Billy Graham Center

Interviews with Bradford Ezra Steiner - Collection 258

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Table of Contents

Brief Description of This Collection

Title Page and Restrictions

Biography of Bradford Ezra Steiner

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

List of Audio Tapes in This Collection


Transcript 1

Brief Description.
One oral history interview with Steiner; topics include his medical work at Landour Hospital in Landour, Mussoorie, India; diseases; folk medicine; evangelistic outreach to patients in the hospital; conflicts between Christians, Hindus, and Muslims; and carrying medical care into the surrounding villages.
Vol: 1 Reel of Audio Tape

Collection 258
[September 17, 2004]
Steiner, Bradford Ezra; 1917-1987
Interview; 1983
1 Reel of Audio Tape


There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.

A complete transcript to the interview in this collection is available.


Bradford Ezra Steiner was born on November 28, 1917, in Calcutta, India, to Ezra B. and Elizabeth Geigher Steiner, missionaries to India. Steiner graduated from Woodstock School, Mussoorie, Uttar Pradesh, India, in 1933. In 1939 he graduated with a B.S. degree from Wheaton College, where he had been active in the a cappella choir, orchestra, soccer league, pre-med society, literature society, and Foreign Missions Fellowship. He received an M.D. degree from the University of Illinois College of Medicine in 1943 and served his internship at Cook County Hospital in Chicago, IL, frin 1943 to 1944. From 1952 to 1953 and again from 1957 to 1958, Steiner was a surgical resident at the Veterans' Administration Hospital in Hines, IL.

Steiner married Martha Ellen Milbourne in 1942. (Five children were born to the couple: Natalie, Cheryl (deceased), Douglas, Suzanne, and Mark.) He served as both a reserve (1942-1952) and active (1944-1946) member of the U.S. Navy, participated in the Normandy and Okinawa invasions, and was stationed at Naval hospitals at Great Lakes, IL; Philadelphia, PA; and Dublin, GA.

Steiner began service at the Landour Community Hospital, Mussoorie, India, in 1947, working with The Evangelical Alliance Mission. He joined his father and mother in missionary work along the borders of Tibet and Nepal, as did his sister Anita, together with her husband, Charles Warren. While in India, he was also a member of the Tibetan Frontier Mission and of the Hill Villages Mission. The Steiners served in India until 1958, when they were placed on the inactive missionary list due to physical problems. Upon returning to the United States, Steiner opened a private practice in Northlake, IL, and was on the staff of Elmhurst Memorial Hospital. He was also the school physician for District #87 of Cook County, IL. In 1965, Steiner went on a short-term assignment in Korea and Japan. He died of a heart attack on January 3, 1987.

Scope and Content

Bradford Ezra Steiner was interviewed by Ted Reihmer on December 2, 1983, at Steiner's home in Elmhurst, IL. The time period of the events covered by the interview was approximately 1947 to 1958. The boldfaced entries are intended to highlight the topics covered in the interview. Time elapsed in minutes and seconds is recorded to the left of the topics discussed in the interview. The index is keyed to the cassette copy and not to the reel-to-reel original.

Tape T1 - Side 1
00:00 Beginning of tape; no introduction
00:30 Diseases present in India; research; nutrition problems; diseases specific to children
08:00 Availability and sources of medical supplies at Landour Hospital; staff and training in India
14:00 Other systems of medical practice--Vedic (Hindu) and Unani (Arabic); medical schools in India; Western, especially American, influence; midwifery; homeopathy; folk medicine; differences between local and western practices
22:00 Hindrances to the work of the physicians--lack of income, malnutrition, native diet; population dispersion
29:00 Agrarian experimentation stressed mechanization, not increased productivity, which was what was needed; fighting malaria; roads result in spread of medical and evangelical work because of easier accessibility; geographical overview of Himalyas
43:45 Personal work with The Evangelical Alliance Mission; mission boards, serving other missionaries
46:15 End of side 1

Tape T1 - Side 2
00:00 Beginning
00:10 Overlap from side 1
01:15 Serving missionaries both physically and spiritually
03:30 Beliefs of patients; ministry through medicine to them; effectiveness of hospital chaplain; family and village persecution of a Christian convert--exile or death; provision by missionaries for the new converts--new livelihood, homes
11:30 Typical church service in India; effectiveness of national conferences, such as those of the Evangelical Fellowship of India; preparation of printed materials; work with Charles Warren, brother-in-law
20:15 Variety of Indian languages; use of English in government, army, and universities
23:00 Indian conflicts with the Gospel; Muslim belief in Allah; Hinduism tries to include all other religions, including Christianity; contacts with all different castes as town was holiday spot; caring for rajahs
34:15 Origin, background, territory of Hill Villages Mission; contact with king of Tehri
40:15 End of side 2


The tape in this collection was given to the Archives by Dr. Steiner and Ted Reihmer in December 1983.

Acc. 83-154
October 26, 1992
Janyce H. Nasgowitz
E. Diaz
D. Reifsnyder

Accession 83-154
Type of Material: Audio Tapes

The following item is located in the AUDIO TAPE FILE:

T1 - Reel-to-reel, 3-3/4 ips, approximately 85 minutes. One side only. Interview with Bradford Steiner by Ted Reihmer. Topics discussed include medical missionary work in Landour Hospital, Mussoorie, India; diseases; folk medicine; evangelistic outreach to patients; Muslims; Hindus; and carrying medical care into surrounding villages. December 2, 1983.

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Last Revised: 9/29/04
Expiration: indefinite