Friesen, Jacob S. (1862-1931)

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Jacob Schellenberg Friesen: editor, b. 18 January 1862 in the village of Landskrone in the Molotschna colony in Russia to Heinrich D. and Katherine (Schellenberg) Friesen. He was the fourth child of a family of three boys and three girls.

At the age of fourteen Jacob arrived in Canada with his parents. They wintered in Ontario and then proceeded to Manitoba in 1877 where they settled in the new village of Gnadenort (later Hochstadt) in the East Reserve. With the death of his father in 1877, the burden of providing for the family rested on Jacob since his older two brothers were already married. This early unsatisfactory experience in farming led Jacob to try various other occupations later in life. He worked as an engineer on threshing outfits for a number of years. He helped in the windmill and pump trade in Jansen, Nebraska and after attending cheese making school in Winnipeg, he served as a cheese maker in Gruenfeld, Manitoba for a seven years. In winter he repaired watches and fitted eye glasses.

Jacob married Katherine B. Toews of Blumenort (East Reserve) on 28 April 1884. The couple resided in Blumenort until 1889 when they moved to Langdon, North Dakota. After four years the young family moved to Jansen, Nebraska. Finally the family returned to Manitoba in 1897 where they set up temporary homes in Gruenfeld, Rosenfeld and Blumstein.

In 1909, Jacob bought a small printing press and began producing letterheads and other printing jobs for his neighbors. This venture developed into a full-time occupation when a number of businessmen from Giroux, Manitoba invited him to publish a small newspaper, the Giroux Advocate. With the promise of support from these men, Jacob bought a larger press and moved his printing business from Kleefeld (Gruenfeld) to Giroux. When the financial support for the Giroux Advocate failed, Jacob with the help of his family began a small German language newspaper which he called the Volks Bote. The first issue went to press in December 1913. In 1915 Jacob moved his business to Steinbach, Manitoba and renamed the paper the Steinbach Post. He continued as owner and editor of the Steinbach Post until 1924 when he sold the paper to Arnold Dyck.

Jacob and his wife lived in retirement in Steinbach, Manitoba. He passed away on 16 May 1931 and is buried in the Steinbach Pioneer cemetery. The Friesens were members of the Church of God in Christ – Mennonite.


Fast, Henry. Preservings (July 1993): 7

Hiebert, Jeannie L. Preservings (December 1996): 10

Author(s) Henry Fast
Date Published November 2004

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MLA style

Fast, Henry. "Friesen, Jacob S. (1862-1931)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. November 2004. Web. 18 Sep 2020.,_Jacob_S._(1862-1931)&oldid=91819.

APA style

Fast, Henry. (November 2004). Friesen, Jacob S. (1862-1931). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 18 September 2020, from,_Jacob_S._(1862-1931)&oldid=91819.

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