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Wilson, Emma Webber

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: KUMA-02-107

Contents of Boxes

This collection consists of photographs, Christmas cards, newspaper clippings, foreign language bibles, yearbooks, jewelry, children's books and primers, foriegn language songbooks, typed sermons, fabric paintings and embroidery, letters between the University of Hawai'i at Manoa, the University of San Francisco, the Korean Embassy, and the Kansas West Conference Archives involving the collection, multiple typed biographies, and daily planners spanning from 1957 to 1965.


  • Created: 1898-1970
  • Majority of material found within 1956-2000

Biographical Information

Emma Webber Wilson, born August 16, 1897, was a Methodist missionary who served as a teacher in China, Korea, and Japan from 1924 to 1964. She served in China for 27 years, Japan for one year, and Korea for 12 years. While she was teaching in China, Wilson was held prisoner in a Japanese concentration camp. After being released, she returned to teaching in China until the Communist takeover. In 1952, Wilson was sent to Japan where she taught in Fukuoka Girls School. The next year, Wilson was sent to Korea. She was the first female American civilian to enter Korea since the conflict began. She served as the advisor and coordinator for primary and high schools of the Methodist Church in Korea. Wilson retired from her work in 1965. She returned to America where she lived in Boulder, Colorado until her death on June 7, 1970.


3.00 boxes

1.0 boxes (This box contains five photobooks, a yearbook, an award from the High School of Music and Art, a Korean New Testament Bible, and a framed citation.)

2.0 boxes (This box contains six photobooks, two Korean children's books, three foreign language songbooks, two New Testament Bibles in Chinese, three daily planners, typed sermons, embroidery, letters between universities and the Korean Embassy, a gift for Wilson's 60th birthday, one yearbook, a Chinese school publication, a Chinese primer, a brooch, newspaper clippings, a biography of Wilson's life, and an envelope from Rev. Wells.) : The letter contained in the Korean poem book is very delicate and should be handled with care.

3.0 boxes (This box contains two photobooks, newspaper clippings, a Korean painting, three embroidered items, a Chinese journal, Chinese funeral envelope, and a typed sermon entitled "Where is your brother".) : The Chinese Journal is in very poor condition. Handle with extreme care.

Language of Materials



The Emma Webber Wilson Collection contains photobooks, daily planners, foreign langauge hymnals and bibles, paintings, embroidery, gifts given to Wilson, newspaper clippings, a citation from the Seoul Rotary Club, and correspondence between multiple colleges and the Korean embassy revolving around the collection. The collection involves documents and objects from Emma Wilson's time as a missionary and teacher in China, Japan, and Korea.

Other Descriptive Information

Information from Kansas West card file (discarded): missionary in Korea (see box) 1924 - missionary to Taianfu, China, from Winfield, Grace

Box 1

This box contains five photobooks. Within the photobooks are 343 photos, of which 38 are colorized. The photos are largely culturally significant sights from China. The fourth photobook from the front contains notes on the history of the cultural sights seen in the photographs.

There is a 1964 yearbook from Ewha Girl's High School. It is from Korea.

There is a green box that contains an award given to Wilson in Korea in 1964 from the High School of Music and Art. It is a palm-sized wooden plaque with a metal piece that reads "High School of Music and Art. 1964. 11. Seoul."

There is also a framed citation from the Seoul Rotary Club's president detailing her time spent in China, Japan, and Korea. It is signed Chu Yo Han and dated November 4, 1964.

There is a Korean Bible from 1956. It contains the New Testament and Psalms.

Box 2

This box contains six photobooks. Within the photobooks there are 307 photos, of which 15 are colorized .The photos are mainly from Korea with a few from Japan as well. The subject matter is mostly people, ranging from children to elderly. There is one photobook that was not taken by Wilson or someone taking them for her. It is blue-black and has "HAE IN SA" written in gold lettering on the front. The images are of culturally significant places.

There are two Korean children's books. One is a book of poems and the other is a primer. The poem book contains a Christmas card that has been colored and an envelope with Chinese characters stamped onto it. The letter is written in Chinese. It has been dated 1953 on the envelope.

There are three songbooks. One is in Korean, one is Chinese, and one is Japanese. The Korean songbook is entirely in Korean. The Chinese songbook contains translated songs. The Japanese songbook is a hymnal that gives the English names of songs with the Japanese lyrics.

There are two New Testament bibles written in Chinese.

There are three daily planners. They are from 1957, 1961, and 1965.

There is a Korean handwritten gift for Wilson for her 60th birthday.

There is a 1959 Korean yearbook as well as a Chinese school publication.

There is a Chinese primer for lower primary schools.

There is a white box containing a brooch given to Wilson with her citation from the Seoul Rotary Club.

There are newspaper clippings involving stories about Wilson. The newspaper clippings are from various sources. Most sources are unknown, but one article has the source attached. It is from the Winfield (Kan.) Daily Courier and was published on Nov. 7, 1956. All mention her time and work in Asia.

This box contains two copies of the same biography of Wilson, but one has a newspaper clipping attached announcing her death.

Within the folder furthest from the front, there are various documents. Within are a variety of letters, typed sermons, and an envelope from Rev. Wells. The letters are from the University of Hawai'i at Manoa, the Korean Embassy, the University of San Francisco, and the Kansas West Conference. They all pertain to the Wilson collection and vary from requests for information and copies to acknowledgement of possession of the collection. There are twelve sermons. They are entitled "Immanuel", "Triumph & Sorrow", "He Died, He Lives", "The Forgiving Jesus", "Jesus and Judas", "Where Are You Going?", "A Child In the Midst", "Living in the Present", "Men from Bones, Hope from Ruins", "What are you Doing?", and "Our Stewardship".

The first folder contains four embroidered images of plants. There is also a painting from China that features Chinese writing on the back.

Box 3

This box contains two photobooks. They contain 347 photographs, of which 20 are colorized. The main subjects of the photos are students, weddings, and families. There is a note in Korean which was slid behind one of the photos on the 30th page of the green photobook.

There are six daily journals in this box. They are from 1958, 1959, 1960, 1962, 1963, and 1964.

There are newspaper clippings. They are from various sources. One is two articles from "The Mirror of Ewha". There are two copies of "Ewha Voice". They are Vol. V No. 4 and Vol. V No. 5. Other clippings involve stories about Emma Wilson from various sources. Most are unknown, but two clippings feature sources. The article "Missionary Says Korea Will Not Fall To Dictates Of Commie Units" is from The Weirton Daily Times and the article "Grace Church Honors Miss Emma Wilson" is from Winfield Daily Courier. All of the newspaper clippings are about Emma Wilson and her work in Asia.

There is a Korean painting of flowers and fruit. There is Korean writing on the left-hand side of the painting. The back reads "signed Kim".

There is a Chinese funeral envelope which contains a letter about death.

There is a Chinese journal of unknown significance. In very poor condition.

There is a typed sermon entitled "Where is your brother".

There are three embroidered items. One is a red bag depicting flowers. The others are cloth. One features a message saying "you have been bright light for Korean women, and also for Korea" with a red and green candle stitched on it. The other has flowers, butterflies, and other creatures.
Archon Finding Aid Title
Hailee McCormick
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Baker University and Kansas United Methodist Archives Repository

518 8th Street
PO Box 65
Baldwin City KS 66006 US