Classification scheme: 

Title: Mennonite Aid Union fonds

Dates of creation: 1866-2009

Physical description: 67 cm of textual records

Administrative history: The Mennonite Aid Union (MAU) is the oldest Mennonite mutual fire and storm property insurance organization in North America. It was organized April 9, 1866 under authorization of the Mennonite Conference of Ontario given in 1864. It first served only members of the Mennonite Church, but in 1919 expanded to include other Mennonite groups. Its area of service also included Alberta and Saskatchewan (Northwest Mennonite Conference), Manitoba, British Columbia, Quebec, and some areas in New York State formerly connected to the Ontario Conference. In later decades, MAU was headquartered in Baden, Ontario.

On 23 Oct 2002, MAU became incorporated as the Mennonite Aid Union Management Association. On 31 March 2007, the members voted to dissolve the corporation. The work of MAU and MAUMA was taken up by a licensed insurance company with Anabaptist principles, MutualAid eXchange, or MAX.

Custodial history: Donations to the Mennonite Archives of Ontario have been made from time to time. A substantial donation was made in April 2000 by Nelson Scheifele, manager of the Aid Union. An additional donation of minute books and financial statements was made on 21 February 2002.

Scope and content: There are three series: Formal records; Informal records, and Automobile Aid proposal.

Notes: For detailed histories of the Aid Union see: "War as a factor in Mennonite economic policy : a case study of insurance institutions sponsored by the Ontario Conference, 1864-1954" / by E. Reginald Good (M.A. Thesis, 1984) and We Bear the Loss Together : A history of the Mennonite Aid Union / by Laureen Harder (2007).
An oral history of the Aid Union is located here.
Original description by Sam Steiner.

File list:
Series 1: Formal records
1. Constitutions, 1866 (photocopy), 1876, 1881, 1893, 1899, 1900 (Rules and Regulations), 1909, 1919, 1924, 1928, 1933, 1939, 1949, 1954, 1959, 1964, 1969, 1974, 1979, 1984, 1989, 1994, 1999
Note: Some copies of the constitution have the property valuation forms for their previous owners filled in

2. Financial Statements & Claim lists, 1907-1910, 1913, 1915-1919, 1922, 1924-1925, 1927-1944, 1947-2002, 2004

3. Minute books

4.Annual reports
Note: Includes financial statements following dissolution, 2007-2010

5. Ad Hoc Study Committee

6. Correspondence with Alberta Government on MAU status

7. Facultative First Surplus Reinsurance Agreement
1959 (MAU copy signed by Harold Schmidt)

8. Association of Mutual Aid Societies
Conference papers, 1956, 1958 (Harold Schmidt was on the Board)

Series 2: Informal records

1. Correspondence & minutes (photocopies) from E. Reginald Good research, 1866-1955. Much has to do with conversations with the Superintendent of Insurance in Ontario.

2. Correspondence, etc. (S.C. Brubacher file as director, 1947-1953)

3. Records from appraisal for fire loss, 1873? (Abram Clemens records)

4. Property valuation forms, 1940s

5. Miscellaneous published material
Community union of the Mennonites for the purpose of restoring fire damage or loss, 1959 (English translation of of 1876 constitution)
Claim form
Publicity brochures

6. Correspondence, notes & newspaper articles (photocopies) from Laureen Harder research. Correspondence includes: Daniel Lehman to Christian Reesor, 24 August 1890
Paul Martin to Christian Reesor, 17 November 1903

Series 3: Ontario Mennonite Automobile Aid proposal

Reports, proposed constitution, 1939-1941 (this organization did not come to fruition)


The Archives is accessible by appointment only. Please do not visit or bring in donations unannounced.


Mennonite Archives of Ontario
Conrad Grebel University College
140 Westmount Road North
Waterloo, ON N2L 3G6

Phone: 519-885-0220 x24238