Musselman, Rose Lambert (1878-1974)

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Photo from book by Rose Lambert - Hadjin, and the Armenian MassacresNew York, Chicago, Toronto, London and Edinburgh, Fleming H. Revell Company, 1911, Public Domain,

Rose Lambert: nurse and missionary; was born 8 September 1878 in Vera Cruz, Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, USA to George Lambert (11 May 1853-3 July 1928) and Amanda Gehman Lambert (9 June 1850-2 June 1933). Her father was a minister with the Mennonite Brethren in Christ denomination. Rose was the third child and second daughter in a family of five daughters and three sons. Rose married David Gehman Musselman (7 June 1860-20 March 1933) on 4 October 1911; they had five children--David, George, Rose, Paul and John. Rose Lambert Musselman died 27 December 1974 in a Victoria County, Texas hospital. Rose and David are buried in the Memorial Park Cemetery, Victoria, Texas.

Rose began her career as a teacher, but became acquainted with the ministry of Rev. J. A. Sprunger and went to the Light and Hope Deaconess Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio where she received her training as a nurse. In 1898 she became interested in the needs of Armenian orphans in Turkey through the testimony of Garabed Der Hagopia, an Armenian who had share the story of the terrible treatment of Armenian orphans in that country. Her fellow deaconess, Maria Gerber, was also interested in this work and the two women set out for Hadjin, Turkey, arriving in December 1898. The last four days were travel by horseback. Rose's mission work was sponsored by the Mennonite Brethren in Christ, the denomination in which her father was a pastor.

For a number of years Rose was the only nurse in the Hadjin area. She was not only responsible for the orphanage but used her nursing skills. She worked extremely hard and in 1905 went of furlough to the United States telling about the needs of the orphanage. She returned to Turkey in 1906.

In 1909 the Armenians in the Adana area, which included Hadjin, were massacred by the Turks. Thousands were killed and many towns were burned. During the attacks two missionaries were killed as well as Armenian workers at the orphanage. Many Armenian widows and children came to the orphanage for protection. A fellow missionary from Hadjin, Henry Mauer, was killed by a Turkish sharp shooter in Adana while fighting a fire at the Girl’s Home at the orphanage not far from Hadjin. Rose came down with typhoid fever during this time. Her courage in the face of the terrible siege of 1909 was recognized by the Patriarchate of Constantinople.

In her book, Hadjin and the Armenian Massacres, Rose Lambert wrote, “Space will not permit me to write in detail of the many who were crucified, throw into the river, killed with swords and axes, burned by the thousands in the churches or in their homes, an of the many who were tortured and killed in such hideous and awful ways that dare not be repeated, but it is estimated that in the vilayet of Adana between twenty and thirty thousand were slain and months later the plain was still strewn with their bones.”

Following this highly stressful experience, Rose Lambert returned to the United States in poor health and in need of time to recuperate physically and emotionally. Not long after she was back in the USA, David Musselman, an older successful businessman she had known since childhood, made known to her that he would like to marry her. After their marriage in 1911 they moved to a ranch near Victoria, Texas. There they raised five children. Oil was discovered on their ranch, and the family enjoyed significant wealth. They also operated a general store and post office, and helped to establish a church. Rose continued to use her nursing skills and served as midwife in the area. She remained in Victoria after David's death.


Bible Fellowship Church History Center. Mennonite Brethren in Christ Conference notes on Rose Lambert, 1899, 1904, 1905, 1909, 1911. Web. [broken link].

"David Gehman Musselman." Find a Grave. 12 July 2012. Web. 17 February 2020.

“Dorinda Bowman Collection.” Missionary Church Archives and Historical Collections, Bethel University, Mishawaka, Indiana.

Gerber, Maria A. Passed experiences, present conditions, hope for the future. Ramsey-Burnes Printing Co., Pasadena, California, 1917. Available in full electronic text at

Huffman, Jasper A., ed. History of the Mennonite Brethren in Christ Church. New Carlisle, Ohio: The Bethel Pub. Co, 1920: 193, 195, 197, 251. Available in full electronic text at

Lambert, Rose. "Hadjin almost without food: news received from Miss Lambert, whose first messenger Was killed." New York Times (29 April 1909): 2.

Lambert, Rose. Hadjin and the Armenian Massacres. Fleming H. Revell Co., 1911. Available in full electronic text at:

"Pioneer missionary to Turkey dies in South Texas at age 96: wrote book on massacres." Mennonite Weekly Review (16 January 1975): 5. Web.,_Rose_Lambert_(1878-1974).

"Rose L. Lambert Musselman." Find a Grave. 12 July 2012. Web. 17 February 2020.

Russell, Rosemary.”Hadjin-Missionaries.”Houshamadyan, A project for reconstruct Ottoman Armenian town and village life. 5 February 2016. Web. 17 February 2020.

Wikipedia contributors. "Rose Lambert." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 16 Feb. 2020. Web. 17 Feb. 2020.

Author(s) Max Haines
Date Published February 2020

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MLA style

Haines, Max. "Musselman, Rose Lambert (1878-1974)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. February 2020. Web. 26 Sep 2022.,_Rose_Lambert_(1878-1974)&oldid=166603.

APA style

Haines, Max. (February 2020). Musselman, Rose Lambert (1878-1974). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 26 September 2022, from,_Rose_Lambert_(1878-1974)&oldid=166603.

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