Waterloo Region Generations
A record of the people of Waterloo Region, Ontario.
Bertha Mabel Dunham

Bertha Mabel Dunham[1]

Female 1881 - 1957  (75 years)

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  • Name Bertha Mabel Dunham 
    Born 29 May 1881  Minto Twp., Wellington Co., Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
    Gender Female 
    Religion 1891  Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [7
    Methodist 
    Occupation 1901  Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Public School Teacher 
    Occupation 1911  Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
    Librarian Public Library 
    Religion 1911  Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
    Methodist 
    Occupation 1921  Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [6
    Librarian, Library 
    Religion 1921  Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [6
    Methodist 
    Residence 1921  362 Frederick St., Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [6
    Died 1957  [8
    Hall of Fame - Waterloo Region Bef 2012  , Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [9
    Interesting education, author, story, honoured, woman 
    Name B. Mabel Dunham 
    Name Mabel Dunham 
    Eby ID Number 00031-2766.2 
    Buried First Mennonite Cemetery, Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [8
    Person ID I22007  Generations
    Last Modified 16 Jul 2019 

    Father Martin Dunham,   b. 30 Jun 1855, East Gwillimbury, Simcoe Co., Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1920  (Age 64 years) 
    Mother Magdelina "Maggie" Eby,   b. 19 Apr 1851, Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1929  (Age 77 years) 
    Married 10 Jun 1880  [1, 7, 10
    Family ID F5329  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 29 May 1881 - Minto Twp., Wellington Co., Ontario Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsReligion - Methodist - 1891 - Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - Public School Teacher - 1901 - Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - Librarian Public Library - 1911 - Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsReligion - Methodist - 1911 - Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - Librarian, Library - 1921 - Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsReligion - Methodist - 1921 - Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - 1921 - 362 Frederick St., Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsHall of Fame - Waterloo Region - Bef 2012 - , Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - - First Mennonite Cemetery, Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Photos
    Bertha Mabel Dunham
    Bertha Mabel Dunham

  • Notes 
    • One of Canada's most noted authors, B. Mabel Dunham, was always conscious of the value of history and enriched Canadian literature with her books: The Trail of the Conestoga; Toward Sodom; The Trail of the King's Men; Grand River and Kristli's Trees.

      Dunham was born on a farm near Harriston. Her family moved to Berlin when she was six. She was educated at Central (Suddaby) School and Berlin High School, taught in Berlin briefly, and then attended Victoria College, Toronto, and McGill University, Montreal, where she completed a course in Library Science. Dunham was librarian of the Kitchener Public Library from 1908 until her retirement in 1944, the first trained librarian to be in charge of a public library in Ontario.

      She was a member of the Canadian Club and the University Women's Club, serving as president of both.

      Dunham was the only woman in the original membership of the Waterloo Historical Society and later served as president.


      Waterloo Region Hall of Fame

      _____________________

      MISS B. M. DUNHAM RESIGNS FROM KITCHENER LIBRARY

      It was with regret that the students of Waterloo College learned of the resignation of Miss B. Mabel Dunham from her position as chief librarian of the Kitchener Public Library. For to them, as to others, Miss Dunham had become a vital part of the library, which through her thirty-six years of devoted and efficient service, she has helped to build up to its present rank of sixth in the province of Ontario. Fortunately, Miss Dunham has seen fit to continue as lecturer in Library Science at Waterloo College. She has served in this capacity since 1930 when her class consisted of nineteen students. At that time the course extended over two semesters and thus included twenty-six lectures instead of the present thirteen. The Library Science course for 1944 has an enrollment of 32. Her enthusiastic and thorough teaching of the use of the library has been and is being of great help to students not only at college but during their later lives. Many of her former pupils have personally expressed their gratitude for the value the Library Science course has been to them.

      Miss Dunham was born on a farm near Harriston. She traces her ancestors through her father to the Loyalists who settled in St. John, N.B. in 1783. Through her mother she is descended from the Mennonites who were early settlers of this district. Her education was received at the public school at Fulton Mills, Central School and the Kitchener-Waterloo Collegiate in Kitchener and the University of Toronto. She graduated from the latter in 1908.


      The College Cord Nov 1944

      ______________________

      DR. B. MABEL DUNHAM

      Dr. B. Mabel Dunham was well known in Waterloo County as a school-teacher, librarian, clubwoman, author and historian. Her life-story with its many achievements has been told many times.

      Library work was her chosen vocation. But perhaps above all she was a historian. When she told stories to the children usually legends were recounted. Her trips were often directed toward research for a book or for an article. Her reading was generally in the field of history. She purchased an excellent collection of rare books on the history of Kitchener, Waterloo County and early Canada for the Kitchener Public Library. And finally, she rendered great and constant service to the Waterloo Historical Society and was always ready to escort strangers around the Museum in Kitchener.

      Although Mabel Dunham was born in Harriston, Ontario, she lived most of her life in her beloved Waterloo County. To tell the story of her mother's people, the Pennsylvania Dutch in Waterloo County, The Trail of the Conestoga was written. Toward Sodom continued the story.

      Not to be partial (although I believe she was!) she then told the story of her father's forbears, the United Empire Loyalists, in The Trail of The King's Men..
      The officials of her church - Trinity United Church, Kitchener - asked her to write the story of its first hundred years of service. This book, So Great A Heritage, is a wonderful compilation of historical fact, pictures of early church groups and individuals and the whole spirit of a pioneer church movement in Ontario.
      Grand River was the culmination of all her thinking, research and love for the valley of the Grand. I remember her interest in searching for the actual source of the Grand River in the period when she was planning and writing the book.

      Her work had its rewards. The degree of D.Litt. was conferred on her by the University of Western Ontario in 1947. The Canadian Association of Children's Libraries presented to her "The Book of the Year for Children" award in 1948 for Kristli's Trees. In 1953, the Council of the City of Kitchener set aside her birthday, May 29th, as Mabel Dunham Day.

      Dr. B. Mabel Dunham died on June 21, 1957. She will be missed; but her books, articles, her love for this County, her work in the library and in the Historical Society are enduring things.

      Waterloo Region Annual Volume 1957 By Dorothy Shoemaker

      ______________________

      FOREWORD TO THE TRAIL OF THE CONESTOGA

      "Miss Mabel Dunham, in her book 'The Trail of the Conestoga', has given an exceptional picture of the early immigration of these people. They came to this country to find it a wilderness, and almost within a generation, by their unceasing labours, they changed the landscape so that well-built and substantial homes found themselves surrounded by cleared land covered with abundant harvests. It is such literature that makes us realize the background of our country's story. We know and appreciate too little the initiative, patience and self-sacrifice which characterized the struggles of our forefathers in laying not only the material but also the political foundations of our country. If we go back to early days, we shall find that the problems which perplex us are no greater than those they successfully solved. In their example we should find alike strength and inspiration."

      Kingsmere, Que.W. L. Mackenzie King.

  • Sources 
    1. [S3] Book - Vol I A Biographical History of Waterloo Township and other townships of the county : being a history of the early settlers and their descendants, mostly all of Pennsylvania Dutch origin..., 612.

    2. [S47] Cemetery - ON, Waterloo, Kitchener - First Mennonite CC#4507 Internet link First Mennonite Cemetery online.
      Dunham / Bertha Mabel / 1881-1957 / God is our refuge and strength

    3. [S137] Census - ON, Waterloo, Berlin - 1901, Berlin (Town/Ville) A-5 Page 17.

    4. [S340] Census - ON, Waterloo, Berlin - 1911, Div.. 20 Page 17.

    5. [S655] Vit - ON - Birth Registration, birth certificate 35394 (1881), Bertha Mabel Dunham.
      Bertha Mabel Dunham Date of Birth: 29 May 1881 Gender: Female Birth County: Wellington Father's Name: Martin Dunham, residence Lot 78, Conc. C Minto Mother's Name: Magdelena Eby

    6. [S2264] Census - ON, Waterloo, Kitchener - 1921, Sub Dist. 27 Page 10.

    7. [S1592] Census - ON, Waterloo, Berlin - 1891, Sec. 5 Page 37.

    8. [S47] Cemetery - ON, Waterloo, Kitchener - First Mennonite CC#4507 Internet link First Mennonite Cemetery online.

    9. [S220] Waterloo Region Hall of Fame Waterloo Region Hall of Fame.

    10. [S7] News - ON, Waterloo, Kitchener - Berliner Journal (1859-1917), June 17 1880.
      Martin Dunham of Harriston and Magdalena Eby of Berlin were married by Rev. Gundy. no date given