Lewis J. Burkholder (1875-1949)

Classification scheme: 
Hist. Mss. 1.4

Title: Lewis J. Burkholder fonds

Dates of creation: 1842-1940

Physical description: 50 cm of textual records

Biographical sketch: Lewis Josephus Burkholder was born 15 June 1875 near Markham, Ontario to Abraham Burkholder (3 December 1829-26 November 1910) and Elizabeth Reesor Burkholder (18 August 1842-29 July 1897). He was the oldest of five children of Abraham Burkholder's second marriage. There were three older children from the first marriage.

"L.J." married twice, first to Lucetta High (21 October 1870-4 June 1923); they had one daughter. After her death he married Emma Meyer (9 June 1884-14 April 1944); they had one son, Paul. He was converted under the preaching of John S. Coffman and united with the Mennonite Church on 18 May 1892. L. J. Burkholder was ordained to the ministry of the Mennonite Church (MC) on 12 January 1896 for the Cedar Grove congregation, and he gave 53 years of uninterrupted service. He was an active leader in the Ontario Mennonite Conference (MC) serving as conference moderator from 1914-1922; as superindendent of the rural mission board, 1920-1926; assistant moderator of the Mennonite Church General Conference, 1929-1931; one of the first officers of the Nonresistant Relief Organization of Ontario in 1917; and one of the first teachers in the Ontario Mennonite Bible School in 1907. He was the historian of the Ontario Mennonite Conference beginning in 1928 (the first person so named), and the author of A Brief History of the Mennonites in Ontario (Toronto, 1935), a substantial and valuable historical volume. Because of a slight stroke and failing eyesight (ending in blindness), Burkholder was inactive after 1939. L. J. Burkholder died 28 September 1949 on the farm where he was born and lived all his life.

Custodial history: Donated to the Mennonite Archives of Ontario at an unknown date; diaries donated by Paul Burkholder on 7 October 2008 and in 2011.

Scope and content: Much of the collection is material gathered for his major book, as well as correspondence files from various boards on which he served for the Mennonite Conference of Ontario. Some personal business correspondence is intermingled. The "old documents" had been gathered for his book, and for a time were stored at the Ontario Archives. The numbering of the documents was by L. J. Burkholder.

Note: Some small published books gathered by Burkholder have been transferred to the Rare Book collection of the Milton Good Library. Search the library catalogue to locate these. Copies of the American Friends Service Committee Bulletin (nos. 21, 27,29) were transferred to the Milton Good Library.

File list:

 The fonds consists of four series:

  1. "Old Documents/Mennonite Box"
  2. Correspondence
  3. Miscellanea
  4. Diaries

Series 1 "Old Documents"

Group R (Records)
Memo dated 6 September 1933 stating the "box and contents" which were left by Rev. L. J. Burkholder are the property of the Mennonite Conference of Ontario and were left with the Department of Public Records and Archives for safe-keeping, signed H. McClung. The box was removed from the Ontario Archives at the time the conference archives were established in the 1960s. Also a content list of "R" records in the "Mennonite Box," Archives, Parliament Buildings, Toronto.

  1. Abschrift of Annual Conference, 28 May 1842, Benjamin Eby's meetinghouse, Waterloo [County] plus typescript of text in German
  2. Verhandlungen der Zusammenkunst der Prediger und Almosenpfleger der Mennoniten Gemeinden des Waterloo Bezirks..., 8ten April, 1844
  3. List of Names of Ministers and Deacons of the Mennonite Church in Canada (Wayland list), 1853, plus typescript analysis setting date of document
  4. Typescript copy, English and German, of ordinations of Christian Reesor by Tilman Moyer, 11 June 1867 (originals owned by Thomas Reesor)
  5. - .17 Conference Meeting Calendars for 1837 (copy), 1854, etc. Note: These have been moved to Conrad Grebel University College restricted periodicals collection at BX8107.C21, except for Burkholder's notes on the 1837 calendar.
  6. - .19 Conference minute books No. 1 and No. 2 [Moved to II. Mennonite Conference of Ontario collection]
  7. Bishop Amos Cressman's bishop book. German typescript of extracts from book, 1877-1891. Includes notes of meetings and records of baptisms. [Original moved to III-16 Mannheim Mennonite Church]
  8. Extracts from Bishop Henry Shantz bishop book [baptisms; a few marriages], 1842-1872
  9. Translations, printed copies and extracts of annual conference and semi-annual conference meetings, 1847-1915 (incomplete)
  10. Mennonite book as kept by E. S. Hallman (lists of J.S. Coffman revival and other converts, 1891-1905)
  11. Names of members of the Mennonite Church, Berlin, in the Christian Eby Church District, January 1898 by E. S. Hallman
  12. Memorandum of Laws Affecting the Members of the Mennonite Religious Society and Military Service in Canada, 1917. 8 pp.
  13. German typescript of extracts from Deacon Book of the Hagey (Preston) Mennonite Church, 1858-1897, but includes references to earlier history. Also has list of members in 1897. [Original in III-18 Preston Mennonite Church]
  14. German original and typescript (German and English translation) of the constitution of the Mennonite Aid Union, 1866
  15. Transcribed copies (German) of conference proceedings from Urias Martin sheets for 1858, , 1864, 1865, 1873.
  16. Constitution and Discipline of the Mennonite Conference of Ontario, 1909
  17. English translation typescript of extracts from Philip Wismer notebook (immigrants from Pennsylvania in 1799/1800, and records about Mennonites from Russia in 1870s). Original in Hist. Mss. 1.101 Philip Wismer collection.
  18. Itemized cost of Schmitt meetinghouse in Vaughan, 1824. Translated by John Horsch, Scottdale. Location of original unknown.
  19. Constitution of the Ontario Mennonite Sunday School Conference, 1917
  20. Constitution and By-Laws of the Mennonite Board of Rural Missions of Ontario, n.d.
  21. Typescript copy, "Constitution of the Mennonite Peace and Arbitration Association," 190?. Copied from original at Mennonite Historical Library, Goshen, Indiana.
  22. Reports 1-4 of Mennonite Mission in Toronto, 1907-1909

Group G (Jacob Grove/Groff (1804-1863) papers as bishop in Markham, Ontario, ordained 1837 by Benjamin Eby and Jakob Gross)
Note: In 2009, Paul Grove donated  originals and translations of some items listed in "Group G." These items have been interfiled below, as indicated. The Grove donation also included several Jacob Grove/Groff items not listed by Burkholder in his original "Group G." These items are located in the Paul Grove collection.
 

  1. List of Items in Grove papers
    Original German Fragment and translation re: "Poor money" for a Zimmerman at "Sugar Loaf", 1819
  2. Original German page and translation of Jacob Grove record of his ordinations as minister and bishop, after 1837
  3. German Marriage certificate of Samuel Risser and Veronica Brownsberger by Jacob Grove, 1839, with English translation
  4. Receipts for "Exempt money" received from Jacob Grove, 1835, 1836, 1837, [1827?]
  5. Recognition of Jacob Grove as Mennonite bishop by Deputy Clerk of the Peace, 3 July 1838. Also cover document providing background.
  6. Part of a letter from Jacob Grove to Benjamin Eby urging attendance at annual conference since Minister Christian Troyer has "gone out" and we should like to know what is best to do, 1850. - includes English translation and notes by Paul Grove. - Original donated to the Archives by Paul Grove in 2009.
  7. Original German page and English translation of candidates for ordination as preacher and deacon in 1851 in Markham, from Jacob Grove.
  8. Original German fragment and English translation of candidates for baptism, n.d., from Jacob Grove
  9. Original German fragment and English translation of candidates for minister at Almira, 16 June 1861 from Jacob Grove
  10. Original German page and English translation of candidates for minister and deacon at Markham, 14 June 1863
  11. Zum Andenken des Bischof Jakob Groff by Daniel Hoover, 1863
  12. German fragment used as lot for ordination. Contains text of Proverbs 16:33
  13. English translation of January 1851 decision to divide Markham district at the 10th line. Original held privately.
  14. German original and English translation and commentary of Regulations for conducting a "school of instruction" to teach our young people the saving faith...., 1846, found in papers of Jacob Grove.
  15. German original and English translation on use of "poor money" received from Pennsylvania, 1837

Group M (Moyer/Meyer correspondence, 1831-1860; from Bishop Jacob Moyer (1767-1833) and Dilman Moyer (1807-1873) All German originals; English translations of all or part of the letters are included.

Note: In 2009, Paul Grove donated  originals and translations of some items listed in "Group M." These items have been interfiled below, as indicated. The Grove donation also included several Moyer/Meyer items not listed by Burkholder in his original "Group M." These items are located in the Paul Grove collection.

  1. List of items in Moyer collection
    Jacob Moyer to Christian Herschi and George Zavitz, Black Creek, 3 May 1831 (re: plan to ordain minister)
  2. Fragment re: payment of note signed by Jacob Moyer, before 1833
  3. Dilman Moyer to Jacob Groff, 6 September 1849 Re: Daniel Hoch attempt at reconciliation with Benjamin Eby, 6 September 1849
  4. Dilman Moyer to Jacob Groff, 24 September 1849, reporting on meeting about Daniel Hoch.
  5. Dilman Moyer to Jacob Groff, Adam Weidman, Johannes Risser, 31 August 1850, re: forthcoming visit of John Oberholtzer to Canada
  6. Dilman Moyer to Jacob Groff, etc., 21 June 1853 re: visit of Samuel Shenk and Martin Burkholder from the U.S.
  7. Dilman Moyer to Jacob Groff, 9 October 1853? re: possible reconciliation between Jacob Krehbiel and John Lapp
  8. Dilman Moyer to Jacob Groff, 12 October 1853, re: visits of Burkholder and Peter Knissley; Dilman Moyer to Peter Groff, [12 Oct 1853?], re semi-annual Waterloo conference and 52 new baptisms.- Donated to the Archives by Paul Grove in 2009. Typescript translation only. Letter may actually have been written to Jacob Groff.
  9. Dilman Moyer to Jacob Groff, 14 April 1854, re: about meeting of Daniel Hoch and John Lapp
  10. Dilman Moyer to Jacob Groff, 27 October 1854, re: meeting with John Lapp; others participating were Jacob B. Moyer, David Sherk, Joseph Schneider and two others
  11. Dilman Moyer to Jacob Groff, Spring 1855, re: reconciliation with Krehbiel and Lapp
  12. Dilman Moyer to Jacob Groff, 22 November 1855, re: Daniel Hoch attempt at reconciliation
  13. Dilman Moyer to Jacob Groff, 29 April 1851, re: ordination of deacon at The Twenty
  14. Dilman Moyer to Jacob Groff, 21 November 1859, re: death of Christian Eby, travel to Cayuga, Rainham and Black Creek
  15. Dilman Moyer to Jacob Groff, 20 December 1857, re: trip to Indiana to try to help with unity
  16. Dilman Moyer to Jacob Groff, undated, re: presence in home of Minister Adam Wideman a man who believes in witches
  17. Dilman Moyer to Jacob Groff, 1 January 1860, re: Johannes Hershey who is no longer in fellowship with the conference
  18. Dilman Moyer to Jacob Groff, 15 December 1850, re: ?

Group L (Miscellaneous Letters)

  1. Jacob Albrecht to Jacob Groff, 11 December 1841, re: controversy between Jacob Krehbiel and John Lapp, and Krehbiel having been "cleared" by Bishop Jacob Moyer before Moyer's death.
  2. Benjamin Eby to John Risser, 17 October 1849 (photocopy, no translation), re: Jacob Burkholder
  3. Benjamin Eby to Jacob Groff, 14 February 1851, re: ordinations in Waterloo district (Abraham C. Weber, Joseph E. Schneider, Jacob J. Schneider and Johannes C. Schantz; also reports plans to ordain bishop at the end of May.)
  4. Joseph E. Schneider to Jacob Groff, 5 July 1851, re: Ulrich Geiger
  5. Jacob Krehbiel to Brethren Everywhere, 14 January 1855, re: restoration of peace in Ontario conference
  6. Joseph Hagey to Jacob Groff, 7 January 1856, re: Jacob Krehbiel - translation and original. - Original donated to the Archives by Paul Grove in 2009.
  7. Johannes Baer to Beloved Brethren, 2 December 1858, re: Mennonitisches Blätter (published in Germany)
  8. Benjamin Eby to Jacob Groff & Daniel Hewber, 8 July 1851, re: Ulrich Geiger relationship to Daniel Hoch and Christian Troyer - translation only.
  9. Jacob Kindy to Jacob Groff, 10 November 1862, re: ordination of Christian Gayman yesterday [original is English, with transcription]
  10. Copied from Philip Wismer notebook re: Joseph Hagey and the Schneider (Bloomingdale) church, 20 April 1872. German transcription of Wismer's holograph copy of original. Wismer's notebook in Hist. Mss. 1.101 Philip Wismer collection.
  11. Copied from Philip Wismer notebook: petition of ministers and deacons re: discord in Waterloo District, 28 February 1874; German transcription of Wismer's holograph copy of the original. Wismer's notebook in Hist. Mss. 1.101 Philip Wismer collection. This sheet includes also summary of interview by L.J. Burkholder with Henry Goudie, one of the Solomon Eby converts who applied to Abraham Martin for baptism.
  12. Copied from Philip Wismer notebook: petition of 191 laypersons against Solomon Eby, Daniel Brenneman, etc. German transcription of Wismer's holograph copy of the original (none of the 191 are identified). Wismer's notebook in Hist. Mss. 1.101 Philip Wismer collection.
  13. Copied from Philip Wismer notebook: Petition to to the Bishop, Preachers, Deacons at Moyer Mennonite Church from Samuel J. Moyer, Samuel Kolb and others, 1875. German transcription of Wismer's holograph copy of the original. Wismer's notebook in Hist. Mss. 1.101 Philip Wismer collection.
  14. Jacob Y. Shantz to Philip Wismer, 13 August 1874. Copied from Philip Wismer notebook. German transcription of Wismer's holograph copy of the original. Wismer's notebook in Hist. Mss. 1.101 Philip Wismer collection.
  15. Six bishops who settled Indiana church controversy in 1872. Copied from Philip Wismer notebook. German transcription of Wismer's holograph copy of the original. Wismer's notebook in Hist. Mss. 1.101 Philip Wismer collection.
  16. "Die Scheidewand" by Daniel Hoch, ca. 1877. German transcription of original. English translation in XVIII-1 New Mennonites.
  17. Umfrage (Enquiry Service) at Moyer Meetinghouse, 1 May 1881. Copied from Philip Wismer notebook. German transcription of Wismer's holograph copy of the original. Wismer's notebook in Hist. Mss. 1.101 Philip Wismer collection.
  18. John S. Coffman to E. S. Hallman. Eight letters written 1891-1893 (English originals)
  19. Notes re: Adam Break, d. 24 August 1870 by L.J. Burkholder
  20. German script re the ordination of deacon, [18--]. - from the collection of Ezra Grove, sent to H.S. Bender by L.J. Burkholder in 1932, returned to Mennonite Archives of Ontario in 2011.

Series 2: Correspondence

  1. General Correspondence, including church-related, 1914-1918
  2. General Correspondence, including church-related, 1919-1923
  3. General Correspondence, including church-related, 1921
  4. Mennonite Conference of Ontario and Non-Resistant Relief Organization, 1917-1922
    Note: A digital copy of this file is available here.
  5. Mennonite Conference of Ontario, 1920-1922
  6. Rural Mission Board correspondence, 1914-1915, 1918-1920
  7. Rural Mission Board, 1919-1924
  8. Conference Historian, 1928-1933
  9. General Correspondence, mostly historical but some church related, 1930-1933
  10. Historical, 1930-1931
  11. Historical, 1932
  12. Historical, 1935
  13. Copies of correspondence with Harold S. Bender at Goshen; originals at Archives of Mennonite Church USA, Goshen, Indiana, 1928-1939
  14. Copies of correspondence with Harold S. Bender at Goshen; originals at Archives of Mennonite Church USA, Goshen, Indiana, 1931-1936
  15. L.J. Burkholder papers formerly held at the Mennonite Church USA Archives - Goshen. Duplicates of materials already located in Hist.Mss.1.4 were removed. Two items were transferred to Hist.Mss.1.4.1/L20. - Letter of transfer is included.

Series 3: Miscellanea

  1. Duplicate copies translations, etc. used in research, produced in 1930s
  2. Notes on Church History from Harold S. Bender, 1935
  3. Voluntary Prayer Link (A one-sheet monthly prayer list distributed by L. J. Burkholder, 1935-July 1940
  4. Duplicate Voluntary Prayer Links
  5. Four "scribblers" containing sermon notes from the 1890s; an envelope with sermon notes from prior to June 27, 1897; Record of Sermons, 1896-1939; Sermon outlines, [between 1896 and 1939]
  6. Letter to "Mennonite Ministers of the Markham District" by Burkholder?, September 1894
  7. Collected papers, 1930s
  8. Genealogy notebook
  9. Flyer for A Brief History of the Mennonites in Ontario
  10. Abraham Burkholder's certificate of exemption from military service provided by the Markham Township clerk, 16 Mar 1865
    Custodial history: Donated to the Archives by Dave Burkholder in 2016

Series 4: Diaries

  1. Diaries: 1897-1901, 1905-1906, 1922-1940
  2. Account books: 1913-1922, 1933-1937

​Back to personal collections listing page

Return to top

Hours

Monday to Friday, 8:30 am - 4:30 pm

Making an appointment with the archivist in advance is strongly recommended.

Contact

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

Phone: 519-885-0220 x24238

Email: marchive@uwaterloo.ca