Henry Gerwing Sr.
Reports on the death of Henry
(Heinrich) Gerwing come from a
newspaper published by the Benedictine
monks of St. Peter's Abbey in St.
Peter's Colony, Saskatchewan. The
newspaper is being translated from
German into English as part of the
celebration of 100 years since the
establishment of the colony in 1903.
Father Werner Renneberg
Peter's Bote (Messenger), Nov 16, 1905
Mr. Henry Gerwing Sr. of Lenore Lake recently accidentally cut
his knee with a knife. A bad infection set in so that there was
danger of blood poison and Dr. Neely of Humboldt was asked to
come and treat the patient. We hope the courageous man will soon
be completely healed.
Peter's Bote, Nov. 23, 1905
Unfortunately there was no improvement in Mr. Henry Gerwing
Sr.'s health. He was taken to Humboldt last week to be in the
care of Dr. Neely. On Monday of this week Mr. Gerwing received
the sacrament of the dying from Rev. Father Rudolph to be
prepared for any setback. He died quickly and unexpectedly on
Tuesday morning. The burial will take place today. R.I.P.
Peter's Bote, Nov.30, 1905
The one who always was a reliable correspondent for news to St.
Peter's Bote will not send any more in the future because on
November 21, Henry Gerwing died in Humboldt, from blood poison.
He was born in 1846 in Westphalia, came as a strong young man to
America and took up living in Pierz, Minn. When he read about
the favourable opportunities for German Catholics in Canada
three years ago, he decided to settle in St. Peter's Colony near
the beautiful Lake Lenora, with his eleven sons.
got to know Henry Gerwing revered and esteemed him. No one saw
him lose courage. He was always happy and full of life. When the
Most Rev. Bishop of Prince Albert came to Lake Lenore last
summer, Henry first walked to St. Anna to make sure that there
was no wood or stump on the road. He worked in St. Peter's
Colony for three years in order to provide a good home for his
sons. He had everything in order and was happy to have his sons
living in his big, roomy house. But, alas! While adjusting some
small thing, he cut himself in his right leg with his
pocketknife. When it bled profusely he tied a blue piece of
cloth around it. He paid no attention to the wound at first and
kept on working. But by evening his leg pained him very much. He
got blood poison from the blue cloth. For three weeks he stayed
in his house, his leg getting worse day by day. Even then he did
not want to consult a doctor. Finally he gave in and had someone
bring out Dr. Neely. Dr. Neely has a hospital in Humboldt to
which Gerwing was taken. He lay in the hospital for a week at
which time Re. P. Rudolph gave him the Holy Sacraments. After
that he was alive for only a day and gradually passed into
eternity. Only his wife was there when he died, his sons
arriving two hours too late.
His funeral was in Lake Lenore,
November 23. P. Rudolph celebrated the solemn requiem and P.
Dominic, who mourns the departure of the industrious church
helper, performed the burial. All the neighbours and settlers of
the area were present at the funeral. R. I. P.