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Arrived in the Bancroft area with her parents and several siblings in the late 1850's.  She was sixteen and well educated.  Two of her brothers remained in Prussia to apprentice as lawyers.

 

She married Fredrick Haase and they had a farm on the south Baptiste Lake road on the west side of the York River.  After their first child, Anna was born they decided to trade their farm for a store in town.  The owner took their farm in trade and held a $200 mortgage.  It is believed that the seller thought that the young couple would be unable to manage the mortgage payments and that he would, in time take back the building in town.  The store was located on the east side of Hastings street north, north of Flint Street where the parking lot behind the Toronto Dominion store and McDougals Insurance building now stand. 

 

The hard working pair lived in the apartment over the general store which they had opened to serve the community.  Before long they were successful enough to build a home beside the store.  Ever the forward thinkers, they opened a dress shop and milliners shop in the apartment above the main store.  They worked hard, welcomed seven more children and were very active in the community.  Fredrick was elected to local government.

 

Tragedy struck in 1893 when Fredrick died suddenly of typhoid fever two days after his return from a visit to his relatives in Missouri. He had taken his oldest child, Anna to meet his family.  Left a widow with eight children ranging in age from sixteen to two, Bertha worked hard and started training her children to take part in running the business.  When the store burned in 1905 the first days of October, Berta and her children had their store up and running by the first of December.

 

Bertha the only woman to run a store in Bancroft before the turn of the last century, worked hard to single handedly raise and support her children.  She died in August 1933.

 

Note: The young girl in the doorway is Verna Kelusky, Bertha's granddaughter.