Classification scheme: 
Hist. Mss. 1.226 (s.c.)

Title: Gerhard F. Willms fonds

Dates of creation: 1920s/1930s

Physical description​: 1 Choralbuch

Biographical sketch​: Gerhard F. Willms was born 11 March 1892 to Franz Martin Willms and Anna Rempel Willms. He lived with his family in Karassan, Crimea, South Russia. He attended the Halbstadt Zentralschule. During World War I he served in the Forestry Service, as did many Russian Mennonite young men.

On 6 January 1918 he married Agathe Boschmann; they have four sons and one daughter. Gerhard Willms joined the Allianzgemeinde church in June 1923.

The Willms family came to Canada in 1926. The first winter they lived in Rosthern, Saskatchewan, but then moved to a farm in Whitewater, Manitoba. In 1934 the family moved to Leamington, Ontario. Agathe died on 13 October 1952. At the end of 1952 he moved to Kitchener, and on 22 August 1953 he married Mary Wiebe.

For over 50 years Gerhard Willms served as a choir conductor. In the last 17 years of his life he led a choir at the Scott Pavilion in Kitchener. He died 1 January 1970 in Kitchener after a short illness.

Custodial history: Donated to the Mennonite Archives of Ontario by the Jake Willms on 4 February 2008.

Scope and content​: The fonds consists of a spirit printed chorale book, probably assembled by Willms. Notation is in ziffern (number). 66 of the hymns are in German; 4 are in English, including three Christmas carols and "God save the King."


Original archival description created February 2008 by Sam Steiner

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