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Belle Caldwell Culbertson 1857 ~ 1934


Mrs. Belle Caldwell Culbertson, wife of Rev. John Newton Culbertson, of Washington, D. C, was born in 1857, in Wheeling, West Virginia, of Scotch-Irish and English Quaker descent. Her ancestor, James Caldwell, a Scotch Presbyterian, came to America from Ulster, Tyrone County, Ireland, in 1769. He was a defender of Fort Henry (now Wheeling), in which defense, out of 44 men in the fort, 24 were killed and 5 wounded.

She is also a descendant of Honorable Francis Yarnall who emigrated from Worcestershire, England, in 1684, settled in Chester County, Pennsylvania, and in 1711 represented Chester County in its Provincial legislature.

John Jolliff Yarnall, a relative of Mrs. Culbertson, was Perry's first lieutenant in the battle of Lake Erie, and for distinguished gallantry on that occasion he was voted a sword by the legislatures of Pennsylvania and Virginia.

Mrs. Culbertson was graduated from the State Normal School of West Virginia, in 1876. Was valedictorian of her class from the Wheeling Female College in 1877; sailed for Indo-China as a missionary of the Presbyterian Board in 1870, and for two years she was principal of the Harriet House School for Girls in Bangkok, Siam.

In January, 1880, Miss Caldwell married Rev. John Newton Culbertson of the same Board of Missions, and in 1881 returned to America. From 1881 to 1887 Rev. and Mrs. Culbertson served as home missionaries at their own charges in South Dakota, building up a flourishing church in that far western field From 1887 to the present date Mrs. Culbertson has resided with her family in Washington, D. C, active in every good work for the betterment of humanity. From 1897 to 1905, Mrs. Culbertson served as the efficient president of the Woman's Foreign Missionary Society of the Presbytery of Washington City. She personally organized many societies throughout the large field and under her leadership the society raised an extra gift of $5,000.00 for "The Washington City Memorial Hall," Tokyo Japan.

In 1906 Mrs. Culbertson was chosen president of the Woman's Interdenominational Missionary Union of the District of Columbia, which honored position she now fills. Mrs. Culbertson has for two years been a correspondent for the religious press and a translator of German, her latest translation "Sunnyhearts Trial" was published December, 1910, in the Southern Observer,

Rev. and Mrs. Culbertson have three children living, a son and two daughters.

Women of America

Source: The Part Taken by Women in American History, By Mrs. John A. Logan, Published by The Perry-Nalle Publishing Company, Wilmington, Delaware, 1912.


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