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Guide to the Holdings of MHSS
Section III: Personal Papers
Isaac Loewen Collection

Biography

1888-1928
Biographical sketch

Isaac Loewen (1865-1918) was born to Isaak (1827-1898) and Susanna (nee Krahn) (1833-1885) in Neuenburg, South Russia on 31 May 1865. He arrived in Canada as a twelve-year-old boy with his parents on the Sarmatian in June 1877. They settled in the village of Osterwick in Manitoba. Isaac began working for Peter Abrams (1852-1889) in the Abrams & Esau store in Gretna. When Peter Abrams died, Isaac Loewen married the widow, Susanna (nee Rempel) (1854-1939) on 29 June 1890. Isaac and Susanna had one surviving child, Susana Loewen (1892-1974). Susanna had five surviving children from her previous marriage: Wilhelm Abrams (1874-1942), Sarah Abrams (1875-1952), Peter Abrams (1878-1955), Katharina Abrams (1883-1945), Gerhard Abrams (1885-1973).

Isaac Loewen became Wilhelm Esau's business partner in the Abrams & Esau store in 1890. Three years later the partnership dissolved, and Isaac opened his own store. In 1902 Isaac Loewen moved to Osler, Saskatchewan with his family, and opened the first general store in that town. Isaac operated the store in Osler until his death as a result of a stroke on 7 December 1918. At that time, he stepson Peter Abrams bought the store from his mother and operated it until 1944 when he sold out to the Co-op store that had then been organized. Isaac's only surviving child, Susana, married the railway agent for the CNR in Osler, Fredrick Day (1879-1939). Their daughter, Grace (b. 1928) was part of the first class of the CMBC, where she met her future husband, Henry Albert Wiens (1925-1998). Henry served as a pastor in Langham and Chilliwack before being invited to be the pastor at the First Mennonite Church in Saskatoon from 1971 until his retirement in 1983.

Scope and content

The fonds consists of Isaac Loewen’s correspondence from 1888 until his death in 1918. The correspondence includes letters from friends and family members in Russia, the United States, and Canada. These letters include ones from David Toews and Peter Regier who were early leaders of the Rosenort Mennonite Church in the Rosthern area. The bulk of the material relates to the general store owned and operated by Isaac Loewen in the town of Osler, Saskatchewan. This material includes correspondence with merchants in the towns of Hague, Rosthern, and Warman, as well as with merchants and companies in southern Manitoba and other parts of Canada and the United States. Also included are invoices, receipts, cancelled cheques, and daily log books, from the years 1902 to 1916. Because Isaac Loewen was also involved in the farming community in marketing grain and in acting as a land agent, the fonds includes the grain statements and correspondence on land loan agreements regarding many Mennonite families in the Osler area.

Custodial history

When Isaac Loewen passed away in 1918, his stepson Peter Abrams bought the store and operated it until it was sold to the Co-op in 1944. In 1965, Jacob W. Loeppky bought the store, and some time later in the attic discovered the boxes containing store records compiled by Isaac Loewen still in their original binders. Jacob Loeppky loaned the collection to the CMC Archives, Winnipeg, and to the Saskatchewan Archives Board, Saskatoon, for copying in 1979-1980. The letters from 1891 to 1903 along with the Gretna, MB store ledgers have been microfilmed and are available at the Mennonite Heritage Centre in Winnipeg, MB, "Isaac Loewen Papers," microfilm numbers 185, 231, 348. The material dating from 1904 to 1915 has also been microfilmed and is available on three reels of microfilm at the Saskatchewan Archives in Saskatoon, "Isaac Loewen Papers," microfilm number S-1.86. Hella Banman published facsimiles of some of the papers in her book, Bits & Pieces of Osler & District, 1890-1980. Osler, SK: n. p., 1980, pp. 36-42. In 1996, Jacob and Margaret Loeppky donated much of the collection to the Osler Historical Museum, except for some papers which they retained. The papers were stored in the basement of Kathy Boldt, a member of the Museum committee. The committee did some sorting of the papers, organizing the early correspondence into files chronologically. Selected papers of the collection remain with the Museum, while the rest were donated by the Osler Historical Museum to the Mennonite Historical Society of Saskatchewan archives in December 2004.

Notes

- The material is written both in German and English, and a few items in the Russian language.
- A number of letters relating to the town of Warman appear to have been extracted from their original binders. These have been filed according to their dates, and are found in Volume 3.24.
- Description by Alan M. Guenther, 9 March 2005.
- Title based on contents of fonds.

File list

Volume 3.18
- Letters - 1888, 1901, undated
- Letters - 1891
- Letters - 1892
- Letters - 1893
- Letters - 1894
- Letters - 1895
- Letters - 1896
- Letters - 1897
- Letters - 1898 - includes letter by David Toews, Rosthern, Dec. 11, 1898 - with transcription and English translation by Esther Patkau, 2005.
- Letters - January, 1902
- Letters - February, 1902
- Letters - March, 1902
- Letters - April, 1902
- Letters - May, 1902
- Letters - June, 1902
- Letters - July, 1902
- Letters - August, 1902
- Letters - September, 1902
- Letters - October, 1902
- Letters - November, 1902
- Letters - December, 1902
- Letters - January, 1903
- Letters - February, 1903
- Letters - March, 1903
- Letters - April, 1903
- Letters - May, 1903
- Letters - June, 1903
- Letters - July, 1903
- Letters - August, 1903
- Letters - September, 1903
- Letters - October, 1903
- Letters - November, 1903
- Letters - December, 1903
- Invoices - 1903, A-L
- Invoices - 1903, M-Z
- Notes & Cheques - 1903, A-L
- Notes & Cheques - 1903, M-Z
- Correspondence & Receipts - 1904, A-F
- Correspondence & Receipts - 1904, G-N
- Correspondence & Receipts - 1904, O-Z
- Correspondence and Invoices - 1904, A-C
- Correspondence and Invoices - 1904, D-J
- Correspondence and Invoices - 1904, K-P
- Correspondence and Invoices - 1904, Q-Z
- Receipts - 1904, A-E
- Receipts - 1904, F-M
- Receipts - 1904, N-Z
- Letters & Notes - October-November, 1904, A-E
- Letters & Notes - October-November, 1904, F-M
- Letters & Notes - October-November, 1904, N-Z
- Invoices - July-December, 1905, A-C
- Invoices - July-December, 1905, D-L
- Invoices - July-December, 1905, M-Z

Volume 3.19
- Letters & Orders - 1906, A-G
- Letters & Orders - 1906, H-L
- Letters & Orders - 1906, M-Z
- Notes, Drafts & Cheques - 1906, A-C
- Notes, Drafts & Cheques - 1906, D-M
- Notes, Drafts & Cheques - 1906, N-Z
- Receipts - 1906, A-L
- Receipts - 1906, M-Z
- Correspondence - 1906, A-G
- Correspondence - 1906, H-M
- Correspondence - 1906, N-Z
- Correspondence & Receipts - 1906, A-G
- Correspondence & Receipts - 1906, H-Z
- Grain Statements - January-September, 1906
- Grain Statements - October, 1906
- Grain Statements - November-December, 1906
- Land Loans Correspondence - 1904-1907, A-E
- Land Loans Correspondence - 1904-1907, F-L
- Land Loans Correspondence - 1904-1907, M-P
- Land Loans Correspondence - 1904-1907, Q-Z
- Correspondence & Invoices - 1907, A-C
- Correspondence & Invoices - 1907, D-H
- Correspondence & Invoices - 1907, I-L
- Correspondence & Invoices - 1907, M-P
- Correspondence & Invoices - 1907, Q-Z
- Letters - January-June, 1908, A-G
- Letters - January-June, 1908, H-L
- Letters - January-June, 1908, M-Z
- Letters & Cheques - July - December, 1908, A-C
- Letters & Cheques - July - December, 1908, D-L
- Letters & Cheques - July - December, 1908, M-Z

Volume 3.20
- Bills & Letters - 1909, A-G
- Bills & Letters - 1909, H-L
- Bills & Letters - 1909, M-Z
-Grain Statements - 1909
- Correspondence & Invoices - 1909, A-F
- Correspondence & Invoices - 1909, G-M
- Correspondence & Invoices - 1909, N-Z
- Invoices - January-June, 1909, A-C
- Invoices - January-June, 1909, D-L
- Invoices - January-June, 1909, M-P
- Invoices - January-June, 1909, Q-Z
- Invoices - 1909, A-C
- Invoices - 1909, D-J
- Invoices - 1909, K-N
- Invoices - 1909 O-Z
- Telegraph messages - 1909
- Invoices - April-June, 1910, A-J
- Invoices - April-June, 1910, K-R
- Invoices - April-June, 1910, S-Z
- Invoices - July-October, 1910, A-C
- Invoices - July-October, 1910, D-M
- Invoices - July-October, 1910, N-S
- Invoices - July-October, 1910, T-Z
- Correspondence & Invoices - January-March, 1910, A-C
- Correspondence & Invoices - January-March, 1910, D-L
- Correspondence & Invoices - January-March, 1910, M-P
- Correspondence & Invoices - January-March, 1910, Q-Z

Volume 3.21
- Correspondence - 1910, A-D
- Correspondence - 1910, E-G
- Correspondence - 1910, H-L
- Correspondence - 1910, M- P
- Correspondence - 1910, Q-S
- Correspondence - 1910, T-Z
- Correspondence & Invoices - November-December, 1910, A-C
- Correspondence & Invoices - November-December, 1910, D-M
- Correspondence & Invoices - November-December, 1910, N-P
- Correspondence & Invoices - November-December, 1910, Q-Z
- Cheques & Notes - 1911
- Grain Statements - 1911
- Grain Commission Correspondence - 1910-1911, A-J
- Grain Commission Correspondence - 1910-1911, K-Z
v - Invoices - April-August, 1911, A-C
- Invoices - April-August, 1911, D-G
- Invoices - April-August, 1911, H-P
- Invoices - April-August, 1911, Q-Z
- Invoices - 1911, A-C
- Invoices - 1911, D-M
- Invoices - 1911, N-Z
- Letters - January-December, 1911, A-G
- Letters - January-December, 1911, H-M
- Letters - January-December, 1911, N-Z

Volume 3.22
- Correspondence & Invoices - 1912, A-C
- Correspondence & Invoices - 1912, D-L
- Correspondence & Invoices - 1912, M-P
- Correspondence & Invoices - 1912, Q-Z
- Invoices - January-April, 1912, A-C
- Invoices - January-April, 1912, D-M
- Invoices - January-April, 1912, N-Z
- Invoices - August-October, 1912, A-C
- Invoices - August-October, 1912, D-M
- Invoices - August-October, 1912, N-Z
- Letters - 1912, A-C
- Letters - 1912, D-J
- Letters - 1912, K-P
- Letters - 1912, Q-Z
- Cheques & Notes - 1913
- Receipts & Tax Notices - 1913
- Invoices - November-December, 1913, A-C
- Invoices - November-December, 1913, D-M
- Invoices - November-December, 1913, N-Z
- Letters - 1914, A-C
- Letters - 1914, D-K
- Letters - 1914, L-R
- Letters - 1914, S-Z
- Notes, Drafts & Receipts - 1914
- Grain Statements - 1914

Volume 3.23
- Invoices - May-August, 1914, A-C
v - Invoices - May-August, 1914, D-M
- Invoices - May-August, 1914, N-Z
- Invoices - 1914, A-C
- Invoices - 1914, D-M
- Invoices - 1914, N-S
- Invoices - 1914, T-Z
- Invoices - January-May, 1915, A-C
- Invoices - January-May, 1915, D-M
- Invoices - January-May, 1915, N-Z
- Invoices - June-October, 1915, A-C
- Invoices - June-October, 1915, D-M
- Invoices - June-October, 1915, N-Z
- Invoices - 1915, A-C
- Invoices - 1915, Codville
- Invoices - 1915, D-M
- Invoices - 1915, N-Z
- Letters & Invoices - 1915, A-C
- Letters & Invoices - 1915, D-J
- Letters & Invoices - 1915, K-P
- Letters & Invoices - 1915, Q-Z
- Invoices - November-December, 1916, A-G
- Invoices - November-December, 1916, H-Z

Volume 3.24
- Log books of daily sales - 12 January 1917- 31 December 1918 (some books missing)
- Receipt book of fuel sales - 1928

Volume 3.25
- Isaac Loewen biographical materials; history of the collection
- Letters re: Warman - 1903
- Letters re: Warman - 1904
- Letters re: Warman - 1905
- Letters re: Warman - 1906
- Letters re: Warman - 1907
- Letters re: Warman - 1908
- Letters re: Warman - 1909
- Letters re: Warman - 1910
- Letters re: Warman - 1911
- Letters re: Warman - 1912
- Letters re: Warman - 1914
- Letters re: Warman - 1915
- Index for Abrams & Reimer store, Manitoba
- Grain Purchases - 1906
- Cancelled cheques - 1903-1916
-Letters extracted from main collection - 2 files


(Note: There is another article on the GAMEO site with information on Isaac Loewen's life)



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Mennonite Historical Society of Saskatchewan (MHSS)
Room 900 - 110 La Ronge Road, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, S7K 7H8
(306)242-6105
Archive Hours: Monday: 1:30 - 4:00 p.m. Wednesday: 1:30 - 4:00 p.m. & 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.