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Dietrich F. and Margaret Friesen Diaries, 1911-1932

Microfilm MS 10.02



Both Dietrich, also known as Dick, and Margaret came from separate Friesen families. Dick’s family was from a small town in Marion County, Kansas, now extinct. Margaret’s was in Rosthern, Saskatchewan, Canada.

Dick grew up on the family farm, just west of a now-extinct village in Marion County, named Gnadenau. Dick spent a year at Bethel College (North Newton, Kansas) in 1911, about nine months after he began his diary. He attended business school at Kansas Wesleyan Business College (Salina) in 1913 and moved to Canada later that same year. His early diary entries indicate that he was hard working farmer and enjoyed driving the family’s “auto.”

Dick Friesen first met the other Friesen family of Rosthern, Saskatchewan, Canada in 1913, not long after he moved there to be near his sister, Lena, who lived in the nearby town of Hague. Dick got his business experience working in a general mercantile store for several months. By 1914 a relationship between Dick and Margaret Friesen was developing. Dick and Margaret married in 1917. By September of 1918, their first child, Stanley, was born. Stanley would later require surgery to fix a congenital dislocation of the left hip.

Other children in the family were Eileen Margaret, born in 1923, and Evelyn Joyce, born in 1932.

By 1925, the Dietrich Friesen family decided to move from Canada to Kansas, settling at Cheney, to form a partnership in the grain elevator business with Dick’s brother, John. Though Dick was able to reunite with his family, the move required that Margaret leave hers. She did, however, visit her Canadian family once every other year until her parents died. By 1946, the Friesen family was ready for another move, and got into the apartment rental business in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Scope and Content

These diaries are a set of three volumes. The individual diary volumes were designed to last five years each, and though this would allow for a total of fifteen years of recording entries, was stretched out for a total of twenty-two years, because spaces left empty in early years were filled in at a later time.

An important supplement to the microfilm copy of the original diaries is a typescript copy with annotations made by Stanley R. Friesen, which includes family photographs.

Notes on this Microfilm Copy

This microfilm contains the diaries of Dick and Margaret Friesen, 1911 to 1932, in their entirety. The original diaries are in the possession of Stanley R. Friesen, who owns literary copyright.

Additional Information for Researchers

Preferred Citation

Citations referring to this collection should include the Dietrich F. and Margaret Friesen Diaries, 1911-1932, Kansas State Historical Society microfilm MS 10.02.


In accordance with conditions requested by the lender and agreed to by the Kansas State Historical Society, copying may only be done for other libraries.

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Prepared for microfilming by

Robert A. McInnes