Jeanie deForest Junkin (1877-1923)

ANCESTRAL LINE: A1 Joseph Junkin I | B3 Joseph Junkin II | C7 George Junkin | D6 Ebenezer Dickey Junkin

E11  Jeanie deForest Junkin (1877-1923)
Rev. John Walker Vinson (1880-1931)
E11 Jeanie deForest Junkin, was born February 26, 1877 in New Providence, Virginia and died March 25, 1923 in Haichou, China. She married Rev. John Walker Vinson April 30, 1908. He was born December 29, 1880 in Winnsboro, Fairfield County, South Carolina and died November 2, 1931 in Haichou, China.

In 1907 Miss Jeanie deForest Junkin, the youngest child of Dr. Ebenezer Dickey Junkin, was living with her older brother Dr. William Francis Junkin & his wife Nettie Lambeth DuBose and her older sister Agnes Tinsley Junkin & her husband Dr. John Wilson Bradley in the home of Dr. Bradley in Sutsein, North Kiangsu, China. They were all missionaries to China when Rev. John Walker Vinson (having graduated second in his class of 1903 from Austin College near his hometown of Sherman, Texas and then from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Austin, Texas) arrived to begin his missionary service. Rev. Vinson was immediately smitten by the lovely young woman, Jeanie, and would visit her at Dr. Bradley's evening after evening and then return to his own house and write her love letters. Finally the shy John asked the momentous question and John and Jennie married and moved to Haichow.

Shortly after their marriage John developed a chronic illness that troubled him to the end of his life. It however did little to interrupt their missionary work until the Fall of 1919 when he made an emergency furlough back to the United States. It was not long before their return to "Dear Old China" where friends welcomed them in Shanghai and in Soochow where they waited for twelve days for the level to rise in the Grand Canal and they then could make the thirteen day, 350 mile, trip back to Haichow. John continued his work going out to the country on long trips, visiting the little churches, preaching and training new enquirers for Church membership. When he was too weak to travel he was doing evangelistic work in the city and hospital. Jeanie was equally busy teaching missionary children (four pupils in three grades!) in the mornings, working among the Chinese women in the city and doing evangelistic work among the women in the hospital in the afternoons. At night she gave herself to her children, telling them Bible stories before tucking them into bed.

John and Jeanie both were called not only to a ministry of suffering, but also to endure sorrow. Of their six children, only three survived to adulthood. Two baby boys, William and Dickie, died in infancy. A few years after their deaths, their oldest son (Eben) suffered for many months from a strange malady and died while yet in high school. But the hardest thing John suffered was to see his beloved Jeanie slowly sink away after the birth of their longed-for little daughter. On April 7, 1923 Jeanie was laid to rest in the little cemetery in the mission compound next to her two little boys, William and Dick, during a simple funeral service conducted in English and Chinese. A few weeks later Chinese friends of Mrs. Vinson prepared a large memorial service to honor her memory. More than a thousand people were present, including representatives of the military and civil officials, bringing tributes to the memory of this worthy woman.

In March, 1927, when Red soldiers of China who had infiltrated General Chiang-Kai-Shek's army first broke loose, they wrought havoc with mission homes and installations, killing several missionaries in Nanking thus forcing those in North Kiangsu to flee to America. Two years later Mister Vinson returned to Haichow, having left his three children, Jack, Chal and little Jean in Lexington, Virginia under the care of their Aunt Lila (Jennie's sister, Maria Elizabeth Junkin). Rev. Vinson continued his happiest and most fruitful work as an itinerating country evangelist and as an assistant to Dr. Morgan in the hospital until that fateful Halloween, 1931. A bandit army swooped down upon the sleeping little town, taking Rev. Vinson and 150 Chinese captive. The government army soon had them surrounded and the bandit chief asked Rev. Vinson if he wanted to go free. John replied, "Certainly." The chief then John he could go free if he convinced the government general to withdraw. John asked if the other 150 Chinese captives would also be released. The bandit chief said, "Certainly not." John then replied, "Then neither will I go free." When the bandits tried to break out many of them did escape, while many others were killed. Of the 150 captives, the vast majority escaped. Only a few, including John, were taken with the bandits. When, because of physical weakness, he could not keep up, he was shot in the back of the head and then beheaded.

John's and Jeanie's sons, Jack and Chal, in high school at the time of their father's death felt in this the call of God for them to take their father's place. Chal decided to be a medical doctor and Jack to be an evangelistic missionary. Both became missionaries to China, but World War II came and they and their wives nearly starved to death in a Japanese concentration camp. "Little Jean" married the Rev. Robert Urquhart in 1948 and the both became Presbyterian (USA) missionaries in Korea.

From: "I Am Not Afraid!" The Story of JOHN W. VINSON Christian Martyr in China; by E. H. Hamilton; Board of World Missions, Presbyterian Church (USA), Box 330 Nashville, Tennessee


Children of Jeanie deforest Junkin and John Walker Vinson:



The Joseph Junkin Family Tree is a collection of information gathered by Eric & Liz Davis, Mary Eleanor Bell, Alice Erma Bell, Margaret A. Killian, Laura Gayle Junkin, Winston Ray Norris, Joyce Ann Junkin, Barbara Ann Millner, and many others. The html version was initiated by Eric and Elizabeth Fisher-Davis in 1998 .
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