Grace Clark

Grace Clark

1888-1979

 

Grace Clark was born 1888 and grew up in Corning, Iowa graduating from Shenandoah High School.  Her mother died when she was young.  Her father, Willis H. Clark, was cashier of the Corning State Savings Bank.  After high school, She moved with her father to Belgrade, Montana where she attended and graduated in 1911 from the Agricultural College of the State of Montana (now Montana State University) in Bozeman.

Upon graduation, Clark joined the Woman’s Foreign Missionary Society (WFMS) of the Methodist Episcopal Church.  She had to apply for a waiver of the WFMS requirement that she be at least 25 years of age (she was then 23).  She arrived at Old Umtali Mission in Southern Rhodesia (Old Mutare Mission, Zimbabwe) 1912 as a teacher at the Fairfield Girls School.  After being “on the field” for only Five weeks, Clark reported, “I have taken charge of a part of the industrial work of the school.  I teach laundering and Basketry four days in the week, also a class in conversational English each day.”

In March 1924, Clark was appointed to the Nyadiri Mission, Southern Rhodesia, to help “open the woman’s work.”  Nyadiri had been established one year earlier.  “With temporary buildings for the schoolgirls to live in, they opened school and by 1925, there were seventy-two girls in residence.”

By 1936 Clark was directress of the Nyadire girl’s school.  As of 1939, she was assigned to the Girl’s Boarding School at Mutambara Mission.  And as of 1942, she was with WFMS’ African Girl’s Hostel in Umtali (Mutare).

Clark retired from the WFMS and had returned from Africa by 1944, serving as a missionary for over 31 years.

References

  • Year Books of the Woman’s Foreign Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church
  • Minutes of the Rhodesia Mission Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church
  • Montana Butte Standard newspaper, August 1, 1937
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