Dr. Edgerton H. Hart was born in China (1868) to missionary parents, was educated in America and returned to China to head the Yichisan Hospital; his father, Virgil Hart built in Wuhu, Anhui, by the Yangtze River. Edgerton's medical skills were highly regarded by both the Chinese and foreigners.

Caroline Maddock Hart graduated from the Cook County Hospital Nursing program in 1904. She felt a calling to China in 1905, wanting to work with Dr. Mary Stone at her hospital in Jiujiang, Jiangxi; but was referred to go to Wuhu, Anhui. There she became its Head Nurse working alongside the recently widowed Dr. Edgerton Hart. They were married in Nanjing in 1907 and had three children; in addition to the four children Dr. Hart had with his first wife. Caroline was one of the four principle founders and first president of the China’s Nurses Association.

Edgerton contracted Typhus fever in April, 1913 and died shortly after completing his last surgery, of removing an 80-pound back tumor from an adolescent girl named Shoh Huan. He was buried in the Wuhu Foreign Cemetery, but after the Japanese occupied the city in 1938, they threw the buired bodies into the Yangtze River, burned the coffins for cooking/heat fires and used the ground as a vegetable garden.

After Dr. Hart’s untimely death in 1913, Caroline returned to the U.S.A., first taking up residence in Chicago, Il., then later relocated to Jacksonville, Il.; to become a House Mother at MacMurray College. Her name is mentioned in Nursing history manuals credited with developing many of the nursing practices of the early 20th century.


I want to thank all those who have been a big part of helping me in creating this book with special mention going to my Aunt Cathy Green, Aunt Carol and Uncle Ken Eikelmann and my older brother Steve & his wife Terri Crawford, who tolerated my rants to help contribute/edit the Hart work.   The years of stories I was told by my grandmother, my great aunts Helen and Rose and what snippets of memories I have of my great grandmother whom we visited every Sunday afternoon until her death.

These never ending stories as a child would weave my imagination into mystic lands of exotic people and wonderful things to behold. Living in China as a teacher of English at Jiujiang University, Wannan Medical College and the West China School of Medicine in Chengdu has allowed me to seek out these places my family once trod, and to meet people who have heard about my former relatives.  Their memories and interpretations have provided me the information to re-tell the stories to a new generation of family relatives and Chinese people who are interested to know who personally represented the Methodist's Missions and others which had so much impetus to facilitate what are the medical and teaching colleges in the cities within China today.

Many mission news references, letters of my great grandmother and stories told by my grandmother and grand aunts are all combined together to make this book.  Photos displayed are a combination of the Hart Family collection, digitized copies from old mission news notes and family books. These photos are not to be used for personal monetary gain by unauthorized individuals.


Dr. Hart with Carolyn and Helen The Hart sitting Room 1907 Caroline on her Wedding Day Aboard the Estella Sail Boat Inside Estella  Estella ready for sailing. 1909 Wuhu Flood Wuhu General Hospital 1900s Wuhu Hospital, as of 2014

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