Skip to main content

Annetta Thompson Mills papers

Identifier: SSC-MS-00455

Scope and Contents

This collection consists primarily of materials about the life of Annetta Thompson Mills and the history of the Yantai (Chefoo) School for the Deaf in Yantai, China. Also included are documents pertaining to Anna Aschenbach's visit to China in 1987 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the school. It is a comprehensive collection consisting mostly of photocopies of documents. There are also some original photographs as well as reproductions and photocopies of images.

Dates of Materials

  • Creation: 1857 - 1993


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research use without restriction beyond the standard terms and conditions of Smith College Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

Materials in this collection may be governed by copyright. For reproductions of materials that are governed by fair use as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission to cite or publish is required. Researchers are responsible for determining who may hold materials' copyrights and obtaining approval from them. Researchers do not need anything further from Smith College Special Collections to move forward with their use.

Biographical / Historical

Annetta Eugenia Thompson (Mills) was born in Portage, NY on July 20, 1853 to Robert W. Thompson and Sarah van Slyke. She had an older sister, Alletta, and a half brother, Lincoln, who was deaf. Annetta taught at the Western New York Institution for Deaf- Mutes in Rochester, NY (later the Rochester School for the Deaf), where her brother and another boy, Charles G. Mills, were students. There she met the Rev. Dr. Charles R. Mills, father of Charles G. Mills and a widowed missionary to Chefoo, China, who had come to Rochester to visit his son. She accompanied him back to China, they married in 1884, and in 1887 she founded the Chefoo School for the Deaf. They had three children, Samuel John Mills (1886-1970), Roger Sherman Mills (1889-1964), and Ruth Edna Mills (1891-1898; died of scarlet fever). Annetta administered the Chefoo School school until her retirement circa 1924; her niece Anita E. Carter succeeded her. She lived in Kuling for several years and 1926 moved to Nanking where her son, Samuel, ran the language school for new missionaries. Following the Nanking Incident in 1927, Annetta left China and lived with her son, Roger, in Chicago, until her death on April 19, 1929. As of 1989 the school still existed; the name of the school had been changed to the Yantai School for the Deaf, to reflect the name change of the town in which it was/is located.


1.083 linear feet (1 container)

Language of Materials



Missionary; Teacher. Collection consists primarily of materials about the life of Annetta Thompson Mills and the history of the Yantai (Chefoo) School for the Deaf in Yantai, China.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Anna M. Aschenbach, 2003.

Related Material

Additional papers at the Rochester School for the Deaf, Rochester, N.Y.; the Yale Divinity School China Collection; and the Presbyterian Historical Society.

Annetta Thompson Mills papers
Finding Aid
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 07/26/2017: This resource was modified by the ArchivesSpace Preprocessor developed by the Harvard Library (
  • 2017-07-26T17:48:18-04:00: This record was migrated from InMagic DB Textworks to ArchivesSpace.
  • 2021-07-14: Content description added from accession inventories

Repository Details

Part of the Sophia Smith Collection of Women's History Repository

Neilson Library
7 Neilson Drive
Northampton MA 01063