Ephraim S. Cressman (1855-1911)

Classification scheme: 
Hist. Mss. 1.230

Title: Ephraim S. Cressman fonds

Dates of creation: 1843-1938

Physical description: 20 cm of textual records

Biographical sketch: Ephraim Snyder Cressman (4 October 1855-26 February 1911) was the oldest child of Isaac S. Cressman (1830-1894) and Barbara Snyder Cressman (1834-1864). He was a farmer two miles east of Breslau, Ontario. On 15 February 1882 he married Susannah Betzner (8 June 1860-24 September 1948); they had four daughters, including Florence Cressman, who married Earle Snyder.

Ephraim and Susannah were active members of the Cressman (Breslau Mennonite) congregation. Ephraim was a Sunday school superintendent, and attended various Bible conferences and the Mennonite Aid Union annual meetings.

Custodial history: The material was preserved by Helen Reusser, granddaughter of Ephraim S. Cressman. She donated it to the Mennonite Archives of Ontario in October 2008.

Scope and content: The Ephraim Cressman diaries are primarily agriculturally oriented in their description of daily life. Portions of the diaries have been published in From the inside out : the rural worlds of Mennonite diarists, 1863 to 1929 by Royden Loewen. Winnipeg, Man.: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.

Also included are account books related to family activities and several miscellaneous documents.

Notes: The Ephraim Cressman family Bible is part of the Rare Book collection in the Milton Good Library.

Original archival description created October 2008 by Sam Steiner.

File list:

The fonds includes three series: 1) Diaries; 2) Account books; 3) Miscellaneous.

Series 1: Diaries

1876-1892, 1896-1898, 1901-1904, 1904-1907, 1908-1911

Series 2: Cash Account Books

1900-1908, 1908-1911, Table of Wages, 1902

Series 3: Miscellaneous

  1. Day book, most of which is in an unknown hand, but which includes text describing the winter of 1875, May of 1875 and the winter of 1876, which was then copied into, or copied from, Cressman's first diary
  2. Marriage certificate of Jacob B. Betzner (5 September 1818-1 November 1915) and Maria Bretz (5 February 1829-16 February 1899; they were married 28 September 1851 by a Lutheran minister). (This was Jacob's second marriage; On 15 April 1842 he was married to Magdalena Scheirick (1822-1849). They had four children. Jacob and Maria had six children, including Susannah Betzner Cressman)
  3. School notebook of Myra Cressman (29 March 1884-24 June 1966), the oldest daughter of Ephraim and Susannah Cressman.
  4. "Excerpts from Farming Diaries of Ephriam [sic] S. Cressman, Breslau, Waterloo Township 1905, 1906, 1907" / prepared by Doon Heritage Crossroads staff, 1980s?


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

Phone: 519-885-0220 x24238