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Indianapolis Sunday schools anniversary report

 Collection — Folder: S2291
Identifier: S2291

Scope and Contents

This collection includes a typewritten transcription of Semi-Centennial Anniversary of the Establishment of Sunday Schools in Indianapolis, a published report regarding the fiftieth anniversary of the formation of the first Sabbath school in Indianapolis held on April 6, 1873. The report covers the exercises held at the Academy of Music and includes an introduction, the programme of exercises, and several songs. The report also includes the history of the schools and recollections of the surviving teachers and scholars presented under the following headings: "Historical Sketch of the Origin and Progress of the Indianapolis Sabbath-Schools" by James Greene, "Letter from James M. Ray," "Address of Rev. J. H. Bayless, Pastor of Roberts Park Church," "Letter of J. H. B. Howland," "Remarks of Hon. John Coburn, M.C.," "Letters of Isaac N. Phipps," "Address of Elder W. F. Black," "Letter From C. Goudy, M.D.," "Address of Rev. H. R. Naylor," and "Letter From Mrs. P. D. Gurley." A few of the entries in the report consist of comments made by a third party about an address, as opposed to the actual text of the speaker. There is an additional handwritten title page with "Meridian Street Methodist Church Sunday School. Corner, Meridian and St. Clair Streets, Indianapolis, Indiana" and "Deposited by: Harry O. Garman, Indianapolis, Ind. Dec. 1941."


  • 1873, 1941


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Historical Note

In February 1822, Dr. Isaac Coe organized the first adult Bible class in Indianapolis, Indiana and classes continued until broken up by sickness in the fall of that year. In the spring of 1823, efforts were made by Coe and others to organize a Sabbath or Sunday school for the benefit of the children and young people. On April 6, 1823, the first Indianapolis Sabbath School met at Caleb Scudder's cabinet shop with thirty scholars. The enrollment increased to ninety-eight during the year with an average attendance of forty and James M. Ray served as the first superintendent. Named the Indianapolis Sabbath School Union, the school included all denomiminations as well as non-church members. The school met in the First Presbyterian church following its founding in July 1823 and was the only Sunday school in the city for several years. In April 1928, the Methodists organized a separate school and the Baptists did likewise in November 1833. As more denominations established their own Sunday schools, the original school became known as the Presbyterian Sabbath School.


Information found within collection.

Dunn, Jacob Piatt. Greater Indianapolis: The History, the Industries, the Institutions, and the People of a City of Homes. Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1910.

"100th Anniversary of Founding of the First Sunday School in Indianapolis, Friday, April 6." Indianapolis News (Ind.), March 30, 1923.


0.01 Cubic Feet (1 folder)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged by subject.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation from Harry O. Garman in 1941/12.


No further additions are expected.

Related Materials

Materials relating to this collection may be found in the following collections in Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN:

S2708: Indianapolis Sabbath School Union collection

Processing Information

Collection processing completed in 1998 by Philip N. Williams. EAD finding aid created 2022/03/17 by Laura Eliason.
Indianapolis Sunday schools anniversary report
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Latin (Fraktur variant)

Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

140 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 U.S.A.