Balzer, Jacob J. (1860-1946)
Jacob J. Balzer, born 14 October 1860, was the son of Jacob Balzer and Susanna Ediger, and the second child in a family of seven brothers and three sisters, Jacob J. Balzar was born at Gnadenfeld, in Molotschna, southern Russia. He came to North America with his parents in July 1877, and was married to Susanna Franz on 5 May 1884. To this union was born one son, Jacob S. Balzer. In Russia he attended village school and Zentralschule in Gnadenfeld. He spent one year at Iowa Wesleyan Union College, Mount Pleasant, Iowa.
Balzer was a lifelong member of the Bethel Mennonite Church (General Conference Mennonite Church), Mountain Lake, Minnesota, a Sunday-school superintendent for 20 years, a minister for 24 years and active in the Northern District of the church from 1889-1927, and then elder as well from 1927-1933. He was also a member of the Home Mission Board and active in conference work. He was the founder of Mountain Lake Bible School, traveled extensively, and preached in many Mennonite churches. He was a lifelong resident of Mountain Lake, Minnesota, with the exception of four years, when he taught school in Altona, Manitoba (1909-1914). Among his other activities he promoted mission work and music in the church. He was an inspiring Bible teacher, and preaching and teaching were his chief occupations, while travelling and gardening were his avocations. He died in his own home in Mountain Lake, Minnesota on 5 February 1946 at the age of 85, and was buried in the Mountain Lake cemetery. An obituary published in the Mountain Lake Observer on 7 February 1946 referred to him as the "grand old citizen."
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, p. 218. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Bargen, Mary. "Balzer, Jacob J. (1860-1946) ." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1955. Web. 20 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/B358ME.html.
APA style: Bargen, Mary. (1955). Balzer, Jacob J. (1860-1946) . Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 20 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/B358ME.html.