Grubb, Nathaniel B. (1850-1938)

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N. B. Grubb, ca. 1900 Source: [ Mennonite Library and Archives] Photo 2003-0017

Nathaniel B. Grubb, born 6 July 1850, in Frederick Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, was the son of Silas and Elizabeth Bertolet Grubb, of Pennsylvania-German background. He was married on 4 July 1872 to Salome C. Gottshall of Tremont, Pennsylvania. There were six children, of whom three grew to adulthood. Nathaniel B. Grubb was educated in Frederick Institute (an academy and preparatory school in Frederick Township); and in the Mennonite school at Wadsworth, Ohio (1872).

He was baptized and became a member of the Eden Mennonite Church, Schwenksville, in 1865. On 30 June 1872 he was ordained as assistant to the elder of the congregation. In addition to Schwenksville, he conducted services at Herstines, Bertolets, Skippachville, Rock Hill, and Rich Valley. On 1 October 1882 he became pastor of the First Mennonite Church of Philadelphia, which he served for 38 years and 3 months. On 28 May 1884 he was ordained to the office of elder, or bishop as it was frequently called at that time.

Grubb had a large part in the founding of the Mennonite Home for the Aged at Frederick, Pennsylvania, and served on the board of managers of the home for 30 years. He was a member of the Publication Board of the General Conference for 39 years; a Mennonite member of the board of trustees of the United Society of Christian Endeavor for 24 years; a member of the board of trustees of Bethel College, North Newton, Kansas, for six years; and a member of the board of trustees of Perkiomen Seminary (now Perkiomen  School), Pennsburg, Pa., for 18 years.

He was the first editor of the Mennonite, serving as such for six years. He was also the editor of the Mennonite Year Book and Almanac for a number of years. During his career he resided in Frederick Township, Schwenksville, and Philadelphia.

Grubb was a very successful pastor, winning many to Christ and the church, and was also active in home mission enterprises and in establishing Sunday school and Christian Endeavor conventions. His avocation was printing and publishing. At one time early in his career he owned a printing office and founded the Schwenksville Item.

He died in Philadelphia on 25 April 1938, and was buried in Northwood Cemetery, Philadelphia.

An obituary was published in the Year Book of the General Conference Mennonite Church for 1939. A historical sketch of his life appeared in Mennonite Life, January 1951.

Author(s) Arthur S Rosenberger
Date Published 1956

Cite This Article

MLA style

Rosenberger, Arthur S. "Grubb, Nathaniel B. (1850-1938)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 26 May 2024.,_Nathaniel_B._(1850-1938)&oldid=94996.

APA style

Rosenberger, Arthur S. (1956). Grubb, Nathaniel B. (1850-1938). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 26 May 2024, from,_Nathaniel_B._(1850-1938)&oldid=94996.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, p. 602. All rights reserved.

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