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Friesen, Abram A. (1885–1948)

Proper Title

Abram A. Friesen fonds

Dates of Creation


Physical Description

2 cm of textual material

Biographical Sketch

Abram A. Friesen was born in 1885 in the village of Schoenau in the Molotschna, South Russia. He attended the Zentralschule in Halbstadt, taking the special course in pedagogy, and going on to the Gymnasium in Ekaterinoslav and the University of Odessa. He took a position as instructor in the then newly established School of Commerce in Halbstadt. For ten years he worked fruitfully in that position, until he came to America.

Friesen was a prominent member of a study commission of four men sent to America by the South Russian Mennonites in 1920 to investigate immigration prospects in either North or South America and also to obtain assistance from American Mennonites for the oppressed Mennonites in Russia. When the other members of this commission returned to Europe, Friesen stayed at Rosthern Saskatchewan, since Elder David Toews was located there. Friesen helped to prepare for the great immigration movement and in particular was instrumental in eliminating the restrictions in Ottawa against the immigration of Mennonites into Canada. He was for some years (1922–1926) business manager of the Canadian Mennonite Board of Colonization in Rosthern. In 1926 he withdrew to pursue his private activities.

In 1948 he died at Rabbit Lake Saskatchewan.

Taken from the Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. II, p. 404

Scope and Content

The Abram A. Friesen fonds consists of photocopied correspondence, most of it between Friesen and David Toews of Rosthern, Saskatchewan. The correspondence relates to the Board of Colonization but is also of a personal nature. The letters are typed, and are predominantly in the German language.


  • Volume 945.
  • Title based on contents of fonds.
  • Finding aid: Small Collections F, File 6a and 6b.
  • Description updated by Conrad Stoesz November 27, 2003.
  • No restrictions on access.
  • Language: Mostly German.

File List

Volume 945

  • 6a. Correspondence by and to A.A. Friesen regarding immigration and colonization in Canada. – 1926–1948.
  • 6b. Correspondence by and to A.A. Friesen regarding immigration and colonization in Canada. – 1935.
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