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Collection 435 [September 30, 2007]
Kuhn, Isobel Selina Miller; 1901-1957
1 Box (DC; .25 cubic feet); Negatives, Photographs
There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.
Full name: Isobel Selina Miller Kuhn
Birth date: December 17, 1901
Birth place: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Parents: Sam and Alice Miller
Marital status: married to John Becker Kuhn, November 4, 1929, in Kunming, China
Children: Kathryn Alice-Ann (Mrs. Donald Rulison), 1931; Daniel Kreadman; 1943.
Death: March 20, 1957
Scope and Content
The materials in this collection consist of personal correspondence, prayer letters, articles, negatives, and photographs documenting the work of Isobel and John Kuhn. Folder 1-2 contains the personal correspondence and prayer letters written to family, friends, and supporters from 1927 to 1957. The earliest letter, written by John from the Training Home in Anking, China, mentions the expected evacuation of Anking in 1927. Later that same year, however, John wrote from Anking about a revival at the Home and announced his assignment to Yunnan Province as well as his engagement to Isobel. Later letters describe his work and the church in Chengkiang, Yunnan (August 10, 1929), the birth of their daughter Kathryn (April 25, 1931), and his trip among the Lisu (May 20, 1934).
Also in folder 1-2 are Isobel's letters, the earliest of which describes her ocean trip to China in 1928. Other letters cover the language school, evangelistic opportunities, an amusing account of a church service which illustrates cultural differences between the Chinese and westerners, and meeting Theodore Roosevelt's sons, Theodore Jr. and Kermit Roosevelt (1929). After the Kuhn's marriage, the letters were often signed by both Isobel and John and give accounts of the activities of both, including work in Tali, Yunnan, China (1931); the advance of the communists on Yunnanfu and the missionaries' evacuation from Tali at that time (May 8, 1936), traveling to Vancouver, BC, on furlough (June 4, 1936, July 1936), and the birth of their son, Daniel (August 2, 1943). There is a hand-drawn map of the area around Tali (April 1931). Biographical sketches of co-workers Mary Baldock, Lilian Hamer, Frances Bailey, Eileen O'Rourke are attached to 1955 New Year's greetings. Prayer letters written by Isobel from Wheaton from 1955 to 1957 include reports of OMF activities in Thailand. Isobel's funeral service at College Church includes the printed message brought by Dr. Carl Armerding.
Folder 1-1 contains two articles from The Millions, one titled "The Secret of Endurance" by Mrs. Howard Taylor (October 1954) and the other includes a testimony of Isobel's daughter, Kathryn Kuhn (December 1954). A prayer letter by Esther and Allyn Cooke, co-workers of the Kuhns, in which John Kuhn is mentioned, is in folder 1-4. Folder 1-5 has two prayer letters, an article, and pictures of Kathryn Kuhn Rulison, her husband and children. Folder 1-3 has several lists of negatives, some of which are sections from letters, only two of which are dated. The lists do not match the strips of negatives which are in the Negative File, though some descriptions do match some negatives.
The negatives and photographs include pictures of Isobel and John as well as their children, co-workers, and missionary activities among the Lisu.
The materials in this collection were received by the Archives of the Billy Graham Center from Overseas Missionary Fellowship in April 1982; from Samuel H. Chao in February 1984 and July 1986; and from Charlotte Shannon in October 1985.
Accession 82-60, 84-35, 85-141, 86-85
March 7, 1995
Janyce H. Nasgowitz
Type of Material: Negatives
The following items are located in the NEGATIVE FILE: Request by folder title at the beginning of the entry below:
KUHN, ISOBEL AND JOHN. Black and white negatives of Isobel and John Kuhn,
individually, together, and with other people, including their daughter Kathryn and son Daniel;
groups of fellow missionaries; and views of missionary work among the Lisu in China and of
Lisu converts, servants, and students. 190 b&w, 1952, n.d.
Type of Material: Photo Album
The following items are located in the PHOTO ALBUM FILE unless otherwise noted. Request by the boldfaced folder titles at the beginning of each entry below:
KUHN, ISOBEL AND JOHN. Black and white photographs of Lisu tribal people of Oak Flat,
Yunnan, China, pasted on a scrapbook page. Two photos include John Kuhn. There is a map of
Southwest China taken from the 1937 issue of China Millions. 13 b&w, n.d.
Accession 84-35, 85-141, 86-85
Type of Material: Photographs
The following items are located in the PHOTO FILE unless otherwise noted. Request by the boldfaced folder titles at the beginning of each entry below:
KUHN, ISOBEL AND JOHN. Black and white photographs of Isobel and John Kuhn, individually, together, and with other people, including their daughter Kathryn and son Daniel. There are groups of fellow missionaries, mostly unidentified. There is one photo of a 1937 missionary conference at Lancaster, PA, which includes Austin Paul and Betty Sywulka of Africa Inland Mission (AIM); a missionary card; as well as photos of missionary work among the Lisu in China and of Lisu converts, servants, and students. 67 b&w, 1946, 1949, n.d.
OVERSEAS MISSIONARY FELLOWSHIP--PRAYER GROUP. Two photos of OMF
prayer group in Wheaton, IL. One includes in the group Jennie Fitzwilliam and the other
includes Ella Graham, who nursed Isobel Kuhn during her last illness. 1 b&w, 1 color, 1972,
|1||1||Articles--The Millions; Oct and Dec 1954|
|1||2||Correspondence, prayer letters; 1927-1957|
|1||3||Lists of negatives; 1953, 1954, n.d.|
|1||4||Newsletter--Cooke, Esther and Allyn; Mar 20, 1950|
|1||5||Newsletters and article--Rulison, Kathryn and Donald; 1959-1983.|