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Edward Louis Arndt (1864-1929) Papers

Identifier: Collection ID-1966
Edward Louis Arndt photo

Scope and Contents

The family background, written by Edward Louis Arndt is called “Gottes Wunderwege.” It was transcribed from Gabelsberger (an old German shorthand not used anymore) into German longhand in 1949 and translated by his youngest son, Edward J. Arndt. There are numerous paragraphs called ‘Notes by Author’ that do not necessarily correspond with the page on which they appear. In some cases, the processor of this collection wrote an explanation to guide the reader to the paragraph to which it belongs. In the later volumes of the family history the “Notes by Author” read more like a diary entry since important dates, feelings and thoughts are noted.

This collection also includes a variety of sermons dated from 1848 to 1898 in various handwritings other than Arndt’s. According to the note accompanying these sermons, it appears that Arndt collected them from various sources. They remain part of the collection and can be found in folder #84.

The Edward L. Arndt Papers are separated into two major series: his Autobiography and the China Mission. The first series includes also a genealogy of the Salomon family (his wife’s roots) and covers his upbringing, first call and time as a professor until 1910. The latter covers the period from 1910 to his death in China in 1929 and is easily accessible since E. J. Arndt, his son, arranged this part of the collection into binders by year.


  • Creation: 1864 - 1929

Biographical / Historical

Edward L. Arndt was born on 19 December 1864 in Bukowin, Pomerania. He came from a strongly Lutheran family that left Pomerania (the Polish Corridor) to improve their living standard in America. They settled on the west side of Chicago where land was cheap. His father, Ferdinand Johann Arndt, was largely uneducated; he could write but not spell. By trade Ferdinand Johann was a shoemaker, yet he soon learned how to build houses. He wanted all his sons to be educated and to enter the ministry. He even hoped that Edward would serve as his pastor.

Arndt attended a parochial school where he had solid teachers who prepared him to enter the Quinta class at Concordia College (Fort Wayne, Indiana). His formal education was completed at Concordia Seminary (Saint Louis), at the age of 19 in 1885. His diploma was signed by C. F. W. Walther, G. Schaller, M. Guenther, F. Pieper, R. Lange and G. Stoeckhardt. After graduation he became an "autodidakt," increasing his knowledge by teaching himself. While studying science at Fort Wayne, he developed an interest in entomology and wanted to go to Brazil. Eventually he became a science professor.

Arndt was a devoted husband and father. On 1 May 1887 he married Johanne Marie Karoline Salomon in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He had met her when he was 13 years of age as a student at Concordia College. They remained friends throughout his years in Fort Wayne and Saint Louis. Notes later revealed that Arndt had secretly become engaged to Marie already on 1 September 1886. Eight children were born to this union: Joseph (13 March 1888–24 December 1906); Lydia Caroline Theodora (5 December 1889–21 August 1971); Paul Johann Ferdinand (18 June 1891–27 July 1969); Agnes Hermine Louise Christine (23 September 1893–17 March 1974); Walter Ferdinand Theodore (13 June 1897–8 October 1943); Christian Ottomar (3 November 1899–5 February 1966); Karl John Richard (17 September 1903–25 October 1991); Edward Hans Arnold (15 October 1909).

Arndt’s first call was to Michigan where he founded Trinity Lutheran Church, East Saginaw, writing out its constitution in longhand. He remained there for twelve years and blamed himself for delaying the congregation’s growth.

In 1897 Arndt was ripe for accepting a call to the new Concordia College, Saint Paul, Minnesota, which had just been founded three years earlier. He was installed as its first professor of science on 2 March 1897. Professor Arndt served this college faithfully for thirteen years. A controversy arose in the summer of 1908 that eventually led to his dismissal. The conflict erupted when Arndt recommended that three students not be promoted to the next grade due to low test scores. Among these students was Martin Pfotenhauer, son of Friedrich Pfotenhauer, the president of the Missouri Synod at that time. Later in the 1908/09 academic year more discipline problems occurred, especially with student Karl von Schenk, son of one of the founders of Concordia College. Professor Arndt was not supported by the faculty, and on 20 February 1910 he was summarily dismissed. Forced to move into low-income housing in Saint Paul with his large family, Arndt felt exiled. A wealthy woman in his former congregation in Saginaw offered him a free home, but he would not accept it.

Arndt attended several missionary conferences that were being held in Minneapolis and Chicago. He became interested in China, which at that time was still an empire under the declining Manchu Dynasty. Arndt apparently did not expect favorable treatment from the synodical hierarchy for his idea to begin mission work in China because he created his own mission society, The China Mission Society, in May 1912. Only two months later Arndt was installed as missionary at New Ulm. He wrote and paid for publishing two books of sermons, one English and one German. These he sold to build up a reserve fund for the mission. He also edited a newsletter called Missionsbriefe, for which he charged 25 cents. Readers would pledge regular payments to support the mission society. Although there were difficult years ahead, the society remained alive for five years until it was taken over by the Missouri Synod. Arndt was already fluent in German and English, and he mastered the Chinese language although he was already 49 years of age.

Arndt was a man with strong convictions that often brought him into conflict with those who did not see things his way. He would not compromise on maintaining academic standards at Concordia College. In China he maintained close contacts with all Lutheran missions, and he supported German missionaries stranded in China during the First World War. He preached in the German Community Church during the war.

He held his own for six years against an onslaught of fellow missionaries over the “term question.” The Term Question was the biggest controversy the young mission society had to endure. It basically revolved around the Chinese term for God. Arndt continued to use the term Shang Ti, while his opponent, George Lillegard, favored the term Shen as more appropriate for depicting the God of the Scriptures. This controversy cast a pall over Lillegard’s missionary activities in China, yet he held to his views even after the faculty of Concordia Seminary (Saint Louis), took a firm stand against him in 1926.

Arndt refused to leave his post in Hankow in 1926-27 during the communist up-raising. Two of his trained evangelists were falsely accused and faced execution if he did not prove their innocence. He succeeded. During this unrest Arndt actually took steps to surrender his U.S. citizenship, if necessary, to remain with his flock. He never retired from his position as pioneer missionary. He outlasted the Hankow Chinese communist government in 1927. When rumors of his death circulated, the lowliest rickshaw coolie would know of the passing of “Hu-tze” (the bearded one). Arndt died on 18 April 1929. He was buried in the international cemetery in Hankow. In 1981 his son Edward visited the gravesite to pay his respects, but no trace of it remained. The cemetery may have survived the devastating flood of 1931, but when Mao took over, each grave was leveled.

Chronology of Edward Louis Arndt

  • 26 February 1841 Ferdinand Johann, ELA’s father was born.
  • 13 June 1864 Johanne Marie Karoline Salomon was born (ELA’s wife).
  • 19 December 1864 Edward Louis Arndt was born in Bukowin, Pomerania as the first child of Ferdinand and Johanne (Flinkow) Arndt.
  • 17 May 1866 The Arndts board the “Helen” for New York.
  • 3 July 1866 Arrival in New York to the sounds of fireworks. Take up residence in Chicago, Illinois.
  • 24 May 1867 Louise Wilhelmine Johanne was born (1st child; oldest sister of ELA).
  • 23 April 1868 Wilhelm Johann was born (2nd child; oldest brother of ELA).
  • 15 March 1869 Johanne Auguste was born (3rd child; second sister of ELA).
  • 1870-1872 Brothers and sisters of Ferdinand arrived one by one in the USA accompanied by their spouses.
  • Winter 1870 New house was purchased on the corner of Taylor and Lafflin in Chicago, Illinois.
  • 8 October 1871 The big Chicago fire, the Arndt family’s house was spared.
  • 3 August 1873 Johanne Auguste died of smallpox (age 4).
  • 10 August 1873 Wilhelm Johann died of smallpox (age 5).
  • 17 December 1873 Ernst Wilhelm was born (4th child; second brother of ELA).
  • 27 December 1873 Ernst Wilhelm died of bronchitis (age 10 days).
  • 8 November 1874 Hermann Theodor was born (5th child; third brother of ELA).
  • 15 January 1877 Paul Georg was born (6th child; fourth brother of ELA).
  • 1 April 1877 ELA was confirmed at age 12 ½ (see page 1 Binder # 2).
  • October 1877 Arrived at Concordia College, Fort Wayne, Indiana.
  • 20 December 1878 Auguste Louise was born (7th child: 3rd sister of ELA).
  • 15 September 1880 Theodor was born (8th child: 5th brother of ELA).
  • 22 May 1881 Auguste Louise died (age 2).
  • 27 April 1882 Paul Georg died of croup (age 6).
  • September 1882 Enters Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri, received room and board with Prof. P. R. Lange.
  • 19 September 1882 Johann was born (9th child).
  • 1 May 1883 Holds first sermon on Luke 10, 42 at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Chicago, Illinois.
  • 21 July 1884 Ferdinand was born (10th child).
  • Summer 1885 Graduation from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri.
  • 9 August 1885 Entering his first call at Trinity Lutheran Church in East Saginaw, Michigan. Ordained into the Holy Ministry on the 10th Sunday after Trinity. The ordination was performed by Pastor Schmidt; Pastor G. Bernthal (Frankenhilf) and Pastor Johannes G. Walther (Tawes) assisted.
  • 31 December 1886 Voting members of ELA church has increased from 21 to 33 and the school had grown from 18 to 28 students.
  • 1 May 1887 ELA marries Marie Salomon at Ft. Wayne, Indiana.
  • Summer 1887 The congregation made a parsonage available for the young couple who saved $108.00 in rent per year.
  • 7 December 1887 The congregation collected $ 280 for his salary and the Missionary treasury contributed another $ 20.-
  • 13 March 1888 Joseph their first son was born. (Died: 24 December 1906)
  • 2 September 1888 A call was extended to ELA from Tawas in Josco County, Michigan. He turned the call down.
  • 8-14 May 1889 ELA attends Synodical Conference in Saginaw.
  • 9 December 1889 Lydia Caroline Theodora their 2nd child was born (Died on 21 Aug 1971).
  • 17 August 1890 Teacher Johann Gottlieb Weiss was installed, ELA contributed $100.- of his total annual salary of $400.- to be used to pay the teacher's salary.
  • 18 June 1891 Paul Johann Ferdinand, their 3rd child was born (died on 27 July 1969).
  • January -July 1892 Serves as vacancy pastor in two congregations north of Saginaw Bay.
  • 26 September 1893 Agnes Hermine Louise Christine, their 4th child was born (died 17 March 1974).
  • Christmas 1893 The pastor’s wife Marie was very ill.
  • June 1894 ELA attends Synodical Conference in Monroe.
  • 8-14 May 1895 ELA attends Synodical Conference in Frankenmuth and preaches on the “Divine Providence”.
  • October 1895 Attends Pastor’s and Teachers conference and was asked to present a paper on the difference between the various types of sins.
  • Christmas 1895 Pastor Arndt suffered severely from a carbuncle on his neck.
  • February 1897 Receives a call to Concordia College in St. Paul, Minnesota.
  • 2 March 1897 ELA is installed as Professor for Science, Mathematics and US History at Concordia College in St. Paul, Minnesota.
  • 13 June 1897 Walter Ferdinand Theodore, their 5th child was born (died 8 October 1943).
  • 3 November 1899 Christian Ottomar, their 6th child was born (died 5 February 1966).
  • 22 October 1922 First meeting of the Luther Conference was held.
  • 17 September 1903 Karl John Richard, their 7th child was born (died 25 October 1991).
  • 24 December 1906 Joseph Arndt died (1st child).
  • 1907 Ferdinand his youngest brother died from drowning.
  • September 1907 ELA undertook a mission journey to Canada (Port Arthur, Fort Wallach) and came home very sick, he was hospitalized with typhus fever. This illness made him bedridden for approx. 6 weeks.
  • 17 September - 10 October 1907 Professor Arndt is unconscious in Luther Hospital (297 E. Tenth Street) in St. Paul, Minnesota
  • 23-29 June 1909 Attended Synodical conference in Minneapolis, MN.
  • 14 August 1910 Arndt attends the 25th anniversary of Trinity Church in Saginaw, Michigan and preaches at both services.
  • 15 October 1909 Edward Hans Arnold, their 8th child was born.
  • 22 February 1910 Dismissal from Concordia College, St. Paul Minnesota, (end of his autobiography). They lived at 1230 St. Anthony Ave. in St. Paul at this time.
  • 26-28 April 1910 ELA attends Laymen’s Missionary Movement Conference in St. Paul’s Auditorium.
  • 30 May 1910 ELA attends Men’s National Missionary Congress in Chicago.
  • 20 July 1911 Moved out of 1230 St. Anthony into 604 Rondo Street (bad neighborhood, 4 unplastered rooms) lease $ 160.- annually.
  • 9-10 October 1911 Uprising in Hankow and Wuchang.
  • 1 December 1911 Received calls to Flaxton, North Dakota and Forest, Wisconsin; turned both of the calls down.
  • 1 December 1911 First edition of “Missionsbriefe” appears.
  • March 1912 ELA decided to move family to China.
  • 1 May 1912 Mission Society organized - 102 members.
  • 14 July 1912 Commissioning as missionary to China in Neu Ulm.
  • 8 September 1912 Last family reunion in St. Paul.
  • 29 November 1912 ELA receives his passport for China.
  • 24 January 1913 The Arndt Family leaves St. Paul Minnesota for Seattle.
  • 28 January 1913 The ship “Tamba Maru” leaves the mainland of the United States on her 35th Pacific crossing with the Arndt Family as passengers.
  • 18 February 1913 ELA visits an old classmate from Ft. Wayne in Japan; his name is Henry Siguaro Midzuno.
  • 25 February 1913 Arrival of the “Tamba Maru” in Shanghai.
  • 27 February 1913 Left Shanghai on the Japanese river steamer “Ta Li” for Hankow.
  • 3 March 1913 At 10:00 a.m. the Arndt Family had reached their destination, there was nobody there to greet them.
  • 25 March 1913 The Arndt family moves into a 3-room apartment with an outside kitchen.
  • 18 June - 4 September 1913 First Summer Vacation in Missionary Soevik’s house in Shekow.
  • 9 September 1913 Rev. Kastler - a resident pastor in China - accepts the call extended by the Mission Society in Minnesota to start a mission station in Beijing.
  • 12 September 1913 Held his first sermon in Chinese in Rev. Kastler’s Chinese chapel.
  • Fall 1913 ELA is sick with a very high fever.
  • November 1913 Missionary Arndt employed two Chinese helpers - Li Hai San and Hsie Ho Ngan.
  • 13 November 1913 Rev. Arndt and Rev. Kastler take a train to Beijing to search out the mission field.
  • December 1913 ELA confirms his son Christian and two other Chinese members.
  • 7 February 1914 Arndt informs the mission society about the final break between Rev. Kastler and ELA.
  • 10 February 1914 He rents a house to be used as a home and a chapel in the French Concessions.
  • 5 March 1914 ELA open the Hua Bu Gai chapel (the second one).
  • 29 March 1914 Baptized his first Chinese child using Chinese language.
  • 9 April 1914 Conducted his first Communion Service in Chinese.
  • 26 May 1914 Hua Bu Gai School began operating.
  • 1 June 1914 Hai So Li School started operation.
  • 10 July - 22 August ELA taking a summer vacation in Jigungshan and meets fellow Lutheran missionaries from different synods.
  • 3 August 1914 World War I started.
  • September / October 1914 Missionary Arndt was not paid for two months; his monthly salary is $66.66.
  • 5 October 1914 Two additional new schools were opened in a very poor part of town.
  • 30 November 1914 Mission Society sends check of $ 300.-
  • 26 December 1914 A large fire consumed many nearby houses.
  • 1 April 1915 Ferdinand Arndt (ELA’s father) died of dropsy at age 74.
  • 4 April 1915 Missionary Arndt called all students from the four different schools together for a picture (see # CM-368 and CM-369).
  • 9-12 April 1915 Lutheran Synodical Conference was held in Shekow.
  • 8 June 1915 Rev. Erhard Riedel accepted a call to become the second LCMS missionary to China.
  • 21 June 1915 The 5th school opened - called Jiao Xia Hang.
  • Jul 1915 As of the next issue, the Missionsbriefe will be published in the United States due to the weak exchange rate.
  • 25 July 1915 Start of a 2 ½ week summer vacation in Kuling. Rev. Arndt became sick there suffering from dysentery.
  • 19 September 1915 Walther Arndt (5th child) leaves Hankow for the U.S. to enter Concordia Seminary.
  • 3 October 1915 Rev. Arndt baptized his first entire Chinese family.
  • 5 October 1915 Arndt leaves Hankow for the US to probate his father will.
  • 29 October 1915 Arrives in Chicago. His 16-year-old son, Christian, takes over ELA’s administrative school work during his father’s absence.
  • 18 January 1916 Rev. and Mrs. Riedel arrive in Hankow, they are met at the dock by Mrs. Arndt and her three sons.
  • 11 February 1916 ELA return to China.
  • 22 February 1916 Director C. W. Landahl reports to the Missions Society very favorably about the China Mission.
  • 8 March 1916 Daughter of teacher Hsie died and was buried. Big Funeral for Chinese standards, white decorations etc.
  • 1 May 1816 ELA’s 30th wedding anniversary.
  • 6 August 1916 Synodical Conference in Kuling.
  • October 1916 His salary for one months was $ 83.33
  • December 1916 ELA remembers this as their ‘best Christmas’.
  • 14 March 1917 Diplomatic relations between China and Germany were broken off.
  • Summer 1917 Completion of translation of one full church year of Walther sermons.
  • 22-27 August 1917 Attended (as a guest) a conference held in commemoration of the 400th Anniversary of the Chikungsan.
  • 2 September 1917 President Pfotenhauer officially announced that the Mission Society was taken over by the LCMS.
  • 14 December 1917 Rev. L. Meyer and his wife arrive in Shanghai as the first official LCMS missionaries to China.
  • April 1918 Rev. Arndt and Rev. Riedel for several days in Wuchang to explore mission possibilities there.
  • 5 April 1918 Agnes Arndt arrives in Hankow.
  • 15-16 April 1918 First Missouri Synod Missionary Conference held in Hankow. Missionaries Arndt, Riedel, and Meyer attended.
  • 1 May 1918 Rev. Riedel started his own mission.
  • 9 August 1918 ELA takes over Rev. Kastler’s chapel the one ELA started five years ago.
  • 25 August 1918 ELA notes in his diary “... the busiest season of my whole life” possibly talking about the completion of the Chinese hymnal.
  • 10 September 1918 Christian Arndt starts working for a British firm called Arnold Brothers.
  • Fall 1918 Mission society could not pay the monthly salaries for their missionaries.
  • 1919 Two new schools started during the year - these schools were only for girls (poor attendance).
  • 18-31 March 1919 Mrs. Arndt admitted to the International Hospital.
  • 6 April - 28 May 1919 Mrs. Arndt returned to the hospital.
  • May 1919 Missionaries Riedel and Gebhardt went on an exploratory trip to Shihnanfu to check the suitability as mission field.
  • 31 May 1919 ELA accompanied his sick wife to Kuling for a summer vacation, she remained there until early in July. ELA however left on Jun 5th.
  • 11-25 June 1919 The Arndt family moves under protest of ELA to their new home in the Russian Concession.
  • 24 July 1919 Son Walther (22) and daughter Lydia (25) leave San Francisco for China on the Empress of Asia.
  • 26 July - 3 August 1919 ELA returns to Kuling and attends two conferences.
  • 4-9 August 1919 Meeting in Chikungsan with the Committee of Lutheran Missionaries.
  • 18-24 August 1919 ELA meets with the hymnal committee.
  • 22 November 1919 Missionary L. Meyer started his own school at San Yuan Li.
  • 29 February 1920 Missionaries Riedel, Gebhardt and Gihring left to establish a mission station in Shihnanfu approx. 300 miles north of Hankow.
  • 14 March 1920 New school opened called T’ai Ho Ch’iao.
  • 9 June 1920 Agnes A. writes letter to the mission board requesting a furlough for the family.
  • 7 July 1920 The Mission Board of this date states 9 schools with 13 teachers and 221 students.
  • 20 August 1920 The Chinese hymnbook appeared in print.
  • Summer 1920 Lydia Arndt takes her mother to Kuling for the summer.
  • 22-29 August 1920 3rd Union Lutheran Conference held in Chikungsan.
  • 14 September 1920 Missionary Gihring’s 11 months old son died, was buried at the International Cemetery.
  • 8 November 1920 Sons Walter and Christian Arndt leave China for the USA.
  • 5 March 1921 The Riedel family returns from their mission station to Hankow.
  • 17 April 1921 Rev. Lillegard commissioned to once again become a missionary to China.
  • 3-9 May 1921 ELA made an excursion along the Han river to Meh Man Gwey.
  • 23 May 1921 Vice President Brand arrived.
  • 29 May 1931 Grand Rally took place.
  • 11 June 1921 Rev. Lillegard arrived in Hankow.
  • 27 June 1921 Trip to Changsha for Vice President Brand was arranged by ELA.
  • 11 July - 3 August 1921 The duration of the Kuling Conference.
  • 5 July 1921 Rev. Brand and Rev. Arndt sailed for Kuling.
  • 9 August 1921 ELA returns from Kuling and also celebrates the 36th anniversary of his ordination.
  • 18 September 1921 ELA return to U.S. on board of the “Katori Maru’
  • 13 October 1921 ELA arrived in Seattle.
  • 11 November 1921 New missionaries arrive.
  • 30 November 1921 ELA arrives in St. Louis for a meeting with the mission board.
  • January - August 1922 ELA tours the United States and presents lectures of his mission work in China.
  • 15 February 1922 Rev. Riedel and Rev. Meyer open the first LCMS seminary in Hankow during ELA’s furlough.
  • August 1922 ELA leaves Seattle to return to China.
  • 8 October 1922 Arrives in Shanghai and is met by his daughter Lydia.
  • 9 October 1922 Mrs. Arndt and Agnes leave from San Francisco to return to China.
  • January 1923 Missionary Arndt takes 5 comprehensive exams in Chinese and passes them superbly.
  • April 1923 Begins translating Hoenecke’s “Entwuerfe ueber die Altkirchlichen Episteln”.
  • 29 June 1923 Summer semester at the Seminary begins, ELA teaches Homiletics.
  • July 1923 Third Missionary Conference in Kuling, Rev. Arndt does not attend.
  • 5-10th September 1923 Rev. Lillegard gives a brief teaching performance at the Hankow Seminary and leaves after 5 days for dubious reasons.
  • 22 July 1923 Groundbreaking of three new homes for missionaries.
  • 17 December 1923 The translation of several documents for Chinese worship was completed by ELA.
  • January 1924 A Chinese monthly magazine will be published.
  • 28 February 1924 Walter (5th child of ELA and Marie) married Rhoda Bente at a ceremony conducted in St. Louis by Dr. Bente.
  • 12 April 1924 Walther and Rhoda have a special wedding party in Hankow at the Arndt home.
  • 14 April 1924 Dr. Kleid and family arrive in Hankow to become the medical missionary there.
  • February 3 -September 1925 Duration of Missionary Meyer's service in China.
  • A committee was established to confer with ELA.
  • 17 April 1925 Rev. Lillegard announced that his version of the Luther and Schwan’s catechism (Shen translation) is being used.
  • 5 July 1925 ELA ill; ‘Fainted 5 times this morning” a diary entry revealed.
  • 8 August 1925 ELA arrives at Kuling Conference.
  • 28 September 1925 Missionary Arndt sends his paper on the Term Question to Concorida Seminary St. Louis, Springfield, Ill. and the Norwegian Synod.
  • 29 September 1925 ELA leaves Kuling.
  • 25 November 1925 ELA announced that his version (Shang-Di translation) is being used in mimeographed form in the seminary (he had it reproduced at his own expense).
  • 7 March 1926 ELA presented the Chinese version of his paper “God’s Footsteps in Ancient China” which he originally wrote in 1916 for the Missionsbriefe.
  • 27 April 1926 Rev. Lillegard requests that ELA be recalled and retired by the Board of Foreign Missions.
  • 10 May 1926 Prof. Graebner from the faculty of Concordia Seminary St. Louis writes to Rev. Lillegard and gives a very objective explanation why the term question controversy should be ended.
  • May 1926 Prof Sihvonen asked ELA to come to Shekow to give a lecture to the Chinese students.
  • 22 May 1926 the above request was repeated.
  • 28 July 1928 ELA attends Kuling Conference.
  • 5 September 1926 Missionaries Arndt and Gebhardt leave on the ship Empress of Canada to go to St. Louis and defend their positions on the term question.
  • 8 September 1926 Son Eddy Arndt arrived in Shanghai from Fort Wayne, Indiana.
  • 23 September 1926 Rev. Arndt arrives in St. Louis.
  • 8-11 October 1926 2nd missionary meeting takes place in Hankow’s German Community Church in ELA’s absence.
  • 25 October 1926 5 new missionaries arrive in Shanghai where Walther Arndt will welcome them (Martin Simon, Henry Ol Theiss, A.F. Cloeter, Elmer Thode, A.F. Meyer.
  • 20 October 1926 ELA leaves to return to China on the Shizuoka Maru.
  • 22 November 1926 ELA arrives in Hankow.
  • 2 December 1926 Two single women missionaries arrive (Olive Green and Gertrud Simon).
  • 20 February 1927 Rev. and Mrs. Lillegard leave China - never to return.
  • 24 February 1927 A meeting was called in Hankow for all remaining missionaries in the LCMS China Mission: Klein, Riedel, Schmidt, Theiss, Ziegler, Zschiegner and Arndt attended.
  • 29 March 1927 saddest day of China Mission - departure of Riedel, Klein, Ziegler and wives, Mrs. Arndt and Eddy leave also for Shanghai.
  • 6 April 1927 Remaining missionaries leave - ELA and Agnes alone remain in Hankow.
  • 9 April 1927 Writes letter to the Nationalist Government to apply for Chinese citizenship.
  • 11 April 1927 ELA handcarries this request.
  • 16 April 1927 Application for Chinese citzenship is withdrawn.
  • 10-16 May 27 Eddie Arndt returns to Hankow to continue his education with his father.
  • 20 May 1927 ELA marches along-side the chained prisoners Pi and Li as they were brought to Wuchang and back.
  • 1 June 1927 Evangelists Pi and Li were found not guilty and released from prison.
  • 1 July 1927 Mrs. Arndt returns to Hankow from Shanghai.
  • 23 July 1927 Missionary Arndt registers as American citizen.
  • 25 July 1927 Eddie Arndt returned to the U.S. leaving Hankow in a convoy.
  • 3 August 1927 Missionary Arndt started the Chinese chapels again.
  • 7 August 1927 The Seminary at Shekow had been taken over by Chinese troops.
  • 3 September 1927 Missionaries Zschiegner, Schmidt and Theiss returned from Shanghai.
  • 1 October 1927 The faculty of Concordia Seminary in St. Louis issued a 2nd finding on the term question (it was similar to their 1st one).
  • 18 October 1927 Three major literary works translated by ELA were completed. “A Year of Mercy” sermons, “Chinese Lutheran School Practice” and “Dietrich’s Explanation of Luther’s Catechism”.
  • 27 May - 3 June 1928 ELA attends General Assembly of Lutherans in Shekow.
  • 3 Jun 1928 Found revealing letter on his table (not for his eyes - though addressed to the missionaries in Hankow) written by Rev. Lillegard.
  • 23 September 1928 ELA provides a complete list of Lutheran literature now available in Chinese to the Mission Board.
  • 24 October 1928 Agnes sends an urgent plea to the U.S. announcing a severe sickness of Mrs. Arndt which called for immediate surgery.
  • November 1928 Rev. Klein return to China and moved into No. 5 Milan Terrance; he was now a neighbor of Missionary Arndt.
  • 1 December 1928 Agnes and Mrs. Arndt are leaving from Shanghai on the Empress of France for medical treatment in the US.
  • 6 February 1929 ELA wrote preface to his “Passionspredigten” (40 sermons given by Rev. Stoeckhardt.
  • 11 February 1929 Mrs. Arndt was successfully operated in Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, MD.
  • 20 March 1929 ELA wrote an article called: “Uebrige Brocken” (= crumbs).
  • 15 April 1929 ELA writes last letter to his daughters.
  • 18 April 1929 Missionary Edward Louis Arndt dies on a Thursday morning.
  • 21 April 1929 Rev. E. L. Arndt was laid to rest in the Hankow International Cemetery. Two funeral services were held - one in Chinese in front of his home and one in German in the little German Chapel.
  • 28 April 1929 A memorial service was held for Rev. Arndt, at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Newark N.J. where his son Paul was the pastor.
  • Extent

    8.17 Linear Feet (Twenty-two 2" 3-ring binders; ten 5" letter boxes; one 3" 3-ring binder; one slide box)

    Language of Materials




    Physical Location

    A.04.8.1, A.04.8.2, A.04.8.3

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Some of the materials in this collection were donated to the Institute at various times by the following people: John Theodore Mueller (Feb. 1954); E.C. Zimmermann (Aug. 1955); Pritzlaff Library, Concordia Seminary, St. Louis (Aug. 1956); Paul F. Arndt (March 1959); Karl J. R. Arndt (April 1966); Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis (Feb. 1962); Edward J. Arndt, April 1981, June 1984. The miscellaneous papers included copies of the Missionsbriefe; books from Arndt’s library, notebooks of miscellaneous sermons, a bundle of sermons by various other clergy and a mailing list for Missionsbriefe.


    For more information on missions in China, the Institute has an unprocessed collection of China Mission Records available. This collection includes minutes of the Chinese Evangelical Lutheran Church, the Chinese Area Coordinating Committee, artwork, correspondence, historical information, linguistics and additional files on the Chinese Term Question. This material was donated by various individuals during the period of 1955 to 1992.

    The Institute’s LCMS Foreign Mission Records also contain an extensive collection of E.L. Arndt and George Lillegard correspondence.

    Dr. Edward J. Arndt, youngest son of Missionary E. L. Arndt, compiled all the material in this collection, translated a great deal of the information into English and explained the circumstances of the times. He also solely funded the project to arrange and describe the collection and to make the finding aids available in the Institute Reading Room and on the Internet. The collection was processed by Brigitte Conkling, who worked closely with Dr. Arndt in producing the final product.

    The Arndt Missionsbriefe have been scanned and are available on DVDs and in the Photoscans drive on the CHI local area network.

    Edward Louis Arndt (1864-1929) Papers
    Brigitte H. Conkling
    May 14, 1998
    Description rules
    Describing Archives: A Content Standard
    Language of description
    Script of description
    Edition statement
    Revised by Marvin A. Huggins, August 28, 2012

    Repository Details

    Part of the Concordia Historical Institute Repository

    804 Seminary Place
    Saint Louis MO 63105 USA