Rod Library--Special Collections
Carl H. Erbe
Minutes of Faculty Meeting
February 6, 1950
Mr. M. R. Thompson read the following resolution:
RESOLUTION ON THE OCCASION OF THE DEATH OF CARL H. ERBE
The passing of our friend and colleague fifteen years before the age for retirement brought profound shock and regret. Despite his early demise our colleague achieved through his educational and citizenship activities a degree of recognition for significant service not usually attained by those given their three score and ten.
Thirty-four years ago Carl H. Erbe first became attached to this institution when he enrolled as a student at Iowa State Teachers College in 1916 to prepare for his career. Delayed by a period of service in World War I, he received his B.A. degree in 1920. Two years were spent as superintendent of schools followed by three years of graduate work at the State University where he received his doctor's degree in 1925. Dr. Erbe returned to this institution the same year at which time he became a vigorous and valuable staff member in the field of government in the Department of Social Science. His classes were always large and his teaching load heavy.
Few of our colleagues had so real an appreciation of the number and magnitude of the changes wrought in our college since 1916. Only those who actively helped to create the progress made in so many directions can fully appraise the improvement that has been made. Fortified by his training and his experience in the public schools, he gave a large amount of energy to the extension services of the college which were carried to every part of the state in those earlier years. Through extension classes, institutes, branch schools, and teachers organizations he attracted large numbers of students to this college and gave valuable aid to the teachers of the state.
Throughout his years with the college Dr. Erbe carried many heavy assignments which were always handled with skill and good judgment. Everyone could depend on him. He did not spare himself in his commitments. The day he left his office never to return, everything was in meticulous order. He had completed all his student recommendations, over a hundred yearly. Records of all kinds were complete and models of neatness and clarity. He was a natural teacher and loved his work and classes. How many students were placed as teachers with his help will never be known. Students found him a friendly and helpful counselor for many types of problems, a stimulating teacher with honest convictions, sincerity, and a democratic desire to help everyone with his store of practical knowledge and philosophy of life.
Dr. Erbe's educational contributions included many publications in the field of Iowa history and in American government. His range of interest was wide but it always included Iowa history and civic duties. He had collected valuable materials on early Iowa history and only the lack of years prevented making wider use of them.
His long interest in teaching international law and modern European governments and his experience in World War I gave Dr. Erbe a continuing interest in national and world problems. He was always a staunch American with a wide knowledge of international affairs.
Dr. Erbe was always an industrious and active citizen. His citizenship work with voters was constant and he was always active in cooperating with party leaders. Local organizations had his support, including the church, the American Legion, and the Chamber of Commerce of which he was a progressive president for several years. His practical judgment and diplomatic knowledge made him a helpful cooperator in all causes. He combined freedoms and responsibilities.
Dr. Erbe came up out of humble circumstances amid the rugged hills around McGregor which he never ceased to love. He belonged to Iowa and served it unselfishly with sound vision and plans. The inspiration of his ideals and sound views remain with us to offset in part the deep personal loss that comes to all of us in his untimely death. Our college and all it stands for lost all too soon one of its strongest supporters.
Therefore be it resolved that the above resolution be spread upon the minutes of the faculty and that a copy be presented to Mrs. Carl H. Erbe.
Committee: E. C. Denny
George C, Robinson
M. R. Thompson, Chairman
February 6, 1950