Title and Description
Johann J. Gossen fonds, 1930, 1 cm
Johann Gossen was born 1 January 1879 at Landskrone, Molotschna, Taurida, South Russia. He was the son of Jakob Johann Gossen and Sara Berg and married Helena Friesen on 27 June 1910. He was a school teacher by profession but also worked as a jeweller and mechanic. During World War I he served as a marine mechanic in the Russian navy. He immigrated to Canada in 1923, living first at Swalwell, Alberta, before moving to Wembley, Alberta in 1929. There he represented a group of 15 families who purchased and then subdivided the land and assets of the Adair Ranch. This ranch which in 1926 consisted of 22 quarter sections of land, a large barn for 100 horses, 2 houses, a blacksmith shop and a pump house, had been purchased in 1926 by a group of Russian Mennonite immigrants. The immigrants included members of both Mennonite and Mennonite Brethren churches worshipped together on the ranch as members or participants in the Hoffnungsfelder Mennonite Church. They also worked the land together for two years, but in 1929 the Mennonite Brethren built their own church and a decision was made to sub-divide the land. Some of the original settlers left and others, including Johann Gossen, negotiated a new agreement in 1930. In those negotiations Johann Gossen, acted on behalf of the purchasing group. The original copy of this agreement is held in the Regional Archives in Grande Prairie, Alberta.
The Gossen family moved from Wembley to Burns Lake, British Columbia in 1932 where Johann Gossen died on 23 April 1945.
Scope and content
The fonds consists of a Pedigree Chart and related genealogical information for Johann Jacob Gossen, and a copy of the Agreement between the Adair Ranching Company Limited and John Gossen dated 1 August 1930.
Source of Acquistion
Gift of Donald M. Norris of Redwood Meadows, Alberta.