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Helen Loewen Warkentin (1887–1975)

1883-1989, predominantly 1920–1975.
45 cm textual and printed material, artifacts, and 233 photographs.

Biographical sketch

Helen Loewen Warkentin was born November 25, 1887 at Hoffnungsfeld (near Winkler, Manitoba), to Rev. John Warkentin and Sarah Loewen Warkentin. She was a sister to Susanna Warkentin, who later married Rev. H.S. Voth. She was converted at the age of fifteen and was baptized and accepted into the Winkler Mennonite Brethren Church on July 17, 1904. Warkentin attended the Normal School at Morden and then taught school in various Manitoba public schools. She spent one year at the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago.

In 1919, she was ordained as a missionary by Rev. David Dyck. In 1920, she went to Deverakonda, India, where she was a teacher and the principal at a boarding school, as well as dietitian, and superviser of gardening, well digging, and carpentry. She spent four terms in India. In 1957, Miss Warkentin finished her last term and went home to Winkler, where she lived with her youngest sister Tien. Helen L. Warkentin died June 25, 1975, at the age of 87.

Scope and content

The Helen Loewen Warkentin fonds consists of many letters relating to Warkentin’s mission work in India. Her papers are in the Telegu, German, and English languages, with some in the Gothic script. The photographs are of mission work in India. This fonds is a rich resource for a study of single women as missionaries.

Custodial history

Some of Warkentin’s original papers and her diary were donated in 1986 by Bernard and Sara Klippenstein. In 1987, Esther Enns (niece), Winkler, donated photographs and personal papers. Julianna Enns of Winnipeg donated books, personal papers, scrapbooks, and a photo album in 1995.


File list

Volumes 1112–1114