Classification scheme: 

Title: Mary Ann Horst fonds

Dates of creation: 1946-2014

Physical description: 6 cm of textual records; 1 optical disc

Biographical sketch: Mary Ann Horst was born in 1931 on a farm near Hawkesville, Ontario and died in Elmira in 2014. She was the youngest of nine children of Eli and Malinda (Sittler) Horst. During her childhood, the family moved several times to different farms in the area, and lived briefly in the village of Floradale. The Horsts were Old Order Mennonites, but none of the children remained with this group. Mary Ann was baptized at Erb Street Mennonite Church in 1948, and became a member of the Mennonite Conference of Ontario mission church at Parker (later Berea Mennonite Church).

Mary Ann attended Rockway Mennonite School as an adult, earning her high school diploma in 1957. An avid student of history and genealogy, she began writing poems and articles for Mennonite publications. Published in 1970, her first book, My Old Order Mennonite Heritage, became a bestseller. She operated the Pennsylvania Dutch Craft Shop, a gift and book shop with a store at 678 King Street West and a booth at the Kitchener Farmers Market, beginning in the 1960s. Mary Ann lived with sisters Sarah and Susannah in a home at 300 Park Street in Kitchener that was on land previously owned by her great-great-grandfather Abraham Weber. Sarah worked at the Kitchener-Waterloo hospital and became an R.N.A. While in Kitchener, the sisters attended First Mennonite Church. 

Custodial history: Donated by the Estate of Mary Ann Horst. Received from Harvey Kehl in 2015.

Scope and content: Writings by Mary Ann Horst and Sarah Horst, photographs collected by Sara Horst. Other miscellaneous items collected by Mary Ann Horst. Funeral card for Mary Ann Horst.

Notes: For additional photographs related to Mary Ann Horst search the Mennonite Archival Image Database.
Further materials related to Mary Ann Horst may be found by searching the Archives and Library catalogue.
Original archival description created 2017 by Laureen Harder-Gissing.

File list:

  1. Books by Mary Ann Horst: My Old Order Mennonite Heritage (10th printing, updated and expanded, 1992); Meine altmennonitische Herkunft (3rd printing, revised and expanded, 1996); Pennsylvania Dutch fun, folklore and cooking (8th printing, 1995); Our wonderful Kitchener Farmers' Market (1985); Reminiscings of Mennonite life in Waterloo County (1996).
    Note: Circulating copies are located in the Milton Good Library.
  2. Articles by Mary Ann Horst in the Gospel Herald, undated, 1959-1962
  3. History of the Eli Horst family by Sarah Horst, 1993
  4. Funeral meditation for Sarah Horst, 25 Apr 2009
  5. Photograph album of Sarah Horst, [between 1920 and 1990] and autograph book of Mary Ann Horst, 1946-1950
    Note: .tiff scans on optical disc. The original photograph album is still in the possession of the Estate. Copies of the scans also located in the MAO Media Archive - Scanned Documents.
  6. Funeral cards for Mary Ann Horst, 2014
  7. Certificate to Mary Ann Horst for the K-W Oktoberfest Woman of the Year Art/History/Literature Award, 1993
  8. Recipe for Susannah's shoo-fly pie
  9. Poem, "My times are in your hand"
    Note: Typed copy from a book kept by Mary Ann of her mother's hand-copied poems
  10. Essay, "Old Order Mennonites in the twentieth century" / Ruth Gonnsen and August Gonnsen, Apr 1974


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Mennonite Archives of Ontario
Conrad Grebel University College
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