Kolb, Aaron C.(1871-1937)

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Aaron Clemens "A. C."  Kolb: publisher and schoolteacher; born 7 December 1871 at Natchez near Berlin (now Kitchener), Ontario to Jacob Z. and Maria (Bowman) Kolb. He was the second youngest in a family of five sons and two daughters. On 1 January 1899 he married Phoebe Mumaw (4 September 1873-16 July 1960). They had one daughter. Aaron C. Kolb died 15 May 1937 of a heart attack at his home in Kitchener, Ontario.

Kolb attended the Berlin High School with MacKenzie King, later Prime Minister of Canada. In 1889 Aaron Kolb went to Elkhart, Indiana to work at the Mennonite Publishing Company owned by John F. Funk. His older brother, Abram B. Kolb, was  already employed there and had arranged the position for Aaron. Aaron became interested in the formation of the Elkhart Institute (later Goshen College), and served as its first secretary. His future wife, Phoebe, was the daughter of Henry A. Mumaw, the founder and first president of the Elkhart Institute. It was in Elkhart that Kolb made a commitment to the Christian faith, and he was baptized on 21 June 1891 by Bishop Henry Shaum. During his years in Elkhart, A. C. Kolb was active at the Prairie Street Mennonite Church, both in its Sunday school and as a song leader. He contributed some hymns to the Church and Sunday School Hymnal published in 1902 by the Mennonite Publishing Company, and widely used among Ontario Mennonites for the first third of the 20th century..

In 1907, after touring the Canadian West on behalf of the Publishing House, Aaron and Phoebe Kolb moved to Main Centre, Saskatchewan where Aaron was a farmer and schoolteacher. He became the first postmaster of Herbert, Saskatchewan in 1911, a position he held until 1931. They returned to Kitchener, Ontario in the early 1930s to retire and were then active at the First Mennonite Church.

During his final years in Waterloo County, Aaron C. Kolb remained musically active, leading a Mennonite Choral Society that performed widely in the community. Kolb was an important link in maintaining the strong Mennonite musical heritage in the Waterloo County area that later was reflected in groups such as Menno Singers.


Personal papers at Mennonite Archives of Ontario (Hist.Mss. 1-37).

Pioneers and Prominent People of Saskatchewan. Winnipeg, MB: Canadian Publicity Co., 1924: 212.

"Kolb, Aaron  C." Gospel Herald (10 June 1937): 239.

Author(s) Samuel J Steiner
Date Published January 2002

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MLA style

Steiner, Samuel J. "Kolb, Aaron C.(1871-1937)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. January 2002. Web. 21 Apr 2024. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Kolb,_Aaron_C.(1871-1937)&oldid=165281.

APA style

Steiner, Samuel J. (January 2002). Kolb, Aaron C.(1871-1937). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 21 April 2024, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Kolb,_Aaron_C.(1871-1937)&oldid=165281.

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