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Edythe M. Flower diary and photographs


Held at: Pearl S. Buck International [Contact Us]520 Dublin Road, Perkasie, PA, 18944

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Pearl S. Buck International. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

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Edythe M. Flower (1892-1926) was a Presbyterian Church missionary in China, from 1920 to 1926.

Edythe May Flower was born on October 16, 1892 in Franklin, Venango County, Pennsylvania to Marion Chauncey Flower (1854-1916) and Clara J Flower. Edythe graduated from Franklin High School in 1911 and then trained at the Deaconess School in Philadelphia. After five years as a deaconess at Provident Presbyterian Church, North Side, Pittsburgh, PA, she was selected by the Presbyterian Church's Board of Foreign Missions in 1920 to travel to North China for the purpose of teaching and other missionary work. She left Pennsylvania in August of 1920 and traveled to Seattle, Washington, leaving for Beijing (formerly Peking), China aboard the Katori Maru on August 21, 1920.

Edythe was stationed at Qingdao (formerly Tsingtao) and Wei Xian (formerly Wei Hsien), both in the Northern Province of Shandong (formerly Shantung), teaching at the girls' high schools. In Pennsylvania, she had been known for her singing voice, and continued singing in China, acting as the music director for missionary conferences and singing at other events. She had also planned to make recordings of gospel songs in Chinese.

Edythe remained in China for six years. She was married in Shanghai, China on June 21, 1926 to Reverend Lloyd Grove Creamer, originally from Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, but who had been stationed in China for about nine years prior to the wedding. Three days after their wedding Edythe and Lloyd went on furlough and boarded the S. S. President Cleveland due to arrive in San Francisco, California in mid-July by way of Japan and Hawaii. After leaving Japan, Edythe became ill and, encouraged by the ship's doctor, she and her husband disembarked at Honolulu, Hawaii so she could be admitted to a hospital. A few days later, on July 12, 1926, Edythe passed away.


"Mrs. Edythe Flower Creamer." News-Herald (Franklin, PA), July 14, 1926. Accessed on August 4, 2015.

The Stone Church. "In Loving Memory." Latter Rain Evangel19, vol. 12 (September 1926): 12. Accessed August 4, 2015.

This collection consists of a handwritten diary spanning September 1921 through October 24, 1922 (but describing events back to June 1921), three photograph albums depicting scenes of China, circa 1920-1924, and three loose photographs of Edythe Flower in her home in China during Christmas 1922. There are also some negatives in the collection.

The photographs in the albums are arranged roughly in chronological order. The images depict scenes of rural life in China, Christian churches and evangelists, hospitals, and famine. Locations depicted include views of the Tenghsien Leper Home (part of the Mrs. Sarah Waters Memorial Hospital in Shandong Province), the Shadyside Hospital in Wei Xian, Shandong Province, and views of Peking (now Beijing). People depicted include Dr. and Mrs. Mateer, Edythe Hobert, Mrs. George Jenkins, and many unidentified missionaries in China. A few pages are devoted to scenes in Ohio and Pennsylvania, where Edythe Flower had friends and family, including Grove City, Mercer County, Pennsylvania; Waldameer Park in Erie, Pennsylvania; and Otterbein College.

Folder 1: Diary, September 1921-October 1922 Folder 2: Photograph album, circa 1920-1924. A few photographs are identified, including Waldameer Park, Erie, PA, July 1920; Kobe, Japan, August 1920; Peking, China, 1921; and Oberlin College, Ohio, 1924. Folder 3: Photograph album, undated. Scenes in Northern China. Folder 4: Photograph album, 1924. Shadyside Hospital in China. Folder 5: Photographs, Christmas 1922. Images of Edythe M. Flower in her home in China.

This collection was found among the papers at Green Hills Farm when the Pearl S. Buck Foundation moved its offices from Delancey Place in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Pearl Buck's home in Perkasie, Bucks County, Pennsylvania. The collection was apparently mailed to Pearl Buck's sister, Grace Yaukey, in order to identify the collection. The box it was stored in was addressed to Mr. Daniel Bailey, Pearl S. Buck Foundation, Green Hills Farm, Perkasie PA 18944, and postmarked October 10, 1974. On the back of the address label was another address label with "Grace S. Yaukey, 17204 Quaker Lane, Sandy Spring MD 20860. It is not known how, or if, Edythe Flower knew Pearl Buck.

Summary descriptive information on this collection was compiled in 2014-2016 as part of a project conducted by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania to make better known and more accessible the largely hidden collections of small, primarily volunteer run repositories in the Philadelphia area. The Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories (HCI-PSAR) was funded by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

This is a preliminary finding aid. No physical processing, rehousing, reorganizing, or folder listing was accomplished during the HCI-PSAR project.

In some cases, more detailed inventories or finding aids may be available on-site at the repository where this collection is held; please contact Pearl S. Buck International directly for more information.

Pearl S. Buck International
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Finding aid prepared by staff of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories using data provided by Pearl S. Buck International
This preliminary finding aid was created as part of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories. The HCI-PSAR project was made possible by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
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