TABLE OF CONTENTS


Descriptive Summary of the Collection

Administrative Information

History of the Christian Catholic Apostolic Church, Zion City, and John Alexander Dowie

Scope and Content of the Collection

Organization

Selected Search Terms

Related Material

Container List

Series 1: Scrapbooks, 1897-1919, bulk 1899-1907

Series 2: Miscellaneous Papers, 1888-1974, bulk 1900-1946

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Inventory of the Zion City (Ill.) Records, 1888-1974,bulk 1899-1907


The Newberry Library
Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections
60 West Walton Street
Chicago, Illinois 60610-7324
USA
Phone: 312-255-3506
Fax: 312-255-3646
E-Mail: specialcolls@newberry.org
URL: http://www.newberry.org

Machine-readable finding aid encoded by Monica Petraglia, Martha Briggs, 2004.

©2004.


Descriptive Summary of the Collection

Creator Christian Catholic Apostolic Church in Zion
Title Zion City (Ill.) Records
Dates 1888-1974,
Dates bulk 1899-1907
Extent 10.4 linear feet (1 box, 34 oversize boxes)
Abstract Mainly newspaper clipping scrapbooks, but also correspondence, and miscellaneous material relating to John Alexander Dowie and the founding of the Christian Catholic Church and Zion City, Illinois.
Language Materials are in English.
Repository Newberry Library, Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections
Collection Call Number Midwest MS Zion
Collection Stack Location 3a 44 8

Administrative Information

Cite As

Zion City (Ill.) Records, The Newberry Library, Chicago.

Provenance

Gift of Evelyn Lampe, 1991-2004.

Processed by

Monica Petraglia, 2004.

Acknowledgements

This inventory was created with the generous support of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this inventory do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Access

The Zion City (Ill.) Records are open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 1 box at a time (Priority III).

Ownership and Literary Rights

The Zion City (Ill.) Records are the physical property of the Newberry Library. Copyright may belong to the authors or their legal heirs or assigns. For permission to publish or reproduce any materials from this collection, contact the Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections.

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History of the Christian Catholic Apostolic Church, Zion City, and John Alexander Dowie

Evangelical minister and founder of the Christian Catholic Church (later Christian Catholic Apostolic Church) and the Christian utopian city of Zion, on Lake Michigan near the northern border of Illinois.

John Alexander Dowie, founder of Zion City, was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, May 25, 1847, to an evangelical family. By the age of six he had completely read the Bible and had taken the pledge against tobacco, opium, and alcohol. The family immigrated to Australia in 1860, with Dowie returning to attend the University of Edinburgh from 1867 to 1872, at which time he once more sailed for Australia. In 1876 Dowie married and he began his evangelistic ministry three years later in Melbourne.

Dowie immigrated to San Francisco in 1888 where he founded the Ministry of Divine Healing. After years of traveling across the country preaching and healing, he finally settled in Chicago and in 1893 set up a tabernacle at the World's Columbian Exposition. During the next seven years, Dowie founded the Christian Catholic Church (Protestant-Evangelical) that met in several city locations including the Chicago Auditorium (1896). He continued his preaching, teaching and healing, while encountering increasing criticism from local press and police. Finally, Dowie secretly purchased a frontage on Lake Michigan between Chicago and Milwaukee, and on July 14, 1900, the land was dedicated and formally consecrated to God as Zion City. The Christian utopian city opened its gates on July 15, 1901.

Dowie was able to persuade the federal government to let him import the machinery and personnel from England to create a lace-making industry, the first of its kind in America. Its products were eventually sold through the best downtown Chicago department stores. His reputation and message were spread by means of several serial publications (e.g., "Leaves of Healing"), and through his preaching tours. He continued to develop his utopian community until a stroke took his life on Mar. 9, 1907.

Wilbur Glenn Voliva (1870-1942) succeeded Dowie as General Overseer of Zion City, 1906-1942. Voliva was born on a farm in Indiana on Mar. 10, 1870. In 1889, he entered Union Christian College at Merom, Indiana, and graduated five years later into the ministry of the Christian Church. In 1898 he was drawn to Dowie's teachings and eventually joined his congregation. He succeeded Dowie only a few years later. Voliva is perhaps best remembered as the originator of the Zion Passion Play, an annual production that debuted in 1935.

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Scope and Content of the Collection

Mainly newspaper clippings pasted into bound volumes, but also correspondence and other miscellaneous material relating to Zion City, John Alexander Dowie, Wilbur Glenn Voliva, and the Christian Catholic Church.

Forty-five volumes of newspaper clippings, 1897-1919 (bulk 1900-1907) contain articles from newspapers in Chicago, New York, San Francisco, London, etc., mainly concerning the activities of John Alexander Dowie, his ministry, and Zion. Also some correspondence, publications, photographs, postcards, accounts, and other miscellaneous materials extending into the period when Wilbur Glenn Voliva assumed leadership of the church and city.

Narrative descriptions of the subject matter, types of material, and arrangement of each series are available through the Organization section of the finding aid.

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Organization

Papers are organized in the following series:

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Selected Search Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Newberry Library's public catalog. Researchers desiring additional materials on a particular topic should search the catalog using these headings.

Names

  • Christian Catholic Apostolic Church in Zion
  • Dowie, John Alexander, 1847-1907
  • Moody, Dwight Lyman, 1837-1899
  • Nation, Carrie Amelia, 1846-1911
  • Voliva, Wilbur Glenn, 1870-1942
  • Voliva, Wilbur Glenn, 1870-1942 -- Portraits
  • Zion Lace Industries

Subjects

  • Clippings -- 1897-1909
  • Lace industry -- Illinois -- Zion
  • Manuscripts, American -- Illinois -- Zion
  • Ministers (Clergy) -- Illinois -- Zion
  • Photographs -- Illinois -- Zion -- 1951-2000
  • Postcards -- Illinois -- Zion -- 1901-1950
  • Religious communities -- Illinois -- Zion -- History -- Sources
  • Scrapbooks -- Illinois -- Zion -- 1851-1900
  • Scrapbooks -- Illinois -- Zion -- 1901-1950
  • Spiritual Healing -- Illinois -- Zion -- History -- Sources
  • Utopias -- Illinois -- Zion -- History -- Sources
  • Zion (Ill.) -- History -- 20th century -- Sources

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Container List

Series 1: Scrapbooks, 1897-1919, bulk 1899-1907

Forty-five scrapbooks consisting primarily of newsclippings obtained from various clipping bureaus regarding the founding of Zion City and John Alexander Dowie, his followers, his evangelization, and spiritual healing.
Dating mainly from 1899-1907, the scrapbooks document the building of Zion and its manufacturing industries including lace, candy, cookie, and furniture making, and its economic problems. They also cover Dowie's evangelical ministry, and his widely publicized New York and around the world "visitations." Such sensational elements as Dowie's proclaiming himself to be the prophet Elijah, and the suffering and death of his daughter Esther who received no medical treatment after being severely burned in a fire, are featured. Also mentioned is the death of D.L. Moody and Carrie Nation's connection with the church. A few loose issues of "The Zion Battle Axe" and printed pamphlets are also inserted in the scrapbooks.
Originally a variety of categories of scrapbooks were kept, including "Secular", "Religious", "Chicago", "Foreign", and others. Because spine labels are now almost totally faded and/or unreadable due to aging and wear, and because many volumes are lacking, it was not possible to reconstitute the original classifications. Where readable, the original labeling has been included in quotes in the folder-level descriptions.
Arranged chronologically, followed by three volumes of foreign clippings.

Box Volume Contents
1 1 Secular news clippings from United States papers re faith healing and miscellaneous Dowie and Zion publicity, July 17, 1897 - Oct. 17, 1899, bulk July 28, 1899 - Oct. 17, 1899
2 2 Secular news clippings from United States papers re D.L. Moody's death, "healing", Zion settlement, misc., Dec. 23, 1899 - Feb. 21, 1900
3 3 "Vol. 4, Secular Press Clippings, Feb. '00 - Jul. '00", from United States and Canadian papers re healing, "Dowieism", founding of Zion, Feb. 2, 1900 - July 30, 1900
4 4 Secular news clippings from United States and United Kingdom papers re press on visit to United Kingdom, deportation of laceworkers, opposition to Dowie, rioting of medical students in London, July 30, 1898 - Nov. 17, 1900, bulk Aug. 9, 1900 - Nov. 17, 1900
5 5 Secular news clippings from United States papers re opposition to "Dowieism", founding of Zion, misc., Mar. 29, 1900 - Oct. 25, 1900, bulk July 24, 1900 - Oct. 25, 1900
5 6 Secular news clippings from United States and United Kingdom papers re banning of Dowieites in Mansfield, Ohio, misc., Oct. 23, 1900 - Nov. 27, 1900
6 7 "Vol. 9, Secular Press Clippings Dec '00 - Feb. '01" from United States and United Kingdom papers re miscellaneous Dowie and Zion publicity, Dec. 20, 1900 - Feb. 21, 1901
6 8 Secular news clippings from United States and United Kingdom papers re miscellaneous Dowie and Zion publicity, May 26, 1901 - June 27, 1901
7 9 "Religious Press Clippings" from United States, United Kingdom, and Canadian papers re miscellaneous Dowie and Zion publicity, Jan. 25, 1900 - Feb. 26, 1902, bulk June 1901 - Dec. 1901
8 10 "Vol. 10...Clippings...'01-May 01" from United States and Canadian papers re Zion band investigation, Dowie's "palace", and misc., Jan. 8, 1901 - May 11, 1901
8 11 Secular news clippings from United States papers re Dowie says he's Elijah, and misc., June 1, 1901 - June 14, 1901
9 12 Secular news clippings from United States papers re miscellaneous Dowie and Zion publicity, May 17, 1901 - Aug. 1, 1901, bulk July 11, 1901 - July 28, 1901
9 13 "Clippings in the interest of Zion City, Vol. 2" from United States papers re city founding, lace manufacturing beginnings, city growth, misc., July 15, 1901 - June 17, 1902
10 14 "Vol. 22, Secular Press Clippings Jan '02 - Mar '02" from United States papers re legal troubles with lace business, and misc., Jan. 11, 1902 - Feb. 25, 1902
10 15 "Vol. 1, Chicago Secular Press Clippings Jan '01 - Jun. '02" from Chicago papers re Dowie vs. Stevenson, death of Esther Dowie, and misc. ( John T. McCutcheon cartoon, p. 28; Dowie manuscript, p. 84a), Jan. 31, 1902 - June 26, 1902
11 16 "Vol. 25, Secular Press Clippings Mar '02 - Sept. '02" from United States papers re Carrie Nation joining Dowie, and misc., Mar. 6, 1902 - Sept. 9, 1902, bulk Mar. 6, 1902-Apr. 28, 1902 and July 1, 1902-Sept. 9, 1902
11 17 "Vol. 23, Secular Press Clippings Mar '02 - Jun. '02" from United States papers re men wearing beards, death of Esther Dowie, candy factory, misc., Mar. 10, 1902 - July 1, 1902
12 18 Religious clippings from United States papers re Zion and "Dowieism" with many pamphlets, Aug. 5, 1903 - Dec. 11, 1905
13 19 "12" (written on inside front cover) Secular news clippings from United States papers re Dowie's travels and misc., Oct. 1, 1903 - Nov. 11, 1903
14 20 "Vol. 3, New York Visitation, Papers Outside New York City," re Dowie's New York visit, Oct. 12, 1903 - Oct. 15, 1903
14 21 Secular new clippings from the New York World re Dowie's New York visit and misc., Oct. 16, 1903 - Dec. 18, 1903, bulk Oct. 16, 1903 - Oct. 23, 1903
15 22 "New York Tribune Clippings" re Dowie's New York visit, Oct. 16, 1903 - Dec. 21, 1905, bulk Oct. 16, 1903 - Dec. 28, 1903
15 23 "Vol. IV, New York Visitation, Papers Outside New York City Oct. 16-Oct. 17, 1903" re Dowie's New York visit, Oct. 16, 1903 - Oct. 17, 1903
16 24 Secular news clippings from United States newspapers (not New York City) re Dowie's New York visit, Oct. 17, 1903 - Oct. 20, 1903
16 25 "11, New York Telegraph" clippings from the New York Telegraph re Dowie's New York visit, Oct. 17, 1903 - Oct. 29, 1903
17 26 Secular news clippings from United States papers (not New York City) re Dowie's New York visit, Oct. 19, 1903 - Oct. 22, 1903
18 27 "Vol. 7" (written on inside front cover) Secular news clippings from United States papers (not New York City) re Dowie's New York visit (p. 52-53 lacking), Oct. 21, 1903 - Oct. 23, 1903
19 28 "Vol. 9, New York Visitation" clippings from United States papers (not New York City) re Dowie's New York visit, Oct. 24, 1903 - Oct. 31, 1903
20 29 "Vol. 32, Secular Press Clippings" from United States papers re miscellaneous Dowie and Zion publicity, Nov. 2, 1903 - Nov. 22, 1903
21 30 Secular news clippings from United States papers re Dowie's bankruptcy, with index on p. i, Dec. 1, 1903 - Dec. 3, 1903
22 31 "Vol. 4, Suits and Receivership" clippings from United States papers re bankruptcy and receivership, Dec. 4, 1903 - Jan., 1904
23 32 "Vol. 6" (written on inside front cover) Secular news clippings from Chicago papers re miscellaneous Dowie and Zion publicity, Dec. 7, 1903 - Aug. 30, 1904
24 33 "Vol. 1, Around the World Visitation, Outside Chicago Papers" re Dowie's travels and misc., Dec. 8, 1903 - Mar. 30, 1904
25 34 Secular news clippings from Chicago papers re Dowie's travels and misc., Dec. 28, 1903 - July 4, 1904
25 35 "Vol. --- Around the World Visitation, U.S. of America and Foreign Clippings" re Dowie's travels, with index on p. i, Jan. 3, 1904 - Apr. 1, 1904
26 36 "Vol. 7, Chicago Secular Press Clippings" re miscellaneous Dowie and Zion publicity with note inside back cover, "Mrs. F.H. Chamberlain, Zion City, Ill, --- City Bureau", Aug. 30, 1904 - Feb. 11, 1905
27 37 "Vol. 8, Chicago Secular Press Clippings," re miscellaneous Dowie and Zion publicity, Feb. 11, 1905 - Dec. 1, 1905
28 38 "Vol. 43, Secular Press Outside Chicago" from United States papers re edict to bear children annually, Dowie's stroke, Paradise City in Mexico, misc., Aug. 24, 1905 - Nov. 11, 1905
29 39 "Vol. 44, Secular Press Outside Chicago" from United States papers re Dowie's illness, Dowie's trip to Jamaica, misc., Nov. 11, 1905 - Dec. 31, 1905
29 40 "Vol. 9, Chicago Press" re Dowie's illness, Dowie's trip to Jamaica, misc., Dec. 3, 1905 - Dec. 31, 1905
30 41 Secular news clippings from United States papers re Dowie's decline and misc., Oct. 17, 1906 - Feb. 24, 1907
31 42 "Zion and the General Overseer, and Zion City - 5," Religious and secular news clippings from United States and Foreign papers re misc. Zion publicity, July 18, 1914 - Aug. 22, 1919
32 43 "Vol. 1, Foreign Clippings" re miscellaneous Dowie and Zion publicity, indexed by newspaper on p. i, Aug. 31, 1900 - Nov. 27, 1903
33 44 "Vol. 2, Foreign Clippings" re miscellaneous Dowie and Zion publicity, Nov. 3, 1903 - Mar. 28, 1904
34 45 "Vol. 2" (written on inside front cover) New clippings from foreign papers re Dowie's travels and misc., with index on p. i, Oct. 2, 1903 - June 27, 1904, bulk Mar. 19, 1904 - May 16, 1904

Series 2: Miscellaneous Papers, 1888-1974, bulk 1900-1946

The miscellaneous papers consist of a few letters to Voliva from Dowie (1901,1906) and other church officials (1931); some loose clippings; financial accounts of Zion industries and institutions (1936); pamphlets, tracts and other writings concerning the town, church, lace factory, and Passion Play; Dowie's will; photographs of Voliva and the Zion College; postcards of various Zion buildings; and a map of the city. Also a few isolated issues of the "Leaves of Healing," "Zion Battle Axe," and "Final Warning." The series also includes a copy of donor Evelyn Lampe's dissertation on the history of the city of Zion.
Arranged alphabetically by type of material or subject.

Box Folder Contents
35 1 Clippings, ca. 1900, 1947
35 2 Correspondence: Dowie, John Alexander - to Wilbur Glenn Voliva and Elder Reiff re certificate of administration and instructions, Oct. 9-10, 1901
35 3 Correspondence: Dowie, John Alexander - to Wilbur Glenn Voliva re instructions for Zion, Jan. 27-Feb. 7, 1906
35 3a Correspondence: Voliva, Wilbur Glenn - to Earl R. Dunning, Oct. 7, 1938
35 4 Correspondence: from Church Officers to Wilbur Glenn Voliva re allowances, June 9-13, 1931
35 5 Financial: "Accounts between Zion Institutions and Industries (W.G. Voliva) and Christian Catholic Apostolic Church", Oct. 7, 1936
35 6 History: Booklets (n.d.) and Outline of town founding, n.d., 1896
35 7 Lace Curtain Mill, history and memorabilia, 1945-1946
35 8 Legal: Court abstracts concerning the sale of gas and oil within the city limits of Zion, May, 1936
35 9 Legal: Power of Attorney, to J. Mintern from Wilbur Glenn Voliva, Sept. 15, 1930
35 10 Legal: Will of John Alexander Dowie, "Voliva is named" (also empty envelope titled "Bryant is named"), Aug. 29, 1905
35 11 Map of Zion City, 1939
35 12 Notes, miscellaneous and unidentified, n.d.
35 13 Passion Play, "25 Years of Zion Passion Play" brochure, ca. 1960
35 14 Photographs: Voliva, Wilbur Glenn and Zion College Building, n.d., 1959
35 14a Postcards - Miscellaneous Zion City Buildings, ca. 1910-1950
35 15 Publications: About Dowie and Zion, 1906, 1930, n.d.
35 16 Publications: The Final Warning, Vol. II, no. 22, Aug. 31, 1935
35 17 Publications: Leaves of Healing, June 1, 1888, Feb.. 7, 1896, Dec., 1942, Dec., 1974, n.d.
35 18 Publications: The Majestic Revelation, by Anton Darms, n.d.
35 19 Publications: Prayer Sheet, n.d.
35 20 Publications: "Program of Zion's Fourth Feast of Tabernacles", July 24, 1904
35 21 Publications: "Statement by the Rev. John Alexander Dowie...concerning Conditions in Zion City, Illinois", Aug. 28, 1906
35 22 Publications: Tracts, n.d.
35 23 Publications: The Zion Battle Axe (3 copies of each), Apr. 10 and Apr. 24, 1909
35 24 Publications: Zion Restoration Host, 1915, 1938, n.d.
35 25 Publications: "Zion's Annual Watchwords and Events", n.d.
35 26 Publications: "Founding of Zion City, Illinois", by Evelyn Johnston Lampe (Master's Thesis), Jan. 1966

Related Material

Additional printed materials have been cataloged separately and are housed in the library collections. See also "Leaves of Healing" (fD 624.5), "The Coming City" (+Case D 624.187), and "The Zion Banner" (Case fBX 7401.Z56), successor to "The Coming City."

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