ERIC KRAUSE

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MATHIES GENEALOGY

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ANNA "ANNIE" MATHIES
(February 25, 1923, Alexanderkrone, Molotschna, South Russia - June 2, 1988, Leamington, Ontario, Canada)


The Memoirs of Annie Krause (Mathies)

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VERSION ONE

LONG VERSION (28 pages)

[Growing up as a Mathies]

There was something very scary about that hole in the ground. My earliest recollection, one of fear, which must have been instilled at an early age for my protection.

I was 3 years old, my hair cut by my father, a weekly routine every Saturday night before a bath in the square tub on the floor in front of a warm stove sometimes heated by corn cobs. The same bath water served the whole family, and went along with a bar of home-made soap that never seemed to bubble.

Our family was just one of many who had fled from Russia, after a revolution had destroyed their homes and killed some of our parents friends. one of our uncles was sent to Siberia for speaking only two German words: "Come eat," to his fellow workers, in the presence of the guards. 

We being pacifists in our Mennonite belief were not welcome in any country, untill [sic]  word came that Prime Minister MacKenzie King gave us the opportunity to come to Canada and we were being sponsored by the C.P.R. with the promise to pay back the money owing (the reisaschuld) as soon as possible.

Our parents, who had once been prosperous land owners with Russian servant, were now themselves the servants. But some wonderfull [sic] people, the "Leise's" took us into their homes in exchange for work in the fields by both Dad an mother. This left us three young children without much supervision so we must have had a guardian Angel watching over us.

My father who I saw as tall, dark & handsome, was never satisfied to stay too long in one place. We seemed to move a lot, which was sometimes followed by an addition to the family. A foreign language (I later learned it to be Russian) was spoken the nights we were taken to stay with our cousins, and a new-born baby would be crying on our return home. Perhaps all of these extra responsibilities gave papa his ulcers an mamma her headaches, but despite this we had music in our home via of a second hand piano which papa would play first thing in the morning in his underwear, while mamma was closing the kitchen door behind her and concentrating on what to feed us.

We had a lot of chicken soup from some that had been run over & as a result egg production was down. An old stand-by was Cherry moūsse & when you were hungry for meat, it left a sour taste behind. It didn't seem to stunt my growth, especially the feet which turned inward when walking just like my papa. As I grew older, I determined to set them straight, and have what I now laughingly  refer to as a good understanding Size 11.

I must have been about 4 years old when we moved to Zacky Wigles near Ruthven. There was a little white frame house on the yard, where many of our people (the Mennonites) had been taking turns living as they also strove to get ahead in this free land of opportunity. My older sister Margaret started school here, as did our cousin Helen Janzen who stayed with us since her mother, a widow had to find work elsewhere.

There is one day that stands out because it could have been the last one for our younger brother Bill. We were running over some old boards that covered a sewer. Mrs. Wigle, the bosses wife was hanging up clothes outside and had just finished warning us about the danger of what we were doing, when one of the middle boards cracked, giving way and Bill fell in. He came up twice and was about to go down for the third time when Mrs. Arnold Wigle with her huge goitre & finding it very difficult to bend over, managed to grab him by the hair on his head, and drag him over the edge. Now Mother who was inside had heard all of the screaming but thought nothing of it, since we were always doing that because of the cats. She was sitting by her sewing machine when we came in with our foul-smelling brother who brought up that sewer water for days to come.

From Wigles, we moved to Broadwells. One day as my father was spraying the apples, I was watching & warned not to eat them as they were also green. Of course I just had to taste one. Was I sick! and up untill [sic] this day, a green apple can cause me problems. 

Not far away we moved again; this time to Inman where I started school and walked barefoot along with most of the rest of the kids as long as the weather co-operated. One-half of our home was shared with uncle John Dick & his family as they tried to farm the hard clay land that even my tough bare feet could hardly walk on. 

In this one-room school house was a teacher Miss  Blair! who didn't seem to  like immigrants. Not understanding too much English since German was our first language, I whispered to my sister Margaret who was sitting in the desk across from me to explain what the teacher had said. That did it! She pointed her pointer to the corner I was to go & stand, but when I did, there I was facing her. This brought out her anger even more & directed me with that long stick to turn around where I remained untill [sic] recess. 

Thank goodness we moved again, this time to Grant Foxes at Olinda who had Cora & Nora living there also. Our father used to tell us about driving the huge truck over the hills on the way to Delhi for Mr. Fox. The school here had the most wonderful teacher I've ever known. At only 18, Miss Balkwill took  a great interest in both Margaret & myself, taking us to various functions to sing duets, after which we were rewarded with the first banana split we'd ever eaten.

While papa was busy spraying in the peach orchard, mama was busy trying to keep us dressed in the latest styles by getting second-hand used coats & re-designing them to fit, as well as the empty spray bags, that were first bleached, & then dyed the desired colour before they were sewn with added hand-made lace around the collars. Both the coats and dresses were  very itchy, but we did look fashionable except for the high buttoned shoes that were for sale, at a second-hand store in Ruthven. 

When we walked to German school on Saturdays, we usually returned to the smell of bean soup, a tradition it seemed to me. 

Both Uncle Herman & Uncle George Dick stayed with us for a while at Foxes, and I loved to hear Uncle George play the Ukeleyle [sic]. He also had a radio with earphones from which we heard what was going on in the world. It was the time of the Great Depression and Uncle George decided to become a bum, and took to riding on top of the trains wherever he went. Maybe that's where someone got the song from, and wrote "Hallaluehia [sic] I'm a bum!" I can still remember that one. Uncle Herman on the other hand was determined to find a white-collar job, and it wasn't too long till he got one. It was at Fox'es that a FraŻlin Friessen arrived in the middle of the night and our brother Harry was born. All of the Mennonites in our area had her for a mid-wife & she was well liked.

Then it was time to move again.

Just down the road were Dukes, with a house for us to live in, and tobacco kilns on the yard. The first night after helping papa put up the stove-pipe (my job, since I was the tallest with the longest reach), we didn't get much sleep. There was something crawling around under our bed covers & biting us. All of the cracks around the windows & doors were plugged inside plus the chimney & something called "schwevel" was burned to get rid of the bed bugs. But the old couch with a head-rest that was there when we moved in had to be burned. It was probably where the trouble was. We all left for the day and the Olinda school just across the road where Miss Balkwill first read us "Little Women" followed my interest in books and still does to this day.

Our Uncle David Mathies who had purchased a house in Beamsville but hadn't quite finished out the time he had to work in around our area asked if we would move and take his daughter Erica along, since she would be starting High School there before he was ready to go. So we did & worked the land. When he moved in, we went next door to share-crop with Mr. Katuner, who while growing grapes, also ran a cat house at night. We also shared the same house, with separate entrances, & one night a lady knocked at the wrong door, but papa was ready for her. He quickly grabbed a pail of cold water, opened the door, & dumped it on her head. This was also the year the grapes froze, and my sister and i who grew up sleeping together, managed to keep warm without any heat, under a feather tick, and hot water bottles at our feet.

It was time to move on.

It was to Jordan Harbour beside Lake Ontario, we were accepted by the Rittenhouses, on condition that someone would be a maid in their household, so here my sister Margaret got her first steady job. I'd already had one year of taking care of a household that included two children when the parents were away for the evening with the Sutherlands in Beamsville in exchange for room & board when I attended my only year at Vocational school, but now it was time to contribute whatever I earned & give it to papa. Being only 14, the factory nearby wouldn't hire me, so on the way back home, I stopped to knock on the doors of houses that looked well-to-do. At Upshalls, for $2.00 a week, nearby and a lunch every day, we were proud to be helping our growing family, the next one being Louise. It was on March 20, one very snowy night, that we all shovelled like mad to let the Doctor through, and he made it just in time. 

Now since the lake was close-by, we learned how to swim by the instructions our cousin Johnny Mathies gave: "Just climb on a rock," he said, "jump off and paddle like a dog." 

The Queen-E. was just being built & didn't our house have to be moved over for that to pass through. Well, papa gave the workers a bit too much of his home-made wine which left our house standing up higher on one side, & caused Margaret & myself to keep falling out of bed that night.

One day a Mr. Tiessen from Point Pelee came over with a truck, & everything was loaded except the second-hand piano, & we followed in our good, second-hand car. It was like a garden of Eden. A huge apple orchard, and the whole family had things to do. Margaret & I were given our first job; picking up brush after the pruning. Then the trees could be climbed where the apple thinning began. This put us in the mood for singing & yodeling, for it sure was a lot of fun working outside in the sunshine along with the rest of the young people like ourselves.

Soon it was time to cut asparagus & with that came daylight saving time which made it 5 A.M. & you had to keep a sharp eye on job. It grew so fast in the spring that it had to be cut again in the late afternoon. Now some of the early apples were ripening, so up went the ladders. Hoeing between the asparagus rows also kept us quite busy, but that was easy in the soft sand. 

Our evenings were spent around the fires built on the beach to keep the mosquitoes away. We did as lot of singing here, mostly cowboy songs, & some went for a swim. This is where my husband-to-be came to join us, & we began to go out together. I was 15 & he 17. My curfew was 10 P.M., after that the door was locked. I was late only once when Bill got the car stuck on a stump in the bush where he drove. 

When tomato season came along, Heinz's needed people to work nights in busy season, so Margaret & I went. They paid good wages, and at last papa could look for a farm to buy. He would be his own boss.

We moved to the 7th Conc. where a house had two storys, the upper one formerly used for hatching chickens. Our first job was to shovel & clean up the mess so we'd have a place to sleep. Margaret & I had always shared the same bed, but unless it was very cold, we'd stay as far apart as possible. often when we were supposed to be sleeping, a flashlight would be used under the covers to read, since hydro was too costly. 

The barn needed a new roof & in order to earn that we'd have to go & work for Mr. Brown from whom the place had been bought which had cost all of our savings. He picked us up & took us to his place near Wheatley to block sugar beets in the hard clay. We took a long time to do the job. It was piece work & you could hardly get the shovel in. There was also tobacco to hang & once again my long arms came in mighty handy. Finally we earned enough & with our brother helping, shingled the roof. 

With winter coming, the tobacco factories were looking for help, so Margaret  and I stood outside in the cold along with many others as Len Branton stood on a platform and picked the ones he chose. Being taller, even though two years younger, I had my fingers crossed when he asked my age. After all, hadn't papa told us to get one, and I always obeyed him? I was only a few months short of 16, but it upset Margaret since she then also had to lie after I began work first.  

It was too far from the 7th to the factory in Leamington so we went to "bachel it' at the Wiense's who lived nearby. 

Here for the first time I was exposed to the real world, and I hated it. The foul language, and the dirty jokes that left me blushing while it seemed to encourage more of the same. One day while hanging tobacco leaves on a stick placed across a wooden horse, a guy who'd been flirting with me from where he worked across the room, came over and I started to run around the other way so as not to be pinched from behind as the others had done. Accidentally my hand went down on one end of the stick while the other one got him in the eye.  The next day I was informed was his wedding day, and he went down the aisle with a black eye. I wonder what excuse was given to a new bride.

Then the war came along, and with it came Hitler, so now those of us who spoke German even though we were pacifists were considered the enemy; so after being questioned, were all fired. 

Spring was just right for planting the tomatoes, and by May 20, it was also time for our brother Arthur to be born. This was quite a surprise for both Margaret and myself as we were both dating seriously with marriages, in the near future, and here was mama at 45 having a baby. Dr. Llyon insisted she go to the hospital for this one, so when they had just returned from town with the groceries and mama said they'd have to go right back again, papa was pretty upset because of the gas it was costing, so why wasn't he told in time before making the same trip back? The only Grandmother we ever knew was our papa's stepmother who stayed with us, for a while when Art was small, and that he was, born weighing only 5 lbs., but we soon changed all that by feeding him lots of pablum. He's on a family picture, mama looking happy with the fat little baby on her lap and papa a little grin with another mouth to feed which probably caused his ulcers to act up. But we never heard one word of complaint from him; he'd just go to his bedroom, while mama held her head. Meanwhile it was back to doing housework again when the weather got cold, and Maynard's with two young children and a large dog was ideal ....


VERSION TWO

SHORT VERSION (24 pages)

There was something very scary about that hole in the ground. My earliest recollection, one of fear, which must have been instilled at an early age for my protection.

I was about 3 yrs of age my hair cut by my father, a weekly routine. every Saturday night, before a bath in the round tub on the floor in front of a warm stove sometimes heated by corn cobs. The same bath water served the whole family, and it went along with a bar of home-made soap that never seemed to bubble.

Our family was just one of many who had fled to this free country from Russia, after a revolution had destroyed many homes and killed a lot of our parents friends.

Our parents who had once been prosperous land owners and now they had nothing except us & each other and the "Reiseschuld" - a promise to pay what they owed the C.P.R. for the trip to Canada.

Some wonderfull [sic] people, the "Leise's" took us into their homes in exchange for work in the fields by both Dad and mother. This left us small Children without much supervision. Could it be that we had a guardian Angel watching over us? Mother prayed a lot.

My father, who I saw as tall, dark & handsome, was never satisfied to stay too long in one place. We seemed to move a lot, and sometimes it was followed by an addition to the family.

A foreign language (I later learned it to be Russian) was usually spoken the nights we were taken to stay with a cousin, and a new-born baby would be crying on our return home.

Perhaps all of these extra responsibilities gave papa his ulcers and mamma her headaches, but despite it we had music in the home via of a second hand piano which papa would play first thing in the morning in his underwear. Mother, closing the door to the kitchen behind her was concentrating on what to feed us.

There was a lot of Chicken soup from Chickens that had been run over. Never one that could lay eggs. An old stand by was Cherry moūsse and when you were hungry for meat, it leaves a sour taste in your mouth. It didn't seem to stunt my growth, especially the feet which turned inward when walking just like my papa's.

As I grew older, I determined to set them straight, and have what I now laughingly  refer to today as a very good understanding Size 11.

I  must have been around 4 years of age when we lived at Zacky Wigles. There was a little house on the yard where many of our people (Mennonites) had taken turns living as they also strove to get ahead in this new of opportunity. My sister started school here in Ruthven, as did our Helen Janzen who stayed with us for a while since her mother, a widow, a widow, had to find work elsewhere. 

There is one day that stands out, because it could have been the last one for my brother William who was two years younger than I.

We were running back & forth over some some old boards that Covered a sewer. Mrs. Wigle who was hanging up the Clothes outside, had just finished warning us about the danger of what we were doing, when a board cracked, giving way, and my bother fell in. He came up twice, and was about to go down again for the third & last time when Mrs. Wigle (who had a huge goitre) and finding it difficult to bend over, just got him by the hair & woolen Cap & managed to drag him over the edge.

Now Mother had heard the load screaming that all the excitement had caused, but thought it was the usual noise we made over the cats.

She was sitting by her sewing machine when we came in with our foul-smelling brother who brought up that sewer water for days to come.

From Wigles, we moved to Broadwell's, and my father was spraying the green apples one day as I watched & was warned not to eat them. Well of course I had to taste one. Was I sick, and up untill [sic] this day, an apple can still cause me problems. 

Not far away at Inman, we moved again and lived together with John Dicks on a farm that had the hardest ground my bare feet had ever walked upon. No wonder we couldn't make a living here, but this is where I started school.

The teacher (Miss Blair) did not seem  to like us immigrants very much, and I, not understanding what I was supposed to do, asked my sister who was sitting across from me. That did it! She pointed with her long ruler at the corner where I was to stand, so I went, but stood facing her. This brought out her anger even more, and the pointer almost got me as I turned to face the wall.  

Thank goodness we moved again, & this time it was to Foxes at Olinda where a Miss Balkwill a young lady of 18 was the teacher. She took a great interest in us, and my sister Margaret & I were encouraged to sing at various functions where she would drive us. After this, we were rewarded with the first banana split we'd ever eaten.

Our Papa was busy with spraying in the peach orchard, and mama tried to keep us dressed in the latest styles by getting second-hand used coats and re-designing them to fit, as well as using the empty spray bags. These were first bleached & then dyed before hand-made lace was sewn around the collar. The material was quite rough, but we looked fashionable except for the high-buttoned shoes that were on sale at the old store down the road. Oh well we could always just wear them on Sunday's till it got warmer, and a lot came to school in their barefeet in summer.

That is how we walked to German school on Saturday's, and always returned to the smell of bean soup, a Saturday tradition it seemed. 

Our Uncle George who played his Ukeleyle [sic] stayed with us for awhile as did Uncle Herman. It was depression time and we could hear what was going on in the world from a radio with earphones which belonged to Uncle George. He was a bum at heart and rode on top of the railroads when times were tough. Uncle Herman on the other hand, dressed up and before long had a white Collar job.

It was here at Fox'es that a FraŻlin Friessen arrived in the middle of the night, and our brother Harry was born. Then it was time to move again.

Just down the road were Dukes, with a house for us to live in, and tobacco kilns on the yard. The first night we didn't get much sleep. It was something that was crawling in our bed-covers. and biting us.

All of the windows & doors plus the chimney were closed the next day and something called Schwevel was burned to get rid of the bed bugs. One old couch that came with the house was taken right out and burned as well. We all left for the day. We had the school right across the street which had a library that kept me interested for a long time to come.

Uncle David had been a frequent visitor and we, along with his daughter Erica moved to Beamsville to a farm he had purchased. He would follow us after a while, when his work was completed. When he did, we moved next door to Katinurs, who had grapes and made his own wine. There were many late hour visitors to his place and one night, (since we lived in the other half of the house,) our door was knocked on by mistake.

Mother, a pail of cold water in her hands was heard persuading the lady visitors to leave after a cold shower. This was the year the grapes froze, se we managed to keep warm beneath our feather-ticks with the aid of heated hot water bottles at our feet.

Then, it was to the Rittenhouses at Jordan Harbour where we were accepted on the condition that someone in the family would be a maid in their household. Here my sister Margaret got her first job. I'd had one year of being a maid  in a home with the Sutherlands in  exchange for room & board in order to attend vocational school, but now it was time for me to help the family at home.

Being only 14, the factory nearby wouldn't hire me, so on my way back, I started knocking on doors to see if I could get a job as a maid.

Upshalls had a place I could walk to every day and $2.00 a week sounded pretty good.

Then one very snowy March night, we all shovelled snow so the doctor could get through and help to deliver our sister Louise.

Lake Ontario was right near to our house and we learned how to swim, when Cousin John took us to a rock and told us to jump off & paddle like a dog.

The Queen-E. was just being build and didn't our house have to be moved for that to go through? Well, our papa gave the workers a bit too much of his home made wine & we kept rolling out of our beds that night because our house had been left up higher on one side than the other.

One day, a Mr. Tiessen from Point Pelee Park came over with a truck, and everything was loaded and we followed in our good, second hand car and began a trip to work altogether in the Apple Orchards. Our first job was to pick up brush that was left underneath the trees after pruning. Then the trees could be climbed and the apple-thinning was done. This got us all singing & yodeling, for it sure was a lot of fun working together with other young people outside in the sunshine.

Then it came time to cut the asparagus and with it, daylight saving time. We could hardly see what we were about at 5 o'clock in the morning, but since it grew so fast, we would be cutting that green stuff again in the late afternoon.

Some of the early apples were ripening also, so up the trees we went again (on ladders).

Hoeing was also something that was also needed, as the weeds were multiplying fast in the warm sandy soil.

The evenings were spent around the fires we built at the beach where the mosquitoes couldn't follow because of the smoke. Here we would sing and some would have a swim when the water got warm enough at night.

This was where my husband to be would come to join us, and  and I began to go out, although the Curfew was for 10 P.M. since we had to get up for work the next day, and Papa would lock the door.

When tomato season came along, Heinz's needed many to work nights, and my sister Margaret & I worked through what is called "the busy season." By this time, since all the money earned was given to Papa, he at last had enough to buy his own place.

We moved to the  seventh Concession where the house had an upstairs that had formerly hatched some chickens. Our first job was to shovell [sic] and clean up the mess so we'd have a place to sleep. My sister & I always shared the same bed, but unless it was very cold, stayed each other on their own side, as far away as possible. Often when we were supposed to be sleeping, we'd read under the covers using a flashlight since papa was a great one for saving on electricity.. 

The barn at the seventh needed a new roof, but everything had gone to pay Mr. Brown for this place, so he came to get us to him in blocking beets. That was the least we'd ever earned since it was piece-work & the shovel could dig just so much a day in that hard clay. There was also tobacco to be hung & my long arms came in real handy for that. We earned enough for the shingles, and the three of us managed to shingle the roofs. 

With winter, came the opportunity for my sister and I to get a job in the tobacco factory. You had to stand outside in the cold untill [sic] Len Branton picked out who should work. Since I was quite tall, I was chosen before my older sister!

There was a policy not to hire anyone before the age of 16 , but since I only had a few months to go & my papa said  we needed the money, I had to lie. This upset my sister, because she then had to do the same as her birthday was in may and mine in February. since she then also had to lie after I began work first.  Anyhow we both got the job.

It was too far from the seventh Conc. & we  "bachelled" in a room with the family Wiens who lived just across the street from the factory.

Here for the first time we were dirty jokes and foul language and our faces were red with blushing. This seemed to encourage the guys to make even more advances.

One day as I was running away from one of them, I accidentally hit the tobacco stick with my hand & it came up and hit him right in the eyes. The next day I was told , he went to the aisle with a black eye, to get married. I wonder what he used for an excuse.

Then the war came along, & with Hitler in power, we being a German speaking people were suspect, and after many questions were asked to leave the factory. 

Spring came along and it was a time to plant early tomatoes. It was in the middle of May, and was also the time for our brother Arthur to be born. This was a surprise to my sister & I, since we were already dating our future husbands, and here our mother was having a baby.

Dr. Llyon insisted it should be born in the hospital in Leamington, and I remember papa upset being  when Mama announced it was time to go. They had just been to town to buy groceries and he couldn't understand wasting all that gas to go right back again. The only Grandmother we ever knew was our dad's stepmother who stayed with us for a while when Arthur was small,. He only weighed 5 lbs at birth, but the pablum he was fed sure changed that in a hurry.

It was back to doing housework again when the weather got colder, and I went to live at the Maynards in Leamington & going home for Sundays when I wasn't needed.  


VERSION THREE

INTERVIEWED VERSION

The Memoirs of Annie Mathies Krause

Interviewed by Astrid Koop 2008

     
Note: the writer was born February 25, 1923 in Alexanderkrone, Molotschna, USSR. Annie died June 02, 1998 in Leamington, Ontario, Canada. Annie and Heinrich Wilhelm Krause were married April 18, 1942, at the Mennonite Church on Oak Street, Leamington. Annie's siblings are Margaret Toews, Louise Ross, William 1925-1972, Harry 1931-1956, and Arthur.

The Early Years

There was something very scary about that hole in the ground. My earliest recollection, one of fear, must have been instilled at an early age for my protection. I was about three years of age, my hair cut by my father, a weekly routine, every Saturday night before a bath in the round tub on the floor in front of the warm stove sometimes heated by corn cobs. The same bath water served the whole family, and it went along with a bar of home-made soap that never seemed to bubble.

Our family was just one of many who had fled to this free country from Russia, after a revolution had destroyed many homes and killed a lot of our relatives and friends.

Our parents had once been prosperous landowners and now they had nothing except us, each other, and the Reiseschuld - travel debt - a promise to pay what they owed to the CPR for the trip to Canada.

Some wonderful people, the Leise's, took us into their home in exchange for work in the fields by both our father and mother. This left us without much supervision. Could it be that we had a Guardian Angel watching over us? Mother prayed a lot.

Mother and Father

My father, Abram Johann Mathies, whom I saw as tall, dark and handsome, was never satisfied to stay too long at one place. We seemed to move a lot, and sometimes it was followed by an addition to the family. A foreign language, (I later learned to be Russian) was usually spoken the nights we were taken to stay with a cousin, and a new baby would be crying upon our return home.

Perhaps all of these extra responsibilities gave Papa his ulcers and Mamma her headaches, but despite it we had music in the home thanks to a second hand piano which Papa would play first thing in the morning in his underwear. Mother, closing the door to the kitchen behind her, would concentrate on what to feed us.

There was a lot of chicken soup made but  never one that was made from a hen that could lay eggs. An old standby was cherry mousse, and when you're hungry for meat, it leaves a sour taste in your mouth.

 

     It didn't seem to stunt my growth, especially my feet that turned inward when walking just like my Papa's. As I grew old, I determined to set them straight, and have today what I laughingly refer to as a very good understanding - size 11.

I must have been around four years of age when we lived at Zacky Wigles. There was a little house on the yard where many of our Mennonite people had taken turns living in as they also strove to get ahead in the new land of opportunity. My sister started school here in Ruthven, as did Helen Janzen who stayed with us for a while since her mother, a widow, had to find work elsewhere.

A Close Call

There is one day that stands out because it could have been the last one for my brother William who was two years younger that I. We were running back and forth over some boards that covered a sewer. Mrs. Wigle, who was hanging up clothes outside, had just finished warning us about the danger of what we were doing when a board cracked, gave way, and my brother fell in.

He came up twice, and was about to go down for the third and last time when Mrs. Wigle - who had a huge goiter and found it difficult to bend over - just got him by the hair and woollen cap and managed to drag him over the edge.

Mother had heard the loud screaming that all the excitement had caused, but thought it was the usual noise we made over the cats. She was sitting by the sewing machine when we came in with our foul smelling brother who brought up that sewer water for days to come.

From Wigle's, we moved to Broadwell's, and my father was spraying the green apples one day as I watched and was warned not to eat them. Well, of course I had to try just one and did I get sick! Up until this day, an apple can still cause me problems.

Not far away at Inman, we moved again and lived with John Dicks on a farm that had the hardest ground my bare feet had ever walked upon. No wonder we couldn't make a living there, but this is where I started school.

School Days

The teacher, Miss Blair, did not seem to like us immigrants very much, and I, not understanding what I was supposed to do, asked my sister who was sitting across from me. That did it! She pointed with her long ruler at the corner where I was supposed to stand. I went, but stood facing her. This brought out her anger even more, and the pointer almost got me as I turned to face the wall.

Thank goodness we moved again, this time to Fox's at Olinda, where a Miss Balkwill, a young lady of 18, was the teacher. She took a great interest in us, and my sister Margaret and I were encourage to sing at various functions to which she would drive us. After this we were rewarded with the first banana split we'd ever eaten.

AK 2008

Note: Annie's story - 10 pages - continues with her work days, the family's purchase of a home, her marriage, life on Point Pelee, the founding of Faith Mennonite Church in Leamington, and retirement.

[Source: http://ekmha.ca/memoirs_of_annie_mathies_krause.htm ]