of Alberta

Jacob D. Harder fonds

Accession 2003.022, 2011.009 (All filed with 2003.022)

Title and Physical Description

Jacob D. Harder fonds. — 1897-2000. — 11.5 cm of textual records

Administrative/Biographical History

Jacob D. Harder was born in Riga, Latvia, in 1927 to David and Helena (Toews) Harder.  Jacob’s father, David, died in December of 1926 in Riga.  At the time, the family was en route from their Siberian home to Canada.  After a period of quarantine, during which Jacob was born, the family was able to continue their migration to Canada where they eventually settled in the Didsbury, Alberta area.
Jacob married Hella Dahl in Didsbury, Alberta, in 1949 and together they had three children: Leila (1952-1952), Leila Joy, and Rhonda Susan. Jacob was an educator who taught in one room country schools for the first five years followed by eleven years teaching Industrial Arts in Carstairs. He completed a B.Ed (1954), a journeyman carpenter’s certificate (1960), an M.Sc. from Oregon State University (1964), and a D.Ed (1970). His career continued in the education field where he was a Supervisor of Industrial Arts, High School Inspector, and Associate Director of Curriculum in the Alberta Department of Education. His leadership extended to the Mennonite community as well, where he contributed to the development of Camp Valaqua; introduction of Conference Sunday School materials to Alberta churches; the rebuilding of Menno Bible Institute (and its closing); serving on the Bergthal Mennonite Church Council, the Rosthern Junior College Board of Trustees, and chairing the Alberta Mennonite Conference and the Mennonite Historical Society of Alberta.
Jacob D. Harder died in Edmonton on 24 October 2019.

Scope & Content

The fonds consists of records of vital events in the Harder family, 1772-1985 (recorded 1897-1985); notes on Mennonite home remedies (1897), Harder family correspondence and biographies; Bergthal Mennonite Church minutes (1957-1963) and history; and correspondence related to the Harder Report, Alberta Department of Education (1970-1994).

Source of Acquisition

Gift from Jacob D. Harder, 2003, 2011


See also Accession 2021.016, Diary of David Harder, 1914-1918.  David was Jacob D. Harder’s father.  The diary records his service during World War I, working on Siberian river marine facilities and river transportation services.

Accession 2003.022, 2011.009 (All filed with 2003.022)
GRANDMA #423391
Language: German and English
Last updated 10 Mar 2011 – Judith Rempel
Revised July 2012

File List

Box 1
1 – 1 Home Remedies – 1897
1 – 2 Record of vital events in the Harder family, 1772-1985. – [Copied ca. 2003 (originally created 1897-1985)]
1 – 3 “Old Material” – Miscellaneous Letters and Documents – [Copied ca. 1956-ca. 2003 (originally created 1835-ca. 2003)]
1 – 4 Family correspondence – 1936-1983
1 – 5 Elder C.D. Harder Biography, 1866-1946 – 1940-1982
1 – 6 Bergthal Mennonite Church Minutes – 1957-1963
1 – 7 History of Bergthal Mennonite Church, 1964-1978 – 1964, 1978
1 – 8 The Harder report on the Alberta school curriculum and related correspondence – 1970-1994
1 – 9 Jacob D. Harder – Alberta Report – 1978
1 – 10 MHSA Correspondence – 1999-2000
1 – 11 Correspondence – 1999-2004
1 – 12 The Harders: The Chronicles of the David Harder Family manuscript – 2000