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Henri was born in Breslau, Germany son of Gotfrid Gaebal and Julianna Woerner in 1843. Having been educated in Holland he emigrated with his parents and siblings to Canada when he was about sixteen. He met his future wife on the ship coming to Canada.

Overtime he became one of the largest land owners and most respected citizens. It is said that when he arrived to take up homesteading on this granted land he had an axe, a lantern and a few trinkets tied in a red handkerchief..

Henri Gaebel was a skilled carpenter who built homes and businesses in Bancroft. He was noted for having built the Presbyterian (now United) church in L’Amable which in an 1881 church magazine was described as “handsome and roomy”.

In order to build the church he mortgaged his farm for a thousand dollars. With enthusiastic volunteer labour and donations, the church was erected quickly and four hundred dollars were recovered toward expenses. It is said so many people came to help some had to be turned away. The land for the church was donated by J.R. Tait

He had a saw mill on his farm located on the Gaebel road. Over the years through hard work he acquired 1000 acres. He and his four sons farmed the land and as they married the family home had wings built onto it to accommodate everyone. The house was considered to be quite a marvel and people travelled distances to see it. The winters presented a special problem because the large house was so hard to heat.