© Mennonite Heritage Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba (Last updated January 31, 2003)

Schellenberg, William J., 1877-1970

Retrieval numbers: Vol. 2119-1

Title: William J. Schellenberg fonds
Dates: 1931-1959 , predominant 1931
Extent: 2.5 cm of textual records

Historical note

William J. Schellenberg, minister and miller, was born on November 29, 1877 in the village of Heuboden, Borozenko Colony, South Russia. Here he received his elementary education in the local school and training in a trade from his father who owned land and a mill. Schellenberg married Helene Braun on November 1, 1903 and their marriage produced five children, three daughters and two sons. In 1910 he and his family decided to move to Gruendfeld where there were good schools and they could buy a mill. In 1917 they sold the mill and moved into the home of a former employee. Although Gruenfeld did not experience the same terror from roving bandets that other Mennonite villages did, Schellenberg decided to leave Russia in 1922. He packed up his family and their belongings in a horse drawn wagen and they began their long journey to Canada. It took three weeks to reach Kiev where they applied for permission to leave the country. When permission was denied they headed north and crossed the boarder into Poland. In Berlin they were able to obtain travelling visas which allowed them to travel to Frankfurt, through Bavaria and finally to Canada. They arrived in 1923 in Winkler, Manitoba. A little later they moved to Starbuck, Manitoba where Schellenberg was elected to the ministry and later ordained on March 28, 1928 by Aeltester Johann Klassen. Schellenberg moved to Ontario in 1929. Here he served for one year in Windsor, for one year in Harrow, for nine years in Leamington and for 25 years in St. Catharines where he organized the St Catharines United Mennonite Church. In 1965 Schellenberg retired and he and his wife moved into the Leamington Mennonite Home. William J. Schellenberg died on July 15, 1970.

Scope and content note

This fonds contains two large notebooks and five loose pages, which contain records of church business including: copies of letters, lists of names and addresses, minutes from meetings, reports of events, and one copy of an Easter song written in "Zipher" (number) notation. Also included are notes from a three week long ministers course attended in January 1931 ending with a theological summary and four sermons. One written for Mother's Day and one for Pentecost. The other two are based on the scripture passages Luke 15:11-24 and I Chronicles 30:15.

Index terms


Schellenberg, William J., 1877-1970

Adjunct descriptive data

Finding aids

No other finding aids currently available.


Custodial history

Collected by David and Trudy Schellenberg of Winkler for the Christian Heritage Library.


Hand-written German and Gothic German


Described by Sharon H. H. Brown December, 2002.

Restrictions on access


Other notes

Acc. no. 97-150