John Reuling and Eleanor Reuling papers Edit


MSS 257 large


  • 1927-1990 (Creation)


  • 3.1 Linear Feet (Whole)
    6 boxes



  • Conditions Governing Access

    The collection is open for research.

  • Conditions Governing Use

    Copyright is retained by the author of the items in this collection, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

  • Preferred Citation

    Item, Folder number and/or title, Box number, John Reuling and Eleanor Reuling Personal Papers, MSS 257, Special Collections MSU Libraries, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI.

  • Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Gift of Edna Wade, daughter of John Adam and Eleanor Reuling, Port Huron, Michigan in 2003.

  • Processing Information

    The donation was inventoried by Peter Limb, Africana Bibliographer, with the assistance of Tibebe Ashete. Finding aid updated in 2011 by Leslie M. Behm.

  • Biographical / Historical

    John Reuling was born in 1906 in Osceola, Nebraska. He graduated from Michigan State College and later received the M.A. from Cornell University. He was a missionary teacher of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFM) at Adams College, Natal, South Africa (1927-1941), where he was director of teacher training. He also was farm manager and Vice-Principal of Adams College and District Commissioner for the African Boy Scouts. John Reuling He was Africa Secretary for the ABCFM and then an administrator for its successor, the United Church of Christ's Board for World Ministries (UCBWM), serving as regional secretary for Africa (1946-1962) and then General Secretary for Mission (1962- 1972). In this capacity he traveled to Africa, including Angola, Rhodesia, Togo, Ghana and South Africa (he returned briefly to South Africa in the mid-1950s when Adams College was being absorbed under the apartheid regime). Between 1942 and 1945, he was President of Northland College, Ashland, Wisconsin, where he was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws in 1945. He also served as President of Carleton College, Minnesota. He retired in 1971. John Reuling died in Port Huron in 1990.

    Eleanor Swanson Reuling was born in 1903 and graduated from Michigan State College. She married John Reuling in 1926 and in 1927 was appointed an ABCFM missionary to South Africa. She was an educational missionary in South Africa, taught at Adams College and tutored students. She published First Saint to the Zulus, a short biography of missionary James C. Bryant in 1960. Her M.A. entitled “A Graded Program of Outside Reading for American Children Being Educated Abroad”was awarded at MAC in 1934. Eleanor Reuling died in 1983.

    The Reulings may have been the first married couple at MAC.

    (For further biographical notes see: Guide to the John and Eleanor Reuling Papers Compiled by Martha Lund Smalley, Yale University Library, Divinity Library Special Collections, 1997, 2003: )

  • Scope and Contents

    Personal and family papers focusing on Adams College in South Africa, with an East Lansing/Michigan State University connection. Materials include personal papers (chiefly correspondence from South Africa to relatives in East Lansing), pamphlets, publications, and unpublished papers and other personal documents, including photographs. Also included is material on Nobel Peace Prize winner Albert Luthuli.

  • Arrangement

    The materials are arranged in five series: I. Correspondence; II. Publication of Eleanor Reuling; III. Manuscript of Eleanor Reuling; IV. Biographical Documentation; and V. Miscellaneous Documentation on South Africa.

  • Bibliography

    A signed book of abridged letters was published by the couples' oldest child and is integrated into Special Collections' holdings. Wade, Edna Reuling, "Praise Names of Reuling: a Zulu Song. Letters of John & Eleanor Reuling 1927-1941," Bellingham, WA: Village Books, 2015. BV3625.S67 R46 2015

  • Conditions Governing Access

    The material is stored offsite in Remote Storage. Please contact Special Collections 3 working days in advance if you wish to use it.