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Joseph Henry Wocknitz and
Irene Regina Leismaster Wocknitz

Water Works Wonders
A History of the White, Wilson, McMahon,
River Junction School Districts
Page 464

Joseph Henry Wocknitz, (one of Albert and Katherine's children), was born in Emsley, South Dakota, Feb. 19, 1887. In Alberta he lived near Magrath. On April 1, 1918 he married Irene Regina Leismaster from Foremost. She was born May 4, 1900 in Odessa, Russia. She and her family came to Canada in 1901.

Joe and Irene made a home in the McMahon area and at least four of their children attended the McMahon School.

In May of 1933 they moved to Creston, B.C. and a year later went to Lister, B.C. They had eleven children all born in the Lethbridge area except the last two, who died at birth.

The Joe and Irene Wocknitz farm's location was 14-7-20W4. Their farm building were only a five minute walk from McMahon school so their children were the only ones who could go home for lunch during the noon recess. Since most of the sport activities took place at noon, meals were often skimped or even skipped for a hockey game in the winter or a softball game in the spring.

The five eldest of the children, were students at McMahon School. Two of the children took their turns as school janitor just as other students in the school did when they became old enough to care for the fires and keep the schoolroom tidy.

In 1934 the family left the farm and moved to Creston, B.C. Their farm house was later used as a teacherage by some of the school teachers who found the proximity of the school and the privacy more agreeable than boarding with some neighbouring family.

When Mom and Dad moved to Creston, they lived on Comfort's place, which had fruit trees. One daughter ate so many cherries she got sick. A year later they moved to Lister, B. C. Here they did mixed farming - had their own meat, and a large garden. Joe and his sons hauled logs home to cut, split and sell to augment their income.

Joseph died May 18, 1952 at 65 years. Irene passed away in Lethbridge, age 54 years, on Nov. 16, 1954.

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Copyright 2000
Mary Tollestrup