Notable Women Ancestors - Cora Eliza Simpson
Cora Eliza Simpson

Cora Eliza SimpsonMiss Cora Eliza Simpson, a Medical Missionary to China, was born near Oberlin, Decatur County, Kansas on Feb. 13, 1880, the 4th of nine children born to George Mathew and Rhoda Rosina Simpson. She was my great, great aunt.

From her tenderest years, she learned the rudiments of medicine both of humans and animals, from her father, known in those parts as "Doc Simpson". The family traveled by covered wagon to Oregon and back to Nebraska, gathering Indian relics,rocks and minerals along the way, and of course, many stories as well. In 1900 she attended the Nebraska Methodist Medical College at Omaha, and received a public health nursing certificate from Simmons College, Boston.

She went to China in 1907 where she founded and directed the Florence Nightingale School of Nursing in Foochow, China. When she arrived, there were neither Chinese nurses or even a word for "nurse" in the Chinese language. When she left China in 1946, her legacy was 14,000 certified nurses.

She was a life member of the Nurses Assoc. of China, and served as its secretary, was a delegate to the International Council of Nurses at Finland in 1925, and Paris France in 1933. She authored a book, Joy Ride Thru China.

She returned to the US in 1946 and passed on to her ultimate reward May 14, 1960 in Chelsea Michigan.

What is truly amazing about this woman, is that she started out a child of Pioneers, braving the virgin American West, went to College, and took with her to a foreign land besot with famine, disease, poverty and internal strife, her love of healing and love of God. She survived two World Wars in China and to some--insumountable odds. She is an example of selfless giving, to teach that one person can make the difference in humanity enmasse.

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