DeFehr's first business venture was a partnership in a manufacturing industry in Millerovo in 1904. This brought prosperity, especially during the years of the Great War (World War I). The Russian Revolution brought drastic upheaval, however, and eventually the family migrated to Canada. DeFehr soon (1926) established an import business in Winnipeg which became a prosperous family enterprise with branches in Edmonton, Regina, and Saskatoon.
Throughout the years DeFehr was very active in matters pertaining to the Mennonite people. In Russia he was appointed as one of the chief administrators of the massive relief effort during the famine. In Canada he was active in a large number of Mennonite Brethren committees, including the Winnipeg City Mission, the Mary-Martha Girls' Home, Mennonite Brethren Collegiate Institute, and Christian Press. DeFehr was also very active with the Mennonite Central Relief Committee of Western Canada, serving as secretary-treasurer for many years. He directed the resettlement of Mennonite refugees in Paraguay after World War II.
Although C. A. DeFehr was perhaps the most successful Mennonite Brethren businessman of his generation, he never lost his capacity to identify with people in many different circumstances. He was a true servant of his people.
DeFehr, Cornelius A. Memories of My Life: Recalled for My Family. Altona, MB: C. A. DeFehr, 1967.
Articles by Abraham C. DeFehr, Bernhard B. Fast, and John B. Toews in Mennonite Brethren Historical Society Newsletter, 5, no. 2 (Dec. 1982): 1-8, and 5, no 3 (April 1983): 1-6.
|Author(s)||Abe J. Dueck|
|Richard D. Thiessen|
|Date Published||August 2006|
 Cite This Article
Dueck, Abe J. and Richard D. Thiessen. "DeFehr, Cornelius A. (1881-1979)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. August 2006. Web. 28 Mar 2015. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=DeFehr,_Cornelius_A._(1881-1979)&oldid=115028.
Dueck, Abe J. and Richard D. Thiessen. (August 2006). DeFehr, Cornelius A. (1881-1979). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 28 March 2015, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=DeFehr,_Cornelius_A._(1881-1979)&oldid=115028.
Herald Press website.
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