Thursday, May 21, 2015

Myrtle Bailey and the Second Sino-Japanese War

This post is the second entry in my miniseries on the newspaper articles mentioning my great grand aunt, Myrtle Bailey ) (1880-1970). She lived through extremely interesting historical times in her life as a missionary to China and Hong Kong in the first half of the 20th century, about one major historical event per decade; so I’m dividing the miniseries into decades. This second post covers the mid-to-late 1930s when Myrtle lived through the beginning of the Second Sino-Japanese War

The articles I found on Myrtle for the 1930’s were less a story in and of themselves than those in the prior decade, but they provided significant keys for my historical context research. 

Myrtle remained in the Orient as a missionary, now in the British Colony of Hong Kong, for the next several years. During that time, she started and ran four schools. But in or about late 1935 she was injured and sent home to Findlay Ohio for approximately a two-year furlough to heal. She also spent part of that time giving fund-raising talks to numerous churches.

Climbing My Family Tree: ”Will Tell of China” Findlay Republican Courier, 14 November 1936, p8
”Will Tell of China” Findlay Republican Courier, 14 November 1936, p8
Click to make bigger


Miss Myrtle Bailey of Hong Kong, Will Describe Mission Work in Far East
Miss Myrtle Bailey, missionary from Hong Kong, South China, who has returned here for a furlough after 19 years in the field, will speak at Bethel Temple, on Ash Ave., Sunday at 11 a. m. and 8 p.m.

Miss Florence Cannell, a coworker who has been in China for five years, will assist Ms. Bailey in the services. She is a native of the British Isles.

Ms. Bailey will wear Chinese apparel during talks at various churches here during her stay.

Climbing My Family Tree: "To Hear Missionaries” Findlay Republican Courier, 24 November 1930, p3
"To Hear Missionaries” Findlay Republican Courier, 24 November 1930, p3
Click to make bigger


Two Women Home from South China to Speak at Mount Olivet Tabernacle Wednesday Night

Miss Myrtle Bailey and Mr. Florence Cannell, missionaries on furlough from South China, will speak at 8 o’clock Wednesday evening at Mount Olivet Tabernacle, 109 North Blanchard Street.

Ms. Bailey is a native of Findlay and a graduate of the Christian and Missionary Alliance school at Nyack N.Y.

Ms. Cannell has been a public speaker since the age of 12.

Rev. O. C. Ballard, pastor, said special music was expected to be furnished by Mrs. Phyllis Frye and Mrs. Christine Buntz of Findlay.

[Phyllis (Snyder) Frye and Christine (Snyder) Buntz are her nieces.]

Climbing My Family Tree: ”Missionary to Speak”, Findlay Republican Courier, 17 April 1937,  p10
”Missionary to Speak”, Findlay Republican Courier, 17 April 1937,  p10
Click to make bigger


Miss Myrtle Bailey, Home from Far East, to Tell Hazards of Work in the Field

Miss Myrtle Bailey, a former Findlay woman who has been in missionary work in the Far East for several years, will tell of the hazards and trials of a missionary in an address at the Lynn Street Church of God at 7:45 PM Sunday. Her subjects will be “What Are the Duties of a Missionary.”

An accordion solo by Harold Todd and a cornet solo by Mrs. Phyllis Fry, will be given.

[Phyllis (Snyder) Frye is her niece.]

Climbing My Family Tree: ”Bible school to grant diplomas” Findlay Republican Courier, 7 May 1937, p 5
”Bible school to grant diplomas” Findlay Republican Courier, 7 May 1937, p 5
Click to make bigger


Annual Commencement Exercises to Be Held at 8 O’clock This Evening

Commencement exercises will be held at the Bible and Missionary Training school, Lima avenue, at 8 o’clock this evening, open to the public. For diplomas are to be awarded by the principal, Mrs. E. H. Wurmser.

The graduates are Miss Louise Reimen, Cleveland; Mrs. Edna Brand, Cleveland; Miss Jane Westcott, Exeter, Can.; and Miss Edith Gales, Melrose, Mass. 

Following is the program for the exercises:

Song, by school. “Jesus Is Coming Soon,” by Howard E, Smith.

Scripture reading and prayer, Rev. John E. Norton, Findlay, returned missionary from India.

Address, Mrs. Edna brand, “the Power of God.”

Chorus, “Study to Show Thyself Approved,” by class.

Missionary address, Miss Myrtle Bailey, Hong Kong, China.

Duet, “That Gentle Call,” Herbert G. Tovey, Miss J. Cobb, Miss Ruth Haley.

Address, “A Vision and Call,” Ms. Louise Reimen.

Chorus by the class, “All Power Is Given unto Me.”

Awarding of diplomas, Principal Mrs. E. H. Wurmser.

Duet, “Have I Forgotten,” H. Mosel, Mrs. Edna Brand, Miss Louise Reimen.

Prayer, Mrs. John E. Norton.

The children school of instruction and training will have a Junior recognition program at 2 PM Saturday. Stereopical (sic) views of child life in China, will be shown by Miss Myrtle Bailey and Ms. Josephine Cobb, missionaries on furlough. Refreshments will be served to the juniors in the dining rooms of the Bible school, at the conclusion of the program.

Myrtle was given permission to return to Hong Kong at the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War  (1937-1945).   On the date of the below article (but likely not yet known to the general U.S.), the Japanese invaded and eventually captured Nanking, the capital of the Republic of China. The invasion later became known as the Nanking Massacre. (See The Rape of Nanking, by Iris Chang, a popular nonfiction book on the subject, first published in 1997. My parents gave it to me for my birthday some years ago; I’ll never be able to forget it.[My parents know that I've read extensively about WWII, about both the European and Pacific theaters; it's not a weird present for me.])   

Climbing My Family Tree: ”War-torn China goal of woman” Findlay Republican Courier, 13 December 1937, p3
”War-torn China goal of woman” Findlay Republican Courier, 13 December 1937, p3
Click to make bigger



Without Fear Miss Bailey Leaves Findlay to Resume Missionary Work The

On a "go-at-your-own-risk" permit issued by the State Department, Miss Myrtle Bailey left Findlay Saturday for war-torn China happy in the knowledge she would be with her Chinese boy and girl Bible students whom she left behind two years ago. Although the country is not now as peaceful as when she left, Miss Bailey has no fears for her safety she told friends. Despite the fact that severe fighting has been going on in many regions of China, Hong Kong has been comparatively unharmed since it is a British Colony and the section is heavily patrolled by the British army and navy so that anxiety is minimized, according to Mrs. Philip Snyder, 524 Tiffin Avenue, with whom Miss Bailey made her home much of the past year. The greatest existing danger, Miss Bailey told her sister, is that huge quantities of munitions are stored in several secret ammunition dumps in the Hong Kong district and a stray shell or other accident might set one of them off and probably cause a heavy loss of property and life.

Miss Bailey has been a Pentecostal missionary in China for the past 21 years. Injured seriously when struck by a street car in Hong Kong, she spent some time in a hospital and was forced to take a two year furlough just now ending. She has regained her health and was greatly pleased when the State Department gave her permission to return, Mrs. Snyder said. Having lived among her charges so long Miss Bailey has become deeply attached to her charges and regards Hong Kong as her home. Three assistants have been conducting the two English and Bible schools she established during her absence.

Miss Bailey is now en route to the Pacific Coast and on arriving in San Francisco will embark immediately for China. During her visit Miss Bailey addressed numerous gatherings.


First in series: Myrtle Bailey and the Second Chinese Revolution 

All newspaper articles found at

No comments:

Post a Comment

Hello! Thanks for stopping by and choosing to leave a message. I read every message and I usually reply via the comment thread.