Herzer, Traugott Otto Francis (1887-1958)

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Traugott Otto Francis "T. O. F." Herzer: Lutheran minister and immigration official; born on 24 July 1887 in Plymouth, Wisconsin, USA to Johann Heinrich Herzer (3 November 1840, Louisville, Kentucky, USA – 2 May 1930) and Emma Julie (Griese) Herzer (20 July 1850, Frenderup, Damsholte, Denmark - 16 July 1929, Springfield, Illinois, USA). Traugott married Martha Anna Detjen (19 January 1887, St. Louis, Missouri, USA – 11 February 1972, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada) on 25 June 1912 in St. Louis, Missouri and they had two children: Dorothy and Richard. Herzer died on 7 October 1958 in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Traugott graduated from Concordia Theological Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri in 1910. He served as an intern Lutheran pastor in Winnipeg in 1908 and then as pastor at Bittern Lake, Alberta. He was ordained in 1910 and from 1910 to 1913 was superintendent of missions for the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod in Alberta and British Columbia, based in Calgary, Alberta. In 1913 he served as the first minister of Mount Calvary Lutheran Church in Calgary.

Herzer resigned from the ministry in 1914 and joined the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) Department of Immigration and Colonization. From 1925 until his death he was the general manager of the Canada Colonization Association, a CPR subsidiary, and was based in Winnipeg. He also served on the original executive committee of the Mennonite Land Settlement Board, representing the Canadian Pacific Railway. Herzer organized and became general manager of the Colonization Finance Corporation of Canada in 1930 and held this position until his death.

Beginning in 1946, T. O. F. Herzer was treasurer of the Canadian Lutheran World Relief and in 1947 he became chair of the Canadian Christian Council for Resettlement of Refugees. The refugees which his work assisted were mainly German-speaking Lutherans and Mennonites. In 1948 he received an honorary degree from Valparaiso University in Indiana for his humanitarian services with Second World War refugees.


Alberta on Record. Glenbow Archives: Fonds glen-1170 - T.O.F. Herzer fonds. Web. 12 December 2016. https://albertaonrecord.ca/t-o-f-herzer-fonds.

Grams, G. W. "T.O.F. Herzer and his Work with German-speaking Immigration to Canada. Journal Of The Canadian Church Historical Society 48, no. 2 (2006): 161-183.

MyHeritage. Keld Lyngsaa Hansen. https://www.myheritage.se/site-187633712/hej.

Author(s) Richard D Thiessen
Date Published December 2016

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MLA style

Thiessen, Richard D. "Herzer, Traugott Otto Francis (1887-1958)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. December 2016. Web. 30 Sep 2020. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Herzer,_Traugott_Otto_Francis_(1887-1958)&oldid=141841.

APA style

Thiessen, Richard D. (December 2016). Herzer, Traugott Otto Francis (1887-1958). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 30 September 2020, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Herzer,_Traugott_Otto_Francis_(1887-1958)&oldid=141841.

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