Classification scheme: 
Hist. Mss. 1.2

Title: Joseph C. Fretz fonds

Dates of creation: 1838-1956; photocopied ca.1990 and 1990-1993

Physical description: 2 m of textual records

Biographical sketch: Joseph C. Fretz (25 September 1885-22 August 1956) was the son of Manasseh Fretz and Mary Ann Cober. He was a member of the Shantz Mennonite Church, where he was ordained deacon in 1953. He served for many years as secretary of the Ontario Mennonite Mission Board, Mennonite Conference of Ontario historian, and manager of the Golden Rule Bookstore. He married Martha Reesor in 1918; they had four children. For more information see the obituary in the Gospel Herald, Sept. 11, 1956.

Custodial history: Most of the materials were donated at an earlier time (1960s?) when the Archives were still located at Rockway Mennonite Collegiate. In 2013, a smaller transfer of files was received from the Archives of the Mennonite Church, Goshen, Ind. These files were donated to the Goshen archives by Martha Fretz in 1957. Notes in the file list identify files from this transfer.

Scope and content:

The fonds consists of fifteen series:

  1. Personal correspondence
  2. Public School information
  3. Sermon notes
  4. Historical publications and committees
  5. Correspondence and research for L.J. Burkholder's Brief history of the Mennonites in Ontario
  6. Genealogical records
  7. Miscellaneous files
  8. Sunday school conference field man notes
  9. Mennonite Publishing House correspondence
  10. Church Committees
  11. Mission Board records
  12. Braeside Home
  13. Congregations
  14. Miscellaneous
  15. Manuscript attributed to Fretz

Note: Original description created in the 1990s by Sam Steiner.

File list:

Box 1

Series 1: Personal correspondence

  1. A.J. Shantz
  2. Will and trusts of Matilda Act; notes on Emma Burkholder (L.J. Burkholder's wife)
  3. Mortgages; deed -- J.C. Fretz to Amelia Sauder, 1943; J.C. Fretz to Allen Reesor, 1937; John H.W. Richards to Florence and Salina Shantz, 1935; William Stieler to Fredrick Boohold, 1896; Deed Benjamin Bouman to Henry Greif, 1867
  4. Personal correspondence and information -- Goshen College
  5. Miscellaneous correspondence
    Note: Includes correspondence with Ira Landis received from the Archives of the Mennonite Church in 2013.

Series 2: Public School information

  1. History of Rittenhouse School section, Vineland, Ont.
  2. Public education
  3. Public school curriculum materials
  4. Report cards

Series 3: Sermon notes

  1. Notes from sermons and meetings
  2. Addresses and essays
  3. Notes for talks
  4. Sermon notes
  5. Teaching notes
  6. Misc. notes

Series 4: Historical publications and committees

  1. Mennonite history course notes
  2. Published historical accounts: Calendar of appointments, 1934; 29th meeting of Waterloo Historical Society; Calendar of appointments, 1946-47
  3. Historical committees and societies

Series 5: Correspondence and research notes of  A brief history of Mennonites in Ontario

  1. Historical correspondence
  2. Historical articles
  3. "The great awakening among Mennonites of the Niagara Peninsula in the 19th century"; "B.C. Hostetler, "Principal American revivals since 1700"; Letter to Samuel and Barbara Bechtel from Christian and Elizabeth Bauman, 1846 (describes trip from Waterloo County to Pennsylvania); Welland Ship Canel newspaper clippings
  4. Research notes
  5. Manuscripts -- Copies of Dilman Meyer letters; pages from Philip Wismer diary
  6. Historical material pertaining to Niagara District and York County -- Book containing records of Vineland (Moyer) cemetery; Pictures of Jordan and Vineland area; 1954 congregational report to Mennonite Conference of Ontario; Copies of Dellman Meyer letters, 1849; Copies of Jacob Albrecht letters, 1841; Copies of certificate granted to Bishop J. Graff, 1838; Copies of S.F. Coffman 25th anniversary address; Copies of Moyer Church, Vineland; Letter to John Kruth from J.C. Fretz, 1919.
  7. Pictures and maps of Niagara Peninsula settlement
  8. Section of a Mennonite history
  9. Rough notes on Erie County and Stevensville -- Cox cemetery; Harris Hill cemetery, Stevensville log church; Good's cemetery; Copy of John Lapp deed to Clarence Center, N.Y.; Ebenezer Church; Conservative Mennonites; Krehbiel Mennonites at Stevensville
  10. Section of a Mennonite history
  11. Rough notes
  12. Military exemption
  13. Jacob R. Bender biographical sketch
    Note: File received from the Archives of the Mennonite Church in 2013.
  14. Historical notes
    Notes: File received from the Archives of the Mennonite Church in 2013; includes typescript copy of diary of S. F. Coffman, 1901.
  15. Miscellaneous notes/programs
    Note: File received from the Archives of the Mennonite Church in 2013

Box 2

  1. Welland County research and manuscripts -- Hershey cemetary and extract of family record; "A century of municipal history," County of Welland part 1, 1792-1841; Copy of Jacob Miller will, 1842; Sunday school programs; Black Creek church; Welland County
  2. South Cayuga -- Maps; "South Cayuga" manuscript; 1813 Wm. Chewett map of Upper Canada
  3. Welland County -- interviews, correspondence, articles
  4. Haldimand County -- maps, cemetery records, histories, interview
  5. Lincoln County -- maps, cemetery agreement, account of church divisions
  6. Mennonite Encyclopedia, v. 1 articles
  7. Mennonite Encyclopedia, v. 2 articles
  8. Mennonite Encyclopedia, v. 3 articles

    8a. Mennonite Encyclopedia, correspondence
    Note: File received from the Archives of the Mennonite Church in 2013.

Series 6: Genealogical records

  1. Cyrus Cressman
  2. Hoover (Huber) family
  3. Fretz genealogical material
  4. Fretz family reunion
  5. Obituaries
  6. Misc.

Series 7: Miscellaneous files

  1. Education in the church
  2. Notes on India missions
  3. Letter from Children's Aid Society
  4. Irwin Hoover offer to sell lakeshore property for a Mennonite retreat
  5. Inter-Church Committee on religious education in public schools
  6. Lords Day Alliance and misc. clippings
  7. Goshen College, 1956; correspondence, photo, programs, class of 1930 letter
  8. Stouffville Book Nook

Series 8: Sunday School Conference field man notes

  1. Sunday school records
  2. Sunday school organization
  3. Sunday school material
  4. Sunday school conference books

Series 9: Mennonite Publishing House correspondence

  1. Golden Rule Bookstore; Dedication program; photo; article by W.H.E. Schmalz
  2. Golden Rule Bookstore; correspondence with MPH, 1940-1941; Building permit, 1941; Agreement to purchase property, 1941

Box 3

Series 10: Church committees

  1. Young People -- YPBM topics and programs; correspondence with Young Peoples Bible Meeting organizations in Ontario; copies of constitutions; historical sketch; introducing Mennonite Youth Fellowship
  2. Government annuities -- correspondence and information
  3. Materials published in Gospel herald
  4. Correspondence re: Mennonite yearbook
  5. General Problems Committee
  6. World War II and pacifism

Box 4

Series 11: Mennonite Mission Board of Ontario

  1. Correspondence, 1940s
  2. Correspondence, pre-1942
  3. Minutes, 1942
  4. 1943 elevator
  5. Correspondence, 1943-1944
  6. Minutes, 1943
  7. Correspondence, 1944 (Rural committee)
  8. Correspondence and minutes, 1945-1946
  9. Correspondence and minutes, 1946-1947
  10. Correspondence, 1946-1947 (Rural committee)
  11. Minutes, 1946-1947
  12. Minutes, 194948-1949
  13. Miscellaneous, 1949
  14. Minutes, 1949-1953
  15. Financial records, 1948-1953
  16. Minutes, 1951-1953
  17. Minutes and correspondence, 1951-1952
  18. Minutes and correspondence, 1947-1952
  19. Annual meetings, 1948-1953
  20. Correspondence, 1950-1954
  21. Minutes and correspondence, 1948-1953
  22. Annual meetings, 1953-1959
  23. Constitution of Rural Mission Board
  24. Miscellaneous

Box ​5

Series 12: Braeside Home

  1. Miscellaneous
  2. Correspondence, minutes
  3. Contracts, minutes
  4. Other Old Age homes

Box 6

Series 13: Congregations

  1. Waters
  2. Monetville
  3. Morningside
  4. Markstay
  5. Fort Stewart

Box 7

Series 14: Miscellaneous

  1. City Committee
  2. Shantz congregation founded
  3. Henry Hurst correspondence
  4. Ellesmere fire
  5. Gold Rule Bookstore -- Alberta accounts
  6. Finance, 1911-1930

Box 8

Series 15: Manuscript attributed to Fretz

  1. Manuscript history of Western world -- includes Waterloo County Mennonite history

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Mennonite Archives of Ontario
Conrad Grebel University College
140 Westmount Road North
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Phone: 519-885-0220 x24238