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Collection 083 Papers of Richard E. Scheel

Identifier: CN 083

Scope and Contents

Oral history interviews, slides, photographs, correspondence and a personal diary created by Dr. Richard E. Scheel, missionary to Ethiopia with Sudan Interior Mission (S.I.M.) from 1951-1971.


  • Created: 1953-1970

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.

Biographical or Historical Information

Richard Edgar Scheel was born on September 3, 1923, to Mr. and Mrs. Edward H. Scheel of Wheaton, IL. The oldest of four children, Richard received his B.S. degree from Wheaton College in 1945. In 1947, he earned his medical degree from the University of Illinois in Champaign.

In December 29, 1950, Dr. Scheel married Margory Ingrid Ness - a registered nurse. The following year they were candidates for missionaries in the Sudan Interior Mission (SIM), and in April that same year departed for Africa. After brief service in Nigeria, they went to a mission hospital in Kallafo, Ethiopia, sponsored by the Wheaton Bible Church. They also received support, both in Nigeria and Ethiopia, from the Moody Memorial Church of Chicago.

As medical missionaries, Dr. and Mrs. Scheel served four terms of service in Ethiopia. From 1951 to 1968, he was with the hospital staff in Kallafo and Soddu. In 1969 to 1970, he served at Dessie with the hospital, a leprosarium and in an eye clinic. In 1970-1971, based in Addis Ababa, Dr. Scheel became responsible for the health of all SIM personnel in Ethiopia.

In August 1972, after they returned to the Chicago area, Dr. Scheel became a member of the medical staff of Central Du Page Hospital. He and his wife made their residence in Wheaton, IL. They returned several times to Ethiopia for extended stays for medical and evangelistic work.

The Scheels had five children - Daniel Edward born in 1951, Miriam Mabel - 1953, Rebecca Ann - 1956, Stephen Andrew - 1961, and Philip Richard - 1965.

Richard Scheel died in 1989.


0.40 Cubic Feet

1 Box (DC), Audio Tapes, Negatives, Photographs, Slides

Language of Materials


Arrangement of Materials

Tape 1 and the slides in this collection give information on the Kallafo station in Ethiopia where the Scheels served as medical missionaries. The information includes location, weather conditions, population and the nature of the work conducted daily in the station. The work carried on at the Kallafo station was not only medical but educational and evangelistic as well.

The diaries written by Dr. Scheel over a period of twenty years from 1950 to 1970 contain information basically the same as with the audio tape and slides, but only in greater detail. Besides his day-to-day medical activities with the staff at the Kallafo station, Richard Scheel recorded his activities at Soddu, Dessie and Addis Ababa. Other information found in the diaries include family matters, language study, evangelistic work, furloughs, etc.

The collection also contains a small amount of correspondence. Two letters are from Mrs. Edward H. Scheel, mother of Dr. Scheel, written from Wheaton, IL, in which she expressed concern over his illness. Another letter is written by Howard Borlase at the SIM Headquarters in Addis Ababa, expressing concern that Dr. Scheel had contracted what was believed to be black water fever. Borlase also mentions persecution of Christians in Darassa.

The collection also contains 35mm positive and negative copies of photographs from the Scheel family collection. These include pictures of hospital at Soddu, shots of family and fellow workers, and scenes of Ethiopian life.

A significant event of the Scheels' stay in Kallafo, Ethiopia, was the visit of Emperor Haile Selassie. The audio tape, slides, and photographs in this collection document this visit.

The collection also contains two oral history interviews (Tape 2 and Tape 3) with Richard Scheel in which he describes his education at Wheaton College, work as a missionary to Ethiopia with Sudan Interior Mission, particularly at the Kallafo station where he served, the visit of Emperor Haile Selassie to the station, observations about the culture, politics, religious and social life of the country, evangelistic outreach among tribal groups and Muslims, and other mission-related topics. The time period covered by the interviews is 1941-1973.

Dr. Scheel was interviewed by Mary Ann Buffington on January 23 and February 13, 1980 at his office.

Accruals and Additions

The materials in this collection were given to the Billy Graham Center Archives in June 1979 and January and February 1980 from Dr. Richard Scheel.

Accession: 79-64

July 9, 1979

Robert Shuster

G. Gallup

A. Labiano

February 28, 1980

Accession: 80-11, 80-22

Mary Ann Buffington

S. Kouns

Collection 083 Papers of Richard E. Scheel
Bob Shuster
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Evangelism & Missions Archives Repository

501 College Avenue
Wheaton IL 60187 US