Weyburn Pioneer Woman Sculpture

Susanna Krumenacker  nee Yung 

Submitted by Donna Loos – granddaughter-in-law 

Susanna Yung was born in Offzenitza, Bonat Province, Hungary in 1876. She is the daughter of Michael (1838-1910) and Margaret (Gerbrich 1847-1920) Yung, she had two sisters and two brothers John and Joseph Yung.

 In 1902, Susanna Yung emigrated from Hungary with her cousin Barbara Yung and arrived in Indian Head.  Susan was betrothed to John Mathias also from Hungary.  John and his father Nicholas and brother Hannis had emigrated in 1901.  John was employed at the Bell farm as a coachman, then as a railroad worker for CPR.  Susan worked as a chambermaid in Indian Head. On May 7, 1902, John obtained entry for his homestead NW S2-T9 R16 three miles west of McTaggart, alongside of his father and brother.

 

  Susanna Yung and John Krumenacker along with Barbara Yung and Peter Topka were married in a double wedding ceremony at the home of Barbara’s parents in Yellow Grass, Rev. Luyten officiating in 1904. 

 Susanna’s father Michael, at age 70, Susanna’s mother, Margaret, and two brothers John and Joseph set up a homestead near Parry, Saskatchewan in 1905.  Margaret Yung (my grandmother) spent her last days with her daughter Susan, son-in-law, John, and their family. She passed away in May of 1920. Her wake was held in the old house on this farm.  A tombstone to mark their place of rest is found in the McTaggart cemetery. 

 While in Yellow Grass, John remained an employee of the CPR working as far west as Gleichen, Alberta.  Natural gas just coming into use in that area at the time; this was most intriguing to him. Numerous rattle snakes along the CPR right of way in Alberta demanded constant alertness on the workers part; prairie fires were another hazard to contend with. 

Any days off while living in Yellow Grass in the summer, dad would go via jump car to Brightmore – walk 5 miles south to the homestead, work there towards proving up (which is the process of the homesteader to fufill certain requirements of the Crown before the patent could be obtained; after which he would return to Yellow Grass that same day. In the winter time he would work for Mr. Morrison when he was not working on the railroad.

 CPR work took him away from home so much that it lost its appeal, so in 1906 they packed what possession they had in one trip he moved family and all to live on the homestead.  Dad being self-educated, education for the family was top priority. He sold his homestead to Stefan Schultz and bought Michael Honig’s homestead claim 16-9-16 three quarters of a mile from the original built Muckamore School.  Two children were born in Yellow Grass; two on the homestead and the last five children were all born in the farm home (16-9-16), Mrs. Vogel being the midwife.  Their mother tongue was spoke at home, so when the children started school they had to learn English and sometimes teachers weren’t so patient. Aunt Anna asked permission to go to the bathroom and teacher didn’t know what she was saying with disastrous results.  They had 6 girls before a son was born, so it was a good thing Susanna could sew, but Barbara became the family seamstress and sewed garments for this large family.

 One evening, the farm light in the window guided weary travelers to the farm – none other than the late Dr. Eaglesham who had lost his way on his return to Weyburn after having tended a sick call in the Trossachs area. While Dad rubbed down and fed the doctors very tired team, mother served food she could quickly prepare. No amount of persuasion could make the doctor and his passenger stay the night as someone else may be waiting for him. They proceeded on their way home, a journey that was still another sixteen miles away. Such was the dedication of our pioneers.

 If women would then have been trained in some trade, butchering would have been mother’s choice – she would cut up the pork utilizing all but the “squeal”. Of her culinary arts her strudel and finely cut home-made noodles were her specialties. Her green thumb produced a splendid array of color all season long while they lived in McTaggart. She knit countless numbers of socks even after she was ninety years old.

In 1946 they retired from the farm to live in the late Peter Young’s house in McTaggart. They spent sixteen years here. Their land (most of it) is still owned by a Krumenacker grandson, they have their 100 year homestead anniversary plaque they received in 2004.  In 1962, Dad went to live at Mount St. Mary’s. Mother joined him there about nine months later. They were a month short of celebrating their 67th wedding anniversary at the home when in April of 1971 mother passed away after several months of illness. She was in her 95th year.  Dad passed away quietly in his sleep August 1973 in his 97th year. Both rest in the cemetery in McTaggart. 

 If you went to visit them you’d often find them saying the rosary, they were devout Catholics and believed God would answer prayers.  And indeed He did for this couple of pioneers who raised 8 children and went on to live a very long life.  None of them would have been able to dream of the progress which we have achieved as a direct result of their enduring faith, often unspeakable hardships, necessary thrift, courage, sacrifices, their never ending prayer and Christian guidance.  Indeed “They lit our way”. 

My children were her great grandchildren, they called them “Little Gran” and “Big Pa”. 

I never knew this elderly couple until they moved to McTaggart.  If you went to visit them after supper they were busy saying the rosary. 

My family never made strudel, the first time I saw Gram making it.  I couldn’t believe it, that dough stretched across the whole table – some was apple – some carrot and raisin, but all very delicious.

I was amazed at her green thumb. She could pull a plant, make a hole with her finger and plant it there and it grew. 

This couple ended their days in Mt. St. Mary’s, now Signal Hill, it was a nursing home then, they lived on different floors.  They also celebrated their 65th anniversary there, I’m sure their whole family was home.  Father McKehre blessed this happy couple.   

Grandma made socks for my children but they were pure wool so I always managed to shrink at least one.   

So this little lady deserves so much credit for raising a large family and working so hard.

Her birthday was in July, so for her celebration you could see young fryers on the menu along with new potatoes stolen from under the plants.   

Wash days for this large family you often ran out of line space so one would utilize fences to dry clothes.  Sammy Buzzard was the local homeless man living into a hill, if he visited on wash day and enjoyed a lunch, the fence could be without pants or a shirt when he went home. 

 

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