Fonds F 116 - J. Walter Erb fonds

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J. Walter Erb fonds

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Reference code

F 116

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  • 1956-1982 , predominant 1956-1961 (Creation)

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5.04 m of textual records
2 audio reels (2 hr.)

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Name of creator

Biographical history

Jacob Walter Erb was born on January 16, 1909 near Lang, Saskatchewan to Ferdinand and Rosa (Wagner) Erb. He received his early education at Sunnydale School and later attended Luther College in Regina. After obtaining a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Manitoba in 1933, Erb attended the Chicago Conservatory of Music in Illinois on a two-year singing scholarship. After travelling throughout the United States on concert tours, he returned to Regina, where he taught music and served as the Dean of Boys at Luther College. He resigned from Luther College in 1946 to take up farming in the Lang district.

Erb's political career began in 1948, when he was elected to the Saskatchewan Legislature as a Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) member for the Milestone constituency. He served in the T.C. Douglas and Woodrow Lloyd Governments as Minister of Public Health (1956-1961) and Minister of Public Works (1961-1962). On May 2, 1962, Erb resigned from cabinet and joined the Liberal Party. He sat as a Liberal MLA for Milestone until his defeat in the 1964 general election. Erb then served as chairman of the Workmen's Compensation Board and as president of the Association of Workmen's Compensation Boards of Canada. Erb remained in Regina after his retirement in 1984. He died in Los Angeles, California on January 1, 1990.

Erb married Edna Helsa of Lajord, Saskatchewan on December 14, 1938. The Erbs had two children: Carol Rosanne and Sharon Christine.

Custodial history

J. Walter Erb donated some of these records to the Regina office, Saskatchewan Archives in one accession in 1982: R82-623 (December 24, 1982). Allan E. Blakeney, Minister of Public Health, transferred these records to the Regina office, Saskatchewan Archives in one accession in 1964: PL 177 (May 20, 1964). Records created by T.C. Douglas, T.J. Bentley and W.G. Davies were identified in the Erb fonds at the time of retro-description. The Department of Public Health transferred some of these records to the Regina office, Saskatchewan Archives between 1962 and 1964. The records were assigned accession number PL 162.

Scope and content

This fonds consists mainly of records created, accumulated and used by Jacob Walter Erb during his political career as Minister of Public Health. The fonds also includes records created by T.C. Douglas, T.G. Bentley and W.G. Davies during their tenures as Minister of Public Health.

The types of records included are correspondence, memoranda, reports, and publications. Records created by Douglas, Bentley and Davies relate mainly to hospitals across the province. Sound recordings of J. Walter Erb being interviewed in 1982 by Jean Larmour as part of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation and the New Democratic Party in Saskatchewan Oral History Project are included. In the interview, Erb discussed his family and educational background; his political career; the implementation of universal health care and the Medicare Crisis; and his assessment of various Saskatchewan premiers.

No series assignment has been applied to the records in this fonds.

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Original order maintained by archivist.

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Restrictions on access

Records are open for research use.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Use and reproduction of records is subject to terms and conditions of the Copyright Act.

Finding aids

SAFA 607 (old guide GR 91) consists of a fonds description and file listings of the textual records.

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No further accruals are expected.

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Other codes: Textual records: old guide GR 91 (R-34); Sound recordings: R-8411 to R-8414)

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