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Collection 093 Oral History Interview with Earl A. Winsor

Identifier: CN 093

Scope and Contents

Oral history interview with Earl Austin Winsor (1897-1983) in which he discusses his education at Wheaton College as a student (1919-1920) and teacher (1920-25, history, and 1939-1949, math and physics) and his missionary experiences in Africa under Africa Inland Mission, serving in what is now Zaire. Wheaton personalities, mission experiences, especially those relating to his education work, and analysis of his exposure to African government, churches, tribal customs, and health practices. Interviews were recorded in October and November 1979 and in January 1980.

Earl Winsor was interviewed in his home by Mary Ann Buffington on October 30, 1979; November 6, 1979; and January 7, 1980. The time period covered by the interview is circa 1900 to 1980.


  • Created: 1979-1980

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.

Biographical or Historical Information

Earl Austin Winsor was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1897, the only boy in a family of five children. His boyhood days were spent in Worcester where he later attended Worcester Polytechnic Institute graduating in 1919 with a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering. After his father's death, his mother and other sisters moved to Wheaton in 1919. He was urged by an older sister to enter Wheaton College for some liberal arts exposure. Wheaton awarded him a B.A. in history in 1920 and then hired him to fill a vacancy in the history department. Winsor taught at Wheaton until 1925, during which time he earned a Master's degree in history and economics from the University of Iowa.

Winsor and his wife, Mary Park Winsor, left Wheaton in 1926 for their first term as missionaries in the Belgian Congo under the direction of Africa Inland Mission. During his first years on the field, 1926-1936, Winsor worked on various jobs and projects such as part-time supervisor of school work on the field, field treasurer, teacher in evangelistic school, legal representative for AIM on the field, supervised distribution of literature from various Bible societies, and Principal at Rethy Academy.

From 1939-1949 Winsor lived in Wheaton teaching math and physics at the college. He was prevented from returning to Africa due to World War II and family health problems. Mr. Winsor's wife died in 1947 leaving him with two children, a daughter Faith and a son Arthur Austin.

Winsor was persuaded by the AIM board to return to the Congo. In 1949 he entrusted his children to the care of some Wheaton families and went to Belgium for courses in language study and educational philosophy. From Belgium Winsor went directly to the Congo where he was to help organize and administer a higher level of work in mission schools. All the work was done alone until 1959 when he married Ada Rury, a health nurse at Wheaton. They served in the Congo together until they were forced to permanently evacuate in 1964. Mr. Winsor taught in a girls school in Kenya from 1964 until 1968, when he retired from AIM. The Winsors lived in Wheaton with his sister in their home near Wheaton College, where he continued to work at Greater Europe Missions. Winsor died April 1, 1983.


3.00 Audio Tapes

263 Minutes

Language of Materials


Accruals and Additions

The materials in this collection were given to the Billy Graham Center Archives in October, 1979 and January, 1980.

Accession: 79-125, 79-128, 80-1

March 5, 1980

Mary Ann Buffington

S. Kouns

Entered, March 23, 1993

M.L. Wohlschlegel

K. Baisley

Revised, June 16, 1993

M.L. Larson

Revised, February 11, 2000

R. Shuster

Collection 093 Oral History Interview with Earl A. Winsor
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Repository Details

Part of the Evangelism & Missions Archives Repository

501 College Avenue
Wheaton IL 60187 US