Rosenhoff Village School # 61

Rosenhoff Village School # 61 Reminiscings

Built in 1889, it served the community until 1927.

Several Rosenhoff residents are profiled below. The only changes made to the information are new householder names to reflect current locations. I believe the following students all went to the Central Village school.

ABRAM K. EIDSE 1882-1947

Abram was born to his parents Abraham & Helena Eidse and grew up on the farm now owned by the Abe E. Bartel family. (now Dwight and Carol Loewen) He had the privilege to start his education in a brand new school in the fall of 1889. The building was divided into two sections, one part was the church and the other part the school. It was built in approximately the center of Rosenhoff, about 250 meters south of the of the present Greg Dueck residence - Riverside Road 2E. His teachers were Mr. Peter Toews and Mr. Henry Enns. Dad was no whiz at math and kept asking for help until his teacher finally lost his cool and applied the strap. He never really caught on to arithmetic, but he learned not to ask for help.

ABRAM K. LOEWEN 1889-1995

Abram K. Loewen was born to Abram and Margaret Loewen; the first child out of a family of twelve. Times have definitely changed during the 96-year span, which has been given through the mercy of the Heavenly Father to him. He was born on May 15, 1889, in the village of Rosenhoff. Being the oldest of the family he had to learn a lot of new things.

During the early stages of life the baby boys wore dresses instead of trousers. Plastic pants were unheard of! By the age of two, the boys were trained and dressed in shirts and pants. They were ashamed of their new clothing. My father recalls how ashamed he was when his parents had visitors and saw him dressed in pants and shirts, so he ran away and hid.

His first schooling was at the central school with Henry Enns as his teacher. Later Mr. John W. Dueck was the teacher. It was customary for children to sometimes get severe punishments, which caused great fear for all beginners. There had been several boys who received this hard luck; so one day, when one boy was to start his studies, the father couldn't persuade his offspring to stay at school. Hanging onto the doorframe, the boy made everyone aware that he didn't want to join the band of learners. This was one occasion, which impressed the students.

Later on Mr. Abram Suderman held English classes. It was a great novelty and helped much to make the Low-German youngsters speak the English language more fluently. Dad took some lessons, which helped him greatly throughout his later life to read newspapers, which is a great hobby. He has also helped all of us children with arithmetic whenever we found the subject hard to master.

Some of the best foods at the turn of the century were fried farmers sausage and fresh baked zweiback. It was a big treat to find these goodies at the end of the school day in his mother's pantry. The central school was not only used during the week, but also on Sundays for church services and also wedding ceremonies; the wedding supper was held at the bride's parent's farm.

After school there were the farm animals to look after, such as chickens, hogs, cattle, and horses. Dad has always liked new machinery and when the steam engines came on the scene, he was among the men who went to Winnipeg to attend a tractor school.

He enjoyed it immensely and always tried to farm with as good machinery as a farmer could. There were also very sad times during his school years. When sickness came there were no doctors close by for medicine. In the year of 1918-19, his sisters Margaret and Tina, also brother Frank all died of the "flu". Several other members were also deathly sick. There were many funerals at this time.

It was also during Dad's school life that his parents helped other people from the Old Country (Germany) to immigrate and start a new life. Several families made their home at the grandparent's home for a year until other jobs and living quarters were found. These families' children also attended school in Rosenhoff, but later moved to Winnipeg and some to Ontario.

Dad didn't have a special voice for singing, but he knew all the songs, which were taught in school and church and would hum them when he rocked us children on the rocking chair. He has always loved to take children on his lap and rock them to sleep. Even his grandchildren. -by daughter Lillie (Mrs. George D. Bartel)

MRS. C. K. EIDSE 1898-

Mary Loewen grew up in the heart of Rosenhoff, next door to the village store, just a short walk down the village road to the church-school. Her parents were the Cornelius D. Loewen family.

"The church was held in a two-roomed building with a vestibule. The north room was for church and the south end for school. The vestibule was on the south end. The north room was not used by the children for school, but kept only for church. The school was used by the mothers with babies during church. Mothers breast-fed their babies there. Next to this building was the coal shed, and next to this was the outhouse.

C.K. Eidse lived in our village just south of our place. We attended the same school. He was just in fourth grade when he had decided he would marry me one day!

At one time, our teacher went to an auction sale, so I had to teach school. I really enjoyed it. I was a good student. My teacher wanted me to become a teacher. I wanted to go to English school, but mother didn't want me to go, as I might meet an English man. My brother Peter and my cousins went to English school and never married an outsider.

School children played games like Skip-Rope, Hide-and-seek, Ball, Knock on Wood, Fruit Basket Upset…" Excerpted from Gateway to the Past.


Elizabeth grew up in the village of Rosenhoff and still remembers the spring flood of 1897. Her parents were Johann D. and Elizabeth Loewen. Just like people today, the Loewen family built a dike around their farm and kept the place dry. Young Liz and her friends had a great time helping the dike settle by running around on it. She also got a boat ride to Morris and they rowed the boat right into the store and walked from one counter to the next on planks, which were put on top of the counters. In preparation for a much higher flood they roasted buns (tweiback), which they kept ready if they had to move upstairs. The upstairs of houses at that time were used to store grain.

Her first teacher was Mr. Henry Enns and her second one Mr. John W. Dueck. Her schooling lasted from 1897- 1903,and reading was her favorite subject. They also learned to do arithmetic well, and at school closing, Prufung always brought many visitors. Some of their main textbooks were the Bible and Catechism. She lost her younger sister through a diptheria epidemic, along with many other youngsters. (Mary was of school starting age when she died.)

MRS. HENRY F. BRANDT 1892-1987

Susanna was born to her parents, Peter H. and Susanna Siemens in 1902,and grew up close to the place where Bill Zacharias' live today (now a dike covers the spot). Her teacher was Mr. Daniel Fast who was a good teacher, but lacked the English language. Her second teacher was Mr. John W. Dueck, also a good teacher.

She attended school for 5 school years and enjoyed running and races and often came in first. She still recalls learning the long Christmas and New Year "Wunschen," Each school day started with singing and a prayer. Along with the elementary subjects, Catechism and Bible stories were taught.

The school was not insulated nor painted, so it felt old and cold. There were no inside toilets, and the outside toilets were uncomfortable and miserable, on stormy winter days; the remuneration for cleaning the school was sixty cents a week.

JACOB J. K. LOEWEN 1897-1993

Jacob started school at age 6, and attended same until age 15. During his school years, Christmas and Easter programs were not held, but (Prufung) school closing was a time he dreaded because so many visitors came and observed their work. His first teacher was Mr. John W. Dueck, and some years later he was his teacher again. Other teachers were John K. Friesen, Heinrich Vogt (1902-03) who later became a lawyer in Winnipeg, Daniel Fast, who later moved to Saskatchewan, Henry Enns, Peter T. Kroeker, and Jacob H. Friesen, Some were quite strict and some more lenient. The main textbooks were the "Fibel" primer), and the Bible. Emphasis was strong on mental arithmetic, and spelling matches were quite common, He still remembers some of the egg hunts they had Eastertime, and games during recess. Football (soccer) was often played, and "soughn"- meaning sow, was also played by some groups.


Elisabeth was born to her parents, Jacob B. Klassen's, in 1889 and grew up just north of where Lorne N. Loewen's live now.

On her first try at attending school, she got scared of the teacher with his black beard and ran home screaming. A year later, at the age of six, she tried again. And liked her teacher, Mr. John K. Friesen. In some areas he was not very strict but in other areas, very much so. He was her teacher for two years. Her next teacher was Heinrich Vogt, a very good teacher, quite strict, but the children liked him.

Since they moved to the farm( now occupied by Meridian Industries) her school days were over by age 10 which, she regretted for a long time. Their textbooks were the Fibel, Catechism, Bible, and Gesangbuch. To a lesser extent the Evangeliums Lieder Buch was also used. Their school day was from 9:00-12:00 and 1:00-4:00. They sometimes had special visitors and felt quite honored. She also enjoyed Prufung at the end of the school year.

MR. JOHN K. LOEWEN 1903-1986

John was born to his parents Johann D and Elizabeth Loewen in 1903 and grew up on his parents farm west of the present Johnny Loewen home. His teachers were:

Mr. John W. Dueck 1910-11 (one year)

Mr. Peter T. Kroeker 1911-14 (three years)

Mr. Jacob H. Friesen 1914-17 (three years)

All three teachers had good discipline and most of the students liked them. Some of the highlights still remembered are-learning long Wunsche for Christmas, mental arithmetic, reading lessons, and spelling, which was not a favorite!

PETER J. K. LOEWEN 1907-1991

Peter was the youngest son of the late John D. Loewen family, and he grew up close to the Rosenhoff Village school. His teachers were Mr. John W. Dueck, 1915-16, one year; Mr. Jacob H. Friesen, 1916-19, three years; and Mr. Peter T. Kroeker, 1919-21, two years.

The year 1921-22 was a turbulent one and they had four teachers, namely Mr. Peter T. Kroeker, Mr. John W, Dueck, Mr. Jac. Neufeld of Sask., and Mr. Peter Wohlgemuth. Mr. Peter Wohlgemuth, 1922-23, one year. A school year was a five month period - November, December, January, February, and March. During the flu year, 1918-19, Frank Loewen, brother to P. A. Loewen, died of the flu at the age of thirteen.

Teacher Jacob H. Friesen was a strong man. He placed a chair on the table and asked 9-year-old Peter to be seated on it. He lifted the chair with one hand and carried him at recess.


Tena was the youngest daughter of the Cornelius D. Loewen's of Rosenhoff. The following is excerpted from the book "Gateway to the Past".

"My sister Agnes and I started school at the same time. We had a lot in common and played well together. I loved attending school and was often at the top of my class. I still remember learning the whole alphabet. Previously I only knew the letter I because it had a dot on top! Even though we lived only a quarter mile from school, we always took lunches with us. It was Agnes's job to prepare our lunches, which usually consisted of double buns (Tweeback), sausage or spareribs, and apples. In winter, Dad would take us to school with horse and sled as we did not have adequate warm clothes for walking in cold weather. In spite of wearing knitted woolen stockings and felt boots, we still got very cold. Frequently the classroom was not warm enough either.

Discipline in school was very strict. We were not allowed to turn around and look to the back or to talk to our classmates in school time. Once when my sister Elizabeth was Ordnungsaufsaer, Henry Brandt looked back at me and she reported him to the teacher. Names were listed on the chalkboard with different colored chalk, which signified the degree of transgression.

Even in those days the older students helped the younger ones memorize their Christmas poems. I recall helping Agnes (Dueck) Samis and Helen (Friesen) Reimer (Mrs.P.R.E.).

Sometimes the teacher would ask us to sing solos. On one occasion I sang "Hin Nach Oben Schlaegt das Herz". Only during my last year in school did we have a Christmas program. Previous to this we would memorize a poem and recite it to the teacher who would in turn give us a present. These were also the verses we would recite to our parents, visitors and at family gatherings.

One year for Pruefung (year-end program) we practiced the song "Die Schoenste Zeit im Ganzem Jahr, das ist die Fruehlingszeit" and Mrs. Abram F. Friesen, Mrs. Agnes (Dueck) Brandt, sister Agnes and I sang alto.

The most important subjects taught were reading in German and later some English, Math including a lot of oral Arithmetic, neat Penmanship, Catechism and Bible stories.

I had to quit school before I finished Grade 8 as my married sisters needed my help. If I could have continued my education, I would have liked to be a teacher.

In winter, recesses were spent inside because of the cold. This gave us a great opportunity to practice numbers on the chalkboard or play a game like tic-tac-toe. Once it got warmer, both boys and girls - separately - played Prisoner?s Base. Boys also enjoyed soccer games!

My teachers were: Gr. 1 and 2 - Mr. Peter T. Kroeker; Gr. 3,4 and 5 - Mr. Jacob H. Friesen; Gr. 6 - Mr. Peter T. Kroeker, Mr. John W. Dueck, and Mr. John Neufeld; and Gr. 7 -Mr. Peter Wohlgemuth."

MR. JOHN B. LOEWEN 1911-1990

John now living in Rosenort, Man. moved into the district of Rosenhoff at the time he married Helena W. Siemens, and in time he became a trustee. Since he himself had run into some problems as a student years ago, he understood some of the problems that young people felt, but with so many lady teachers and students going to school to age 15 or more, things sometimes got out of hand, and the trustees had to intervene. In order to earn the confidence of the students, "

Mr. Loewen started woodworking instruction classes on Fridays, where many articles were fabricated. Henry B. Rosche was one of the top students at these classes and Mr. Loewen still has a butterfly case and a fond memory of those times.


When going to school we usually had to walk two miles. We sometimes got very tired with legs aching and blisters on our heels. The odd time we'd get a ride with a horse (named Daisy) and buggy or in winter with a horse and sleigh. When going to school, we didn't just have to pack a lunch for ourselves, but also had to bring feed for the horse so it could eat. The school had a little shack where Daisy would stay while we would be learning. Daisy got lonely out in the shack. We must have had some young riders since most children quit school around age 13. After school we would hitch her on the buggy and Daisy would be so anxious to get home, she just started to run right away and we could hardly get on the buggy. A brother had to hold her back on the bridle till we all were on the buggy. Daisy now ran so the brother had to climb in while Daisy was gaining speed. That was so scary. Sometimes we would ask the teacher to hold her till we were all ready to go. Once she ran home with the buggy before we had a chance to get on. Then another time she galloped about half a mile and we had to yell at the other kids going home on the road to go aside, because we couldn't stop the horse. After the first mile she was tired, then we urged her on and we did make it home. She was a rather small chubby horse, but not as small as a pony. We sold the horse to people 25 miles away but after about two weeks, who shows up but Daisy.

We always played outside at school. Games included "baseball", "prisoners base", "drop the handkerchief" and others. We skipped a lot and we would have to play outside even if it was cold and stormy. When cold and stormy, we would often play "ten steps around the house" (school), or "ante, ante over". In winter, we had high snowdrifts and we made slides. To increase the height of these slides we would add more blocks of snow to get it a bit higher and then we flooded it with water. Great fun!

The school system changed from a private to a public school when I was in school. They had more English than German when the government took over. In the beginning of this change, we would have a card pinned up in front of the classroom telling us which language we were to speak during the day. This kept changing as the day progressed. After a couple of years, it was all in English. Another change was that the school was to have a flag. This was something foreign. The first few years in the public system, the flag was put up in the lobby, then in 1928 a new school house was constructed and a flagpole erected for the flag.

When we got to school, we would sing a song and had prayer and then sing "God save the King". During lunch, we sometimes skipped to the local store, which was real close. The day ended with a half hour of Bible Stories and Friday with "Catechism" which was questions and answers from the Bible. I can't recall having homework, but I would spend my time wisely by helping my younger brothers with theirs.

Once a week the families would take turns bringing soup to school for lunch. Seeing the Dueck family lived all of two miles from school, theirs was brought in the morning. Others would bring theirs at noon. We had sauerkraut, cabbage borscht, bean and chicken noodle soup at different times. The Dueck clan often had "Bubbat" (sausage at the bottom with dough on top) and an apple. This was simple. Another common lunch would be jam sandwiches or fried sausage wrapped in a bun with a bottle of water. Our individual lunches were packed into syrup or honey pails.

The children used pens, which had to be put into ink in order for them to write. The children used a slate and "griffels" to do their work.

A little three foot high round tin stove was used for heating. In the morning the teacher had to kindle the stove an hour before the children came. Sometimes the stove and stovepipes got red hot, and yet our feet would still be freezing. This was wood heat, which was changed to black coal, which kept us warmer longer.

The washrooms were outside and even in winter it was all we could use. All the water for the children had to be carried in by pails. In winter this meant melting snow or ice.

Entertainment after school was limited. When I got together with my friends, we would look up Bible verses to see who could find them first (sword drill). This was done in place of table games.

Copyright © 2001 Lorilee Scharfenberg.