Kinderwater Family fonds. — 1900-1944. — 10 photographs.
The Kinderwater family settled in the La Glace area in 1911-1912.
The first to arrive was William J. “Bill” Kinderwater, who came over the Edson Trail in 1911. He was the son of Adolph & Anna Kindervater, who had immigrated from Germany to Iowa and then moved to Wisconsin. Bill was teaching in Melrose, Minnesota, when his wife Tilly had died of TB in 1908, leaving him with a 1 year-old son. In an attempt to regain his own health, and to build a new life for himself and a future for his younger brother Frank, Bill filed on homesteads in the La Glace area on September 19, 1911: SW3 for Frank, and NE 3-74-8-W6th for himself. He returned to Wisconsin, and the two brothers packed up horses, wagons and supplies and made it back by December 27, 1911.
Frank then went back to Wisconsin to marry Pauline Gergen, and the two traveled to the Peace Country over the Edson trail, arriving sometime in May 1912. Their first tasks were to build a 20 x 28 ft. log cabin and put up hay for winter feed for the animals. By 1913, when Frank’s parents arrived with his sister Louise and Bill’s son Norbert, they had enlarged the cabin to a two-storey home.
Only a few years after they arrived, Adolph died in 1916, and Anna followed in 1917. They were buried in the Catholic cemetery beside St. Vincent’s Mission on Bear Creek, west of Grande Prairie. Their invalid daughter Louise, who did not have the use of her legs, was given into the care of the Catholic Church at Grouard. In return for her care, the family gave the church a lot on the banks of Bear Creek between 103 and 105th Avenue. This was where St. Joseph’s School was built in 1937, then a convent, and finally a church ca. 2000.
In the meantime, Bill had proved up on his land. He became one of the first teachers at McHenry School and practised law with W.A. Rae. In 1917 he left to study Law at Columbia University, leaving Norbert with the Frank Kinderwater family. He never remarried, but taught in the Faculty of Law in Chicago and died there in the early 1940s.
Frank and Pauline raised six children on the farm: Clem, Anne, Pauline, Theresa, Paul, and Agnes. Along with Norbert, they attended school at LaGlace, which opened in 1917 and where Frank was on the school board. Norbert joined his father in New York ca. 1929; Clem became an Oblate priest in the Grande Prairie area; Anne married Rudlolf Jacobs and farmed at Beaverlodge; Pauline married Donald Morris and moved to California; Theresa married Gordon Martin and moved to Nevada; Agnes taught at Royal Banner in 1940, before she married Charles Kleininger. She died in Prince Rupert in 1952.
Paul married Agnes Van Kasteren and they farmed near Hythe, then went into construction and moved to Grande Prairie in the 1950s. They had ten children: Bill, Shirley, Janet, Joe, Charles, Tom, Gary, Francis, Margaret, and Geraldine. Paul’s wife, Agnes Kinderwater, was the secretary of the Catholic School board for many years.
Frank and Pauline retired to Grande Prairie ca. 1962. Pauline passed away in 1968, and Frank in 1986. They are buried in the Grande Prairie Municipal Cemetery, where Agnes (1920-1952), Paul (1917-2009) and his wife Agnes (1925-1992) are also buried. “Lizzy” or Louise is buried in the RC Cemetery at Grouard.
These photographs were donated to South Peace Regional Archives in 2007 by Paul Kinderwater.
Scope and Content
The fonds consists of 10 photographs of the Kinderwater Family. They include the Adolph & Anna Kinderwater family in Wisconsin, Frank and Pauline Kinderwater and their family in Buffalo Lakes, and son Paul and wife Agnes in Grande Prairie. There is also a photo of the children at Royal Banner School in 1940.
Title based on the contents of the fonds.
Acqusition note: Accession 2007.033
Related records: Clem and Paul Kinderwater oral history in the Pioneer Museum Society of Grande Prairie & District fonds.