Louis Kreitz - Devoted Farmer

by

David Wilkie

There are many times in a man's life that he wonders ifhe can accomplish what he has hoped for. Louis Kreitz in my mind has reachedhis goal. His desire was to be a farmer and a farmer he was.

His parents were born in Germany. They later moved to Russia,but soon they came to Canada to live. Here they bought a homestead nearGretna, Manitoba. He was born there in 1896.

At the age of two weeks he moved to Ridgeville, Manitoba.It was here, he grew up and received his education. He pursued his talentsto be a farmer by working for nearby farmers, and helping his father athome.

He was in the Canadian army during the first World War.His going was delayed for awhile when he came down with diphtheria. Thiswas going around then, so many young men had come down with it about thistime. He was laid up for over a month. After his recovery he entered theCavalry at Fort Garry Horse in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He spent one year thereuntil the war ended in 1918. He recalled a black horse he had while he wasthere, which caused him many difficulties. This horse always seemed to breakloose and try to run away. Many times it took two men to hold this horseback.

When he left the army, he returned to his home and boughthis parent's home and farm. He was married in 1919. They had two daughters.His wife died of a brain tumor in 1939.

His first car was a 1918 Model-T. When he first got itand was going to put it in the garage, a very unusual incident occurred.The car just wouldn't stop when he yelled "whoa". It seemed asthough he thought he was still driving his team of horses, so the car didnot respond. His next car was a 1927 Chevrolet. There also seemed to bea few malfunctions with this car. While driving into town one day the backwheel fell. Another time the steering rod broke and the car went into theditch. They were fortunate because no one was hurt. It was along time beforehe trusted a Chevrolet again.

At this time he farmed his land with horses. He owned aYank plow, harrow, cultivator, drill and binder. The Yank plow was a onebottom job with wood handles that he followed with behind the horses. Thedrill was quite a bit different having its seed box made out of wood insteadof metal. All the rest of the equipment was just like today's modern farmequipment, just a little bit smaller and cheaper looking.

For recreation during the summer months he played baseball.This was done on Sundays because there was never enough time for play inthe week. In the winter months, he played cards, went to dances, and alsoskated wherever he could find ice as there were no rinks at this time. Inlater years, he also curled, but did not become too involved in the event.

In 1944, he sold his farm at Ridgville and bought the farmhe now owns by Emerson, Manitoba. Here he went through many floods. He hadto move his livestock to higher grounds many times as his farm was locatedright beside the river. In 1965, he sold his livestock and rented his landbut continued to live at his farm until the fall of 1970 when he moved intoEmerson where he now lives with his daughter.

He had lived in the Red River Valley for 75 years. Thisis quite an accomplishment for anyone and proves just how durable some peopleare. Happiness and sorrow make a life. Louis Kreitz has had both but hebecame what he set out to be and this is what makes a life worth while.Not one year wasted in 75 years in the Red River Valley.

Kreitz, Louis: Interview (January 16, 1971)

Kreitz, Ruth: Interview (January 18, 1971)

Wilkie, Lawrence (Mrs.): Interview (January 23, 1971)ZE=+1>Wilkie, Lawrence (Mrs.): Interview (January 23, 1971)