The materials in this collection, which consists of photos, postcards, letters, newsletters, and correspondence, were donated to the Sternberg Museum. The museum gave the files, photos and other items to the University Archives. This digital collection showcases the photos and postcards from the Rev. Charles E. Davis and his wife, Delle Holland Davis.
Rev. Charles E. Davis and his wife, Delle, began their missionary service for the Methodist Episcopal Church in Borneo in 1911. They served the Iban head-hunters tribes in the interior jungles and set up a Methodist Church and School. According to files from the Baker University Archives (which hold the materials for the Methodist Church in Kansas), Rev. Davis and his wife Delle were in Borneo from 1911-1916. They left because of Rev. Davis’ severe illness for which he was on sick leave through 1917. He worked for the Field Work Board of Foreign Missions from 1918-1919, and then went into pastoral services where he served one year in the Missouri Conference and transferred to the Kansas Conference in September 1920. After serving a number of Kansas Methodist churches, he retired in 1952. Rev. Davis was born July 28, 1879 in Knightsville, Indiana and passed away on July 13, 1971 in Great Bend, Kansas. His wife, Delle M. Holland, was born February 6, 1880 and passed away August 24, 1964. Charles and Delle were married at Pawnee Rock, Kansas on July 29, 1908. They had a daughter, Gaile Holland Davis, who was born in Sarawak, Borneo on September 13, 1915. She passed away in Ellinwood, Kansas on August 20, 2011.
Many of the photos and postcards are not dated, but most of them are probably within the 1911-1916 range during the time they spent in Borneo, and traveling to and from there. Other photos may have been given to them by other missionaries, including Rev. James Hoover and his wife, Ethel Young Hoover.
“Borneo is the second largest island in the world and is situated in the Malaysia group. It is 780 miles long, 690 square with an area of 293,500 square miles. Its coastline is 3,000 and its population is 1,737,000. The island is covered with dense forests and underbrush which makes travel almost impossible even on foot. Rubber is in abundance and large quantities of tobacco, sago, rice, cocoanuts, gums, coffees and teas are exported.” – Written by the Committee on Conservation and Advance, Methodist Episcopal Church (1950’s)