Henry V. Lacy, was born in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin, and educated at Ohio Wesleyan University and the University of Wisconsin. His wife, Jessie Lacy, (nee Ankeny), was born in Corning, Iowa, and educated at Simpson College, Indianola, Iowa. They both became Methodist missionaries, and were married in 1913. Together they had four children, whom Jessie Lacy raised in addition to her duties as a teacher and interim administrator in her husband's absence.
In 1909, Jessie Lacy went to live in Fukien Province, China, as a missionary teacher for the Methodist Episcopal Church at a women's college.
From 1912 to 1949, Henry Lacy was a Methodist Episcopal missionary teacher, evangelist, and administrator in Fukien Province, China, and from 1949 to 1952, in Singapore. One of his placements was at a boy's middle school.
In 1952, the Lacy's moved back to the U.S. to Glendale, California.
Jessie Lacy's sister, Louise Ankeny, was also a teacher in China.
The collection (1909-1952) contains correspondence, mementoes and ephemera, a scrapbook, and photographs. The collection contains about 400 letters.
Series I: Henry Lacy papers consists of his letters from Fukien Province and Singapore to his family and friends in the United States, and a log of a trip to Europe. Subseries A contains outgoing correspondence from 1913 to 1951. His letters provide a sense of hardworking and successful missionary, frequently traveling and expanding his school in Foochow, as well as a down to earth family man.
For some specific details of military struggles, especially of the Nationalists' attempts to reunify China, see the letters of October 1st and 22nd of 1922. The letter of October 6th, 1941, details a Japanese air raid on Foochow. The communist regime is noted in Henry's first letter from Singapore, June 15th, 1949. Subseries B contains Henry's account of a trip to Europe.
Series II: Jessie Lacy papers includes correspondence to her parents and relatives in York, Nebraska and Prescott, Iowa. Subseries A contains letters Jessie Lacy wrote from 1909 to 1950. Her letters are less professional in scope and are written with a more personal voice that ruminates on details of life. Some of her letters contain other material such as photographs, brochures, and prints. Photographs were removed to the photographs series. One Chinese print is located with the letter of July 5th, 1912.
Subseries B contains incoming correspondence, including letters from other missionary friends. Noteworthy letters include Carleton Lacy's account of military action in Shanghai, January 18, 1925, and Mary Lacy's rhetorically charged letter detailing her training as an educator, of September 9, 1938. Within the unidentified incoming correspondence is a letter from Lulie, circa 1910, written on interesting Japanese stationery.
Series III: Louise Ankeny papers consists of outgoing correspondence written between 1920 and 1927 while she was a teacher in Foochow. She adds an additional voice in the description of missionary experience, although she reveals more about the close knit nature of the Ankeny family to whom she writes.
Series IV: Miscellaneous Lacy papers consist of memorabilia, some of which was loose in the scrapbook. Included are mementos from a boat voyage; publications of a missionary newsletter, "The Kuliang Register;" and an advertisement for a farm auction in Prescott, Iowa with a note from Jessie Lacy's father, Joe, on the back, amongst other items.
Series V: Scrapbook consists predominately of newspaper articles but includes photographs, mementos, and other items. The newspaper articles pertain mostly to Jessie's family, the Ankenys, and include obituaries, notices regarding moves, weddings, and public appearances. Of note are several articles written by Jessie Lacy, Lulu Golisch, and others for local newspapers. There is a picture of Jessie Lacy with other missionary women prior to their initial departure for China. Also, there are photos from a trip and photos of the training facilities in Ngu Cheng where the Lacys were teachers. There is also an announcement itemizing Jessie Lacy's father's farm for auction.
Series VI: Photographs contains photographs that were initially located within the correspondence and memorabilia. There are portraits of Jessie Lacy and Lulu Golisch, as well as pictures of Jessie Lacy with her teacher, Eleanor Ding, as well as pictures of unidentified people. Included here is a postcard from Japan which contains a noted from Henry Lacy to Jessie. The first three items were included with Jessie Lacy's letter of December 25, 1909.
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[Identification of item], Lacy family papers, Ax 412, Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, Eugene, Oregon.