REEVE, THOMAS ELLIS.
Thomas Ellis and Etha Mills Reeve papers, circa 1887-1971

Emory University

Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library

Atlanta, GA 30322

404-727-6887

rose.library@emory.edu

Permanent link: http://pid.emory.edu/ark:/25593/8zt6h

Collection Stored Off-Site

All or portions of this collection are housed off-site. Materials can still be requested but researchers should expect a delay of up to two business days for retrieval.


Descriptive Summary

Creator: Reeve, Thomas Ellis.
Title: Thomas Ellis and Etha Mills Reeve papers, circa 1887-1971
Call Number:Manuscript Collection No. 863
Extent: 11 linear ft. (23 boxes) and 9 oversized papers (OP)
Abstract:Papers of Methodist minister and missionary Thomas Ellis Reeve, Sr. and his wife, Etha Mills Reeve which include family correspondence, diaries, legal and financial records, mission records, photographs, sermons, printed material, writings, and ephemera.
Language:Materials entirely in English.

Administrative Information

Restrictions on Access

Collection stored off-site. Researchers must contact the Rose Library in advance to access this collection.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

All requests subject to limitations noted in departmental policies on reproduction.

Source

Gift, 2000.

Citation

[after identification of item(s)], Thomas Ellis and Etha Mills Reeve papers, Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, Emory University.

Processing

Processed by Jana Lonberger and Susan Potts McDonald, November 2003.


Collection Description

Biographical Note

Thomas Ellis Reeve, Sr. (1889-1971), Methodist minister, was born to James Harris and Jennie Alice Ellis Reeve in Atlanta, Georgia. His siblings included, James H. (Jim), C.P. (Phil), Sue Janette, and Gladys. In 1896, the family moved to Calhoun, Georgia. Reeve's father died in 1900, and his mother married Lawrence (L.) Moss in 1905. Reeve graduated from Emory College in 1909 and Vanderbilt University in 1911. He entered his first pastorate in 1911 with the Methodist Episcopal Church South at Woodland, California, where he remained a year. He served a two-year pastorate at Alameda, California until 1914 when he became pastor of Wesley House in San Francisco.

In 1916 he traveled to the Belgian Congo to do missionary work in Lubefu with the Methodist Episcopal Church Mission South. While in the Congo he met and married fellow missionary Etha Virginia Mills (1883-1974) in December of 1918. Etha (or Ese, as he called her) was born to John Jackson and Ann Maria Yeamans Mills and raised in Apple Grove, Virginia. She graduated from Blackstone Female Institute (Blackstone, Virginia) in 1905 and studied at Peabody College in Nashville and the University of Virginia. Before traveling to the Congo in January of 1918, she had taught school in Virginia for five years.

The Reeves subsequently were assigned to the Methodist Episcopal Congo Mission (South) at Wembo-Nyama (1921-1923), Tunda (1923-1924), and Minga (1926-1929), with furloughs to the United States in the interim periods. Reeve authored a book, In Wembo-Nyama's Land, detailing his experiences in the Congo. The Belgian government found the book controversial and delayed the Reeves' return to the mission field.

When the Reeves returned from Africa in 1929, they settled in Calhoun, Georgia and took over a dairy and cotton farm. They raised three sons, Thomas Ellis Reeve Jr. (April 29, 1920- ), James "Jack" Jackson Reeve (February 1, 1922- ), and Charles Wiley Reeve (December 26, 1923- ).

Thomas Ellis Reeve, Sr. (1889-1971), Methodist minister, was born to James Harris and Jennie Alice Ellis Reeve in Atlanta, Georgia. His siblings included, James H. (Jim), C.P. (Phil), Sue Janette, and Gladys. In 1896, the family moved to Calhoun, Georgia. Reeve's father died in 1900, and his mother married Lawrence (L.) Moss in 1905. Reeve graduated from Emory College in 1909 and Vanderbilt University in 1911. He entered his first pastorate in 1911 with the Methodist Episcopal Church South at Woodland, California, where he remained a year. He served a two-year pastorate at Alameda, California until 1914 when he became pastor of Wesley House in San Francisco.

In 1916 he traveled to the Belgian Congo to do missionary work in Lubefu with the Methodist Episcopal Church Mission South. While in the Congo he met and married fellow missionary Etha Virginia Mills (1883-1974) in December of 1918. Etha (or Ese, as he called her) was born to John Jackson and Ann Maria Yeamans Mills and raised in Apple Grove, Virginia. She graduated from Blackstone Female Institute (Blackstone, Virginia) in 1905 and studied at Peabody College in Nashville and the University of Virginia. Before traveling to the Congo in January of 1918, she had taught school in Virginia for five years.

The Reeves subsequently were assigned to the Methodist Episcopal Congo Mission (South) at Wembo-Nyama (1921-1923), Tunda (1923-1924), and Minga (1926-1929), with furloughs to the United States in the interim periods. Reeve authored a book, In Wembo-Nyama's Land, detailing his experiences in the Congo. The Belgian government found the book controversial and delayed the Reeves' return to the mission field.

When the Reeves returned from Africa in 1929, they settled in Calhoun, Georgia and took over a dairy and cotton farm. They raised three sons, Thomas Ellis Reeve Jr. (April 29, 1920- ), James "Jack" Jackson Reeve (February 1, 1922- ), and Charles Wiley Reeve (December 26, 1923- ).

Scope and Content Note

The collection contains the personal papers of Thomas Ellis Reeve, Sr. and Etha Mills Reeve from ca. 1905-1929. The papers include family correspondence, diaries, legal and financial records, mission records, photographs, sermons, printed material, writings, and ephemera.

The correspondence includes letters from Ellis Reeve to his parents while he was attending Emory College and Vanderbilt University, letters from his time in California, and while he was a missionary in the Belgian Congo. Correspondents include Methodist Episcopal Church Bishop W.R. (Walter) Lambuth and W.M. Morrison.

The diaries (1916-1920 with gaps) begin with Reeve's descriptions of his travels to the Congo and go on to describe his experiences as a missionary at Wembo-Nyama in the Belgian Congo. The writings series contains mainly sermons written by Reeve and articles written by various missionaries in Africa probably for distribution in Methodist Church publications. Authors include H.P. Anker, Ansil Lynn, Thomas E. Reeve, and Charles P.M. Sheefey.

The photographs are comprised of images of the family and their missionary work and includes a scrapbook containing photographs taken in the Congo depicting missionary life and the native people. The majority of the printed material relates to either the Methodist Episcopal Church, South missionary work in Africa or to Georgia history. Many of the pieces published by the Methodist Church are written in native African language.

Arrangement Note

Organized into eight series: (1) Correspondence; (2) Diaries, scrapbooks, notebooks; (3) Missionary and Methodist Episcopal Church, South records; (4) Family papers; (5) Writings; (6) Photographs; (7) Printed material; and (8) Ephemera.


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Description of Series

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