Becker, Magdalena Hergert (1878-1938)

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Magdalena Hergert Becker: a pioneer missionary; born 4 August 1878 in Ebenfeld, Kansas, the daughter of Wilhelm Hergert (1839-1912) and Magdalena (Ernst) Hergert (b. 1839).  Magdalena married Abraham J. Becker on 27 October 1897, and they had six children (a seventh died in infancy). Magdalana died 7 July 1938 in Indiahoma, Oklahoma.

Magdalena, with her husband, Abraham, spent 37 years working for the Mennonite Brethren Mission board at the Post Oak Mission near Indiahoma, Oklahoma (1901-1938). For 28 years she served half-time as a United States Government field matron to the people. The job of field matron involved record-keeping of land ownership, rent contracts with white farmers, government allotments, and all Department of Interior transactions with Indians. Magdalena was known to the Comanche as the "kind white mother." She became a skilled mediator in family disputes among the Comanches. She taught first aid and hygiene, nursed the sick, and organized sewing, cooking, and flower clubs among the women. The concern she and her husband showed for people extended to the Hispanic community in Lawton, Oklahoma, resulting in the establishment of a church.


GRANDMA (The Genealogical Registry and Database of Mennonite Ancestry) Database, 5.05 ed. Fresno, CA: California Mennonite Historical Society, 2008: #3219.

Kroeker, Marvin E. Comanches and Mennonites on the Oklahoma Plains: A. J. and Magdalena Becker and the Post Oak Mission. Winnipeg, MB and Hillsboro, KS: Kindred Press, 1997.

McKellips, Karen. "Plum Dumpling Assimilation: Magdalena Becker, Field Matron to the Comanches." Journal of Philosophy and Education of History 51 (2001).

Springer, Nelson and Klassen, A. J., compilers. Mennonite Bibliography, 1631-1961, 2 vols. Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1977: v. 2, 419.

Wiebe, Katie Funk, ed. Women Among the Brethren. Hillsboro, KS: General Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches, 1979: 95-104.

Author(s) Lois Deckert
Richard D. Thiessen
Date Published March 2008

Cite This Article

MLA style

Deckert, Lois and Richard D. Thiessen. "Becker, Magdalena Hergert (1878-1938)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. March 2008. Web. 26 Feb 2024.,_Magdalena_Hergert_(1878-1938)&oldid=75292.

APA style

Deckert, Lois and Richard D. Thiessen. (March 2008). Becker, Magdalena Hergert (1878-1938). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 26 February 2024, from,_Magdalena_Hergert_(1878-1938)&oldid=75292.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 5, p. 62. All rights reserved.

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