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Noss family papers

Identifier: MS 0624

Scope and Contents

The Noss family Papers consist primarily of letters written by members of the family of Christopher Noss between 1912 and 1924. The principal correspondent is Noss's son Frederick. In letters to his parents and siblings Frederick describes his experiences as a student at Mercersburg Academy in Pennsylvania (1916-1919) and at Princeton University (1919-1923). His letters discuss his schedule, employment, studies and work on the Academy's literary magazine as well as the 1918 influenza epidemic and the possibility of service in the World War. Several letters from 1923-1924 describe his work as a teacher at the Massanutten Academy in Woodstock, Va. Letters to him by his sister Annabelle (Anna Isbabel, later Annabelle Noss Welty) were written when she was a student at Northfield Seminary in 1916 and at Mount Holyoke College 1917-1919. They mention her course work, social activities and events relating to World War I, including the influenza epidemic and the Armistice Day parade in Holyoke, Mass. Most of the other letters in the collection were written to Frederick by his father, his stepmother Carol Day Noss, his brothers John, George, Theodore, and Henry Noss, his grandfather John George Noss, and his aunt Emma N. Burkholder. The letters chiefly concern family news with occasional references to Christopher Noss' work as a missionary in Japan. The collection also includes transcripts of all but two of the letters, compiled by Frederick's daughter Letitia Noss Mutter, and genealogical and biographical information about the family.


  • Creation: 1912 - 1924

Conditions Governing Access


Biographical Note

Christopher Noss was born on Sept. 23, 1869 in Huntington, Indiana. He attended Franklin and Marshall Academy, and received his theology degree from Lancaster Theological Seminary. He worked as a missionary in Japan ca. 1893-1934. He married his first wife, Lura Boyer, on Oct. 22, 1895. They had six children before her death in 1907. Noss married Carol (Carolyn) Day, a 1905 graduate of Mount Holyoke College, on July 14, 1909. They remained in Japan and had six more children. Christopher died on Dec. 31, 1934. Fredrick Boyer Noss was born in Japan on June 3, 1901. He came to the United States in 1916 to attend Mercersburg Academy in Pennsylvania, graduating in 1919. He graduated from Princeton University in 1923. He worked as a teacher at Massanutten Academy in Woodstock, Virginia 1923-1924. He then attended Harvard and graduated from its Divinity School in 1935. He married Emily Letitia Miller, had two daughters, and was a minister of the South Church in Andover, Mass. Anna Isabel Noss, or Annabelle as she is referred to in the letters, was born in Japan on December 4, 1899. She graduated from Northfield Seminary in Northfield, Mass. in 1917 and from Mount Holyoke College in 1921. She was an English teacher at Ilion High School (Ilion, N.Y.) 1921-1923, then went to the Oberlin College Kindergarten Training School 1923-1924 to prepare for work as a missionary in Japan. She did not go to Japan, however, and in 1925 was an assistant teacher at the Carter School in Princeton, N.J. She married Ivan R. Welty in 1926, enrolled in the Oberlin College School of Theology and received her M.A. there in 1928. The Welty's had four children.


1 boxes (1950)

Language of Materials



Noss family. Christopher Noss and Lura Boyer Noss, d.1907, and Carol Day Noss and 12 children. Papers consist of correspondence between the family while the parents were missionaries in Japan. Principally documenting the education of two of the children, Frederick Boyer Noss, 1901- , and Anna Isabel (Annabelle) Noss Welty, 1899-2000, in addition to family matters, home life, report cards and academic life. Also includes genealogical and biographical information provided by the donor.

Noss Family Papers, 1912-1924.
Edited Full Draft
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Repository Details

Part of the Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections Repository

50 College Street
8 Dwight Hall
South Hadley MA 01075-6425 USA