Bishop Benjamin Eby
The following biography of Canadian Bishop Benjamin Eby (1785-1853) is an extract from History of the Eby Family:
Benjamin Eby, the sixth son and eleventh member of the family of Christian Eby and his wife Catharine Bricker, was born on the old homestead on Hammar Creek, in Warwick Township, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, on the 2nd day of May, 1785.
Benjamin spent his boyhood days on the farm, and in his father's cooper-shop making barrels for the mills. He received a fair common school education, and during the long winter evenings he continued his studies. He had free access to his father's books, as well as to his brother John's library. He was not very strong and it used to be the common saying among the neighbours: "Aus 'em Bennie gebts ka Bauer, er muss Schulmaster werre!"-"Bennie will never make a farmer, he must become a school-teacher."
On the 21st of May, 1804, he was baptized in the Conestogo Mennonite Meeting House, by Bishop Christian Burkholder, and on the same day he was admitted as a member of that body.
In 1806 he came to Canada for the first time. On the 24th of May of the same year he came to what is now Berlin. Here he remained with his cousin George Eby, who then resided on the place now known as the Jacob Y. Shantz farm. He purchased his land (the farm now possessed by Mr. Moses Betzner), had a small clearing of about two acres made during August, then made preparations for the erection of a log house which was put up and completed during the following winter. On the 4th of November he, in company with others, set out for home. The mode of travelling in those days was on horse back.
On the 25th day of February, 1807, he was married to Mary Brubacher, daughter of Jacob and Susannah (Erb) Brubacher.
On the 21st day of June, 1807, the following party arrived at George Eby's, Berlin: viz,: Benjamin Eby and his wife, Joseph Schneider and wife, David Eby, Daniel Eby, John Eckert, Frederick Vogt, Peter Erb and wife, Daniel Erb, Samuel Eby and a few others. On the 30th day of the same month he took possession of his farm.
On the 27th day of November, 1809, he was ordained as a minister in the Mennonite Church, and on the 11th day of October, 1812, he was ordained as a Bishop in that body.
- Berlin is presently the city of Kitchener, Ontario.
- Note: David Eby is the 3x great-grandfather of the editor of this article, S. S. G. Edwards. David's farm was at the corner of today's Erb and Fischer Hallman streets in the city of Waterloo. He gave land for the David Eby Mennonite Church, which has since moved and become Erb St. Mennonite Church. The graveyard is still in its original location.