My Dad, Christopher Bauer was born July 30, 1891 in a village 18 km from Odessa, Russia. He took his schooling in German and Russian. There were several Jewish families in the village and on their Sabbath day they had him come in to light the lamps and tend to the fires as they didn't do anything but read and pray. Dad told us that they seemed to be in a trance as they didn't even let on that he was there; but they always left a lot of goodies for him.
Dad apprenticed as a blacksmith for 3 years with a blacksmith in the village who done work for the surrounding area.
Dad's family moved to Canada in 1908 except for his sister Barbara who was married and had children and was fairly well established and didn't want to leave, they never saw her again. On the way to Canada the family got sick except Dad and his sister Bertha, they would go to the galley and bring soup and light snacks to their cabins. Dad and Bertha got to tour the ship and go below to the engine room and watch men shovel coal into the fire of the steam boilers , that could be why Dad took to steam engines in later years. They also got to go to the pilot house and talk to the captain who took a fancy to him and asked him to stay as a cabin boy; Dad was willing but his father said no.
The family spent their first winter in Canada near Irvine, Alberta with Dad's uncle who had come over with Dad's brother Peter and family in 1907 so they wouldn't have to fight in the Boer War in Africa. In the spring of 1908 they moved to Plover Lake which is about 5 miles south of Scotfield where they took up homesteading. Their first summer had it's hardships -
Dad worked for Alvin Stopp and his wife, they had a store and post office in a place called Stoppington (it is still shown on the special area map in the Youngstown, Alberta town office). Stoppington was a place where people would stop to rest their horses on their long trips; Dad would repair their wagons and do their blacksmith work. Mrs. Stopp took care of the store and post office. The Indians would come in to buy tobacco, cheese and tea. They always bought Blue Ribbon tea and when one shipment came in of Blue Ribbon tea they refused to buy it because it was in a different package. Mrs. Stopp made tea out of every package of tea she sold that day to convince them it was tea. She told Mother that she couldn't drink any more tea by evening. My brother Alvin was named in honour of Alvin Stopp.
In 1912 Dad bought a Case Steamer, Case Threshing machine and a 5 bottom Case breaking plough so he could plough the prairie sod. About 1914 he moved the unit to south of Loyalist, a distance of about 60 miles.
On a trip to Coronation to take the train to Stettler, Dad met Michael Maron who was also going to Stettler, his daughter Amelia was working for Carl Stettler who owned the hotel (the town was named on his behalf), this is where Dad met my Mother. They were married on December 15, 1915. Dad did some breaking and threshing and blacksmith work for the surrounding area. I was born October 4th 1916 and a few days after I was born Mother's youngest brother Reinhold was killed by a run away team while threshing on the home place. When my brother was born in 1917 they named him Reinhold in memory of her brother.