Classification scheme: 
Hist.Mss. 1.309 (s.c.)

Title: Sarah Harder fonds

Dates of creation: 1933-1934, 1963, 1971-1975

Physical description: 3 cm of textual records

Biographical sketch: Sarah Harder, the only daughter of Abram H. and Anna (Nikkel) Harder, was born in Pordenau (Molotschna Colony, South Russia) in 1903. She was the second child of eight.  She vividly remembers the events of the Russian Revolution and Civil War.

In 1924, the Harder family immigrated to Canada, settling first on a farm  in Arnaud, Manitoba. Her brothers moved away and started families. Sarah traveled twice to Vineland, Ontario (1931 and 1934) to care for her brother George's children when his wife had a serious illness. In fall 1934, she moved permanently with her parents to a farm near Vineland. In addition to the farm and home, she worked in the local canning factory and picked fruit on other farms. As four of her brothers would become widowers with young children, she frequently provided care to nieces and nephews.

In 1950 when her parents retired to Vineland, Sarah moved with them. Following her mother's death in 1956 Sarah began working at the West Lincoln Memorial Hospital, where she remained until retirement in 1970. An avid reader with an active mind, she had a special interest in the topic of church mission work. Sarah Harder died in Vineland in 1985.

Custodial history: Donated to the Archives by nephew John A. Harder in 2017

Scope and content: Contains: the diary kept by Sarah Harder while living in Arnaud, Manitoba and Vineland, Ontario (1933-1934); two talks on the history of General Conference Mennonite missions written and presented by Sarah Harder to a Vineland United Mennonite Church women's group (verein) in 1963; a history of the Abram H. and Anna Harder family, c. 1963; a diary kept by Sarah Harder noting daily life, family, and community events (1971-1975). Most of her writings are in German.

Notes: Original description created 2017 by Laureen Harder-Gissing.

See also her self-written obituary in Der Bote (30 Oct 1985, 6).

An English translation of her revised and updated history of the Abram H. and Anna Harder family is located in the Milton Good Library under the title Sarah Harder recalls events in the life of her parents' family - Abram and Anna Harder. Another version was published in The Blumstein legacy: a six generation family saga (chapter 11). Copies are located in the Milton Good Library.

Sarah Harder is sister to Abram A. Harder.


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

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