Dorothy Swartzentruber Sauder fonds

Classification scheme: 

Title: Dorothy Swartzentruber Sauder fonds

Dates of creation: 1916-2012, predominant 1949-1954

Physical description: 8 cm of textual records, ca. 400 photographs

Biographical sketch: Dorothy Mae Swartzentruber (1924-2012) was the daughter of Edwin and Katie (Leis) Schwartzentruber. She was born in Kitchener and spent her growing up years primarily in Wellesley. Following 8th grade, she worked as a domestic while attending Ontario Mennonite Bible School. From 1944-45, she worked at the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Clothing Depot. After taking time to train as a secretary, she returned to the MCC office in Kitchener until 1949 when she went to work for MCC in Frankfurt, Germany. In addition to secretarial work, she assisted the local Mennonite congregation. She was secretary to C.F. Klassen, MCC director in Europe, at the time of his death in 1954. Swartzentruber decided to return to Kitchener where she took a job at the Golden Rule bookstore and convinced the manager to let her set up the Golden Rule Secretarial Service. This service provided secretarial support to Mennonite congregations. Her many other involvements included becoming the first female editor of the Ontario Mennonite Evangel and the first archivist of the Mennonite Archives of Ontario. In the 1960s, she was secretary to Frank C. Peters, the president of Wilfrid Laurier University. At age 47, she married widower Stanley Sauder.

Custodial history: Fonds was donated to the Mennonite Archives of Ontario in 2016 by Shirley (Sauder) Morrison.

Scope and content: Fonds consists primarily of correspondence from Dorothy Swartzentruber to her parents during her time in Germany, as well as photograph albums documenting her time in Germany and travels in western Europe, 1949-1954. A few photographs, some correspondence, writings, clippings and genealogical notes from outside that time period are also included.

Notes: For photographs related to Dorothy Swartzentruber search the Mennonite Archival Image Database.
Further materials related to Dorothy Swartzentruber may be found by searching the Archives.
See also Huebert Hecht, Linda. "Legacy of service: Dorothy M. Swartzentruber Sauder's career in church work at home and abroad." Ontario Mennonite History XIX no. 2 (Nov 2001).
Original archival description created 2016 by Laureen Harder-Gissing.

File list:

  1. Correspondence, 1949-1958, 1961-1969
  2. Official documents, clippings and ephemera, Europe
  3. Biographical articles, published
  4. Genealogical research, Edwin Schwartzentruber and Katie Leis
  5. Programs, speaking engagements
  6. Clippings and notes, historical
  7. Notes, history of First Mennonite Church, Kitchener
  8. Notes, Pennsylvania German designs
  9. Photograph albums

    9.1 MCC Frankfurt

    9.2 Travels in Europe
    Scope and content: Switzerland, Denmark (May 1952), Sweden, Norway, skiing in Titisee (winter 1950), Paris (May 1953), Oberammergau, Italy, England, sailing for home (Oct 1954)

    9.3 Travels in Europe
    Scope and content: sailing aboard the Nieuw Amsterdam (28 Oct 1949), Frankfurt, Dachau concentration camp, the Rhine River, Hamburg, Berlin, aboard the Empress of Australia (Sept 1954), Ilse Franzen's wedding (1956), MCC conference at Bad Boll (1953), Paul Peachey's ordination (1950)

    9.4 MCC Frankfurt, Mennonite World Conference in Basel (1952)

    9.5 Teaching summer Bible school, summer 1949
    Scope and content: Markstay, Monetville, Waters, and Bothwell, Ontario
  10. Loose photographs
    10.1 Edwin and Katie (Leis) Schwartzentruber families

    10.2 Europe, 1949-1954


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Mennonite Archives of Ontario
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