Erb, Alta Mae Eby (1891-1995)

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Alta Mae Eby, b. 23 February 1891 to Abram and Salome Denlinger Eby, grew up at Kinzers (Lancaster County), PA. She  obtained her final year of high school and her college education at Goshen College, graduating in 1912. From 1912 to 1940 she was on the staff of Hesston College. She taught mathematics and teacher education and was librarian from 1913 to 1928. In 1917 she married Paul Erb. They had two children: Winifred (Erb) Paul and Delbert.

From 1940 to 1945, she taught teacher education at Goshen College. In 1945 they moved to Scottdale, PA, where Paul served as editor of the Gospel Herald. Her activities at Scottdale were principally in the area of the nurture of children. She served extensively in Christian education workshops and from 1954-1958 was Home Life Editor of Christian Living magazine. Her book, The Christian Nurture of Children, was first published in 1944. A second edition followed in 1955. It sold a reported 12,000 copies. From 1944 to 1961 she wrote a weekly column on the Uniform Sunday School Lessons which appeared in the Gospel Herald.

Alta Mae Erb died in Scottdale, PA on 24 January 1995 at the age of 103. She is buried in the Scottdale cemetery.


Warkentin, A. and Melvin Gingerich, compilers. Who's Who Among the Mennonites. North Newton, KS: Bethel College, 1943 : 60.

Springer, Nelson and A. J. Klassen, compilers, Mennonite Bibliography, 1631-1961, 2 vols. Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1977: Vol. 2 : 439.

Miller, Mary. A Pillar of Cloud: The Story of Hesston College. 1909-1959 North Newton: Mennonite Press, 1959:128-30.

Rich, Elaine Sommers. Mennonite Women: A Story of God's Faithfulness, 1683-1983. Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1983: 121.

Good, Phyllis. Paul and Alta. :Scottdale, 1978.

"Erb, Alta Mae Eby." Gospel Herald 88 (14 February 1995). Reproduced in MennObits. "Gospel Herald Obituary - February 1995." Accessed 14 January 2006. <>

Author(s) Daniel Hertzler
Sam Steiner
Date Published January 2006

Cite This Article

MLA style

Hertzler, Daniel and Sam Steiner. "Erb, Alta Mae Eby (1891-1995)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. January 2006. Web. 27 Sep 2023.,_Alta_Mae_Eby_(1891-1995)&oldid=118159.

APA style

Hertzler, Daniel and Sam Steiner. (January 2006). Erb, Alta Mae Eby (1891-1995). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 27 September 2023, from,_Alta_Mae_Eby_(1891-1995)&oldid=118159.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 5, p. 271. All rights reserved.

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