Mrs. C. VanRaalte Gilmore

(Article in the Grand Rapids Press, 12 September 1925, page 13)

Years Mean Little
Holland Woman Educator and Church Leader
Still Active in Work, Although Almost 80.

    Recognized as one of the most earnest workers in the interest of missions in the Reformed Church in America, Mrs. C. VanRaalte Gilmore continues her zealous activities, despite the fact she is within seven months of being an octogenarian.  She was born March 30, 1846.

    Mrs. Gilmore is the only survivor of the family of Dr. A. C. VanRaalte, founder of the Holland colony, the seat of Hope college and Western Theological seminary.  She was only a babe of a few months when her parents came here in 1847.  Her husband was Rev. William B. Gilmore, but death claimed him after 15 years in the ministry, while serving a pastorate at Havana, Illinois.

    Mrs. Gilmore returned to Holland in 1884 and since has lived with her son, Dr. A. C. V. R. Gilmore.  She has fostered the work of missions by organizing mission societies throughout the middle west.  She has been a member of the woman's board of domestic missions for 40 years.  She fostered the organization of the first mission society in Holland.  Twenty-seven years ago she effected the organization of the Woman's Missionary union, representing several Michigan classes, and has been its president for 26 years.

    Mrs. Gilmore was connected with the faculty of Hope college for 22 years, serving 20 years as woman principal and two years as dean of women, from 1887 to 1909.

    Mrs. Gilmore still is in possession of the little cradle which was her first bed.  Her father had it made especially for her in the Netherlands.  It is made of iron and was placed aboard the ship which carried the VanRaalte family to America.  It was later used for other children born in the family and also by children in succeeding generations.

Transcriber: Evelyn Sawyer
Created: 4 November 2004