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Collection 263 Oral History Interview with Margaret Carlson

Identifier: CN 263

Scope and Contents

Oral history interviews with Margaret Johanna (Larson) Carlson in which she describes growing up in Ecuador as the child of missionaries, her education at Westmont and Wheaton Colleges, her nursing experience, and her missionary service with her husband at the Christian and Missionary Alliance Seminary in Hong Kong. Other topics discussed include: the founding of a HCJB radio station by her father, Reuben Larson, and her involvement in Wheaton College's HNGR Program. Individuals described include V. Raymond Edman, Clarence Jones, and Howard Jones. The time period coveredĀ  by the interviews is 1927-1983.

Margaret Carlson was interviewed on November 2 and 9, 1983 by Wheaton College student Esther Braly at the Billy Graham Center Archives at Wheaton College.


  • Created: 1983

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.

Biographical Information

Margaret Johanna Larson, nicknamed Peggy Jo, was born in Quito, Ecuador, to missionaries Reuben and Grace Larson. Much of her childhood was spent in the jungles along the Amazon river where her parents had a trading post that helped to support their mission work. Later she helped out at HCJB, a missionary shortwave radio station which her father helped found, along with Clarence Jones. Besides the education she received at a school for missionary children in Ecuador, she also attended high school in the United States during her parents' furloughs. As a teenager, she also worked briefly for the military attache of the United States Embassy. In 1946 she returned to the United States to attend Westmont College, a school her older brother Richard was also attending. Because of her decision to be a nurse, she transferred in 1947 to the nursing program of West Suburban Hospital in Illinois, a program affiliated with Wheaton College. In 1950 she graduated from West Suburban as a Registered Nurse. A year later she graduated from Wheaton with a Bachelor of Science degree. The next year she married Robert Dean Carlson, also a Wheaton graduate and longtime friend of Margaret and the Larson family.

The Carlson's intended eventually to go into missionary service. However, shortly after their marriage Robert was drafted and was sent to the Far East. Margaret, with their baby, Roberta Joan, returned to Ecuador, where both the Larsons and Robert's parents, the Carlsons, were working. For two years she worked at the United States embassy.

After Robert returned from the service, the Carlsons went back to Wheaton, where he earned an MA in Biblical literature in 1957. Margaret in the meantime had worked in the College infirmary. They continued at the College, where Robert taught Greek. They had two more children, Eric and Ted.

In 1960, Robert and Margaret heard about an opening at the Christian and Missionary Alliance Seminary in Hong Kong for a professor of Greek. They applied to the CMA to become missionaries and were accepted. In August, the family left the United States. While Robert taught at the school, Margaret again served as school nurse. The couple had a fourth child in 1964, Carol Grace. The family returned to the United States in 1968, where Robert became a surveyor in Wheaton and Margaret an assistant to the head of the Human Needs and Global Resources (HNGR) program at Wheaton College.


2.00 Audio Tapes

72 Minutes

Language of Materials


Accruals and Additions

The materials in this collection were given to the Billy Graham Center Archives in November, 1983.

Accession 83-126, 83-129

August 28, 1985

Robert Shuster

E. Braly

J. Nasgowitz

Collection 263 Oral History Interview with Margaret Carlson
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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