Bienfait- Post Office

Bienfait, Saskatchewan, Canada

Bienfait Post Office History

Old Steel Sign ca 1960's bought by John Rennie, son of Dr Richard Rennie

Federal Electoral District:
Moose Mountain (Saskatchewan )
Establishment/ re-openings- Apr 1, 1893 & June 7, 1895, Closing- Dec 1, 1903

Location of First Known Post Office was at Kupchenko's farm. (1903)
Post Master was A.J. Milligan, Dec 1, 1903
Section 24, Tsp 2, Rge 7, W2 Assiniboia East
Service once a week from Estevan

Location in 1893 unknown
In 1905 the Post Office was situated at Archie Milligan's home,
Later Nelson and Doerr took over the Post Office where the Drug Store was in 1955.

Postmaster was paid the big sum of $2.00/year in the early years of the Post Office.

Bienfait Postmaster Information:

Name of Postmaster Date of Birth Date of Appointment Date of Vacancy Cause of Vacancy
Robert Sanford Grogan (The First One) 1893-04-01 1895-02-22 Resignation
Archibald (Archie) John Milligan May-June 1875 1903-12-01 1907-07-03 Resignation
Frederick Oswald Karnagel 1907-08-15 1909-12-10 Resignation
Valentine (Val) Frederick Doerr Oct 4, 1879 1910-01-05 1950-04-03 Retirement
Stewart Emil Doerr ca 1913 1950-02-05 Acting
Stewart Emil Doerr ca 1913 1950-07-19 1973-06-01 Retirement
Mrs. Annie Thompson, nee Billis 1973-06-01 1984-05-18 Retirement
Mrs. Maxine Harris 1985-04-01 ? ?
Bev Resler ?

This reproduction is NOT represented as an official version of the materials reproduced,
nor as having been made in affiliation with, or with the endorsement of the National Archives of Canada.
The source of this material is the National Archives of Canada

Pictures of Old Bienfait Post Offices

Post Office 1915 – East side of Main St, arrow shows 1915 Post Office. left in picture is King Edward Hotel
Peter Le Rossignol's General Blacksmith shop, between the Post Office and the King Edward Hotel on the corner.

1915 map showing location of the Post Office
1915-#32 Main St., Lot 39, Block 2

1965- Post Office with my Dad and red river cart during the july 1st parade

Here is a picture of the opening of the New Post Office in Bienfait
Picture above from Ingrid Beahm, who also supplied the caption below:
(people lined up to tour it).
Bradley's store door also shown.
Extreme left- Stu Doerr, Postmaster
Stu's parents with Stu's daughter Joy in front.
Mrs. Bradley's head behind Mrs. Doerr Sr.
Sarah Ann Prescott in vertical striped dress.
Hilda Carlson behind Mrs. Prescott

Location of the Post Office here from Ingrid:
Shyph's Store was south side of the alley on the west side the street.
The Post Office was north of it across the alley, and then Bradley's store.
Art Cuddington's store was on the alley directly across the street from Shyph's store.
Shyph's store and Art Cuddington's store are still standing.
The Legion lot is the only one north of Shyph's store now…
both the Post Office (later Gun Club) and Bradley's store are gone (ca 2012)

Postmaster Bio and Genealogy Info

First Postmaster-
Robert Sanford Grogan
b- Apr 1856 in Peterborough, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada
(one record says born 1854) (marriage record says born in Manvers)
He was a merchant when he married, living at Gooderhan, Haliburton Co .
d- Apr 7, 1931, St. Louis Minnesota, USA
Son of Thomas Grogan and Ann McCracken
Robert's mother and father were born in Ireland

his wife was Annie Carswell, married Apr 8, 1882 at Lindsay, Victoria Co, ON
b- July 5, Admaston, Renfrew, ON, Canada
d- 1953
daughter of James Carswell and Margaret McNicoll

Robert and Annie had 7 children:
Beach Sanford Grogan,
b- Aug 1882,
d- Sept 9, 1929, in St. Louis Minnesota, USA

Lulu Adele Grogan,
b- 1886, Fenelon Falls, Kenora, ON, Canada,
d- 1966 in Duluth, Minnesota

Charles James Grogan,
b- Mar 12, 1887, RM of Odanah, Manitoba, Canada,
d- Apr 1, 1915, St. Louis, Minnesota, USA

Margaret McNicoll Grogan,
b- Aug 15, 1889, Brandon, RM of Elton, MB, Canada,
d- May 23, 1972 in Duluth Minnesota

Alice Maud “Maude” Grogan,
b- May 7, 1891 in Sask.,
d- age 75 in West Bend Wisconsin, USA

Clifford Ray Grogan,
b- Jan 22, 1893 in Sask.,
d- Nov 1968, Dupage Ill, USA ,
lived in Wheaton Ill when his sister Maude died.

Robert “Stanley” Grogan,
b- Oct 9, 1894 in Sask,
d- ?, lived in West Bend Wisc. when sister Maude died

In 1900 they were all living in Duluth City, St. Louis Minnesota,

Archibald (Archie) John Milligan,
b- Apr 30, 1875, registered in Belper district of Derbyshire, England.
d- 1931, Buried in Estevan City Cemetery
1915 he was on Walsh St, lot 28 and 29, Block 4
He was also the Villages first Overseer in 1906 (Mayor today).
Came to Canada in 1892, was living in Bienfait in 1906, age 31.
Shown as head of the family, no spouse in 1906 census.
1911 Census he was 35, now an Anglican, Occupation farmer.
son of William Milligan and Emily Laura Smith.

Archie's signature

He married Mary Lillian Scott, Jan 20, 1923,
in Christ Church, (Church of England), West Vancouver, BC.
b- Dec 24, 1887 in Moose Jaw, NWT (SK)
d- Feb 11, 1980, age 92 in Victoria BC
She was a Nurse, age 36, when she married in 1923.
She was Assistant Librarian in Estevan SK
father- Ernest Harold Scott, b- England
mother- Mary Neilson Service, b- Stratford ON

Her father was the first Doctor in Estevan

Frederick Oswald Karnagel

Aug 20, 1907,
Here we see F. O. Karnagel is Karnagee
replacing A. J. Milligan as Post Master.
I believe Karnagel is correct,
and I believe his first name was Fredrick, but can't verify that yet.

A Fredrick O. Karnagel married Mary Hanke
Apr 25, 1885, in Hamilton Ohio, USA, or another one,
1901 census there was a Fredrick Karnagel, b- May 17, 1866
wife Amelia, 2 daughters and a son
living at Louise, Lisgar, Manitoba
which I would bet is the right fellow.

well today, Apr 21, 2015, I received an email from a relative who clarified who he is:
“Frederick Oswald Karnagel was born about 1867 in Germany.
He married Mary Badsinger.
They came to Lisgar, Manitoba, Canada and had a family.
They had 5 kids:
1. Reinhold Karnagel 1892-1895
2. Sarah Hedvig Karnagel 1896-1981 (m. Rudolf Hentschell)
3. Magdalena Elsa Karnagel b. 1897, no further info known on her.
4. Albert Oswald Karnagel 1901-1957 (Her relative)
5. Anthony Charles Karnagel 1902-1970

Apparently, F. O. Karnagel died in Canada, but I don’t know when.
His wife Mary and children came to USA.
My relative Albert and his brother Anthony and their Mother all died in Los Angeles.
Anthony was a very famous Hollywood Make-up artist.
He was in charge of the Makeup for the movie “Ten Commandments” and many others.
There was another man also named Frederick Oswald Karnagel.
But that man came from Germany to USA, settled in Ohio and finally died in California.
They are also relatives, but they were never in Canada.
However, there was a well known man who died in British Columbia,
and he was Reinhold Karnagel, and he owned a Dairy there.
It is highly possible Reinhold was F. O.’s brother.
Thank you for the website and info.
May I kindly ask you if you can find the DEATH information on F. O. Karnagel, please share it with me.
I have searched for 15 years, but never found his death.
I do have a vast amount of information on all the Karnagel family.
It is just his death which is a mystery.
It is possible that F. O. Karnagel divorced Mary, and this was why she and the kids came to USA.
More likely, I think he remained in Canada and died.”
Info above courtesy Lilly Martin. If you know where Frederick is buried or where he died, place contact me, and I will forward it to Lilly.

Western Land Grant- NW, Section 24, Township 4, Range 5, W2

1916 he is working in Maple Creek SK, shown married, age 49, shown immigrating in 1892, naturalized in 1904.
Here his name is Oswald Karnagel. shown as a millwright on a farm.

Valentine Frederick Doerr
b- Oct 4, 1879 in Ontario
d- June 5, 1968
German Nationality, Presbyterian Religion
wife- Mary Jane Doerr, nee Golding
b- 1883
d- Apr 24, 1982
buried in Bienfait Cemetery.

His father- John Doerr, b- Mar 15, 1835 in Germany
occupation- Shoemaker, Lutheran Religion
Mother- Elizabeth (Lizzie) Doerr, b- Aug 20, 1845 in Germany
All his family living at Easthope South, Perth South, Ontario in 1881
Valentine was the youngest of 7 children by 1901
Christoph, Annie, Henry, Jacob, Matilda, and John

Stewart Emil “Stu” Doerr,
b- 1913
d- Dec 20, 1992
wife- Hilda Doerr, nee Sherratt
b- Aug 4, 1916
d- Aug 5, 1986
Both buried in Bienfait Cemetery.

married Apr 26, 1936

His signature in 1949 as a witness on a legal document, my dad had saved.

Annie Thompson, nee Billis,
b- ca 1908
married Mac Thompson.
b- ca 1908
d- May 16, 1945, age 37
her sister Amelia Billis was married to Peter Markunas
who was killed during the 1931 Riot in Estevan

The Post Office was broken into, in the early 50's (53-55) and the culprits cracked open the old safe.
This safe was about 3 feet square, and was purchased by my Dad, as a storage cupboard I assume.
My brother Don recalls that it weighed a ton, and was in the basement of our Farm home, when we moved out in 1958.
It is probably still buried in the ground, under where the house used to stand. Would have been great for the museum!
Anyone got a big backhoe?

Mr. John Rennie sent me the following Stamp info that he accumulated for an entry at the Saskatoon Stamp Club 2007.
John won Bronze for this entry. John's Father was a Doctor in Bienfait, from 1962-1969. Dr. Richard Rennie, who is now retired.

Click Here to read
John Rennie's Stamp Club Article
which was submitted with the following documents

Bronze Ribbon He won

I thank John for his contribution on Bienfait History, and Congratulations on his win.


  • Last modified: 2018/02/25 17:32
  • by dlgent