Abraham and Katharina (Friesen)Doerksen
Abraham DOERKSEN was born on Nov 1 1827 in Russia. He died on Sep 20 1916 in Canada. Abraham Doerksen had a machine shop in Schoenthal, Russia, where he manufactured farm machinery such as plows, harrows, cultivators and wagons. He employed four carpenters and one blacksmith.
A record of 1871 elections in Bergthal states that he was elected as "Beisitzer in Schoenthal" (deputy mayor)
In 1873 Abraham Doerksen and Johann Hoeppner were the two representatives of the "Bergthal Colony responsible for working out the emigration passes. J. H. Doerksen has written that: "the great care was necessary in this regard to insure that no excitable Russian bureaucrat be offended in the process..... The two men were given the run around, they had to go from Pontias to Pilate, in order to achieve their objective, and when they had finally overcome all the obstacles thrown in their way, the emigration began."
By this time Abraham Doerksen's oldest two sons were married: Abraham married to Maria Dueck and Heinrich married to Sara Neufeld.
The whole Bergthal Colony immigrated to Canada in 1874-1876. The Doerksen's also left their home in Russia and moved to Manitoba, Canada. On July 16, 1874 they boarded the steamship "Nova Scotia" in Liverpool, England and sailed for America.
The Doerksen's, with many other families, landed in Quebec and traveled via Duluth to Moorhead. From here they sailed with a smaller steamboat to the landing site at the confluence of the Rat and Red Rivers. They were met by friends, their baggage was loaded on ox carts and taken to the Schantz immigration sheds on Section 17-7-4E. Many immigrants walked the seven miles to the sheds.
Abraham's first house was small, built of logs with a dirt floor. The finest piece of furniture was a big cedar chest that grandfather had built in Russia to pack the family's wardrobe, bedding, some household items and tools for use in the primitive wilderness.
Hardships and tragedies were the norm to all the pioneers. Clearing bush and breaking virgin soil without proper equipment was back-breaking to say the least. The land was flat with many swamps, so drainage was badly needed. The pioneers went to work with spades and dug a drainage ditch from Tourond creek to the Rat River near Otterborne.
Abraham Doerksen had only been in this new land for two years when his wife Katherina died in 1876. His youngest child was six-years old.
Aganetha Wiebe, a young widowed bride, lived in Chortitz, near Schoenthal. She and her husband both had typhoid fever, Her husband, Isebrand Wiebe had died while she was still unconscious. Heartbroken and very lonely she longed to go to live with her family on the West Reserve. But traveling in winter was impossible and so she had remained in Chortitz over winter. Abraham Doerksen proposed to Aganetha and she accepted. They were married in June 1877. Another nine children were born to them. Altogether Abraham Doerksen had a family of twenty-one children, but only twelve lived to have descendants.
Abraham and Katharina's daughter, Helena, married Jacob Warkentin Jan 29, 1878.
Abraham was a successful manufacturer of farm implements in Russia. In Manitoba he continued to build plows and tools like planes, saws hammers and spades, with some difficulty to help out his neighbours and not for gain.
The grandchildren who remember Abraham Doerksen, say he was a kind and gentle man always generously handing them "crow's eggs" a round white peppermint candy Abraham Doerksen lived long enough to see a railway constructed through Niverville and better roads and drainage built. He saw how stores and businesses prospered. Churches and schools were established. He realized that his children's children would have an easier life. He died on September 20, 1916.
11. Katharina FRIESEN was born on Apr 12 1832. She died on Mar 2 1876. ( A75 BGB)
Abraham and Katharina's children were:
i. Bishop Abraham DOERKSEN (Sep 11 1852 - Jan 25 1929)
ii. Heinrich DOERKSEN (Oct 20 1853 - Jun 27 1855)
iii. Reverend Heinrich DOERKSEN ( Aug 4 1855 - Nov 6 1933)
iv. Katharina DOERKSEN (Dec 16 1856 - Feb 11 1906)
5 v. Helena DOERKSEN. (born Nov 12, 1858) She married Jacob Warkentin.
vi. Maria DOERKSEN (Apr 10 1860 - Mar 28 1861)
vii. Jacob DOERKSEN (Feb 13 1862 - Feb 13 1862)
viii. Maria DOERKSEN (Aug 24 1863 - Nov 10 1893)
ix. Jacob DOERKSEN (Nov 14 1865 - Oct 29 1909) He married Helena Dueck.
x. Kornelius DOERKSEN (Mar 13 1869 - Mar 13 1869)
xi. Bishop David DOERKSEN (Jul 5 1870 - May 17 1951)
xii. Anna DOERKSEN (Feb 4 1873 - Apr 27 1884)