- Beyond Suffrage
by Sarah Langsdon, Head of Special Collections
With this project, there were many women that we discovered that were involved in the community around Ogden but they have been lost to history. One such woman was Eva Erb. You name it and Eva was probably involved in it somehow. She was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Golden Spike Chapter, she was part of the Ogden Historical Society and was vice president of the Business and Professional Women’s Club. You would think with all her community work that there would be a photograph of her somewhere, well we couldn’t find one. The only image of her is a poor quality image from the 1913 Salt Lake Herald-Republican.
Interestingly enough, she was in the paper because she was appointed the custodian of David Eccles securities after his death. She was given the key to a safety deposit box that contained over $4 million in securities and stocks. The appointment came from her boss, Judge James Albert Howell, who was presiding over the case of distributing Eccles’ money to his heirs and claims to be heirs. Eva served as Judge Howell’s official court stenographer for years. She even served as the stenographer in the J.H. Martin blackmail case that involved the well-to-do of Ogden.
Beside being a court stenographer, Eva Erb was the assistant secretary of the Ogden Union Stockyards starting in 1920. She was also involved with Ogden Packing and Provision Company. She served as secretary for the company and was often mentioned in the newspaper when it came to stockholder information about the business. By 1929, she was also part of the Mountain Oil Company serving as secretary-treasurer of the newly established business.
In 1917, Eva was elected as treasurer and board member of the Crittenton Home in Ogden. The home was established to provide housing and medical care for young unwed mothers. She was involved with the home for over fifteen years. She served with several other well known women from Ogden including Annie Taylor Dee, Dr. Alice Ridge, Dr. Margaret Burns and Mrs. I.F. Richards.
With all the clubs and organizations that Eva Erb was involved in, it is hard for one to imagine that she had been lost to history. It is our hope that this project will help shine a light back on these influential women of Ogden and we hope to continue to find other women that spent their lives giving back to the community.