Arthur Clifford Selmon, 施列民 MD (1877 - 1931)

Bertha Eugenia Loveland Selmon, MD (1877 - 1949)

by Bruce W. Lo, 2013

Basic Biographical Data

Arthur Clifford Selmon was born in 1877, and died on May 16, 1931 in Battle Creek, Michigan.

Bertha Eugenia Loveland Selmon was born in Columbus Grove, Ohio on December 15, 1877, and died in Battle Creek, Michigan on January 29, 1949.

Parentage: Arthur Selmon's parents were ?? Bertha's parents were Nickolas Eugene and Annie Parker Loveland.


Marriage: Arthur Selmon and Bertha Loveland were married on July 6, 1903.

Children: They adopted two Chinese children, Ruth and Paul Selmon.


Summary of service: Dr. Arthur and Bertha Selmon spent twenty-one years as missionaries in China. Arthur Selmon was a very talented person and took on many roles in the mission field: physician, evangelist, educator, editor, and administrator.

Early Years

Arthur Clifford Selmon was born in the year 1877. He attended John Harvey Kellogg's American Medical Missionary College and graduated in the class of 1902. On July 6, 1903 he married his fellow classmate and sweetheart, Bertha Loveland, who also graduated in the same year. Immediately after their wedding, Arthur and Bertha Selmon, together with another fellow graduand couple, Harry and Maude Miller, accepted a call to go to China to open up new Adventist missions in central and northern China.

Bertha Eugenia Loveland was born in Columbus Grove, Ohio on December 15, 1877. She was the daughter of Nicolas Eugene and Annie Parker Loveland. After graduating from the Battle Creek Sanitarium and Hospital School of Nursing in 1898, Bertha Loveland continued her studies in medicine at the American Medical Missionary College and graduated in 1902, the same year as Arthur Selmon, her newly wedded husband.

Entry to China 1903

In 1903 J.N. Anderson sent an urgent request to the SDA Foreign Mission Board for more helps to meet the huge challenges of China, these two newly wedded couples, and four medical doctors: Drs. Arthur and Bertha Selmon, and Drs. Harry and Maude Miller responded. In fact there were two more nurses, Carrie Erickson and Charlotte Simpson, who accepted the call at the same time. At that time, the Foreign Mission did not have sufficient money. So they were told that they may have to pay their own way. Fortunately, four conferences, Indiana, Iowa, Ohio, and Wisconsin came up with some money to provide partial support for these six young missionaries. They were to receive about seven dollars a week allowance for each family.

So the six of them- two couples and two single girls: Arthur and Bertha Selmon, Harry and Maude Miller, Carrie Erickson, and Charlotte Simpson, left the United States for China in 1903. They boarded the S.S. Empress of India and left Vancouver on October 5, 1903. After 18 days of sailing, the ship took anchor at W00sang Channel on October 23. The next day, on October 24, they where taken by launch up the Hwang Poo River to Shanghai.

Elder J.N. Anderson was there to meet the six newly arrived missionaries. On the advice of Anderson, they remained in Shanghai only for a couple days to do some shopping of supplies that they cannot get in inland China. They then took the River steamship up stream Yangtze River to Hankow (Hankou). At Hankow they were met by Eric Pilquist, who was the one who had opened up a mission station in Henan where these 6 new missionaries were to go.

Ministry in Henan Till 1910

Ministry in Shanghai 1911-1924

Return to United States 1925


Advent Review & Sabbath Herald (1931), Death of Dr. A.C. Selmon, in Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, June 4, 1931, p.32.

Mills, Merle L. (1949) Obituary of Dr. Bertha Selmon in Lake Union Herald, June 14, 1949, p.7.

Nagel-Longway, Florence (2002), Biography of Arthur Clifford & Betha Selmon, M.D., in Chinese SDA History, edited by Samuel Young (in Chinese), China Union Mission: Hong Kong.

Review & Herald (1949), Obituaries of Dr. Bertha Loveland Selmon, in Review and Herald, April 28, 1949, p.20.

Selmon, A.C. 施列民 (1915, 1919) Simple Discourses in The Mandarin Language, 國語指南 (Guo yu zhi nan), Signs of The Time Publishing House: Shanghai, China. Available online from

Selmon, A.C. 施列民 (1918) Health and Longivitiy, 延年益壽 (Yan nian yi shou), Signs of The Time Publishing House: Shanghai, China. Available online from:

Selmon, Bertha L (1942) They Do Meet: Cross-trails of American Physicians and Chinese People, Froben Press: New York, NY.

University of Michigan (1950) Bertha Eugenia Loveland Selmon Papers, 1932-1949, Michigan Historical Collections, Bentley Historical Library, University Michigan. Available online from;view=text.

Van Dolson, B.J & Van Dolson, L.R. Editors (1996) "Selmon, Arthur Clifford".", Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia, Vol M-Z, Second Revised Edition,Commentary Reference Series, Vol. 10, Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Press.