Photos of large groups are nice to find.  Photos of large groups where someone has identified everyone in them like this one are a treasure!  People from the Kayville area should be familiar with this 1920 photo as it appears in a number of history books about the area and a copy was also hung on the wall of the community centre.  Let's see who's who at the zoo!

Forty-Five Kayville Area Citizens

This photo was taken in 1920 in Kayville, Saskatchewan.  The adults in the photo are all immigrants who travelled across the world from Romania to get there because they chose to gamble that life would be better.  For more information about their life at the time of this photo see also Kayville Timeline.

There are forty-five people in this photo but I can see that there are some people who are out of frame to the left and right.  If you are reading this and have a copy of a wider photo that has more people please send me a copy!  I have also found at least one instance where an individual family photo was taken by the photographer on this same day (Steve Donison family) so I am going to assume that other families also had their photos taken on this same day.  If you have one, please send it along! 

Our Characters

As you will see below I don't know more than a name for some of the people, so, if they are your ancestor or you know anything about them please help me out!



Alex Trofim was born in the Ciucurova (Çukurova) commune, Tulcea County, Romania but was Russian by heritage.  He immigrated to Canada in 1914 when he was about twenty-nine years old and began homesteading one mile north of Kayville on SE-23-09-24-W2 that same year.  By coincidence, or on purpose, one of his neighbours, Estafi Ritzko, was also a cultural Russian from Romania.  Two years later, in 1916, he married his neighbour's daughter Katrina, ten years his junior.  Together they farmed and raised thirteen children. They would be married fifty-five years until his death in 1971 at the age of 86. He lies in Regina Cemetery in Regina, Saskatchewan.


Katerina Trofim nee Ritzko the daughter of Istafi Ritzko and Maria and niece of Eftim Ritsco.  Her family was cultural Russian from Romania.  She immigrated to Canada with her parents in 1910 at the age of fourteen and lived on her father's homestead NW-14-09-24-W2 north of Kayville. When she was about eighteen another cultural Russian, Alex Trofim, began homesteading next to her father's land.  Two years later, in 1916, twenty year-old Katerina married the thirty-one year-old Alex. She and Alex farmed and raised thirteen children.  They were married fifty-five years when Alex passed away in 1971.  Katerina lived another year following the death of Alex and in 1972 she too died at the age of seventy-five and was laid to rest with him in Regina Cemetery in Regina, Saskatchewan.


Trofim Child -Child of Alex Trofim and Katerina Trofim nee Ritzko. One out of what would become thirteen children.  Do you know their name?


Trofim Child -Child of Alex Trofim and Katerina Trofim nee Ritzko. One out of what would become thirteen children.  Do you know their name?


Vasile Precopciuk homesteaded NE-13-09-24-W2 and was married to Mrs. Vasile Precopciuk.  In 1949 some people in Saskatchewan with the last name Precopciuk changed their last name to Prepchuk FYI.


Mrs. Vasile Precopciuk, wife of Vasile Precopciuk. Do you know what her first name is? Can you share her maiden name with me?


Nicolae "Nick" Guraluick was born in Romania and came to Canada in 1907 at the age of eighteen.  When he arrived he had no money and could not afford to pay for a train ticket to get to western Canada.  He with other young men with the same dire finances would hang around train stations waiting for trains going in the correct direction to begin leaving.  They would run after the trains and try to climb aboard.  If they were successful they would get to nervously ride for a distance.  If the conductor caught anyone without tickets as they passed through the moving train cars checking passengers they would be put off the train.  Nick was removed from trains many times as he crossed the country and was forced to walk great distances along the tracks.  He admitted to crying tears of disappointment as he walked the vast dominion of Canada. In time, he reached Lethbridge, Alberta and found work as a coal miner to earn the money to buy land one and a half miles north of Kayville on SW-24-09-24-W2.  In 1917 and at the age of twenty-eight Nick married the eighteen year old Dominica "Dora" Zauca and over their thirty-one year marriage farmed and raised eight children. Almost 90 years later his son Sam and wife Hedy would become the last residents of Kayville as it faded to become a ghost town.  Nick died young, at the age of fifty-eight, and was laid to rest in the St. Peter And Paul Church (modern) Romanian Orthodox Cemetery, Kayville, Saskatchewan, Canada.


Mihal “Michael” Bodnaresk was a farmer and a noted musician in the Kayville community.  The land he farmed was located at SE-24-09-24-W2. In 1936 he married a sixteen year old bride, Victoria Gazuk.


 Mrs. M. Bodnaresk -Mihal "Michael" Bodnaresk (#8) in the photo is married to this woman.  The only woman I have found so far that was married to Mihal is Victoria Gazuk.  Here is where I get confused... This photo was taken in about 1920.  I found a reference to a Victoria Gazuk who was only BORN in 1920.  So, the woman in this photo might be a first wife of Mihal who then went on to marry Victoria Gazuk about 16 years later (1936) or my information is wrong.  Do you know?  If my information is correct then I don't know who the woman in the photo is.

10. Istafi Ritzko, father of Caterina Trofin nee Ritzko (#2 in this photo).  Brother to Eftim Ritsco (#45 in this photo).  Homesteaded NW-14-09-24-W2 north of Kayville right beside his brother Eftim.

11. Arcadi Ignatescu

12. Mrs. Arcadi Ignatescu

13. Eudokim "Jacob" Rotar, born in Austria and immigrated to North Dakota, USA first before moving to homestead near Kayville in 1908.

14. Licheria Rotar nee ??? Married Eudokim "Jacob" (#13) and raised thirteen children.

15. Rotar Child -One out of what was to become thirteen children

16. Pamfil "Pete" Morosan "Morse" was born in Radauti, Bucovina, Romania and served in the Romanian army as a tailor.  When he was twenty-six he married twenty-one year old Magdalena "Elena" (#17) in 1902.  In 1909 he left his wife Magdalena "Elena" (#17) and two daughters in Romania and travelled with his brothers to the USA.  He worked in factories and mines in Ohio and earned the money to homestead a half mile east of Kayville in 1908 on NE-12-09-24-W2.  Even though he farmed for many years he never gave up his skills as a tailor and used it to supplement the family income by making and repairing clothes.  He and Magdalena "Elena" (#17) were married for fifty-three years and together they raised nine children.  Son-in-law Fritz Cozma is #44.  Pamfil passed away at the age of seventy-nine and has been laid to rest in Riverside Memorial Park Cemetery in Regina, Saskatchewan.

17. Elena Morosan nee Nichiforin was born in Radauti, Bucovina, Romania and married Pamfil Morosan (#16) in 1902 when she was twenty-one.  She stayed in Romania with her two daughters for two years while her husband travelled for to the USA to earn money and then to Canada to buy a homestead near Kayville.  They were all reunited in 1909. She was married to Pamfil "Pete" for fifty-three years and raised nine children.  Son-in-law Fritz Cozma is #44 in this photo.  Pamfil "Pete" died in 1956 when she was seventy-four.  She lived as a widow for another nine years until her death at the age of eighty-three.  She has been buried in Riverside Memorial Park Cemetery in Regina, Saskatchewan.

18. Mary Brandt nee Morse Second youngest of what would be nine children.  Born in the Kayville area she went on to marry Jacob Brandt.  Brother-in-law Fritz Cozma is #44 in this photo.

19. Dan Ritsco Born in Romania and immigrated to the Kayvile area as a little boy with his parents (his mother Horpina is #28) in 1906.  He and his wife operated a general store in Kayville for a while and he often worked road construction in the area.  He became the Kayville postmaster in 1927 (Read more about postmasters in Kayville Timeline)

20. George Kozack was born on the family homestead near Velva, North Dakota before his parents moved to homestead near Kayville.  He worked in his brother's store in Kayville and also as a farm labourer in the area.  His sister Rose Donison nee Kozack is #37 in this photo.

21. Constantine "Tony" Fluter homesteaded near Kayville.  His mother Dominica Flutur nee Petrescue is #29 in this photo.

22. Frozinca Donison nee Nichifor was born in Radauti-Prut, Bucovina in 1880.  When she was twenty-five she wed twenty-nine year old Andrei D. "A.D." Donisan.  Andrei "A.D." had already been to the USA and had taken an oath of citizenship in 1900 when he was twenty-three.  He must have returned to Romania to marry her and then together they traveled to North Dakota where he had a homestead. In 1908 they abandoned their homestead in the USA and travelled to Canada and the Kayville area.  They homesteaded on NW-13-09-24-W2. Her husband was well-known in the area for his photography and very likely took this photo.  Sadly his vast photographic record of the early region was largely lost in a house fire.  He operated a flour mill a half-mile outside of Kayville.  Frozinca and Andrei "A.D." were married thirty-two years until her death at the age of fifty-seven.  She was laid to rest in the original St. Peter and Paul Romanian Orthodox Church Cemetery north of Kayville in 1937.  Her sister Filomina Covalciuc nee Nichifor is #23 in the photo and her sister Elena Morosan nee Nichiforin is #17.

23. Filomina Covalciuc nee Nichifor was born in Bucovina in 1890.  She is the sister of Frozinca (#22) and Elena (#17).  By the time this photo was taken she had been married to Nicholas "Nick" for some years already.

24. Covalciuc Child

25. Covalciuc Boy

26. Covalciuc Boy

27. Covalciuc Boy

28. Horpina Ritsco nee ??? She and her husband Serghie were born in Romania and planned to immigrate to Argentina in 1905 but changed their mind mid-journey and instead travelled to North Dakota, USA where things sounded better.  They homesteaded there for a couple of years then heard things were even better near Kayville and homesteaded there in 1907.  Her son Dan Ritsco is #19 in this photo.

29. Dominica Flutur nee Petrescue Her husband Gavril "Gabriel" travelled alone from Romania in 1907 to homestead near Velva, North Dakota.  Mrs. Flutur and their four children then travelled to join him.  One year later in 1907 they moved to a new homestead near Kayville.  Her daughter Katrina (#31 in this photo) married Kip Kozak (#30 in this photo).  Her son Tony is #21 in this photo.  

30. Kiprian "Kip" Kozack was born in Bohevia, Austria.  He came to Canada in 1910 and worked as a labourer on different farms to earn money for his own land.  He purchased a homestead on NE-25-09-24-W2 near Kayville in 1911.  Married to Katrina Kozack nee Flutur (#31 in this photo) and is the son-in-law of Dominica Flutur (#29 in this photo)

31. Mrs. Kip Kozack -(Katrina Kozack nee Flutur) Born in Bucovina, Romania and immigrated to Canada when she was small.  She married Kip Kozack (#30 in this photo) when she was sixteen.  She raised ten children.

32 Costan Cojocari -(Constantine Cojocari) Born in Liteni, Suceava, Romania he immigrated to Canada in 1909 with two brothers and one sister and took a homestead in the Kayville area.  By the mid-1920's he moved his family to Detroit, Michigan, USA where he made a living in auto manufacturing.  His wife Cleofira is #33 in this photo.

33. Mrs. Costan Cojocari -(Cleofira Cojocari nee Krashin) born in Marginea, Bucovina, Austria she immigrated to Canada around 1908 and was raised on their homestead in the Kayville area.  When her husband Costan (#32 in this photo) left to prepare for a family move to Detroit she stayed behind with their eight children and then travelled to join him.  She raised ten children.  Her sister Flora Andrei nee Krasuin is #35 in this photo.

34. Costan Cojocari Boy -(Eli Cojocari) Born in the Kayville area he moved with his parents (#32 and #33 in this photo) to Detroit, Michigan, USA in the 1920's where he lived for the rest of his life, married and raising 4 children of his own.

35. Mrs. Tom Andrea -(Flora Andrei nee Krasuin) Born in North Dakota, USA on a family homestead and then moved with her parents as a little girl to a new homestead in the Kayville area in 1908.  Her sister Cleofira Cojocari nee Krashin is #33 in this photo.

36. Steve Donison -(Stefan Donison) Born in Romania and served in the Romanian army.  He left Romania in 1909 and lived in Argentina until 1912.  He then left Argentina and travelled to Canada.  He arrived in Regina, Saskatchewan three days before the Regina Cyclone (June 30, 1912); what a welcome!  He first homesteaded near Truax and then Kayville in 1920 by which time he had married Rose Kozack (#37 in the photo).  In later years Steve was a drayman for the region and delivered heavy goods by horse and wagon.  He always travelled by horse.

37. Mrs. Steve Donison -(Rose Donison nee Kozack) Born in Suceava, Bucovina, Romania she moved as a child with her parents to a homestead near Velva, North Dakota in 1905 before they moved again to homestead near Kayville in 1909.  She married Steve Donison (#36 in this photo) in 1915 and raised seven children.  Her brother George Kozack is #20 in this photo.

38. Steve Donison Boy -(Elie “Eli” Donison) One out of what would be seven children.

39. Timka Petrisor

40. Mrs. Phil Preck

41. Enciu Mocan -(Enciu Mocanu) Bought land near Kayville in 1911.  Worked as secretary treasurer for both the Excelsis School and the Greek Orthodox Church.  Enciu's wife is #42 in this photo.

42. Mrs. Enciu Mocan -Her husband is #41 in this photo.

43. Alex Bodnaresk - Built a two story business in Kayville.  A cafe on the ground floor and a few hotel rooms on the second floor.

44. Fritz Cozma -(Fritz Cozma) Married Anna Morse in 1920 and they would raise nine children.  His in-laws Pamfil Morosan and Elena Morosan nee Nichiforin are #16 and #17 in this photo.  His sister-in-law Mary Brandt nee Morse is #18 in this photo.

45. Eftim Ritsco - (Eftim Ritco) Born in Ciucurova, Romania and served in the Romanian army.  Immigrated to Canada in 1911 and applied for a homestead.  Built a poolroom 'on the hill' two miles northwest of the Kayville townsite in partnership with a couple other men.  Once Kayville began developing Eftim moved his poolroom into town and expanded it by adding a bowling alley.  Decades later the pool hall and bowling alley were renovated and evolved into the Kayville Co-operative Community Centre.