Dr. William Edward Macklin first arrived in Nanjing on April 16, 1886 under the auspices of the Disciples (Canada) Mission to China. With the assistance of the American Presbyterian and the American Methodist Missions to China, Dr. Macklin initially established quarters in the Southgate district of Nanjing (Nanking), where he founded his first dispensary.
In the fall of 1887, Dr. Macklin was joined by Professor and Mrs. Frank Eugene Meigs and Mr. and Mrs. Edward Thomas Williams. All resided in refurbished quarters at the traditional Buddhist monastery in Nanjing known as Thistle Abbey. Subsequently, on January 14, 1889, Dr. Macklin married his fiancée Dorothy DeLany in ceremonies at the British Legation in Tokyo, Japan. The young couple soon arrived in Nanjing and established their home in the Thistle Abbey, where their first child Theodore was born on November 10, 1889. Dr. and Mrs. Macklin were blessed with eight children, four boys and four girls, and two of the young girls, Marion and Edith, sadly passed away in China.
In 1890, new mission homes were constructed in the Drum Tower (Gulou) District of Nanjing where Dr. Macklin also established a new medical clinic and where Professor Meigs founded the Nanking Christian College. The gifted Dr. James Butchart joined Dr. Macklin in 1891, and soon the medical clinic in the Gulou District proved inadequate for the growing number of patients. With the encouragement of the Disciples Mission to China, and local Nanjing benefactors Jing Weixing and Zhuang Xiaoxian, plans were soon drawn for a new hospital building located on ten acres of prime land near the historic Drum Tower that had been donated by the Jing Weixing family. American businessman Alonzo Melville Atkinson of Indiana was the first major American benefactor of the new hospital, and with other financial support now pledged in America, hospital construction soon commenced. The four-story hospital building was completed during the winter of 1892, and formal, public dedication ceremonies were held during week-long celebrations in March of 1893.
In 1992, Nanjing Drum Tower Hospital observed the 100th Anniversary of the hospital's heritage, and in 2002, the hospital's 110th Anniversary was celebrated with family descendants of Dr. and Mrs. William Macklin participating in the festive events. Subsequently, on January 23, 2007 the hospital held the formal re-dedication ceremonies for the renovated 1892 building, which has been transformed into the 1892 Memorial Hall and Hospital Archives. Dr. and Mrs. William Macklin's granddaughter, Marjorie Hancock, and great-granddaughter, Carolyn Sandison, attended the formal dedication ceremonies. Family members of Grace Bauer, Drs. William and Narka Ryan, also visited the hospital from America and joined the scheduled ceremonies of remembrance.
During the many historical upheavals of the past 115 years, and the horrific trauma and sufferings of war, the hospital has remained a center of hope and healing. The hospital's unique heritage has been honored and preserved in the 1892 Memorial Hall, and the legacy continues in the hospital's challenging plans for the future of medical treatment programs and global healthcare concerns.
Historically, Drum Tower Hospital maintained a formal association with the University of Nanking, which was originally founded by the Methodist Missions to China in 1888. Subsequently, in 1913, Drum Tower Hospital was formally merged with the Union University of Nanking to form the University of Nanking Medical College, and the hospital was renamed University Drum Tower Hospital, University of Nanking.
Dr. Ding Yitao, 20th President of Nanjing Drum Tower Hospital wishes to acknowledge the kind assistance and encouragement of the family descendants of those who so faithfully served in Nanjing at the Drum Tower Hospital. The hospital is especially grateful to the grandchildren of Dr. and Mrs. William Macklin for copies of numerous historical records and family photographs, as well as the donation of original awards and certificates bestowed on their grandfather, which now are displayed in the 1892 Memorial Hall. The hospital also is most grateful to Drs. William and Narka Ryan for kindly loaning the hospital the original historic diary and unique personal letters and photographs of Grace Bauer, who served in the hospital from 1919 – 1941. The hospital also gratefully acknowledges the continuing assistance of Global Ministries and Dr. Xiaoling Zhu, and the kind assistance of Sara Harwell and the staff of the Disciples Historical Society, Nashville, Tennessee (USA) for providing the hospital with copies of important historical documentations and original photographs, and for the extended loan of the historic and informative personal diary of Dr. and Mrs. James Butchart.
The hospital warmly welcomes documentations and photographs of those who served in Nanjing Drum Tower Hospital during the past 115 years. Correspondence can be posted to the hospital at the address provided below:Office of the President