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RG 30/322 - Drs. Francis F. and Emma B. Tucker

Francis F. and Emma B. Tucker were medical missionaries to China from 1902 to 1941. They sent all four of their children to Oberlin College for their undergraduate education. The children- William, Margaret, Arthur, and Francis, all went on to become doctors, and two of them, Margaret and Francis, served as missionaries in China and Taiwan, respectively. The following are brief biographical sketches of Francis F. and Emma B. Tucker and their four children.


Emma Jane Boose was born in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, on October 20, 1870. She grew up near Falls City, Nebraska, where her parents were farmers. After attending Normal School, where she earned a teacher's certificate with honors, Emma Boose taught school for three years to earn money to attend the University of Nebraska, where she met her future husband, Francis Fisher Tucker. They shared an interest in Christian endeavor, and planned to become medical missionaries. Emma Boose graduated from the University of Nebraska in 1896 and married Francis Tucker in June 1897.

They then moved to Chicago, Illinois, where Emma Boose Tucker studied at Northwestern University Woman's Medical School (an institution that was dissolved in 1902), while Francis Tucker was a student at Rush Medical School. After earning her M.D. in 1900, she entered a one year internship at Chicago's Women's and Children's Hospital. In 1902, Emma Boose Tucker, along with her husband, was commissioned to go to China as a medical missionary and teacher by the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions. The Tuckers worked in China for thirty-nine years, treating patients, teaching children, and establishing hospitals. Their four children- William, Margaret, Arthur, and Francis, were all born in China.

In 1941, Emma and Francis Tucker were forced to return to the United States following the Japanese invasion of China. They spent three years working at the Pine Mountain Hospital in Harlan County, Kentucky, before retiring to Olds Hall , a home for retired ministers and missionaries in Daytona Beach, Florida. Following her husband's death in 1957, Emma Boose Tucker moved to the Margaret Wagner House in Cleveland Heights where she celebrated her 100th birthday in 1970. She died in Cleveland Heights on March 14, 1971.


Francis Fisher Tucker was born in Natick, Massachusetts in 1870. The family moved around during his childhood, and he attended school in Massachusetts, Washington Territory, Montana, Nebraska, and Illinois. In 1894 Tucker graduated with honors from University of Nebraska, where he also met his wife, Emma Boose Tucker. For three years after graduation, Tucker taught chemistry and physics in the Lincoln, Nebraska high school. The Tuckers traveled to San Francisco, intending to volunteer for missionary work. They were married in 1897, but decided to postpone their Christian work until after Medical School. They moved to Chicago, where Francis Tucker attended Rush Medical School, graduating in three years, followed by a one year internship.

In 1902, the Tuckers were appointed medical missionaries to the American Board Hospital in Pang Chuang, North China. They stayed in China for the next 39 years, where they helped to build modern hospitals, establish a nurse's training school, and working with the Red Cross. When the Japanese invaded China in 1941, they were forced to return to the U.S. The Tuckers had four children: Margaret, William, Arthur, and Francis Carlile-- all of whom became doctors. Francis Fisher Tucker died in 1957.

ARTHUR SMITH TUCKER (1913-89; A.B. 1935)

Arthur Smith Tucker was born on May 12, 1913 in Peitaiho, China. He received his A.B. from Oberlin College in 1935, where he president of his class, and his M.D. from Yale University in 1939. Over the next several years he worked in various hospitals in Montreal, Canada, Wisconson, and Massachusetts. In 1945 he married Lucy Marabain (d. 1979). From 1948-50, he was Chief Radiologist for the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission of the U.S. Government National Research Council. When he returned to the U.S., he worked as a radiologist at the Cleveland Clinic from 1951-56, and then as a pediatric radiologist at the University Hospital in Cleveland for the next 32 years. In 1978, he moved to Michigan, where he worked at Wayne County General and taught at the University of Michigan until he retired in 1984. In 1981, two years after the death of his first wife, he married Gale Goldstein. He moved to Miami, still teaching part time at the University of Miami until his death on September 9, 1989. Arthur Tucker was involved with Oberlin College since his graduation, serving as President of the Cleveland Alumni Club and later on the Alumni Board from 1975-78.


Francis Carlile Tucker was born on June 27, 1915 in Hopei Province, China. He was the youngest of four children of Francis F. and Emma Tucker, who were medical missionaries. Tucker graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Oberlin College in 1937, the same institution which graduated his three older siblings (Margaret and William OC '29, Arthur OC '35). He received his M.D. from Harvard Medical School in 1941. That same year, he married Emma Elizabeth Scott. Between 1942 and 1946, he served in the Armed Forces as a medical officer in India and China.

When he returned to the U.S., he was Pathologist and Director of the Laboratory at St. Luke's Hospital in Cedar Rapids, Iowa from 1950 to 1958. From 1958 to 1981 he was Pathologist and Director of the Laboratory at Deaconess Hospital (later Freeport Memorial) in Freeport, Illinois, serving as Chief of Staff from 1967-68.

Following his retirement in 1981, Tucker and his wife traveled as missionaries to Taiwan until 1983, returning frequently for short and longer stays until 1994. Francis Carlile Tucker died on December 24, 1996 in Fox Point, Wisconsin.


Margaret Emmeline Tucker was born on August 5, 1907 in Shantung, China. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Oberlin College in 1929, and received her M.D. from Rush Medical School in Chicago in 1934. From 1935-41, she served as a medical missionary to China, and attended Harvard Medical School as a graduate student in Radiology from 1941-42. For the next three years she worked as a radiologist in the U.S., but in 1945 she returned to China as Professor and Chief of Radiology at West China Union University Medical College in Szechuan Province. In 1952 she moved to India, where she served the same position at the Christian Medical College and Brown Memorial Hospital of the University of Punjab. She returned to Cleveland in 1964, to Wade Park Veterans Hospital, as well as becoming a professor of radiology at Case Western University in 1965. She lived in Cleveland until her death on October 29, 1975.

WILLIAM BOOSE TUCKER (1905-79; A.B. 1929)

William Boose Tucker was born on August 17, 1905 in Peitaiho, China. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Oberlin College in 1929, and received his M.D. from the University of Chicago in 1934. In 1932 he married Sarah Jones (1907-1968; A.B. 1928) After medical school he taught undergraduate medicine at Bennington College and the University of Minnesota, and then graduate students at the University of Chicago, University of Minnesota, and Duke. In 1956, he took a position as Director of Tuberculosis at the V.A. Hospital in Washington, D.C. In 1961 he was appointed Director of Medical Services, a post which he held until his retirement in 1969. In 1970 he moved to Gainesville, Florida. Tucker died on May 27, 1979, while attending his 50th Class reunion at Oberlin. He was president of the American Thoracic Society from 1960-61, and of the American Lung Association from 1970-71.

Sources Consulted
Papers of Francis and Emma Tucker (RG30/322); RG 28, Alumni Records for alumni files on Arthur Smith Tucker (A.B. 35), Francis Carlile Tucker (A.B. 1937), Margaret Emmeline Tucker (A.B. 1929), and William Boose Tucker (A.B. 1929).
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