Rev. William Rufus Foote

Rev. William Rufus Foote
Information & Images

From "The Register" newspaper, Berwick, N.S.

February 23, 1898 - To Korea - At a meeting of the Foreign Mission Committee of the Synod of the Presbyterian Church held at Truro on Tuesday of last week, Dr Robert Grierson and Mr. William Rufus Foote were appointed missionaries to Korea to be ordained and sent out in May next. Dr Grierson is a son of Mr. John Grierson the veteran Sabbath School worker, and Mr. Foote is a son of Mr. Pope Foote of Grafton.

May 25, 1898 - Mr. W. R. Foote will be ordained at St. John on Wednesday next, June 1st. He will leave for the mission field in Corea early in the summer.

June 8, 1898 - A MISSIONARY. - Mr. W. Rufus Foote was ordained and designated a missionary of the Presbyterian Church in Canada to the heathen of Korea at St. John on Wednesday evening last. There was a large attendance to witness the ceremony which was very impressive. As a slight departure from the ordinary routine on such occasions Rev. L. G. MacNeill on behalf of the Ladies Missionary Society, presented Mr. Foote with an elegant copy of the Bible. The departure for Korea will probably take place in July. Mr. Foote will not go alone.

June 29, 1898 - At Middle Musquodoboit, June 23rd, Rev Rufus Foote and Miss Edith, daughter of Mr. Chas. W. Sprott, of Middle Musquodoboit.

June 29, 1898, Waterville column - Rev W.R. Foote, M.A., occupied the pulpit of the Presbyterian Church on Sunday evening. The subject of his address was "Corea," a country for which he leaves this week. Mr. Foote was married on Thursday last to Miss Edith Sprott of Middle Musquodoboit, who will accompany him to the field of his labors. Rev R Grierson, B.A., B Sc., M.D., and Rev Duncan Macrae, missionaries to the same field will go in company with Mr. and Mrs. Foote.

July 27, 1898, THE MISSIONARIES. - Rev. W. R. and Mrs. Foote spent Sunday, 17th, at the residence of Dr. Isaac Murray, New Glasgow. The Doctor is an uncle of Mrs. Foote, and Mrs. Murray is a daughter of the Rev. John Sprott, a Presbyterian pioneer who came from Scotland to Nova Scotia in 1818, barely escaping a dreadful shipwreck on the way out. On Monday, 18th, a farewell meeting was held in Truro in the First Presbyterian Church, when the three young Corean Missionaries addressed a large audience. Mr. Foote eloquently set forth the way in which he had been called to go to Corea.

December 28, 1898 - The Korean Missionary

The Nov. Theologue, published by the Pine Hill students, speaks in the following appreciative way of Rev. W. R. Foote, M. A. one of the seven graduates of last spring and now missionary in Korea.

"William Rufus Foote is one of the few men whom the western part of our Province has given to our college. His native home is Grafton in the Upper Cornwallis Valley whence he first emerged as a student of the Truro Normal School. In '95 he graduated B. A. from Acadia, the recognized leader in his class in Philosophy and football. He received his M. A. from the same college in the following year. During his life with us we learned to know Foote as an earnest student, a pleasant companion and a zealous Christian. Towards the later part of his college days Foote's mind became more and more filled with missionary zeal it also reverted to his Normal School days and his companions there. As a result he departed in July last for the foreign field taking with him a former classmate at Truro as that greatest of missionary luxuries, a wife to form part of his equipment.

"He has gone to toil in a country that furnishes a most remarkable record in missionary labour. There are now over one thousand Christians in Korea as the fruit of only twelve year's labor."

April 12, 1900 - Corea - Rev. W. R. Foote is building a church at Wonsan. A site was secured in the centre of the city. In the sultry heat and beating rain of summer, several of the Christians went to the mountains thirty miles distant and cut the timber, which, while the streams were high, was floated down to the sea shore, from whence it was brought by boat to Wonsan. With liberality the little flock gave of their means and it is to be finished free of debt, seating 500 persons.

The churches that are to be erected in different districts, by Mr. Foote and his associates, are to be built by the Coreans without outside aid. More missionaries, however, are wanted and the Presbyterian Church is strongly appealed to send more agents.

Wonsan, Korea, 1891, images are courtesy of Robert Neff
(sized around 500 KB)

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Notes from Robert Neff about the above images:  Here are two pictures of Wonsan in 1891.  They were taken by a naval officer aboard the USS Alliance when it ferried American Minister (Ambassador) Heard around the open ports of Korea.  These pictures are from the Despatches from the US Legation to the State Department and I got them from the microfilms - not an easy thing to come by - but they can be found with a great deal of searching and time.

From John Parker's Vital Statistics Section on this site

1900 - Foote, Rev. W. R., born to at Wonsan, Corea, 10 June 1900, a daughter.[19 July 1900].

1905 - Foote, Rev. W. R., born to at Wonsan, Korea, 10 Jan 1905, a daughter. [16 Feb 1905].

1905 - Robb, Rev. Alex., born to at Wonsan, Korea, 25 Dec 1904, a daughter. [16 Feb 1905].

1909 - Foote, Sprott John, s/o Rev. W. R. & Edith Foote, of Wonsan, Korea, 28 Aug 1909, died at Middle Musquodobit, age 7 years. [2 Sept 1909 obituary + notice].

1910 - Foote, Rev. W. R., born to at Wonsan, Korea, 9 July 1910, a daughter. [18 Aug 1910].

1911 - Sprott, George, s/o Rev. John Sprott, died at Musquodobit, ‘last week’, age 79 years. [26 October 1911 see p.3].

1912 - Foote, Rev. W. R., born to at Wonsan, Korea, 20 May 1912, a son (Charles Henry). [20 June 1912].

From The Register newspaper

AUGUST 4, 1904 - Letter from Rev. W. R. Foote (in Wonsan) to his mother. Writing about the Russia - Japan war and an attack on Wonsan.

October 26, 1911 Mr. George Sprott died at his home in Musquodoboit last week at the age of 79 years. He was a son of the Rev. John Sprott, one of the fathers of the Presbyterian Church in Nova Scotia. Mrs. Foote, wife of Rev. W. R. Foote, missionary to Korea, is a daughter of the deceased.

May 30, 1912 - Letter from Korea. The following letter, dated Wonsan, Korea, April 10, 1912, addressed to Mr. Thomas Lawson, of Grafton, will be of interest to our readers to many of whom the writer, Rev. W. R. Foote, is well known.


A Wolfville despatch to the Halifax Chronicle says: -

"This week’s foreign post brought from the Orient a book fresh from the press and from the pen of the Rev. William Rufus Foote, M.A., D. D., missionary of the United Church of Canada, now in Wonsan, Korea. The volume is an historical sketch connecting the Old and New Testaments and is in the Korean language. The only English, apart from the title page, is a list of bibliography. Throughout the book the leading events are tabulated, in which dates are set down in Roman numerals.

"The volume is a model of book-makers’ art. In this country it is rare to see a book bound so well. The paper is of the finest rice quality and the type for clearness is all that could be desired.

Dr. Foote is a graduate of Acadia University, of the class of 1895. He received the doctor’s degree from the Pine Hill Divinity Hall, in 1920. He has also written in the Korean language a work on the European Reformation.

"Mrs. Foote and family have for some years resided in Halifax."

(Dr. Foote is a son of Mr. Pope Foote of Grafton. Mrs. Newcombe, who resides on Commercial Street, Berwick, is his aunt.)

April 2, 1930 - Obituary - Rev. W. R. Foote, M.A., D.D.