Hirsch Personal History

Hirsch, Saskatchewan, Canada

My Connection to Hirsch comes from the Backman Family, who married my Mom's sisters, Emilie and Dolly. The Nels Backman Family lived in Hirsch, for many years, until the mid 1990's. The last of their property was sold at Auction just a few years ago. My Uncle Nels Backman lived on a farm, just north of the tracks. There Nels and Emilie raised their family, Nola, Brian and Kelly. Nels operated the North Star Oil, then the White Rose Oil, and finally the Shell Oil, Bulk Station in Hirsch, located just south of the tracks.

Roy and Nels Backman

My Uncle Roy Backman had his Equipment based on the family homestead, on the North side of the tracks also. He lived in Estevan, and drove out to the farm at Hirsch, every day. When he was in the Road Building Business, in the 50's, this was his home base. After he sold his equipment, he farmed full time in the area, and was a well respected farmer in the area. Their sister Elsa Backman married Ernie Campbell, who operated the Store and Post Office for many years in Hirsch.

Other members of the family, are Eddie, Vera, and Lilly. Their ancestor, Andrew Thomas Backman came to Canada in 1899, from Sweden, and was living in Hirsch area in 1906 on Sec 6, Tsp 3, Rge 5, W2, and owned 2 horses per 1906 Census. This land is only 3 Sections (or miles) west of Hirsch, north of the Highway, from the Jewish Cemetery.

I know Roy farmed land in this area also, since as a teenager I spent many, (TOO many) days, hand picking stones on this land. I never complained about any job after that! I hear now they have machines that do this, and all I can say is, Thank God! Nothing like 98 degrees F in the shade, and picking stones!

Roy Backman Farm Estate Auction

In 1913 Knut Finstad and his cousin, Anton P. Finstad, bought a quarter section of land 6-3-5 W2. from Andrew T. Backman, the section foreman at Hirsch. Now we know where the first Backman homestead land went, as well we also know Andrew Thomas Backman was the Section foreman for the railroad in Hirsch.

Key to Map Above:
  1. Nels Backman Home  2. Old Backman Homestead Farmhouse   3. Old Backman Barn    4. Roy Backman Farm   
 5. Nels Backman's Shell Oil Bulk Station    6. Ernie Campbell's Store    7. Hirsch School    8. Hirsch Elevators

In Sept 1975, I bought a Gem Top for my new Pickup truck, from the Kleiman Brothers, who operated a large farm, on the south side of the highway from Hirsch, they were the last remaining descendants of the first Jewish Settlers. Another lady in Estevan, named Gertie Lev, is also a descendant of one of the first families and is a great source of history of the area.

Rather than Re-Creating the History of Hirsch on this site, I will link to some well written sites on the History page and encourage all to read these great articles on this small Hamlets history.

One of these sites, has the old Jewish Cemetery Listings. This Cemetery is located 2.5 miles west of present day Hirsch.

I also know of a small Hirsch History book, written by a Mr. Alec Muscovitch in May 1974. He lived in Winnipeg MB. at the time. I am not sure if it has been digitized yet, but if not, and I can get permission from his family I would love to have it on this web page. Stay tuned!
Please Note- I do NOT have any more old pictures of Hirsch, I wish I did


  • Last modified: 2018/02/20 12:52
  • by dlgent