Joseph Fritz's grandparents, Peter Fritz Sr. and wife and sons George and wife Catherine, Adam, Peter and a sister immigrated to Canada from Hungary in 1905. Peter, George and Adam were born in Germany. They settled in Regina. Peter Sr. had been a brewmaster in the old country and took great pride in his trade. He was also a professional tailor for a few years in Regina before he homesteaded in the Fife Lake district on NW 2-3-28 W2 in 1908.
When they first came to homestead here, George and his brothers took turns walking to Moose Jaw for the mail, a round trip took seven days. During the first world war, they were refused their mail, the reason given was because they were German. This lasted for a few weeks and was then rectified. Peter Sr. passed away in 1929.
George and wife Catherine (Dormith) homesteaded on the north half
of section 6-3-27-W2 in 1910, near Hart, Saskatchewan. George was a
certified blacksmith in Austria and Hungary. He opened a shop at Hart
in the mid-thirties.
photo: George Fritz - Homestead Application - August 3, 1910
Together they had eight children, Peter (deceased), George (deceased),
Eva (deceased, killed in a horse runaway on the way home from school
in August 1922), Lena (deceased), Joseph (deceased), Anne, Johnny
and Mary. The children all attended Berg School.
photo: George and Joe Fritz
Catherine passed away in 1922 and was laid to rest in the Willow Bunch Cemetery. George passed away in 1948 and was laid to rest in the Fife Lake Cemetery.
Johnny and Peter were both in the army in the second world war.
Joseph, better known as Joe was born September 8, 1916 at Hart, Saskatchewan, and grew up on the farm. He attended Berg school. At the age of 13, Joe worked on the track that runs by the present farm. In about 1936, during the depression, Joe, Alvin Gibson and Gerald Foley went to Ontario to work as lumber-jacks. During his stay in Ontario, Joe met Helen Mullally, who was staying with relatives on Victoria Road. Helen was born in Regina and in later years, after coming here, her father Dennis Mullally came also. He taught at Berg School in the early forties. Dennis passed away in Calgary in 1973.
Helen and Joe were married in Ontario, they returned here and took over the homestead, and had a family of six children. The first child born to them was Hugh, Joe stayed with Helen and sent Grandpa Mullally to Coronach by team, to get Doctor Bustin. Joe always drove the wildest team, he watched for their return as he thought they would have problems with the team. When they did arrive, Grandpa Mullally could not stop the team from circling the house. Joe finally caught the team and Doctor Bustin delivered Hugh safely. The return trip, Joe took Doctor Bustin back to Coronach himself, as the Doctor refused to ride with Grandpa Mullally again.
In Joe's earlier days he loved boxing. He boxed in many organized tournaments in the forties. They used to box in Jack Foley's barn, but his main interest was horses (the wilder the better). Joe was one of the best horse trainers in the district, people would bring their horses to him to break to ride, he used the whip method to break them. Rene Berger remembers selling Joe a horse that was not broke, Joe whip broke him the barn at Berger's.
In July, 1950, Joe and his hired man, Jim Mitchell went to Scout Lake, where Joe bought some horses. They chased them to the C.P.R. stock yards in Fife Lake, left them in the corral and went to the pub. About one o'clock, Joe decided he would hook up these wild horses and drive them home. Word spread and when Joe left to hook up the team everybody from the pub came out with their cars and lined up on both sides of the stock yards so they could see to hook up the team. (le - I assume they shone their car lights into the stockyard) They hooked the two wild horses in the middle and the two tame ones on the outside. Joe and Jim got on the rubber tired wagon, and the team took off, down across the railway tracks and started along the old trail beside the tracks going East towards Joe's farm. Joe noticed as the horses ran faster, the reins began to get shorter and shorter. Joe realized that the bolt had come out of the evener on the wagon tongue. The wagon jacknifed and the horses got away. Fred Wagner went home and got his horses and caught the team after they had run for about three hours in Fred's field. Joe and Jim then rode the horses home.
Joe and Helen's six children are, Hugh of Edmonton, Barry of Kindersley, Bazil of Yorkton, Joanne of Calgary, Cameron of Fife Lake, and Virginia of Saskatoon.
Joe passed away on December 22, 1973. Helen lives in Calgary and is in good health, and plans to move to her new home at Qualicum Beach in the near future. In 1977, Cameron and Ellen took over the homestead farm, they have a daughter Jaime.