- 1824-1932, 1972; predominant 1824-1920 (Creation)
Level of description
Extent and medium
22 cm of textual records
Name of creator
Johann Wall (1850-1909) was born in Neuendorf, Chortitza Colony, South Russia to Jacob Wall (1807-1860) and Helena (Neufeld) Wall (1817-1903 ). His first wife was Judith Dueck (1807-1842). Johann received his education in the village school in Neuendorf 1856-1864. Around the year 1870 he entered into an apprenticeship at the Niebuhr mill.
Around the year 1876, Johann's sister, Mrs. Katharina Peters wrote Johann from Manitoba encouraging him to Manitoba to establish a mill in the Mennonite West Reserve. In May of 1877 Johann left Russia with his brother-in-law's family. Upon reaching Manitoba, hr began looking for the materials and money needed to build the steam-powered mill. The local church fully supported him in this venture. He also took a trip to Berlin, Ontario (later known as Kitchener) and met with Jacob Y. Schantz who also gave him support. By September Johann Wall and his brother-in-law Peter Peters were operating the mill.
On 1879 Johann Wall married Aganetha Froese who was born February 12, 1854. In 1879 a sawmill was acquired. It was designed to run off the power generated by the mill. In 1879 the partnership between Wall and Peters was dissolved. The saw and grist mills were very successful. By 1895 Wall had acquired 400 acres of land, a portion of which he farmed near Blumenort. He sold the land at Blumenort in 1895 and bought land west of Gnadenthal. In 1898 he moved the mill to his new residence a and converted it to a wind mill used primarily for grinding feed. He continued to buy land-first in the Hague-Osler area and then 960 acres in Swift Current area of Saskatchewan. Johann Wall died a wealthy man in 1909 at the age of 59. His wife died in 1927.
The oldest two documents were created by Johann Wall's father Jacob. We assume that after he died Johann inherited them and brought them to Canada. When Johann died in 1909 his son Johann J. Wall became the executor of the estate. He died suddenly in 1932. The family then pushed to begin the liquidation of the estate. Given the extend of the properties and the economic conditions of the 1930s, this was not an easy job. The family persuaded local politician, Wallace Conrad Miller to become the new executor. Miller died in 1959 when the estate was almost all settled. Then a relative and deacon in the church, Jacob Rempel was selected to finish the work. Rempel discovered and rescued the Johann Wall collection and transferred it in the archives in three separate deposits in 1975 and 1976.
John R. Peters of Winnipeg donated further legal documents in 1996. Edward Enns and Glenn Penner provided translations and indexes around 1997.
Immediate source of acquisition or transfer
Jacob Rempel; John R. Peters
Content and structure area
Scope and content
The records document Mennonite life in Russia and early Mennonite life on the Manitoba Mennonite West Reserve. Starting with the Jacob Wall diary (created by Johann's father) with details of life in Russia, to school materials (penmanship) and copied reports and speeches such as information on Hutterites written by Heinrich Donner, and ending with his own financial records as a mill owner in Manitoba and Saskatchewan., which have details of life in Canada. There are legal documents such as land, mortgage and income tax documents. Of special interest are portions of a blue print for the mill that Johann Wall built and operated in Blumenort, Manitoba.
This fonds is described in six series:
-1) Penmanship and school work (Volume 642:1-4,6,7-8.)
-2) Business and financial records (Volume 1086:2,3; 1706:3-36)
-3) Material copied by Johann Wall (Volume 1706:8-11,37)
-4) Correspondence (Volume 1706:12)
-5) Jacob Wall diary (Volume 1086:5, 5a, 7)
-6) Helena Wall financial records (Volume 642:5; 1706:1-2)
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling
System of arrangement
Arranged and described by Conrad Stoesz August 18, 1999, updated March 31, 2000, June 6, 2005, January 15, 2007. Edited and migrated to MAID in May 2020 by Alf Redekopp.
Conditions of access and use area
Conditions governing access
Conditions governing reproduction
Language of material
Script of material
Language and script notes
Most of the material in Gothic German script
Physical characteristics and technical requirements
series description and a file list
Uploaded finding aid
Allied materials area
Existence and location of originals
Existence and location of copies
Related units of description
Accession nos. 75-3, 76-1, 78-16, 86-268, 96-060, 01-028, 05-034.