Skip to main content

Collection 110 Ephemera of Donald E. McDowell

Identifier: CN 110

Scope and Contents

Collection of 643 slides which document Donald E. McDowell's mission work and activity in Paraguay. Scenic views, native flora, mission personnel, mission facilities, national churchmen and pastors are some of the subjects illustrated by the collection.

When the collection was received by the Archives, the slides were arranged in sets and were accompanied by an attached description and date for each picture. The original order of the slides was maintained. Three unidentified slides were found in the slide cases and were placed at the end of the collection.


  • Created: 1951-1973

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.

Biographical Information

Donald England Mc Dowell was the oldest of three children born to Helen England and Harry C. Mc Dowell on October 23, 1924, in Zion, Maryland. He grew up and attended school in Calvert, Maryland, where he finished first in his class at the age of sixteen. He entered Wheaton College in the fall and by December 1943 had completed one hundred semester-hours of work. He was drafted and sent by the Army to medical school at Temple University in Philadelphia.

Before leaving Wheaton, Mc Dowell met his first wife May Christine Vanderpoel. The couple soon married with Mrs. Mc Dowell completing her undergraduate degree at Temple. During the spring and summer of 1946 the Mc Dowells returned to Wheaton to allow him to complete credits for his bachelor's degree. Mc Dowell then returned to the East for his internship at the U.S. Marine Hospital and residency in surgery at the Halloran Veterans Administration Hospital, both in Staten Island, New York.

In 1951 the U.S. Public Health Service sent Mc Dowell and his family to Paraguay for two years as administrator of a two hundred-bed tuberculosis hospital, five health centers, and a central laboratory. After the director of the U.S. Health Mission left the country, Mc Dowell assumed these responsibilities including nursing, sanitation engineering, and nursing education sections. He also became the first foreign physician to be licensed in Paraguay in the previous twenty years. The examination was oral, conducted in Spanish, and covered thirty-six different courses. Mc Dowell also became involved with the Southern Baptist Mission work in the country, volunteering in the Baptist Hospital the last six months of his tour of military duty.

Upon their return to the United States Mcdowell attended the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and served as campus physician. In October 1954 the Mc Dowells were appointed by the Southern Baptist Convention Foreign Mission Board in Richmond, Virginia, as missionaries to Paraguay. The appointees arrived in Asuncion, Paraguay, in April 1955 with their four children Duncan, Clyde, Glenn, and Heather. Two more children were born on the mission field, Bruce and Melody. The couple returned to the States in 1973 and settled in West Virginia.

In 1972 Mc Dowell was honored by the Wheaton Alumni Association for his distinguished service to society as a surgeon, missionary, and humanitarian. He later was Professor of Surgery at the West Virginia University School of medicine and Chief of the surgical service at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Clarksburg, West Virginia. Donald and May were divorced after their return to the United States. Dr. Mc Dowell lives in Clarksburg with his second wife, Amada Paredes, and daughters Joy and Bonnie.


643 slides

Language of Materials


Accruals and Additions

The materials in this collection were received by the Billy Graham Center Archives in July 1979 from Dr. Donald Mc Dowell.

Accession 79-77

April 9, 1980

Mary Ann Buffington

S. Kouns

Collection 110 Ephemera of Donald E. McDowell
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Roman Script

Repository Details

Part of the Evangelism & Missions Archives Repository

501 College Avenue
Wheaton IL 60187 US