Abraham M. Friesen, Mennonite poet and Vorsänger, was born on 6 December 1834 to Klaas Friesen (1793-1870) and Margaretha Matthies (d. 1843) in the village of Altona, Molotschna Colony, South Russia. At the age of eight his mother died. Soon after, as was the custom, his father remarried and Carolina Plett became his stepmother. That same year the family moved to the village of Rosenort (part of present day Orlovo) where there was a Kleine Gemeinde congregation. Abraham was baptized and became a member of the Kleine Gemeinde in 1854. He married Margaretha Isaac (1833-1919) two years later. Together they had seven children, one of which died at the age of two. Soon after marrying Abraham and Margaretha settled in the new village of Kleefeld (part of present day Grushevka) then later moved to Blumenhof in the Borosenko Colony which was becoming the center of Kleine Gemeinde activities. In 1874 Abraham with his family joined the larger migration of Mennonites to Canada, where they settled in Blumenort, Manitoba.
Abraham M. Friesen contributed in a variety of significant ways to his church and community during his lifetime. In 1861 while still in Russia, Abraham's joy of singing led to his appointment as Vorsänger in the Kleine Gemeinde. After immigrating to Canada he served as school teacher in 1877-1878, then served as village Schulz (mayor) during the 1880s, and even made shoes. Abraham owned a double farm in the village which he sold in 1892 in order to move to his own farm on SW 35-7-6E. Here he farmed for the rest of his life. A man of many talents, Abraham M. Friesen also wrote poetry, kept a journal, and gathered records and writings of historical significance. He enjoyed reading, studying the Bible and was referred to as "the most learned man in the East Reserve" by John C. Reimer. Abraham M. Friesen, a gifted artist and faithful Christian who loved his family and community dearly, died on 10 October 1908.
Plett, Delbert. "Abraham M. Friesen 1834-1908." Preservings No. 9 Part I (December 1996): 48-49.
|Author(s)||Sharon H. H Brown|
|Date Published||May 2006|
Cite This Article
Brown, Sharon H. H. "Friesen, Abraham M. (1834-1908)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. May 2006. Web. 6 Mar 2015. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Friesen,_Abraham_M._(1834-1908)&oldid=112184.
Brown, Sharon H. H. (May 2006). Friesen, Abraham M. (1834-1908). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 6 March 2015, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Friesen,_Abraham_M._(1834-1908)&oldid=112184.
©1996-2015 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.