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Scheideman family reunites
The Reporter and The Grove Examiner
August 18, 2000
Contributed for use in Alberta Digital Archives by Darlene Homme
Scheideman family reunites
On July 29 and 30, 230 descendants of John George and Katherine Scheideman gathered at the Keephills Community Centre to celebrate 100 years of Scheideman history in the Mewassin area.
John George Scheideman left Norka, Russia, in the spring of 1900, arriving in the Mewassin area in June. He located a quarter section of land with a creek running through it, purchased the NE 30-T 51-R 2-W5 from a Sam Schinke, and started his homestead.
In 1901, Katherine arrived with their eight children, two girls and six boys: Katie, John, George, Henry, Elizabeth, Conrad, Philip and Jacob. In 1902, Louis, their Canadian born son arrived, completing their family.
In later years, Katie married Peter Miller, and Elizabeth married Fred Spady.
John George and his family were successful farmers. At one time they also ran a ferry across the North Saskatchewan River, between their farms and also to help new pioneers reach their land on the south side of the river.
Tragedy struck the family in 1919 when father, John George; son John; and John's wife, Erna, all died within a week from the influenza outbreak.
Katherine continued farming with her sons. She passed away in 1945.
All are buried in the Mewassin Cemetery.
In 1926, a church was erected on land donated by the family, and it is still attended by many of the descendants.
A special event at the reunion was the presentation by Carol Guenette, who represented MLA Stan Woloshyn on behalf of the provincial government, of an Alberta Century Farm and Ranch Award to the Bruce Fielhaber family.
The award is presented to families who have farmed a piece of land continuously for 100 years. Bruce is the great grandson of John George Scheideman and is the present owner of the original Scheideman homestead.
Bruce's mother, Ethel Fieldhaber, and aunt, Donna Pullen, daughters of Philip Scheideman, were in attendance for the award presentation.
Slides of Norka, Russia, where the Scheideman family emigrated from, were shown by Walter Blume of Castor, whose family also came from that area.
A family tree dating back to 1739 in Hessen, Germany, was on display, as well as the current tree from 1900 to 2000. There are approximately 320 living descendants of John George and Katherine Scheideman.
Gifts were presented to the youngest descendant, nine month old Ryan Joel Jespersen, great great grandson of Henry Scheideman; oldest descendant, 85 year old William Scheideman, son of Henry Scheideman; and to Laurel Carter Dingwall of Aylesford, Nova Scotia, granddaughter of Conrad Scheideman, for having come the farthest.
Door prizes went to Wendy Douglas and to Glen Fielhaber.