Papers (1931-1935) including correspondence, reports, photo albums, missionary work, etc.
Miss Myrtle Zicafoose and Miss Ruth O'Toole were Methodist missionaries who served together in a leper colony in the Congo from 1931 to 1960. Miss Zicafoose, who was born in Asbury, West Virginia in 1903, attended Concord State Normal College, the University of West Virginia, and Scarritt College. She received A.B. and M.A. degrees from Scarritt before arriving in the Congo in 1931. Miss O'Toole, born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1899, attended Scarritt College, graduated from nursing training at City Hospital, St. Louis, and went to the Congo as a nurse in 1930. Since retirement, they have lived at Brooks-Howell Methodist Home in Asheville and maintain a summer home near Asbury, West Virginia.
The collection consists of correspondence, reports and photo albums of African life in the Congo.
A report by Miss Zicafoose entitled "The African Family" reviews the tribal breakdown of Africa with various aspects of the daily lives of the natives discussed, including home life, children, marriage, diet, and religion (1931). Correspondence (1933-1935, undated) concerns the Wembo Nyama school, Congo, Africa, including curriculum, school layout, teaching of sewing, daily schedule, and kindergarten classes. Also of significance are commentaries on the Williams Girls Home, efforts to Christianize the natives, persistence of primitive marriage customs, the life and custom of the Batetela (Otetela) tribe, and the work at Minga Leper Colony, Ngelw K'Ongenongeno.
There are also three albums of photographs which picture the life of the African woman, missionary work, African scenes, and various types of illnesses (leprosy, elephantiasis, etc.) which afflict the natives.
Gift of Miss Myrtle Zicafoose
Gift of Miss Ruth O'Toole
Gift of Ralph Scott
Processed by R. Faulkner, May 1975
Encoded by Apex Data Services
Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.