Comments Off on Cornelius Regehr fonds, 1894, 1979-1993, 3 cm.
Cornelius Regehr fonds, 1894, 1979-1993, 3 cm.
Cornelius Regehr was born 27 September 1911 in Terek, Russia, the son of Peter H. and Anna (Reimer) Regehr. The family immigrated to Canada in 1925 and settled in Coaldale, Alberta. Cornelius married Katharina Klassen in 1940 and, sortly therafter the couple moved to Yarrow, British Columbia where Cornelius worked in various jobes. Katharina died in 2002. Cornelius then married Elizabeth Wipf who died in 2008. Cornelius died 26 December 2010.
Numerous relatives remained in the Soviet Union and, for many years, those living in Canada had only very limited contact with those still living in the Soviet Union. That increased dramitically after 1979 when it also became possible for some family members to leave the Soviet Union and find new homes in Germany.
Scope and Content
The fonds consists of three distinct and very different collections of letters.
Folder 1 contains a carbon copy of a five page letter written by Liese and Johannes Janzen, dated 23 November 1952 to Cornelius Regehr’s parents, Peter H. and Anna (Reimer) Regehr. This letter containes detailed genealogical information pertaining to both the Janzen and Regehr families.
Folder 2 contains three letters, written 6, 9 and 15 March 1894. They were written by Wilhelm [Janzen] to his wife Maria while he was on a preaching and evangelization trip. In the letters, written from Gnadenthal, Bachmut and Alexanderfeld the writer refers to evanglistic services, house visitations and conversations with local Mennonite residents. It is not evident how Cornelius Regehr received these letters.
Folder 3 contains 31 letters or notes written to Cornelius and Katharina Regehr by relatives living in the Soviet Union but then emigrating to Germany. The letters descibe in some detail conditions in the Soviet Union, the complexities and challenges of the migration from the Soviet Union to Germany, and conditions as they settled in Germany.
Source of Aquisition
Donated by Marge Friesen, daughter of Cornelius and Katharina Regehr.
Comments Off on Frederick Enns fonds. 1959-2019, 5 cm.
Frederick Enns fonds, 1959-2019, 5 cm.
Frederick Enns was born in the Mennonite village of Kitchkas, Orenburg, Russia, on 4 July 1925 to David and Katarina (nee Bergen) Enns. He was the oldest of 8 children. The family left Russia in 1926 and lived briefly in Winkler, Manitoba and Magrath, Alberta before settling on a farm of their own near Rosemary, Alberta.
He received his elementary school education in Rosemary and then attended the German/English Academy (now Rosthern Junior College). After completing grade 12 he enorlled in the War Emergency Short Course for teacher training at the Calgary Normal School and then taught, and eventaully served as principal, in a number of small rural schools in Alberta. He also continued to attend summer school at the University of Alberta toward a Bachelor of Education degree. In 1959 he enorlled in a graduate program in Education at the University of Alberta earning his Master’s and Ph. D. degrees there. He then taught and served in a number of administrative positions in the Faculty of Education at the University of Alberta. The family moved to Calgary after Fred’s retirement.
Fred, throughout his life, was also extensively involved in Mennonite churches and conferences, icnluding First Mennonite Church in Edmonton. Trinity Mennonite Church in Calgary, Mennonite Church Alberta, Mennonite Church Canada, and the Mennonite Centres for Newcomers in Edmonton and Calgary.
Fred married Aganeta (nee Schroeder). They were the parents of three daughters.
Fred died in Calgary on 16 June 2019.
Custodial History/Source of Acquisition
Fred Enns’s daughter, Louella (Dave) Cronkite of Lethbridge donated this small collection of her father’s papers to the archives of the Mennonite Historical Society of Alberta shortly after his death.
Scope and Content
The fonds consists of a copy of Fred’s short autobiography , His obituary and several Mennontie conference related papers he wrote, co-wrote or collected.
1. Short autobiography entitled: From Fred Enns. To my Children and Their Families.
2. Fred Enns Obituary
3. “The Congregational Resources Board: A Review,” by Florence Driedger, Fred Enns, John Hiebert and Henry Neufeld, 2 February 1983
4. “To Build or not to Build: A Position Paper.” authr and date no given.
5. “A Brief in Response to the Green Paper on Immigration and Population Prepared by the Mennonite Conference of Alberta, April 1979.” Author not given
6. “The Lordship of Christ in a Desperate World, by Elmer Neufeld,” date not given.
Comments Off on Conference of Historic Peace Churches fonds, 1940, 27 pages
Conference of Historic Peace Churches fonds, 1940, 27 pages
The Conference of Historic Peace Churches (CHPC) was organized 22 July 1940 in Waterloo, Ontario. in anticipation of the immanent introduction of compulsory military service in Canada. Churches represented were the Brethren in Christ, Mennonite Brethren in Christ, Old Order Mennonite, Amish Mennonite, Society of Friends, Brethren, Old Order Dunkard and the Onatrio sections of the Mennonite Brethren and General Conference Mennonites.
During the war years, the CHPC was largely responsible for the interpretation of nonristant faith to the government, especially as the convictions of peace churches related to problems of miliary service. With the establishment of Alternative Service for conscientious objectors, the CHPC provided spiritual oversight for men in alternative service.
An early initiative of the CHPC was an effort to register and issue certificates to men of military age. These certificates could be presented and become part of the official record when the men were called to register under the National Resources Mobilization Act (NRMA). Several of the Ontario registrars accepted the CHPC registrations and granted those holding them conscientious objector status without requring the men to appear in person at a mobilization board hearing.
In western Canada, leaders of the Northwest Mennonite Conference, who had close links to the Ontario peace churches, also prepared CHPC registration forms for their young men of military age. Some other Mennonite leaders in western Canada simply suggested that their young men write the word “Mennonite” across the face of their NRMA registration forms. There was disappointment when the registrars in western Canada refused to recognize the CHPC registrations or the modified NRMA registrations. The western registrars insisted that the young men appear personally before a mobilization board to explain their religious convictions. The registrars then assessed the sincerity or validity of evidence provided by the young men and rejected the testimony of a signficant number of the men seeking conscientious objector status. They could then be called, as needed, for military training and service.
Scope and Content
The fonds consists of 27 Conference of Historic Peace Churches Registration forms completed by, or for, young men who were members or, if not yet baptized, associated with one of the churches of the Northwest Mennonite Conference.
Source of Acquisition
A remnant of papers from the estate of Milo Stutzman, forwarded from the office of the Northwest Mennonite Conference.
Finding Aid – List of men registered by the CHPC in western Canada in 1940.
Clayton Bowman, Guernsey, Saskatchewan
Elmer Martin Burkholder, Duchess, Alberta
Albert M. Guengrich, Blackie, Alberta
Daniel Guengrich, Blackie, Alberta
Clarence Lauber, Tofield, Alberta
Harold Lauber, Tofield, Alberta
Oliver Lehman, Tofield, Alberta
John Leonard Maurer, Tofield, Alberta
Levoy Edward Roth, Duchess, Alberta
Loyal David Roth, Duchess, Alberta
Claude Schlabach, Guernsey, Saskatchewan
Lloyd Schmidt, Guernsey, Saskatchewan
Stanley Shantz, Guernsey, Saskatchewan
Lincoln Roy Shantz, Guernsey, Saskatchewan
Arnold Shantz, Guernsey, Saskatchewan,
Maynard Glenn Stauffer, Tofield, Alberta
David Andrew Stutzman, Kingman, Alberta
Willard Toman, Guernsey, Saskatchewan
Clarence Earl Toman, Duchess, Alberta
Bennet Harold Torkelson, Duchess, Alberta
Floyd Weber, Guernsey, Saskatchewan
Howard Weber, Guernsey, Saskatchewan
William Wideman, Kingman, Alberta
Leonard Wideman, Kingman, Alberta
Leslie James Yoder, Tofield, Alberta
Ernie Elden Yoder, Tofield, Alberta
Rollin Joseph Yoder, Carstairs, Alberta
Comments Off on Katherine Peters collection. 39 photographs, 151 letters from the Soviet Union,
Katharine Peters collection, 39 photographs, 151 letters from relatives in the Soviet Union.
Katharine Peters, was born in 1933, the daughter of David Peter Goerzen and Susanna (Wiens) Goerzen. Her parents had emigrated from the Soviet Union in 1924. They stayed with the Joe Burkholder family of Tofield, Alberta, until the spring of 1925 when they moved to a farm at Namaka. From there they moved to a farm west of Acme and east of Crossfield in 1927. Katharine grew up there and married Ed Peters.
In 1986 Katharine Peters’ mother, Susanna (Wiens) Goerzen gave her letters the family had received from relatives still living in the Soviet Union. The letters were all written in the cursive Gothic script, on fragile paper. Katharine undertook the very large task of first transcribing and then translating the latters. She donated the original letters and typewritten copies of the transcriptions and of the translations of the letters to the archives of the Mennonite Historical Society of Alberta in 2017.
Kathy Peters also received from her mother two family photograph albums, containing 39 photographs taken in Russia and brought to Canada by Katharine Peters’ parents in 1924.
Scope and Content
The collection consists of four sets of letters received by the family of David Peter Goerzen and Susanna (Wiens) Goerzen from relatives in the Soviet Union, 39 photographs, and genealogical information documenting the relationships of the letter writers living in the Soviet Union to the Goerzen family in Canada.
Source of Acquisition
Gift by Katharine Peters
61 letters, written between 1924-1933, by Maria Dueckman Goerzen,
to the family of her son, David Peter Goerzen, and Susanna (Wiens) Goerzen.
29 letters, written between 1924 and 1936, by Anna Fast, sister of David Peter Goerzen and sister-in-law Susanna( Wiens) Goerzen.
33 letters, written between 1924 and 1933, by David Peter Goerzen’s brothers, Heinrich and Peter and his sister Maria.
28 letters, written betweem 1924 and 1933, by members of the Johann Johann Wiens and Susanna (Dyck) Wiens family, to their daughters, Anna (Gerhard) Duerksen and Susanna (David) Goerzen who were living in Canada.
39 photographs taken in the Soviet Union before 1924 and brought to Canada by the Goerzen family.
Detailed genealogical notes documenting the relationships of the letter writers in the Soviet Union to their relatives in Canada.
Comments Off on Regehr, Edith, fonds, c. 1890-1960. 36 photographs
Edith (Epp) Regehr fonds, c. 1890-1960, 36 photographs
Edith (Epp) Regehr was born 20 March 1927 at Davidson, Saskatchewan, the daughter of Abram Epp (1894-1971), and Mariechen, always known as Maschinjka, (Thiessen) Epp, (1899-1939). She was the granddaughter of Kornelius Epp (1844-1916) and Aganeta (Franz) Epp (1856-????).
Edith’s parents and an infant son emigrated to Canada in 1924. The family lived briefly near Ardath, Saskatchewan. Then, together with the families of two of Abram’s brothers, they bought a farm at Girvin, Saskatchewan. In 1928, the Abram and Maschinjka Epp family moved on to Naco, Alberta. There Edith’s father, Abram Epp, was ordained as a minister in the Sedalia Mennonite church. He subsequently served congregations in Lacombe, Tofield and Edmonton. After the death of Abram Epp’s first wife (Edith’s mother), in child birth in 1939, he married Mariechen Enns Klassen.
Edith Epp married Edward Regehr in Tofield, Alberta.
Scope and Content
The fonds consists of 36 photographs taken from Epp family albums. Some of the pictures were taken in Russia while others picture life of extended family members in Canada
Source of Acquisition
Gift by Edith Regehr.
Finding Aid (list of photographs)
2017.001 Kornelius (1844-1916) and Aganeta (Franz) Epp (1856-????) (Edith’s grand parents), in Russia.
2017.002 Aganeta (Franz) Epp (Edith’s grand mother) and two of Aganeta Epp’s sisters, in Russia.
2017.003 Edith’s maternal Thiessen grandfather, in Russia.
2017.004 Edith’s maternal Thiessen grandmother, in Russia
2017.005 Abram Epp, (1894-1971) (Edith’s father), in Russia.
2017.006 Henry and Agatha (Epp) Thiessen (Edith’s uncle and aunt), in Russia.
2017.007 Helene (Epp) Janzen, (1898-????), in Russia
2017.008 Marguerite Epp.
2017.009 Abram Epp, John and Peter Wiens, Tina Froese, Anna and Liese Wiens, Maschinka Epp, Edith Epp, on a truck at Naco, Alberta in 1929.
2017.010 Abram and Maschinjka Epp with their chidlren, Herbie, Edith and Melita, in Alberta, 1929.
2017.011 Aganeta Epp, with her grandchildren,Herbert and Melita Epp, at Girvin, Saskatchewan in 1926.
2017.012 Abram and Maschinjka Epp with their children, Herbert, Melita and Edith at Naco in 1928.
2017.013 Abram and Maschinjka Epp, with other members of the extended Epp families at Naco, Alberta, in the mid-1930s.
2017.014 Aganeta Epp (Edith’s grandmother), Mascchinjka Epp (Edith’s mother), Lena Epp and Melita Epp.
2017.015 Edith and her sister Melita Epp, Erica and Oscar, in 1940.
2017.016 Abram and Maschinjka, Edith, Herbie, Erica and Oscar Epp, 1938.
2017.017 Abram and Mariechen Enns Klassen (Abram Epp’s second wife) and some of their children on the Naco farm n 1940.
2017.018 Abram and Marichen Epp and their children, Melita, Edith, Erica, Oscar and Elsbeth, 1941, on the Naco farm.
2017.019 David and Katie Epp and their children, Gerhard, Irene and Louise, 1934
2017.020 Herb, Melita and Edith Epp at Girvin Saskatchewan, 1928.
2017.021 David Katie Epp, Gerhard and Irene Epp, with Rev. Wm Martens, at Naco,
2017.022 Abram, David and Peter Epp, 1029
2017.023 Anna K. Epp, Saskatoon, 1927.
2017.024 Beckers in Ontario, 1979, cousins of Ed Regehr and his aunt Barbara.
2017.025 Gerhard Heinrich Thiessen (engaged to Anna Epp but died before the mariage), Gerhard Johann Thiessen, Hans Johann Thiessen, and Gerhard Klassen, all alternative service forestry workers in Russia 1913-1917.
2017.026 Hans Franz and Helene Janzen (sister of Edith’s grandfather) and their daughter Hildegard, at Christmas 1925.
2017.027 Wedding of John Klassen and Irene (Epp) Klassen with their parents, June 1950.
2017. 028 Gerhard, Irene and Teddy Epp, December 1927.
2017.029 Margaret Epp with cousins Melita and Edith Epp.
2017.030 Ed and Edith (Epp) Regehr, 1957.
2017.032 Abram and Mariechen Epp with Melita, Edith, Erica and Elizabeth. at Lacombe, c. 19441
2017. 033 Irene, Louise and Paul Epp at Lacombe, 1937.
2017.034 Agatha (Epp) Paetkau. with Princess Cythia cruise ship in the background.
2017.035 unknown. (Abram Epp?)
2017.035 Abram Epp, same as photo 2017.005.
Comments Off on Heinrich D. Friesen, collection, 4 cm
Accession 2017.025 and 2020.003 filed with 2017.025
Heinrich D. Friesen collection, 4 cm, poems and autobiographical writings
Administrative /Biographical history
Heinrich D. Friesen, often called “Dichter Friesen” (poet Friesen), was the son of Heinrich and Elizabeth Friesen. He was born 19 February 1880 in Orloff, southern Russian and married Katharina Kornelsen in 1906. Together they had 10 children.
In 1903 the family moved to Orenburg, Russia, and from there to Canada in 1912. They lived in Manitoba and Saskatchewan before moving to Coaldale. Alberta. Katharina died in 1944.
Heinrich Friesen enjoyed writing poetry, usually on religious or Mennonite cultural themes. He also wrote autobiographical material which was translated into English by his grandson, Ed Friesen, who also wrote a biographical preface.
In his poems and autobiographical writings, Heinrich Friesen focused strongly on some of his religious experiences and convictions. He reproduced and circulated his writings locally. Some were also published in German language Mennonite periodicals.
Heinrich Friesen often lived in difficult financial circumstances. He duplicated his poetry and autobiographical writing on a small Gestetner duplicator, and sold or distributed them for small amounts of money. He died in 1964 in Alberta.
In 1960 Heinrich Friesen prepared photocopies of his poems and bound them in hard cover books. Two volumes of these hard cover bound volumes were received as accession 2020.003 from H. D. Friesen’s grand daughter, Margaret Friesen.
Scope and Content
The collection consists of Heinrich Friesen’s autobiographical writing, with translations and a preface by his grandson, Ed Friesen, numerous small booklets of poems, folders of loose printed copies of poems and two bound hard cover volumes of photocopied poems by Heinrich Friesen received separately.
Source of Acquisition
Donation by Ed Friesen, supplemented by a folder of poems received from Rudy Kornelsen, Edmonton, and another quite large folder of poems from the estate of Liese (Dick) Wall who left them to her sister Mary (Dick) Regehr who gave them to her son, Ted Regehr.
1, Autobiographic writing by Heinrich Friesen, entitled “Goetliche Gnadenerweisungen auf meinem Lebensweg,” together with English translation, “Revelatons of God’s Grace in my Life’s Journey”, and a preface, by Heinrich Friesen’s grandson, Ed Friesen.
2. Four small booklets of poems entitled “Blumen und Blueten,” run off on a Gestetner duplicating machine.
3. Small printed booklet of “Blumen und Blueten”
4. Small booklet of poems entitled “Mennogesang. Schicksal der Mennoniten in Holland, Deutschland und Russland,” run off on a Gestetner duplicating machine.
5. Small booklet of poems entitled “Menno Amerika. Auswanderung nach Amerika und ihr Schicksal im neuen Lande,” run off on a Gestetner duplicating machine.
6. Small booklet of poems entitled “Gedichte Ut de Depreschen-Tit en Kanada. Muttagedichti en aundri,” run off on a Gestetner duplicating machine
7. Small booklet of poems entitled, “Orenburg. Eine poetische Verfassung von Orenburg, einer Mennonitischen Ansiedlung in Russland, in Angelegenheit des Treffens der Orenburger im Jahre 1946,” run off on a Gestetner duplicating machine.
8 Small booklet of poems entitled “Das Lied von der Seele,” run off on a Gestetner duplicating machine.
9. Small untitled booklet of poems, run off on a Gestetner duplicating machine.
10. Five promotional circulars or letters sent to readers, duplicated on a Gestetner.
11. Folder of 42 printed or Gestetner duplicated poems and short writings by Heinrich Friesen which were part of Liese (Dick) Wall’s legacy.
12.Folder of 3 pages of Gestetner duplicated poems by Heinrich Friesen, received from Rudy Kornelsen.
Accession 2020.003, filed with Accession 2017.025
13. Book I. Hard cover bound copy of ollected poems; includes Blumen und Blueten, Heft 1 to 4 (complete 192 poems), Mennogesang, Menno Amerika, Lied von der Seele, Gedichti ut de Deppreschen Tit, Orenburg, BC British Columbia and additional poems.
14. Book 2. Hard cover bound copy of collected poems: as above, except does not include Blumen und Blueten. Heft 1 (poems 1-50).
Source of acqusition
Gift by Margaret Friesen, 1200-1350 Broughton St., Vancouver, BC.
Comments Off on Jacob E. (Jack) Dueck, 1972-2013, 100 cm
Jacob E. (Jack) Dueck fonds, 1972-2013, 100 cm
Jacob E. (Jack) Dueck fonds, 1972-2013, 100 cm
Jacob E. (Jack) Dueck, story-teller, college professor, business promoter and consultant, was the son of Jacob Dueck and Susanna (Dyck) Dueck. He was born in Coaldale, Alberta, on 20 October 1932 and married Eleanor Toews of Linden, Alberta, on 24 August 1957. Together they had three children, Evelyn, Carolyn and Lorne. He died in Three Hills, Alberta, on 21 November 2014. Jack attended the Coaldale Public School, the Coaldale Mennonite Brethren Bible School, the Alberta Mennonite High School, and then went on to further studies at the Mennonite Brethren Bible College where he earned a Th. B. degree in 1959, followed by a B.A. degree in English from Waterloo Lutheran University in 1960. In 1965, after short terms as a camp director in Manitoba and then in British Columbia, selling cars and real estate, teaching and conducting choirs at Sharon Collegiate Mennonite High School in Yarrow, British Columbia, and preaching as a lay person, Jack enrolled in graduate studies at Western Washington University where he earned an M.A. degre in Englsh Literature in 1966. That led to an appointment to teach English literature at Goshen College, a Mennonite college in Goshen, Indiana. He held that position for ten years, during which time he also completed work for a Ph. D. degree at the University of Notre Dame in North Bend, Indiana, specializing in Modern British and Irish literature. Music and literature inspired and also provided solace, comfort and relief for Jack. Already in Bible School, he exhibited exceptional talents as a choir conductor and, at the age of 20, conducted one of several choirs of the Coaldale Mennonite Brethren Church. It was an avocation he pursued in many different ways throughout his life. After leaving Goshen College, Jack, together with Eleanor, designed and operated several food service and hospitality restaurants in Indiana and Ontario, and a consulting company, People Management Associates. In 1983 Jack became a consultant and the manager of Penn Alps, a centre promoting Appalachian folk art and operating a restaurant on the historic Route 40 in western Maryland. There, for a time, he and Eleanor also restored an old Victorian house, converting it into a bed and breakfast facility. Throughout his career, but especially in later years, Jack was a consumate story teller. His stories ranged from deeply moving descriptions of the terrible suffering endured during the terror years of Stalin”s rule in the Soviet Union, to hilarious readings of Sarah Binks, Paul Hiebert’s ficticious poet and songstress of Saskatchewan. His best know work, Mysteries of Grace and Judgement, integrated strong emotional narratives with choirs providing cherished core Mennonite hymns and songs.
Scope and Content
The fonds consists mainly of working files pertaining to Jack’s story telling and public speaking presentations. It contains very little information, aside from several autobiographical pieces, about Jack’s childhood, his expereinces as a student, his career at Goshen College, subsequent business initiatives, or family life.
Source of Acquisition
Donated by Carolyn Clement, Jack Dueck’s daughter and executor of his estate. It was part of a large mixed collection of very loosely organized papers which were reviewed, screened and organized by Ted Regehr, a professionally trained archivist and personal friend. It consists of four thematic series: 1. Autobiographical, personal or family items. 2 multi-media presentatons, 3. short stories, sermons and reports, 4. business, management and consulting,
I. Autobiographical, personal and family stories I-1 “Re-Membering” a confidential 9-page autobiographical story. I-2 “God did not understand Low German” several drafts with revisions. 1-3 “Growing up Russian Mennonite”, several drafts with changed titles and revisions. I-4 “Humour as Grace. Stories Depicting the Redemptive Qualities of Humour I-5 “Five Horses of the Apocalypse” or “Horses: Thereby Hang Some Tales.” I-6 “Worship is Remembering” Diverse notes of presentations by Jack. I-7 The Toews Family and Evergreen Farm. Several drafts under titles “Living by Faithfulness” and “Welcome to Evergreen Farm.” I-8 Evergreen Farm, incorporation and business aspects. I-9 Interview with Cornelius C. and Anna Toews by Evelying Dueck. I-10 Evergreen Farm Harvests. I-11 “Discovering Church (or Stumbling Toward Church.” I-12 “A Meditation for Jack Dueck’s parents on their 50th wedding anniverary, 12 August 1990.” 1-13 “Financial Bankruptcy and the Human Spirit.” handwritten notes. I-14 “When All is Lost. Plotting the Resurrection.” I-15 “Vignette of a Labor Day Party.” I-16 “The Uninvited Guest,” also “Alzheimers – The Uninvited Guest: New Ways of Living and Loving.” Several drafts. I-17 “The Quintessence of Dust” Random notes after Jack’s dire cancer diagnosis. I-18 “Soup Making Liturgy.” I-19 Jack Dueck curricula Vitae I-20 Obituries and Tributes
II. Major multi-media presentations
II-1 Mysteries of Grace and Judgement. Several video versions, background notes, posters, bulletings, newspaper and journal reports and commentaries. II-2 The Prodigal Son(s) (Family). Several files containing background notes, copies of presentations in diffrent settings, and supporting material. II-3 “The Burning Bush or The Plastic Mulberry?” and “Discovering the Magi’s Gifts” both focusing on contemporary religious perceptions and practices. II-4″Sarah Binks” notes, readings and correspondence. II- 5 “Gathering at the River,” focusing on human interations with water. II-6 “The Refugee Makers, also “Refugee Makes Surprise by Grace” and refugee stories under other titles. II-7 “Redeeming the Hymn” for a special story, poetry and song program.
III. Stories, Sermons and Reports III-1 File of numerous short stories told on various occasions. III-2 “New Skins, Same Wine.” III-3 “Clayton Kratz & His Cloud of Witnesses.” III-4 “A Tale of Two Trees.” III-5 “A Biblical barn raising.” III-6 “The Abuse of Story.” III-7 “Being What We Mean.” III-8 “One Confession leads to Another.” III-9 “Educating Rita or Comfortin Rachael.” III-10 “Barnyard Communion.” III-11 “An Entrepreneur for all Seasons. Tribute to Aaron Klassen.” III-12 Folder containing thirteen short (11-3 page) stories. III-13 Letters to newspaper and periodical editors and related papers. III-14 Menno Knight items – pen name to express controversial or off-beat views. III-15 Goshen College fragmentary items. III-16 Early sermon and meditation outlines by Jack Dueck III-17 Wedding and anniverary sermons. III-18 “Epiphany or Christmas letters.”
IV Business, Management and Consulting
IV-1 Penn Alps documents. IV-2 People Management Consultants IV-3 Bankruptcy, legal and financial papers. IV – Boston Tour.
Comments Off on Alfred Klassen fonds, 1929-1933, 8 cm. Franz Peter Klassen family letters
Alfred Klassen fonds, 1929-1933, 8 cm. 8 photographs, 1 map. Franz Peter Klassen family letters.
Alfred Klassen was born in [place] on [date] the grandson of Franz Peter Klassen and the son of Jacob Franz Klassen and Maria [give mother’s maiden name.] After the death of his parents in 1983 Alfred Klassen discovered a collection of letters received by his parents between 1929 and 1933 from his father’s brothers or sisters-in-law living in the Soviet Union.
The date and place of birth of Franz Peter Klassen (Alfred Klassen’s grandfather) is not known, but he apparently lived for some time in the Judenplan village of Novo Jhitomir. In 1908 he auctioned off the family’s assets with the intention of joining his daughter who had emigrated earlier and was living with her family in Saskatchewan. Serious delays in Riga,Latvia,caused him to change his plans and move instead, together with his unmarried sons, ranging in age from 11 to 26, to a newly established Mennonite village at Gljaden, Siberia. Franz Peter Klassen died in 1920..
Peter Franz Klassen and Helene (Fast) Klassen registered in a collective in Issyl Kul and moved therein the spring of 1930. He died there of natural causes in 1933.
The family of Abram Franz Klassen and his wife, Susana (Wilms) Klassen,were exiled to the Narym forestry camp in 1931. Two of their smallest children died enroute. Abram and his son Abraham died within a few years.
Nikolai Franz Klassen and Liese (Dyck) Klassen apprently returned to Chortitza, but in 1933 they joined Nikolai’s brothers, Isaak and Peter, who had registered in a collective in Issyl Kul. Nikolai was exiled in 1937 because “he had relatives in foreign lands,” and was never heard of again.
Isaak Franz Klassen and Maria (Friesen) Klassen, as already mentioned, registered in a collective in Issyl Kul. Little is known of the subequent fate of the family.
Daniel Franz Klassen and Anna (Giesbrecht) Klassen apparently livedin one of the Gljaden villages in the early 1930s. Little is known of the subsquent fate of the family.
Scope and Content
The collection consists of 55 letters written by five of Franz Peter Klassen’s sons, or their wives to their relatives – the Jacob Franz Klassen family in Canada. These letters are arranged by family and then chronologically. They are written on poor quality paper in the Gothic script, but have been transcribed and the translated by Alfred Klassen who also provided biographical and explanatory information, 8 photographs and map of the Gljaden villages.
Source of Acquisition
Gift by Alfred Klassen
Notes, explanatory comments, genealogical information, transcriptions and translations of the family letters, in the order listed below.
55 letters or postcards written by members of the Klassen family living in the Soviet Union, addressed to Jacob Franz Klassen in Canada
-5 letters, 1 post card from Peter Franz Klassen and Helene (Fast) Klassen, 1931-1932.
-11 letters, 1 post card from Abram Franz Klassen and Susana (Wilms) Klassen, 1930-1932.
-6 letters from Nikolai Franz Klassen and Liese (Dyck) Klassen, 1929-1930.
-28 letters, postcards and smaller written communications from Isaak Franz Klassen and Maria (Friesen) Klassen, 1931-1933.
-4 letters from Anna (Giesbrecht) Klassen, wife of Daniel Franz Klassen, 1931-1933
8 photographs, described in greater detail in Alfred Klassen’s notes.
-1882, Franz Peter Klassen, his wife, and sons Franz F. and Peter F. Klassen
-1925, Nikolai F. Klassen and Elizabeth (Dyck) Klassen
-1926, Daniel F. Klassen and Anna (Giesbrecht) Klassen with baby.
-1928, Isaak F. Klassen and Maria (Friesen) Klassen and family.
-1929, Abram F, Klassen and Susana (Willms) Klassen and family
-1934, Peter F. Klassen and Helena (Fast) Klassen with family and relatives.
-1934, Family at Issyl Kul, probably in Isaak F. Klassen’s home.
-The Peter Dyck’s sod house
Comments Off on Susan Roberts fonds, undated, 10 cm.
Title and Description
Susan Roberts fonds, undated, 10 cm.
Susan Roberts was born in Ukraine, the daughter of a German [Mennonite] family. In her autobiography she does not give the names of her parents or the village in which she was born. Evidence in the booklet described below suggests that her farther was Peter Heinrich Harder who lived in the village of Gnadenthal. Her father was a miller, and the family experienced difficult conditions in the years following the Russian Revolution. Susan, together with her parents and three sisters emigrated to Canada in 1923 where she married Robert Rogers. She wrote a short 6 page undated autobiography on the reverse side of a multi-paged letter promoting a program on “Arteries Cleaned Out Naturally.” The German autobiography, handwritten in Latin script, was translated by Marion M. Roberts in 2001.
Scope and Content
The fonds consists of a 6-page autobiography focussing mainly on the conditions and tragedies of the time when anarchist criminal bands roamed the Ukrainian countryside during the period of instability following the Russian Revolultion. There is also a typewritten English translation, an undated wedding picture of Susan and Robert Rogers, and a small case-enclosed calendar booklet. This booklet, brought by the family from Russia, is entitled Christliches Vergiszmeinnicht [Christian Forget me not]. On the front page there is the inscription, “This book belongs to Peter Heinrich Harder, Box 415, Coaldale, Alta., followed in a different script by the words: “Given in Loving memory to Mrs Susan Roberts.” The booklet, with pages providing space for handwritten entries also includes a scripture passage for each day of the year, interspersed with artistic drawings and pictures. On available blank spaces for each day various bits of genealogical information are entered. One of these, on an early page states: Unsere Tochter Susana ist den 2 Januar Geboren, 1917 [Our daughter Susana was born 2 January 1917] . The booklet also includes an apparently much older entry in German Gothic script “Den 13 April ist unser Sohn Peter geboren in Gnadenthal 1879 in Ruszland” [The 13th April is our son Peter born in Gnadenthal, 1879 in Russia]. That is confirmed by an entry for the 13 of April stating Ich bin gebornen den 13 April 1879…Peter Harder [I was born 13 April 1879…Peter Harder]. These entries suggest that the booklet was held by family members of several generations.
Comments Off on Peter Schellenberg fonds, 1926, 1955-1972, 12 cm
Title and Description:
Peter Schellenberg fonds, 1926, 1955-1972.
Peter Schellenbert was born in the village of Blumenfeld, Ukraine, the larger town of Nikopol in the Borozenko colony on September 17, 1887. His father died when Peter was very young; his mother remarried and the family moved to the community of Gruefeld. He attended the village school there and later a Zentralschule where he also received some training in bookkeeping and accounting. He received catechism instruction and was baptized on confession of his faith by Elder Isaac Dyck on June 7, 1908.
From 1908 to 1911, he worked in the Forestry Service to fulfill his service obligation as a conscientious objector to war. After Russia entered World War I, Peter enlisted in the Medical Corps and served as a medical orderly on the western front bringing wounded men from the battlefield and caring for them on troop trains back to hospitals in Russia.
Following the war, he worked as a bookkeeper and buyer for a hardware firm. On April 23, 1918, he and Judita Froese were married. Three of their first four children died in infancy, and only one son, Jacob, survived to accompany them when they emigrated to Canada some years later. This was a time of lawlessness and revolution in the Ukraine, and on the night of December 13, 1919, Peter’s family fell victim to an attack by bandits – his mother, stepfather, three brothers, one step-sister and his step-brother were murdered.
In February of 1922, Peter was elected to the ministry by the Georgstal congreation, and was ordained by Elder Isaac Dyck of that congregation on September 26, 1922. He served in that congregation until the family made the decision to emigrate to Canada in the fall of 1926, due to increased restrictions on religious freedom, ongoing threats of violence, and the hope for a better future for their son. They – Peter, Judita, Jacob and Great Aunt Anna Regier – left their home community in late Setpember, traveled by train to Moscow and from there to Rezeckne in Latvia, and then on to the port city of Libau. Here there was a stopover of a week, and on October 15, 1926 they sailed from there on the steamer S S Baltriger, and arrived in Southamption, England, on October 20. On October 21 they boarded the S S Melita and arrived in Quebec on October 29, 1926. From Quebec they left on a week-long journey westward and arrived in Rosthern near the end of the first week in November. Here they were received by friends, the John Federau family, and travelled by train to Dundurn. They lived and worked on farms in that community for two and a half years, then moved to the near-by village of Eyebrow where they had heard farmland might be available for purchase. However, this did not materialize and they lived and worked on farms owned by Dietrich Thiessen and Henry Loewen.
During their time in Saskatchewan, two daughters, Marie Louise and Anne Susan, were born. In May, 1931, they moved to Coaldale, arriving there on May 5. Their son John was born there on November 14. For several years they worked as farm labourers, and then, in 1934, rented land – the Wright Farm near Eight Mile Lake some distance from Coaldale and began farming. Jake went to school in Coaldale by horse-drawn school van. Two years later, they rented an irrigation farm in the Crystal Lake district, seven miles northwest of Coldale, and farmed there until 1951. They operated this 120 acre farm, plus another 40 acres leased from a neighbour on a 2/3-1/3 share crop basis: raising alfalfa, sugar beets, grain, seed peas and corn. They also had a small dairy herd milking 8-12 cows and shipping cream to the Co-op cheese factory developed by Mennonites in the Coaldale area. He had an opporutnity to work in a business owned by a local Mennonite businessman as a bookkeeper, but declined because he felt that with the required business hours he would not have the time and the flexibility to serve in the church as he felt that he ought.
Peter Schellenberg began his service with the congregation in Coaldale shortly after arriving, Already in 1932 he was elected to lead the congregation, He accepted this responsibility somewhat reluctantly and worked in his capacity for two years. In 1934, Elder William Martens moved to Coaldale and served as leader of the congregation until he moved to Vauxhaul in 1938. Peter was then again elected as leading pastor. The congregation voted to install him as elder, and he was ordained to this task on April 10, 1949, by Elder David Janzen of the Springridge congregation. In addition to his local duties, he participated in ‘Bibel-besprechungen’ in various communities with other pastors, and travelled to isolated communities to preach and conduct communion services. He valued and was active in the fledgling provincial conference of Mennonite churches which became the Conference of Mennonites in Alberta and the Mennonite Church Alberta. He and served as Vice-chiar from 1955-58.
With regard to his work and leadership, C. L. Dick, in his book, The Mennonite Conference of Alberta. A History of its Churches and Institutions, stated the following: “He was utterly dedicated to the church and treated its membes with complete integrity. From 1937 to 1949 he lived some seven miles northwest of Coaldale. It is seriously doubted that it ever entered his mind that the weather was too cold or wet to attend services, both morning and evening. Not only that, he felt it important to be in church well before services began. On occasion when roads were impasable, he walked to and from services. He felt poeple had a right to expect him to be there. Most members of the congregation had a great deal of confidence in him both as a spiritual leader and as a friend who respected confidences. Schellenberg was intelligent and studious – qualities that suited him well for his task as a minister. He was genuinely humble and tothe outside observer, was in some instances too ready to give way for the sake of peace. At times he seemed to lack the self-esteem and self-confidence to give strong leadership, particularly during times of stress.”
Peter retired from active service as pastor and elder on January 16, 1965, having served some 43 years in the ministry. After his retirement he continued to conduct Bible Study groups, worship services in the local ‘Altenheim,’ and preached on occasion when asked to do so. His wife, Judita, died on September 12, 1966, and war buried on September 17 – his birthday. They were a close couple, gentle and considerate in their relationships with each other and their children. She had been a strong and cosnistent support to him in his work in the church. After her death, Peter continued to care for their daughter, Marie, who was suffering from a slowly debilitating nerve disorder. In the fall of 1974, he suffered a slight storke which, although it did not incapacitate him severely, made it impossible for him to live completely independently and care for Marie. In November of that year, he and Marie moved to the Fraser Valley to be near his eldest son, Jacob, a lay minister in the West Abbotsford Mennonite Church. He entered the Menno Home in Abbotsford in late December 1974. Marie also became a resident at the Menno Home and so they were able to remain in contact during the ensuing years.
During his years at the Menno Home, Peter continued to read, correspond with friends and with his children, reflect and make notes on various biblical themes. He was concerned that his family and the Mennonite people should remain faithful and not leave the teachings of Scripture and spent much time in prayer for his children and grandchildren and for the church. In the year before his death, failing eyesight obliged him to cut back on his reading and writing.
He enjoyed preparing sermon outlines, and gained inspiration in doing so. He therefore continuedpreparing neatly typed sermon outlines, even after he was unable to preach. Some of the early sermons were entered in small note books, or handwritten on small sheets of notepaper, but most of the later sermons were typed out in full. He died on Aprpil 1, 1982.
Scope and Content
The fonds consists of several small notebooks containing sermon outlines, a few handwritten sermons on small sheets of notepare, and dozens typed out in full. The collecction sustained some water damage and is a fragile condition. There is one sermon dated 25 September 1926, a collection from the year 1955, and then sermons covering the years from 1963-1972.
Source of Aquistion.
Gift, on bhealf of the family, by Kim Thiessen.
Notes: Accession 2015.021
Finding Aid, list of files
1. Sermon dated 25 September 1926.
2. Small notebooks and small envelopes of undate and 1955handwritten sermon notes
3. Sermons, 1963
4. Sermons, 1964
5. Sermons, 1965
6. Sermons, 1966
7. Sermons, 1966
8. Sermons, 1967
9. Sermons, 1968
10. Sermons, 1969
11. Sermons, 1070
12. Sermons, 1971
13. Sermons 1972
14. Genealogical and biographical information about Peter and Judita (Froese) Schellenberg, provided by their grandson, Terry Schellenberg.