Skip Navigation

Anne Bassett Kelley (Nan)

Excerpt from: Waupun newspaper clipping found in the photocopied microfilm files of the Anne B. Kelley "Biographical info" folder.

Miss Anne Kelley, sister of Mrs. F. E. Rikkers and niece of Judson Kelley of Waupun, who has completed 21 years of service as a missionary in China, will arrive for a visit in Waupun, Aug. 12.

A graduate of the Waupun High school with the class of 1901, Miss Kelley went to China in 1921 and spent the first year in Peking. She learned to speak the Chinese language and at present is able to speak, read, and write Chinese. She has charge of the English department of Bridgman Academy in Peking, a college for Chinese girls of the better class. This school is controlled by the American Board of Foreign Missions. The 250 girls attending the school are of all castes of Chinese.

After her graduation from high school Miss Kelley taught rural school for two years. She attended Beloit College from 1903 to 1907 and received a bachelor of arts degree. While in Beloit she became interested in the missions movement and pledged herself as a volunteer for mission work abroad. For 10 years after her graduation she taught Latin, French, and German in several high schools in Wisconsin. She then studied for her master's degree at the University of Wisconsin, specializing in English.

Miss Kelley was home on furlough in 1925 and while in the United States studied modern teaching in Boston and did research work at Columbia university in New York City. Upon her return to China, Miss Kelley signed a contract to continue her work for seven years. She then took into her care a little Chinese girl of about six years of age. The child had no relatives except for an old grandmother who supported herself and the child by begging in the streets.

The child was placed in an American school and later in a college from which she was graduated in June 1938. She is now doing social service work in a hospital in interior China.

Anne B. Kelley died Dec. 16, 1972 in Claremont, California.


Examples of Archives Holdings:

Anne Bassett Kelley (class of 1907), known as Nan, became a missionary teacher in China. Her great niece donated an extensive collection of Kelley's correspondence from China during 1919-1923 as well as letters from her adopted daughter in China to Kelley and other family members, dating from the 1940's through the 1990's, altogether amounting to hundreds of letters. Along with the correspondence, we received numerous photographs and memorabilia from Kelley's stay in China. Kelley's letters, written by hand or typed on very thin paper, are marvelously descriptive of her daily life as well as including her more contemplative thoughts and reactions.

  • Biographical information
  • Correspondence
    • from Nan in China to U.S., 1919-1923
    • from Betty (Mei-lin, her adopted Chinese daughter) to U.S., 1943-2000
    • from relatives in Hong Kong to Nan in U.S., 1950s and 1960s
  • Postcards
  • Missionary information and materials
  • Photographs
    • portraits of Nan
    • snapshots of Nan and friends
    • snapshots of China and the mission
    • photos of Betty's family
    • photos of the American relatives' visit to China in 1987