Collection 00/MS.152 - Arthur J. Frey and Cornelius Frey Papers

Identity area

Reference code

US BCMLA 00/MS.152


Arthur J. Frey and Cornelius Frey Papers


  • 1890-1980 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

10.50 Cubic Feet

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

A. J. Frey was born August 16, 1900, in Marion County, Kansas. He married Mabel C. Elder from Kingman County, Kansas, on September 21, 1924. Frey was a Newton-area builder, supervising construction of several buildings at Bethel College, the Bethel College Mennonite Church, and other Mennonite churches. He also worked with Mennonite Aid Plan and was an amateur historian and genealogist. He compiled The Wedel Sisters Genealogy which was privately published in Newton in 1977. A. J. Frey died February 22, 1980. He has two sons.

Name of creator

Biographical history

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

The papers of Arthur J. Frey and his father Cornelius Frey were donated to the MLA in 1980 by J. R. Frey, Arthur’s son.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

The collection has two distinct groups of materials. The larger group is the papers of Cornelius Frey. These papers contain a wide variety of materials, but the most significant is the extensive correspondence. There are letters from many of the leading Mennonites of his time, such as missionaries H. R. Voth and J. B. Frey (Cornelius’ brother), Oklahoma leader Michael Klaassen, and even a few European Mennonites such as Christian Neff. Among the other important materials are Bethanian Church records, a large group of pamphlets and printed matter, and some political materials. These political items are election records and census materials for West Branch Township, Marion County, for the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century. These records provide a bit of first-hand evidence for the extent of Mennonite interest and involvement in politics at this time. The collection also contains quite a bit of personal materials such as diaries, financial records, and school materials. An interesting item in the school materials is the minutes of the Grünfeld Literary and Song Society for 1890. The papers of A. J. Frey, the other group of materials in this collection, consist almost entirely of genealogical materials. Frey collected all kinds of records and reminiscences in his genealogical research. These materials would be extremely important to the family histories of persons connected with the Alexanderwohl and Tabor churches. Also in A. J. Frey’s materials is a volume of Mennonite Aid Plan minutes, 1897-1960. Appendix: The materials in this addition to the collection are generally similar to the first part of the collection, consisting most importantly of correspondence, genealogy records, and Coy, Oklahoma, historical records. In addition, the appendix contains a small amount of correspondence and other material of family members other than Arthur J. or Cornelius Frey. They are: John Becker (1870-1968) and Eva Frey Becker (1880-1960), Eva sister of Cornelius Benjamin C. Frey (1895-1960), son of Cornelius Eva Balzer (Henry) Frey (1873-1936), sister-in-law of Cornelius Helena Schmidt (Cornelius) Frey (1870-1934), wife of Cornelius John B. Frey (1882-1942) and Sarah Unruh Frey (1885-1967), John brother of Cornelius Maria Wedel (Benjamin) Frey (1843-1934), mother of Cornelius Sara Elizabeth Frey (Paul G.) Schmidt (1898-1974), daughter of Cornelius Maria Ann Frey (McLoren) Temple (1906-), daughter of Cornelius

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling

A number of photographs from the Arthur J. and Cornelius Frey collection appendix have been transferred to the MLA photograph collection.


The Appendix was donated to the MLA in November 1983 by the family.

System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

open for research

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Language of material

  • English
  • German

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