Mary Haskell (missionary)

Mary Minerva Haskell (May 18, 1869 – December 6, 1953) was an American congregationalist missionary in Bulgaria.

Haskell, in a 1913 publication

Early lifeEdit

Mary Minerva Haskell was born at Filibe, Edirne Vilayet, Ottoman Empire (now Plovdiv) in 1869 to missionary parents Henry Charles Haskell (1835–1914) and Margaret Bell Haskell (1841–1924). She attended Oberlin College, graduating in the class of 1889.[1]


Haskell moved back to Bulgaria as a teacher in 1890. In 1901 she worked with refugees from the Macedonian Revolution, and played a minor role in the Miss Stone Affair.[2] In 1908 she was assigned to the Monastir Orphanage at Samokov, under the auspices of the Women's Board of Missions of the Interior (WBMI).[3] She was arrested and imprisoned during the Balkan Wars (1912–1913) and received the Cross of Queen Eleonore for her service as a nurse.[4] She stayed in Bulgaria through World War II. Haskell left Sofia for the last time in 1950, forced to leave when the United States ended diplomatic relations with Bulgaria.[1]

During visits home to the United States, she attended conferences and gave lectures about Bulgaria.[5][6] In 1918 she published a pamphlet, "Glimpses of Bulgaria During the Present Crisis", to raise money for the orphanage she served.[7] Haskell spoke at the meeting of the Congregational Women's Missionary Society of Southern California, held in San Diego in 1932.[8]

Personal lifeEdit

Mary Minerva Haskell died in 1953, aged 84 years, in California.[9] Her brother, Henry J. Haskell (1874–1952), was a newspaper editor in Kansas City, who married Katharine Wright, sister of the Wright Brothers, in 1926.[10][11]

Among her notable nephews were Edward Haskell, an independent researcher of "unified science", and Douglas Haskell, an architecture critic and magazine editor.


  1. ^ a b "After Lifetime of Welfare Work, Missionary Quits Bulgarians" Eugene Guard (March 1, 1950): 5. via 
  2. ^ Teresa Carpenter, The Miss Stone Affair: America's First Modern Hostage Crisis (Simon and Schuster 2004): 25-26, 50. ISBN 9780743258050
  3. ^ Noriko Kawamura Ishii, ''American Women Missionaries at Kobe College, 1873-1909 (Routledge 2004): 69-70. ISBN
  4. ^ "Fail to Shatter Faith" Kansas City Times (September 9, 1950): 7. via 
  5. ^ "A Lecture" Lawrence Daily Journal (March 6, 1899): 4. via 
  6. ^ "Meeting of Woman's Board of Missions" Inter Ocean (October 24, 1899): 4. via 
  7. ^ Mary M. Haskell, "Glimpses of Bulgaria During the Present Crisis" (1918).
  8. ^ "Church Group Officers for Year Elected" San Bernardino County Sun (April 21, 1932): 13. via 
  9. ^ "Miss Mary Haskell, 84; Sister of the Late Henry J. Haskell Dies Unexpectedly" Archived 2016-12-27 at the Wayback Machine Kansas City Times (December 10, 1953): 3.
  10. ^ "Katharine Wright Wed To H.J. Haskell, Editor. Sister of Airplane Inventors Bride of Executive of The Kansas City Star". New York Times. November 21, 1926. Retrieved 2011-11-18.
  11. ^ "K. C. Star Editor Dead at 78" Salinas Journal (August 20, 1952): 1. via 

External linksEdit