to try new things. In 1918, he bought a threshing machine and owned one of the first cars in Lake Lenore, a Model T which he purchased in 1915. In 1920, he upgraded to a Dodge Touring car which was open, but had canvas curtains that pulled up over the windows during inclement weather. These were put to good use on a trip back to Minnesota during which they were caught in a rainstorm. Albert was the owner of the first beer parlor in Lake Lenore. He bought into the hotel with Sam Lee. The first customers were served July 28, 1935.

Alice was kept busy with Albert’s adventures. She did the wash for the hotel before electricity or running water using three sets of flat irons to do the ironing. When she wasn’t busy ironing, she was tending to her large garden. Alice was also involved in the Ladies’ Aid meetings.

Along with all their hard work, the two of them enjoyed playing cards, especially bridge. No event was complete without a few games of cards. They also enjoyed travelling to see relatives in Minnesota, British Columbia, Colorado and California.

Albert and Alice had six children: Frances, Margaret and Martha, Albert Jr (Sonny), Helen and Emil. Frances married Anton Britz. They settled in Lake Lenore to farm. Margaret moved to Esquimalt and opened a beauty parlor. She later moved to Vancouver and opened another in that city. Martha married Joseph Hurley and moved to St Louis, Missouri. They later settled in Denver, Colorado. Albert Jr married Leona Wisser and took over the family farm east of the church. Helen married Edwin Speed of Vancouver, where they settled. Emil married Marcy Zintel and farmed just west of Lake Lenore.

Heinrich and his wives in “Amerika” were prolific indeed, about 2000 descendants now. Their lives were filled with farming, music, card playing, the Catholic Church and hard work. They endured hardship and the death of loved ones but they persisted and helped build Saskatchewan.