Mabel Allen

Honored by:Early United Methodist Church
Brick location:G:17  map

She began her teaching career in the Early Public School at the age of seventeen. It was during this period of her life that she received the call to the mission field. She went to the mission field when she was twenty-four years old.

Miss Allen was sent to a girls missionary school in Nynching after a year's study of the language in Foochow. She later became president of that school. In the latter part of February 1915, Miss Allen returned to the United States to care for her aged parents.

It was during these years as a devoted and faithful member of the Methodist Church that her life and her teachings were a blessing and a benediction to our Church. She instilled in the hearts and minds of our members the love of Missions and the urgent need of missionary work throughout the world. In 1956 she entered the Odebolt Nursing Home at the age of 86, and died there on July 24, 1965 at the age of 96. (From the dedication of the name "Mabel Allen Lounge" for the room named in her honor at the Blessing Cup Luncheon on November 1964).

From the centennial book "The First Hundred Years 1882-1982 Early, Iowa": She began her teaching career as a young woman and taught in the Independent School district of Early from 1890 to 1894 in the primary department. It was during this period of her life that she had "her call" to go as a missionary to a foreign field.

She was sent to a girls' Mission School in Ngueheng, China after a years study of the language in Foochow. The Early News for July 1897 has an item saying that the Foreign Missionary Society of the M. E. Church was filling a box to be sent to Mabel Allen for use in her mission work in Foochow, China.

One of her students, Pearl Wong, who came to the United States as a student at Fargo College, wrote a composition about Mabel for her Freshman English Class in 1918. In this biographical sketch she tells of Mabel’s experience during the Boxer Rebellion in 1911. She did not want to leave her girls, but a ship had come for her. Because of the storm, the ship could not leave and by morning she had decided to stay with her girls.

While she was a student in the U.S., Pearl visited Early many times and felt it was a second home. About 1915 Mabel returned home to care for her aging parent. She was very active in organizations of the M. E. Church as long as her health permitted.

As a memorial to Mabel, three of her students, Dr. Sarah Fong (Mrs. H. H. Sung), Dr. Ruth Wong (Mrs. W. P. Lin), and Pearl Wong sent four beautiful Chinese panels to be used to decorate the Mabel Allen Room in the new Methodist Church. 3/14/95