Hershey, Mae Elizabeth (1877-1974)
Mae Elizabeth Hertzler was born 22 December 1877 near Concord, Tennessee, to Levi B. and Katherine Stoltzfus Hertzler. As a child she felt a definite call to be a missionary. Converted at age 17, she was baptized by her great-grandfather, John Stoltzfus, in a creek near the local Mennonite church.
Mae earned a BS degree in education from the Ewing-Jefferson Cumberland Presbyterian Junior College, Marysville, TN (1898), and took summer teachers' courses at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She taught school for six years.
She married Tobias Kreider Hershey (27 December 1904) at Concord, TN, and moved with her husband to a small farm near Gap, PA. The Hersheys worked in urban mission and pastorates in Youngstown, Ohio, La Junta, Colorado and Bluffton, Ohio. On 16 August 1917, the Hersheys, with their two children, Beatrice and Lester, sailed with J. W. and Emma Shank and family, to Argentina to serve as missionaries under the Mennonite Board of Missions (MC).
Mae made at least three major contributions to the mission work in Argentina: with Emma Shank she set up kindergarten and primary schools; with the aid of Albano Luayza (pastor) and his wife, Dona Querubina, she established The Evangelical Chain of Mennonite Women of Argentina. She also helped set up a training program for Sunday School teachers, and encouraged a Bible reading program in church members' homes.
At the time of her death on 22 February 1974 at age 96 in Chicago, Illinois, where she lived with her daughter, Beatrice, Mae was still a keen Bible student and intercessory prayer warrior. She was buried in Hershey Mennonite cemetery near Kinzers, Pennsylvania.
Shank, Josephus Ward. The Gospel Under the Southern Cross: A History of the Argentine Mennonite Mission of South America Celebrating Its 25th Anniversary, 1917-1942. Scottdale, PA: Mennonite Publishing House, 1943: 173-174.
Rich, Elaine Sommers. Mennonite Women: A Story of God's Faithfulness, 1683-1983. Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1983: 143-144.
Hershey, T. K. as told to Daniel Hertzler. I'd Do It Again. Elkhart, IN: Mennonite Board of Missions, 1961.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 5, pp. 369-370. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Hallman, Beatrice Hershey. "Hershey, Mae Elizabeth (1877-1974) ." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1987. Web. 23 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/H477113.html.
APA style: Hallman, Beatrice Hershey. (1987). Hershey, Mae Elizabeth (1877-1974) . Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 23 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/H477113.html.