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Kilbuck Papers

Kilbuck Papers

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Kilbuck Papers


Profile Description

Creation: 05.04.2012
Language: English

Title: Kilbuck Papers
Quantity: 10 boxes
Identification: PP Kilbuck
Location: 127E-F
Language: English

The Kilbuck Collection consists primarily of letters, journals, articles, and notes written by John and Edith Kilbuck. The collection's overarching theme is the various missions, mission work, and educational work in Alaska. The collection spans the dates starting from the early 1880s and extending up until the late 1920s. The collection also contains a wide array of items that were not created by John or Edith, these items are various letters sent or received from persons other than John or Edith who were involved with missionary or educational work in Alaska. There is also an assortment of financial information regarding the missions and the work with reindeer.

Edith Romig Kilbuck was born April 16th 1865 to Joseph and Margret Ricksecker Romig in New Westfield, Kansas, where her parents served as missionaries among the Native Americans. Edith lived in Kansas at the mission until 1885 when she married John Henry Kilbuck. Shortly after their marriage Edith accompanied her husband to Alaska to serve as a missionary. Edith and John both served as missionaries in Bethel, Alaska, from 1885 to 1898. In 1893 Edith took a brief furlough back to the continental states of America. At this time she delighted congregations with the modest and humble stories of life and the mission in Alaska. Around the turn of the century Edith and John joined the Federal Teaching Service, and served until 1921. In 1921 upon their release from government service Edith and John served as beloved missionaries in Akiak, Alaska, until John's unfortunate passing February 2, 1922. After her husband's death she returned to the continental states. She lived temporarily in Hood River, Oregon, with her son, and then later with her daughter in North Carolina. All of this time Edith spoke highly and advocated the mission in Alaska. Edith's unexpected passing happened December 21st, 1933 from unknown causes.

John Henry Kilbuck was the great grandson of Gelelemend, head Chief of the Delaware Indians, and a descendent of Netwates, King of the Delwares. John Henry was born May 15th, 1861 in what was at the time Indian Territory in Kansas. John grew up in close proximity to a Moravian mission; the missionaries recognized early on that John was a gifted young boy. Consequently John Henry was sent to Nazareth Hall in Pennsylvania to receive a formal education. After his initial schooling John Henry went on to Moravian College and Theological Seminary where he received his B.A. in 1882, and later his B.D. in 1884. John was ordained a deacon of the Moravian church in 1884, and later a presbyter in 1891. John Henry's most prominent occupation was missionary work. His first missionary assignment was in Canada from 1884 to 1885. Afterwards John returned to his birthplace in Kansas for a brief time, during which he became acquainted with Edith Romig, whom he married on March 25th, 1885. Both John and Edith were both well acquainted and passionate about missionary work, so shortly after their marriage John and Edith set off for Alaska to serve as missionaries. John served as a missionary in Bethel Alaska until 1898. At the turn of the century John began his service with the Federal Bureau of Education, at his retirement from service in 1921 John had risen from a school teacher to Superintendent of Schools and Reindeer for the Kuskokwim district. After which he returned to missionary work, and served as a missionary in Akiak, Alaska, until his death February 2, 1922 as the result of typhoid fever.

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