Anna Helen Nelson was born in 1885 in Sparta, Wisconsin. She was a missionary to the Hopi Indians in Arizona before she met Hubert E. Ransier through their mutual interest in photography. They were married in 1918 and the couple lived in New York where they were active in their church, the First Baptist Church of Manlius. The Ransiers were leaders and god-parents of the Junior Church and Anna was elected as one of the first women to serve as Deaconess when that office was established. She served as president of the Women’s Missionary Society of the Onondaga Baptist Association and was elected Western Promotional Vice-President of the Women’s Baptist Mission Society of the State of New York.
The church claimed Anna as their “missionary-at-large” as during their marriage the Ransiers traveled extensively and took many photographs that Anna would color by hand and use in illustrated travel lectures that she gave at various schools, churches and clubs.
After her husband’s death in 1943 Anna again served as a missionary to the Hopis and then later became a Seventh-Day-Adventist. She died in August 1973 at her home in Tucson, Arizona, at the age of 88.
Photographs, circa 1920-1940. This collection is comprised of photographs taken during the extensive travels of Anna Ransier, a Baptist missionary, and her husband Hubert during the 1920s and 1930s. The hand-colored glass plate lantern slides were shown to various school, club and church groups at travel lectures that Anna gave during this time. The subjects of the photographs cover a wide geographic area, spanning the United States from the west coast to New England and including Canada and Mexico but of special interest are photographs of various National Parks in both the United States and Canada, the Hopi Indian Reservation in Northern Arizona, Mexico and Mexico City, and “mountaineer” life in the Appalachians of Tennessee. Also included in this collection are handwritten travel notes taken by Mrs. Ransier. A glass plate projector and miscellaneous projection equipment in a black leather accordion briefcase are located in Special Collections.