Mennonite
Historical
Society

of Alberta

Stauffer. Harry, fonds, 4 m., 1923-2004

Accession 2013.026

Title and Description

Stauffer, Harry, fonds, 4 m. 1923-2004.

Administrative/Biographical history

Harry Stauffer, the oldest child of Ben and Nora (King) Stauffer, was born on the family farm near Tofield, Alberta, on 5 November 1920.  When Harry was three and one half years old his father was killed in a farming accident, which caused him to begin farming at a very young age.  Harry attended school at Grand Forks School near Tofield.
Gladys (Reist) Stauffer was born at Youngstown, Alberta on 27 July 1920.  She was the oldest child of Abe and Alma Reist.  In 1924 the family moved to the Carstairs area where Abe Reist also served as a part-time pastor.
Harry and Gladys first met when attending winter Bible schools and were married on 16 March 1944.  After their marriage they moved to the Stauffer home place near Tofield and became members of the Salem Mennonite Church.  They participated in many activities of their church and conference.
Harry Stauffer, despite a lack of formal training enjoyed history and actively reseached and recorded a great variety of aspects of the history of his home church  (Salem Mennonite Church), and of the Northwest Mennonite Conference (formerly the Alberta-Saskatchewan Mennonite Conference).  He served as unofficial historian and collector of historical and archival material pertaining to the histories of both the church and conference.  He was a member of the Historical Committee which commissioned Ted Regehr to write the centennial history of the Northwest Mennonite Conference.
Harry Stauffer died in March of 2005, leaving a large collection of historical material which was stored in a special small office of the Salem Mennonite Church.  Ted Regehr was invited to review and select for permanent retention material deemed worthy of permanent preservation.  The items selected were donated by Joseph Voegtlin on behalf of the Salem Mennonite Church to the Mennonite Historical Society of Alberta archives in 2013.

Scope and Content

The fonds consists Northwest Mennonite Conference (Alberta-Saskatchewan Mennonite Conference) annual reports, conference newsletters and special files, subject files and bulletins ofthe Salem Mennonite Church at Tofiled (Harry’s Stauffer’s home church), and subject files and bulletins of other member congregations of the Northwest Mennonite Conference.  sThere is also a collection of Northwest Mennonite Conference Newsletters, reports and documents from the Salem Mennonite and other conference churches, and a large collection of church bulletins.
The material was received in a somewhat disorganized state and was sorted and arranged by the Mennonite Historical Society of Alberta archivist..

Source of Acquision

Gift by Joseph Voegtlin on behalf of the Salem Mennonite Church and the Northwest Mennonite Conference.

Finding Aid

See attached file list.

Related material

Northwest Mennonite Conference fonds, Mennonite Historical Society of Alberta Archives.

T. D. Regehr fonds, Material gathered for the writing of the conference’s centennial history, Mennonite Historical Society of Alberta Archives

T. D. Regehr, Faith, Life and Witness in the Northwest.  Centennial History of the Northwest Mennonite Conference, 1903-2003, (Kitchener: Pandora Press, 2003.

Joseph Voegtlin, ed., A Mennonite Mosaic.  A Century of God’s Faithfulness at Salem Mennonite Church, Tofield, Alberta, 1910-2010 (Tofield: Centennial Book Committee, Salem Mennonite Church, 2010)

Ezra Stauffer, History of the Alberta-Saskatchewan Mennonite Conference, 1960.

Notes:  Accession 2013.026

File List:

I. Incomplete set of Alberta-Saskatchewan Mennonite Conference/Northwest Mennonite Conference Annual Reports, some with supplemental material.  Included with the reports of conferences which Harry Stauffer attended are various supplementary reports, letters and documents.

Box 1

1-1 Alberta-Saskatchewan Mennonite Conference Annual Reports, 1923-1949.
1-2 Alberta-Saskatchewan Mennonite Conference Annual Reports, 1950-1959.
1-3 Alberta-Saskatchewan Mennonite Conference, Board and Conference Reports, 1960-1969.
1-4 Alberta-Saskatchewan Mennonite Conference Reports, 1970-1971.
1-5 Alberta-Saskatchewan Mennonite Conference Reports and draft conference constitution, 1972-1974.
1-6 Northwest Mennonite Conference Reports, 1875-1978.
1-7 Northwest Mennonite Conference Reports, 1979-1982.
1-8 Northwest Mennonite Conference Reports, 1983-1987.
1-9 Northwest Mennonite Conference Reports, 1988.
1-10 Northwest Mennonite Conference Reports, 1989.

Box 2

2-11 Northwest Mennonite Conference Reports, 1990.
2-12 Northwest Mennonite Conference Reports, 1990-91.
2-13 Northwest Mennonite Conference Reports, 1992.
2-14 Northwest Mennonite Conference Reports, 1993.
2-15 Northwest Mennonite Conference Reports, 1994.
2-16 Northwest Mennonite Conference Reports, 1995.
2-17 Northwest Mennonite Conference Reports, 1996.
2-18 Northwest Mennonite Conference Reports, 1997.
2-19 Northwest Mennonite Conference Reports, 1998.
2-20 Northwest Mennonite Conference Reports, 1999.
2-21 Northwest Mennonite Conference Reports, 2000.
2-22 Northwest Mennonite Conference Reports, 2001.
2-23 Northwest Mennonite Conference Reports, 2002.
2-24 Northwest Mennonite Conference Reports, 2003.
2-25 Northwest Mennonite Conference Reports, 2004.

Box 3

Congregational Profiles and Incomplete set of Conference Newsletters

3-26 Congregational Profiles, 1988.  These were one-page profiles of the congregations and used as bulletin inserts.
3-27 Newsletters, 1967-1976.
3-28 Newsletters, 1977-1980.
3-29 Newsletters, 1980-1983.
3-31 Newsletters, 1985-1989.
3-32 Newsletters, 1990-1993.
3-33 Newsletters, 1994-2002.

Special Conference files

3-34 Spying Out The North, 1946, 120 cm x 80 cm poster of photographs with commentary of an exploratory mission trip to Northern Alberta.
3-35 Statements by serveral ministers regarding conference doctrines, policies and practices.

Salem (Tofield) Mennonite Church subject files and bulletins

The Salem Mennonite Church was started in the spring of 1910 by several families from Nebraska.  The initially met in homes but built their first church building, later enlarged, in 1915 on a site 14 Miles south-east of Tofield.  The joined the Alberta-Saskatchewan Mennonite Conference (later renamed the Northwest Mennonite Conference) in 1915.  In 1988, with the support of other member congregations of the Northwest Mennonite Conference, the Park Mennonite Church, was established in nearby Sherwood Park.

3-36 Salem Mennonite Church Declaration of Incorporation, 1937.
3-37 Salem Mennonite Church constitution and constitutional amendments.
3-38 Salem Mennonite Church Governance Models.
3-39 Salem Mennonite Church job descriptions and church governance.
3-40 Salem Mennonite Church Blue Print of the Church building.
3-41 Salem Mennonite Church celebrations.  Includes program and newspaper clippings of the dedication of the new church building, and programs of the 60th, 70th and 100th anniveresaries
3-42 Salem Mennonite Church Minute book, 1941-1975.
3-43 Salem Mennonite Church, minutes, reports, correspondence, 1997-2004.
3-44 Salem Mennonite Church, minutes, reports, correspondence, 2005-2010.
3-45 Salem Mennonite Church, Membership record book.
3-46 Salem Mennonite Church, Membership Transfer Records, 1967-1984,
3-47 Salem Mennonnite Church, Certificates of Membership, 1962-1982.

Box 4

4-48 Salem Mennonite Church, Directories, 1971, 1990, 2005
4-49 Salem Mennonite Church, Deacons’ Record Book, 1924-1944.
4-50 Salem Mennonite Church, Pastoral letters, 1975-2001.
4-51 Salem Mennonite Church, Policies and Procedures – sexual or physical harassment or abuse.
4-52 Salem Mennonite Church, Youth Fellowship, games, socializers, party games, leadership guidelines. stunts.
4-53 Salem Mennonite Church, Funeral and Cemetery Policy and Register of Burials.
4-54 Salem Mennonite Church, Record of grave diggers, 1932-1971.
4-55 Salem Mennonite Church, Bulletins, 1968-1971.
4-56 Salem Mennonite Church, Bulletins, 1972-1974.
4-57 Salem Mennonite Church, Bulletins, 1975-1977.

Box 5

5-58 Salem Mennonite Church, Bulletins, 1978-1980.
5-59 Salem Mennonite Church, Bulletins, 1981-1983.
5-60 Salem Mennonite Church, Bulletins, 1984-1986.
5-61 Salem Mennonite Church, Bulletins, 1987-1989.
5-62 Salem Mennonite Church, Bulletins, 1990-1992.
5-63 Salem Mennonite Church, Bulletins, 1993-1995.
5-64 Salem Mennonite Church, Bulletins, 1996-1998.

Box 6

6-65 Salem Mennonite Church, Bulletins, 1999-2001.
6-66 Salem Mennonite Church, Bulletins, 2002-2004.
6-67 Salem Mennonite Church, Bulletins, 2005-March 2006.
6-68 Park Mennonite Church, Bulletins, 1988-1989.
6-69 Park Mennonite Church, Bulletins, 1991-1992.
6-70 Park Mennonite Church, Bulletins, 1993-1994.

Box 7

Mount View (High River) Mennonite Church subject files

The Mount View Mennonite church was one of the three founding member churches, in 1903, of the Alberta-Saskatchewan Mennonite Conference (later renamed the Northwest Mennonite Conference.  Members lived in quite widely separated areas, and membership remained small.  It closed its doors and the church building was sold in 1950.  In 1998 Trinity Mennonite Church near Calgary accepted responsiblity for the care of the Mount View Mennonite cemetery,

7-71 History of the Mennonite Church at High River and Aldersyde and other historical information.
7-72 Mount View Mennonite Church – 50th Anniversary celebration,
7-73 Mount View Mennonite Church – correspondence with Harry Stauffer pertaining to the history of the church.
7-74 Mount View Mennonite Church – cemetery record of burials and report of the arrangement with Trinity Mennonite Church.