Papers of J. Wesley and Anna Ellmers Bovyer - Collection 131

 

[Note: What follows is a description of the documents in this collection which are available for use at BGC Archives in Wheaton, Illinois, USA. The actual documents are not, in most cases, available online, only this description of them. Nor are they available for sale or rent.]

 

Table of Contents

Title Page and Restrictions

Brief Description of This Collection

Biography

An Essay on the Contents of the Collection (Scope and Content)


Lists of Artifacts and Photographs in This Collection (Location Records)
    Artifacts
    Photographs
List of the Contents of Boxes of Paper Records in This Collection (Container List)


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Collection 131                                                                                                       

[March 10, 2014]

Bovyer, J. Wesley and Anna Ellmers

Papers; 1926-1953

3 Boxes (DC; .8 cubic feet), Photographs 



Restrictions: There are no restrictions on the use of this collection. 



 

 

Brief Description: Materials in this collection include photographs, hand embroidery, prayer letters, personal correspondence, naturalization papers, financial records, family trees, wills and codicils, medical documents, and records relating to missionaries J. Wesley and Anna Ellmers Bovyer, superintendents at the Home of the Nazarene Industrial Orphanage in Chinkiang, China from 1908-1941. The materials also cover the Bovyer’s residence as alien enemies in a Japanese internment camp from 1941-1945 during the Sino-Japanese War and their later lives in the United States and Germany.




Biography:


Full name

John Wesley Bovyer

Ordination

Christian Missionary Alliance Church, 15 November, 1927

Career

 

1911

J. Wesley Bovyer opened an independent orphanage sponsored by the Methodist Episcopal Mission in Chinkiang, Kiangsu, China.

 

Full name

Anna Ellmers Bovyer

Birth

November 21, 1865, Germany

Death

October 19, 1952, Achim bei Bremen, Germany

Family

 

Nephew

Karl Heinz Ellmers and wife Dora

Career

 

1899

On October 10, Anna Ellmers was accepted as a member of the China Inland Mission by the CIM Council of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

 

1899

 In November, she sailed from Vancouver to begin mission work at the Women’s Training Home in Yangchow, Jiangsu, China.

 

1908

In November 1908, Anna Ellmers was put in charge of the Home of the Nazarene an industrial orphanage in Chinkiang, Kiangsu, China under the auspices of the China Inland Mission.

Joint Biography of J. Wesley and Anna Ellmers Bovyer

 

Marital Status

Married September 17, 1912 in Shanghai, China

 

Children

None

Career

 

1912

J. Wesley Bovyer and Anna Ellmers married and combined their orphanages into one independent venture, retaining the name “Home of the Nazarene Industrial Orphanage.”

 

1919

The Bovyers detached the orphanage from the oversight of the Methodist Episcopal Mission and were thereafter an independent orphanage, which became largely self-supporting by 1937.

 

1941

The Bovyers were placed in a civilian internment camp near Shanghai by the Japanese as alien enemies.

 

1945

The Bovyers returned to Chinkiang and applied for compensation for the destruction of the orphanage and other property.

 

1947

In September, the Bovyers sailed from Shanghai to San Francisco for Anna Bovyer’s health, settling in Oakland and eventually Fresno, CA. 

 

1949

After repeated failed attempts to receive compensation for their property in Chinkiang, the Bovyers announced their retirement from missions work.  

 

1952

After the death of J. Wesley Bovyer, Anna Ellmers Bovyer returned to Achim bei Bremen in Germany to live with her nephew and his family until her death in November 1952.

Other Significant Information

Home of the Nazarene Mission was an industrial orphanage founded in November 1908 in Chinkiang, Kiangsu, China. Situated 150 miles west of Shanghai and 50 miles east of Nanking on the banks of the Yangtze River, the orphanage was in dangerous territory following the outbreak of war in the late 1930s. The orphanage was originally opened by Anna Bovyer under the auspices of the China Inland Mission. Christian teaching and guidance were provided in the orphanage which had on its letterhead, evangelical, evangelistic, and interdenominational.

Children in the home were of both sexes. Partial support for the orphans was raised through projects on which the children worked. Girls in the home made embroidered linen cloths. The children came to the home from regions all around and were accepted into the home even if they had a living parent or close relative.



 



     

Scope and Content:


Arrangement: Alphabetical by folder title assigned by Archives staff

Date range:1908-1953

Volume: .8 cubit ft

Boxes: Boxes 1-3

Geographic coverage: China, Canada, Germany, United States

Type of documents: Newsletters, prayer letters, wills, travel documents, naturalization documents, personal correspondence, financial and medical records, address book, family tree,

Correspondents: Herbert M. Griffin; Donald Grey Barnhouse, William H. Houghton.


Notes: Materials in this collection were arranged according to document type by Archives staff and include photographs, hand embroidery, prayer letters, personal correspondence, naturalization papers, family trees, wills and codicils, medical documents, and records related to missions work. The photographs are of the Chinese orphans and the superintendents of the home, Mr. and Mrs. J. Wesley Bovyer.


Prayer letters from the Bovyers (folder 1-2, 2-9) were written while they were in China and on furlough. The letters describe the school and orphanage; some of the children; conditions in China due to the Sino-Japanese War; their replacements while on furlough, Mr. and Mrs. F. Blasner, retired missionaries from China Inland Mission; travel conditions back to China; and conditions for foreign missionaries in China during the war. Personal and business correspondence (2-7, 2-10) and orphanage records describe the day-to-day running of the orphanage, and include letters in German from Anna Bovyer to her family. Many letters recount the Bovyer’s attempts to gain compensation for the destruction of the orphanage and adjoining property during the Sino-Japanese Conflict and include detailed lists of personal items lost and hand-drawn blueprints of the orphanage compound. Other documents concern the Bovyer’s attempts to gain American residency for Anna Bovyer, whose arthritis required her to live in a warm, dry climate (3-1).


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Provenance:


The materials for this collection were received by the Billy Graham Center Archives in May 1980 and June 2006.


Accession 80-65

July 1, 1980

Mary Ann Buffington

S. Kouns


Accession 06-16

March 10, 2014

Katherine J. Graber

P. Bartow




LOCATION RECORD

Accession 80-65

Type of material: Artifacts


The following item has been placed in the FOURTH FLOOR INTERVIEW ROOM :Embroidery from China Nazarene Orphanage, Chinkiang, China.




LOCATION RECORD

Accession 80-65

Type of material: Photographs


The following items are located in the PHOTO FILE. Request by the boldfaced folder title at the beginning of each entry below.



BOVYER, J. WESLEY AND ANNA ELLMERS. Mr. and Mrs. Bovyer on a visit to Seattle, Washington, alone and with Mrs. Thomas S. Fair; July 11, 1937, other photos of the Bovyers together or separately, with people in China and America. 1937, 1946, n.d. 24 b&w.


CHINA NAZARENE ORPHANAGE. Group shot of orphans and workers in Nazarene Orphanage, Chinkiang, China taken in July, 1937, and other photos of the Chinese orphans and the buildings of the orphanage, most undated. 22 b&w. 


 

            BOX LIST

Box

Folders

Folder Title

Dates

1

1

Embroidery from Nazarene Children's Orphanage, China

n.d.

1

2

Prayer Letters

1938-1940

2

1

Address Book of Anna E. Bovyer

n.d.

2

2

Banking Accounts, Export Declarations, and Receipts

1947-1952

2

3

Correspondence Copies

1951

2

4

The Bovyer Family Tree 

n.d.    

2

5

Documents Relating to Germany Trip

1952

2

6

Bovyer Medical Documents

1950-1951

2

7

Missions Work

1908-1949

2

8

Naturalization Papers

1947-1951

2

9

Newsletters and Prayer Letters

1908-1953

2

10

Official and Business Letters

1908-1953

2

11

Original Folders and Clippings

1919-1957

3

1

Personal Letters and Correspondence

1930-1953

3

2

Wills and Codicils

1937-1940