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Wiebe, Anne (1918–2013)

Proper Title

Anne Wiebe fonds

Dates of Creation


Physical Description

8.5 cm textual material and 62 photographs, 4 slides

Biographical Sketch

Anne Wiebe was born to Abram Jacob Wiebe (1890–1967), a teacher at the Zentralschule in Chortitza, and Anna Epp Wiebe (1890–1970) on July 1, 1918, in Rosenthal, Ukraine.  In 1928, the family emigrated to Canada, settling first in Winkler and then in Gretna, Manitoba. She was the oldest of four children, her siblings being Louise, Abram and Helen. Anne died on March 28, 2013, and is buried in Woodland Cemetery in Kitchener, Ontario.

Anne began her teaching career as an elementary school teacher in Manitoba, and then in 1945 she followed her family to Ontario where she continued her education, receiving a B.A. from the University of Western Ontario.  Later, she graduated with an M.A. from Columbia University in New York City.  Throughout her 35 years of teaching she taught in Manitoba and Ontario. She taught at a senior school in Windsor, Ontario, at Eden Christian College (also called Eden High School) in Virgil, Ontario, at Galt Collegiate and Glenview Park Secondary School, both in Galt (now Cambridge, Ontario), and at Waterloo Collegiate Institute in Waterloo.  Anne had good rapport with her students and she was honoured as a teacher several times. She retired from teaching in 1977.

In addition to her love of history, Anne’s other passions were recording and documenting family history, travelling, photography, baking and cooking. Having no children of her own, she spent a lot of time nurturing her brother Abram’s 6 children and later her grand nieces and nephews. Many summers during her teaching career, she traveled with her sisters and friends to far away places such as Europe, the Ukraine, the Middle East, China, Australia, New Zealand and the Canadian Artic.

The Committee of the Ontario Conference of the Mennonite Brethren Church asked Anne to undertake a project of writing the history of the MB church in Ontario. She produced a nine-chapter manuscript (256 pages) detailing that history to 1953 (see file list below).

Her published works include:

“Mennonite Brethren Beginnings in Ontario 1924–1932” in Ontario Mennonite History, Vol. XXV, No. 1 (June 2007), pp. 1–10, based on Chapter VI “Early Beginnings” of her manuscript, edited for OMH by Linda Huebert Hecht and Nancy Fehderau.

“The Mennonite Brethren in Ontario: a short history” in Mennogespräch, Vol. 4, No. 1 (March 1986), pp. 4–8.

Custodial History

The material in this fonds amounts to the manuscript written by Anne Wiebe, which, after its completion, was passed on to Ken Reddig, the Centre’s archivist, on October 13, 1988.

These records were transferred from the Mennonite Archives of Ontario to the Centre for MB Studies archives in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 2010.

Scope and Content

The material in this collection includes an English manuscript of nine chapters written by Anne Wiebe, describing the history and development of the Mennonite Brethren Church in Ontario. Her working title was From Mother Russia to Mother Church: The Story of the Mennonite Brethren in Ontario, 1924–1953.  Also included are photos from this period as well as copies of immigration documents for the Nicolai Federau family, and the Gerhard Enns family. There is also a bit of correspondence regarding the pros and cons of publishing this manuscript. In the end, it appears the manuscript was never published. The reasons for this are not given.


  • Described by Conrad Stoesz December 13, 1999; updated by Yvonne Snider-Nighswander January 30, 2011, and Jon Isaak January 16, 2019.
  • Accession nos. 1988–045; 2010-07.
  • Location: Volume 550, Files 45-55; Photograph collections NP194-01;
    NP163-02; NS20-01.
  • Related material: Komoka Community Church Photograh collection NP190-02.
  • See biographical article on Anne Wiebe in GAMEO.
  • No restrictions on access.

File List

Volume 550
Manuscript by Anne Wiebe, dated 25 May 1988, called From Mother Russia to Mother Church: The Story of the Mennonite Brethren in Ontario, 1924–1953.

46. Chapter I: Mennonite Brethren Church of Ontario in Historical Perspective.
47. Chapter II: Communion in Elizabethal – 1860.
48. Chapter III: Development and Demise of Mennonite Colonies in Russia.
49. Chapter IV: The Emigration Process – Part I.
50. Chapter V: The Emigration Process – Part II.
51. Chapter VI: History of Kitchener MB Chuch – Early Beginnings.
52. Chapter VII: Hespler.
53. Chapter VIII: New Hamburg.
54. Chapter IX: Growth and Expansion of Kitchener MB Church – 1935–1953.
55. Manuscript of chapters I-VIII; edited copy.
56. Communications and loose notes. -- 1988–1999.
57. Final edition of completed manuscript. -- 1988.


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