Fonds PP - Abraham K. "A.K." Friesen

Identity area

Reference code



Abraham K. "A.K." Friesen


  • 1898-[198-?] (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

50 cm textual records.

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

A.K. Friesen was born February 1, 1881 to Abraham R. Friesen (February 16, 1846-September 16, 1884) and Agatha Kornelson (April 2, 1846-March 2, 1897). From the age of 7 till 13, A.K. Friesen attended school. For several years after he was a teamster and helped his stepfather Johann Thiessen (1813-1888) at home. Agatha married for a third time in 1891 to Peter Dalke (September 17, 1828-April 12, 1909). In 1899, A.K. Friesen did some carpentry work and attended English school at Clear Springs. Then in 1900 continued his education at Mennonite Education Institute (MCI) in Gretna.

A.K. Friesen married Anna Sawatsky (August 29, 1884-December 2, 1953) in June of 1902 and they had 6 children together. Rev. Heinrich H. Ewert, Principal of Mennonite Collegiate Institute, was the officiating minister and one of the authors of many letters in A.K. Friesen’s letter collection. After living and teaching in Lowe Farm for a few years (1904-1907), A.K. and Anna moved to Winkler, MB where he worked as a store assistant and then a teacher. Then in 1910, A.K. began working at the Monarch Lumber Company where he retired as the manager in 1954 after 44 years of employment. After Anna’s death A.K. remarried in 1959 to Nettie Toews (May 1, 1884-January 26, 1963). A.K. Friesen died later the same year on December 22.

Archival history

Mennonite Genealogy Inc. (MGI) received A.K. Friesen letters from son, Harry Friesen in July 1992. Due to illness and his death, confirmation of the donation was not given. In June 2003 A.K. Friesen’s daughter, Evelyn Janzen, expressed willingness to donate the letters to MGI. The whole MGI collection was donated to the Mennonite Heritage Archives (MHA) on 24 April 2006 and was given Acc. No. 2007-090; A.K. Friesen’s letter collection was a part of MGI’s collection.
Carole Grier donated A.K. Friesen’s genealogy notebook to MHA in the fall of 2020. The notebook was given Acc. No. 2020-019. Carole requested the notebook be added to A.K. Friesen’s letter collection.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

This fonds includes personal letters written by friends and family as well as professional letters. The majority of letters from family and friends were written in gothic script German. Some of these letters have been transcribed by someone other than A.K. Friesen into Latin script German. When A.K. Friesen was a teacher he received letters from the Department of Education and Dominion School Supply. Then when A.K. transitioned to working for Monarch Lumber Company he received letters from The Star Manufacturing Co. Limited.
Most of the letters were written to A.K. Friesen, however, there are a few letters written to other people.

Also included is a free sample of Chamberlain's Stomach and Liver tablets (Volume 6486.7).

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

Before A.K. Friesen’s letters arrived at the Mennonite Heritage Archives, someone organized the letters by date, labeled, and transcribed some of the letters. Presumably, the same person created the inventory list in Volume 6486.1 which includes the writer’s names, place of mailing, date, and the number of letters written by the individual. When archiving the fonds this organization was maintained.

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

No restrictions to access.

Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

  • English
  • German

Script of material

  • Gothic
  • Latin

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Inventory file list

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

Notes area


Acc. No. 2007-090 – MGI collection, which included A.K. Friesen's Letter collection.
Acc. No. 2020-019 – Genealogy notebook, 1933. Located in Volume 6487.14.

Alternative identifier(s)

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Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used


Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion

Created and described by Selenna Wolfe, January 2021.




Accession area