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Collection 055 Papers of Otto F. Schoerner

Identifier: CN 055

Scope and Contents

Papers of Otto Frederick Schoerner a Wheaton College alumnus and missionary with China Inland Mission in Sinkiang, Honan, and Kangsu Provinces of China from 1931-1951. Collection includes an oral history interview, correspondence, autobiography, and photographs.


  • Created: 1949-2006

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.

Biographical or Historical Information

Full Name: Otto Frederick Schoerner

Birth: August 20, 1906, Uniontown, Pennsylvania

Death: May 17, 2008, Carol Stream, Illinois


Parents: Herman and Magdelena Meidinger Schoerner

Siblings: Anne, Elsie, William

Marital Status: Married Katharine Hastings Dodd, November 25, 1938, Shanghai, China

Children: James Albert (1941), Anna Marjorie (1943), Stephen William Bill (1945), Charles Benjamin (1949) , David Paul (1954)

Conversion: While a teenager


1927-1931 Moody Bible Institute, Chicago, Illinois

1947-1948 Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois


1931-1938 Missionary with China Inland Mission in the northern part of Sinkiang Province

1932 Schoerner and five other young male missionaries, William Drew, Dr.Emil Fischbacher, George Fox-Holmes, Raymond Joyce, and Aubrey Parsons, set off with Rev. George Hunter to assist Hunter with his work in Sinkiang Province. After a trip of two months and almost 1800 miles in Ford trucks, the group reached Urumchi in Sinkiang.

1938 Left Sinkiang to go to Shanghai via India to marry Katharine Hastings Dodd

1939-1940 Furlough in the United States

1940-1947 Missionary in Hwang-Chaun, Honan Province and later in Lanchow, Kangsu Province where Schoerner became business manager of Borden Memorial Hospital in Lanzhou, China

1947-1948 Furlough in the United States

1948-1951 Business manger of Borden Memorial Hospital and for a time superintendent

1951-1972 Worked at Moody Bible Institute as Director of the Alumni Placement Office (1951-1961) and later in the Stewardship Department (1961-1972)

1972 Trip to Asia and Europe to encourage church missionaries and family members serving the Lord

Other significant information:  1993 - Moved to Windsor Park Manor Retirement Center in Carol Stream, Illinois


0.24 Cubic Feet

1 Box (DC), Photographs, Sound Recordings

Language of Materials


Arrangement of Materials

Series: I. Paper Records (Box List)

Arrangement: Alphabetical by folder title

Date Range: 1950-2006

Volume: 0.2 Cubic Feet

Geographic coverage: China

Type of documents: Correspondence, programs, financial and statistical reports

Correspondents: Arthur Glasser, J. Morris Rockness, John R. Sinton

Subjects: Missions in China

Notes: In folder 1-1 are photocopies of correspondence sent to Schoerner from CIM, two reports from Borden Memorial Hospital (statement of accounts and statistics on patients, 1950), and two pages from the 1952 CIM Retired Workers and Former Members Reserve List on which the Schoerners are listed. Also is a program for Schoerner's 100th birthday celebration and a memorial service bulletin for Melvin David Suttie, 2006. Schoerner's autobiography Serving Christ containing 51 pages with an index and map is in folder 1-2. The autobiography covers Schoerner's entire life including his trip across the Gobi Desert, work in Chinese Turkestan, administrator of Borden Memorial Hospital, living under the Communists, departure from China, and new career in the United States.

Correspondence in folder 1-1 include three letters from CIM, all dated December 12, 1950, concern Schoerners request for a leave of departure and their children in school. The December 13, 1950 letter gives detail steps to be taken in preparing for leaving China and the correspondence dated January 20, 1951 To Whom It May Concern” states that the Schoerners are in good standing” with CIM. A letter dated September 15, 1966 from Arthur Glasser in which he invites Schoerner to become a member of the Midwest Council of OMF.

Series: II. Photographs

Arrangement: Topically by photo file title

Date Range: 1949-1952

Volume: 2 black and white photographs

Series: III. Sound Recordings

Arrangement: Chronological by created of oral history interview.

Date Range: Interviews were taped 1979-1980.

Volume: 0.04 Cubic Feet

Geographic coverage: China, United States

Type of documents: Archives has reel-to-reel audio tapes and transcripts.

Subjects: Missions in China

Notes: Otto Schoerner was interviewed by Robert Shuster on December 13, 1978 and January 31, 1979 at his home in Evergreen Park, IL. The dates covered by the interview were ca. 1910-1972. See audio tape location records for additional information.

Accruals and Additions

The materials for this collection were given to the Billy Graham Center Archives in December 1978, January 1979, and December 1997 from Otto Schoerner and December 2006 from James Schoerner.

Accession number [no accession # for the first interview] 79-14

February 7, 1979

Robert Shuster

M. Schimmels

Accession 97-93, 06-49

October 6, 2008

Wayne D. Weber

Collection 055 Papers of Otto F. Schoerner
Bob Shuster
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Evangelism & Missions Archives Repository

501 College Avenue
Wheaton IL 60187 US