Skip to main content

Esther Salzman Oral History Interview

Identifier: CN 052

Brief Description

Oral history interview with Esther I. Salzman (1906-1996), a Wheaton College alumna and missionary to China in the 1940s and to the Philippines from 1950 to 1972. Topics discussed include her education at Wheaton College, medical work in China and the Philippines, and Communism in China. The time period covered by the interview is 1906 to 1978. Esther Salzman was interviewed by Wheaton College student Fred Baker on October 28, 1978 at her home in Kankakee, IL.


  • Created: 1978

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.

Biographical or Historical Information

Esther Salzman was born into a Baptist family on September 23, 1906, in Kankakee, IL. After graduating from Kankakee High School, she spent four years at Wheaton College, participating in the college literary society, the YWCA, baseball, and the women's athletic association. She graduated on June 12, 1929, with a B.S. degree. From there, she went on to earn her RN degree from the Presbyterian School of Nursing in Chicago. In addition, she took courses from the teacher's college at Columbia University in New York. In 1939, Miss Salzman was appointed a missionary by the American Baptist Foreign Mission Society and went to China the following year. In China she served as the only nurse at a hospital in Kinwa. She was evacuated from the country twice to avoid approaching armies. In 1948, she left China and returned to the United States to earn an M.S. in nursing from the University of Chicago. She went to the Philippines in 1950 as a member of the staff of the Iloilo Mission Hospital, where she was coordinator of nursing. In cooperation with Central Philippines University, a college of nursing was started which granted degrees for graduates. She was dean of the college for many years before turning over the job to one of the nationals. Miss Salzman returned from the Philippines in April 1972. In October of the same year, she was the key speaker at the fall rally of the Chemung Association of the American Baptist Church in New York. In 1978, she resided in Kankakee and taught nursing at the Olivet Nazarene College until her retirement. She died December 3, 1996.


1.00 Audio Tape

96 Minutes

Language of Materials


Accruals and Additions

The materials in this collection were given to the Billy Graham Center Archives in October 1978 by Esther Salzman.

Accession # unknown

December 19, 1978

Robert Shuster

F. Baker

M. Schimmels

Collection 052 Oral History Interview with Esther Salzman
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