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Memorable Manitobans: Jacob Giesbrecht “Jake” Kornelsen (1886-1953)


Born at Lichtenau, near Steinbach on 24 October 1886, son of Gerhard Enns Kornelsen and Elisabeth Giesbrecht (1855-?), he graduated from Gretna Collegiate, Normal School, and attained a BA from the University of Manitoba. He taught at Steinbach School (1912-1915, 1919-1936) and Greenland School (1917-1919), and was both a teacher (1936-1942, 1945-1953) and Principal (1950-1952) of Steinbach Collegiate Institute, with his career at the latter was interrupted due to extended illness. He was also involved in the local community, serving as Secretary-Treasurer of Steinbach (three years), as well as in several boards and committees, including the local Chamber of Commerce, Horticultural Society, and Agricultural Society. He was twice married, first to Susanna Neufeld (?-1946) at Winnipeg on 22 December 1921. They adopted three children: Mrs. Pearson Driffield, Joyce Kornelsen, and Wilfred Kornelsen (?-1949). In 1949, he married fellow teacher Emma Gruenke. He died while on holidays in Yellowstone National Park on 27 July 1953, with his body returned to Manitoba for burial in the Steinbach Cemetery.


Birth registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

“Jacob G. Kornelsen,” Steinbach Carillon, 22 February 1952, page 10.

“Jac. G. Kornelsen dies on holiday trip,” Steinbach Carillon, 31 July 1953, page 1.

“Steinbach teacher dies on holidays,” Winnipeg Free Press, 1 August 1953, page 29.

“Last rites held for Jac. G. Kornelsen,” Steinbach Carillon, 7 August 1953, page 1.

St. Boniface estate file #6164, Jacob Giesbrecht Kornelsen, Archives of Manitoba.

This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer.

Page revised: 17 July 2018

Memorable Manitobans

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