Classification scheme: 
Hist. Mss. 1.216

Title: Mabel Cressman fonds

Dates of creation: 1929-1996

Physical description: 12 cm. of textual records

Biographical sketch: Mabel Cressman was born 30 September 1914 to Isaiah and Lena Shirk Cressman. She grew up on a farm between Berlin (now Kitchener) and Breslau in a family of 15 children. The family was active in First Mennonite Church in Kitchener.

Mabel studied at Kitchener Collegiate, and graduated from the nursing program at St. Mary's Hospital in 1942. For several years she did private duty nursing.

In 1944 Mennonite Central Committee asked Mabel to go to England to join Edna Hunsperger, who was already serving there. From 1944-1946 Mabel at Woodlands, a home for seniors; Taxal Edge boy's home, Shepherd's Hill Mennonite Centre, and two months in the Netherlands before returning to Canada in August 1946.

After several years of nursing in Canada, Mabel joined her sister, Una, in the mission field in the Argentine Chaco in 1950. She served in Argentina until 1959 when she returned to Canada. She continued nursing at the K-W hospital and Scott Pavalion. After retirement she moved to Fairview Mennonite Home.

In 1997 she married Clayton Shantz; he died in 2004. She died at Fairview Mennonite Home on 9 September 2008. She is buried at Shantz Mennonite Church, Baden, Ontario.

Custodial history: Donated to the Mennonite Archives of Ontario by Robert Woolner in February 2007.

Scope and contents: The fonds consists of diaries, letters and holograph speeches

Notes:Original archival description created March 2007 by Sam Steiner.

File list:

  1. Diplomas and certificates (Lower School, Middle School, School of Nursing (1929-1942)
  2. Diaries
  3. Financial records
  4. Correspondence
    1940-1950 (mostly related to service in England and Holland)
  5. Correspondence
    1949-1959, a few later (mostly related to service in Argentina)
  6. Speeches, memorabilia about relief work in England and Holland
  7. Speeches and memorabilia about mission work in Argentina
  8. Speeches / talks in Spanish
  9. Memorabilia, autobiographical notes, booklet on relief in Holland, photograph from ship travelling to Argentina, etc.


Generally 9:00 am - 4:00 pm Monday to Friday. An appointment in advance is recommended.


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

Phone: 519-885-0220 x24238