Abraham S. Erb

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Abraham S. Erb

Birthdate: (58)
Birthplace: Lancaster, Pennsylvania (USA)
Death: Died in Ontario (Canada)
Place of Burial: Kitchener, Waterloo Regional Municipality, Ontario, Canada
Immediate Family:

Son of Christian Erb and Maria F. Erb
Husband of Magdalena Eby
Father of Benjamin Erb; Barnabas (adopted) Devitt and Rachel (adopted) Bomberger
Brother of Joseph S. Erb; Christian S. Erb; Daniel S. Erb; Susannah Shirk Brubacher; John S. Erb and 6 others

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Abraham S. Erb

Founder of Waterloo, Ontario


Picture is Abraham Erb's Mill - Commonly referred to as the "old mill", Abraham Erb's original Union Mills was built in 1816 at 13 King Street South and had been in the Snider family since 1861. The building was demolished in 1927. The Snider Mill continued at 45 Erb Street West, until its 1958 demolition.


◦The original portion of the Erb-Kumpf House was built around 1812 by Abraham Erb, the founder of Waterloo, making it one of Waterloo's oldest homes. It was a three-bay structure facing a mill situated near the south-west corner of King and Erb Streets.

Abraham Erb came from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, in 1806 and settled on Lots 14 and 15 of the German Company Tract, land which now comprises the central business district of Waterloo. He established a sawmill on Beaver (Laurel) Creek in 1808 and a grist mill in 1816. In 1828, he sold his mills and a considerable quantity of land to Jacob C. Snider.
Magdalene Erb sold the home to Barnabas Devitt, her adopted son, in 1835. His son Benjamin served as Mayor of Waterloo from 1881 to 1883.
An addition to the house was probably built by Devitt in 1849. A slight hump in the roof on the north side indicates the location at which it joins the original structure. The application of a vertical board and clapboard which does not align is further evidence that it was added at a later date. The second addition, probably built by Hoffman around 1855, included the two-storey verandah at the front.
Elias Snider acquired the home and later sold it to Christian Kumpf in 1869. Kumpf was a newspaper owner, Mayor of Waterloo from 1879-1880, as well as Postmaster for 42 years. He was instrumental in the establishment of the Dominion Life Assurance Company in 1889. His son Ford, who became affectionately known as "Mr. Waterloo", was born in the home in 1877 and assumed ownership in 1899. One of the community's most public-spirited citizens, he served as Treasurer of Waterloo and Clerk/Manager of the Water and Light Commission. He was President of the Waterloo Red Cross Society and The Dominion Life Assurance Company.
At present, the house demonstrates a mixture of architectural styles. Among its Georgian characteristics is the six-over-six window pane arrangement. The facade, with its two wings, treillage, Gothic barge board and Doric columns, reflects the Regency influence.
In 1979, the home was sold to a law firm which has maintained the integrity of the exterior. A third addition in keeping with the style of the building has since been constructed.

1a Designated Properties www. waterloo.ca

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Abraham S. Erb's Timeline

July 12, 1772
Lancaster, Pennsylvania (USA)
January 3, 1807
Age 34
Age 37
May 23, 1827
Age 54
September 6, 1830
Age 58
Ontario (Canada)
Kitchener, Waterloo Regional Municipality, Ontario, Canada