alixwagonwheelmuseum

John and Muriel Hennel

In Alix Arena, Alix, Alberta, Business, Dairy Pool, Farming, Pioneer Farming, Pioneer tools & Machinery, School, Settlers, Sports News on April 2, 2021 at 5:52 PM

From “John Christian Hennel – by Muriel Hennel and B. Parlby”

Pioneers and Progress, Alix Clive Historical Club, 1974

John Christian Hennel was born on April 23, 1909 of Esthonian parents whose country was at that time under the control of Russia.  His father, William, and his mother, Ida Anete, and their seven children emigrated from the city of Tver to Canada and settled to the south of Stettler.  John, the youngest of the family, was only one month old.

After their arrival in Alberta, three more children were added to the family before tragedy struck in 1915 when William died suddenly…. Ida faced the challenge of bringing up all ten [children] as a close-knit family as well as operating the family farm very successfully.  With her help, all her sons were gradually established on farms of their own.

John was educated at Descendo School near his family home….

While living and working on his mother’s farm, John hauled cream to the Central Alberta Dairy Pool at Alix, then under the management of Mr. Nels Larson.

On December 21st of 1935, John married Muriel Knight whose parents were among the Alix District’s early settlers.  In 1936, the Hennels built their first little house in Alix….

About this time the C.A.D.P. purchased a fleet of trucks to collect cream…. John was now put in charge of servicing the entire fleet and operated the shop to the north of the plant.

When the trucks were later sold, John bought the Creamery equipment and went into his machine shop business on his own.  On the first day of December 1945, John moved into his newly built Hiway Machine Shop which the Hennels have operated ever since. [1974]  Muriel has always been his right hand assistant, keeping the books and looking after repair parts.  Muriel was also a car saleslady for Adamson Motors for two years and was top saleslady for her district.

Gradually John obtained first class papers in mechanics and welding so in demand in a country area.  Oil field welding is his specialty.

The Hennel’s daughter, Maxine, was born on July 18th, 1943 and obtained her public and high school education in the Alix Schools.  Later she took a business course in the Key Secretarial School at Red Deer.  Maxine’s skating talent in the carnivals in the Alix Arena will be long remembered.  In 1964 Maxine married Eugene Winchester of Red Deer.

They have three children, a boy, Gerry, Gay and Gid.

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