Fonds PP - Jacob J. Klassen fonds

Identity area

Reference code



Jacob J. Klassen fonds


  • 1873-1947 (Creation)

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Extent and medium

38 cm of textual records

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Jacob J. Klassen was born on January 19, 1868 to Jacob Klassen (1839-1916) and Elizabeth Ens (1841-1896) in the Mennonite village of Schöndorf, Borozenko colony, South Russia where he received his early formal education. He served in the forestry service as an alternative to military service from 1890-1894. On June 25, 1894 he married Margaretha Ens and lived on a rented farm in the Nepluyevka colony until 1897 when the family moved to the village of Gnadental, Baratov colony.

In 1900 Jacob Klassen was elected into the ministry in the Neuchortitzer Mennonite Church in Nepluyevka and ordained in the Baratov colony. Klassen was instrumental in organizing the Mennonite emigration from the Batatov and Schlachtin colonies to Canada. In 1923 Jacob and Elizabeth Klassen along with their six children moved to Blumenort, Manitoba near present day Gretna. In Canada he helped organized the scattered immigrants and helped found the Blumenorter Mennonite Church and served as its leading minister 1925-1928 which he did in addition to his work on his farm. After 1928 John P. Bueckert became the leading minister and Klassen continued as a lay minister almost until his death on September 9, 1947. He preached a total of 1672 times (609 in Canada), performed 70 weddings, 75 engagements and 165 funerals.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Margaret Schmidt, Ben Sawatzky and Betty Klassen (grandchildren of Jacob J. Klassen)

Content and structure area

Scope and content

This fonds consists of sermons written or copied by Klassen that span both the Russian and Canadian experience. They are written long hand in Gothic German script. Most of the sermons are dated to the time of authorship and date and location delivered. Also included is a family history written by Klassen and a devotional book by Karl Gerok.

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Language of material

  • German

Script of material

  • Gothic

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Inventory file list

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Publication note

A self published book by Michelle Klassen entitled, "Great Grandpa Gerhard," is a children's book about Gerhard Klassen 1914-1950, a son of Jacob J. Klassen (see CMU library).

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Dates of creation revision deletion

By Conrad Stoesz February 16, 2007. Updated by Alf Redekopp October 26, 2010 and Conrad Stoesz February 28, 2019.




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