Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 09: BIOGRAPHY – Staff
Series 14: MEDICAL
Dr. Emma Tucker (1870-1963)
Dr. Francis Tucker (1870-1957)
Medical Doctors, PMSS Infirmary 1942-1950

Dr. Emma and Dr. Francis Tucker Staff

Dr. Emma Tucker and Dr. Francis Tucker. [pmss_photo_tuckers_DB.jpg]

TAGS: Dr. Emma Tucker, Dr. Francis Tucker, Pine Mountain Infirmary, American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, Boxer Rebellion, Rockefeller Foundation, Nurses’ Training School, flood relief, famine relief, English Methodist Missionary Society, medical colleges, tuberculosis, Grace Feng Liu, Chinese International Red Cross, Dr. T.C. Liu, community medicine, Henry C. Creech, Veterans’ Administration


Dr. Francis Fisher Tucker – Superintendent of Pine Mountain Infirmary 1942-1945
Dr. Emma Boose Tucker – Doctor Pine Mountain Infirmary 19421945
Both substituted for vacationing Infirmary doctors during summers 1945-1950

 October 1943 Notes from the Pine Mountain Settlement School:

… the strange fortunes of war have transplanted into our midst from half way around the world the two Tuckers, Dr. Emma and Dr. Francis. China’s loss has become Pine Mountain’s gain….[T]hey come to us from forty years’ experience in north and west China and find themselves impressed by the similarities of rural work in the two far distant places. The needs of humanity are universal.

May we introduce the remarkable Tucker family?

Dr. Emma Tucker, Northwestern University Medical School, and Dr. Francis Tucker, Rush Medical College, their four children: Dr. William Tucker, University of Chicago Medical School; Dr. Margaret Tucker, Rush Medical College; Dr. Arthur Tucker, Yale Medical School; and Dr. Francis C. Tucker, Harvard Medical School, the father of the only grandchild, Miss Elizabeth Jane Tucker, born at Pine Mountain Infirmary, June, 1943.

We wish you could listen spellbound with us to the stories of heroism and devotion from their years in China, years of endeavor and success recognized by China herself in high measure, see their pictures of these far lands, feel the glow of inspired purpose to which they are simple testimony. One patient, after a visit to the Infirmary, said, “My body was sick, but my heart was sick, too, and I guess Dr. Emma has cured them both.”

Do you wonder our horizons have been widened beyond the ridge of these mountains, our sympathies enlarged, our imaginations stretched, and our loyalties with a valiant ally strengthened?

Dr. Emma has charge of most of [the] in-patients and the laboratory work while Dr. Francis shares in the dispensary service, and travels by foot and horseback over the outlying areas up and down the creeks and hollows. ….. some excerpts from their daily journal…. [See accounts below]


(left to right) Dr. Emma Tucker, T.C. Liu, Francis Tucker, Grace Feng Liu, Francis Liu (7 months old). (September 16, 1946)

[Note: Most references to Chinese names and language by the Tuckers is in Wade-Giles. The more recent Pinyin transliteration has been given when used.]


“This hastily-prepared, brief biographical sketch of the life of Dr. Francis F. Tucker was made at the request of the Reverend William N. Tuttle, D.D., the recently-retired Superintendent of the Florida Conference of Congregational Christian Churches, July,1958. EBT [Emma Boose Tucker]. Revised December 1957.”

Francis Fisher Tucker was born on November 11, 1870, at Natick, Massachusetts, to Francis C. and Emmeline Fisher Tucker.

He died on November 30, 1957, at Cleveland, Ohio. Internment of Ashes to be at Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Education — South Natick, West Newton, and Boston, Massachusetts; Cheney Academy, Washington Territory; East, West and Central Schools, Lincoln, Nebraska. He earned his way through all.

He graduated from Lincoln High School, Lincoln, Nebraska, in 1889; received a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Nebraska in 1894; received Doctor of Medicine Degree from Rush Medical College, Chicago, Illinois, in 1901; and served his internship at the Charity Hospital, Chicago, Illinois, from 1901 to 1902.

Honors — Delivered Oration for the University School of Sciences on Glass Day in 1894. The University of Nebraska was celebrating its Silver Anniversary in 1894.

As Captain of Company A of the University of Nebraska Battalion (several years of military drill was required in land-grant colleges), he received the Governor’s Sword on Commencement Day. It was handed to him by United States Army First Lieutenant John J. Pershing, Commandant of the Battalion.

Decorated by Chinese Government with “Order of the Golden Harvest (“Chia Ho”) in 1919. (See Relief Work)

During 1917 to 1941, he received further honors from the Government in recognition of much Famine, Flood, and Plague Relief Work.

In 1947, both Dr. Francis F. Tucker and Dr. Emma B. Tucker received the Distinguished Service Award from the University of Nebraska.

Teaching — He taught Physical Sciences, Physics and Chemistry at Nebraska City, Nebraska, during 1894 and 1895, and was admitted to the American Chemical Society. He was in charge of the Physical Science Department, Lincoln High School, Lincoln, Nebraska, from 1895 to 1898.

Marriage to Emma Jane Boose, B.S., University of Nebraska, June 29, 1897. In July, 1897, Francis Tucker, as Secretary of the Nebraska Christian Endeavor Union, was in charge of a trainload of delegates to attend the National Christian Endeavor Convention meeting in San Francisco, California. This was the Tucker’s wedding trip!

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1896 – 1897 Secretary of Nebraska Christian Endeavor Union.

1897 – 1898 President of Nebraska Christian Endeavor Union.

1898 – 1901 Students of Medicine in Chicago. Francis F. Tucker attended Rush Medical College and worked as Assistant in Chemistry as well. Emma B. Tucker had a scholarship in Chemistry and tutored as well at Women’s Medical College at Northwestern University. Both completed their medical course in three years due to advanced credits in chemistry, and scholastic ability, while earning their way through school.

Both joined Student Volunteer Movement for Foreign Missions. They were active in “Y” work both at the University of Nebraska and Medical Colleges.

1902 Commissioned by the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, they sailed for China. He was appointed to American Board Hospital at Pang Chuang [Chang-chia-kuan-chuang ?], N.W. Shantung [Shandong] Province, China. This was the only foreign mission or business plant not destroyed wholly or in part in the extreme anti-foreign Boxer Rebellion of 1900 in North China.

[Between 1900 and 1907 Tientsin was administered by an international commission.] Upon their arrival at the large port city of Tientsin [Tianjin], in North China, they were met by the Reverend Arthur Henderson. Smith, D.D., veteran China missionary, and escorted to the Mission Station of Pang Chuang. They traveled twelve days by coolie-drawn houseboat on China’s ancient Grand Canal, and then over land 6 miles to the Mission Station which served two million people, residing in an area averaging two thousand people to the square mile. They were plunged into medical work immediately, performing a mastoid operation the day after their arrival.

1902 – 1941 Medical missionary work in China with only three furloughs.

1902 – 1931 Worked for the American Board primarily in Shantung [Shandong] Province, Northeast China – population of 40,000,000; doing all types of medical and missionary work.

1902 – 1915 Served at Pang Chuang Station in Northwest Shantung Province, with a clientele of two million people.

1915 – 1931 Served at Tehchow [Shandong Province], an ancient (4000 years old) walled city of 45,000 people, located 15 miles north of Pang Chuang. Dr. Francis F. Tucker built a modern three-story hospital of 100 beds, half for men and half for women. The entire plant consisted of about 24 buildings with an electric light plant, running water, and telephones (which Peking, China’s capital, did not have until the Peking Union Medical College, the five-million-dollar Rockefeller Hospital, opened in 1921). The hospital at Tehchow was named the Williams-Porter Hospital. It was the first mission hospital in China to receive aid from the Rockefeller Foundation for its training of men and women in medicine and nursing. The Williams-Porter Hospital was opened in May, 1916, with the Provincial Governor and other officials attending.

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1916 The first Nurses’ Training School in Shantung Province was opened in the Williams-Porter Hospital, with Miss Myra L. Sawyer as the Superintendent. She was aided by Dr. Francis F. Tucker, as builder and administrator, and Dr. Emma B. Tucker, who translated some English textbooks to Chinese and taught in the “Sawyer Nurses’ Training School” from 1916 to 1931.

Relief Work

1917 – 1918 Flood Relief: Severe famine in Northeast China due to flooding of the Yellow River, causing the Grand Canal to overflow. Dr. Francis F. Tucker served as Superintendent of Relief under the direction of J. Earl Baker, who was directing the American Red Cross work in China. There were over 60,000 men employed in building motor roads, dykes, etc. Other physicians offered to attend to Dr. Tucker’s medical and surgical work.

1919 Concerned with Plague Work mainly in 1919, but called at four different times to aid and advise in fighting bubonic and deadly pneumonic plague. For this work he received the Government’s decoration of the “Order of the Golden Harvest (Chia Ho).”

1928 – 1929 Assisted with Famine Relief in North China, mainly in Shantung, under the Chinese International Famine Relief Commission. Helped with the digging of deep wells, building of roads, etc.

1933 – 1934 Associated with Flood Relief with headquarters at Pengpu, Kiangsu Province. The flood involved much of the Yangtze Valley. He was asked by the Chinese Government who supplied a special train when none were running.

1931 – 1939 The American Board permitted Dr. Tucker to serve under the English Methodist Missionary Society in rebuilding and reconstructing their hospitals in Shantung Province, Northeast China; in Hunan and Hupeh Provinces, Central China; and in Yunnan and Kweichow Provinces, Southwest China, established mainly for tribespeople. Thus Dr. Tucker helped to build three hospitals in particular, that of the American Board in Tehchow, Shantung; that of the English Methodists in Wutingfu, Shantung; and that at Ghaotung, Yunnan. In all these, he was usually chief surgeon and helped in the general medical service.

1939 – 1941 He was called to aid in the far-flung work of the Chinese International Red Cross (later the Chinese International Relief Commission). This organization issued supplies to about two hundred hospitals and dispensaries in central, south, and west China during the war. The supplies came in over the Burma Road. Dr. Tucker served as General Secretary for one and a half years during 1940 and 1941.

1902 – 1941 Granted only three furloughs, 1910-1911 ; 1918-1919 ; 1926-1928.
1941 Returned to the States via Red Cross truck down the Burma Road and then by blacked-out Free Norway Freighter across the Pacific from March through June, 1941.

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Home Medical Mission Work 1942 – 1951

1942 – 1945 With Dr. Emma Tucker, he served in the Pine Mountain Hospital as Superintendent. This hospital served the community of “bloody” Harlan County, Kentucky, consisting mostly of mountaineers, coal miners and their families.

1945 – 1951 Served in the same capacity for a month or more in the summers when the incombent [sic] doctor was on vacation.

Church Work and Connections

1883 United with the Congregational Church in Washington Territory and was a loyal member of one ever since.

1902 – 1931 Missionary representative, with Dr. Emma Tucker, of the First Church of Christ (Congregational), Northampton, Massachusetts, with Edwards Church, Northampton, Massachusetts, to help support the Williams-Porter Hospital, Tenchow, Shantung, China.

1946 In January, the church membership was transferred to the First Congregational Church, Daytona Beach, Florida.

He served as Secretary of the Board of Trustees more than one term of six years each. He was elected chairman of the Board of Trustees once — served at two meetings — then resigned to again serve as Secretary. He felt that a city’s “businessman should be chairman.” The latter said, “I was chairman in name only; I merely put to vote all the questions he had made out on the agenda to discuss at each meeting.”

1952 – 1953 Served as Moderator of the Florida Conference of the Congregational Christian Churches.

1957 Attended the Uniting Synod of the United Church of Christ, the Congregational Christian and the Evangelical and Reformed Churches, in Cleveland, Ohio, in June.

1946 – 1957 He gave volunteer medical service to innumerable patients both inside and outside his residence in Olds Hall, Daytona Beach, Florida.

1957 From June to November, he was troubled with recurring bouts of slowly resolving pneumonitis and chronic bronchitis. He was considered nearly well when, at his morning devotions on November 30, a blood clot (pulmonary embolism) quietly and instantly took his life.

A beautiful Memorial Service was held at his son Arthur’s Euclid Avenue Congregational Church, Cleveland, Ohio, with Dr. William Leath, the pastor, and two former China Associates. The Reverend Lewis L. Gilbert and the Reverend B. Kenneth Anthony, officiating.

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His wife, Emma B. Tucker, M.D., was his able assistant and companion all these years. They celebrated their 60th Wedding Anniversary, at Cleveland, Ohio, on June 29, 1957.

Three sons and one daughter were born to them in China. All are now Doctors of Medicine and Diplomates in their own specialties.

William Boose Tucker — B.A. at Oberlin College, M.D. at the University of Chicago Medical College, Diplomate in Pulmonary and Chest Diseases. Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Chicago, 1943, Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Minnesota, 1947. Professor of Medicine at the University of Minnesota, 1951. Professor of Medicine at Duke University and Chief of Research in Pulmonary Tuberculosis at the University Veterans Administration Hospital, 1951 – 1956. He received the Distinguished Service Award from the University of Chicago in 1952. He now serves as Director of Pulmonary Tuberculosis Service in all government Veterans Administration and other-sponsored hospitals. Office: Washington, D.C.

Margaret Emmeline Tucker — B.A. at Oberlin College, M.D. at Rush Medical College of the University of Chicago, Diplomate of the American Board of Radiology. Missionary of the W.D.G.S. [Women’s Division of Christian Service] of the Methodist Church in Foochow [Fuzhou] and Chengtu [Chengdu], China. She is now Professor of Radiology at the Christian Medical College, Ludhiana, Punjab, India. (Now on furlough)

Arthur Smith Tucker — B.A. Oberlin College, M.D. at Yale Medical College, Lieutenant (Senior Grade) U.S. Navy, 1943 – 1945. Diplomate of American Board of Radiologists. Radiologist for Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission, Japan, 1948 – 1951. Assistant Professor of Radiology and Associate Radiologist of Western Reserve University, and its 6 Hospitals at Cleveland, Ohio, President of Radiological Society of Greater Cleveland, May, 1953.

Francis Carlile Tucker [“Frankie”] — B.A. at Oberlin College, M.D. at Harvard Medical School, Lieutenant Colonel U.S. Army Reserve, June, 1957. Diplomate in Pathologic Anatomy and Clinical Pathology. Director of Department of Pathology, St. Luke’s Methodist Hospital, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 1950 – February 1958. Director of Department of Pathology, Deaconess Hospital, Freeport, Illinois, February, 1958.

There are nine grandchildren ranging in age from 4 to 15.

Dr. Francis F. Tucker’s first American ancestor, Robert Tucker, landed at Weymouth, Massachusetts, in 1632, coming from Milton, England. He became the first Selectman of the new settlement of Milton, Massachusetts.

A gift to the State Museum, Art Department of the University of Nebraska, consisted of about 250 pieces of art and curios from China in 1952. Most of these gifts were from grateful patients in China.

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Much more might be added regarding the life of Dr. Francis F. Tucker. His gift of versatility and ingenuity enabled him to build modern hospitals in the first half of the Twentieth Century, in the then backward China, wholly without scientific knowledge.

He fashioned much-needed hospital equipment using mostly waste material in all the hospitals in which he served, both in the United States and in China.

He contrived a spectacle-frame to fit the bridgeless noses of the Chinese people for a well-known optical company of Chicago, patronized by us to fill prescriptions for eyeglass lenses we sent from China.

(Incidentally, Dr. Emma B. Tucker received her second Distinguished Service Award from her medical Alma Mater, Northwestern University in 1948. She was the second woman recipient and was chosen from among its 90,000 alumni. E.B.T. [Emma Boose Tucker]


Dr. EMMA and Dr. FRANCIS TUCKER Staff: Correspondence & Narrative


Methodist Missionary Society
25 Marlybone Road
London 1, England

16 January, 1958

My dear Mrs. Tucker,

Thank you very much for telling me of the passing of your husband, Dr. Francis F. Tucker. We, who had the privilege of even a short time of colleague-ship with you and your husband, remember so clearly the beautiful and devoted service of both of you to the people of China. “Dr. Francis” will always be remembered by his many colleagues in Hupeh Province by the magnificent job that you two did, in moving PuAi [Puai] Hospital (Hospital of Universal Love) [now, Wuhan Cape (Puai) Hospital] down from the native city of Hankow [Hankou] to the Bank building of the Belgian Concession of the city. Others of us remember with joy the work of you both, together, for our Society in North China and in the Southwest. You have spoken to me in the past of your rejoicing in the fact that your children, all, entered the medical profession, and we congratulate you on their great success.

What a glorious life you and your husband have led and how excellent there was born into this world such a man as Dr. Francis Tucker!

My colleagues here join me in expressing sympathy in the loss of your husband yet, believing you will be upheld at this sad time, knowing, as he knew, the certainty of a Resurrection.

Yours sincerely,
Ralph Bolton, Secretary

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Comment by Dr. Emma B. Tucker

Dr. Bolton’s recent letter calls to mind the intense times of Japanese aggression in China from 1937 to 1945. Seizure of the native city of Hankow [Hankou], situated in Central China, came before 1940. Under pressure of time, Dr. Francis performed the Herculean task of removing all contents of the large Hospital of Universal Love [Wuhan Cape (Puai) Hospital], including the Clinical Laboratory and Pharmacy — even to the last bottle. There were no trucks (lorries) to carry the goods. All the heavy things were suspended from strong poles, which were carried on shoulders of two men. Delicate instruments and bottles were packed in baskets. Two of these baskets were suspended at the ends of a carrying pole and carried on the shoulder of one man. Jinrickshas, or open two-wheeled buggies, pulled by one man, carried patients too ill to walk. All personnel able to walk had to do so. Wards were set up to meet the needs of all ages in the empty Bank building. The entire Staff, including native and “foreign” personnel, and the Nurses’ Training School were moved to the Bank building. After the Japanese defeat, Dr. Tucker moved everything back to the empty shell of the badly-damaged hospital in the native city, to again serve the large population otherwise without “modern medicine”!

Another letter has come by air from England, dated 14 January, written by the wife of the Reverend F.W.J. Cottrell, for both. Reverend Cottrell was the District Superintendent of a large area in far Southwest Yunnan Province under the M.M.S. On his expulsion from China by events of World War II, he became Editor of M.M.S’s monthly missionary magazine Kingdom Overseas, until recently.

Mrs. Cottrell says,

Your sad news has just come and, 0, how our hearts ache and go out to you and your children. We will always remember you in your prayers, as we do now.

We thank God for every remembrance of “Dr. Francis.” What an inspiration he was! and, what a worker! — never sparing himself. As long as we live we can never forget him! nor you, either. And, you will never know the influence you had on our lives; and, not on ours only. God bless you! And, may you know His comfort as never before.

Marjorie Cottrell (and husband)


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Envelope addressed to “Mr. and Mrs. Henry C. Creech, Pine Mountain, Harlan Co., Kentucky.” Written on front, “Dr. Tucker’s Letter.” Return address: Franklin H. Fiske, 150 So. Humbolt St., Denver, 9, Colorado.

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Handwritten note at top reads:

Greetings. Thanks for: lovely card of Pine Mountain appreciated note accompanying, we hope 2 C U all (but are not sure). We @ 87 rejoice with you that the children are doing so well. Birthday Greetings to Helen, tho late.
F. & E.
P. 0. Box 791, Olds Hall, Daytona Beach, Florida.

December 16, 1956.

Dear Friends Near and Far:

What if sincere thanks for a GREETING at this season is a duplicated one? That means it is underscored and that we are indeed glad to be remembered.

Little there is to say about ourselves. Blessed with reasonable health we were glad to travel along the path of 1956, sufficiently busy with home and church duties, plus a degree of (voluntary) medical work, and, be­tween us, writing some 2,200 letters, notes, etc. In June we attended the National Council of the Congregational Christian Churches in Omaha, where air-conditioned meeting places made up for the 105-degree temperature outside. Of moment was the vote by a large majority to proceed with the union of the Congregational Christian and the Evangelical and Reformed Churches. A brief visit to our Alma Mater in Lincoln was also rewarding.

During our three months away, we visited our three sons and their families to make us young again: Francis C. and Emma, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Betty Jane, 13, Bobby, 10, Jean and Joan, 9, John, 3. Arthur and Lucy, Cleveland, Ohio, and Archie, 8-1/2, Terrie, 6 1/2. William and Sallie, Washington, D.C., and Kirkby, 12, and Sara, 10.

“Frankie” [Francis Carlile Tucker] continues his work as Director of the Department of Pathology, St. Luke’s Hospital, while all seven of the family are vital parts of their church and community life.

Arthur [Tucker] is well started in his new post as Associate Prof. of Radiology in Western Reserve University, Cleveland, and Associate Radiologist of the seven associated hospitals of the university. Lucy, as well as Arthur, are in demand in church, P.T.A., etc., Arthur being a deacon in Cleveland’s historic Euclid Congregational Church. He read a paper at the International Congress of Radiology in Mexico City in July.

Margaret [Tucker] continues her exacting work in Ludhiana, India. Her Bishop praises her conscientious work, especially in training young men and women in Radiology in this important medical college in the East Punjab.

William [Tucker], recovered from some weeks illness in September, is well inducted into his important new post as Director of the Pulmonary Tubercu­losis Service of the hospitals of the Veteran’s Administration. As there are 173 of these Hospitals, it is “sortie job,” and no wonder that by plane and train he is often away attending national and international conferences and meetings. He also has relationships with the tb. cases in all Government tb. and other hospitals. The new home in Chevy Chase, Maryland, is much enjoyed.

In July, Dr. Francis attended a well worthwhile conference in Ann Arbor, Mich., on Geriatrics and Gerontology. Both of us had memorable visits in Ontario with Chinese friends, Dr. and Mrs. Geo. Yang, so favorably known to us in China. Emma Chow Yang, named for Dr. Emma T., lately received a B.S. degree in Library Science from the Univ. of Toronto. She is the daughter of one of our assistants in the Pang-Chuang and Tehchow work in China. Both are splendid products of mission effort. He is an able surgeon in the Canadian Veteran’s Hospital for tb. in Hamilton.

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They drove us some 700 miles in Ontario, including a week at the Canadian Keswick Conference on beautiful Lake Muskoka and a trip in Algonquin Park (where we fed the deer). We also saw Henry V well played at Stratford on (the Canadian) Avon.

While we were away in the summer, 3 of our 4 rooms here were re-decorated, so we have since been “settling in,” and feel that we will never get it quite finished. Dr. Emma’s sister, Florence B. Holferty, is serious­ly ill at Homestead, Fla., and we made a trip there in Sept. to see her, though now she rarely recognizes anyone. “Aunt” Myra Sawyer, the nurse so long and so oft a part of our China Family, had a serious operation (Cleremont, California) in October. Dr. Francis made the trip there to be with her at the time of the operation and for ten days after. (A round trip of 6,500 miles). She got along well till November 11th, when there was a coronary thrombosis. From this she is recovering slowly. Prayer is assuredly called for. She sends greetings to those she knows.

Next June we MAY observe our Diamond Wedding, but it may be this will be postponed, depending on whether Dr. Margaret will be on furlough from her India post. It is a bit late to postpone the event, which took place June 29th, 1897!!

Blessings on your every day and way at this Glad Season, and for the year ahead.
Francis F. Tucker
Emma B. Tucker


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Envelope addressed to Mr. Bill and Mrs. Fern Hayes, Putney, Kentucky, December 17, 1956. Return address: Drs. F.F. & Emma Tucker, Olds Hall, Box 791, Daytona Beach, Florida.

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tuck_0013 [Christmas Greetings with Photographs] tuck_0013.jpg (248848 bytes)
tuck_0014 [Christmas Greetings with Photograph]
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tuck_0015 [Christmas Greetings with Photographs] tuck_0015.jpg (180142 bytes)
tuck_0016 [Christmas Greetings with Photographs]
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tuck_0017 [Group photograph] Dr. Emma Tucker, T.C. Liu ; Francis Tucker ; Grace Feng Liu ; Francis Liu @ 7 mo. (on Sept. 16, 1946)

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tuck_0018 [Christmas poem]


Of all of our memories of fifty two,
As we bid the year a fond adieu,
Our trip to America’s great Northwest
Will remain in our thoughts as one of the best.

We camped every night by a lake or a lane,
Beneath the bright stars or a downpour of rain,
All tucked snug in our car, while Mom and Dad
Relaxed in the trailer, ‘cept when we were bad.

We headed straight north along the course
Of the Mississippi, to its source,
Absorbing the sights of Paul Bunyan’s land
From Duluth to Lake Bemidji’s sand.

Past fields of grain ahead loomed dark
The gorgeous Rockies and Glacier Park,
Where towering peaks were capped with snow
And Christmas trees covered the slopes below.

Then in Canada’s Banff and at Lake Louise
We rode the chair lift and nearly did freeze
As we saw the icefields and took a ride
On a snowmobile car up the glacier’s side.

We first saw the coast at Vancouver, B.C.
Where Stanley Park’s bluffs look out o’er the sea;
We climbed Mt. Ranier to Paradise Camp
Where a big black bear scared us all, the scamp!

The Oregon coast we followed along
While hearing sea breakers roar their song
And seeing sea lions in their cave
And huge logging trucks pass us by with a wave.

Through California’s redwoods we drove,
Thence up the scenic Columbia we wove,
Straight home to Iowa’s tasseled corn
And back to school the following morn.

May God bless this great and wondrous land
So full of beauty on every hand,
And grant us Peace, is our wish to you
At this Christmas time and the whole year through.

From the Tuckers

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tuck_0019 – [envelope from Iowa]

[Envelope addressed to Mr. and Mrs. Bill Hayes, Pine Mt. Settlement School, Pine Mt., Ky. Return address: Dr. and Mrs. Francis C. Tucker, 2008 Grande Avenue S.E., Cedar Rapids, Iowa.]

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tuck_0020 [text “NOTES….”]

NOTES on EIGHTY YEARS — especially for relatives and close friends, some of whom have long urged that this Life History be outlined.

Box 791, Olds Hall, Daytona Beach, Florida, January, 1951


New Year Greetings. Eighty years ago Emma Jane Boose and Francis Fisher Tucker were born (she Oct. 20 & he 22 days later). So many friends of old and new have written felicitations and congratulations, and sending cards or telegrams for the combined celebra­tion (Nov. 23), that they use the present plan to say “pu kan tang” (unworthy), and an underscored thank you. How they wish they could write personally to each one! They are indeed grateful for these hundreds of intimate visits with friends of yesteryear and today, as witnessed by welcome birthday and Christmas messages. One letter (illustrated) was 9 feet long! They feel sure you’ll generously accept this letter as though personally written.

In China there are usually eight guests to a table. So, for this Table of Life for Emma and Francis, there have been eight decades and each ‘guest’ decade holds a bit of history for each period. They thank God for His leading, and wish each day and year and decade had been a better one. That ‘table’ they find full to over­flowing with good things, not the least of which is that when there’s an added ‘guest’ decade there is room. So they look forward to the 9th one in this afternoon of Life. Please gather about the table with them and review the saga of two ordinary mortals who all along have desired to make less mistakes.

1870 – 1880

The first ten years. Pennsylvania was Emma’s birthplace and being determined to get ahead of Francis, she started three weeks earlier. He avers she’s still ahead, though her hair is a bit whiter than his! Her ancestry was German-speaking Swiss and English-Irish, while Francis stems from Anglo-Saxon stock. Her family moved to S.E Nebraska when she was six. They crossed the Mississippi at St Louis on the first bridge built over that river. The train was stalled at one point for three days because of a washout, and they ate from their well-filled lunch basket, no other provisions being available, and of course there was a tin cup chained to the water tank at the end of the car for all to use. Arriving at Falls City, Nebr., the horse drawn station bus took them to their home, and it was this type of bus which, 20 years later, carried Emma and Francis (1897) to the railway station as they started on their 5000 mile honeymoon. Francis’ ancestors came to America in 1632, and settled at Weymouth and Milton, Mass. This state was Francis’ natal state, where he had an ordinary childhood. He recalls that at 5 he dug a hole in the back yard of their Natick home, for, was not his father a civil engineer with the Boston Water Works? He waited for the hole to fill with water, but it came not till he brought some from the kitchen pump! Maybe this “well” was prophetic, for, nigh 50 years later he was helping the famine-stricken farmers of Shantung and Hopei Provinces (China) sink hundreds of wells to “help drought-stricken China, as a matter of famine employment and drought prevention. Quiet was this lad, as a rule, and bent on investigation. He crawled into his Grandmother Fisher’s ancient chimney-oven to explore it. The heavy door closed, and it was long before his muffled cries brought Grandmother to open the door!

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In 1876 he was attending an early kindergarten, for his mother was a trained educational worker, and taught along kindergarten lines most of her life. He recalls going to school in South Natick with his mother and two older children. In snow time there was little room, and he thought it great fun to stand up behind the sleigh, and ride on the runners. At 7 he was required to write a so-called ‘essay’ on John Eliot **, whose revered statue was hard by. It was a history lesson he never forgot, and likely, had some influence on his later life. In 1877 most of the family were in Florida, where Francis’ father had in hand the location of the first railway, but he remained with his grandparents in Mass., where he attended school in a one room red schoolhouse. Grandfather Fisher was a typical sea captain of whaling days and a good story-teller. Other relatives were concerned in the Clipper ship trading with the Orient.

1880 – 1890

Emma and family in 1881 moved 6 miles into the country to cultivate a fertile piece of unturned sod, and here the family liv­ed to 1895. Their eggs brought 8 to 10 cents a dozen. The vigorous and busy life of the farm gave Emma the sturdiness later so valuable. A daily ride to school in town was part of the program some of the time, though for some of the high school days she boarded in Falls City. The standards of the country schools were low, even primitive, with few books, wood-burning stoves, and crude benches. Graduating from high school in 1888 she was the first of 8 brothers and sisters to enter college (Univ. of Nebraska) in 1891, teaching school meantime. Francis was also the first of his family to go to college, and both did so with the knowledge that they must earn their way. Their school year jobs and the summer employment they feel were the most rewarding of their educational experiences.

Early schools for Francis were in Natick, West Newton, and Boston (in Mass.), Washington Territory, and Lincoln, Nebr., east, west and mid-west. Travel was not easy. It took nearly a week, to get from Boston to Montana Territory. In Helena he paid “two bits” (25 ¢) for a needle and thread to mend his travel-worn pants. The salesman explained that it could not be less, for everything came by wagon train. Rather timid, he often entertained himself collecting botanical specimens, or, in school, eating his lunch by himself. The Northern Pacific Railway was boring its Mullan Tunnel through the Rocky Mountains, Father Tucker being one of the civil engineers. Francis and older brother William went to “Gold Spike” to see the last spike of the Northern Pacific driven by Sitting Bull, General Grant, and others. (1883 ) He collected several pieces of the ‘sleeper.’ into which the spike was driven. Many years later the railway was glad to have them!

To get home from this ceremony the boys had a two day walk, with hardly a house in sight. When night came, they constructed a shelter of railway ties, and lived happily ever after, though en route they saw a bear, which was inclined to run in the other direction. At Mullan Tunnel their small residence, the only house that was not built of logs, caught fire. At ten below zero the creek was frozen solid, and there was no water. But the boys shoveled snow onto the roof, and little damage was done. After Montana there was residence in Oregon for some months, where Francis picked cherries “on the halves,” but he did better for he ate about every other one! Cheney, Wash. Ty. [Washington Territory], was home for five years, and here he had his first full-time job, telegraph messenger at ten dollars a month. He was proud indeed of the suit bought with the first pay. Tuition at the academy by serving as janitor. There were favorite playmates, and he is to this day thankful for the help and inspiration of these girls and boys, some still corresponding. In the Lincoln High School, which he entered somewhat [continued below]

** John Eliot (c. 1604 – 21 May 1690) was a Puritan missionary born in Widford, Hertfordshire, England. [Wikipedia]


Cheney Academy in Cheney, Washington, records this piece of information regarding Francis’ early years at the Academy:

…There were also Emma Walter Shearer and her sister Lillie Walter, Willard and Allie Bigham, Mary and Edgar Ellison, William, Louise, and Francis Tucker. Mrs. Tucker, mother of the three young persons last mentioned, was afterward the very efficient teacher of the primary department. Francis Tucker afterward graduated from the University of Nebraska and is now Dr. Francis Tucker, in charge of the Williams Hospital, in China. [See History of the State Normal School at Cheney, Washington, http://www.usgennet.org/usa/wa/state1/cheney/ch1.htm ]


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[continued] ahead in mathematics, there was appreciated time the last year (1889) for outside activities, some efforts paying 25 cents an hour.

In this decade Emma also had various experiences, as with run-away horses, resulting in a dislocated elbow. The eighth child appeared in the Boose home, and those days domestic help was impossible. So the older children often had to stay at home for house and farm duties. Much of the year there were hired men to cook for, and cooking with corn cobs for fuel is no easy chore. Emma was nearly ten before a sister was born. In ’88 she had one term at normal school, and later received a teacher’s certificate, with honors (1890). She taught a country school for two years, saving money for the prayed-for college course.

1890 – 1900

This was a memorable period, for the two met at college in 1891 (Univ. of Nebr.). Both were in the Christian Associations, members of the Palladian Literary Society, belonged to the Student Volunteer Band for foreign missions, etc. Francis, struggling to keep out of debt, had varying summer occupations: street-car conductor (youngest on the line); axeman on engineering parties; invoicer or office boy; water boy on railway construction. He greatly enjoyed his rovings in the ‘wild west,” even the rattlesnakes! As it was sometimes possible to secure railway passes, going to conventions, etc., was occasionally possible. He attended an International Christian Endeavor convention in Boston in 1895 and ‘of course’ he was surprised to find that Emma B. was present also! In the University Francis had several years of required military training, and, on graduating (1894), his company had the best record of the battalion, and Nebraska’s governor awarded him a handsome sword and belt, these being handed him by no other than Lieut. John J. Pershing. He also was commissioned a captain in the state militia. Pershing was then commandant of the cadet corps. Naturally the class wag inquired if Francis was going to use the sword in his surgical and Christian work abroad! Actually Chinese students often borrowed it for their theatricals. So far, in his lifetime there have been three wars in which the U.S. has had part, but the government authorities advised his “sticking to his knitting” — in one instance the President saying that the mission work in China was more valuable than military service would be. In China there were many years of warfare, and three different times bullets sang close to his head — not to mention numerous bombing raids which both of them experienced in four provinces of central and west China. The Lord preserved them for further medical service. As Wm. James puts it “The great use of life is to spend it for something which outlasts it.”

Just before Francis graduated, the University observed its Silver Anniversary, and he was chosen as speaker to represent his group of colleges, speaking on “Man or Men,” though he avers that “Emma is the speaking half of the family!” The summer of 1894 he was arranging for a group of the college Y. M. C. A. to conduct religious services in Nebraska towns, and Falls City was in the circuit. Early one morning Emma and Francis had their Bible reading under an apple tree. With like interests and ambitions, it is not strange that, when in prayer, his hand found hers, and it has remained there, so to speak, for, lo, these 56 1/2 years. Sad to relate, the apple tree died in a few years, but others of God’s blessings remain, and ever will remain. Three years were to pass till (1897) they were married. Both had become high school teachers (at opposite ends of the state), a work much loved, and some of their pupils of those days still correspond.

Both had served as laboratory assistants in college days, and Francis taught chemistry and physics in Nebraska City after graduation. He was admitted to the American Chemical Society. The

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next year (1895) found him in charge of the physical science department of the Lincoln High School, where he graduated in ’89. Emma was principal of schools in Nebraska’s northwest, at Hay Springs, 1896. It became gradually clear to both that one of the greatest needs of the world abroad was along medical lines. They had many opportunities to get advice from missionaries all over the world, especially as Francis served as secretary and also as president of the Nebraska Christian Endeavor Union. He once slept with Gary’s hammer [?], with which Gary cobbled shoes, under his pillow.

So, June 29th, 1897, they were married and, as he was in charge of a trainload of delegates going to the San Francisco C.E. Convention, this was their honeymoon. To be sure, Francis several times introduced his bride as “Miss Boose,” which added interest! In Lincoln one year, the fall of 1898 found them in Chicago, where Francis entered Rush Medical College. As women were not then admitted to Rush (though their Margaret, 32 years later graduated therefrom), she entered the Women’s Medical of Northwestern. She was awarded a scholarship for high class standing, and Francis became assistant in Rush’s chemical laboratory. It was a busy life, and few holidays. They heard grand music now and then (from the top gallery), but Sundays were a respite, even though they studied to midnight Saturday. Their scientific training enabled them to finish the course in three years, making up necessary subjects. Francis, awarded the coveted fellowship in chemistry, felt it wiser to have hospital experience. Emma won highest honors in her class and became an M.D. 18 hours before her husband (1901).

Both were fortunate in their interne service, Emma interned in the Women’s and Children’s Hospital till towards the end of her year, when she came to Charity Hospital, where matters were too busy for Francis. From now on they were to be known as “Dr. Emma” and “Dr Francis.” “Dr. Tucker” would hardly do especially as, later, there were to be FOUR more doctors in the family. Dr. Margaret later interned in the same hospital where her mother had served. Dr Francis had considerable externe service usually accompanied by a nurse. This experience proved to be most valuable, for the medical work in the slums of Chicago was much like their future experiences in China. In May, when his mother died, he accompanied his father for interment in Mass. The summer of 1902, memorable visits were made to relatives and friends before the pair sailed from San Francisco on the SS PERU, Oct. 15, 1902. This vessel was an ancient tub that today would hardly be considered safe. How God cared for finances is illustrated by the fact that Francis’ last errand before sailing was to pay the only sum anywhere due, and he had just enough money to square that account.

With medical degrees secured, and some of the Chinese language acquired, children were possible, and great joy came along with William Boose in 1905, he being born at Peitaiho, on the Yellow Sea, where the parents were for a few months of uninterrupted language study. In 1907 Margaret Emmeline came “trailing her glory cloud from Heaven.” She has been carrying on her medical work, with difficulties all about, in West China. She first went to China in 1934, and is now en route home, on furlough, via Europe. As the American Board was short of funds, she serves under the Methodist Board, but Congregational and Methodist ailments seem very much alike, and denominations do not tread on each other’s toes in China, all being so in need of Christian life. Most Chinese are willing to study Christianity, and are not as opposed to it as the communist leaders would have one believe. The 53 wedding anniversaries have all been observed

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and perhaps the paper one (1902), tin (1907) and the golden wedding 3 years ago were rather special, as well as the silver wedding. For 12 years they lived in the country village of Pang Chuang, Shantung Province where villages are as numerous as farms in a densely populated U.S. farming region. They were proud to follow such as Dr Henry Porter and Dr Peck and to “be coworkers with Dr. & Mrs. Arthur H. Smith, and Miss Mary Porter. In Boxer [Rebellion] times Pang Chuang was “an oasis in a desert of ruin,” with no destruction of property. Here, with an average population of over 2,000 to the square mile, there was indeed need and scope for modern medical service.

In 1910 came the doctors’ first furlough, and the family of four had a memorable trip across Siberia and north Europe, and attended the Ecumenical Missionary Conference in Edinburgh. What matter if the new hats of the children did blow out of the car window ere they left China? London had new ones! With the rest of the family in Holland for a time, Francis took a short course in the University of Edinburgh, and the whole family had nice trips in England, Scotland, & Ireland. The doctors, wishing to keep abreast of the times, have taken post courses also at the Peking P.U.M.C., Harvard Medical, the Mayo Clinic, Chicago Post Graduate Hospital, etc.

The Pang Chuang medical plant, following the Boxer up­rising, was in poor condition, but pressing repairs had attention, and often there were 100 or more in patients, besides nearly as many more relatives and friends who came to ‘attend’ them. A brochure, The Modern Miracle Plant, was published (thanks to the aid of U.S. friends) in 1908, and it had a considerable circulation through the Student Volunteer Movement. In this decade the doctors took short vacation trips into Mongolia, and Francis, on a 30 day horseback trip with his teacher of Chinese (aiming to join the family at Kalgan, on the Great Wall), made a memorable detour to visit the Dalai Llama, Living Buddha of Tibet, then refugeeing in Shansi, China. Several Y.M.C.A. youth were of the party. In exchange for the presents this ‘god’ made to his visitors, they gave a tin of raspberry jam, a folding drinking cup (always leaked), a tin lantern (no kerosene within several days’ journey), etc. The Living Buddha expressed his appreciation, asked if there was farm land in the U.S., and it was an enlightening call. The group picked rhubarb, growing wild, as they rode or walked along the mountain trails.

1910 – 1920

The China work acquiring a trained nurse of ability was the main event in this decade. Miss Myra L. Sawyer, R.N., first nurse-designated missionary to be appointed by the American Board, sailed for China with them in 1911, a few months after she had been “discovered” at the missionary exposition, “The World in Boston.” She, aided by Dr Emma, established the first registered training school for nurses in Shantung, at Tehchow, in 1915. The Pang Chuang mission station, lock, stock, and barrel, moved 15 miles north to a new 40 acre com­pound at Tehchow, which walled city is on the Grand Canal and an important railway. It has a continuous history of over 4,000 years, and has now and then been anti-foreign. The move took place in 1914, some of the new buildings then being completed. Construction presented many a problem, especially as it was desirable that Chinese architecture be used as far as feasible. The mission was fortunate in its architect and builders, and four large ‘compounds’ were complete by the end of the decade. A destructive flood came in 1917, water remaining in the first floor of the hospital for 6 months, but the medical and educational work never stopped. In this period the China Medical Board (of the Rockefeller Foundation) came splendidly to the assistance of the hospital, aiding much with Chinese and American personnel, as well as equipment. It was the first China mission hospital to be backed by

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that Board [China Medical Board], and modernized and equipped, it was now one of the largest American Board hospitals anywhere, if not the largest.

Other physicians offered to attend to Dr. Francis’ medical and surgical work in 1918 when there was severe famine in the land, and he served as “Sup’t [superintendent] of Relief” under the direction of J. Earl Baker, who was directing American Red Cross work in China. Though the aim was to give work relief to some 10,000 men and their families, the work of necessity expanded till over 60,000 men were employed in building dykes, motor roads, etc. This effort further filled the reservoir of good will towards Americans, and that good will maintains and will last, no matter what the efforts may be on the part of some to drain that reservoir.

The summer of 1918 came the second Tucker furlough, and now there were two more children. Arthur Smith Tucker was born in 1913 and Francis Carlile in 1935. The homeward trip through Manchuria, Korea, Japan, and Honolulu was educational for all. The Congregational churches of Northampton, Mass., had been interested in the Tuckers and their work since 1902, backing them and their work grandly, so it’s not strange that the family lived there a while in 1918 and in 1926 [while on furlough].

Emma and Mrs. C. A. Stanley for a dozen years conducted a home school for their children, till they were of age to go to boarding school. What with school, hospital work, classes for nurses (including translations of texts) Emma was busy indeed. Robber soldiers came once, and the mother and two children escaped injury by a nigh miracle. Twice was Dr. Francis stopped by robber gangs, for they hoped he would have money in his relief auto. Each time he was allowed to go after some hours, in consideration of his work. One time the robber guard gave him a dollar when he complained that the auto had a leaky radiator and he needed a little money to buy water.

“Rockmere” was the name of the Tucker cottage by the Yellow Sea, and, during the summer hot seasons it also usually contained a number of guests. It was built on Boxer ruins, the lot having a rocky sea frontage of 600 feet. Dr Francis usually escorted the family to Rockmere, and then returned to Shantung, going north again when the younger ones and the mother were to come home, and the older ones would return to school at Tunghsien, near Peking.

Relief work of various kinds was often to the fore, for care of the physical needs is bound up with the spiritual. Dr. Francis was called on four different times by the Provincial or the National Government to aid and advise in fighting deadly pneumonic plague epidemics. The government aided in every possible way. Once, on being asked to go to Nanking to help, he replied that there was no train. The government official replied, “We have a special train waiting at the station for you”! The local doctors soon cared for the Nanking out­break, and the government insisted that the Tehchow [Dezhou] Hospital should keep the considerable sum earlier put at Dr. Francis’ disposal. On one occasion he helped bury the chief of the Anti Plague Commission, a splendid man (Dr. Yu) who had contracted the ailment, for which there was then no treatment. Earlier the national, government gave Dr. Francis a decoration (“Chia Ho”), though he is sure others deserved it far more.

In 1919 all six of the family returned to China, and the routine of effort was resumed to aid “these from the Land of Sinin.”

1920 – 1930

Only a few items in each decade should take space, or the time of the reader. Except for furlough years, of course the busy medical work was always prominent, shot through with Christian effort. Devolution of responsibility to Chinese shoulders was to the fore in this ten years, as it had been for some years before. Dr. Francis refused to serve as hospital sup’t [superintendent], and the Chinese doctor who took over did splendidly. Dr. F. [Francis] helped with the business end of matters and, with

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50 to 100 in-patients, and as many dispensary calls daily there were few idle moments. The summer of 1923 the family was at Lake Nojiri, in interior Japan where both doctors were invited to serve a large summer colony of mission and business people. There William contracted polio and, instead of going on to college as planned, was carried back to Tehchow. Three years in a wheel chair, on crutches, and in post high school work (plus teaching) at Tunghsien, and he was able to come to the U.S. He entered Oberlin in the same class with Margaret, and on account of advance credits, they finished in three years, and with honors.

Coming to the U.S. in 1926, the family traveled via Tsing Tao, Shanghai, Manila, Sumatra, Ceylon, the Red Sea, Palestine, Egypt, Greece, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, France, and England — a travel privilege indeed, especially for the children. William, well over his polio, had several essential operations after entering college. The surgeons say he was a splendid patient. Very slight, lameness does not interfere with his professional duties.

On return to China (1928), the two older children were left in Oberlin. William & Margaret entered medical colleges in 1929. Those bound for Tehchow (now often called Tehsien) found, on landing at Tsingtao, that internecine wars between war lords were continuing, so the party could travel by train as far as Tsinan only. The usual springless Chinese carts took them and their baggage overland, stopping at night with a grateful former patient. At Tsinan, Dr.F. [Francis] had been asked to again assist with the work of the Chinese International Famine Relief. This was agreed to and, as a car was furnished, plus an exceptional mechanic, this work was much easier than before, though the prevailing dirt roads were worse, if possible! Once “Cuvwag” (the auto) went part way through the ice of a river. In a village where a car had never been seen, an old woman said that a little cow was under the hood, furnishing the power, for she had “heard it bellow.” Just then the chauffeur sounded the horn, and she exclaimed, “There, didn’t I tell you?” Happily this relief work lasted less than a year this time. The medical work expanded, and for a time there were eight branch dispensaries literally radiating from Tehchow, each visited every two weeks by an assistant. More hospital and other buildings were put up. The “Sawyer Training School for Nurses ” (men and women) became a strong part of the work. Alas, that in 1945 communist frenzy, goaded by leaders from afield, destroyed the 24 brick buildings of the hospital, as also the high-school buildings and the residences. Nothing ‘tainted’ by foreigners would be permitted, and the leaders were especially determined to rout out possible American capitalistic influence. Yet the FOUNDATIONS of the work remain, that is the doctors, nurses, teachers, preachers, not to mention the students and patients. “There is, that scattereth, yet increaseth.” The seed-sowing was not in vain. The 4,648th year of China’s history soon begins, and she is learning.

The grim reaper now and then appeared in the family. Emma’s father passed on in 1922 and her mother the next year. Francis’ father died in 1929.

How the children grew! At our silver wedding ceremony (Peitaiho) with many guests present, Francis C. [Carlile] (7 years) was not interested, and made use of the opportunity, so covered himself, inside and out, with ice-cream, as was discovered at the conclusion of the ceremony. The Chinese say: “”When it rains porridge, hold out your bowl.”

1930 – 1940

What a ten years this was! The years before the couple had their cake, plain though it was, and ate it too! They felt that they were being truly nourished by God. Yet this decade, they feel, produced the frosting. A change in plans and residence came early in this ten years. The Chinese Government asked Dr Francis to help with the

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extensive flood relief matters of the Hwai River region, with head­quarters at Pengpu. Dr. Emma remained at Wutingfu, not far east of Tehchow, where she aided in the work of the English Methodists, a fine hospital having been recently completed there (also communist destroyed 5 years ago.) Dr. F. [Francis] was indeed busy with the relief work for a year, ably assisted by over a score of reliable Chinese co-workers, most of whom he had worked with before. A half million dollars’ worth of grain issued in a month was not unusual. The main difficulty was to get cars and sufficient soldiers to guard the precious food, much of it brought from the United States. Several of the staff were captured by communists, and not heard of again. Touch with many of the occicial [sic] class was most interesting, and not a dishonest one did Dr. Francis find.

After three years in Wutingfu both were asked to further serve in far West China, where the English Methodists were about to build a large hospital. Dr. Francis was asked to superintend this construction work, while Dr Emma aided in the training of men and women nurses, in addition to laboratory and medical work. Accompanying them was Grace Feng, nurse, graduate of the Tehchow training school, plus several years experience, and Mr. Ch’i, a genius as a mechanic. It was more of a China trip than they had before taken. With stops in Shanghai, Haiphong, and Kunming, it was six weeks ere they reached Chaotung. This point is in N.E. Yunnan, on the border of the region where many aboriginal tribesmen live. The last stage was a 12 day trip by sedan chair, ‘hwa kan’, and horse from Kunming to Chaotung. The scenery and experiences made it well worthwhile.

What with going to the forests to select the trees to be cut and sawed, with no brick buildings in common use, with having to import carpenters who could understand a drawing or plan, dealing with workmen who came about 10 and left in the middle of the afternoon, it’s not strange that it was slow work. Yet three years brought the formal opening, and with a good staff in whose hands to leave this Christian medical work, and the new training school for nurses. Grace [Feng], dear foster daughter, was everywhere useful, and Ch’i was plumber, electrician, iron, bed-maker, tinner, and much else, all in one. Once the U.S. authorities advised the Tuckers to get out, when the communists threatened, but it seemed wiser to stay, and the communists did not come very near. In 1937 these four started north, taking a 12 day horseback & sedan chair trip to friends at Suifu, on the Yangtze River. Thence down that River (five days), stopping briefly in Chunking, they were welcomed to the bombed city of Hankow [Hankou], after passing through the incomparable Yangtze Gorges. They aided there in medical work a half-year, despite numerous bombings, and then were due to serve a year at Shao Yang (Hunan Province), taking the place of the furloughed doctor. On the way there were bombings by the Japanese at Changsha, and similar slaughter took place quite often while they were in Shao Yang, where bomb-proof shelters had to be built for staff and patients. The doctors and Grace were called to Kwei Yang (Kwei Chow Province) in 1939 to aid in the far flung work of the Chinese International Red Cross (or C.I.F.R.C.). This organization issued supplies, coming in over the Burma Road to nigh 200 hospitals and dispensaries in central, south, and west China. In this war time the Red Cross trucks did efficient work in making deliveries. Dr. Francis became general secretary of this work in 1940, associated with fine C. T. Miao (a Harvard trained Chinese ), now with the United Nations in U.S.

William married Sara Jones in 1932, she an efficient young woman. He graduated in medicine from the University of Chicago in 1933. Interning and with residency in Billings Hospital, he remained on the staff there for ten years, latterly as assistant professor of medicine. Sara is an Oberlinite, and an anthropologist with numerous important papers and map collections (published by the Univ. of Chicago ) Instructor in her specialty at the Univ. of Chicago for ten years, she

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continues her work in Minneapolis as far as home duties permit.

Arthur finished at Oberlin College in 1935, and graduated from Yale Medical College in 1939. He had interne work and residency in Montreal (Royal Victoria Hospital) and the Univ. of Wisconsin, followed by an assistanceship [sic] in pathology at Madison. Then came work in radiology at Harvard, this being interrupted by three years medical service in the U.S. Navy, most of it in China. Francis C. graduated from Oberlin in ’37, and entered Harvard Medical School the same year.

1940 – 1950

If the previous decade furnished frosting for the cake, this ten years decorated the frosting. The doctors feel humble and grateful for the undeserved largess. In 1941, as they had been to the China field 13 years without furlo[ugh], they felt that, with children in the U.S., and with Dr. Margaret willing to come overland from Foochow to join them for furlo[ugh], it was best to return to the U.S. Though aged 71, they even planned to return again to China, but war and other developments negated such a plan, though invited to do so by relief and mission boards.

So the two doctors, accompanied by Dr. Margaret and Grace Feng (March 1941) left Kwei Yang and the relief work centered there. They traveled in the relief Red Cross trucks, 20 days [on the Burma Road] to Rangoon, including 4 days in Kunming. The Burma Road experiences and scenery, including crossing the Mekong and Saloreen Rivers, were all that had been expected and more, and the huge mosquitoes more numerous! Steamer (a freighter) was boarded at Rangoon. There were days of privilege in Hongkong and Manila, ere they landed in San Pedro, near Los Angeles. Eighty-eight days from starting point (Kwei Yang) to Chicago, where they were greeted by children and friends. The next day found the group at Lake Geneva, Wis. [Wisconsin] to attend the wedding of Francis C. [Carlile] to Emma Scott, a beautiful wedding at Inspiration Point, June 14, 1941. The bride wore the wedding dress and veil which Francis C.’s great, great grandmother used long ago, in South America. A family reunion was held after the wedding. Emma Scott is a graduate of George Williams College, Chicago. She has had extensive experience in the supervision of athletics, scout groups, summer camps, and child study groups. She and husband are the third “Emma and Francis” combination, for the parents of Francis F. were also Emma and Francis. The senior doctors consider it a most acceptable wonder that their three sons are blessed with such fine wives.

From ’42 to ’45 Doctors Emma and Francis were physicians at Pine Mountain, Harlan Co., Kentucky, where they found the needs and conditions among the mountaineers much like those in China. The work there centered in a non-denominational Christian school and adjoining community. They feel it was a grand privilege to serve there. For five summers since then they have given some time each summer to the Pine Mountain Hospital. In 1943, here their first grandchild, was born, the father, Francis C.T., being in India in the U.S. Army. He did not see Betty Jane till she was nearly 2 years old. Now there is Robert, and the beloved twins, Jean and Joan. Their father received his M.D. degree (Harvard) in ’41, and after part internship, he served in the Army in India and China, had bouts with his appendix and typhus fever, was liaison officer for two Chinese divisions and was discharged a Medical Corps Major. He is now pathologist for St. Luke’s Hospital, Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

In Madison, Wis., July 28, 1945, there was a beautiful and imposing military wedding, when Navy Lieut. Arthur S. Trucker married 1st Lieut. Lucy Marabain of the Air Force. Her specialty is physical therapy, and she has the Univ. of Wis. degree of B.Sc. in Physical Therapy. Red-haired Arthur Smith Tucker, Jr. arrived Feb.18, 1948. Dr. Arthur had post with the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission in Japan for two years, and there, Dec.14, ’49, little sister Tarvez (Terrie) was born. The family

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returned to the U.S last August, now residing in Berkeley. Dr. Arthur [Tucker] is now Assistant Radiologist and Instructor at the University of Calif. Hospital in San Francisco.

Dr. William and Sara are blessed with William Kirkby (6) and Sara Waitstill (4). Since 1947 William has been Associate Prof. of Medicine in the Univ. of Minnesota and Chief of the Tuberculosis Service of the V.A.H. Author of numerous articles on the treatment of tuberculosis, he has to make many trips for conferences and to present papers on his specialty. All four of the children have become DIPLOMATES in their respective specialties, after several years’ preparation and national examination for this scientific step.

In this decade, World War II profoundly disturbed everyone, and now Mars seems more rampant than ever. May God have mercy on the military and civilian millions in Korea and elsewhere, regardless of nationality. Universal brotherhood MUST prevail if the world is to be saved from itself.

Margaret, who first went to China in 1934, has completed two terms of medical service there, and is on her way home, via Europe. Before going to China this last time (1945) she completed the work necessary to become a Radiologist (Harvard & Univ.of Minn.) and has been serving the Union Medical College Hospital of the West China Union University at Chengtu [Chengdu].

In 1947, in Chicago, there was held the Golden Wedding of Drs. Francis & Emma, all of the family but Margaret being present. Four grandchildren graced the occasion, and now there are EIGHT! Three years ago, on their grandmother’s birthday, Emma S.T.’s twins, Jean and Joan, arrived. Mayhap the proper expression is “May their tribe increase.”

The couple outlined in these notes was called back to the University of Nebraska in 1947 to receive Distinguished Service Awards, the more appreciated as they had had so little touch with their Alma Mater since leaving the United States. They are surprised that they should thus be singled out, and they further wonder that Dr Emma (in 1948) should receive a special Alumni Medal from Northwestern University, being a graduate of their Women’s Medical College. They feel that they would like to have their 80 years to live over again. Though retired from restless China, their interest will ever remain. They were 29 years with the A.B.C.F.M. and then were lent for 10 yrs. to the English Methodist work, and to relief work. They served in parts of eight provinces, most of this effort being in north, central, and west China. Francis’ brother Carlile died in 1941, so he is the last of his family of five. His stepmother died in 1944. Emma, her two sisters, and a brother remain of her family of 8. Her brother, Rev. John Boose, D.D., passed on in 1943.

During 5 years in the U.S., foster daughter, Grace Feng, not only made use of fine opportunities in nursing, but she also found an excellent husband, T. C. Liu, a Ph.D. in plant pathology. They had a lovely wedding at Kentucky Pine Mountain School, and are now a part of the large Sun Yat Sen or National University, Canton, China. To enliven and inspire their home are Francis P’ei Kang (5) and Margaret Emma (3). They will surely be heard from in the better potential China that is to be.

For five years these octogenarian doctors have made Olds Hall, Daytona Beach, their home, though they are away part of each year. As congenial neighbors there are numerous retired missionaries and ministers. The days seem busy, what with church duties not a few, occasional speaking, plus some medical work, plus “jest livin.” The hundreds of messages coming to them lately from friends of old have opened many windows on beautiful and lasting memories and they are, and ever will be, grateful for these ‘decorations’ to their nourishing ‘cake’ of Life.

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1950 – 1960

On October 25th the Francis C Tucker family of six came in their station wagon from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, also bringing Miss Myra Sawyer, R.F. (from So. Carolina), thus making it possible to have a “combined” birthday party for the two ‘ancients’, and the fetching twins, Jean and Joan, born exactly 77 years later than their paternal grandmother. “Aunt Myra” returned to Charleston, So.Car., the next day, where she is anaesthesiologist [sic] in Roper Hospital. The others were also off for home, plus a slight ‘detour’ via Key West.

The senior doctors feel sure they’ll NEVER be able to live up to the ideals which are spread over the 80th anniversary messages from many states and from a dozen foreign lands. Meanwhile, they keep in good health and hope any of you, happening to be in Florida, will look them up, for you would indeed be welcome. They expect to be hale and hearty for many a year yet. With W. Dean Howells they “Find as they grow older that they weren’t born such a great while ago, after all. Time shortens.”

What might each person do to help the needy world?

“If my people which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from wicked ways; then will I hear, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” (II Chronicles 7:14) Many have responsibility. May each do his part. THEN will come individual and WORLD PEACE.

God’s rich blessings to you and yours,

F.F. Tucker
Emma Boose Tucker

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See Also:
Dr. EMMA and Dr. FRANCIS TUCKER 80 Year Anniversary 1951
Dr. EMMA and Dr. FRANCIS TUCKER Correspondence Guide



Dr. Emma Tucker and Dr. Francis Tucker

Alt. Title

Dr. Emma and Dr. Francis Tucker ; Dr. Emma Jane Boose Tucker and Dr. Francis Fisher Tucker ; Drs. Tucker ;




Francis Fisher Tucker, 1870 – 1957 ; Emma Jane Boose Tucker, 1870 – 1963 ;

Alt. Creator

Tucker Family

Subject Keyword

Dr. Emma Boose Tucker ; Dr. Francis Tucker ; Northwestern University Medical School ; Rush Medical College ; Dr. William Boose Tucker ; University of Chicago Medical School ; Dr. Margaret Emmeline Tucker ; Dr. Arthur Smith Tucker ;Yale Medical School ; Dr. Francis Carlile Tucker ; Harvard Medical School ; Elizabeth Jane Tucker ; Pine Mountain Infirmary ; Reverend William N. Tuttle, DD ; Florida Conference of Congregational Christian Churches ; Francis C. Tucker ; Emmeline Fisher Tucker ; Northwestern University ; Cheney Academy ; Lincoln (NE) High School ; University of Nebraska ; Charity Hospital ; University School of Sciences ; University of Nebraska Battalion, Governor’s Sword ; U.S. Army ; First Lt. John J. Pershing ; Order of the Golden Harvest ; Distinguished Service Award ; American Chemical Society ; Nebraska Christian Endeavor Union ; Women’s Medical College ; Student Volunteer Movement for Foreign Missions ; American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions ; American Board Hospital ; Boxer Rebellion ; Rev. Arthur H. Smith, D.D. ; Grand Canal ; Mission Station ; Pang Chung Station ; hospitals ; Williams-Porter Hospital ; Rockefeller Foundation ; Nurses’ Training School ; Myra L. Sawyer ; flood relief ; famine relief ; J. Earl Baker ; American Red Cross ; bubonic plague ; pheumonic plague ; Chinese International Famine Relief Commission ; English Methodist Missionary Society ; Burma Road ; Pine Mountain Hospital ; Congregational Church ; Edwards Church ; Dr. William Leath ; Lewis L. Gilbert ; B. Kenneth Anthony ; Oberlin College ; diplomats ; University of Minnesota ; Duke University ; tuberculosis ; University of Virginia Hospital ; Christian Medical College ; U.S. Navy ; Western Reserve University ; U.S. Army Reserve ; St. Luke’s Methodist Hospital ; Deaconess Hospital ; YMCA ; Mrs. C.A. Stanley ; Rockmere ; Tehchow Hospital ; Anti Plague Commission ; Dr. Yu ; Grace Feng Liu ; Chinese International Red Cross ; C.T. Miao ; Sara Jones ; Billings Hospital ; Royal Victoria Hospital ; Emma Scott ; Dr. T.C. Liu ; National University ; medicine ; infirmaries ; community medicine ; Chia Ho ; Chaotung, Yunnan Hospital ; Northern Pacific Railway ; Gold Spike ; Sitting Bull ; General Grant ; State Museum ; spectacle-frames ; Ralph Bolton ; Hospital of Universal Love ; jinrickshas ; Rev. F.W.J. Cottrel ; Kingdom Overseas ; Henry C. Creech ; Franklin H. Fiske ; Veterans’ Administration ; Dr. & Mrs. George Yang ; Emma Chow Yang ; Florence B. Holferty ; Bill & Fern Hayes ; Francis Liu ; Table of Life ; John Eliot ; Mullan Tunnel ;

Subject LCSH

Tucker, Emma, Dr., — 1870 – 1971.
Tucker, Francis, Dr., — 1870 – 1957.
Pine Mountain Settlement School — History.
Rural schools — Kentucky — History.
Rural schools — Appalachian Region, Southern.
Schools — Appalachian Region.
Rural health services — Appalachian Region — History.
Missionaries — China — Biography.
Missions — China.




Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY




Collections ; text ; image ;


Original and copies of documents and correspondence in file folders in filing cabinet


Series 9: Staff/Personnel




Grace Feng Liu and Ts’ui Chich Liu ; Guide to the China Records Project Miscellaneous Personal Papers Collection (Record Group No. 8), Compiled by Martha Lund Smalley, et al., Yale University Library, Divinity Library Special Collections, 409 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT, 2003. http://hdl.handle.net/10079/fa/divinity.008 ;

Oberlin College Archive. RG 30/322. Drs. Francis F. and Emma B. Tucker. http://www.oberlin.edu/archive/holdings/finding/RG30/SG322/biography.html.

Coverage Temporal

1870 – 2007

Coverage Spatial

Pine Mountain, KY ; Harlan County, KY ; West Newton, MA ; Natick, MA ; Cleveland, OH ; Cambridge, MA ; Washington Territory ; Lincoln, NE ; Chicago, IL ; Nebraska City, NE ; San Francisco, CA ; Pang Chuang, China ; Tientsin, China ; Pengpu, China ; Northampton, MA ; Daytona Beach, FL ; Foochow, China ; Chengtu [Chengdu], China ; Ludhiana, Punjab, India ; Japan ; China ; Cedar Rapids, IA ; Freeport, IL ; Weymouth, MA ; London, England ; Chevy Chase, MD ; Ann Arbor, MI ; Ontario, Canada ; Putney, KY ; Washington, DC ; Hay Springs, NE ; Lake Jahiri, Japan ; Wutingfu, China ; Montreal, Canada ; Kaingsu [Jaingsu] Province, China ; Shantung [Shandong] Province, China ; Tehchow, China ; Pennsylvania ; Montana Territory ;


Any display, publication, or public use must credit the Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, Harlan County, KY. Copyright retained by the creators of certain items in the collection, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.




Core documents, correspondence, writings, and administrative papers of Dr. Emma Tucker and Dr. Francis Tucker ; clippings, photographs, books by or about Dr. Emma Tucker and Dr. Francis Tucker ;




Pine Mountain Settlement School Institutional Papers

Processed By

Helen Hayes Wykle ; Ann Angel Eberhardt ;

Last Updated

2007-07-12 hhw ; 2013-11-19 hhw ; 2013-11-28 aae ; 2023-07-20 hhw ; 2023-07-25 hhw ; 2023-07-29 hhw ; 2023-08-27 aae ;


See Also:
MEDICAL – Introduction

Return To:
MEDICAL Staff Lists

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