Saskatchewan Mennonite Cemetery Finding Aid
Danzig Cemetery Restoration -- Waldheim, Sask.
The Danzig Cemetery is on the Northwest quarter of section 18, Township 12, Range 4, West of the 3rd Meridian, approximately three miles east of Waldheim. The cemetery containing 13 graves is all that is left to witness the once busy, thriving, farmyard and homestead where the Gerhard Ens family, along with parents Kornelius and Anna Ens, settled at the turn of the century.
Due to numerous factors, including the Depression, nothing was ever done to permanently mark the graves. When the land was sold and buildings and yard disappeared, the cemetery was left unguarded. There was no fence; there wasn't a single tombstone or marker of any kind and in recent years the graves were hardly discernible. Church records held by Bishop Toews of Rosthern were destroyed in a fire many years ago.
"This generation must do something to preserve the site," said Orval Ens. "An unknowing hired hand or a new landowner might easily break up the plot by mistake."
After much correspondence with Land Titles, church, Vital Statistics, RM, archivists, MLA, etc., a committee of relatives and neighbors decided to take action. In order to locate each grave the RM of Rosthern patrol (grader) was hired to shave the top soil. The back fill of clay is a different colour so that the graves showed up very clearly.
After this, it was possible to cap each grave with a pad of concrete. Steel posts imbedded in concrete and joined by steel cable now mark the perimeter of the actual grave site. Since there are no records distinguishing one grave from another, the group placed a bronze plaque listing the names of all those known to be interred in this cemetery.
The original title, held by Rosenort Mennonite Church, did not provide for legal access to the site. However, after negotiations with Saskatchewan Community Planning and a trade of land for land with the owner of the quarter section, satisfactory arrangements were made. The Eigenheim Mennonite Church (administrators of the cemetery activities) withdrew from the Rosenort branch of the Mennonite Church in 1929. It was necessary to register the new title with a current active organization. This too was accomplished when the Rural Municipality of Rosthern agreed to hold this title.
Those present at planning meetings were Orval and Martha Ens, Dennis and Ann Ens, Gordon and Leona Epp, Henry and Alice Zacharias, Bill and Vonda Bergen, Mary and John Janzen, Annie and Jacob Janzen, Mildred and Pete Neufeldt, Mrs. Helen Warkentine, Mary and Dave Epp, Helen Epp, and Tina Heppner.
The committee members most closely involved with the restoration work were Orval Ens (chairman), Dennis Ens, Gordon Epp, Henry Zacharlas, and Bill Bergen.
To cover costs, a request was sent to cousins, other relatives, and former neighbors all across Canada. Response was good -- our bills are paid.
The restoration took place during the years of 1987 to 1991.
The bronze plaque mounted on a rock reads as follows:
Danzig Cemetery Kornelius Ens -- 1840-1906 Anna (Penner) Ens -- 1840-1921 Gerhard Ens -- 1866-1929 Helena (Epp) Ens 1869-1909 Baby Ens -- 1909 (buried with mother) Justina Ens -- 1880-1903 Isaac Ens -- 1900-1903 Isaac Epp -- 1903-1905 Peter Epp -- 1907 Baby Warkentine -- 1926 (buried above Helene Ens) Margaret Braun -- 1927 Four unknown children The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand forever. Is. 40:8
Cemetery restored 1989