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Cornelius Driedger 1867-1934
Cornelius Driedger was born Sept. 14, 1867 Driedger. to Peter and Maria (Olfert) Driedger. The Driedger family came to Canada from Russia on the S.S. Canadian. This ship arrived in Quebec City on July 19, 1875, and there were a total of 561 Mennonites on board. The Driedgers then took up homestead in southern Mantoba making their home in the village of Blumenfeld.
Cornelius Driedger was married to a young widow, namely, Maria Rempel on Jan. 1, 1891. Maria was born Aug 10, 1863 in Russia to Peter Rempel and Helena Thiessen. The Rempels came to Canada on the 8.8. Dominion, arriving in Quebec City on July 18, 1876. The Rempels homesteaded a Blumenstein, Manitoba. Maria Rempel was first married to Peter Dyck who was born Nov. 23, 1854 to Franz Dyck and Anna Doell. Four children were born to this union, three of which became adults. Peter Dyck passed away on March 30, 1890. Mr. Dyck had been sickly for many years. He suffered from shortness of breath, which was later speculated to possibly be tuberculosis.
Maria then married Cornelius Driedger. Through this second marriage another seven children were brought into the world of which five reached adulthood.
Cornelius and Maria Driedger also decided to move west with their family, and begin to homestead. The Driedgers' first homestead was east of Hague on NW 10-41-3-W3 in June of 1898. He cancelled this deal in Nov. 1898 because the land was covered largely by alkalai. The Driedgers then homesteaded NW 34-39-4-W3 in 1900. This homestead had been taken up in 1899 by an Isaac Dyck. While helping his brother build his brother's house Isaac fell off the roof and fractured bones in.his chest. Mr. Dyck could not make the necessary improvements and therefore abandoned this land.
Cornelius and his family did not live on this homestead but lived on another quarter of land, NE 9-4O-4-W3, which they purchased. It was purchased in June of 1898. This purchased homestead was located on the northwest corner of the village of Reinland (north of Osler). On this purchased land the Driedgers built the following buildings: a 28x43 framed house valued at $400, a 22x30 ft. framed stable valued at $300; and two 15x15ft. granaries valued at $50. They also owned 10 horses, 12 head of cattle and 10 pigs in 1904. A new two storey house was built in 1912, which still stands on this purchased homestead.
On their homestead (NW 34-39-4-W3), they made the following improvements; in 1900 they broke 20 acres but cropped none. In 1901 there was no breaking done, but they cropped 20 acres. In 1902 they broke 25 and cropped 20 acres. In 1903 no land was broken but they cropped 45 acres.
Their farm was sold to their son, Diedrich, and the senior Driedgers moved to the village of Neuhorst. They wanted to live in a village and preferred to be near the Od Colony Mennonite Church. Cornelius and Maria Driedger both are buried in Neuhorst. Cornelius passed away on Nov. 22, 1934, and his wife Maria on Nov, 30, 1946.
Johann Driedger, Saskatoon, a son of the Driedgers, contributed some of the stories used in this column.
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