Classification scheme: 
Hist. Mss. 1.136

Title: John H. Enns fonds

Dates of creation: 1942-1978

Physical description: 15 cm. of textual and visual records

Biographical sketch: John Enns was born 23 March 1910 in Ohrloff, Molotschna, Ukaine. In 1924 his family immigrated to Canada and came to Waterloo, Ontario. In 1926 the family homesteaded in what became Reesor, Ontario. In 1936 John Enns became the school teacher for the settlement. When the school closed in 1966, he taught in Kapuskasing until retirement in 1971. He was the last inhabitant of the Reesor community, and was the community's historian. He succeeded his brother Gerhard as caretaker of the Reesor Mennonite Cemetery in 1971, and was instrumental in the preservation of the cemetery and erection of a monument on the site in 1978.  He died on 28 August 1986.

Custodial history: The fonds was donated to the Archives at various times. Reesor Mennonite Cemetery records received from Hildegard Martens in 2019.

Scope and content: The fonds primarily consists of typescripts, and photograph albums related to the history of Reesor, Ontario created around 1973 by John Enns. Also included is some correspondence related to the erection of a monument at Reesor, preservation of the cemetery and its transfer of ownership to the Conference of the United Mennonite Churches in Ontario. An additional photo album relates to Enns' service at the Montreal River Alternative Service Camp in 1942, and copies of clippings related to Enns' life and death.

Notes: Photographs related to Reesor, Ontario may be found in the Mennonite Archival Image Database.

Original archival description created in 1990s by Sam Steiner and updated in 2020 by Laureen Harder-Gissing

File list:

Vol. 1

  1. "Reesor Community" typescript, 1973 (128 leaves)
  2. 1978 Reunion in Waterloo, Ontario. - list of names
  3. "The Story of Reesor, Ontario" - photographs and commentary in scrapbook format, 88pp.
    The Story of Reesor, Ontario (part 1)
    The Story of Reesor, Ontario (part 2)
    The Story of Reesor, Ontario (part 3)
  4. L. H. Hanlan, "Report of the Fieldman for Northern Ontario," photocopy of 1936 typescript including map of Reesor, Ont.
  5. "The Story of the Mennonite settlement of Reesor, Ontario," 1973, 168 typescript leaves
  6. Paul Dick, "The experience of Reesor, Ontario," Undergraduate paper, 1973
  7. Reesor Mennonite Cemetery
    1. Minutes and correspondence, 1930, 1962-1986
    2. Accounts, 1928-1931, 1937, 1946
    3. Surveys and name lists
  8. Copies of clippings related to John Enns' death in 1986.

Vol. 2

  1. Photo album of Montreal River Alternative Service Camp, 1942
  2. Photo albums of family, community life and school in Reesor, 1927-1940


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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