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Memorable Manitobans: Gerhard Giesbrecht Kornelsen (1878-1958)

Historian, educator, salesman, printer, author.

Born at Lichtenau on 23 September 1878, son of Gerhard Enns Kornelsen and Elisabeth Giesbrecht (1855-?), he graduated from Normal School and taught for around 20 years, including alongside his father at Steinbach School (1902-1916), and was Principal of Blumenort School (1919). He quit teaching in 1921 to become a community historian for the next five decades. He was reportedly the first person in Steinbach to operate a printing press and was later a contributor to the Steinbach Post, along with other papers and periodicals. While his intention to publish a book on his compiled information was impeded by a stroke in 1951, his research did contribute extensively towards the 1955 publication of In Search of Utopia by Dr. E. K. Francis. To supplement his income, he worked as a travelling salesman of the J. R. Watkins Company in the southeastern region of Manitoba. He was a member of the Steinbach South End Church and the Mennonite Brethren Church. On 3 July 1910, he married Annie P. Dyck (c1883-1982) at Winkler and they had three children: Mary Dyck Kornelsen, William Dyck “Bill” Kornelsen (c1915-1988), and Ernest Dyck “Ernie” Kornelsen (1924-2012). He was hospitalized in October 1957 and remained there until his death on 6 April (Easter Sunday) 1958 at the Bethesda Hospital. Burial followed in the Steinbach Cemetery.


Birth and marriage registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 9 April 1958, page 12.

“G. G. Kornelsen dies on Easter Sunday,” Steinbach Carillon, 11 April 1958, page 1.

St. Boniface estate file #7501, Gerhard Giesbrecht Kornelsen, Archives of Manitoba.

Obituary [Anna Kornelsen], Winnipeg Free Press, 2 September 1982, page 36.

Obituary [Anna Kornelsen], Steinbach Carillon, 8 September 1982, page 25.

Obituary [William Dyck Kornelsen], Steinbach Carillon, 8 September 1982, page 25.

Obituary [Ernest Kornelsen], Winnipeg Free Press, 12 July 2012, page C9.

Obituary [Ernest Kornelsen], DignityMemorial.

Winnipeg estate file PR12-01-91544, Ernest Dyck Kornelsen, Archives of Manitoba.

This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer.

Page revised: 14 July 2018

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

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