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Inventory of the J. J. and Anna Dick Papers, 1914-1980
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Collection Details
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  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Languages Appearing in the Collection

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: J. J. and Anna Dick Papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1914-1980
    Record Group No: M173
    Creator: Dick, J. J. (Jacob J.), 1904-1980

    Dick, Anna, 1905-1976
    Extent: 1.4 linear ft.
    Repository: Center for Mennonite Brethren Studies (Fresno, Calif.).
    Fresno, California
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information


    Collection is open for research.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], J. J. and Anna Dick Papers, M173, Center for Mennonite Brethren Studies, Fresno, Calif.


    J. J. Dick was born 19 April 1904 in the village of Schönbrunn, in the Schönfeld colony of South Russia. In 1919 he moved to Alexanderkrone, Molotschna, where he married Anna Baerg in 1925. Anna, a native of Alexanderkrone, was born 18 September 1905. Little information is available about Anna's life before her marriage.
    J. J. Dick received his education in Russian public schools, 1910-1916, and later at the Schönfeld Zentralschule, 1917-1919. He was appointed as the Assistant to the Overseer of the Bethania Mental Hospital at Alt-Kronsweide, Chortitza, in 1923, a position he held until 1925. In 1926, Dick became the minister of the Mennonite Brethren congregation at Lichtfelde, Molotschna, where he served until 1929.
    The Soviet government sent J. J. Dick into forced labor from 1930 to 1931. Following his release, the Dick family fled eastward and escaped into Chinese Turkestan in 1932. They then traveled 1600 miles on foot and horseback over the Himalaya mountains, reaching India in 1933. The Dicks chose to remain in India, where they joined the Mennonite Brethren mission work in 1934. The story of their journey and subsequent mission work is told in the book, From Exile in Russia Into Mission Work in India (1940; 2nd edition, 1958).
    The Dicks traveled to Canada in 1939, where they received Canadian citizenship. During this same trip J. J. Dick was ordained as a Mennonite Brethren minister at the Coaldale (Alta.) Mennonite Brethren Church in 1940. Their mission work in India continued until 1957, at which time they relocated to Clearbrook, British Columbia. J. J. Dick continued his ministry there as the chaplain of the Vancouver Central City Mission. He made lengthy visits back to India in 1974 and again in 1977-1978, shortly after Anna's death in 1976. J. J. Dick died in 1980.

    Scope and Content

    This record group includes correspondence, 1922-1980; undated sermon notes; a Russian notebook, ca. 1914-1915; diaries, 1934-1935 and 1977-1978; undated manuscripts of the book From Exile in Russia Into Mission Work in India; clippings and other miscellaneous documents.

    Languages Appearing in the Collection

    Some material is in German, Russian or Chinese.