Mr. World and Miss Church Member: Katherine Sommer’s edition

A sub-set of my interest in RM bibliography is propaganda novels.  I admit it is down the list of my interests, but the whole genre is terrifically obscure…therefore the attraction.  Speaking of obscure, should any double-major in English and Theology feel up for the task, I think there is a thesis or dissertation here somewhere.  The basic plot line follows the honest truth-seeker who eventually finds enlightenment and along with it…if not coterminous to it…the essence of the ‘Restoration Plea’ (or some sort of moral lesson).  Clad in novel form, such documents advance Restoration principles before the reading public in a manner distinct from, but in content similar to, formal debates, doctrinal monographs or theological treatises.  The argument comes through the agonist’s experience: as the character finds her way, so too can the reader.  I’m working on a short list of RM propaganda novels, to be posted to this site on the 27th.

Mr. World and Miss Church Member is an interesting variation on this theme.  One, it is an allegory, and two, W. S. Harris has no Stone-Campbell ties.  William Shuler Harris appears to have been quite the character, and modestly prolific at that, as this entry on TomFolio details.  Henry Hain, the entry’s author, knows of three editions of Mr. World and Miss Church Member; this one, published by Katherine Way Sommer, is a new one for the list (hers is a printing of the 1902 Holzaphel 3rd edition).  If you’d like your own copy, go here to archive.org.   So why all this for an allegory whose author appears to have no Stone-Campbell connection?  The Sommer family published an edition of it.  Katherine Way Sommer, known to her readers as K. W. Sommer, published a major periodical voice among Churches of Christ in its day, Octographic Review, edited by her husband Daniel Sommer.  The Sommer family not only published but authored a propaganda novel or two themselves.  K. C. Ice more often than not inscribed his books with a signature and date of acquisition.  Alas, in this one he did not follow custom.  Included is a fly-away clipping from the 19 May 1903 Octographic Review containing praise for Mr. World by one John Harris from Indian Territory.

Mr. World and Miss Church-member front cover

Mr. World and Miss Church Member, K. W. Sommer edition title page

Mr. World and Miss Church Member, OR May 19, 1903 clipping 1

Mr. World and Miss Church Member, OR May 19, 1903 clipping 2

Mr. World and Miss Church Member, OR May 19, 1903 clipping 2 reverse

Facts Concerning the New Testament Church, a tract by P. H. Welshimer

24 page tract (as paginated by the publisher this count includes covers), stapled, 3 1/8 by 5 3/4 in.  Undated, this printing is no earlier than 1937 given the ad in the rear for Cecil James Sharp’s Personal Evangelism (1937).  Claude Spencer (Author Catalog) by 1946 knows of four printings of this tract, all with pictures of Bibles on the cover.  He doesn’t know of this printing, no. 3252.  The cost of this one, per hundred, is $2.50; it is significantly higher than the .75 per c of the ones Claude knows.  So, maybe even late 40’s?

Welshimer, Facts Concerning the New Testament Church front cover

Welshimer, Facts Concerning the New Testament Church 2-3

Welshimer, Facts Concerning the New Testament Church 4-5

Welshimer, Facts Concerning the New Testament Church 6-7

Welshimer, Facts Concerning the New Testament Church 8-9

Welshimer, Facts Concerning the New Testament Church 10-11

Welshimer, Facts Concerning the New Testament Church 12-13

Welshimer, Facts Concerning the New Testament Church 14-15

Welshimer, Facts Concerning the New Testament Church 16-17

Welshimer, Facts Concerning the New Testament Church 18-19

Welshimer, Facts Concerning the New Testament Church ads 1

Welshimer, Facts Concerning the New Testament Church ads 2

Welshimer, Facts Concerning the New Testament Church back cover

The Millenium and the Second Coming of Christ, A Tract by Ira C. Moore

Ira C. Moore, The Millenium and the Second Coming of Christ, undated tract, about 8.5 x 14 in. folded once; perhaps printed by F. L. Rowe in Cincinnati.  K. C. Ice tucked it into an envelope sometime after 9 November 1936, in which envelope it still resides.  I assume the typewritten notation at the top of the first page from Moore is to K. C. Ice; I further assume Moore’s forthcoming article was to appear in the pages of Rowe’s Christian Leader, of which Moore was an editor from 1910 until his death in 1938 (inclusive of his editorship of the Christian Leader and The Way).

Moore, Millennium 1

Moore, Millennium 2

Moore, Millennium 3

Moore, Millennium 4

Moore, Millennium, envelope

Merry Christmas from Reuel Lemmons, 1956

8.5 x 11 Christmas greeting letter from Reuel Lemmons, Editor of Firm Foundation, a major periodical among Churches of Christ, published in Austin, Texas.

R. L. Roberts’ short biographical sketch for The Handbook of Texas Online is a fine starting place; then read Tom Olbricht’s Leaven essay; Jesse Mullins pulls together some Lemmons history here; and Center for Restoration Studies at ACU holds Lemmons’ papers.

Reuel Lemmons, Firm Foundation Christmas letter 1956

Joe Warlick’s Baptist Blunders, 1905

Joe S. Warlick, Baptist Blunders and J. N. Hall and His Fridays in a Muddle. Nashville: McQuiddy Printing Company, 1905. 86 pp., 9 x 5 7/8 in. paper covers.

For a sketch of Warlick’s life and career, go here.  For a brief sketch about Hall by Ben M. Bogard, go here.  For Hall’s memoirs, go here.  I’m unaware of any other comparable front-cover illustration in Stone-Campbell bibliography.  If you know of any, please comment as I’m happy to learn of it.

Warlick, Baptist Blunders front cover Warlick, Baptist Blunders introduction 1 Warlick, Baptist Blunders introduction 2 Warlick, Baptist Blunders title page

Christian Baptism: A Tract by Isaac Walton Lowman

Four-page, a single sheet folded once, tract entitled “Christian Baptism” by I. W. Lowman.  Undated.

I see from the Christian Standard index that Isaac Walton Lowman died in about June or July 1924.  One G. Lowman, his child I presume, authored an obituary published in the 19 July 1924 issue of CS at page 1067.  Isaac authored 52 obituaries for the pages of Christian Standard from October 1895 through December 1915.  CS published one notice of his, of some kind, in 1909.  Another about an evangelistic meeting is titled in the index as “Loogootee (Ind.) meeting (from the minister). 1911  1 Ap:542.”  Loogootee, Indiana is a new one to me…with a name like that I would surely remember it.  Perhaps some Hoosier can comment about Loogootee?

Isaac appears, barely, in Christian-Evangelist.  In 1905 he authors “Impression of city campaigns by workers engaged” (page 274) and in 1911 there appears “Our budget” on page 1458.  The latter includes a portrait!

Both Christian Standard and Christian-Evangelist carry obituaries of Ellen Frances (Kutzner) Lowman, deceased 1911.

I’ve scoured neither Google nor other print sources for Isaac.  I welcome information, though.  At present it appears he had an active ministry of some twenty years’ duration, some of it in Loogootee Indiana.  Apparently he died after about a ten-year retirement.  Where, if anywhere, he matriculated for ministerial preparation remains unknown.  What other, if any, publications from his pen saw it through a press remains unknown.  Details of the publishing of this tract remain unknown.  For all I know Isaac had it worked up by a job printer and used it in that 1911 “city campaign.”  How Kromer Columbus Ice got his hands on it, and why he kept it, well…who knows?  But he did, and here it is: