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RG 30/418 - Hamlin, Frances J. Cade & E. John (1912-2006) (1915-2010)
Biography/Administrative History

Francis Jane Cade Hamlin, 1912-2006
E. John Hamlin, 1915-2010

Frances Jane Cade was born in Miamisburg, Ohio in 1912. She was an Oberlin College graduate with the A.B. degree in Physical Education in 1934. From 1934 to 1937 she served as a teacher of English for the Oberlin Shansi Memorial Association in Taigu, China. E. (Earle) John Hamlin, the son of a Presbyterian minister, was born in Iron River, Michigan in 1915. He earned the A.B. at Oberlin in 1936 and in that year became a Shansi representative at Taigu, where he met Frances.

In the fall of 1937, the approach of Japanese armies in the north of Shanxi province made it necessary for Shansi operations to move to Central China. While there John contracted pleurisy and was sent home to Albion, New York for convalescence. Frances returned to Ohio where she worked as the Health Educational Secretary of the Young Womenís Christian Association in Hamilton from 1938 to 1939. That year she returned to Taigu for war rehabilitation work. In 1941 she was invited back to Oberlin to serve as the Executive Secretary of the Oberlin Shansi Memorial Association (OSMA).

From 1938 to 1940 John was enrolled in Oberlinís Graduate School of Theology, where he earned the A.M. degree in Christian Education. He was ordained as Minister of Word and Sacrament of the Presbyterian Church (USA) in 1940, in his home church in Albion, New York. He transferred to Union Theological Seminary and received the B.D. (or M. Div.) degree in 1941. In July 1942, Frances and John Hamlin were married, during Johnís pastorate of the First Presbyterian Church in Auburn, New York. He served there 1941-43 and the Union Presbyterian Church, Sauquoit, New York in 1943-45. He then served as a chaplain in the U.S. Army with assignment to the Hospital Ship Emestine Koranda. Frances returned to Oberlin to serve again as the OSMA secretary in 1946. During this period John pursued further study at Union Theological Seminary, leading to a Sacred Theology Masterís degree in 1951.

After Johnís discharge from the Army in 1946, the Hamlins were commissioned by the Board of Foreign Missions of the Presbyterian Church as missionaries and teachers with assignment to China. They studied Chinese in Beijing for a year in 1947, followed by assignment to Jinan, Shandong province to teach at Cheeloo Middle School, a church related middle school. In the fall of 1948, Jinan came under control of the Peopleís Liberation Army. The Hamlins continued teaching until April 1951, when they were detained in prison for 47 days pending investigation, and finally deported to Hong Kong.

Upon their return to the United States, the Hamlins settled in New York City where John was again enrolled at Union Theological Seminary, this time for a doctorate in divinity, attained in 1960. From 1951 to 1952 Frances took graduate courses in drama at Columbia University. In 1952 the Hamlins were assigned to the Presbyterian office at the World Council of Churches in Geneva. In 1954 they were transferred to Bangkok, Thailand for language study, and eventually to Chiang Mai where the coupleís assignment was to the Thailand Theological Seminary of the Church of Christ in Thailand. John served as President (or Dean) of that institution until 1974, while Frances taught English, music, dance and drama. From 1974 to 1980 the Hamlins served on the faculty of Trinity Theological College in Singapore.

The Hamlins retired in 1980 and moved to Waverly, Ohio in 1982. In retirement, the Hamlins made four trips back to Thailand primarily for teaching purposes, and John wrote study guides and commentaries on five books of the Old Testament. Frances Hamlin died in 2006. In June 2007 John married Jean B. Lloyd, who survived his death in 2010 at the age of 94.

Sources Consulted
Commemorative issue for John Hamlin, newsletter of the Church of Christ in Thailand, World Council of Churches, Issue No. 369, June/July 2010.

RG 28, Records of Development and Alumni Affairs, student file for Frances J. Cade Hamlin, Oberlin College Archives.

Email correspondence with Carl Jacobson, OSMA Director, March 2012.
 
 
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