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W88-0121.30. Walvoord, Anthony (1878-1919) and Edith (1881-1978). Papers, 1905-1991. 1.50 linear ft.

Identifier: W88-0121.30

Scope and Contents

The Anthony and Edith Walvoord papers consist of materials from 1905 to 1982, which document Anthony’s church activities as missionary and preacher. Activities of the Japan Mission are also documented as former students continued to correspond with Edith after Anthony’s death. Included are diaries, photographs, articles, sermons, eulogies, books, and correspondence. The folders have been arranged alphabetically by topical headings, followed by the books, which have been placed at the end of the collection due to their format. The collection is strongest in its illumination of the respect and love generated by this man through the words and deeds of those who knew him. Edith’s diaries document what it was like to travel overseas and begin the life of a missionary in Japan just after the turn of the century.


  • 1905 - 1991


Anthony Walvoord was born in 1878 in Cedar Grove, Wisconsin. In 1904, he graduated from Hope College and became principal of the high school in Sioux Center, Iowa. The following year he married Edith Walvoord, who was born in Holland, Nebraska, in 1881. The Walvoord’s had three daughters. The couple began their missionary work at the South Japan Mission in 1905.

Mr. Walvoord taught English at the Steele Academy in Nagasaki until 1910, when he became the principal of that institution. He was also director of the Young Men’s Christian Association and the Seamen’s Home. Walvoord earned the respect of both his peers and students. He died suddenly in Nagasaki in September 1919 shortly after an operation due to blood poisoning which had developed in his arm. Some of his former students got together in 1948 to restore his grave which had been destroyed by the atom bomb dropped on Nagasaki in 1945.

After Mr. Walvoord’s death, Mrs. Walvoord returned to Holland, Michigan, where she was very active in children’s religious education. She served as the first housemother for Voorhees Hall at Hope College, and she was also a member of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union. Edith Walvoord passed away in 1978 from a lingering illness.


1.50 Linear Feet

Language of Materials




Personal papers of Anthony and Edith Walvoord, missionaries in Japan, 1905-1919. Collection includes diaries, photographs, sermons, articles, eulogies, books and correspondence. Detailed Collection Register available.


32 images


Anthony and Edith Walvoord
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Joint Archives of Holland Repository

Theil Research Center
9 East 10th Street
Holland Michigan 49423 United States