Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Cornelius Friesen Barkman (1888-1970)

Educator, postmaster.

Born at Steinbach on 2 March 1888, son of Johan [John] Giesbrecht Barkman (1858-1937) and Margaretha Friesen (1858-1946), he attended Steinbach School, Mennonite Collegiate Institute, and reportedly attended Normal School at Morden. He taught at Steinbach School (1912) and Clearspring School (?-1915) before returning to Steinbach School as Principal (1916-1918), after which he quit the profession. On 25 November 1917, he married Sara E. [Neufeld] Neufeldt (1895-1958, daughter of Reverend P. H. Neufeld) at Winkler and had two children: Constance Barkman (?-?, wife of Jacob Ketler) and Dennis Cornelius Barkman (1932-1995). They moved to Engen, British Columbia in 1918, where he operated a grocery and served as postmaster (1919-1920). In 1920, they returned to Steinbach where he served as postmaster (1920-1955) until retirement. He was active in the community as President (and Director) of the Steinbach Horticultural Society, charter member (and Director) of the Steinbach Funeral Aid, board member of the Steinbach Hospital, and as a founder (1927, later Board Committee Chairmen) of the Steinbach Mennonite Brethren Church, and founder (1938, later Director) of the Steinbach Bible Society. For his contributions to the community, he received the Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal (1953) and the Long Service Badge (c1970) from the Canadian Postmasters and Assistants Association. In 1968, he returned to British Columbia due to health concerns, settling at the Tabor Home in Clearbrook. Following a stroke in the summer of 1969, he returned to Steinbach for palliative care. He died at Bethesda Hospital in Steinbach on 10 May 1970 and was buried in the Steinbach Cemetery.

Sources:

Birth, marriage, and death registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

Death registrations [Dennis Cornelius Barkman], British Columbia Vital Statistics.

1901 & 1911 Canada censes, Automated Genealogy.

Post Offices and Postmasters, Library and Archives Canada.

“Results of matriculation and teachers' examinations,” Manitoba Free Press, 16 July 1914, page 14.

“Dr. Thornton at big convention,” Manitoba Free Press, 4 November 1916, page 11.

St. Boniface estate file #3076, Johan G. Barkman, Archives of Manitoba.

Obituary [John G. Barkman], Winnipeg Free Press, 23 October 1937, page 27.

“Steinbach district news [Obituary, Mrs. C. F. Barkman], ” Steinbach Carillon, 25 April 1958, page 5.

Obituary, Steinbach Carillon, 13 May 1970, page 8.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 12 May 1970, page 33.

“Was postmaster 35 years, dies at 82,” Steinbach Carillon, 13 May 1970, page 1.

“In memoriam [Cornelius Friesen Barkman],” Steinbach Carillon, 20 May 1970, page 4.

This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer.

Page revised: 20 January 2019

Memorable Manitobans

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