Arthur Jerome Orner

Arthur Jerome Orner

(1888 – 1954)

Arthur Jerome Orner was born March 1888 in Port Jervis, New York.  He grew up in New York City and Philadelphia, where he attended the Northeast Manual Training School (Edison High School).  Mr. Orner joined the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (American Board’s) Mt. Silinda (Selinda) Mission in 1909 at the relatively young age of twenty-one.  Other than brief periods of furlough in the US, Orner would spend the rest of his life in Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe).

Prior to becoming a missionary with the American Board Mission, Orner worked in the building and construction trade and for an electrical manufacturing company.  His experience made him well suited to supervise and teach at Mt. Selinda’s “Industrial” (or “production”) Department, which provided vocational training, operated a sawmill, made and sold furniture and performed maintenance and repairs for the mission.

In c.1912, Orner married Dorothy Edna from South Africa.  Over the years, Orner served in a number of other capacities, including as Mission Secretary, in charge of the boys’ Boarding Department and ultimately Superintendent of Schools.  He served at both the Mt. Selinda and Chikore missions.

Orner died 1954 in Harare, Zimbabwe.  His wife, Dorothy, continued to live in Harare until her death in 1985.



  • The Missionary Herald (Vol.105)
  • Annual Reports of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions.
  • Mark Loomis
  • James Gavin