Chicago Theological Seminary's collection of Ozora Stearns Davis, 1896-1933.

Collection Information
Title:

Chicago Theological Seminary's collection of Ozora Stearns Davis, 1896-1933.

Creator(s):

Chicago Theological Seminary

Davis, Ozora Stearns, 1866-1931

Dates:

1896-1933; bulk 1918-1931

Extent:

2 document cases (1 linear foot)

Collection ID #:

MS4974

Conditions Governing Access:

This collection is open for research.

Physical Access:

Please note that some original material was deemed too fragile to be kept in the collection. In such instances original materials have been replaced with photocopies.

Copyright: Preferred Citation:

[Identification of item], in the Chicago Theological Seminary's collection of Ozora Stearns Davis, MS4974. The Congregational Library and Archive, Boston, MA.

Language:

English

Processing information:

Collection processed by Sari Mauro, June 2012.

Abstract:

Ozora Stearns Davis (1866-1931) was a Congregational Minister, President of Chicago Theological Seminary from 1909-1929, and a prolific speaker and writer. This collection represents an intentional gathering of materials relating to Davis compiled by Chicago Theological Seminary (CTS). The material focuses almost exclusively on Davis's time as President of CTS and the years following, and includes scholarship, speeches, writings, and professional and personal correspondence.

Acquisition Information:

This collection was donated to the Congregational Library in 2011.

Biographical Note

Ozora Stearns Davis (1866-1931) was born in White River Junction, Vermont, on July 30, 1866. His father was a baggage smasher and as a boy Davis helped his father by sweeping out baggage rooms, delivering telegrams and running errands for the men who worked on the train. He mastered telegraphy at the age of 16. He attended St. Johnsbury Academy, then Dartmouth College, and then Hartford Theological Seminary. He won a fellowship that sent him to three German universities and received both his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Leipzig in 1896. He was ordained by Congregational Council in Springfield, Vermont, on September 14, 1896 and went on to serve First Church, Springfield, Vermont; Central Church, Newtonville, Massachusetts; and South Church, New Britain, Connecticut. He became president of Chicago Theological Seminary in 1909 and served in that position until 1929 when he became seriously ill and resigned his position. He was dubbed President Emeritus upon his retirement and continued to serve the seminary as Professor of Practical Theology from 1929 until his death in 1931. While on a trip to Los Angeles, California with his wife Grace, Davis became quite ill. He died near Kansas City, Missouri, March 15, 1931, on his way back to Chicago from Los Angeles.

Davis received several honorary degrees including his D.D. from Iowa College in 1906, and two LL.D., one from Colorado College in 1921 and the other from Washington College in 1922. He was also a prolific writer, publisher and speaker. A partial listing of his publications can be found in the related materials note of this guide.

 

Scope of Collection

This collection represents an intentional gathering of materials relating to Ozora Davis Stearns (1866-1931) and was compiled by Chicago Theological Seminary (CTS). The material focuses almost exclusively on Davis's time as President of CTS and the years following. Much of the correspondence is both professional and personal, and includes letters detailing Davis's declining health and his close friendship with Robert Cashman, business manager of CTS during Davis's time as President. Of particular note is a series of letters detailing Davis's last days. While this collection contains many of the addresses Davis gave while President of CTS, this collection is notably lacking in materials from early on in his Presidency and in materials detailing his administrative duties, policies, and personal opinions.

It should be noted that this collection is both wide-ranging in its breadth and lacking in details. It paints neither a complete picture of Davis nor of his Presidency. Perhaps the most comprehensive view it offers is of journalist and CTS benefactor Victor Freemont Lawson (1850-1925) in a biography penned by Davis himself.

 

Arrangement

Materials are arranged into two series. Materials in Series I: Davis Collection are arranged alphabetically by subject and then chronologically. Items in Series II: Victor Lawson Biography Manuscript are arranged in chapter order with peripheral material arranged alphabetically by subject at the end. Please see the detailed container listing below for more detail.

 

Related Materials

The following list contains related materials held by the Congregational Library. In addition to these works, many of Davis's publications can be found in digital format at Internet Archive. The Congregational Library also holds Davis's personal copy of John Robinson: the pilgrim pastor (RBR 9.1.36) which includes annotations and notes.

 

By Ozora Stearns Davis:

An invested life, Butler Winfield Firman (F51.8D)

Elihu Burritt an apostle of international brotherhood (20.3.1. BUR)

Evangelistic Preaching: with sermon outlines and talks to children and young people (11.6.2.127)

Frank Gibson Ward (20.3.1 WAR)

The gospel in the light of the great war (11.6.2.120)

In memory of Betsey Shipman Gates Mills (20.3.2 MIL)

John Leete Rogers (20.3.1 ROG)

John Robinson: the pilgrim pastor (9.1.36)

Life-giving convictions: an address (30.4 1002)

Meeting the master (11.1.242)

The opulent life: the baccalaureate sermon to the graduating class of Chicago theological seminary June 8, 1926 (9.3 1016)

Our response to the enthusiasms of the spirit: a sermon preached in South Congregational Church of New Britain, Connecticut, on 13th of November, 1904 (15.4 5846 DAO-DEL)

The Pilgrim faith (15.4 5846 DAO-DEL)

Preaching by laymen: a study of elementary principles of presenting the gospel (11.6.2.139)

Preaching on church and community occasions (11.6.2.191)

Preaching on the social gospel (28.5.122)

Principles of Preaching: a text book based on the inductive method, for class use and private study (11.6.2.158)

The purpose and unity of theological studies. Address of President Ozora S. Davis at the opening of the sixty-eighth year of the Chicago Theological Seminary, October 1, 1925 (19.3 1016)

A religious hotel or a church home : a sermon on Christian fellowship, preached in Central Congregational Church, Newtonville, Mass., January 11, 1903 (15.4 5846 DAO-DEL)

The sure word of prophecy : a sermon preached in Central Congregational Church, Newtonville, Mass., on May 24, 1903 (15.4 5846 DAO-DEL)

The unity of mankind : Sermon preached in the South Congregational Church, New Britain, Conn., Sunday, Dec. 15, 1907 (15.4 5846 DAO-DEL)

Using the Bible in public address (5.10.1.124)

 

By Grace Tinker Davis:

Ozora Stearns Davis : his life and poems (D29.62D)

 

Access Terms

Chicago Theological Seminary - Presidents

College orations - Chicago Theological Seminary

Davis, Grace Tinker

Davis, Ozora Stearns, 1866-1931

Lawson, Victor Freemont, 1850-1925

 

Detailed Description and Container List

Series I: Davis Collection

This series contains materials by or relating to Ozora Stearns Davis intentionally collected into one cohesive whole by Chicago Theological Seminary. While most items were produced by or reference Davis, it is not clear which portion of the materials come from his own personal papers. Materials in this section are arranged alphabetically by subject or topic. Please note that much of the correspondence has been replaced with photocopies of the originals.
Box 1
  Folder 1 Addresses and Proclamations 1923, 1927, undated
  Folder 2 Congregational Christian Union 1928-1929
  Folder 3 Congregational Foundation for Education;
Colleges of Congregational Affiliation
1922, 1928
  Folder 4 Convocation of Congregational Ministers 1918-1919, 1926
  Folder 5 Correspondence 1919-1931 [gaps], undated
  Folder 6 "Heroism and Romance in Pilgrim History" Manuscript undated
  Folder 7 "John Robinson" Manuscript undated
  Folder 8 Newspaper Clippings and Photographs 1923, 1927, undated
  Folder 9 "Photos of Corbels – Chicago Theological Seminary Cloisters" undated
  Folder 10 Posthumous and Memorial Material 1931
  Folder 11 Publications 1908-1930 [gaps], undated
  Folder 12 Publications – Duplicates  
  Folder 13 Reports 1909, 1928, undated
  Volume 1 "John Robinson, Pastor of the Pilgrim Fathers" Dissertation 1896
       

Series II: Victor Lawson Biography Manuscript

This series contains material gathered and written by Ozora Stearns Davis about his friend Victor Freemont Lawson (1850-1925). Materials are arranged in chapter order with peripheral material at the back. Please note that chapter 1 of the manuscript is missing. Please also note that much of the correspondence has been replaced with photocopies of the originals.
Box 2
  Folder 1 Chapters 2-5 undated
  Folder 2 Chapters 6-7 undated
  Folder 3 Chapter 8 undated
  Folder 4 Chapter 9 undated
  Folder 5 Chapter 10 undated
  Folder 6 Chapters 11-13 undated
  Folder 7 Chapters 14-15 undated
  Folder 8 Chapters 16-17 undated
  Folder 9 Index undated
  Folder 10 Correspondence 1929-1930, 1933
  Folder 11 Draft of chapter 7 undated
  Folder 12 Notes and supporting material 1920, undated

 

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