of Alberta


  1. Camrose Mennonite Fellowship fonds, 1979-2011, 60 cm and one photogrpah album

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    Camrose Mennonite Fellowship fonds, 1979-2011, 60 cm and one photograph album

    Accession 2019.010

    Administrative/Biographical History

    The Camrose Mennonite Fellowship traces its beginnings to a meeting in the basement of the Murray and Sylvia Lauber home in March of 1979.  Participants decided to schedule once and month and later bi-weekly Bible studies.  On 11 April 1980 the decision was made to organize formally as a Fellowship. That was followed later in 1980 with the adoption of a constitution and incorporation of the Fellowship

    Members came from several different Mennonite backgrounds.  The group therefore sought membership in three Mennonite conferences and but joined both the Northwest Mennonite Conference and the Conference of Mennonites in Alberta (now Mennonite Church Alberta).

    The group met in several community places before leasing and then purchasing the church bulding of  the Church of the Nazarene at 5204 – 53 Ave. in  Camrose.

    John and Kathy Lenshyn moved to Camrose and joined the fellowship in 1981.  John was of Roman Catholic background.  He had, however, completed a degree at the Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary and accepted a less than full-time call to serve as pastor of the Camrose Mennonite Fellowship.  He served in that capacity for five years, followed by David Letkemann who served for two years.  Peter and Agnes Nickel joined the Fellowship in 1990 and Peter served as pastor until 1996, at which time he retired officially but the Nickels contined to serve the Fellowship in many ways until Agnes’s death in 2006.  After Peter Nickel’s retirement, Eric Mierau serverd as non-resident part time pastor for a few years.

    Activties of the Fellowship included Sunday morning worship services, Wednesday evening family nights, Bible studies, young peoples, two summers of Daily Vacation Bible School, and numerous potluck and family celebrations.

    Membership in the Fellowship was always small.  Over the years there were often signficant transitions.  With the departure of some families and insufficient resources to engage a full-time pastor, it was decided in 2010 to dissolve the Fellowship.  The closing service was held on 26 June 2011.

    Custodial History

    The records of the Fellowship, together with a photograph album, were donated by Murray Lauber who initiated the first meetings and who, together with his wife Sylvia, provided continuing strong leadership and support.

    Scope and Content

    The fonds consists of files pertaining to the organization of the Camrose Mennonite Fellowship, minutes an reports of council and congregational meetings, subject files and church bulletins.

    Finding Aid: List of Files

    1-1 Constitutions, 1989, 1993 and 2009.
    1-2 Incorporation, 1980 and purchaseof building, 1987.
    1-3 Policies, 1980-1985.
    1-4 Congregational and Annual Meetings, 1980-1984.
    1-5 Council Minutes, 1980-1981.
    1-6 Council Minutes, 1982.
    1-7 Council Minutes, 1983.
    1-8 Council Minutes, 1984,
    1-9 Council Minutes, 1985.
    1-10 Council Minutes, 1986.
    1-11 Congregational Meetings, 1985-1987.
    1-12 Congregational Meetings, 1988-1989.
    1-13 Congregational and Council meetings, 1990.-1993
    1-14 Congregational and Council meetings, 1994.
    1-15 Congregational and Council meetings, 1995.
    1-16 Congregational and Council meetings, 1996.
    1-17 Congregational and Council meetings, 1997.
    2-18 Congregational and Council meetings, 1998-1999.
    2-19 Congregational and Council meetings, 2000-2001.
    2-20 Congregational and Council meetings, 2002-2003.
    2-21 Congregational and Council meetings,  2004-2006.
    2-22 Congregational and Council meetings, 2007-2009.
    2-23 Dissolution, 2012.
    2-24 Closing Ceremony and History of Camrose Mennonite Fellowship, 2011 by Murray Lauber.
    2-25 Membership lists.
    2-26 Membership, Baptism and Transfer records.
    2-27 Brief History published in Mennonite Reporter,1981,
    2-28 House Church Information, 1980.
    2-29 Church Rental/Lease, 1982.
    2-30 Church and Conference constitutions.
    2-31 Correspondence, Conference of Mennonites in Alberta, 1981-1985.
    2-32 Correspondence, Northwest Mennonite Conference, 1981-1986.
    2-33 Correspondence, Northwest Mennonite Conference, 1981-1986.
    2-34 Correspondence, Church and Conference commissions, 1981-1985,
    2-35 Coreespondence, Conference of Mennonites in Canada, 1982-1985.
    2-36 Correspondence, General Conference Mennonite Church, 1982.
    2-37 Correspondence. MCC, 1978-1984.
    3-38 Pastoral Search, 1986,
    3-39 Refugee Sponsorship, 1988.
    3-40 “Neighbours Near and Far” Missions course, 1986.
    3-41 Monthly Announcements, 1980-1983.
    3-42 Bulletins, 1984,
    3-43 Bulletins, 1985.
    3-44 Bulletins, 1986.
    3-45 Bulletins, 1987,
    3-46 Bulletins, 1988.
    3-47 Bulletings, 1989.
    3-48 Bulletins, 1990.
    3-49 Bulletins, 1991.
    3-50 Bulletins, 1992.
    3-51 Bulletins, 1993.
    3-52 Bulletins, 1994.
    3-53 Bulletins, 1995.
    3-54 Bulletins, 1996.

    Photograph Album, kept by Sylvia Lauber providing insights and focusing on both formal and casual events in the history of the Camrose Mennonite Fellowship.  The photos are being screened by Bill Janzen, a member of the Fellowship for many years, who is providing essential information about the more noteworthy photographs.

  2. Cornelius Regehr fonds, 1894, 1979-1993, 3 cm.

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    Cornelius Regehr fonds, 1894, 1979-1993, 3 cm.

    Accession 2019.023

    Biographical history

    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.


    No restrictions.

  3. Frederick Enns fonds. 1959-2019, 5 cm.

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    Frederick Enns fonds, 1959-2019, 5 cm.

    Accession 2019.019

    Biographic History

    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.

    Finding Aid

    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.


  4. Conference of Historic Peace Churches fonds, 1940, 27 pages

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    Conference of Historic Peace Churches fonds, 1940, 27 pages

    Accession 2019.002

    Administrative/Biographical history

    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



  5. Katherine Peters collection. 39 photographs, 151 letters from the Soviet Union,

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    Accession 2017.007

    Katharine Peters collection, 39 photographs, 151 letters from relatives in the Soviet Union.

    Administrative/Biographical history.

    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

    Finding Aid

    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.



  6. Regehr, Edith, fonds, c. 1890-1960. 36 photographs

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    Edith (Epp) Regehr fonds, c. 1890-1960, 36 photographs

    Accession 2017.001

    Administrative/Biographical History

    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.
    2017.031 unknown
    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.

  7. Heinrich D. Friesen, collection, 4 cm

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    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.

    Finding Aid

    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.


  8. Jacob E. (Jack) Dueck, 1972-2013, 100 cm

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    Jacob E. (Jack) Dueck fonds, 1972-2013, 100 cm

    Accession 2016.021

    Jacob E. (Jack) Dueck fonds, 1972-2013, 100 cm

    Administrative/Biographical History

    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,

    Finding Aid

    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.

  9. Alfred Klassen fonds, 1929-1933, 8 cm. Franz Peter Klassen family letters

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    Accession 2016.003

    Alfred Klassen fonds, 1929-1933, 8 cm. 8 photographs, 1 map. Franz Peter Klassen family letters.

    Administrative/Biographical history

    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

    Finding Aid

    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

    9. Map of Gljaden area, from the internet.

  10. Susan Roberts fonds, undated, 10 cm.

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    Accession 2015.024

    Title and Description

    Susan Roberts fonds, undated, 10 cm.

    Administrative/Biographical History

    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.

    Source of Aquisition

    Gift by Miriam Roberts


    Accession 2015.024