Descendants of George Webber/Weber
1. George Weber #1584 b. Norka, Russia, m. Elizabeth _____ #1585.
12. John Weber #1587 b. Norka, Russia, m. Maria Sayler #11850. John went to Portland, OR, USA.
13. William Webber #1588 b. 15 Nov 1878, Norka, Russia, occupation Farmer, m. (1) in Norka, Russia, Elizabeth Traudt #1593, b. 1877, Norka, Russia, d. 4 Mar 1909, Stony Plain, AB, Canada, m. (2) 26 Jan 1910, in Stony Plain, Alberta, Canada, Christina Albrecht #1595, b. 12 Aug 1882, Norka, Russia, (daughter of George Albrecht #1742 and Emma Jorge #1743) d. 12 Sep 1967, Stony Plain, Alberta, Canada, buried: Hope Christian Reformed Glory Hills Cem. William died 17 Jan 1957, Stony Plain, AB, Canada, buried: Glory Hills Hope Christian Reformed Church.
HISTORY OF WILLIAM WEBBER AND FAMILY by Lydia Webber
My dad was born November 15, 1878 to George and Elizabeth Weber, farmers in the village of Norka, Russia, a German settlement. Dad was the third oldest in a family of seven: five boys and two girls. All farmers lived in the village and their land was a day's journey away. In the morning they loaded their wagons with seed grain, feed for the horses and oxen and food for themselves, leaving Monday morning and returning to the village on Saturday night. This was also done at harvesting time. Most of the field work was done by hand.
A household consisted of grandparents, sons and their wives and their children. During the spring and fall work, the grandparents were the baby sitters while most of the women-folk accompanied their men to help in the fields and do the cooking. The children went to bilingual schools: German and Russian. Everyone belonged to the Reformed Church where that saintly old man Rev. Starkel was the minister. He baptized, confirmed and married most of those who grew up in the village.
At age eighteen, Dad was called up for military service in the Russian Army. He spent four years at Petersburg, now called Leningrad. Seven years ago, my sister Leah, her daughter Sandra, and I were fortunate enough to tour Moscow and Leningrad, making a point to visit the Military Academy where Dad trained. Years ago, on cold winter nights Dad would entertain us, marching up and down the kitchen, musket on shoulder (a broom) showing off his old army routines.
Reports that reached Norka, from friends and relatives who had immigrated to Canada earlier, were very encouraging. "A land of milk and honey" is how they described Canada. No doubt, the thought of a better life, a bit of adventure and the beginning of political unrest in Russia, prompted my father, in the spring of 1907, to set sail for Canada. He was accompanied by his wife Elizabeth (nee Troudt) and family, bringing with him very little in the way of personal effects or money, but great determination, a strong back, and a stronger will to make the most of his new home.
An older brother, Henry, had immigrated to the U.S.A. (Portland, Oregon) where he was later joined by another brother John, and sister, Magdelene. Another brother, Philip, his wife Elizabeth and infant daughter, Katherina immigrated to Canada in 1912, settling in the Stony Plain area. It was a long hard journey and travelling conditions were extremely difficult. On the ship, sleeping quarters were infested with bedbugs and lice. Precious food packed especially for the long journey turned mildewy and stale long before they reached their destination. The last part of their journey from Montreal to Stony Plain was equally uncomfortable and difficult. The trip, by train, was in what must have been no more than a cattle car.
Upon their arrival in Stony Plain (June 1907), Dad was amazed to notice that the crops in the fields were barely out, whereas the corn in the fields in Norka had been knee high at the time of his departure.
They were met and cared for by some of their friends and relatives who had made the long journey a few years ahead and were already settled in this new land. Dad and his family stayed with the Yosts. A few of the other families who had already settled in the Stony Plain and Spruce Grove area were: Giebelhaus, Lange, Webber, Miller, Schwindt and Albrecht. From these good people, they received moral and material support until they could fend for themselves. In the summer, Dad worked for the Langes, the Schwindts, or anyone else who needed hired help. In the winter, logs were cut, which would eventually become the buildings on his homestead.
Dad's first marriage was blessed with three children. Two boys died in infancy. A daughter, Elizabeth, was born in 1908, shortly before her mother passed away.
My mother, Christina Albrecht, was born on August 12, 1882 to George and Emma (nee Jorg) in Norka, Russia. She was the third youngest child in a family of seven. In 1909, with her sister Emma, brother-in-law George Hartum, brother George, and his wife Louise and the infant daughter, Marie, set sail for Canada. Upon their arrival at Stony Plain, my mother and the Hartums were cared for by their cousin, Conrad Albrecht and family, who lived four miles north of Stony Plain. Her brother's family left for Holden, Alberta.
Dad and Mother were married in February 1910, the same year Dad bought his homestead, S.E. 11-53-1-W5. It is the family home to this day.
Until Dad and Mother were able to move into their own home, they shared a house with Emma and George Hartum, one half mile north of Dad's homestead. The house belonged to Pete Miller of Duffield, and eventually became the Hartum place. Mother often spoke of sharing one rolling pin and one wooden potato masher with her sister Emma. When Mother and Dad finally moved into their own home, Dad suggested taking the wooden potato masher as he preferred mashed potatoes to pie. Incidentally, that same wooden potato masher is still used in our home.
The log farm yard began to take shape. The land was cleared by hand, a little every year, working with oxen and then graduating to horses in 1914. Hard work was the order of the day, six days a week from daybreak to dark. Most people were in similar circumstances: financially poor, but spiritually rich. Everyone was willing to help their neighbor. They looked forward to Sunday when they could rest from their labour and congregate at the church to thank God for His goodness and blessings which were bestowed upon them.
The little hay and grain grown that was not needed for the few head of cattle, was sold to the C.P.R. which was being built at that time. The week's gathering of eggs and the cream, churned into butter, paid for the groceries. Enterprising as Dad may have been, he still had to work out to supplement his income. He walked ten miles to work, leaving Sunday evening and returning Saturday night. Mother kept up the home front during the week. Long winter afternoons and evenings were often brightened by quilting bees, wool carding or wool spinning bees and the popular "Coffee Klatch": a good way to visit and keep up with all the neighbourhood happenings.
Our home was blessed with eight children, one boy and seven girls, all born at home with kindly old Mrs. Schlitt, a neighbour, as midwife. Hospitals were a luxury pioneer women could not afford, and a doctor was only called in case of complications. Elizabeth (Mrs. Henry Hinkel, deceased) - three children, Evelyn, Jean and Allen (Stony Plain). Mary (Mrs. Gottlieb Schauer) - seven children, Norman, Ralph, Shirley, Ruth, Iris, Eileen and Doreen (Gibbons, Alberta). George - at home. Anna (Mrs. Munro Davis) two daughters, Kathleen and Janet (Vernon, BC). Pauline (Mrs. Albert Prouse) White Rock, BC. Christina (Mrs. John Powell) Edmonton, Alberta. Lydia - at home. Leah (Mrs. Robert McKee) - three daughters, Sandra, Penny and Lori.
I can still see Mother, walking down the road, the fixings of an entire meal tied neatly in a flour bag tea towel, on her way to visit a friend who was ill or maybe a mother who had just had a baby.
Frame buildings began to replace the log structures when the barn was erected in 1920 by Carl Strass and Fred Schindler. In 1924, the house was built by neighbor, John Staub. By 1945, all the orginal log buildings had been replaced. In 1930, the last piece of land was cleared.
Summer holidays for the children were spent gathering roots, but it wasn't all work. A dip in the creek now and then during the hot day was fun. Another summer chore, not too unpleasant, was berry picking. The wild raspberries would keep us in jam and jelly for the year. Highlights of the year were two picnics, the Kinderfest at church and the First of July (Sports Day) at Stony Plain. How we looked forward to those two days, hoping and praying it wouldn't rain - but it almost always did. Dad usually gave us each a quarter for treats. You'd be surprised how far a quarter went in those days!
From 1907 to 1912, church services were held in private homes. In 1912, a church (still in use) was erected on and one half miles from Dad's homestead. The land for the building was donated by Mr. Giebelhaus. It was called the Hope Evangelical Reformed Church. This church was to be our link with friends and neighbours, a place to go in times of happiness and in times of sorrow. Father held numerous positions in the church: Elder, Deacon and Treasurer. Mother was active in the Ladies Aid Society for some fifty years or more. In 1963, our church joined with the Christian Reformed churches in Edmonton and is now called Hope Christian Reformed Church.
For those of us who have natural gas for home heating and refrigeration for our food preservation, it would be difficult to understand what backbreaking work it was to provide these essentials in the early 1900s. Logs were cut and hauled many miles by horse and sleigh in the cold of the winter. Ice blocks, weighing sixty pounds or more, were cut, loaded on sleighs and hauled home to the ice house - a structure usually underground for better insulation. The ice was covered with a thick layer of sawdust, and usually lasted until August. It would keep the cream, milk, butter and meat fresh during the hot summer months.
The ice floated on top of jugs of lemonade during the hot summer made a real treat, not to mention the ice cream made in a hand-cranked freezer and enjoyed by young and old.
As children we attended Glory Hills, located two and a half miles from our home. Some of the first teachers were: Mr. Austin, Mr. Price, Miss Laverty, Miss Pinchbeck, Miss Jespersen, Mr. McDonald, Miss Manary, Mr. Kujath, Mr. Eichenlaub, and Miss Langs.
After a lengthy illness, Dad passed away on January 17, 1957 at the age of 78 years. Mother passed away on September 12, 1967 at the age of 85 years. Sister Elizabeth (Hinkel) passed away January 23, 1977 at the age of 68 years.
They rest in peace in the cemetery of the Hope Christian Reformed Church, Glory Hills District.
Christina: Christina was 3rd youngest in a family of seven. She was 12 years old when her father died in Russia.
14. Magdelene Webber #1589 b. Norka, Russia, m. Philipp Schaffer #11576. Went to the US.
15. Philip Webber #1590 b. 5 Oct 1883, Norka, Russia, occupation Farmer, m. 26 Feb 1910, in Norka, Russia, Elizabeth Gabel #1713, b. 15 Dec 1888, Norka, Russia, d. 13 Jul 1978, buried: Stony Plain, Alberta, Canada. Philip died 15 Dec 1952, Stony Plain, Alberta, Canada, buried: Glory Hills.
Philip Webber (brother to William), a man who was regarded by many as a fine fellow and a friend to all, was born on October 5, 1883, in Norka. He was joined in marriage by Miss Elizabeth Gabel on February 26, 1910. Mrs. Webber was born on December 15, 1888, also in Norka. The couple immigrated to Canada in April of 1912. Their children are: Katie (September 4, 1911), Bill (September 1, 1913), Nellie (April 15, 1915), Mary (March 9, 1917), Elizabeth (October 26, 1920), Esther (October 5, 1922), Melvin (October 31, 1924), Mabel (August 1, 1927) and Raymond (October 3, 1932).
The couple first of all moved to Spruce Grove for one year where they hired out as labourer. Next they moved to Stony Plain and did farm labor here for one year. Shortly after they took up a homestead about six miles north of the church. Several years later they lived in the Rosenthal District south of Stony Plain. About 1920 they bought the farmstead which was their home until Mr. Webber's death on December 15, 1952.
Today the widow lives in retirement in Stony Plain.
From the book by Reuben Bauer.
16. Elizabeth Webber #1591. Stayed in Russia.
17. Ludwig Webber #1592. Stayed in Russia.
Ruth Davison firstname.lastname@example.org
Last updated 30 Oct 2000
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