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Dora Judd Mattoon Ward Papers

Identifier: MA.00285

Scope and Contents

The Dora Judd Mattoon Ward Papers consist 1.5 linear feet of letters, diaries, photographs, news clippings, and relevant background materials documenting the greater part of Ward's life, with emphasis on her years abroad.

There are thirteen diaries with brief daily entries from 1911-1975 and a notebook covering 1908-1910, including diary entries and miscellaneous notes. There are 62 letters dating from 1911 to 1932, all of which are transcribed as well as briefly summarized in a chronological outline accompanying them. Photographs in the collection are generally well identified and span Ward's youth, missionary work, and married life, and include a 1911 album from Silver Bay, NY, and a signed, framed portrait of Ward. Other letters, documents, and news clippings relating directly to her life are also included.

A section of the correspondence in the collection, and the majority of the photographs, are from Earl Ward, Dora's husband, but the bulk of his papers are in the William Earl Dodge Ward (AC 1906) Papers, also in the Amherst College Archives and Special Collections.


  • Creation: 1883-1979
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1911-1932


Conditions Governing Access

There is no restriction on access to the Dora Judd Mattoon Ward Papers for research use. Particularly fragile items may be restricted for preservation purposes.

Conditions Governing Use

Requests for permission to publish material from Dora Judd Mattoon Ward Papers should be directed to the Archives and Special Collections. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights.

Biographical / Historical

Dora Judd Mattoon was born September 13, 1883, in Watertown, Connecticut, to Alfred Huntington Mattoon and Anna Belinda Judd Mattoon. After finishing high school and briefly teaching, she became a successful businesswoman in New York City for several years before she decided, in the early spring of 1911, to pursue missionary work. She made her arrangements quickly and left for Harpoot, Turkey, in October of the same year. By 1912 she was engaged to the treasurer and business agent in Turkey for the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, William Earl Dodge Ward (AC 1906; known as Earl). They married in the United States three years later. Around this time, Dora also informally changed her first name to Doreen.

From 1916 to 1932, the couple lived chiefly in India. Ward occupied a number of positions during this time, evidence of her commitment to service, a constant throughout her life. While in Calcutta from 1916 to 1922, she was Recording Secretary to the Executive Board of the Y.W.C.A. After a furlough in the U.S. from 1922-1923, the Wards returned to India from 1924-1929, this time to Bombay, where Dora Ward served on the Executive Board of the Y.W.C.A. as President of the Women's Council and the Infant Welfare Society and was involved with the Baby Week Exhibition, in addition to working for what is now the Naigon Service Center. After another stay in the U.S. the couple returned to Calcutta from 1930-1932, where Dora Ward served on the National Board and several sub-committees of the Y.W.C.A., volunteered as head of the Infant Welfare Social Center, was on the Executive Board of the Bengal Presidency Council of Women, and organized the Social Service Conference in South India for the National Y.W.C.A.

In 1932, Earl Ward was unexpectedly transferred to Cairo, Egypt. The couple was only there for a few months before he was called back to the U.S. permanently. They first settled in Manchester, New Hampshire, where Dora Ward was President of both the Manchester Women's Club and the Women's Union of the Franklin Street Congregational Church; Trustee of the Boylston Home for Girls; Research Chairman of the Business and Professional Women's Club, and part of the Girl Reserve Committee of the Y.W.C.A. The years between 1936-1942 were spent in Lebanon, New Hampshire, where Ward was Co-chair of Civil Defense; Second Vice-President of the Lebanon Women's Club, and President and co-chair of the interior restoration committee for the First Congregational Church of Lebanon. She did U.S.O. work in 1943 and 1944 in Homestead, Florida, and then Charleston, South Carolina, before returning to Lebanon from 1945-1950 and chairing the committee for Camp Plymouth, a Girl Scout camp.

In 1952, the Wards retired to Amherst, Massachusetts. Dora Ward continued to have an active civic presence and was involved with the League of Women Voters; the Amherst Women's Club; the Amherst Opera Group; the First Church of Amherst, and the Women's Union, as well as serving as an Amherst Town Representative. She died March 31, 1979, two years after her husband.


1.5 Linear feet (1 record storage box, 1 archives box, 1 oversize file)

Language of Materials



Papers documenting the personal and professional lives of Dora Ward and her husband, Earl Ward (AC 1906). The bulk of the collection comprises correspondence with family members describing the Wards' work as missionaries in Turkey and India, 1911-1932. The correspondence is supplemented with photographs, work records, diaries, memorabilia, and newspaper clippings.


This collection is organized into five series:

  1. Series 1: Dora Judd Matton Ward Biographical Materials
  2. Series 2: Correspondence
  3. Series 3: Harpoot News Letter, 1912-1915
  4. Series 4: Photographs and Negatives
  5. Series 5: Dora Judd Mattoon Ward Diaries

Related Materials

Related material at Amherst College

  1. William Earl Dodge Ward (AC 1906) Papers (MA.00234)
  2. Mark Hopkins Ward (AC 1906) Papers (MA.00365)
  3. Edwin St. John Ward (AC 1900) Papers (MA.00189)
  4. Paul L. Ward (AC 1933) Papers (MA.00327)
  5. Harrison Griswold Dwight (AC 1898) Papers (MA.00012)

Separated Materials

Also included in the gift were four books, now catalogued, containing letters and diaries of other missionaries in Harpoot from 1898-1919:

  1. Atkinson, Tacy. The German, the Turk and the Devil Made a Triple Alliance: Harpoot diaries, 1908-1917. Princeton, Gomidas Institute, 2000.
  2. Jacobsen, Maria. Diaries of a Danish Missionary: Harpoot, 1901-1919. Princeton, Gomidas Institute, 2001.
  3. Riggs, Henry H. Days of Tragedy in Armenia: Personal experiences in Harpoot, 1915-1917. Ann Arbor, Gomidas Institute, 1997.
  4. Ziegler, Theresa Huntington. Great Need Over the Water: The letters of Theresa Huntington Ziegler, missionary to Turkey, 1989-1905. Reading, England, Taderon Press, 1999. Published by arrangement with the Gomidas Institute, Princeton.

Names of Women in the Collection

Women who figure regularly in the collection and whose marital histories are known are listed in two ways in order to clarify whether an item is relative to their lives before marriage or after:

  1. Name form before marriage: First name, maiden name, [married name]
  2. Name form after marriage: First name, maiden name, married name

As an example, Dora is Dora J. Mattoon [Ward] before her marriage and Dora J. Mattoon Ward after marriage. A letter she wrote before her marriage will be identified as written by Dora J. Mattoon [Ward], while a letter written after her marriage will be identified as written by Dora J. Mattoon Ward.

Processing Information

Processed in 2007 and 2014 by Nancy M. Kline, donor and Librarian Emeritus, University of Connecticut; and Margaret R. Dakin, Archives and Special Collections Specialist. The bulk of the material (photos, letters, news clippings and manuscripts) was in binders, which were reorganized into folders in 2014.

Nancy M. Kline and Margaret R. Dakin.
Language of description
Script of description
Nancy M. Kline

Repository Details

Part of the Amherst College Archives and Special Collections Repository

Amherst College Archives & Special Collections
Robert Frost Library
61 Quadrangle Drive
Amherst MA 01002-5000
(413) 542-2299