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Full text of "A Greatheart of the South, John T. Anderson, medical missionary"

A (. 
OF 


R EAT HEART 
THE SOUTH 


JOHN T. ANDKRSON 

MK[)KAI, MISSKINAKY 


y. GORDON POTEAT 



ATi237po 



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BV 3415 .P72 

Poteat, Gordon, 1891- 

A Greatheart of the South 




A GREATHEART OF 
THE SOUTH 



JOHN T. ANDERSON, M.D. 



A GREATHEART OF 
THE SOUTH 

JOHN T. Anderson 

MEDICAL MISSIONARY 

BY y 

GORDON POTEAT 

PROFESSOR OF NEW TESTAMENT 
SHANQHAI BAPTIST COLLEGE 



"The Interpreter then called for a 

Man-Servant of his, one Great-heart." 

Pilgrim's Progress. 




NEW X25^ YORK 
GEORGE H. DORAN COMPANY 



COPYRIGHT, 1921, 
BY GEORGE H. DORAN COMPANY 



PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF MTERICA 



ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 

The assistance which others have given, particularly 
in the supplying of letters and incidents which were 
unknown to me, and their urging me to the writing 
of this memoir have in large measure contributed to 
the completion of this book. They, as well as I, came 
under the influence of John Anderson's short life. So 
many have written since his passing, "He was the best 
friend I ever had." None of us would dare claim to 
have been John's best friend, but all of us drew heavily 
upon his unfailing love and friendship. John Ander- 
son's endowment was not one of rich intellectual gifts. 
His superiority to the common run of men lay rather 
in the unreserve of his giving of his life and love and 
service to others. This book is no eulogy — ^John 
Anderson never wanted praise. The record of his 
deeds speaks for itself. I must acknowledge specially 
the help that John's companion, Mrs. Minnie Middle- 
ton Anderson, and his father and mother, and close 
friends, L. M. Terrill, H. J. Langston and L. W. 
Langston, have given me. The use of several verses 
from the poem "Tamate," by John Oxenham, at the 
close of the last chapter is also acknowledged. 

Gordon Poteat. 
November, 1920. 



CHAPTBR 


PAGB 


I 


The Yang Tze River . 


. 11 


II 


Early Indications of Character 


. 19 


III 


At Furman .... 


. 27 


IV 


Beginning the Study of Medicine 


. 37 


V 


The First Year in Kentucky . 


. 51 


VI 


The Last Year in the University 


. 63 


VII 


A Hospital Interne . 


. 79 



VIII Into the Far East . . . .93 
IX Yang Chow and Beyond . • .109 



vu 



ILLUSTRATIONS 



John T. Anderson, M. D. . . Frontispiece 

PAGE 

Dr. Anderson in His Hospital Uniform . 31 

Dr. and Mrs. Anderson and Their Son in 

Yang Chow ...... 46 



On the Way to Hwanghsien . 
Off for a Wheelbarrow Ride 
Loyal Friends of the Hospital 
The Parents of "Little Four" 



46 

95 

95 

110 



IX 



CHAPTER I: THE YANG TZE RIVER 



A GREATHEART OF 
THE SOUTH 



CHAPTER I 



THE YANG TZE RIVER 



After three long weeks on the blue sea, the Pacific 
liner dropped anchor in the swirling yellow flood of 
the Yang Tze River. In the darkness no hint of the 
shore line of China could be seen, but the travelers 
knew that they were at the end of their journey as 
the lights of the vessel revealed the muddy waters of 
that great river beneath the sides of the steamer. 
There was a thrill in this first contact with the land of 
their quest. 

How truly this great river, seen first in the dark- 
ness, typifies that endless stream of life that is China, 
sweeping on through countless centuries, full of old 
world sorrows and old world joys. The river, rising 
far to the West in the snows of the Himalayas, brings 
with its swift deep current the blessings of fertility to 
all its banks, but also at times the bane of destroying 
floods. It bears the ships of commerce on its navigable 
waters for a thousand miles, the artery of trade to the 
heart of China; but, in its wilder moments, it crushes 

II 



12 A GREATHEART OF THE SOUTH 

boats with their freight of teas and silks in the teeth 
of the rapids in the Yang Tze Gorges. Thus also are 
the possibilities of good and evil in the teeming mil- 
lions of the land of Sinim. Steadily down the files of 
time they have come, virile and strong, faithful to 
their past in a marvelous conservatism, with unlimited 
resources of man-power, to pour their wealth into the 
larger oceans of new world relationships. And yet 
the mouth of this stream of blessing is clogged by 
the silt of disease, of plagues and infection from fetid 
cities, by the filth of immorality in homes and of cor- 
ruption in state, the deposit of low standards of de- 
caying religions. 

To conserve the power of the river for the benefits 
of commerce and agriculture comes the engineer. To 
purify the life of the people that they may have their 
part in the Kingdom which John saw as a holy city 
descending from God out of Heaven, comes the mis- 
sionary. And of all the special types of missionaries, 
none serve larger ends than those who with their 
Bibles bring their lancets and their medicine cases. 
At first, prejudices against *' foreign medicine" must 
be overcome and skill in healing demonstrated, but 
the day soon comes when the doors of the mission 
hospital are crowded with the maimed and halt, the 
diseased and unclean, and there is more to be done 
than the one or two doctors in charge can possibly 
accomplish. 

There are only about four hundred and fifty medical 
missionaries among the four hundred million Chinese. 
Sometimes a single doctor stands alone amidst a great 



THE YANG TZE RIVER IS 

multitude with no other doctor to assist in major 
operations that must be performed. And because fur- 
loughs must be taken to rebuild worn-out strength, 
and because sometimes doctors die, perhaps of plague 
contracted from a lowly Chinese to whom the mis- 
sionary physician has given himself in sacrificial serv- 
ice, hospitals have to be closed for a year and some- 
times longer. Time goes on, and all too few of the 
young medical students in American schools seem to 
hear the call of the sick of China. There is little of 
financial compensation and much of sacrifice ; there are 
few great fees, but many dire needs. The appreciation 
of those to whom loving and skilled help is given is, 
after all, the greatest reward. 

The Grand Canal touches the Yang Tze River near 
the city of Chinkiang. Following the canal northward 
for ten or fifteen miles, one comes in sight of the walls 
and the pagoda of the city of Yang Chow. (Yang 
here is the same character as the Yang of the river. 
Chow means district. ) Here the canal begins to twist 
and turn as a serpent until it passes by the walls of 
the city, for an evil spirit could enter the city along 
the course of a straight stream. The canal is crowded 
with ancient junks, but much of the traffic nowadays 
along this single outlet of Yang Chow is in steami 
launches which swarm with Chinese who pack them 
to their limits. Inside the city walls the streets are 
very narrow and the odors that rise from the con- 
gested population are seldom fragrant. Conditions of 
life from the modern standpoint are unsanitary and 
primitive. Chinese doctors of the old school have 



14 A GREATHEART OF THE SOUTH 

never been able to alleviate such conditions. At the 
best their services are inefficient palliatives. What car\ 
feeling the pulse in four or five different places and 
piercing the body vi^ith needles to release the evil 
spirits do to bring health and sanitation to such a city ? 

Fifteen years or so ago, Dr. Philip Evans, a gradu- 
ate of Johns Hopkins University, and his wife, the 
daughter of one of the leading business men of Balti- 
more, entered Yang Chow as missionaries of Jesus 
Christ and apostles of modern medicine. Not long 
thereafter, they were joined by Dr. Adrian Taylor and 
his wife, who came from Mobile, Alabama. Dr. 
Taylor had made a brilliant record at the University 
of Virginia and had quite disgusted one of his pro- 
fessors by deciding to "waste" his talents on the 
''heathen Chinese," when he might do so well in 
America. Later still. Dr. Richard V. Taylor, Jr., with 
his wife, followed his brother to the hospital in Yang 
Chow. Calls came to Dr. Evans and Dr. Adrian Tay- 
lor to give themselves to training Chinese physicians in 
two different medical schools, and so shortly after Dr. 
R. V. Taylor was settled in Yang Chow, he found 
himself alone in charge of the men's and women's hos- 
pitals with an enlarging clinic on his hands. He was 
so occupied with this work that he did not consider 
it feasible to leave the hospital even during the hot 
summer months. Day in and day out he ministered to 
the crowds of sick who came for treatment, seeking 
always to heal their souls as well. 

Back in America, there was a young physician serv- 
ing out his interneship in a New York hospital. In 



THE YANG TZE RIVER 15 

his college days he had been touched by Dr. R. V. 
Taylor, when, familiarly known as Dick Taylor, he 
had been traveling for the Student Volunteer Move- 
ment. The inspiration of that contact with this en- 
thusiastic secretary, who was soon to sail for China, 
lived on in this young college man through his own 
medical course and was one of the cords that drew 
him steadily toward the foreign field. Perhaps neither 
of them dreamed that they should one day be together 
in a medical mission in China, but in the fall of 19 17, 
Dr. John T. Anderson sailed up the Grand Canal and 
landed at the stone wharf of Yang Chow. He had 
come to help share in the heavy burdens which were 
bearing down the strong shoulders of the doctor who 
stood alone. 

A short year passed by and the Red Cross Unit 
with the American Expedition in Siberia began to 
send appeals to missionary doctors in China to volun- 
teer for service with the Unit. The call came to Yang 
Chow and though there were only two physicians to 
care for the host of patients in the hospital and out- 
side, the two agreed together that one of them should 
go. The decision fell on Dr. Taylor and Dr. Ander- 
son was left in charge of the hospital. 

On the night of November the twelfth, 19 18, Dr. 
Anderson left for Shanghai to attend a committee 
meeting of the mission. In crossing the Yang Tze 
River to take the train, the small sampan in which he 
was riding was run down in the darkness by a large 
river steamer and he was thrown into the river and 
drowned. The great relentless tide swept his body 



16 A GREATHEART OF THE SOUTH 

on in the darkness and it was never recovered. After 
all, what could one life do pitted against that stream? 
What could one missionary physician accomplish with 
that Augean task? Wasn't it hopeless in the begin- 
ning? Wasn't it waste in the end? 



CHAPTER II: EARLY INDICATIONS OF 
CHARACTER 



CHAPTER II 

EARLY INDICATIONS OF CHARACTER 

A WIDE main street, very dusty or deeply mirea ac- 
cording to the weather, lined with dwellings toward 
either extremity, and with stores at the center of the 
village, that, for the most part, was the quiet South 
Carolina town called Woodruff. In the section where 
the shops clustered was a large frame residence, the 
only home that faced the street in that locality. A 
magnificent magnolia, fifty feet high, stood in the front 
yard. The tree had been brought from Charleston at 
the close of the Civil War. The Andersons who lived 
in this home were relatives of Captain Woodruff, the 
founder of the town. W. A. Anderson, the father, 
came as a boy of nineteen to work for his great-uncle, 
the Captain. His own father had died when he was 
quite young, and the uncle had agreed to adopt him. 
With his grandfather and mother and brothers, Mr. 
Anderson worked nineteen years to pay off war debts, 
owing for slaves set free. Lawyers had advised the 
grandfather to repudiate the debts, for the creditors 
were well-to-do and were not pushing their claims, 
but he insisted on paying all. The mother taught 
school to help earn the money. The grandfather died 
before the debt was canceled, but the boys paid off 

19 



20 A GREATHEART OF THE SOUTH 

the last dollar. It was Mr. Anderson's great ambition 
to go to college and he begged his uncle with tears to 
let him go, but it was impossible for his uncle, who had 
no son, to spare him from the work on the farm. 
Denied a college education himself, he cherished in 
his heart the purpose to send all his children, of whom 
there were eight, to college when they were grown. 
Six have already graduated. 

Such the stock of which John Todd Anderson, the 
oldest son of William A. Anderson, was bom, April 
20, 1887. Limited in opportunity, it was rich in in- 
tegrity and ambition. John early committed himself 
to Christ. He recalled years afterward his uncle's 
speaking to him down at the barn, asking him whether 
he did not want to be a Christian. During a country 
"protracted meeting," his father and he knelt alone, 
hard by the old church, and John gave himself to the 
Lord, joining the church at the age of twelve. He 
early knew the sweat of toil, and he loved to work 
and worked hard. At fourteen he planned and built 
a cotton house to protect the cotton picked in the fields 
before it was taken to the gin. The house is still stand- 
ing, its door still swinging true. He knew how to 
plow and had a section of the farm as his own to 
cultivate. At fifteen he began to help dig artesian 
wells with a well-machine, and when he had finished 
high school he was sent to Georgia by his father to 
drill wells on his own account. Largely because of 
John's own energy and initiative, his father's home 
was the first in Woodruff to have water works and 
plumbing facilities. John dug the well, put up the 



EARLY INDICATIONS OF CHARACTER 21 

water tank, and put in the fixtures. Later neighbors, 
observing these conveniences, asked to be connected up 
with the tank and the town water system had its 
genesis in the Anderson back yard. 

In the fall of 1905 John entered college at Furman 
University, Greenville, South Carolina. He came on 
to the campus carrying the suitcase of one of the 
upper classmen. His face bore a smile, the smile that 
became famous around the college, of one who had 
already learned the lesson — "Whoever forces you to 
go one mile, go with him two miles," and do it cheer- 
fully. At the beginning of his second year he was 
called home to take up well-drilling again, to tide 
over financial difficulties in the family. Telegrams had 
come from Georgia saying : 

Send your son John out here and he can get all the work 
and more than he can do. 

His father called him on the long distance telephone : 

"John, you know how I am pressed. You will be 
worth one thousand dollars to me next year in Georgia. 
Will you promise me to go and then return to Furman 
a year hence?" 

John replied: 

"Father, I will do what you tell me." 

His father said : 

"If you are in doubt about being able to return to 
college later, stay where you are, but if you will go, 
pack your trunk." 

John went to Georgia and made the thousand dollars. 
It was characteristic of his relations with his parents. 



22 , A GREATHEART OF THE SOUTH 

His father has said that he never disobeyed him but 
once, and that time he came to him and acknowledged 
his fault saying: 

"Father, I will never disobey you again." 
Like the boy Jesus, whose outlook was far wider 
than his parents', he was yet submissive unto them. 

In succeeding summers he was engaged in well- 
drilling, making funds to carry him through school. 
The machine was driven along the country roads from 
town to town where contracts were secured for wells. 
He was his own engineer and repair man and business 
manager. Regular reports on the progress made in 
digging were sent to his father and itemized accounts. 
Some interesting sidelights on his character come out 
in letters written home from Georgia. 

Mother was saying that she felt so sorry for me because 
I have to work so hard in the sun. Well, I am sorry that 
she cannot be in the same fix that I am and enjoy the 
sun and the good health that I am enjoying. I am gomg to 
take care of myself and am working only eleven hours a 
day. 

In another letter he writes : 

I am staying at the hotel here. The fare is very poor, 
but I can make out on anything. The weather has been hot, 
but I have not felt at all bad a single moment that I have 
been here. My hands and arms and face have been sore 
with blisters and peeling skin. It has not hurt me, though, 
and I am about tough. My work yesterday was to rise at 
four and work on the boiler until the negro helpers came 
to work. While they were at dinner I took the engine to 
pieces and filed the brasses. 



EARLY INDICATIONS OF CHARACTER 2S 

In a letter to his father he gives as his motto : 

Look on the bright side and work so hard that you can- 
not think of the other side of life. 

As he was conscientious and industrious in his work, 
so was he faithful and devoted to the church. On 
Sundays he was regularly at the services and attended 
Sunday School if the place had one. He invariably 
comments on the sermon in his Sunday letters home 
and on the state of the religious life of the community. 
For instance : 

I have spent a Sunday in another Georgia town about 
the size of the last one. I went to church this morning, 

but did not hear of any Sunday School. Mr. E invited 

me to dinner. They have a fine large house. They did not 
go to church. They are friendly people, but full of this 
world. 

In a certain town where he went to drill a well, no 
home would take him in to board except the poorest 
couple in the place. There was only one wash pan 
in the house and no water bucket. Ablutions had to 
be performed at the well. As he remained in town 
at work, some of the other people came to know that 
he was of good family and asked him to move over 
to another place. He refused, however, to leave the 
poor folk who first took him in. 

One rainy day when they had stopped work, a man 
of the town noticed John and his helpers standing in 
the shelter of some freight cars. It was damp and 
chilly, and one of the men drew out a flask of whiskey 



24 A GREATHEART OF THE SOUTH 

for a drop of cheer. When it came out of his pocket, 
the townsman saw John speak to the fellow, but could 
not hear the words. In a moment the flask was re- 
turned to the pocket and not a drop was touched by 
any of them. 

His experiences in Georgia were making their con- 
tribution in training and development for the career 
that lay ahead. Already there were indications of 
those traits which made his friends later regard him 
as the most Christ-like man they knew. 

"In my reading to-day I came across the following 
which I memorized," he writes in a letter from a town 
in Georgia. 

My Prayer 

In my home life may I be made a blessing; 

A tender comfort when days are full of pain; 

Always thinking of others before myself. 

And in my daily calling may I work not for the wages I 

may receive, 
But so as to please Jesus, my Master. 
In my inner life I desire to be kept pure and holy. 
O Holy and Spotless One, be in me a crystal fountain of 

purity. 
Teach me what my talents are and help me to make the 

two four and the five ten. 



CHAPTER III: AT FURMAN 



CHAPTER III 



AT FURMAN 



The following fall John was back in Furman again. 
The college belongs to that group of small colleges, 
definitely Christian in purpose, which has produced 
so much of the finest leadership in America. Its 
traditions are healthily and honestly religious. It is 
"a brotherhood for character building and a fellow- 
ship in the pursuit of knowledge." Because of the 
moderate size of the student body there is a real com- 
munity of interest and the students enter fully into 
the whole life of the institution. The daily chapel 
services are no perfunctory affair, nor is the athletic 
and social life less hearty than in larger institutions, 
and the close contact of student and professor affords 
special intellectual advantages. 

John took his full share in all the life of the col- 
lege. His cheery disposition and unselfish spirit made 
him one of the most popular men in school. Not par- 
ticularly skillful in athletics though physically well- 
built, he faithfully played his part on the "scrubs," 
and was an enthusiastic supporter of the athletic teams. 
He was no saint who thought himself too good to 
mix with other men. His ability to manage affairs 

27 



28 A GREATHEART OF THE SOUTH 

laid him open to many calls for his services. If there 
was a college picnic or banquet or reception, he was 
sure to have the chief responsibility for the arrange- 
ments. He decorated the halls for public functions; 
he was in the kitchen when refreshments were to be 
served. He was student manager of the college dormi- 
tory and dining-room, business manager of the college 
monthly and the year book, and held many other such 
offices in the various student organizations. As one 
of his fellow students has said : 

"He was the servant of the student body while at 
Furman. He made opportunities to serve." 

A fellow student fallen sick, it was John who nursed 
him, who went to the kitchen and prepared him palata- 
ble food. These things he loved rather than his books, 
and because there were so many things that called for 
his time outside of the class-room, he did not usually 
stand well in his classes. But there is no man who 
went through Furman in those years who stood higher 
in the estimation of the faculty. The President re- 
marked many times: 

"John Anderson has a genius for helpfulness." 

And one of the professors has written : 

What John Anderson was at the end, he was at the be- 
ginning of my acquaintance with him. Throughout his 
student years in Furman, he ministered to the physical needs 
of fellow students. He was almost as much of a physician 
then as he was afterwards. And in all of these ministra- 
tions one felt that John Anderson was first a Christian, and 
second, a physician. He was one of the purest spirits I 
have ever known. 



AT FURMAN 29 

In this second year at college, Dr. W. W. Hamilton, 
at that time a pastor and later head of the Depart- 
ment of Evangelism of the Southern Baptist Conven- 
tion, came to Greenville for a week of meetings in the 
church attended by most of the college students. In 
a midnight prayer-meeting which lasted until two 
o'clock in the morning, John made his full surrender 
to Christ and from that time on heart and soul were 
dedicated to the Master's service, looking toward the 
day when he would be a missionary. He became a 
man of one purpose. Everything he did subsequently 
was related to that "one thing I do." Moreover, he 
did not postpone his missionary service until he was 
in China. The two things that were nearest his heart 
from that time forward were the college Young Men's 
Christian Association and the Student Volunteer Band. 
He became an officer in both organizations, and served 
with contagious enthusiasm and energy. Dr. George 
W. Truett came for an evangelistic campaign one 
year, and John prepared a list of the college men who 
were not Christians, and called some of his friends 
together for daily prayer that they might be saved. 
He also talked to many of them personally and ar- 
ranged conferences for them with ministers and 
friends. He would take his place beside a timid, un- 
saved fellow student when the invitation was given 
and go with him tb the front of the church. Always 
was he concerned that his friends should find the 
same high joy in the friendship of Christ that he 
himself knew. 

Greenville is a cotton mill center. There are fourteen 



so A GREATHEART OF THE SOUTH 

or fifteen large mills in the outskirts of the city. On 
a visit to the Union Bleachery Mill, John was so im- 
pressed with the religious needs of the mill village 
that he subsequently organized a Sunday School there 
and himself taught one of the classes. Six of the 
forty girls in his class were converted, and since that 
time, as an outgrowth of that Sunday School, a church 
has been organized. Besides this service he frequently 
visited the county jail with a deputation from the col- 
lege Y. M. C. A., holding meetings there on Sunday 
afternoons, giving literature to the prisoners and con- 
versing with them personally. 

He once remarked of a man who had become a 
missionary : 

"He did not do anything for missions while he was 
in school in America. I wonder how he can do any 
good on the foreign field." 

John set himself to his endeavors so that this should 
not be said of him. He had a prayer list of friends 
whom he sought to influence to volunteer for foreign 
missionary service. It would be diflicult tO' calculate 
the number of those who had the opportunities for 
service in lands across the sea first brought to their 
attention by John Anderson, in a word or the gift of a 
pamphlet or a book. There are many who have borne 
testimony to this influence, as, for instance, a college- 
mate who went subsequently to South America as a 
missionary. 

**John made a deeper impression upon me than any 
other young man that I ever met. I remember that 
while at Furman, he had me on his prayer list, asking 




DR. ANDERSON IN HIS HOSPITAL UNIFORM 



AT FURMAN 31 

that God would send me to the foreign field. He ar- 
ranged conferences for me with Student Volunteer 
Secretaries. I remember especially one he arranged 
with Dr. Truett which helped me greatly to surrender 
my life for foreign service." 

John was a member of deputation teams which went 
from the Volunteer Band into the surrounding churches 
to speak on Africa or China or Japan or some phase of 
missionary enterprise. Though not an easy speaker 
he never failed to impress by his earnestness and en- 
thusiasm. Most of all did his friendliness and sunny 
smile attract people to the cause he represented. As 
one said : 

"He was not a very fine speaker, but he lived his 
religion more than he spoke it." 

At the summer Student Conference of the Y. M. C. A. 
at Montreat, N. C, in 1908, John was one of a group 
of five who met together and laid plans for the or- 
ganization of the Student Volunteers of the South 
Carolina colleges into a State Volunteer Union, with 
the object of increasing the missionary interest of the 
college students. The first meeting of this Union was 
held in Columbia in the spring of 1909 with only a 
very few delegates in attendance. In the spring of 
19 10, John was the principal factor in arranging for 
a meeting in Greenville. There were about forty dele- 
gates from the different colleges present and they had 
a good conference. John McEachern, now a mission- 
ary in Korea, was elected President for the ensuing 
year and John Anderson, Secretary and Treasurer, and 
together they perfected the organization and got the 



32 A GREATHEART OF THE SOUTH 

Union on its feet. The next year the number of dele- 
gates was doubled and there was a strong group of 
missionary leaders present. The expenses of the or- 
ganization had been advanced by the officers, but that 
was cleared up and since that time the Union has held 
regular annual meetings and exerted an increasingly 
important influence in the South Carolina colleges. 
What is now the regularly published Bulletin of the 
Union was once brought out by John Anderson 
monthly on a mimeograph and mailed by him to the 
members of the Union. It took a good deal of time 
in connection with his other college activities, but he 
never seemed to tire of doing this service. He had 
the help of a few others in this work, but his was the 
principal responsibility. 

In the winter of 1909-10 he was chosen as one of 
three men to represent the college at the Quadren- 
nial Student Volunteer Convention at Rochester, N. Y. 
There were nearly four thousand delegates from 
the colleges of Canada and the United States who met 
for five days in the great Convention Hall. In that 
throng there was no one who responded more whole- 
heartedly than John Anderson to the appeals of the 
representatives of the mission lands of the earth, the 
Chinese, the men of India, the Africans, the foreign 
missionaries and the secretaries of the mission boards. 
The white harvest fields spread out before his eyes 
by these speakers confirmed in him his purpose to help 
answer the prayers for more laborers by the offering 
of his own life. And when he had returned to the 
college again after those high days, for months he was 



AT FURMAN 3S 

handing on to his fellow students and to church con- 
gregations near at hand, the visions and inspirations 
that came to him in the convention. 

There is a revelation of what was behind this full- 
ness of life and abandon of service, in one or two of 
his home letters at this time. A letter dated April 15, 
19 10, contains the following: 

I believe more and more in giving the first half hour of 
every day to God in prayer. If you do this you will have 
something to think on during the day. You will have God 
with you that day to help you battle with the evils of that day. 
At night you are tired and sleepy and do not remember 
anything you have read in your Bible. You need the pro- 
tection of God through the night, but the devil does most 
of his w^ork in your life through the day through men with 
whom you come in contact. 

In another letter of the same year he wrote : 

I believe more and more in prayer. You can get what 
you pray for if you are in earnest and if the request is 
best for you. Prayer is the greatest instrument in the hands 
of living men. It is the greatest lever there is. You can- 
not get a lever long enough or with the right purchase to 
turn the world over, but prayer is able to turn it over. The 
person who is the sincerest Christian is the man of prayer. 
He is the man who can go out alone and talk to God aloud, 
feeling that he is within a few feet of Him. 

Again : 

One's motto should be: Better to-day than yesterday. It 
is not expected that every one shall be a great man or a 
great woman, but it is expected that they shall be better to- 
day than yesterday. 



54 A GREATHEART OF THE SOUTH 

To many of his fellow students, the most remark- 
able characteristic of John Anderson was his genuine 
humility. There was nothing of Uriah Heep in his 
self -depreciation and desire to keep himself in the 
background. He was invariably out of sight when the 
time came to give credit to those who had shared in 
some enterprise. If he was caught in the limelight, 
he would blush like a girl, and pass off any compli- 
ment with ''Oh, shucks !" As a friend has remarked : 

''I have never known a person who had a greater 
abhorrence of doing good to be seen of men." 



CHAPTER IV: BEGINNING THE STUDY 
OF MEDICINE 



CHAPTER IV 

BEGINNING THE STUDY OF MEDICINE 

History, langxiages, the classics, never seemed to 
interest John Anderson, and as a consequence his col- 
lege record in these studies did not secure for him his 
Arts degree at Furman. But he became a new man 
when he entered the medical class at Wake Forest Col- 
lege, North CaroHna, in the fall of 1910. It was like 
the ball of the femur falling into its socket after a 
dislocation. Instead of dreading to pick up a book as 
before, now it was early and late to the study of 
anatomy, physiology, histology and the rest. Dis- 
section was his fascination. The point of interest and 
attention having been touched, examination marks 
leaped away up. At times he led the class. He had 
found his groove at last. 

His love for the study of medicine and the more 
stringent demand on his time made by these studies, 
did not lessen his interest in the Christian activities of 
the college. He was preparing to be a missionary as 
well as a physician and his concern was that his life 
should count for his Master in school as well as later 
in China. Wake Forest College had then about four 
hundred students. Of these, perhaps fifty were in the 
medical department, which gives the first two years of 

37 



38 A GREATHEART OF THE SOUTH 

the regular course for the M. D. degree. The College 
Y. M. C. A. the year he entered was going along at a 
poor dying rate. Almost the only individuals who at- 
tended the weekly meetings were those who were ex- 
pecting to be ministers, and the other students left 
them and their prayer-meetings severely alone. Like 
many churches it was a calm and sure retreat for the 
pious, not an organization directed toward the elevating 
and purifying of the campus life. If there was one 
thing that made John impatient it was the type of 
Christian who thinks himself too good to be con- 
taminated by association with "worldly men." ''He 
that saveth his life, loseth it" — was a vital word to 
him. The situation challenged him to action. He 
went out and played on the scrub football team for 
the sake of the influence it would give him with the 
fellows, though he often remarked that it was hard 
to take the time and the bruises to do it. The ''publi- 
cans and sinners" liked him. He never compromised 
with their sin, however. And they respected him for 
his convictions. It was not long before he had been 
elected to the cabinet of the Y. M. C. A. and with his 
hands on the weekly program, he soon had men com- 
ing to the meetings who formerly would not touch 
the door with a ten- foot pole. Live speakers from 
nearby cities were invited to address the men instead 
of depending on a few ministerial students to *'lead 
the devotions." 

In the spring of that session, John took a large part 
in organizing a mission study canvass of the college 
which enrolled about half of the students in the study 



BEGINNING THE STUDY OF MEDICINE 39 

of "Negro Life in the South.'* He led a class himself 
in which some of the roughest men in school were 
members. It was a joke among those w^ho knew the 
crowd that a crap game had to be broken up every 
Sunday night when they were rounded up for the 
class meeting. In a letter he speaks of this class: 

I am leading a mission study class here in a book en- 
titled "Negro Life in the South." It is fine. This morning 
before Sunday School I went out to see if I could find the 
preacher of one of the Negro churches to get his per- 
mission to carry my class to hear him to-night. He said, 
"Yes," in a real kind of way. I told him why we wanted 
to come, of our duty to help the darkies, for we are alike 
in that we have the same God, are made alike in every way 
except that their skin is pigmented, which makes them black. 
I went to one home and asked for this preacher and the 
boy said that he was about a mile away in a certain direc- 
tion at a certain house. I asked the boy to go with me 
and show me the place. I believe that boy is better than 
the average white one. He is twelve years old, in the eighth 
grade, has been a Christian for four years, reads his Bible 
every morning, is an humble fellow. His ambition is to be 
a school teacher for the good he can do and not for the 
money he can make. I found out many other things of 
interest about him. This is the most interesting study I 
ever was in. 

Later he wrote : 

I carried my mission study class to the colored Presby- 
terian Church last Sunday night for the service there. We 
were all surprised by the good worship they had. We came 
away feeling that the darkies are not so far behind as 
we think they are. We are going to take a religious census 
of this place and we think we shall get some interesting in- 
formation. 



40 A GREATHEART OF THE SOUTH 

There was no Student Volunteer Band in the col- 
lege, but before half the year had passed John had 
found two or three others who were looking forward 
to missionary service who agreed to meet Sunday 
afternoons in his room, and before the end of the year 
there was a band of eight or ten men gathered to- 
gether. Until the spring meeting of the South Caro- 
lina Volunteer Union, he held the office of Secretary, 
and prepared the monthly news letter as he had done in 
Furman. He brought his typewriter and mimeograph 
with him to Wake Forest and most of his spare mo- 
ments were spent in using them. His correspondence 
was voluminous. The South Carolina Union con- 
ference which was held at Rock Hill in Winthrop 
College that spring was largely of his planning. He 
helped secure the speakers, made arrangements for 
registration and so on. He had a genius for organiza- 
tion and a great capacity for detail. 

John was always driving for definite results. In a 
letter to his mother after the Rock Hill conference this 
is illustrated. He had been very anxious for one of 
his sisters to attend the meeting and she finally agreed 
to go. He writes : 

I hope Lois will tell you about the conference at Rock 
Hill. Ask her some of the following questions. How did 
she like Winthrop? The dining-room?. The music at the 
conference? The best songs she heard? The exhibit? Mr. 
Turner and the other speakers? How did she like the dele- 
gates who attended? Have her tell you about a number of 
addresses. Have her tell you the most interesting thing she 
saw on the trip. What were the things that impressed her 
most? Ask her if she were to sum it all up, what would she 



BEGINNING THE STUDY OF MEDICINE 41 

say was the message for her life? I suppose you see that I 
am after getting her to tell you all about it. 

Relieved of his responsibility in the South Carolina 
Union on returning to Wake Forest after the con- 
ference he wrote: 

I will bring all my marks up now that I am done with 
the South Carolina Volunteer Union. I am not sorry, 
though, for what I have done for the Union, but now that 
it is on its feet it ought to go forward. 

Though he had something like fifteen hours of 
recitations and twenty-three hours of laboratory a 
week, it was not long before the fact that North Caro- 
lina had no Volunteer Union at work for foreign mis- 
sions in the colleges, was on his mind. The first step 
was the organization of the Wake County Union which 
included the schools near Raleigh. One or two meet- 
ings were held in the spring of 191 1, and the next 
year a State Union was launched. All these things 
were done as a new student in his first year at Wake 
Forest. 

In his second year, John organized a mission study 
class of his fellow medical students and led it himself. 
He had asked permission to start the class of the dean 
of medicine who had replied : 

''You'll be a good one if you get those fellows into 
a mission study class, but go to it.'* 

Let one of his own letters tell the story. 

I dislike to write a letter of the nature of this one for it 
seems selfish. I trust that you will not look at it in that way, 
for I desire that it be read in the spirit that God can use 



42 A GREATHEART OF THE SOUTH 

men for spreading His message. I do not know of a year 
that God has done more for me or used me more in help- 
ing those that I associate with. He has been more real 
to me this session than ever before. 

This session began with everything going wrong and it 
looked like the Christian work and the Christian spirit at 
this place was on the decline. Everything seemed to go 
wrong and we could not reach those that we desired to 
touch. During the summer we made a number of plans 
as to the Y. M. C. A. work to be started here at the be- 
ginning of the session. Most of these plans were thrown 
aside as the fellows one after another would fall down on 
their jobs. I had worked with the faculty in the summer in 
regard to the North Carolina Bible Institute coming to 
Wake Forest, as it is eight years old and had never met at 
this place. The faculty said that the Institute could come 
if I would stand good for the entertainment of one hundred 
men. We needed that many delegates in order to get Drs. 
Weatherford and Cooper to attend. I undertook to arrange 
for the entertainment and last week we had the Institute. 
One hundred and five delegates came in on Thursday and 
stayed over Sunday. On Monday and Tuesday Mr. Cooper 
stayed over to speak to the college. The professors say 
that we had the best evangelistic meetings that the college 
has ever had and that the spirit is better than it has ever 
been. Many of the fellows confessed to cheating, smoking, 
betting, gambling, cursing, not studying the Bible, winning 
debates through taking unfair advantages, and so on, and 
over two hundred agreed to study the Bible daily. 

I should have said something about the work that we are 
trying to do in mission study. Last spring we had over two 
hundred men enrolled in mission study and this year after 
the canvass was made we had only a little over ninety. It 
fell to my lot to take a class of medical students of my own 
medical year. There are fourteen of us, all swear but one, 
some gamble, all use tobacco but one, three are not mem- 



BEGINNING THE STUDY OF MEDICINE 43 

bers of the church, and the others are not living as they 
should. It was a hard task to think of trying to get these 
fellows into a mission study class when you are thrown 
with them every day and they josh you about not cursing, 
not using tobacco, several of them saying that they were 
going to put me out and make me stop medicine. God does 
not want a man to undertake a task that is easy, but He 
wants him to be dependent on Him for help. With Him 
as my helper I attempted to line up these men in this work. 
It was hard to begin and I put it off for several days, but 
I did begin and I approached every man in the class per- 
sonally about the matter. Every one agreed with me heartily 
and seemed to be very willing to go into such a study. The 
last man that I approached was about as rough as any in the 
class. After I placed the matter before him he said: "Well, 
John, you know that I am not a Christian nor living the 
life that I should, but if there is any good in it, I want to 
help you out." 

The class has had four meetings and only four men have 
been absent, three from neglect and one from sickness. We 
have been having good meetings, every man taking part in 
the discussion and I have never been in a mission study 
class of any kind where there was more interest. Those 
fellov/s have been thinking about their lives and one of them 
who is not a Christian has said that he is going to try and 
live a better life. Oh, how I long for these fellows to be 
brought into the personal friendship of Jesus. This is my 
prayer, that every man in this class will become a Christian 
and live as a Christian each day. Some of the men in this 
class have begun daily Bible study. 

At the close of the evangelistic services spoken of above, 
Mr. Cooper helped us set up a plan to get every man who 
is not in Sunday School into Bible study. There are about 
one hundred and twenty who do not attend Sunday School, 
the toughest fellows in the place. Every man I have asked 
to join me in this study has agreed, and the Dean says that 



ii^ A GREATHEART OF THE SOUTH 

I have the worst bunch. I have sixteen to solicit and five 
of them are away on a football trip. I have asked over 
half of them already. Two fellows told me that if I wanted 
to get those fellows I would have to get a keg of beer or 
something stronger to get them there. How I need your 
prayers to help me in this work. I have two of the worst 
fellows in this school, so considered by many, but I do 
not think so for they have big hearts. Both of these fellows 
are trying to live a better life. I have been interested in 
one of these men ever since I came here and used to say, 
as I had to eat at the table beside him when I first came, 
that I could hardly stand him, he was so wicked and filthy. 
I stuck to him, however, and in a talk with him last week 
just before the meetings, he said two things that were of 
especial interest to me. He said that he was not satisfied 
with the kind of life he was living and that he did not 
have any friends. There were two fellows that he con- 
sidered his friends, some one else and me. No one can tell 
how much good it did me to hear him say this. He had 
two talks with Mr. Cooper and he is on his feet, and has 
not said anything out of the way nor done anything which 
he should not this week. He is trying to live a Christian 
life. He said Tuesday night that he was considered the 
meanest, filthiest, dirtiest fellow in school and that he knew 
that he was, but with the help of God he was going to try 
and live a straight life from now on. 

Please let me drop out of this letter and give God all the 
credit. My heart's desire is expressed in the following, what- 
ever the cost that must be paid: 

"There are hermit souls that live withdrawn 

In the place of their self-content: 
There are souls like stars, that dwell apart, 

In a fellowless firmament: 
There are pioneer souls that blaze their paths 

Where highways never ran — 



BEGINNING THE STUDY OF MEDICINE 45 

But let me live by the side of the road 
And be a friend to man. 

Let me live in a house by the side of the road 

Where the race of men pass by — 
The men who are good and the men who are bad, 

As good and as bad as I. 
I would not sit in the scorner's seat, 

Or hurl the cynic's ban — 
Let me live in a house by the side of the road 

And be a friend to man. 

I see from my house by the side of the road, 

By the side of the highway of life. 
The men who press with the ardor of hope. 

The men who faint with strife: 
But I turn not away from their smiles nor their tears. 

Both part of an infinite plan — 
Let me live in my house by the side of the road 

And be a friend to man." 

How I do yearn to be of service, an humble unselfish serv- 
ant to my fellow students and every one with whom I come 
in contact. No greater thing can you do for me than to 
pray for me. My prayer is for you and may our prayers 
be united in a petition that God will take our selfish lives 
and use them each day as He sees best, making us willing 
to let Him come in and take full possession of us each 
moment. 

One of John's most prized possessions was a watch 
fob which he wore always, a silver skull and cross- 
bones, presented to him by the members of that medical 
mission study class when the year was over, in ap- 
preciation of what he had done for them. 



46 A GREATHEART OF THE SOUTH 

Let no one think that John Anderson's fideHty to his 
Master meant the living of a restricted and narrow life 
in college. Although he was only at Wake Forest for 
two years, he was elected student manager of athletics 
by the Alumni Athletic Association. He was full of 
fun and fond of practical jokes. He knew how to take 
the good-natured jibes of his fellows with a smile 
when they called him *'the preacher-medico" — and he 
kept right on with his work for Christ. He knew 
how to have a good time with the fellows, but he never 
lowered his standards to do it. 

At the close of the college year he wrote: 

The last three examinations were awfully hard. I do 
not like to claim any praise if there be any for not 
studying on Sunday. But out of thirty medical students I 
was the only one who did not study yesterday. There was 
only one other who attended any form of service yesterday 
and he attended only in the morning. I had rather flunk 
than do that. I do not believe they gain anything by 
studying on Sunday. I suppose that three-fourths of the 
boys here study on that day. 

Other letters written from time to time during these 
two years have extracts worth quoting : 

I am sorry to know that Mamma is sick and I hope she 
will soon be up. She ought to get out some, for it is enough 
to make any one sick to stay at home all the time. I went 
to Raleigh to the fair some time ago for that reason and no 
other. I think that one should have a rest from everything 
or a change from the old things, except religion which you 
can carry with you. Dr. Brown says that a person need 
never have a vacation from religion. 




DR. AND MRS. ANDERSON AND THEIR SON IN 
YANG CHOW 



ON THE WAY TO HWANGHSIEN 

Dr. Anderson carrying his Chinese teacher 
across a river ford on the way overland in 
Shantung. This journey of SO miles from 
Chefoo to Hwanghsien was undertaken in 
order to serve in a difficult case when there 
was no foreign doctor to attend a missionary 
mother. 




BEGINNING THE STUDY OF MEDICINE 47 

It is too bad about H . I was just reading for a few 

moments as I came from dinner after being in the laboratory- 
all the morning. I picked up a book just come which is the 
life of Z. S. Loftis who went out as a missionary doctor and 
only lived one year. He entered a field that no missionary 
had ever been in and he was there only a few days. His 
last two descriptions were of patients which he had, two 
dying without any hope whatever. It is awful to think that 

H has passed away in a Christian home and community 

without any hope of the life eternal. One life is as much 
value in the sight of God as another, but how it grieves us 
when we think of friends dying without hope. But what do 
we think when we know of millions dying in non-Christian 
lands in the same way every day? This is the thought that 
grips me so at times that I think that I had rather have my 
life multiplied a number of times than to have anything else 
that any one could desire. 

John had a way of helping around the kitchen and 
with the housework when he was home for vacation 
visits. He lightened the work of his mother and sisters 
by assisting in the cooking, in serving the table, and 
in the backyard chores. Returning to college after the 
Christmas holidays he writes: 

I tried to make Christmas a rest for myself and to serve 
3'ou all the balance of my time. I am sorry that I did not 
do more to make others enjoy the occasion. I like to look 
at Christmas as a time of real pleasure. I like to look at 
it as a time for being drawn closer to God and making Jesus 
a closer, dearer friend. I like to look at Christmas as Mrs. 
Taylor did once in China. Her prayer and work was to 
present Jesus and His love to many. She tried to make Jesus 
her gift to others and eleven accepted Him that day. From 
now on I hope to be of service to others at this time. 



48 A GREATHEART OF THE SOUTH 

In writing to one of his sisters on her engagement 
he says : 

Yes, F is as solid or true a man, I should say, as 

could be found anywhere. I have more confidence in him 
than in myself. I have seen bigger sports, fellows that I 
thought could make more money, having more "brass," but 
that does not count in my valuation of a man. He is a 
Christian in the truest sense. 

How often the excuse is met by those who are trying 
to enlist their fellows in some active Christian service 
— ^"I have no time to spare." And how shallow and 
feeble such an excuse appears in the light of a life 
like this. 



CHAPTER V: THE FIRST YEAR IN 
KENTUCKY 



CHAPTER V 

THE FIRST YEAR IN KENTUCKY 

The well diggings business of W. A. Anderson & Son 
was carried on while John was in college by a man 
from Pennsylvania who was engaged to run the ma- 
chine. The actual management of the business was 
done by John Anderson through correspondence with 
this man from Wake Forest. The man had to be 
"jacked up" ever}^ now and then as he did not feel his 
responsibility as keenly as he might have done. Con- 
tracts had to be straightened out and collections made. 
Many a day John's typewriter clicked as he cared for 
these affairs. This work was done in addition to the 
activities catalogued in the last chapter. The summer 
after graduating from Wake Forest with a B. S. degree 
John spent in Georgia again, drilling wells. A medical 
education is expensive and money had to be secured 
to further prosecute those studies. Writing to a col- 
lege mate about the middle of the summer, he says : 

This has been a busy summer with me and I have had 
very little time to myself. I had a good time yesterday in 
this little place by myself and with Him. It was the best 
Sunday I have spent in some time. What have you been 
doing for yourself? What have you been doing for others? 
Did you know that there were only two fellows at the sum- 
Si 



52 A GREATHEART OF THE SOUTH 

mer conference from Wake Forest ? I am sorry that it was 
this way. You have decided to go back to Wake Forest next 
fall, have you not? Well, you all must do things there in 
a spiritual way. I have often thought of what you all will 
do next year and have built air castles for you. Do not 
let them fail, but build to them. I would be glad to hear 
from you as to your plans and what you have done. My 
work this summer has not been what I would like it to 
have been as I have been occupied more with material than 
with spiritual matters. But I have made a number of talks 
and led Sunday School classes. I have not fully decided 
where I will go next year as I want to get to a place where 
the spiritual atmosphere is as good as it can be in a medical 
school — even at that it will be low. 

"What have you been doing for others?'* is his 
question to his friend. It was always on his heart. 
The thought of a poem that he enclosed in one of his 
letters from Georgia, he came as near embodying in 
his life as any man that many of us have ever known. 

"Lord, help me to live from day to day 
In such a self- forgetful way 
That even when I kneel to pray. 
My prayer shall be for — Others. 

Help me in all the work I do 

To ever be sincere and true. 
And know that all I'd do for you, 

Must needs be done for — ^Others. 

Let 'self be crucified and slain, 
And buried deep ; and all in vain 

May efforts be to rise again. 
Unless to live for — Others. 



THE FIRST YEAR IN KENTUCKY 53 

And when my work on earth is done, 
And my new work in Heaven's begun, 

May I forget the crown I've won, 
While thinking still of — Others. 

Others, Lord, yes, others; 

Let this my motto be: 
Help me to live for others. 

That I may live like Thee." 

For the reasons mentioned above, John decided be- 
fore the summer was over to go to the University of 
Louisville for his last two years of medicine, as it 
would be possible to have association with the students 
of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, where 
several of his friends were studying. For a time, when 
he first came to Louisville, he lived in the Seminary 
dormitory, a procedure quite out of the ordinary for 
a medical student. He attended the chapel services and 
special lectures as often as possible, though he did not 
have much time with a schedule that kept him at the 
Medical School from 8 A. M. to 6 P. M. every day, 
with an hour off for lunch and Saturday afternoon 
free. 

It was not long before he was doing those kindly 
services for men in the Seminary which were typical 
of his life everywhere; waiting on table to substitute 
for one who was absent, nursing students who were 
ill, setting a shoulder dislocated in the gymnasium, and 
so on. One of his friends was taken sick with a bad 
case of tonsilitis and he came over from the medical 
school between classes — it was four or five blocks away 



54 A GREATHEART OF THE SOUTH 

— to give him medicine and nourishment. He once 
told one of the Seminary men that he had counted his 
steps from the Medical School to the Seminary so 
that he would know the shortest route to come when 
he wanted to save seconds. He wrote in a letter: 

One night I was called three times and one time I had 
to go to a drug store four blocks away at three A. M. for 
some medicine. There is nothing like getting used to being 
awakened any time in the night. 

This service was all, of course, gratuitous, and this 
was only his third year in medicine. His letters home 
at this time are full of advice for sick friends and 
neighbors in Woodruff. He was interested in all his 
home community ills. 

On Sunday afternoons John went with two or three 
of the Seminary students for a twenty-minute street 
car ride and a two-mile walk from the end of the car 
line, to teach in a Sunday School which was held in a 
public school house in a religiously neglected com- 
munity. Most of the attendants were young people 
and only a few of them were Christians. They had a 
missionary rally in the spring of that year with one 
hundred and one present and a collection for missions 

of $5275. 

John Anderson could not be satisfied to nourish 
himself on the spiritual food the Seminary provided 
and disregard the needs of the Medical School he was 
attending. The moral conditions there distressed his 
soul. There was no religious organization in the 
school and beyond the seven or eight men who at- 



THE FIRST YEAR IN KENTUCKY 55 

tended a Bible class in the city Y. M. C. A. there were 
none who seemed concerned about Christian living. 
There was drinking and gambling and immorality un- 
abashed. The year before, the State Student Secre- 
tary had conferred with the most interested students 
about the organization of a Student Y. M. C. A. but 
they had declared it to be impossible. One would 
hardly call it a promising situation. But John was 
"just fool enough to think that he could do the im- 
possible," and he did it. He began by finding out the 
few men who attended church services, cultivating 
them, talking to them about their obligation to do 
something to better the moral tone of the school, draw- 
ing them together into an inner circle, that they might 
stand by him in the attempted transformation. It was 
not until May that he had worked up enough interest 
to feel justified in calling a meeting for the organiza- 
tion of the Association. It was organized with twenty- 
seven members and the number had doubled in two 
weeks. They were strong enough by the end of the 
session to send five delegates to the Student Christian 
Conference at Blue Ridge, North Carolina. Before the 
organization meeting, however, some religious meet- 
ings had been held in the school. A letter dated March 
22, 1913, reads: 

The first meeting of any religious nature for a number 
of years was held at the Medical School after the seven 
to eight class on Wednesday night. We did not do much 
advertising, but gave much time to prayer and personal 
work and instead of twenty or thirty being there as we 
expected, we had sixty odd. These fellows gave attention 



56 A GREATHEART OF THE SOUTH 

to the speaker better than they have to any surgeon or" 
practitioner that we have had this year. I believe that God 
will use some of us to bring about a change in that place. 
We have before us some plans and are also doing some 
definite praying. Mk. 11:32 — Jesus said: "Have faith in 
God," and it does seem that we should have faith when He 
has done so much for us and we have been able to see what 
He has done for so many people. 

In this same letter he copies from his note book 
some sentences that he had put down while attending 
the Kentucky State Y. M. C. A. training conference at 
Lexington. 

Are our lives surrounded by so many things that we 
cannot see God? 

Every Christian student should set standards, set an 
example of practical faith, set his college atmosphere right, 
set great ideals for life service. 

To conquer the world for Christ, we must first conquer 
self. 

Inactive lives are like a pool with no outlet which be- 
comes stagnant. 

Pray without ceasing. 

Two necessities for the successful missionary. (Why not 
any Christian?— John adds.) Simple Obedience and Faith- 
ful Tenacity. 

An associate of those days has written of him : 

John was not unusual as a personal worker in winning 
definite decisions, but he was constantly seeking contacts 
with men who were morally weak, and his life with his 
radiantly clean mind and unselfish spirit exercised a profound 
influence. During the time that I knew him I never heard 
him utter a word that would indicate the harboring of any 



THE FIRST YEAR IN KENTUCKY 57 

unclean thing in his mind. He gave me the impression of 
being transparently pure. His face was as open and frank 
as a child's and there was a kind of radiance in his smile 
that was a revelation of the Christ spirit within. I have 
seen him often when it could be truly said — "His face shone." 

There was a single Chinese student in the Medical 
School. He was a retiring kind of a chap and for the 
most part was ignored by his fellow students. Thou- 
sands of miles away from his ancestral home, no one 
knew how lonely he was, for a true Chinese never lets 
his feelings be known. He seemed to have plenty of 
money, but he was without friends. Should a man 
who was proposing to be a missionary in China neglect 
an opportunity to serve a Chinese who was at his 
door? 

Early m the year John wrote : 

We have a Chinese here in the Sophomore Class who is an 
extra smart fellow. He is not a Christian, but we are trying 
to bring him across. He is a nobleman's son and it will 
mean much to his people for him to go back as a Christian. 
He has only been in this country a little over two years. 
He has no Christian home to be in and has to live in a board- 
ing house. At the Medical School the atmosphere is not 
what it should be anyway. He knows some of the mission- 
aries in China. If I could win him to Christ, he would be 
worth two or more of my lives in Christianizing China. 

John simply set himself to be a friend to this young 
Chinese, whose name was Kuei Chow. He invited 
him to dinner, visited him in his room, took him out 
to lectures and to church and Sunday School. Chow, 
though nominally a Confucianist, was practically with- 
out religion of any kind when John began associating 



58 A GREATHEART OF THE SOUTH 

with him. But he could not resist the genial warmth 
of the friendship which was offered to him. John had 
him out to his country Sunday School to give a talk 
on China. In the course of that talk Chow said : 

*'I am not a Christian, but I believe that Christianity 
is the true religion, and I want to know more about it." 

John used to get his Seminary friends together, 
going from room to room, to pray for Chow's con- 
version. 

If Kuei Chow could be persuaded to go to Blue 
Ridge, North Carolina, and have touch with the fine 
type of Christian living found there, and be thrown 
with several hundred aggressive Christian students in 
Bible study and recreation for the ten days of the 
Student Y. M. C. A. conference, surely he would give 
his heart to Christ. So thought John and so he 
planned. Before the year was up he had Chow's 
promise to attend, and in order to make sure that he 
would not change his mind between the close of school 
and the time of the conference, he invited him to go 
home with him to South Carolina for a two weeks' 
visit. There Chow had the new experience of being 
in a true Christian home. John and Chow talked often 
of the meaning of the Christian life, but there was no 
attempt to force any decision. Then together they 
went up into the mountains for the student conference. 
John saw to it that Chow was enrolled in a class in 
Christian fundamentals. But in the midst of the week 
Chow said that he had to leave for New York to meet 
some Chinese friends with whom he had an engage- 
ment. John felt that it would be fatal to all that he 



THE FIRST YEAR IN KENTUCKY 59 

had planned if Chow were not to stay through the 
whole time. He brought him to one of the Student 
Secretaries and together they talked it over. Chow 
finally agreed to send a telegram canceling the engage- 
ment, and two days later this young Chinese student 
voluntarily came to John to declare his purpose to be- 
come a Christian and ask to be baptized. 

Kuei Chow wanted to confess Christ then and there 
before the conference and so it was arranged to hold 
the baptismal service late Saturday afternoon. There 
was no baptistry, but John put on some old clothes 
and secured a wheelbarrow and with two or three 
others worked several hours that afternoon damming 
up the stream which runs by R. E. Lee Hall. It was 
one of the happiest services he ever rendered and he 
wrought with a heart on fire. What an impressive 
scene that baptism was ! In the cool of the afternoon 
the crowd gathered on the slopes about the pool. Dr. 
A. T. Robertson, the great Greek scholar, read the 
Scripture. Mr. W. B. Pettus of China asked the can- 
didate in Chinese whether he would hold true to his 
confession if on returning to China he were to be sub- 
jected to persecution. And Dr. E. M. Poteat, then 
President of Furman University, led Kuei Chow into 
the pool to bury him solemnly in the watery grave 
from whence he rose dedicated to the new life in 
Christ. 

On the train going down from that conference, John 
Anderson turned to a friend and said : 

I went to that conference with a three-fold purpose: to 
see Kuei Chow become a Christian; to get a delegation 



60 A GREATHEART OF THE SOUTH 

from the Medical School there and get them lined up with 
plans for the next year; and to gain power and inspiration 
for my own life and tasks. All three things have been ac- 
complished. 

Turn back a few years in this story and Kuei Chow, 
a grandson of one of the great Viceroys of the Chinese 
Empire, is a boy in China. His family is one of the 
wealthiest in the city of Yang Chow. The doctors in 
the mission hospital have served them in times of 
sickness and are on very friendly terms with them, 
though no one in the family is interested in the Chris- 
tian religion. Kuei Chow conceives the idea of going 
to America to study medicine, perhaps because of what 
he has seen those Christian physicians do. When 
finally he sails for the West, the prayers of Dr. R. V. 
Taylor go with him, asking the Father God to bring 
him into such relationships in that new atmosphere in 
America as will help him to understand the meaning of 
the Gospel and bring him into discipleship to Christ. 
In the providence of God, unknown to Dr. Taylor, 
Kuei Chow and John Anderson came to the same medi- 
cal school and John Anderson, the friend of Dr. Tay- 
lor and later his associate, was the answer to his pray- 
ers for this Chinese boy. 

The year after John Anderson graduated at Louis- 
ville, Dr. R. V. Taylor's older brother, traveling while 
on furlough for the Student Volunteer Movement, 
visited the University of Louisville and saw Kuei 
Chow. He asked him why he had become a Christian. 
Chow's reply was : 

*T saw that it worked in the life of John Anderson." 



CHAPTER VI: THE LAST YEAR IN THE 
UNIVERSITY) 



CHAPTER VI 

THE LAST YEAR IN THE UNIVERSITY 

It is sometimes complained that college men and 
women who are more or less active in their Student 
Christian Associations, when they return to their home 
communities do not enter heartily into the religious 
work of their home churches and fail to share in serv- 
ices for which their training has peculiarly fitted them. 
Such a criticism would hardly apply to the one of whom 
we have been writing. Note this letter : 

You do not know what a busy man I have been this sum- 
mer. I had a Chinese with me the first of the summer for 
something over two weeks. Then I went to the conference 
where I saw him confess Christ. I came home and tried to 
install some mission study classes in the church. I got 
some sixty odd to do this, but some dropped out. A mission 
Sunday School was started at one of the mills the Sunday 
before I came home and since I arrived I have been acting 
as Superintendent and teaching a class of girls. In my 
home church I have been teaching the Philathea Class 
(Young Women) all summer. I have had to make a num- 
ber of talks, etc. I have been practicing with a physician 
and working in a drug store at intervals, besides many other 
things. This has been a glorious summer with me. 

This mill Sunday School later developed into a 
church which John's father has served as pastor ever 

63 



64f A GREATHEART OF THE SOUTH 

since. Of the way John prayed for his father and 
encouraged him in that responsibiUty, when there were 
so many difficuhies and discouragements, his father 
never ceases the telHng. 

John returned to Louisville at the beginning of his 
Senior year a week or so^ before school opened in 
order to set up the work of the Y. M. C. A. He had 
written to several of the men to meet him and help in 
arranging a Y. M. C. A. reception for the incoming 
students in the City Y. M. C. A. building, where John 
said there would be less danger from hazing for the 
Freshmen than in the Medical School buildings. The 
planning included medical Bible classes in two of the 
city churches as well as the week night medical Bible 
class in the City Y. M. C. A. This latter class was 
boosted from an attendance of a half dozen men to 
forty or fifty and at times to an even hundred. 

The deepest concern of his heart lay in Foreign Mis- 
sions. Nothing seemed more important to him than 
the bringing of light and healing to those nations which 
had been denied them so long. With one doctor to 
every two or three hundred population in America 
contrasted with one doctor for approximately two 
million population in the non-Christian world, he was 
sure that the people across the seas had not had their 
share in the ministry of Christ. As in South and 
North Carolina, so in Kentucky John took an im- 
portant part in the work of the State Volunteer Union. 
In all three states, he acted as Secretary and Treasurer 
of these organizations. One who was associated with 
him in the Kentucky Union writes : 



THE LAST YEAR IN THE UNIVERSITY 65 

Except for John Anderson, the State Union of Volun- 
teers for Foreign Missions in Kentucky would never have 
been more than a mediocre affair. He came into it after 
the first year and was elected Secretary-Treasurer. The 
service that he rendered during the next two years in a purely 
voluntary way was astonishing. How he found time for all 
he was doing at this time I still do not know. He was 
continually writing to the Volunteer Bands of the state, 
often two or three letters before he could get a response. 
He got out the monthly news letter, paying the printer's 
bills himself because there was no money in the treasury 
and he felt it would hurt the Union to press members for 
dues just then. I could never be quite sure that he was 
ever fully reimbursed for these amounts. At special times 
he visited Bands in person at his own expense, to stir them 
into action. And this he did in spite of the fact that he was 
not a good letter writer nor a good speaker. His English 
was often ungrammatical, but he kept writing and kept 
speaking and the results came. During the five months 
following the Kansas City Convention there were fifty-one 
Kentucky students who became Student Volunteers, an 
astonishiHg number out of some three thousand students of 
college rank in the state. While only a few of these were 
under John's direct influence, much of the credit for the 
total is due to his work through the State Volunteer Union 
and in securing large attendance at the Kansas City Con- 
vention. His mind was continually busy on the problems 
of the Union. He was forever thinking up some new way 
to wake up local Volunteers. No statement that he had 
done all that could be done ever satisfied him if the end 
had not been accomplished. How disgusted he used to be- 
come with the failure of students to make good their prom- 
ises. If he accepted a responsibility himself, he carried it 
out. I never knew him to come back from a task with an 
excuse for not doing it. He didn't quit. 



5 A GREATHEART OF THE SOUTH 

Several of John's own letters speak of this work: 
I would be glad to get a list of the Volunteers at , 



also what class they are in. We should do all we can to 
get them to continue their preparation and ever keep their 
purpose before them. You remember the statement that Dr. 
L — — made, that only twenty-two per cent of those who ap- 
plied to the boards last year were rejected. But there are so 
many who do not apply and I believe that there are not over 
twenty or twenty-five per cent of those who sign the 
declaration card who ever reach the field. So I feel that 
the work of the Volunteer Bands and Unions is to instill 
into the lives of the present Student Volunteers the im- 
portance of the work they have before them, that they can- 
not afford to dally around, but must press onward with all 
the vigor and energy of their lives with the help of God. 

In another letter he says: 

I have not heard anything from any of the other bands. 

I wrote the leader of the Band, but I have not heard 

from him. I have written two letters to B , but have 

not heard a word. This does not feaze me, for I believe in 
the work. It makes me the more anxious to do it for I see 
more clearly the need of it. 

As to his own school he writes : 

I am trying to get a Band here at the Medical School. 
One man and his wife have signed the card since I came 
here and there are two others who are willing to go. An- 
other fellow whom I go with more than any of the others 
who live here should go if I am capable of judging. 

Before he left Louisville there were eight or ten in 
the school who had declared their purposes, God per- 
mitting, to be foreign missionaries, and since that time 
several have already gone to their fields of service. 



THE LAST YEAR IN THE UNIVERSITY 67 

The couple mentioned above are in a hospital in Can- 
ton. 

The quadrennial convention of the Student Volun- 
teer Movement was scheduled for the last of December 
of this year. John had been to the previous convention 
at Rochester, N. Y., and knew the tremendous spiritual 
power of the meetings. Early securing for himself 
the assurance that he might go to this 191 3-14 con- 
vention, he began to emphasize the importance of this 
opportunity in his work with the Volunteer Union. 
He wrote to a student in Wake Forest : 

Say, old boy, I think that you have one of the greatest 
opportunities before you that you have ever had and that 
is in getting a large delegation to Kansas City. Wake Forest 
College M^as not represented at the last convention at Roches- 
ter. This is to be the greatest of any that has ever been held, 
in numbers and in quality. I think that you v^ould not find it 
a loss of time to see that every college is represented by 
one or tv^o delegates at least. We are only entitled to three 
from the Medical School and I know of five nov^ v^^ho M^ill 
go if they can. Pray about this matter and form groups of 
men to meet from time to time to pray about this conven- 
tion. Read some of the articles in the report of the Roches- 
ter Convention and you wrill v^ork up some real enthusiasm. 

Then follow details of railroad schedules worked out 
to show the best route for the trip. These schedules 
were prepared with great detail and similar letters were 
mailed to many friends in several states. The railroad 
agent in Louisville granted him free passage to the 
convention for the help he gave in working up some 
special trains. L. M. Terrill, the President of the Ken- 



68 A GREATHEART OF THE SOUTH 

tucky Union at that time, has told the story of this 
special service: 

Early in 19 13 John was keenly awake to the possibilities 
of the Student Volunteer Convention at Kansas City and 
began to stir some of us who had small realization then of 
its significance. He began getting under the skin of the 
Kentucky Volunteer Bands and as the time drew nearer be- 
gan writing to friends all over the South, the two Carolinas, 
Georgia, Alabama and Virginia, trying to stir them to action 
in sending large delegations. When he first broached to me 
the plan of a special train it seemed too ambitious. Then he 
expanded it still further. Why not special trains to take 
all the students from the Southern States? He worked out 
places, junction points and schedules with minute detail. He 
was a master at this sort of thing, anticipating every con- 
tingency. As it turned out later, it was best for the Missis- 
sippi and Tennessee students to go through Nashville, but 
the special train plan worked. Special cars from the other 
states were assembled in Louisville into a special train of 
two sections. This left most of the students a half day or 
more in Louisville. This too John had anticipated. There 
was a luncheon at the Y. M. C. A. building, then a choice of 
six personally conducted expeditions through the city, care- 
fully worked out in advance and gone over so that the time 
involved was definitely known — then a big dinner at night 
with talks that prepared heart and mind for the great con- 
vention. I doubt if there were any other students so ex- 
pectant and prepared as they came to Kansas City. 

A few days before the convention, John and I got to- 
gether to work out suggestions for the dele'gates — the things 
that would help make the convention mean most, together 
with final transportation instructions. One of the instruc- 
tions was "Go to bed early. Get as much rest as possible." 
When we got through he pointed to this item, then looked 
at his watch and laughed. It was 3 :oo A. M. He never 



THE LAST YEAR IN THE UNIVERSITY 69 

thought of himself when there was a chance to serve. On the 
return trip from Kansas City we had another all-night vigil 
together. The party was dead tired and it was midnight or 
later before we got on the special train. The single con- 
ductor had an almost impossible job of getting the tickets 
of that packed train, without keeping the folks up all night. 
So John started in and I followed taking tickets. After 
that they had to be checked up which took longer still and 
when the job was finished it was five o'clock in the morning. 
John was up in a little more than an hour wiring to St. 
Louis for breakfast and boxes of lunch. Later in the day 
when every one was all in, he brightened things up again by 
going through the train with a box of big red apples, one 
for each. He had bought them himself. 

The only unpleasant experience of the trip was on the 
way out. A Chinese student, not a Christian, made endless 
complaint of his arrangements. John changed his berth 
twice, but still he was not satisfied. Kuei Chow, who was 
on the trip, even offered to give up his berth to him. John 
remarked afterward that it was a fine testimony to the ef- 
fectiveness of the Christian life that of all that trainload — 
crowded and inconvenienced every one — the only one to 
complain or criticize was the one man in the crowd who 
was not a Christian. 

All these various and extensive services were en- 
tirely a labor of love. John was not engaged by any 
agency or individual to do these things. He simply 
saw a need and went forward to meet it. There was 
nothing officious in any of it either. Many of those 
who benefited by the well-planned arrangements for 
their comfort and enjoyment probably never knew to 
whom they were indebted. He was exceedingly 
anxious to have one of his sisters go to the conven- 
tion and wrote home some time before saying: 



70 A GREATHEART OF THE SOUTH 

I had rather for her to go to Kansas City than to college 
this spring. I will borrow the money and pay her way if 
that will be satisfactory. 

And shortly before the trip itself he wrote : 

This Christmas will be different in many respects to those 
that I have spent in the past and I am trusting that it will 
be a time in which I will be able to deepen my spiritual life 
in a way that I have never been able to before. Most of 
next week will be spent in my room trying to prepare myself 
in every way to get the most out of the Kansas City Conven- 
tion. I feel that it is a great opportunity that has been 
given me to attend this convention and I feel that this will 
be a greater Christmas present than any one could give me. 
I know of a number of students who want to go and are not 
able, and still as large a number who are able to go, but 
who could not get into the meetings if they were to go. God 
has given me this great privilege and has given me so many 
opportunities of a similar nature and I have not made use 
of them as I should. I surely want to make use of the one 
that is ahead of me. 

One other incident in connection with the work of 
the Kentucky Union should be recorded. A young 
woman, Miss Carrie Reaves, a graduate of Winthrop 
College in South Carolina, who had been active in the 
South Carolina Volunteer Union, had come to the 
mountains of Kentucky to teach in a small mission 
school. It was her thought that such service would 
best prepare her for work as a missionary in China. 
With her were two other girls. They did their own 
housekeeping, bringing water from the spring and 
sometimes cutting their own firewood. The salary 
from which all expenses had to be paid was $20.00 a 



THE LAST YEAR IN THE UNIVERSITY 71 

month. John heard that she had come to Kentucky, 
but he did not know just where she was located. He 
wrote back to South CaroHna for her address and then 
invited her to come to one of the Kentucky Union 
conferences. At that meeting she was elected Vice- 
President of the Union. It was not long thereafter 
that she was taken ill with typhoid fever. Isolated in 
the mountains there was no chance for proper medical 
attention. Her sickness became the immediate con- 
cern of John Anderson. He was far removed from 
the place, but he sent letters and telegrams and finally 
she was brought to a hospital in Lexington. He asked 
an interne there who was a friend of his to give him 
daily reports on her condition by telephone, and he 
drew together several of his friends who also knew 
her to intercede for her recovery. Somehow he felt 
that it could not be God's will that such a consecrated 
and useful one should be taken and he prayed with a 
faith that he felt could not be denied. 

I have been spending much time in prayer for her he 

wrote and I believe that God will restore her to health. 

Have any of you all ever had a real answer to prayer? 
Have you prayed for a number of days for something and 
it has come to pass just as you prayed or God gave you more 
than you expected? Since I have been here this fall I have 
had a number of my prayers answered in just that way. In 
this past week I have had three direct answers to prayer. I 
have more faith in God to-day than I ever had before. It 
has been my plan for some time to write down what I 
want to pray for. I put the date down with this also. If 
God answers this I mark it out. If He does not answer this 
I put down beside it "lack of faith/' and pray that God will 



72 A GREATHEART OF THE SOUTH 

give me more faith and teach me how to pray. I do not put 
down everything that I desire, but I give each matter a 
prayerful consideration before I put it down. 

But Miss Reaves did not recover and when word 
came that she was gone, John had some black days of 
doubt and questioning. His mind seemed to beat itself 
up against a blank wall. Why had not God given her 
back to her labors ? When the world so much needed 
lives like hers, why had He let her die? Had not he 
been faithful and believing in his prayers for her? 
But it was not long before his old faith and simple 
trust returned, perhaps a bit chastened, but neverthe- 
less just as real as ever in the belief that God does 
work in this world through prayer. And his under- 
standing of prayer grew as he exercised himself 
therein. One of his favorite books which he kept 
constantly beside him and gave to many of his friends 
was Fosdick's "The Meaning of Prayer." 

While at the Kansas City Convention, John 
was able to schedule with Mr. C. D. Hurrey of the 
Student Department of the Y. M. C. A. an engage- 
ment to come to the Medical School for some evan- 
gelistic meetings. Mr. Hurrey had been approached 
some time before, but had replied that his schedule 
was already full and that he could not possibly come. 
John had been bombarding him with letters and finally 
brought all his arguments to bear on him personally 
at Kansas City. He was convinced that Mr. Hurrey 
was the man to do the work and he would not take 
a refusal for his answer. Mr. Hurrey could not re- 
sist this kind of importunity and finally agreed to re- 



THE LAST YEAR IN THE UNIVERSITY 73 

arrange his dates and come. So far as known there 
had never been an evangelistic campaign in that school. 
When Mr. Hurrey came four meetings were held. 
They had been thoroughly advertised and there was a 
fine attendance. John brought Mr. Hurrey about a 
dozen of the * 'rough-necks" of the school for inter- 
views, men who were openly dissipated, but in whom 
he had discovered qualities that led him to believe in 
them. Several of these made decisions for the Chris- 
tian life and cleaned up. One was a brother of a 
prominent religious worker in another city. In the 
campaign there was no more interested worker than 
the young Chinese who had declared himself a Chris- 
tian the summer before. 

Gambling, drinking and dishonesty in examinations 
were the three prominent evils in the student body that 
John felt had no business there. He was no ''holier- 
than-thou" reformer. He simply hated the things 
that spoiled the souls of men he loved. And even if 
he had to stand against such things alone, he did it, 
for he had no "yellow streak." One night in the 
amphitheater he had a meeting which was largely at- 
tended in which betting was discussed by a prominent 
speaker. As to drinking, he rallied around him some 
of the Seniors in a fight for a dry class banquet. The 
"wets" got the support of one of the professors who 
asked the men in his lecture one day if they were babies 
and had to still drink milk. But John won the fight 
fairly on the vote of the class and whiskey was not 
served on the banquet table. And before the close of 
his Senior year he had seen the Honor System largely 



74 A GREATHEART OF THE SOUTH 

adopted to govern examinations. He believed that one 
and God were a majority in any crowd. Very few 
men ever actively antagonized him. They knew he 
stood for the things they ought to uphold. He did 
not excuse questionable practices for himself on the 
ground that it was necessary to do certain things in 
order to get in with the fellows. One of his fellow 
medical students who professed to be an atheist said 
of him one night in conversation: 

"If there is one man in the world I believe in 
absolutely, it is John Anderson." 

''And let us not be weary in well-doing," says the 
Apostle Paul. As if these manifold labors among his 
fellow students were not sufficient, he ran a Boys' Club 
in the slums of Louisville and had a Christmas party 
for them during the holidays; visited the City Hos- 
pital on Sundays with some friends, distributing flow- 
ers and holding religious services for the shut-ins ; and 
answered charity calls among the poor of the city. 
On one occasion he found a family in the dead of 
winter living in rooms over a livery stable. The 
drunkard father had deserted them, and the mother, a 
bottle-washer, was out at work when he discovered 
the two children huddled together in the middle of 
the floor with what clothing they could wrap around 
them to keep them from freezing. There was no coal 
or bread in the house. John had groceries and coal 
sent to them and got a woman tO' look after the chil- 
dren. On a later visit, he found the father at home 
and prayed with him and got him to work. Writing 



THE LAST YEAR IN THE UNIVERSITY 75 

of Christmas, 19 13, he says that he had several calls 
to visit the sick in the slums on that day. 

Before the year was over new officers were elected 
in the Y. M. C. A. It was nearly time for him to 
leave the school and so he had been grooming some 
of the strongest of the men to take his place that the 
work might not fall down. They were the men he had 
persuaded to go to the Summer Conference, and some 
of them were Student Volunteers by then. Kuei Chow 
was made Chairman of the Mission Study Committee. 
John used to get them together in his room in the City 
Y. M. C. A. for prayer together. He had moved from 
the Seminary to the Association which was nearer the 
Medical School in order that it might be m.ore con- 
venient to have his fellow ''medics" in his room. He 
was always trying to pour his zeal and enthusiasm 
into them. Perhaps the work has not gone on so well 
since those days, but he did his best to perpetuate it 
through these men whom he called into the service. 

A letter of his contains the following: 

A few days past I read the first three chapters of Mark 
looking for several things about Christ's life. Two of these 
things were popularity and opposition. I found that He met 
with opposition six times and had some indication of popular- 
ity eight times. I want to finish up the gospels this way. I 
want to read Paul's life looking for these things and others 
that I have on this list. I have met with opposition many 
times, in fact, about every time I start to do anything there 
is some opposition and yet if God is with me I pull through. 
Paul said: 'T can do all things through Him that strength- 
eneth me." 



76 A GREATHEART OF THE SOUTH 

In another letter written near the close of the session 
he says : 

I came out O. K. on my exams, although I will not hear 
before the last of the week. I am not at all uneasy but that 
I got through and I did not have to do as many of the class 
did, who cheated their way through. 

Unremitting and abundant service for his fellows 
had not meant the forfeiture of his medical degree, for 
he received his M. D. at the commencement, and a 
little later passed successfully the State Medical Board 
examinations of South Carolina and received his li- 
cense to practice medicine. 



CHAPTER VII: A HOSPITAL INTERNE 



CHAPTER VII 



A HOSPITAL INTERNE 



To be a first class physician, one had better stick 
to his science and leave preaching to the parson. To 
accomplish the best results in the profession it is hardly 
wise to be too much of a saint. This is a world of 
give and take and in the keen commercial competition 
of the day, too much idealism means failure. Be 
straight and fair, but don't do more than you are paid 
to do, and charge well for your services. Religion is 
good in its place, especially for women and children, 
but an excess of it is not good for a doctor. So say 
the worldly-wise. 

But did John Anderson's absorbing interest in bring- 
ing in the Kingdom of God among men militate against 
his efficiency as a surgeon? Rather did it not enlarge 
his capacities and sympathies and make him the more 
skillful in his ministry to the sick ? In his first year aS' 
an interne in the Good Samaritan Hospital at Lexing- 
ton, Kentucky, his unusual ability as a physician was 
manifested. In ten and a half months he gave two 
hundred and thirteen anesthetics and no one was lost 
on the operating table on account of the anesthetic. 
He assisted in eighty-one operations and operated 
thirty-seven times himself, and he averaged caring for 

79 



80 A GREATHEART OF THE SOUTH 

thirty emergency cases a month. There were two ex- 
ceptionally serious cases for whose recovery he was 
entirely responsible. One, an obstetrical case, in 
which the woman was poisoned, was turned over to 
him by her physician with the remark that he had done 
all he could for her and the case was hopeless, but if 
John wanted to try his hand he could do so. Perhaps it 
was because the family was very poor that the doctor 
gave her up. At any rate, that did not count with 
John. He worked steadily for seven hours that night 
without a rest before he was rewarded by a flicker of 
the eyelids which indicated returning consciousness. 
The woman was finally restored to her grateful hus- 
band. The other, also a septic case, this time a man, 
was brought back from the grave after his own physi- 
cian had pronounced him beyond hope, by John's de- 
voted labors on his behalf. The man was discharged 
from the hospital some days thereafter, declaring that 
if it had not been for that young Dr. Anderson he 
would not have been alive that day. 

In a letter John describes one of his days in the 
hospital : 

Saturday night I got up five times. On that night I had 
five emergencies before twelve o'clock and had to handle 
them by myself. I gave four anesthetics, one of them taking 
over an hour. I assisted in another operation. Had about 
twelve cases to come in besides the fifteen in the wards I 
had to look after. This is just a regular day. There are 
eighty or ninety more patients that I have to do laboratory 
work for, also go with their private physician as much as 
I can. 



A HOSPITAL INTERNE 81 

His special care was the little children in the wards. 
One little baby, a foundling, he nicknamed **Queen." 
She was his pet. He made it a practice to go through 
the wards to wish each patient a cheery good morning 
and some told how they noticed this special attention. 
There was no smile just like Dr. Anderson's, nor any 
one so good-natured. Of Thanksgiving day and 
Christmas John wrote in two letters home : 

I was right busy Thanksgiving day, but I spent all the 
spare time in visiting the patients and seeing most every 
nurse and asking them what they had to be thankful for. 
I had some rich replies. Most of them were thankful they 
were living. Many did not know what to say, as possibly 
they had not thought about it. On the whole, most of them 
expressed their thanks in a selfish vein. One darky said that 
she was thankful she was living and would be more thank- 
ful if I would give her something to eat and let her sit up. 
It seemed to me that my whole thought was of the peace 
that I was thankful for; peace of mind, body and spirit in 
God's leadership. 

I have enjoyed this Christmas even if I did have to be 
away from you all. Thursday night I did crave to be with 
you all and have some of the good times I have had at home. 
I could not, so I went to work and got up a Christmas tree 
for the children here in the hospital. Some little presents 
were sent in for them and we had the tree and decorations 
here. I fixed up some electric lights to light the tree. I got 
up a Santa Claus rig and marked all the presents. Got up 
at five and dressed, got the tree with all the bundles in a 
sack at my side and went into the children's ward. There 
were five in there. I went around and picked up three others 
and brought them in. There were several other children in 
the hospital, but they could not be moved. I gave out the 



82 A GREATHEART OF THE SOUTH 

presents and chatted with all of them. After this I had 
enough apples to give each patient in the wards who could 
eat one, one apiece. I visited all the patients in the hospital 
that morning and wished them a Merry Christmas. I carried 
Baby Queen with me and she enjoyed it as much as any of 
the others. She appeared to be a little afraid at first, but 
as soon as I picked her up she began to pick at my eyes. 
Queen will be six months old to-morrow and only weighs 
twelve pounds. She is very, very bright, can play peep-eye, 
put out her hands to come to you, and notices everything 
that goes on. All seemed to enjoy the occasion. I could 
hardly keep back the tears while fixing the tree in wishing 
that I was at home and a child again. 

One of his patients wrote some verses which she 
gave to him shortly after this Christmas. The form' 
is rather crude, but the appreciation is genuine. 

Here's to dear Dr. Anderson, 

So pure and undefiled: 
Most every time you see him 

He's carrying a foundling child. 

Then he comes with a smile so bewitching. 
That he sets my nerves all twitching; 

And my feelings are most distressing, 
Until he is through with the surgical dressing. 

Then he's gone again in a hurry, 

Just as gentle and mild; 
For he hasn't a single worry, 

Except for a foundling child. 

He's as nice as any brother. 

He's kind to every one: 
Oh! Happy must be the mother 

That possesses such a son. 



A HOSPITAL INTERNE 83 

Oh Nurses, some of you catch him, 

Just catch him if you can, 
This wonderful piece of manhood. 

This Dr. Anderson man. 

Just never mind his shyness, 

Just get his head in a twirl; 
For the man who loves the foundling 

Is the man for any girl. 

His mother wrote to him in her concern lest he wear 
himself out in his care for the sick. John replied : 

You asked me if I did not get tired seeing and living with 
the sick. I do not get tired, but it is quite a strain. I 
have seen some cases that I have worked so hard over and 
then they die. When I get alone at some other work I can- 
not keep back the tears, although I never saw them before 
coming to the hospital. I had a darky die that I wanted to 
see get well so bad. This, irregular hours, and other strain 
is what sometimes wearies me. 

Sometimes it is stated that a physician should culti- 
vate a kind of steely indifference in order to be at his 
best professionally. Certainly from the standpoint of 
the patient it is desirable that the doctor have the big- 
ness of heart and sympathy that John Anderson had 
for the suffering. The sources of his sympathy were 
deep in his religious life. He wrote in one letter: 

Each day as I go about I see so much being done for the 
physical body. Effort is made here and there to save this 
or that person's physical life. That is all well and good, 
but of what value is the physical life without the spiritual 
life being saved? My heart burns more and more each day 
for those who do not know Christ and His love. You 



84 A GREATHEART OF THE SOUTH 

cannot help but feel His love and strength if you will only 
let Him come into your life. 

And so as he went his rounds in the hospital the 
cure of souls was his great passion. There was nothing 
being done socially or religiously for the nurses and 
in the routine of their work to which they were bound, 
even their Sundays were rarely their own. There were 
influences, moreover, that tended to mar the best in 
their lives, and John saw the need for definite religious 
work on their behalf. He wanted to organize a vesper 
service in the hospital for them, but the superintendent 
objected. In a letter dated January 6, 1914, he tells 
of this effort : 

Last Friday night a group of nurses got together for a 
prayer-meeting after much talk and they are going to keep 
this up each week. They have never had any religious 

services before to amount to anything. I got Miss H 

of the Student Volunteer Movement to speak to them a few 
weeks past and they were quite carried away with her. The 
Superintendent said "No," but I persisted until I got per- 
mission for her to speak. I am expecting to organize a 
mission study class soon among the nurses and would have 
done so earlier had it not been for the Superintendent. 

John had a way of winning people's hearts to higher 
and holier living by drawing them to himself through 
little kindly services in the every day rush of life. He 
used to lighten the work of the nurses now and then 
by carrying a tray of food to a patient or by cleaning 
up things which it lay in their duty to care for, and 
by other little unprofessional services. It is to such a 
person that one in trouble immediately turns, even 



A HOSPITAL INTERNE 85 

though in health his religion was held in light esteem. 
This young interne was the first one called by Mrs. 
Green, the housekeeper of the hospital, when she met 
with a fatal accident in the hospital elevator. She 
was a woman of fifty and she had lived a careless life, 
gambling annually on the Kentucky horse races, getting 
drunk now and then, and so on. Two of her sons were 
professional gamblers. On her way upstairs one day, 
the electric current in the elevator went oflF half way 
between the second and third floors. She tried to 
climb out on to the second floor, but the power came 
on suddenly and she was caught and crushed against 
the upper floor. She was terribly mangled and knew 
that she did not have long to live. She sent for John 
to come and talk to her after everything possible had 
been done for her in the operating room. He came 
and with his New Testament in his hand led her to 
understand that there is mercy and pardon with God 
even to those who call on Him in their last extremity. 
And she was wonderfully converted. From the time 
of the accident she only lived twenty-eight hours, but 
she had them call all the servants who were in her 
charge to her room and she witnessed to them of the 
salvation which was hers. Her children came and 
she told them not to cry for her, that she was going 
to leave all pain and go to a land of joy. *'The 
weather is fine here," she said, ''but nothing to be 
compared with that above." She told her friends 
and the nurses around her bed that she wanted to meet 
every one above. John, writing of it, said : 



86 A GREATHEART OF THE SOUTH 

It was the most beautiful and expressive death I have ever 
witnessed. I went to the funeral on Friday afternoon and 
the body was taken to Frankfort, thirty-five miles away, for 
burial. I did not have time to go, but John (her son) begged 
me so hard that I could not resist. Her death shook the 
whole hospital and the next few nights many of the patients 
could not sleep. Some of the lessons I have learned from 
this experience are: There is a Christ who is able to save; 
in all Americans there is a feeling of the reality of God in 
some form or other whether they acknowledge it or not for 
they have heard of Christ; I should refrain from judging or 
criticizing any one and do more to see what is deep in their 
lives. This has broadened my sympathy for people who do 
not live as I would like them to live. 

As in other places, John's service for others was not 
confined to the institution with which he was con- 
nected. While in the hospital at Lexington he still 
continued his work with the Kentucky Volunteer Union 
and did the major part of the arranging for the an- 
nual conference in February at Georgetown College. 
He led a mission study class in the University of Ken- 
tucky. His comment in one of his letters about the 
University was that they had fourteen hundred stu- 
dents and not a single Volunteer for foreign missions. 
He was a regular attendant at church despite his heavy 
schedule of duties at the hospital. H he could not get 
off in the morning he went at night. He made talks 
in the Young People's Society. He was appointed 
chairman of an inter-church committee to get the for- 
eigners of the city into English classes. One of his 
best friends in Lexington was a Greek who ran a shoe- 
shine parlor on the main street of the city. John had 



A HOSPITAL INTERNE 87 

been kind to this man's wife when she was in the hos- 
pital and had helped them out in a situation where 
they had been dishonestly overcharged by a doctor in 
the city. 

The following year was spent in New York in the 
Post Graduate and Riverside Hospitals. He had been 
chosen by the China Medical Board of the Rockefeller 
Foundation as one of the first of the young doctors 
they would support in China, and they called him to 
New York for further preparation. A few extracts 
from his letters show that the great city had no power 
to lure him from the faithful performance of his duty 
as a follower of Christ: 

Sunday I went to church and Sunday School. After 
dinner I came back thinking I would be in time for church 
here (service in hospital), but failed. We have only a formal 
service and I do not enjoy it at all, but I try to attend when 
it is possible as my influence might be of some value. 

I am on duty to-day, but I have got some one to relieve 
me this afternoon for a few hours when I am going down 
town to hear some missionaries. 

I used to read my Bible as a duty and did not get much 
out of it. But now I find it a joy and pleasure. 

I went to prayer-meeting last night to hear Dr. Jowett. 
He was not as good as he has been sometimes, but possibly 
it was my fault. I have not been feeling extra good. 

What fun is there in that kind of a dull church go- 
ing existence ? cries some young college man. Do you 
expect us to revert to the stupid days of the Puritans? 
On with the dance — there is no excitement in prayer- 



88 A GREATHEART OF THE SOUTH 

meetings! Well, for John Anderson at least, there 
was no dullness in his existence, no somber asceticism 
or sanctimonious withdrawal from the pleasures of life. 
He entered heartily into the social good times of the 
hospital, the masquerade parties, the good cheer of 
dinners with other doctors. And just because he had 
his best fun in making other folks happy does not 
mean that he satisfied himself with a spurious brand 
of happiness. Perhaps he was nearer the secret of 
happiness than those who seek it hke moths in the 
candle flame of their impulses and passions. 

John's conception of the value of student Christian 
conferences has already been indicated in these pages. 
His younger brother and sisters were in their first 
years of college life when he wrote to his father from 
New York : 

I do not care to make my will at this time, but if I should 
die I request that the first money to be taken from my in- 
surance be enough to send William and my younger sisters 
to one of the quadrennial Student Volunteer Conventions 
and enough money to send them to at least one of the 
Southern Student Conferences at Blue Ridge. Not anything 
in my life has helped me more than these two things. I 
think that William should go this summer by all means. I 
would hate to have him wait another year and then possibly 
not go, for he might not get a grasp as to what life is and 
what it means to live a life of service. There are many 
people who are just existing, not living, with no purpose, no 
desire to be anything. William is in a dangerous period of 
life, awfully dangerous. Are you all going to let him go 
on this way and not encourage him to choose the kind of 
life he is going to live? Do you want him to select his life 
work apart from God? After one of these conferences a 



A HOSPITAL INTERNE 89 

fellow can do more plowing, cutting wood or anything else, 
for he is ashamed to let a little work conquer him. These 
conferences have enabled me to do far better work in drill- 
ing wells, enjoying better health, and have kept me out of 
a great deal of mischief and meanness. I had rather see 
William go to this conference or really want to go, than to 
be in Furman next year. If he goes and gets the right idea 
of life, he is going to be in Furman no matter what happens, 
whether you all assist him at all or not. If you educate a 
fool he will be a bigger fool, as the old proverb goes. If 
you educate a fellow without any ambition to be or do any- 
thing, the less desire he will have to be anybody. I would 
like to see all my younger sisters and my brother of great 
influence in their communities. They can be if they get the 
right conception of life. Possibly you think that I am crazy 
about these conferences and I am. They have been of un- 
told value to me and I want to pass on the benefits to some 
one else, so that they too may be helped. Some professors 
would rather have their students be Daughters of the Con- 
federacy than followers of Jesus Christ. 

With the coming of summer, the time for sailing 
to China drew very near. John had already received 
his appointment from the Southern Baptist Foreign 
Mission Board some months earlier. He was engaged 
to be marrried in June to Miss Minnie Middleton who 
had graduated from Meredith College in North Caro- 
lina, where she subsequently taught in the English de- 
partment, and who had later graduated from the Bap- 
tist Woman's Training School in Louisville. There 
was the rush of the winding up of affairs in America, 
the gathering of equipment for the voyage and the life 
in the great land across the seas. 



90 A GREATHEART OF THE SOUTH 

John wrote to his father : 

For nearly five years I have been looking forward to 
going to this field. I have been trying to prepare 
myself for this work for nine years. Not any of you all can 
feel the joy in my life when I found that it was possible 
for me to begin this work. Then I have never felt so com- 
pletely unable to do any work as I have in the past few 
days. God has opened the field, the way, and every op- 
portunity for me, and now I am willing to let Him come into 
my life and take me and use me, completely surrendered to 
His will. Then what am I going to carry those Chinese? 
I will not tell you the questions I have asked myself, but I 
feel my weakness. I feel the need of your prayers as I 
never felt it before in my life. 

And in another letter he said : 

It is one of the hardest things for me to get rid of that 
selfish spirit that makes me think of what people say about 
what I do, rather than what God might say. This is one of 
the reasons that I have wished to bury myself in the interior 
of China where no one may hear of the work that God can 
do through me. 



CHAPTER VIII: INTO THE FAR EAST 



CHAPTER VIII 



INTO THE FAR EAST 



A WEDDING in June; a farewell service to the depart- 
ing missionaries in the old home church ; the last good- 
bys to loved ones left behind ; and then the long journey 
to the great land beyond the Pacific. With the high 
hopes of those who sent them out, with the holy pur- 
poses of true apostles, they ventured forth. To father 
and mother in the old home and to several of his closest 
friends John quoted this poem in letters at the time 
of parting: 

"Go thou thy way and I go mine; 

Apart, yet not afar; 
Only a thin veil hangs between 

The pathways where we are; 
And 'God keep watch 'tween thee and me.' 

This is my prayer. 
He looks thy way — He looketh mine, 

And keeps us near. 

I know not where the road may lie, 

Or which way mine may be; 
If mine will lead through parching sands 

And thine beside the sea: 
Yet 'God keeps watch 'tween thee and me,* 

So never fear: 
He holds thy hand. He claspeth mine, 

And keeps us near. 
93 



94 A GREATHEART OF THE SOUTH 

Should wealth and fame perchance be thine, 

And my lot lowly be, 
Or you be sad or sorrowful, 

And glory be for me: 
Yet 'God keeps watch 'tween thee and me/ 

Both be His care. 
One arm 'round thee and one 'round me. 

Will keep us near. 

I'll sigh sometimes to see thy face, 

But since this cannot be, 
I'll leave thee to the care of Him 

Who cares for thee and me. 
'I'll keep thee both beneath my wings.' 

This comfort dear, 
One wing o'er thee and one o'er me. 

So we are near." 

At Chicago on the way to China, the Andersons 
joined a group of missionaries who were making the 
same boat from Vancouver. A man on his way out to 
India to drill oil wells occupied a berth opposite them. 
The first night out from Chicago, he was taken 
violently ill from gall stones, with convulsions and 
nausea and high fever. John took the man in charge 
and cared for him all the way to the coast. At ^^''an- 
couver, in consultation with the hotel physician, it 
was decided that an operation was necessary. His 
passage on the steamer had to be canceled, his baggage 
sent to the hotel, telegrams sent to his wife and the oil 
company in Pennsylvania, and John cared for all these 
matters. On the next day, however, the man felt bet- 
ter and refused to be operated on. He insisted that 
he was going on the steamer. So John rearranged 




OFF FOR A WHEELBARROW RJDE 

Both sides of the family necessary in order to preserve the 
balance. 



LOYAL FRIENDS OF THE HOSPITAL 
The patient who was brought back to life by interesting 
her in an adopted baby after losing her own little son 
thru the mal-treatment of an ignorant midwife. A bottle 
fed baby is a new thing in China. Ordinarily the Chinese 
do not use cow's milk. This is one cause of the high 
death rate of children 




INTO THE FAR EAST 95 

everything connected with the trip, and as he continued 
unwell all the way across the Pacific, John cared for 
him as far as Shanghai. The man preferred this 
young doctor to the ship's surgeon. There was no 
fee given for all this service. John said one time that 
he thought the oil company ought to pay him fifty 
dollars, but he probably never sent in a claim. 

The tedium of the three-day railroad journey to 
Vancouver was relieved by games which John organ- 
ized for the party. He also took care of two young 
women who were making the trip alone. He went up 
into the baggage car and looked up their trunks for 
them, and was the general utility man for the crowd. 
And so on the boat, being one of those who did not 
succumb to the sickness of the sea, he kept up the 
spirits of the others, with Rook parties, deck sports, 
and so on. One of the party was a Chinese, a graduate 
of Vanderbilt, who was an enthusiastic competitor in 
all their contests. He was returning to Peking to 
teach in the Christian University there. Of his asso- 
ciation with John Anderson he has written : 

I must acknowledge that I have in my life seen or met 
very few men to whom my heart went out so unreservedly 
as in the case of John Anderson. He was so jolly, good- 
natured, energetic and unselfish. He never thought of 
danger to himself. 

An ocean voyage can be a very unhappy experience 
to certain susceptible natures. This voyage was no 
exception and there were several whom John had to 
cheer up with his jokes and medicine. One lady who 



06 A GREATHEART OF THE SOUTH 

was especially miserable was given his own berth 
which was more comfortable and he slept thereafter 
in the cramped quarters where some of the crew were 
staying. These were not great deeds perhaps, but it 
is the little kindnesses, the thought fulness for others' 
comfort, which reveal a genuine unselfishness of spirit. 
From the steamer he wrote 

The nearer I get to China, the closer I feel that I am 
to God and the more I feel that I am doing what He would 
have me do. 

On September 26, 191 6, they landed at Shanghai. 
Kuei Chow, who' had established his home in that city, 
had them out to dinner. On returning to China, Chow 
and his brothers had made a gift of $3,000 to the mis- 
sion hospital at Yang Chow. Yang Chow itself was 
visited on the way up through the interior to Peking 
to the Language School. Of the work there John 
wrote : 

I found that Dick was the only doctor there and he had 
from sixty to one hundred out-patients every day besides 
the hundred in-patients. He had no American nurse at 
that time — she was away resting for a short time. Can you 
imagine a doctor having this much work? He has been 
here ever since he arrived in China and has not had any 
vacation. He was run down and needs rest badly. This 
is the place the Rockefeller Foundation is wanting to send 
me to. Every morning before Dick looks at any of his pa- 
tients (except emergencies), he has a prayer-meeting with 
all the in-patients who can come to the chapel and with 
the out-patients. One morning he leads and the next morn- 
ing a Chinese preacher leads. I attended the service on 



INTO THE FAR EAST 9T 

Sunday morning and I do not recall any service in America 
that was more spiritual or reverent than this, though every- 
thing was in Chinese. 

It was thought at that time that the Andersons were 
to be located at Chengchow, Honan, in connection 
with the Interior China Mission. This city was also- 
visited on the way to Peking. Of that place John 
wrote : 

I wish that I had five lives instead of one as all could be 
used. Just think of the need here in this city; the things 
that you see make you shudder. That is not only true of this 
city, but of others. Oh, that I could put one of my lives at 
Soochow, one at Yang Chow, one at Pochow, one at Kuei 
Lin and one here. The work is greater than I ever dreamed^ 

The North China Union Language School is lo- 
cated in Peking, the capital of thp Chinese Republic. 
Nearly all the new missionaries who are to work in 
the Northern Mandarin speaking section of China 
study the language in this school in their first year. 
The enrollment has been over one hundred in the last 
few sessions. The establishment of this school, and 
several other similar schools in other sections of China, 
has smoothed out the path of the young missionary 
wonderfully and has made the introduction into 
Chinese life much easier. Instead of sitting down 
alone in some isolated station with an old Chinese 
scholar, six or eight hours a day, who gave up his 
knowledge of his mother tongue only by a process of 
extraction awkwardly undertaken by the one who 
sought to learn, there are now group classes in charge 



:98 A GREATHEART OF THE SOUTH 

of trained teachers. There is recreation together and 
sight-seeing trips in one of the most interesting cities 
in the world. The Altar of Heaven, the Great Wall 
creeping for fifteen hundred miles across the northern 
border, the Forbidden City of the ancient Emperors, 
the marvelous Summer Palace of the Empress 
Dov^ager, are all in easy journeys from the school 
hostel. Moreover, there is the opportunity of hearing 
mature missionaries in lectures to the school, and the 
large English-speaking student population in the 
capital is a field for the teaching of Bible classes before 
one is able to get into regular missionary v^ork. 

John dreaded the study of the Chinese language. 
He hated to get back to books. He did not v^ant to lay 
down his medical work which he loved so thoroughly 
even for a short interval. He wrote of his introduc- 
tion to the study on the 2nd of October : 

We had our first day of language study. I felt as tired 
as if I had done a whole day of plowing. It takes every 
bit of energy you have to try and catch the sounds that the 
teacher makes. It takes as much energy as to stay real 
firing mad all the time. 

And a little later he wrote : 

Did you ever study until your head fairly ached? That 
is the way with this language here. But I am enjoying it 
and I would not change positions with any doctor in 
America. 

It was not long, however^ before his hands were full 
with caring for fellow language students. Of the ex- 
periences of those days Mrs. Anderson writes: 



INTO THE FAR EAST 99 

We had no sooner arrived in Peking than demands began 
to be made on John's time, and he gave it not only willingly, 
but with real joy, because he was so much more interested 
in medicine than in the language. It used to be a joke to 
us both that no matter how blue he was over studying (and 
that was often), some one was sure to arrive with a "bing** 
(sickness) and then he was happy again, dosing out pills 
and giving directions for proper treatment. The first few 
weeks were very strenuous. No doctor had been provided 
for the Language School and we had some serious illness, five 
cases of dysentery and four of typhoid, one of which de- 
veloped into pneumonia of the most dangerous type. John 
not only doctored, but nursed, often sitting up all night. 
And those whom he nursed there, as elsewhere, can testify 
to his ability and gentleness. He seemed to know by instinct 
the things a sick person wanted done and did them with a 
deftness and sympathy that many a nurse would envy. He 
often said that he loved nursing, and he studied it too, know- 
ing how often there would be need of such training in 
China. 

During the year there were many other cases, both among 
the foreigners and Chinese who came to him for treatment. 
I don't believe there was a servant who escaped having some- 
thing done for him. John and one or two others interested, 
bore the expense of having an operation done on one and 
later cared for that servant's little son who was very ill with 
pneumonia, going two or three times a day to their little 
home, helping give him sponge baths, etc. He went for 
weeks to one teacher's home, treating his children who had 
trachoma. The head teacher came to him for tuberculosis 
examination and seemed always grateful for John's con- 
tinued interest in his diet and care of himself. 

John had a "way" with his patients and they often 
"minded" obediently when I hardly expected them to do so. 

I recall especially the case of Miss P who lost her mind 

for a while. She roomed next door to us and John was- 



100 A GREATHEART OF THE SOUTH 

often called in the middle of the night to quiet her. Once 
when she ran away from the hospital, he brought her up 
to our room and I remember distinctly how he coaxed her 
with jokes and foolishness into taking a cup of cocoa, the 
first food she had taken in days. 

There was nothing at the Language School Hostel in 
which he did not have a hand. At Chinese New Year he 
played the part of kitchen coohe, all the servants having 
been given a holiday, and he left the kitchen shining clean. 
I remember how he boasted that he had used twice the usual 
amount of water. 

(Of that day John himself wrote: "I got to wash dishes 
twice. It was work, but I enjoyed it better than any day I 
have had in China. I wish I could learn Chinese that way. 
I would change in a minute.") 

If there was ever a stunt on, John was sure to do more 
than his share of the work that didn't show, but counted 
most. I remember one night I was chairman of a serving 
committee when we were having a great crowd. He found 
us all a bit confused about the best way to do it and in a 
few minutes had us organized so that things went smoothly. 

Some of us know that there was no financial return 
for all this service for the sick, and that John used 
up practically all of his private stock of drugs that 
he had brought from America without being re- 
imbursed. And he did this in a time of real personal 
difficulty because of the falling foreign exchange. The 
monthly salary was eaten up in board and room rent, 
and often there was only the margin of a dollar or 
two for incidentals after these charges were paid. But 
those who were sick had no money either and he would 
not withhold his hand whatever it might cost him. 
The Language School was in its beginnings and no 



INTO THE FAR EAST 101 

doctor had been employed to care for the students. 
It is customary for one who goes to hve in China 
to take a Chinese name. This is on account of the 
difficulty in transliterating foreign names into the 
Chinese characters and sounds. Usually one's first 
Chinese teacher decides on the name which is fitting. 
There are only one hundred Chinese surnames and so 
the range of selection is limited. John Anderson was 
given the name of An, meaning ''peace," and his title 
as a doctor was Dai Fu — An Dai Fu, or as we should 
say. Dr. Peace. The surname in Chinese comes before 
the given name or title. 

A letter dated February 4, 19 17, reads: 

The teacher that we have now is not a Christian. I have 
been talking to him. We have just got to the place that 
we can talk to the Chinese about being Christians at all. 
It is hard to say what we want to say in Chinese. We may 
think that it is not appreciated, but it does count if it is done 
in the right spirit. "Even a cup of cold water in His 
name " 

A later letter, dated April ist, says: 

I must say that I was a little blue last fall for a while with 
the language, but it gets more interesting the farther we go. 
We have a great deal of fun in learning it. We tell all 
the jokes we can think of. I have never regretted that I 
came to China in the least, but I have been a little dis- 
couraged as to the language. Now we can get around and 
we can make most of the people understand us. Just this 
past week I received the fourth appeal from one of our 
missions not so very far from here asking me to come there 
for a year if I cannot stay longer. There is a good hospital. 



102 A GREATHEART OF THE SOUTH 

fourteen adults and thirteen children in the mission, not to 
speak of thousands of Chinese, without any physician. The 
doctor had to take his daughter home on account of her 
health. They are more than a day's journey from any physi- 
cian. This is only one appeal; I could give numbers of 
others. 

A man about four days' journey overland v^rote here 
about two months ago asking for a doctor to come and be 
with his wife during confinement. This was the nearest place 
where there were any doctors. No one could go. So he 
brought her to Peking about a month ago. She caught small- 
pox on the way down in one of the places they spent the 
night in, the result being that the mother and child both 
died. We have a number of such things before us from day 
to day. I am glad that I am here. 

At the close of the school year in June, he wrote: 

The Chinese have little fighting blood in them. They al- 
ways talk and never fight. I think they would be better off 
if they had fighting blood in them. Not that I want to see 
them fight, but I want to see them have manhood enough 
to stand for the right, for justice, and stand against sin 
and wrong and evil. In my student Bible class I have been 
trying to help the fellows into this attitude. They think 
that all that is necessary is for them to live a moral life, let 
others do as they please. They don't think that it makes 
any difference whether they join the church or not. It is 
hard to get them to come out and make a bold stand. To- 
day one of my fellows united with the church and I believe 
others will unite soon. I am going to get a personal inter- 
view with each one of them if I can before I leave. 

That summer was spent by the seaside at Chefoo, 
one of the ports of Shantung. A large summer colony 
of Americans and British takes advantage of the op- 



INTO THE FAR EAST 103 

portunities there for sea bathing and boating, and 
there are tennis and cricket, teas and concerts. Dr. 
Nevius, one of the earliest American missionaries to 
North China, imported fruit trees and now the hills 
that slope down to the harbor are covered with orchards 
that bear the finest a-pples, peaches and pears. There 
are fine vineyards as well. Dr. Hunter Corbett, over 
eighty years old, who came to China in the sixties, had 
a villa high up on one of the overlooking hills. Steam- 
ers of many nations come to anchor behind the break- 
water. The Chinese fishing junks carry out long nets 
which are in the evening or early morning drawn 
ashore by the half -naked fishermen. The American 
flag, the most beautiful in all the port, floats high over 
the Consulate on Light-house Hill. 

A stone house, right by the sea, was occupied by 
a jolly crowd of former friends, of which the Ander- 
sons were a part. There were frequent picnics out 
near the Chinese fort that guards the mouth of the 
Chefoo harbor. In July there was a moonlight fete 
in the American Consulate gardens for the benefit of 
the Red Cross, with Chinese jugglers, a musical pro- 
gram given by visiting ''talent," and booths with soda 
and candy for sale. Then there was a two-day trip 
across to Hwanghsien and the first experience with a 
Chinese "Shan Tzu," a mode of land travel which 
often produces sensations sometimes felt at ^sea. 
Parallel poles with a kind of cradle swung between are 
fastened to the backs of two mules, and one or two 
passengers seat themselves in the cradle for the voy- 
age. There is a bamboo mat which serves as a pro- 



104 A GREATHEART OF THE SOUTH 

tection overhead. Progress is exceeding slow, so slow 
that the muleteer who walks beside to drive the animals 
often falls asleep as he walks. On this trip a stop 
was made at a Chinese inn, and fearing "animals" 
the travelers chose to sleep in the open courtyard under- 
neath the stars of a Chinese summer night. A sum- 
mer vacation in China is a most interesting experience. 
John set himself a heavy schedule of language study 
with his personal teacher to make up for time lost at- 
tending to the sick around the school in Peking. But 
a doctor is at a premium in China, and with sick peo- 
ple in Chefoo as well as in Peking, he could hardly 
call his time his own. One of the children in the house 
was taken seriously ill with dysentery and John was 
trained nurse and doctor for him for the next few 
weeks. A lady missionary was brought from one of 
the interior stations to Chefoo to the home of her 
sister which was next door to where the Andersons 
were living.. She was in a state of nervous collapse 
with other complications. When John went in to see 
her, he said that she was raving like a wild beast and 
had no control of herself at all. It was really a case 
of deferred furlough, waiting to go home until it was 
too late. John was her constant attendant for the next 
month, and when the nurse who was on the case broke 
down under the strain, he nursed her for eighteen 
hours and then relieved the family every third or fourth 

night. Miss H who accompanied this missionary 

to Chefoo wrote later of Dr. Anderson : 

To me he seemed one of the gentlest, most unselfish men 
I have ever seen or" heard of. I can never forget the way 



INTO THE FAR EAST 105 

he worked over Tommie (Miss T ). He was physician 

and nurse and brother all in one. Again and again she said 
to me, "Oh, Dr. Anderson is so good to me." 

Besides this John had many of the school girls of 
the mission to care for in their various ills. He was 
supposed to be on his vacation and this Mras not his 
''parish" at all. Moreover he was beginning to show 
signs of strain. But no one in distress ever turned to 
him in vain. At the end of the summer he took a 
long cross country trip to attend in a maternity case 
where there was no other doctor available. He wrote 
on his return from this trip : 

How would you like to be two days from a doctor and no 
trained nurse to assist? They begged me to stay on so 
that I could hardly stand it. On the way back we had 
several streams to cross and I pulled off my shoes and 

carried my teacher and S across. I could carry them, 

but they could not carry me. 

He followed out literally Paul's injunction : 

We that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the 
weak, and not to please ourselves. 

It had been decided in consultation with the Mission 
Board and the China Medical Board that it was best 
for the Andersons to go to Yang Chow in the fall, 
that John might ease the burdens of Dr. Taylor who 
had been alone so long. In September, before leaving 
for the South, he substituted for several weeks for a 
doctor in the Presbyterian Hospital at Chefoo, and 
during the illness of the other doctor, he bore the 



106 A GREATHEART OF THE SOUTH 

responsibility of the hospital alone. Dr. Hills, the 
founder of the hospital, was impressed with his ''sim- 
plicity andj gentleness of spirit, his persistency in 
carrying things through, and his medical ability which 
was much above the average." 

The journey to Yang Chow was made as far as 
Shanghai by coastal steamer. The day they left Chefoo 
for Shanghai, John discovered that a lady, a stranger 
to him, had been crowded with her four children, one 
of whom was sick, into one of the smaller staterooms. 
He suggested that she and the children exchange 
cabins with his wife and himself and he helped in 
getting them comfortably settled, and then he cared 
for the sick child for the rest of the voyage. 



CHAPTER IX: YANG CHOW AND BEYOND 



CHAPTER IX 



YANG CHOW AND BEYOND 



The city of Yang Chow is one of the most aristo- 
cratic in China. It is famous as the home of great 
officials. Marco Polo, the traveler, visited it long ago 
(A. D. 1275), ^^^ its aspect has hardly changed from 
that time until to-day. The soft pad, pad, of the feet of 
the chair bearers and their singsong as they swing 
rapidly through the streets, the great brass kettles 
hissing in front of tiny tea shops, the venders of green 
vegetables who give their strange cries before the 
barred gates in high walls, the green scum on the 
Grand Canal, these are the same yesterday and to-day 
— will they be forever? The present population of the 
city is estimated as 360,000, most of the people be- 
ing crowded together in the closest quarters. Some- 
times there is only a single room for a family of six 
or seven. But inside those walls are also the gardens 
and rockeries of the wealthy. Winding walks and 
tea pavilions and lotus ponds are beautiful in chrysan- 
themum time. 

Several missions are at work in the different sec- 
tions of the city. The Baptist Mission to which the 
Andersons were attached has a church and a school 
and a hospital in the southwestern part of the city, 

109 



no A GREATHEART OF THE SOUTH 

just inside the city wall. Here they were joyously 
welcomed in the fall of 191 7. 

The story of the busy days in that great and hoary 
city is told by Mrs. Anderson : 

John began his work in Yang Chow with great enthusiasm 
which grew steadily in spite of many difficulties. With all 
his old relish for making things comfortable, he spent most 
of the first few weeks getting our house in order, though 
helping with operations and making the rounds with Dr. 
Taylor. The house in which we lived had many con- 
veniences added mostly by his suggestion and often by hi^ 
own hands. I remember finding him one day digging a 
ditch in the back yard so that a pipe could be connected 
with the cistern from our kitchen pump. A Chinese had 
been at it two days, but the work was too slow for John! 
All that winter he spent much of his spare time pruning 
trees and shrubs that had been neglected some time, laid 
new walks and brought order into what had been a rather 
dilapidated looking lawn. He was already planning to dig 
some artesian wells whenever he could secure a well ma- 
chine. 

On January first he took formal charge of the woman's 
clinic and hospital. This was a great relief to Dr. Taylor's 
burdened shoulders and he was never tired of saying how 
thankful he was for John's help. John began gradually to 
add conveniences that Dr. Taylor had not had time to at- 
tend to and with his instinct for nursing he soon helped the 
Chinese nurses to more professional ways of doing things. 

I cannot give the exact number of his patients, operations, 
etc. They were the usual throng of discouraged sick who 
had tried Chinese doctors to their greater suffering, with 
occasional patients who knew enough about foreign medi- 
cine to come early. These latter were rare. 

John was especially anxious for more normal maternity 
cases. Nearly all who came had undergone untold suffering 




THE PARENTS OF LITTLE FOUR 

The father and mother of "Little Four" and the baby born 
on the street who died of starvation. They were famine 
refugees and were cared for in the hospital for more than a 
month. 



YANG CHOW AND BEYOND 111 

at the hands of ignorant midwives, often after four or five 
days' labor. One I remember especially. I met the stretcher 
(a Chinese wicker cot) coming along our main street, being 
heralded by Mrs. Ye, a former patient and one of the hos- 
pital's staunchest friends. John found the poor woman in 
an awful state. I shall never forget the look on the faces 
of her two women relatives who stood by, one on either side. 
How strange it was to them — no wonder their white faces 
dripped perspiration at every tiny moan from under the ether 
cone. Finally when John had to tell them that the baby 
was dead, one cried out: "Oh, Doctor, bring him back to 
life." The baby was a little boy and would have been the 
hope of the family, for his father had died shortly before, 
the parents refusing to let him have a simple operation that 
would probably have saved him. The mother lay almost 
lifeless, in great pain from the terrible infection following 
the treatment she had received. John worked night and 
day, even carrying dainty broth from our own kitchen to 
tempt her, trying to coax her into an interest, for he said: 
*Tf she dies it's because she does not want to live." Then 
an adopted son was suggested and a wee scrap of a baby 
brought from the foundling home gradually won the listless 
woman back to life. The baby lived on there for six weeks 
and grew to be a bonny fat boy, being bottle fed from milk 
that John prepared most of the time himself. It was in 
times like these that he sighed so often for an American 
trained nurse, but he did his work and the nurse's too, with 
never failing gentleness. The woman and her mother, a 
sweet old lady, grew to be great friends of ours. 

John loved his children patients best of all and it was no 
unusual sight to see him swinging along the wards or hos- 
pital walks, one on either side chattering away. "Little 
Apricot" was one of his best beloved, a pretty child of 
twelve. She used to run to him and snuggle up against him 
just as if she had been an American child. "Little Ear" 
came with a terrible fracture of the elbow, the arm swollen 



112 A GREATHEART OF THE SOUTH 

for a week. She was so shy that she used to bury her face 
in the cover when we came around, but in ten days John 
had coaxed her over home to play with the baby and in less 
time than that she was the affectionate little friend of the 
whole place. Still another, almost a beggar, but a bright 
sweet child of ten or twelve, came with a tubercular ankle. 
She was there for months and came to seem a part of the 
hospital. I remember John's saying as we made the rounds 
one evening: "I am going to keep that child until she gets 
well if we never get a penny even for her food." 

Then in April came "Little Four" and his family, the most 
interesting group we ever had. It was a cold, rainy after- 
noon when John sent for me. I found Dick and John 
getting a picture of the most desolate family group I ever 
saw. The woman had dropped wearily on a bench, leaning 
against the wall in utter abandonment of strength and desire 
for anything. By her, in a similar state of filth, vermin and 
dejection, sat her husband, holding a wisp of a six-day old 
baby, born on the street. A blue rag was wrapped about 
its body, but legs purple with cold dangled down helplessly. 
And ten feet away I could see the body lice crawling on 
the poor little thing. 

John started them upstairs, a nurse on either side of the 
woman. But they handled her gingerly, to say the least. I 
saw John's eyes flash with anger. He pushed them aside 
and helped the woman up himself, straight into the warm 
operating room. ''We'll cut off her hair first," he said, to 
which the man protested that she would be no longer "hao 
kan" (good-looking). But the hair was cut, John himself 
doing the deed. The woman's lips were so parched from 
starvation, we could hardly get her to drink tea. She had 
not had anything to eat in over a week. John asked the 
man why she had not eaten. The answer was simply: "We 
had no food." You can fancy how much nourishment she 
had for the baby. We fed it on a bottle, but the poor little 
thing had had too hard a start, six days without anything. 



YANG CHOW AND BEYOND 113 

A week later it died, though John worked literally day and 
night to save it. I came back from a trip to Shanghai to 
find John padding and lining a tiny coffin. He had already 
carried over some of our baby's clothes for the little body. 
And then he smashed all precedents for hurrying dead bodies 
out of the hospital by having a funeral. It is one of the 
most vivid memories of our life at Yang Chow — the little 
room growing dark in the twilight, nurses and the carpenter 
who had made the coffin standing against the wall, father 
and mother and brothers of the baby seated in stupid won- 
derment at the meaning of it all — and there by the coffin, 
Miss Hwang, the woman evangelist, read by the light of a 
flickering lamp the immortal words of the Bible about the 
resurrection. Then she prayed and suddenly the father, 
stirred by some strange new emotions, flung himself on the 
floor and tried to pray. It was the queerest jumble of long- 
ing and need I ever heard, but somehow we all felt as if God 
took heed. Then he turned and began kow-towing to John. 

"Why," he said, "all this waste of heart on a girl baby? 
It would have been all the same to her if we had just carried 
her out and thrown her over the wall." 

But it was not the same to John, nor was it, I fancied, 
to any of the few who witnessed it. 

There were three boys in this family who were almost 
as badly off as their mother. They were also cared for in 
the hospital while the father worked on the hospital grounds 
for a month or more. Restored to health and strength at 
last, they became homesick and wanted to return to their 
ancestral village, which was sixty miles east of Yang Chow. 
They had left there three years before in a time of famine 
and had not been able to return. John tried to get them to 
stay in Yang Chow, promising to find work for the father, 
but they would go. And so John and Dr. Taylor supplied 
them with money for the journey. It was finally agreed 
that "Little Four" should stay behind. A little room was 
fitted up for him in the servants' quarters, his queue was cut 



114 A GREATHEART OF THE SOUTH 

off, and then he was started to school. The first Sunday he 
went to church, John gave him a penny to put in the col- 
lection, and later he was allowed ten pennies a week for 
which he rendered a weekly account of expenditures. His 
first purchase was a pair of socks. John put him to learning 
the Ten Commandments, and as soon as these were learned 
he set him to other Bible verses. He has since been sent to 
the mission school in Soochow, and has been given a new 
name — Peter, 

One other funeral John managed in an outside room where 
a smallpox baby died. 'Tt's their only chance to know any- 
thing of our conception of death," he answered the Chinese 
who insisted that he was wasting his energies for nothing. 

Through the long summer months he worked untiringly, 
often beginning his operations at five in the morning. I 
remember a Mrs. Wang who had a very serious operation. 
She was a valued worker in the China Inland Mission school 
and three of the missionaries spent the night before with 
us that they might be there to see the operation and en- 
courage Mrs. Wang. John slept almost none that night and 
I knew he was praying anxiously for skill to do the opera- 
tion. I feared he would come to the task worn out and 
nervous from his night's vigil, but he was as cool as I ever 
saw him and did a splendid operation. He said he had 
never seen so many complications, but the patient recovered 
fully and was a real blessing to our hospital during her stay. 

It should be recalled that this w^as only the second 
year of John Anderson's life in China. Ordinarily, 
the second year as well as the first, is given up more 
or less wholly to the study of the langxiage. It is 
more difficult for a medical missionary to take time 
for the second year of study on account of the im- 
mediate demand for his professional services. John 
tried to carry on his studies in the language with his 



YANG CHOW AND BEYOND 115 

other work. At first he set aside three hours a day 
to be with his teacher. The change from Peking to 
Yang Chow added the difficuUy of a difference of 
dialect. He had originally gone to the Peking School 
because he expected to work in Honan. There were 
excuses enough to simply let the language go, and try 
to do the best service possible without proficiency in 
speaking Chinese, as is sometimes done. But it was 
not his habit to do things half way, especially when a 
limitation on his speech meant a limitation on his op- 
portunity to speak for his Lord. He set himself the 
task of leading the hospital chapel in his turn, and 
though it took more energy than the performance of 
a major operation he stuck to it. This determination 
impressed deeply the hospital evangelist who was one 
of John's best friends among the Chinese and he spoke 
of it later. In this first summer at Yang Chow, he 
gathered the hospital workers into a class in "The 
Manhood of the Master," using the Chinese transla- 
tion. 

Moreover, he was as faithful as ever in the general 
work of the church. Note this letter written in the 
winter time : 

Every night this week there has been a meeting in the 
church. The average attendance has been over two hun- 
dred, mostly men. The church has no heat and part of it has 
no roof, the windows all loose, and the floor is made of dirt 
brickbats thrown together. I have been three times and I 
do not see for my life how the Chinese can stand it. Tt 
was all that I could do to stand it as it has been so cold 
this past week. Last night the preacher talked about Christ 
being crucified and the people would come in off the street 



116 A GREATHEART OF THE SOUTH 

while he was talking, stand up, go out, change seats, talk, 
read, sing, smoke, or anything else they wanted to do. It 
is so hard to tell them about Christ and His life in a few 
minutes for all this talk is foreign to them. I do not blame 
them for they do not know any better, but I certainly do pity 
them and wish and pray that they may see and believe. It 
is going to take time and a long time and a great deal of 
hard work and prayer to Christianize this country, so fixed in 
its ways and customs. I am not discouraged and I do not 
believe I am going to be, for I have as near an ideal home 
as I can to go to after mixing with the filth and dirt and 
unspeakable diseases. 

John's chief happiness centered in his home. All 
during the year at Peking he was looking forward to 
having a home of his own where he would have in 
his own hands the keys of hospitality and where there 
would be real quiet and peace and rest alone. When 
they were at last settled in their own home in Yang 
Chow, he wrote that Minnie and he had had their 
first meal alone for many months. But he loved com- 
pany too. He wrote in one letter : 

We had just a few days past a man, his wife, two chil- 
dren and a friend of theirs, to spend the night with us. 
I am going to copy a portion of the note she wrote us — 
"We are under life-long obligation to you all for taking 
us in and giving us such good care. I don't think I was 
ever so struck by the hospitality of a lovely Christian 
home than when we came into your quiet, sweet home 
after the, dirty, wet, miserable heathen launch and streets." 
I do believe that a Christian home in China is the shadow 
of a great rock in a weary land, not only from the hot 
sun, not only from the dirt and filth, but a shadow against 
sin in every form. I do hope that we shall always be able 



YANG CHOW AND BEYOND 117 

to keep our home open. These people we had never met 
and knew nothing about them except that they were com- 
ing through Yang Chow. We want to keep our home open 
not only to our own countrymen, but to the Chinese as 
well. We had a Chinese lady at dinner with us to-day 
who a few years ago was a Buddhist nun. 

It was the Andersons' regular custom to have some 
Chinese to a meal once a week, sometimes patients 
nearly well, sometimes hospital assistants and others. 
Mrs. Anderson tells of two Sunday dinners in par- 
ticular when An Dai Fu brought over his favorite 
"Little Apricot" and Tsang Ken Tzu, a little cripple 
boy. He entertained them with funny stories and 
post cards of American scenes, just as if they had been 
children at home. Never a father was happier over 
the coming of a little son, than John when his boy 
was born in the autumn that they came to Yang Chow. 
His letters were always full of him thereafter. 

He wrote September 12, 1918: 

Mink was gone about six days to Shanghai for dental 
work. It kept me busy at odd times taking care of Griffith. 
I had some sick patients and had to go to the hospital at 
night. One night Griffith was so wide awake that I 
wrapped him up and took him with me, though it was rain- 
ing. He enjoyed every minute as we had a red lantern 
and he enjoys light so much. 

About this tim.e the matter of going with the Red 
Cross to Siberia had to be decided. Both Dr. Taylor 
and John wanted to go. John had written to his 
brother who was entering the army : 



118 A GREATHEART OF THE SOUTH 

I hope that you will enjoy military life and that you 
are anxious to get out and fight for your country and for 
the right. I have wished that I was not so tied down here 
or I would be in France with some coolies. Dr. Taylor 
has an Edison and has two records about the war. The 
first time I heard them, it certainly did make my heart 
fairly thrill. You will not find military life easy, but 
hard, with things that it takes a man to do with the 
best that is in him. Last spring in Peking we got up at 
five and went two miles to drill every morning. That was 
fun beside what you will go through. I am proud of hav- 
ing a brother in the war. The fellow who will not fight 
for the right has not much red blood in him. 

The China Medical Board decided finally that Dr. 
Taylor should go on account of his approaching fur- 
lough. The two doctors had a long talk together and 
John said to his friend : 

Dick, I want you to feel that half of me is going to 
Siberia too, and half of me is staying here, and I want to 
take care of Anne (Mrs. Taylor) and your children just 
as I do of Mink and Griffith, if I may. 

Dr. Taylor's family moved into the Anderson home 
and John even had their piano moved over and upstairs 
for them. It was quite an undertaking. The piano 
stuck half way up the stairs in spite of the efforts of 
about a dozen Chinese, and the ladies begged him to 
give up for fear that the stairway might collapse. It 
was thoroughly typical of John's determination to see 
things through that he calmly propped up the stairs 
and took away part of the railing and the piano went 
up of course, though moving it consumed most of the 



YANG CHOW AND BEYOND 119 

afternoon. John had a ''shoot the chutes" built for 
the Taylor children in the back yard. 

Here are some quotations from several of John's 
letters written about this time: 

It has been a right interesting day for me, dispatching 
three Chinese whom we have taken on to send to school 
this year. One will cost us $60, one $8, and the other about 
$12. We have one more that we are mighty anxious to 
help through college, about $120 a year. He is such a fine 
fellow. He was my teacher last summer. 

This morning it was my time to lead prayers and I 
talked about twenty minutes on the barren fig tree, as re- 
corded in Mark XI. Christ did not say that this tree had 
never brought forth fruit, but that it did not have any 
on it then. How we Christians think that if we do some- 
thing once a year, or once a month, that it is sufficient. 
Christ told the tree that it should wither for it had no 
fruit. If He should come and find our names on the church 
roll, pretending to be Christians and not bringing forth 
fruit, I fear that He would treat us as He did the fig tree. 

At this time also, word came that the China Medical 
Board had granted $45,000 and the Baptist Foreign 
Mission Board $15,000 for the erection of a more 
commodious hospital. Of this John wrote : 

With this equipment you have no idea how meek and 
unable I feel to do my part in running this hospital as 
it should be. I am looking to God for guidance and direc- 
tion from day to day. In order to get in more time with 
God I have been getting up at 5 130, but as Mink is getting 
stronger and I do not have to wait on her, we are going to 
make it six o'clock. 



120 A GREATHEART OF THE SOUTH 

On October 9th, the home letter which was received 
in Woodruff on November i8th, contained the follow- 
ing: 

In the last seven days I have had five operations for 
appendicitis. I have averaged five or six operations a day 
for nearly a month. I have over sixty patients in the 
hospital. On top of this four or five of my helpers have 
been sick, and our chief Chinese assistant who has been 
here twelve years has gone. Then I have to see after a 
number of workmen as we are getting ready to build a 
big addition to the hospital. The Building Committee of 
the Mission on which I happen to be one of three members, 
has left all the plans to be decided on by me after I have 
consulted with the architect. With this I still keep up 
leading chapel twice a week and attending seven days a 
week, prayer-meeting once, church once, and the prayer- 
meeting of the missionaries once each week. I could name 
a number of other things, but from this you can see that 
I have enough to do to keep me out of mischief. I do 
not know what we will do to run the hospital much longer 
if we do not get more help, as drugs are so high. I have 
had six cases of typhoid recently. I am looking forward 
to one month's rest the first of February, as that is Chinese 
New Year and medical work slacks off at that time. 

A meeting of the Executive Committee of the Cen- 
tral China Mission called John to Shanghai for the 
thirteenth of November. Begrudging even a few hours 
from his work, he planned to take the midnight train 
on the twelfth. A launch was scheduled to leave Yang 
Chow at 8 :30 P. M. to connect at Chinkiang with the 
Shanghai train. The day was very full. The hospital 
accounts were all straightened up in perfect order, 



YANG CHOW AND BEYOND 121 

and his desk was cleared. A letter was mailed with 
a check for $25.00 as a contribution. to the Educational 
Campaign in North Carolina for Wake Forest College. 
After supper he packed his bag, and then sat around 
with the two families, laughing and joking in high 
good spirits. He started out once or twice to walk 
to the canal, and then decided that he might have 
to wait by the canal bank for the launch, and so came 
back to the warmth of his happy home. Finally he 
and one of the older missionaries went out into the 
night to catch the launch. Arriving at the wharf they 
found that it had already departed. The only chance 
to make the train would be a small sampan, and at 
that it was a question as to whether it would not ar- 
rive too late. For a moment John hesitated and al- 
most decided to go back and go to bed and get a good 
night's rest. Then striking a bargain with the boat- 
man for the trip he waved good-by to the missionary 
and jumped aboard with his old servant, Dzu Da. To 
speed up the journey, John took turns with Dzu Da 
and the boatman in towing the boat from the bank of 
the canal until they reached the mouth of the canal 
on the north bank of the Yang Tze River. Dzu Da 
was the last man to do any towing, and when he got 
aboard the sampan he was perspiring freely. John 
took his own steamer rug off his knees and, in spite 
of the protests of the old man, he wrapped it around 
the servant and put his lantern between his legs to 
keep him from catching cold in the November night. 
He told Dzu Da that he himself was already warm. 



122 A GREATHEART OF THE SOUTH 

The night was dark and the river was far from quiet 
as they put out into its swift current to cross to the 
south bank to Chinkiang. John and Dzu Da were 
sitting together in the body of the boat, the boatman 
at the rear sculHng with the oar, when a large river 
steamer loomed up in the darkness. Never thinking 
of himself, John reached for the lantern and sprang 
to the bow of the little boat, to give warning lest they 
be run down. Apparently the lookout on the steamer 
never saw the swinging light, for the steamer struck 
the sampan, and John encased in his heavy overcoat 
was thrown into the river. The boatman heard a cry, 
but night and the Yang Tze had swallowed him up. 
The steamer without stopping passed on up the river. 
Lifting the light in the darkness to save others John 
Anderson went down into the dark waters. The others 
clung to the little sampan which was broken in two, 
and drifted safely to shore in the later morning. They 
ran at once to the missionaries in Chinkiang with the 
news, and in the afternoon it was brought to the hos- 
pital in Yang Chow. 

"Great-heart is dead, they say, — 
Fighting the fight, 
Holding the light, 
Into the night. 

Great-heart is dead, they say, — 

But the light shall burn brighter, 

And the night shall be lighter, 

For his going: 

And a rich, rich harvest for his sowing. 



YANG CHOW AND BEYOND 123 

Great-heart is dead, they say, — 
What is death to such an one as Great-heart? 
One sigh, perchance, for work unfinished here, 
Then a swift passing to a mightier sphere, 
New joys, perfected powers, the vision clear, 
And all the amplitude of Heaven to work 
The work he held so dear. 

Great-heart is dead, say they? 

Nor dead, nor sleeping! He lives on! His name 

Shall kindle many a heart to equal flame. 

The fire he lighted shall burn on and on, 

Till all the darkness of the lands be gone, 

And all the kingdoms of the earth be won, 

And one. 

A soul so fiery sweet can never die, 

But lives and loves and works through all eternity." 



THE END