Guide to the Sabbath School Institute Papers, 1880

Summary Information

Title: Sabbath School Institute Papers, 1880
Collection: AC.537
Extent: 0.01 linear feet (1 folder)

This collection is a "Programme of the Sabbath School Institute" to be held at Dayton, Virginia on November 16-18, 1880. It was conducted by R. (Robert) Cowden, General Secretary of the United Brethren Sabbath School Association.

Creator: United Brethren Sabbath School Association

Biographical/Historical Note

Robert Cowden (1833-1922), United Brethren Church minister and educator, was born May 24, 1833, in Ohio.

Cowden began his church career by assuming leadership in his local church's Sunday School. Beginning in 1877, Colonel Cowden, as he was known throughout the church because of his military service during the Civil War, served as executive secretary of the Sunday School Association for thirty-six years. Cowden was charged with organizing and maintaining the Sunday School which replaced the Sabbath School in 1905. Cowden assumed leadership of the Sunday School Department. He continued in this work until his retirement in 1919. Cowden died in 1922.

The Church of the United Brethren in Christ traces its beginnings to a meeting in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, in 1767 between its two founders, Martin Boehm, a Mennonite preacher and Philip William Otterbein, a German Reformed preacher. The theology of the United Brethren Church was very similar to that of the Methodist Church, but the Methodist Church of that period only held services in English and Boehm and Otterbein felt the need or a German language church.

(from The United Brethren denomination grew to include a number of German speaking churches in Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, and Ohio. The United Brethren influence in the part of Rockingham County, Virginia, where Frederick Huddle and Magdalena Byrd and their parents lived was so great that the nearest town to their homes, the small crossroads town of Ottobine, Virginia, was named after Philip William Otterbein.

One significant difference between the early United Brethren Church and the early Methodist Church in the United States was that the early United Brethren Church took a very strong anti-slavery stance.

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of a delicate single paper which is the program for a Sabbath School Institute conducted by R. (Robert) Cowden for the United Brethren Church in Dayton, Virginia on November 16-18, 1880.


This is a single-item collection.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for use in the Dougherty Reading Room. An appointment for research is recommended. The Dougherty Reading Room is located on the 4th floor of Belk Library in Special Collections.

Acquisitions Information

It was purchased from Bookworm and Silverfish in 2000. Accession number is AC.2001.045.

Processing Information

Processed by Anita Elliott, March 2013. This collection was processed as part of a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. The grant funded extensive processing of the backlog within the W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection between 2012 and 2014.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], AC.537: Sabbath School Institute Papers, W.L. Eury Appalachian Collection, Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina, USA.

Container List

Program, 1880 ACSC_Box 16.4