Friday, January 8, 2021


        Christian Klein was born in the mid 1860's in Wischegrad colony , Russia.  He was the oldest son of Gottlieb Klein. Christian was married to Caroline about 1899.  Christian was my grandfather.

        For that time it was unusual for a man to be married in his early 30's. We do know that he was in the Russian army. It's not known how long he was in the Russian army.

        Much of his life is the same as Gottlieb's life. 

        Christian acted as the night watchman in the colony. It's not known how much farming he did. 

       Christian came to Canada in 1900 with his wife and oldest daughter. Three and possibly four children died in early childhood. I know that one lived to be two years old. As a result Christian's children were born later in his life. They had twelve children and eight of them lived to adult hood and some of them lived to be  very elderly.  My Dad was born when Christian was 44 years old.

     Christian  , his wife and two daughters came to Esk , Sask to claim a homestead and begin farming. Life was very challenging in the first years of homesteading. Since there was no railroad, they couldn't sell any products so they had very little money. A railroad was built about three miles from his farm in 1909 and then he was able to sell grain and get some cash. 

      The 1920's were boom times. They were able to borrow money and buy machinery and build some good buildings.  1929 came and they were not able to make payments on the mortgage. Christian and his sons worked together and were able to cover mortgage payments and keep the farm. It was a from rags to riches and back to rags again. 

      I was Christian's first grandson and he was 71 years old. 

      Christian stayed on his farm with his youngest son until he was 78. He then retired in the small village of Esk with its  25 people. His wife Caroline died in 1948. As for most men of that age they knew nothing about housekeeping and he didn't do well. He then began spending part of each year with his sons. So I remember living with Grandpa. As kids we liked our grandpa and he liked us. We talked back and forth. It wasn't until much later in life that I was told that he never learned to speak English and of course we didn't speak German. He could understand enough English and we understood enough German to communicate quite well. 

       He died in 1959 .