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Karl and Ada Scheufler Papers

 Collection
Call Number: RG 25

Scope and Contents

Though the Scheuflers were in China for a relatively brief period of time, their papers provide excellent documentation of Methodist Episcopal Church mission work in Fukien Province during the first half of the 1920s. The internal workings of the Methodist mission, relationships with Chinese church workers, and the impact of political unrest are described in detail.

The letters of Series I, Correspondence, primarily consist of letters written by Karl and by Ada to their respective families in the United States. Written in lieu of diaries, these letters provide nearly weekly, detailed descriptions of the Scheuflers' life in China. Besides describing their daily life and missionary work, including Karl's evangelistic itineration, the letters also make note of frequent military and bandit activity, Chinese festivals and customs, and so forth. Such topics are easily identified by stars of different colors and annotations on the Mylar sleeves in which the letters were placed by the Scheuflers' daughter.

The Notes and Writings of Series II include notebooks used in the study of Chinese, and narratives relating to trips and events experienced by the Scheuflers. Reports of mission work written by other Methodist missionaries are included in Series III, Collected Material. Also included in Series III are travel guide books used by the Scheuflers during their extended voyage back to the United States in 1926, and a wide variety of artifacts, including Chinese robes, decorative fabrics, bound foot shoes, woodblock illustrations, and so forth.

Karl Scheufler was an experienced amateur photographer and his interest in photography is evident in the many photographs found in Series IV. The photographs in the albums from Nanking, Peking, and Yenping are very well identified.

Dates

  • 1921-1935

Creator

Language

English

Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Jean Scheufler Johnson.

Arrangement

  1. I. Correspondence, 1921-1935, n.d.
  2. II. Notes and writings, 1921-1926, n.d.
  3. III. Collected material, 1921-1926, n.d.
  4. IV. Photographs, 1921-1926, n.d.

Extent

5 Linear Feet (9 boxes)

Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL

http://hdl.handle.net/10079/fa/divinity.025

Overview

The papers provide excellent documentation of Methodist Episcopal Church mission work in Fukien Province during the first half of the 1920s. The internal workings of the Methodist mission, relationships with Chinese church workers, and the impact of political unrest are described in detail. Correspondence provides nearly weekly, detailed descriptions of the Scheuflers' life in China, including daily life and missionary work, evangelistic itineration, military and bandit activity, and Chinese festivals and customs. Karl William Scheufler (1898-1989) and Ada Mills Scheufler (1891-1958) served as missionaries of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Yenping, Fukien Province, China from 1921-1926. After returning to the U.S. in 1926 due to lack of mission funds and political unrest in China, Karl served as pastor of various churches in Ohio. During World War II, he served as a chaplain in North Africa, Italy and the Philippine Islands. Ada was a certified Director of Christian Education and was a Week Day Church School teacher in Cincinnati from 1942-1944.

Biographical / Historical

1891 Feb 27
Ada Irene Mills born in Port Byron, New York, daughter of George and Carrie McMillan Mills
1898 Feb 6
Karl William Scheufler born in Sandusky, Ohio, son of Fred and Amelia Scheufler
1900s
Ada graduated from Cortland (NY) Normal School and taught in New York State Public School system. She later graduated from the Chicago Training School, was consecrated as a Methodist deaconess, and worked in the Minneapolis-Chicago area. Karl attended Ohio Wesleyan University, Columbia University, Union Theological Seminary (NY), Harvard, and Boston University, receiving the A.B., A.M., and S.T.B. degrees.
1919
Ada received A.B. degree from Ohio Wesleyan University
1920
Ada received M.A. degree from Teachers' College, Columbia University
1920 Jun 23
Ada and Karl married. Children: Jean, Lowell, Elaine
1921
Karl ordained Elder
1921-1926
Karl and Ada served as missionaries of the Methodist Episcopal Church in China. After one year of language training in Nanking, they worked in Yenping, Fukien Province. Lack of mission funds and political unrest in China made it impossible for them to return to China after 1926.
1926-
Karl served as pastor of various churches in Ohio. During World War II he was a chaplain serving in North Africa, Italy, and the Philippine Islands. Ada was a certified Director of Christian Education and was a Week Day Church School teacher in Cincinnati 1942-1944.
1958
Ada died.
1989
Karl died.
Title
Guide to the Karl and Ada Scheufler Papers
Author
Compiled by Martha Lund Smalley
Date
November 1994
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Yale University Divinity School Library Repository

Contact:
409 Prospect Street
New Haven CT 06511 US
(203) 432-5301