File 3 - Portraits of A.A. Friesen, B.B. Janz

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Reference code

CA MHSBC 112-2-3


Portraits of A.A. Friesen, B.B. Janz


  • 1970 (Creation)

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10 cm of textual material

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Name of creator


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Name of creator


Biographical history

Jacob B Janz

Jacob B. Janz was born on June 13, 1884 in Konteniusfeld, South Russia. His parents were Benjamin Janz and Helena (Vogt) Penner. At the age of 24 he was baptized and joined the Alexandertal MB Church. Jacob married Aganetha Wiens of Sparrau in 1908 and they had six children.

Jacob went to public school in Konteniusfeld and then completed his teacher training in Halbstadt at 19 years of age. His first school was in Fischau and later he taught at Ohrloff. He enjoyed teaching and continued in his chosen profession for 21 years interrupted for a brief time by a stint of alternative service in the Russian medical service. Here he won a medal of courage for his work under fire.

In 1924 the family moved to Canada living first in Ontario and then moving to the Coaldale, Alberta area in 1927. Here Jacob took up farming together with some relatives choosing not to teach because he felt he lacked the needed proficiency in the English language. However he took time to be involved with the local people who needed guidance with finding medical help and with questions relating to the government regarding schooling and land purchases. He was also involved in teaching German school, leading the church choir and as secretary for the Alberta MB Conference. He was a member of the Coaldale School Board and worked to gain approval for the beginning of the Alberta Mennonite High School.

In 1945 he retired and moved into Coaldale. Jacob Janz died August 30, 1972 in Coaldale, Alberta.

Source: Mennonitische Rundschau obituary (Sept. 20, 1972 – p.11)

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This file consists of the following:
1) Manuscript "Documentary Portraits of Two Emigration Leaders of the 1920's" John B. Toews, Editor and Translator, A.A. Friesen and Benjamin B. Janz. Box 232

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"Two Emigration Leaders of the 1920's" of essays, documents, memories and letters is not for publication. It was collected and compiled expressly for the descendants of A.A. Friesen and B.B. Janz.
Also included is B.B. Janz' account " Meine Heimkehr" (German) of his early life and his coming to faith.
A commemorative stone was erected and unveiled in 2002 in Coaldale for B.B. Janz and Maria Janz.

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