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Franz Bullin 1884-1952
Franz Bullin was born in Austria on March 31, 1884. His father Johan Bullin had been married twice and Franz was the oldest child from the second marriage. Franz came to Canada with his father and brothers and sister, leaving behind their mother who had died in Austria. The Bullin family settled on a farm in southern Manitoba. Franz' father had been a commander the Austrian army.
Johan Bullin died of cancer and his children were then given to neighbours to be raised by them. Franz was raised by a Kehler family in the Plum Coulee district.
In the Plum Coulee area resided a Klassen family and Franz became very fond of their daughter Anna, and they were married on July 25, 1909 in the Sommerfelder Mennonite Church. Anna was born on Jan. 28, 1889 to Peter and Helena (Hildebrand) Klassen Her parents had come to Canada as youths in the 1870s and settled in southern Manitoba.
Franz and Anna moved te Saskatchewan in 1910, together with Anna's father and her brothers and sisters. Anna's mother had died the previous year in Manitoba, and her father remarried in Saskatchewan to Mrs. Peter Braun (nee Helena Dyck) formerly of Blumenthal, Sask.
Franz and Anna homesteaded on the NE6 Tp37 R2 W of 3rd Merdian This homestead was located south of Aberdeen in the area known as the Krim. This particular homestead had been entered by a Mr. Cornelius Epp of Rosthern and cancelled almost immediately because it was "too stoney and hilly." The Bullins went to work making improvements on their land. They broke 10 acres in 1910 and cropped none. In 1911 they broke 20 and cropped 30 acres. In 1912 they broke 30 and cropped 60. They owned a wide variety of stock each year. They also bullt a 14x18 ft. framed house valued at $300.00 and bullt a stable and dug a well, together valued at $445.00.
The first few years Franz farmed together with his brother Phillip. Phillip farmed with oxen in the early years, and Franz with horses. Phillip Bullin had homesteaded nearby and had also married a Mennonite girl. He is presently living in south Alberta.
The first reaction of many people who hear the name, Bullin, is to say, "that it is not a Mennonite name." This implies that there are certain names that are considered to be Mennonite. This is one of the characteristics of Mennonites of various countries and areas. They have passed on not only certain family and given names, but also names of settlements, villages, etc. Because of their withdrawal from the world, enforced by persecution and their principles of non-conformity, these have perpetuated their traditions. Mennonites have in certain countries perpetuated their faith and traditions within the group, where 'outsiders' found very little entrance. At times conversion to the Mennonite faith, and intermarriage with outsiders, were almost completely absent for generations. Like all the other people who have joined the Mennonite fold since it began in 1525, each has their own story to tell. The pilgrimage of the Bullin family is one such story that needs to be shared.
Franz Bullin passed away on JuIy 1, 1952 and his wife, Anna, on Dec. 8, 1958. The photo, and much of the information was contributed by their son Peter of Warman.
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Mennonite Historical Society of Saskatchewan (MHSS)
Room 900 - 110 La Ronge Road, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, S7K 7H8
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