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©1999. The  Saskatchewan Mennonite Cemetery Finding Aid
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Hamm - Fehr Cemetery

Name of R.M. Rosthern No. Of R.M. 403
Private Mennonite Cemetery
Name of Community: Hague Sask.
Condition: Well cared for
Approximate No. of burials: 25
Land Location: NW21 - 41 - 3, W3rd, on the farm of Bernard Pauls, about 5km north of Hague, just east of # 11 Highway.

This cemetery is a small fenced enclosed yard in the middle of a Quarter section, just east of Bernard Pauls farm home. The Cemetery is old, started about 1914. Numerous small mounds of earth, remains of graves are seen.
A large marble headstone, about 3x4 feet in size stands vertically near the west end, and reads, "Erected by the Hamm and Fehr Families, 1993". Beside it lies a concrete plaque, another headstone, much smaller.
Names on the large plaque read: The first 22 names and the smaller plaque read: the last three names.

End of Hamm - Fehr Cemetery Recording.
Submitted by John P. Nickel
27 May 1994

Name Monument Inscription
Fehr, David 13 Jul 1912 - Jul 1925 See Footnote *C
Fehr, Elizabeth (Pauls) 1891 - 1917 See Foot Note *A
Fehr, Henry 1926 - 1929 Son of Tena Fehr
Fehr, Margaret 01 Oct 1909 - 15 Oct 1909 See Footnote *B
Fehr, Tena (Janzen) 1900 - 1926 Wife of Abram Fehr
Hamm, Jacob 1923 - 1924 Infant
Hamm, Margareta 1923 - 1924 Infant
Hamm, Margareta 1926 - 1926 Infant
Hamm, Maria 1921 - 1922 Infant
Hamm, Maria (Dyck) 1884 - 1918 Wife of Peter Hamm
Hamm, Maria (Peters) 1844 - 1918
Hamm, Martin A. 1847 - 1914
Hamm, Mary 1903 - 1918 Daughter of Maria Hamm
Hamm, Tena 12 Feb 1911 - 10 Jan 1915 See Foot Note *D
Hamm, Thomas 12 Feb 1911 - 10 Jan 1915
Hamm, Tina 12 Feb 1911 - 10 Jan 1915
Hamm, Willie 1918 - 1918 Infant
Loewen, David 1925 - 1927 Infant
Loewen, Isaac 1916 - 1927
Pauls, Elizabeth 1908 - 1908 Infant
Pauls, Franz 1904 - 1904 Infant
Pauls, Helena 1914 - 1915
Pauls, Peter 1869 - 1925
Pauls, Peter 1897 - 1918
Unruh, Frank 1860 - 1928

The Fehr - Hamm Cemetery Story

Bill and Margaret (Hamm) Fehr’s parents came from the Gretna, Manitoba district to homestead near Hague in the early 1900’s. They were Bergthalers whose custom was to settle in villages (Darps), which had their own churches and cemeteries. Many burials were also made on farm yards, school yards or amongst a grove of trees in the middle of a quarter section. This kind of cemetery was started by Bill’s parents, the Peter Fehrs, about three miles north of Hague and just east of the highway to Rosthern. The exact legal location is NW 21-41-3, West of 3rd.

In the course of time Bill Fehr married Margaret Hamm, took over his father’s farm, raised a family of seven children, including two aboriginal foster children, and did well. The Fehrs are now retirees living right in Hague, taking a great interest in restoring and preserving their ancestral past. For example, they were one of many couples making the covered wagon anniversary trek from Moose Jaw to Saskatoon about ten years ago.

In the meantime, the Fehr-Hamm cemetery fell into disuse, became overgrown with weeds, and was badly neglected. However, several years ago Bill decided to restore it. Immediate family members were contacted for donations, but only about half of the needed $1,500.00 was raised. Not waiting any longer, Bill went ahead to clear the weeds, erect a fence, and obtain cost estimates from various cemetery memorial firms. Now came the problem of determining the names of the deceased, as no written records were kept in those days. Fortunately, Margaret Fehr’s cousin, Mrs. Ann Neudorf, had an excellent memory, so soon all the graves were indentified, although not their exact location within the cemetery.

There are 25 graves, 17 of them infants and children, most of them passing away between 1904 and 1927. Hence most graves were just tiny mounds of earth, or small hollows. Several large adult graves have markers.

Bill decided to have nearly all of the names engraved on a large marble headstone, about three by four feet in size. Beside it stands a much smaller plaque with three names. Most dead are clearly identified as to who their parents or spouses were.

Access to the cemetery was also important. Bill’s plan was to build a narrow one lane trail from the present owner’s yard, straddling the boundary of the two properties, one of which holds the cemetery. This involved much discussion, but both owners consented to forego a narrow strip of land, about 500 metres long. Now it was possible for elderly and infirm relatives to be conveyed right up to the cemetery gate by car to view the plots and headstones, and for Bill to drive up to it to give it an annual clean-up.

One burial with a tragic history is that of Bill Fehr’s mother, Elizabeth, nee Pauls (1891 - 1917). The inscription reads, "Wife of Peter I. Fehr. Died by a tragic fire. Left behind seven small children." One day just before leaving for town in August 1917, Mr. Fehr asked his wife to check how much gas there was in the tank of the old Model T, situated under the front seat. She unscrewed the lid and held a kerosene lantern over the tank to get a better look right into it. With that, the gas fumes ignited and a tremendous explosion followed. The car was destroyed and Mrs. Fehr very badly burned. She was quickly taken to the doctor in Hague who rushed her to Saskatoon as fast as cars could go in those days. After 44 hours of intense suffering without the benefit of pain killing drugs, she passed away.

It is surmised that the infant and child deaths in the Fehr - Hamm clan happened during or after child birth, and by contagious diseases for which there were no vaccines. Such was the nature of life (and death) of pioneer families in Hague during their early homestead years in Hague.

John P. Nickel
April 5, 1995.