Hunsberger, Ephraim (1814-1904)

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Ephraim Hunsberger was born near Bally, Berks County, Pennsylvania, 18 November 1814, and died at Wadsworth, Ohio, 21 February 1904. He was married to Esther Bechtel in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, on 23 December 1838. To this union 12 children were born. After the death of his first wife he married Elizabeth Overholt of Medina County on 17 March 1862. Three children were born to this union. His father, Abraham Hunsberger, was a teacher and gave his son an education in German and English. Ephraim learned the trade of carriage making. On 18 October 1849, he was called to the ministry by lot as assistant to Christian Clemmer, pastor of the Hereford Mennonite (General Conference Mennonite [GCM]) Church, and on 10 October 1852, ordained elder. Immediately following this ordination, upon the call of four families, he moved to Wadsworth, Medina County, Ohio, where a congregation, now known as the Wadsworth First Mennonite Church (GCM), was organized. For the next half century Hunsberger gave his life in service in this area. One phase of his activity was the organization of a Sunday school in 1854. He continued as pastor until 1892, when N. C. Hirschy became his successor.

Hunsberger was a central figure in the organization of the General Conference Mennonite Church 1859-1865. He was overseer of the erection of the Wadsworth School and served as president of the Board of Supervisors from 1863.


First Mennonite Church (Wadsworth, Ohio). The First Hundred Years: First Mennonite Church, Wadsworth, Ohio, 1852-1952. Wadsworth, 1952.

Krehbiel, Henry Peter. The history of the General Conference of the Mennonites of North America. [Canton, Ohio]: Published by the author, 1898‑1938.

Kreider, Rachel. "One Hundred Years at Wadsworth." Mennonite Life VIII (1953): 161-166.

Author(s) Arthur S Rosenberger
Date Published 1956

Cite This Article

MLA style

Rosenberger, Arthur S. "Hunsberger, Ephraim (1814-1904)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 16 Jun 2024.,_Ephraim_(1814-1904)&oldid=121140.

APA style

Rosenberger, Arthur S. (1956). Hunsberger, Ephraim (1814-1904). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 16 June 2024, from,_Ephraim_(1814-1904)&oldid=121140.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, p. 844. All rights reserved.

©1996-2024 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.