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Grandpa and Grandma Johann & Maria Wiebe

by Leona Ewert

Leona Ewert by her Mt. Lake home

The Word of God admonishes us to remember those who have gone on before. Deut. 32:7, "Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations. Ask your father and he will show you, your elders and they will tell you."

Johann and Maria Wiebe, maternal grandparents of J.N.C. Hiebert

Grandma Wiebe was born in South Russia in 1846 and died in 1922 in Mt. Lake at the age of 75. She lived with her parents in Alexanderkron.

She married Cornelius Enns in 1867. This marriage lasted 8 years; Cornelius died in 1875. Two daughters, Maria and Kathrina, had died in infancy. One son, Henry Enns, was born; years later he and his wife Maria and their son died while they were missionaries in Cameroon, Africa.

When Grandma was a widow a change came into her life, when she was close to 30 years old. She could accept forgiveness of her sins, for which she had longed for so long, and a deep peace settled in her heart. She was so happy that her husband, Enns, had accepted the Lord before he died and was safe in the arms of Jesus.

In 1875 was her second marriage to Cornelius Heidebrecht, who was a minister. They were so happy together, but it lasted less than a year. Heidebrecht died in 1876, 7 months later. This caused Maria a lot of pain and tears, but she bore it patiently. A son was born after the death of her husband; this son died two years later.

In 1877 she entered into her third marriage, namely to Johann Wiebe, and became a devoted mother to the four children of her husband. They were Sara (Mrs. Pete Balzer), Maria (Mrs. Jacob Eytzen), Abram Wiebe, and Elizabeth, who died when she was 10 years old. Seven children were born into the family of Johann and Maria--3 sons and 4 daughters. Two daughters and one son died in infancy, and one son, John, died at the age of 21 when he was attending Rochester Seminary and preparing to go to Africa as a missionary. Those who survived included Suzanna (Mrs. N. N. Hiebert), missionary and pastor's wife; Anna (Mrs. Jacob H. Ewert - Leona Ewert's mother), minister's wife; and Jacob Wiebe, pastor and teacher. For awhile these all lived here in Mt. Lake until the J. J. Wiebes moved to Corn, Oklahoma and later the N. N. Hieberts moved to Hillsboro, Kansas.

Front: Jacob, Mother Maria, John, Father Johann, Anna
Back: Kathrina, Susie

Susie (Hiebert), Anna (Ewert), Jacob and John Wiebe

Grandma stood at many death beds. When one child died, they would give the next baby the same name. After the third Kathrina had died, she said, "Maybe we are not supposed to have any Kathrina." Her mother's name was Kathrina and the name was important to her. She also said, "Eight of our beloved children are where they are safe and secure; when my time comes, I want to greet all of them, and to see Jesus will be the greatest joy of all." Grace was a very important word to her.

When the Wiebes came to Minnesota they settled on a farm a few miles south of Bingham Lake. Their property included Maiden Lake, where later baptisms took place. We children, a number of their grandchildren, were baptized there.

Grandpa and Grandma Wiebe's Old Home Place

Grandma Wiebe was so burdened to think of the many lost people without the Lord and she had a great desire to do something for the Lord. She started a Mission Society after she had presented it to others who wereof the same mind. She longed to see money collected to send out missionaries. The articles which were made were sold at Mission Sales and in time a large amount of money came in. This idea spread to other states and Manitoba.

Grandma Wiebe lived not quite a year after the Jacob H. Ewert family moved from Maine Centre, Saskatchewan, to Mt. Lake and assisted them. She was very frail; in her notes she mentions that for two years she was not without pain. She called it "Dreckung," discomfort in the heart area. She was such a tiny lady. She had a little rocking chair, without arm rests. I still can visualize her sitting on it, kind of leaning forward and rocking. When she passed away all the children were there. The grandchildren played outside. When they came and told us, we really cried for we loved her so much. Her body was being cared for by the Abram Dicks. It was in February and cold. They kept the body in an unheated porch. Her many prayers at home and in the Church will be remembered.

Wiebe Home,1921-1926

Now Grandpa Wiebe was alone, so the Ewerts lived with him for five years. Grandpa was a person who loved to give. After Christmas he would start buying for the next Christmas on sale. He had a chest in his bedroom, a forbidden place for others to look in there, where he stored the gifts. One year the girls got dolls. One is still on display, around 70 years old. One thing the grandchildren don't forget is Grandpa's bearded kiss. He also gave gifts to the choir.

Grandpa's birthday was January 1, New Year's Day. That was the day when the Community had its Sunday School Convention in the High School Auditorium. After that there was a big relative gathering at Grandpa's place with a delicious "Faspa" (lunch). Grandpa saw to it that there were lots of peanuts on hand.

The last four years of his life Grandpa was bedridden due to old age and weakness. He was resigned to it and patient. He had a window which faced the church and with binoculars he watched people go to church, which was a blessing to him. The first two years the Jacob Ewerts took care of him, until they moved into their own house. The Jacob Eytzens bought Grandpa's house and took care of him the next two years. They moved in through the front door and the Ewerts out through the back door. Grandpa Wiebe died in July 1929. Grandpa and Grandma's graves are in the Mt. Lake cemetery.

There was a very good relationship between our Uncles and Aunts, the Peter Balzers, Jacob Eytzens, Abram Wiebe, N. N. Hieberts, Jacob Ewerts and Jacob Wiebes. They kept up their getting together periodically, for devotions and refreshments. This included a lot of singing by heart, old time hymns, reading and discussing God's Word and prayer. Also birthday celebrations and butchering days were special. Now we can see the rewards, the influence of Christian ancestors has brought. Children of Grandparents Wiebe and Grandchildren and even now Greatgrandchildren have gone as Missionaries. Others have become pastors, teachers, nurses, doctors and businessmen, letting their light shine. There also have been times of sorrow and failure, but we have a forgiving God abundant in mercy. Many are with the Lord, not with us anymore, but "The Memory of the Just is blessed." Prov. 10:7

Front: Mrs. & Mr. Peter Balzer, Grandma & Grandpa John Wiebe, Mrs. & Mr. Jacob Eytzen
Back: Anna (Wiebe) Ewert, Mrs. & Mr. Abram Wiebe, John Wiebe, Mr. & Mrs. N. N. (Susie Wiebe) Hiebert, Jacob Wiebe

Events and dates in the lives of Grandpa and Grandma Johann and Maria Wiebe

Grandma: born October 11, 1846, died February 4, 1922
1867 - married to Cornelius Enns
1869 - Maria was born
1869 - Maria died, was 8 days old
1870 - Henry Enns was born (Missionary)
1873 - Kathrina was born
1875 - Cornelius Enns (husband) died
1875 - Kathrina died (10 days after her father)
1875 - married Cornelius Heidebrecht (a widower and preacher)
1876 - Cornelius Heidebrecht died (after 7 months)
1876 - Cornelius Heidebrecht born (8 weeks after his father died)
1877 - married Johann Wiebe (widower and had 4 children)
- Elizabeth
- Sara (Mrs. Balzer)
- Maria (Mrs. Eytzen)
- Abram Wiebe
1878 - Kathrina was born
1878 - Kathrina died (after 13 weeks)
1878 - Cornelius Heidebrecht died (2 years old)
1879 - Susanna was born (Mrs. N. N. Hiebert)
1879 - Elizabeth died (10 years old); she was Grandpa Wiebe's daughter
1881 - Johann was born and died after 7 months
1882 - Kathrina was born
1884 - Johann was born
1886 - Anna was born (Mrs. Jacob H. Ewert, Leona's mother)
1887 - Jacob was born
1889 - Kathrina died (7 years old)
1897 - Henry Enns died in Africa
1898 - Mrs. Henry Enns died in Africa, and also their little son died
1905 - John Wiebe died (age 21 years); was preparing to go to Africa
1908 - Albert Hiebert, son of Susanna, drowned
1922 - Grandma Maria Wiebe died
1929 - Grandpa Johann Wiebe died; was bedridden for 4 years


These are some of the other tragedies that happened in the family of Grandpa and Grandma Wiebe.

Grandpa Wiebe had a house built in Mt. Lake on 6th Avenue. Just before they were to move, a lightning storm struck and plaster came down in an upstairs bedroom. It sent Grandpa into a depression for a little while, but he snapped out of it.

Then Grandparents Wiebes moved to town, and the Abram Wiebes lived on their farm. A tornado struck with damage but no loss of life. They felt sorry for those who experienced death in the community.

In 1979 a tornado struck Mt. Lake, which hit the Will Klassen house and took their front room away. Esther (Eytzen) Klassen, a granddaughter of the Wiebes, was alone at home; her life was spared.

Albert Hiebert, son of N. N. Hieberts, drowned in Eagle Lake at the age of 7.

John Wiebe, son of Abram Wiebe, drowned in India in 1963, at the age of 63.

The Peter Balzers and the Jacob Eytzens each had a son who were not saved until later in life. The parents were greatly concerned and got together once a week to pray for their sons. After the parents were with the Lord, the answer came. John Eytzen through a farm accident was badly burned; his leg was charred. While in Basinger Hospital he was led to the Lord, to the great joy of his family, wife and children. Isaac Balzer had a corn dryer, and had to check it during the night. Because of some accident he was pinned down, one side of his body almost burning and the other side freezing. In the morning he was rushed to the Cities for treatment, where he shortly died. He left a clear testimony of his acceptance of salvation. "The Lord Hears and answer Prayers."

"Be careful so that you do not forget the things your eyes have long as you live. Teach them to your children and their children." Deut. 4:9.

Mission Society

Mrs. Johann Wiebe (Grandma Wiebe) of the Carson M. B. Church had a great interest in spreading the Gospel to the heathen lands. She pondered how could more money be gathered to send missionaries. She took it from the Lord that a Sewing Circle ought to be started. She submitted this to others and they were of the same mind. This spread to North Dakota and Manitoba.

The Sewing Circle started in 1888 in homes; it was small at first, but increased in numbers. The women served while the men had a Bible study. Little children were brought along. A lunch was served. Then on July 4, 1888, the first Mission Sale was held in the afternoon. In the morning there was a service emphasizing Missions and a meal was served at noon. Throughout the years the Carson and Mt. Lake churches jointly celebrated this together. In 1911 the young women started a Mission Society in Mt. Lake, also in homes. The hostess was responsible for devotions. In 26 years, the amount that was given from the Mission Sales brought $21,998.35, the smallest amount being $102 and the largest $4,289.

Family Members in the Service for the Lord


Mr. & Mrs. (nee Ewert) Henry Enns leaving Mt. Lake for Africa

Children of the Johann Wiebes:
-Henry and Maria Enns - Africa; were the second from M.B. Conference to go
-N.N. and Susie Hiebert - India; first missionaries to go from here to India
-John Wiebe prepared but died, age 21

Mt. Lake's goodbye for John & Anna Hiebert

John Hiebert leaving for India

-John and Viola Wiebe - India
-John and Anna Hiebert - India
-Ben and Linda Braun - Germany and Austria
-Sara Balzer - Pine Ridge among Indians
-John Balzer - DVBS Superintendent

Great Grandchildren:
-Arthur Wiens - Italy
-Ruth Wiens - Japan
-Dennis Wiens - Africa
-Robert Wiens - Africa
-Esther Wiebe - India
-Rose Braun - India
-Paul and Frances Hiebert - India

-Abram Wiebe - Carson Church
-J. J. Wiebe - Corn, Oklahoma
-J. H. Ewert - Evangelist
-N. N. Hiebert - Mt. Lake Church
-Waldo Hiebert - Hillsboro Church and others
-Sam Hiebert - Chaplain in the U.S. Army