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Reinhart and Katie Yauk, 1920s.

Reinhart and Katie Yauk, 1918.

Reinhart and Katie Yauk, 1930.

Jack Schwab, Fred Yauk, and Fred Hildermann, Winnipeg, late 1920s

Front row: Ken and Norm Hochban. Back row: Katie Yauk Hochban and John Hochban. 1941

Reinhart Yauk with his two grandsons Ken and Norm in 1946

Molly Yauk, unknown neighbor, Kay Yauk and her mother Katie Yauk. 1912

Katharine and Mollie Yauk, daughters of Reinhart and Katie Yauk.

David and Fred Yauk, sons of Reinhart and Katie Yauk


Brookfield Cemetary in Winnipeg where many Yauk family members are buried

Memorial for Reinhart and Katie Yauk, Brookside Cemetery, Winnipeg

Ken Hochban at Grand-parents gravesite.

Faraday School, Winnipeg. Many German immigrant's children attended this school. 1924

Lutheran Church in Winnipeg. Many Holstein immigrants were members of this church.

* Grandparents immigrated from Holstein, Saratov, Russia, to Winnipeg, Canada, May 1912.
* Four children accompanied them: Fred b.1900, Dave b.1902, Mollie b.1905 and Kay b.1911.
* All four children born in Holstein.
* Deaths: (Fred 1964, Dave 1957, in Winnipeg)(Mollie 1993, Vancouver)(Kay 1997, Deep River)
* Kay Yauk married John Hochban April 28, 1934. Had two children, Ken (me) and Norm.

NOTE: Reinhardt Yauk left Holstein for South America (Brazil - 1890's) before he married. Its very possiable he was sent as a delegate, by the Volga community, to examine emigration possibities. He returned to Holstein, married Katie and raised his family of four. However it is apparent he had the desire and will to leave Russia which the family did in 1912 (Canada).

MEMORIES: My parents had moved from Winnipeg to Toronto, after marriage in 1934, for jobs. The Great Depression sent people up and down the country, usually riding the rails like my dad John Hochban did, to seek work. Toronto must have been the best source for work. I was born Ken John Hochban, Dec 11-1935 and my brother Norm Mathius Hochban born Aug. 7-1938.

Around 1941, our family moved back to Winnipeg since my grandmother Katie Yauk was in very bad condition with mainly heart problems and could barely walk. They needed help and Kay, my mother, deemed it her duty to go back to Winnipeg to care for her parents. Fortunately John(Dad) found employment with the Canadian Air Force(Winnipeg)installing and fixing radios in planes. Katie Yauk later died of hemorrhaging Mar 9-1945.

REINHART YAUK: [1871-1950]
My memory of grandfather was as one of the most peaceful, simple, laid-back, individual I've witnessed. Yes I met him when he was 70 but this is my memory. He went about his simple work every day without complaint of any sort except whenever I re-arranged his hallowed garden with trying to make a golf course out of it or when I made an Igloo in the winter and didn't want it broken up in the spring. One year friends and myself collected every Xmas tree we could find, after the holidays, and built a huge fort on Grandpa's garden plot. This didn't go over to well as the pine needles would have poisoned the earth. He had to personally dispose of 230 trees. One other complaint arose when my father John built a 12x12 car garage in the back yard over a piece of the garden. I think tears flowed that day.

As you can see the GARDEN was the life blood of my grandfather. Everything revolved around this which was a trait of most of the Holstein Germans. In spring seeds of peppers, tomatoes, and other vegetables would be planted in home made wooden boxes and placed on the window sill for sun. It seems to me that some of this occurred in late February. All these seeds were saved from years passed or if a particular plant grew a phenomenal specimen, then these seeds would become the beginning of a new try. Reinhart knew what he was doing since his plants always produced prime results much to the delight of our family. Every meal had goodies from the garden.

In the fall the earth was always taken care of and recycling was a way of life with any organic leftovers. A part of the plot was used for mulching everything, grass, leaves, meal leftovers, etc. and plowed back into the garden with simple hand tools.

Grandfather's eyes were invariably getting progressively worse, so his solution was to visit a 5&10 store, or the like, and pick out from a common box a used pair of glasses that may improve his sight somewhat. It must have worked for him since he never complained, in fact I don't recall him ever seeing a doctor except for one instance when my mother Kay forced him to have a necessary operation.

His solution for repairing teeth was twofold. If a tooth bothered him he would tie a thread around it and yank it out. I witnessed this twice and thought he was great, I was 8 to 10 yrs old. His second solution was to only eat softer food or grind it into softer mush. Many was the time, every day I think, he would bring out his WOODEN SPOON he made, and have a bowl of milk and home made bread. Soups where always around and in fact were a staple meal in this family.

Reinhart at some stage had dug out a semi basement under part of the house to hold a coal furnace plus cold storage. Veagies like potatoes, root products, sauerkraut, pickles, anything that can be preserved were made and stored here. In the fall he spent a week away in a smoke house with other Holstein friends making SUMMER SAUSAGE. They had to live and sleep in this smoke house to ensure that the sausage cured properly and keep temperatures constant. When he came back, he had processed enough summer sausage for our family and friends for a year, but these sausages (2 ft long) had to hang in the semi basement to cure to a rock hard consistency then Xmas was the big sampling time. Wonderful, my greatest memory of German food, summer sausage, with a slice of German black rye bread, homemade pickles, cheese, a sample of homemade wine (kids had a sample), GOOD!

This basement also held an enclosed coal bin and furnace. My grandfather would arise each cold Winnipeg winter morning, go outside to access the basement,(since the only way down was from a slopped undercut under the back porch), and stoke the furnace. He wanted to do this, it was part of his routine, thus we all stayed in bed until Grandpa warmed the house. One particularly bad winter the wind had piled snow so high it blocked our doors & windows and grandpa was stuck, there was no way out to feed the furnace or to clear the snow. Fortunately young John Dalinger next door had access to shovels and he cleared our back door enough for grandpa, who was excited by now, to get out and on with his own shoveling action. He was always the first to shovel snow on the street, and in Winnipeg, with their broad streets, the 668 St John walkway was invariably cleared of snow first.

One morning, around 2:00 AM, everyone was fearfully awakened to very load voices. The whole family appeared in the kitchen to the source of this noise, and there was grandpa with the radio blaring away listening to Queen Elizabeth's coronation from London. He didn't know how to turn the volume down on my Dads' radio. He was however very thankful and respectful of any identification with the Crown, who he perceived as allowing immigration to Canada, and this feeling was preeminent with most German immigrants in Winnipeg.

German was the language of this household where English was understood but not freely spoken by my grandparents. This was fine for me since I could understand what was said but unfortunately was never able to speak German. Funny situations arose whenever my fathers German got confused with the Yauks lo-German dialect. They couldn't figure each other out sometimes so conversations took strange turns or ceased entirely.

Above all, Reinhart was the most religious individual I have come across in my life, even to the point of absurdity. Every spare moment of the day was spent in reading the German bible, and I'm sure this amounted to 3hrs/day. Not only that, he went to Christ Lutheran Church whenever it had a service, sometimes staying for the 2nd service. He would then go to the Mennonite Church for more participation. My mother told me he was always like that so religion was extremely important for him. The fact he quietly died in his beloved church pew, Feb. 5-1950, which seems the most peaceful way an individual can pass away and it happened for him. I am very proud of this grandpa and feel fortunate we lived with him for the 7 years we did. We left for Toronto in early 1948 for new horizons.

KATHERINE YAUK: [1881-1945]
Grandma Katie Yauk was similar in her quiet ways. I never remember any shouting or anger unless it came from my 4yr old brother Norm Mathius Hochban who knew how to rabble rouse. One evening when my parents John and Kay(Yauk)Hochban were visiting others, my grandparents were left with the job of putting Norm and myself to bed. This was the time for Norm to rebel since he deemed he had easy prey in our grandparents. He began the actions of many small kids when they refuse to go to bed and finally dropped his pants and stuck his bare bum out to my grandparents. Instead of reacting like many people would at this point, Reinhart and Katie started laughing, to the point of tears. This must have shamed my brother so much, where he didn't get the reaction he expected, that he pulled up his pants and marched straight into bed.

Grandma was in poor physical shape and the main reason we had moved from Toronto to Winnipeg, to help her out. However this did not mean that Katie gave up on things she could do. In fact she remained the prime cook in this family and always had fresh homemade bread baking in the oven. Sundays were the prime fancy meal day where chicken, pork, or beef roasts were featured in the many German or Russian ways. Homemade soups were always available: Navy bean soup with sweet donuts; milk based potato,cauliflower,or string bean soups, with a dash of vinegar thickened with what we call Ionbra (roux).

Grandmas tour de force which we have never fully duplicated is called "Berok". Basically a very simple special potato bread dough enclosing cabbage, onion, and meat mixture, which is baked to perfection; then most important of all, eaten with watermelon. Berok time was celebration time!

Since my fathers background is Austrian-Hungarian (Donauaschwaben) and my other grandmother Magdalene Hochban lived near-by, Katie became proficient in learning the cooking secrets of these Germans: Chicken Paprigas, Wiener Schnitzel, Goulash, Dumplings, Stuffed Peppers, Krautsalad, Kipfel, and the greatest desert of all Strudel. I have since passed on these old recipes to my 7 children and hope the tradition carries on.

Grandma Katie loved to knit and sew since all forms of homemade wearing apparel kept appearing around the home for everyone. Especially those homemade slippers I still wear today. Every year grandpa returned from somewhere with a huge bag of unprosesed wool which he dumped on our front yard veranda. Then Katie took action. She first had to remove any foreign objects from the wool, like twigs or dirt, and then began the conversion to many balls of wool. This is where I came into play or anyone else she could entice. While she pulled strands of wool from the pile, she would wrap these strings around my outstreched arms. Try holding your arms out in front of you for any extended time, it Hurts! Finally she would use the back of chair spokes to complete the prosess, dye the the wool, then spin it on her ancient machine. Just think, I saw all this happen during grandmas short stay with us. I'll never forget her.

It was impossible for grandma to move very far consequently she seldom got out of the house, go to church, or even take a car ride in our model-T Ford. It eventually reached the point where grandma Katie was totally bedridden finally passing away Mar 9-1945 at age 64. My grandparents headstone says it all, "GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN."

Ken J. Hochban

Lower Volga Project
Of Interest
[Lower Volga Project] [Dobrinka] [Dubovka] [Dreispitz] [Galka] [Holstein] [Kraft] [Mueller] [Shcherbakovka] [Schwab] [Stephan] [Of Interest] [Obituaries]