Byers, Noah E. (1873-1962)

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Noah E. Byers, ca. 1907. Goshen College Reflector, 1907

Noah E. Byers was born 26 July 1873 at Sterling, Illinois to John J. Byers (28 May 1844-17 Apr 1874) and Esther Ebersole Byers (18 Jan 1849-8 Mar 1926). In June 1898 he married Emma Lefevre of Sterling. Two sons, C. Floyd and Robert, were born to this union. As a pioneer in Mennonite higher education, Byers spent his active life as a teacher and administrator. One of the first members of the Mennonite Church (MC) to attend high school and college, he received a BS degree from Northwestern U. (1898), an MA degree from Harvard (1903), and took additional graduate work at other universities. He served as principal of Elkhart Institute, Elkhart, Indiana, (1898-1903), president of Goshen College (1903-1913), and dean and professor at Bluffton College (1913-1938).

Emma Lefevre Byers died on 27 April 1946. Later Noah married Edna Hanley of Decatur, Georgia, where he lived until his death on 15 June 1962. In addition to pioneering work in Mennonite higher education, he gave leadership to the movement for inter-Mennonite cooperation and unity.


Umble, John S. Goshen College 1894-1954. Goshen, IN: Goshen College, 1955.

Smith, C. Henry and E. J. Hirschler, eds. The Story of Bluffton College (Bluffton College, 1925.

Smith, C. Henry. "A Pioneer Educator, N. E. Byers." Mennonite Life 3 (January 1948): 44-46.

Byers, N. E. "The Times in Which I Lived." Mennonite Life 7 (January 1952): 44-47; (April 1952), 77-81; (July 1952), 138-141.

Byers, N. E. "Reminiscences," address given at 50th anniversary of Goshen College, January 1954, copy in Mennonite Church USA Archives (Goshen).

Warkentin, A. and Melvin Gingerich, compilers. Who's Who Among the Mennonites. North Newton, KS: Bethel College, 1943: 37.

Obituaries in Bluffton College Bulletin (July 1962) and Mennonite Weekly Review (21 June 1962): 12.

Author(s) Willard H Smith
Date Published 1986

Cite This Article

MLA style

Smith, Willard H. "Byers, Noah E. (1873-1962)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1986. Web. 22 May 2024.,_Noah_E._(1873-1962)&oldid=91315.

APA style

Smith, Willard H. (1986). Byers, Noah E. (1873-1962). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 22 May 2024, from,_Noah_E._(1873-1962)&oldid=91315.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 5, p. 116. All rights reserved.

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