Newspaper clippings, bulletins, counselor training materials, promotional pieces, correspondence, audio tapes, photographs, postcards, scrapbooks, films and other materials gathered by the Archives from varied sources, all of which relate to the Billy and/or Helen Sunday lives and evangelistic ministry.
[November 11, 2016]
Sunday, William Ashley; 1862-1935
Sunday, Helen Amelia Thompson; 1868-1957
Ephemera; 1907-1989; n.d.
7 Boxes (2 DC, 3 OS, 2 Flat OS), Audio Tapes, Film, Microfilm, Negative, Oversize Materials, Phonograph Record, Photographs, Video Tapes (4.94 cubic feet)
Folder 4-2 may not be used due to its fragile condition. Folder 4-3 contains a copy of the material in 4-2 and should be used in its place. There are no other restrictions on the use of this collection.
[NOTE: In the Scope & Content section, the notation "folder 2-5" means box 2, folder 5.]
Scope and Content
This collection consists of items about the life and ministry of Billy and Helen Sunday that were gathered together by the Archives staff. These records had no existence as a unit until they were put together by the Archives staff. Hence they are called "ephemera" as opposed to a collection of Billy and Helen Sunday materials created and maintained by the Sundays, which would be called their "papers."
Series: Paper records
Arrangement: Alphabetically by file title
Date Range: 1907-1989
Volume: 4.2 cubic feet
Geographic coverage: United States
Type of documents: Postcards, correspondence, scrapbooks, newspaper clippings, posters, tracts, checks, sheet music, miscellaneous items
Correspondents: Kenesaw Mountain Landis, Edward Mullins, Billy Sunday, Helen Sunday
Subjects: Early twentieth century American evangelism, lives and impact of Billy and Helen Sunday, salvation, sin, American sermons, the prohibition movement
Notes: Newspaper Scrapbooks and newspaper and magazine
clippings: The collection has many scrapbooks and collections of clippings
for Sunday campaigns in individual cities. Usually the newspaper stories include
day by day reprints of verbatim or near verbatim transcripts of Sunday's sermons
as well as stories and pictures of the campaign. Sometimes the scrapbooks contain
information on more than one campaign or on other subjects than the Sunday campaign.
Among the campaigns are Springfield (Illinois) in 1909 (folders 5-3, 6-7), Everett
(Washington) in 1910 (folder 6-9), Omaha in 1915 (folder 6-6), Philadelphia
in 1915 (folders 3-2, 4-6, 5-2, OS36), Paterson (New Jersey) in 1915 (folder
5-2), Kansas City in 1916 (folder 5-1), Baltimore in 1916 (folder 6-2), Boston
in 1916 (folders 2-10, 6-3), New York City in 1917 (folder 1-4: these articles
tell how the 1917 New York City campaign was organized and details crusade finances,
while other articles relate anti-Sunday sentiments from Catholics, accuse Sunday
of coercion and religious bankruptcy, and mention Al Saunders, a "second Sunday."),
Cincinnati in 1921 (folder 4-1) Bluefield (West Virginia) in 1921 (folder 1-6),
Columbia (South Carolina) in 1923 (folder 6-4), Memphis in 1924 (folder 6-5),
Portland (Oregon) in 1925 (folder 2-8), St. Louis in 1928 (folders 1-9 through
1-26), and Iola (Kansas) in 1928 (folder 1-7). Attached to one page of clippings
(folder 6-2) are four tickets to Sunday meetings in Baltimore (1916). Folder 5-3 also contains a booklet about the 1909 Springfield campaign put out immediately afterwards. It includes excerpts from Sunday’s sermons, list of his pithy sayings, biographical data on his principal helpers, endorsements from local clergy, a statement on conversions and several photos.
Microfilm reel 2 consists of a collection from the Library of Congress of materials by William L. Daley. Daley is identified by the Library as Sunday's press agent, but if he did hold any such position, he did not hold it very long. Daley appears to have been a reporter or press agent. The microfilm contains several pages of clippings about Billy Sunday campaigns and what appear to be some notes, either of a Sunday sermon or of an article about Sunday by Daley. There are also some postcards of Billy and Helen Sunday, their associates and their evangelistic campaigns. However much, perhaps most of the material on the microfilm has no relation to Sunday, such as articles about the Teapot Dome scandal or a celebration of the anniversary of the Monroe Doctrine. Most of the Sunday materials appears to date from 1915-1917. Among the Sunday campaigns for which there is some, often very fragmentary materials, are Philadelphia (1915), Syracuse (1915), Trenton (1916), Kansas City (1916), Boston (1916-1917), Buffalo (1917), and New York City (1917).
Several scrapbook pages in folder 1-5 contains information about Sunday and other evangelists, such as Rodney "Gipsy" Smith, Charles Taylor, Percy Crawford, Bob Ingersoll (cousin of the famous orator), Laurie Taylor, and Walter Kallenback. Folder 1-5 has a clipping about Annie MacLaren, a solist during some of Sunday's meetings. Folder 6-8 has several columns of "Sundayisms," pithy sayings culled from Billy's sermons which newspapers often printed daily during his meetings.
Folder 3-1 contains a collection of Sunday's obituaries from newspapers all around the country. A booklet containing a transcript of his November 9, 1935, memorial service at Moody Church in Chicago (including the sermon by H. A. Ironside and comments by Harry Clarke and Homer Rodeheaver) is in folder 4-7.
An article by John Reed, a social activist, journalist, and the author of Ten Days That Shook the World, offered a colorful account of a Sunday crusade in Philadelphia for the Metropolitan (folder 1-3). "Ma" Sunday is portrayed as the "boss" as Reed describes her attempts to thwart an interview with Sunday. Reed also criticized the Sunday campaign as an attempt to divert the attention of the lower classes away from their problems.
Correspondence: Correspondence by or about the evangelist is found in folders 2-3 through 2-5 and 4-4. Folder 4-4 includes notes that Billy wrote to Helen, describing his preparation for the 1911 Toledo meetings. Folder 2-3 contains a letter from Sunday to a ministerial association planning a Sunday campaign which reveals some of the principles Sunday followed in his campaign planning. Folder 4-4 has xeroxes of letters from Billy Sunday to Edward Mullins on teaching evolution in schools; to Kenesaw Mountain Landis about reforming baseball; and many letters written to Sunday from well wishers in 1924 when he had to go to Mayo Clinic for treatment. The folder also contains two brief notes by Helen Sunday in the 1950s, one just a short time before her death. The other is a postcard from her to Billy Graham's business manager, George M. Wilson. One undated letter (ca. 1921) by Helen Sunday to Mrs. Amanda H. Mann thanking her for a "basketful of flowers." Folder 2-4 contains letters from W. B. Millar and folder 2-5 has miscellaneous letters with stories and information about the evangelist written after his death. There is a manuscript by Frederick Cramer about Billy's connections with Hood River, Oregon, and those of his brother Ed (Harold Edward) and Ed's grandson Harry Ashley Sunday.
Miscellaneous: The collection also includes sermons (folder 3-6) written after her husband's death by Helen Sunday, a prolific speaker and teacher in her own right. Other materials about Sunday (folder 3-3) include a ticket to a Sunday speech sponsored by a temperance society in July of 1931, a small handbill recording Sunday's endorsement of Wheaton College, a newsprint flyer, published in New Jersey, in which Sunday promotes women's suffrage circa 1915, a souvenir booklet describing in some detail the 1909 Spokane campaign, and picture postcards (in the photo file, see photograph location record). Several pages of loose-leaf sheet music, Billy Sunday's Victory March, (ca. 1913) by Herbert S. Frank are in folder 6-10.
Several folders contain publicity materials concerning Sunday and his song leader, Homer Rodeheaver. A handbill advertising the Sunday Youngstown (Ohio) campaign held in January and February, 1910, is found in folder 2-7. Promotional material for Billy Sunday: The Man and His Message by William Ellis is contained in folder 1-2. Several copies of The Y.W.C.A. Bulletin in folder 3-4 contain news of Sunday's New York campaign and folder 1-4 includes a special promotion of the New York American at the price of $1.50 for three months featuring complete coverage of the New York meetings.
Especially interesting, in view of the common criticism that Sunday did not work with converts after they had responded to his sermon, are the tracts in folder 2-2 which outline the Sunday method of evangelism, counseling, and follow-up. There is also a copy of the brochure given to converts on how to live the Christian life. The same folder contains other forms used during campaigns. For example, shares were sold during Sunday's campaigns to raise money to build the wooden tabernacle. After the meetings, the lumber would be sold and the money divided among the shareholders. One of these certificates for the Paterson, New Jersey, campaign is in the folder, as are the blank check forms that were used for the offering for Sunday which was traditionally taken at the last service of the campaign. There are also two items from the 1924 Charlotte campaign.
Series: Audio/visual materials
Arrangement: Numerically by item number assigned by the Archives
Date Range: 1920-1965; n.d.
Volume: 0.34 cubic feet
Geographic coverage: United States
Type of documents: 2 audio tapes, 1 film, 1 phonograph record, 1 video
Subjects: Life of Billy Sunday, evangelistic music
Notes: The individual items are described on their location records. The film Billy Sunday (F1, V1) is a documentary on his life and work; it contains newsreel footage of Sunday's meetings and preaching and includes an appearance by Homer Rodeheaver telling anecdotes about Sunday.
The materials in this collection were received by the Center from various sources between 1977 and 2011, including the donation by Mr. Eugene Taylor of the Billy Sunday banner described under "Oversize." Additional information available upon request.
Several artifacts were transferred to the BGC Museum. Several books were transferred to the BGC Library (now Evangelism & Missions Collection of the Wheaton College Archives & Special Collections). A list is available upon request.
Accession 77-18, 77-23, 79-4, 79-10, 79-15, 79-16, 79-93, 79-104, 79-105, 79-108, 79-118, 79-122, 79-130, 79-135, 79-138, 79-143, 80-31, 80-48, 80-50, 80-137, 81-33, 81-36, 81-50, 84-116,
September 16, 1977
Revised: 11/2/77, 2/7/79, 9/11/79, 2/13/80, 1/25/84
Revised: May 8, 1981
Galen R. Wilson
Revised: May 18, 1981
Galen R. Wilson
Revised: June 9, 1987
Frances L. Brocker
Acc. 82-133, 84-4, 84-27, 84-57, 84-68, 84-125, 84-152, 85-102, 86-20, 87-106, 87-117, 90-70,
90-76, 91-26, 91-99, 92-35, 92-38, 92-61, 92-150, 93-17, 93-40, 93-99, 94-89, 94-91, 95-14, 95-110, 95-125, 95-160, 97-55, 97-96, 98-8, 98-49, 99-5, 99-57, 99-72, 00-22, 00-31, 00-36, 01-11
Updated August 13, 2001
Updated: September 26, 2001
Updated: July 8, 2002
Acc. 88-35, 93-02, 98-82, 02-26, 02-43, 03-01
Updated: March 27, 2003
Wayne D. Weber
Updated: September 26, 2003
Acc, 04-10, 4-11
Updated: February 23, 2004
Updated: April 21, 2004
Updated: February 3, 2005
Acc. 05-18, 05-20
Updated: April 7, 2005
Updated: November 3, 2006
Updated June 9, 2009
Updated March 3, 2011
Updated August 8, 2011
Updated August 11, 2011
Updated November 11, 2016
Only reel 1 is available for inter-library loan.
Reel 1 - 35 mm, b&w. A copy of the contents of Box 4, folder 2: Scrapbook, Omaha, Nebraska meeting. September-October, 1915.
Reel 2 - 35 mm, b&w. Reel purchased from the Library of Congress. From Mss. 19,360, the William L. Daley Collection. 1915-1924.
Accession: None available
Type of Material: Audio Tapes
The following items are located in the AUDIO TAPE file.
T1 - William Ashley "Billy" Sunday preaching: (1) Temperance speech; n.d. (2) Reminiscences about Sunday; n.d. (3) Songs--"Sail On," "America" (same as songs #1 and #10 on T1, CN41); n.d.
T2 - Billy Sunday hymns: (1) "I Am Coming Home," (2) "If Your Heart Keeps Right," (3) "Sweeter As The Years Go By," (4) "Since Jesus Came Into My Heart," (5) "Brighten The Corner Where You Are."*****
Type of Material: Films
The following items are located in the FILM FILE:
F1 - A copy of the 1965 film Billy Sunday; a Good News production released by Sacred Cinema. This film contains most of the available film footage of Sunday and an appearance by Homer Rodeheaver. USE V1.*****
Type of Material: Microfilm
For each item listed below, there is one complete positive set is in the CENTER LIBRARY MICROFILM ROOM
Reel 2 - 35mm of Library of Congress Microfilm Collection, 19,360: The William L. Daley Collection, 1915-1925.*****
Type of material: Negatives
The following items are located in the NEGATIVE FILE; request by Folder Titles (in bold) at the beginning of each entry below. All the negatives are black and white, unless otherwise noted
SUNDAY, WILLIAM ASHLEY. B&w of Billy Sunday and his half
brother Leroy, probably at Hood River in Oregon. N.d.
Accession: 06-44, 11-49, 16-18
Type of material: Oversize Materials
The following items are in the OVERSIZE FILE. Request by collection number and folder location (in parentheses).
PHILADELPHIA SCRAPBOOK (OS36) A scrapbook of clippings from
Sunday’s 1915 campaign in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and 1916 campaign
in Trenton, New Jersey. The book was made using a wallpaper samples book. There
is a very complete set of newspaper clippings from The North American, covering
the Philadelphia campaign, January to March, 1915 and a much smaller amount
of clippings from the Trenton campaign. There are also clippings of two sermons
of evangelist William Biederwolf. There are a few clippings in the back of the
book about an evangelistic campaign by Charles Weigle in Lansdale, Pennsylvania
in 1916 and about the work of evangelist Henry Stough in Atlantic City, New
Jersey, also in 1916.
PENNANT (OS13) Triangular cloth banner from Billy Sunday’s 1915 Philadelphia campaign. Faded pink and purple cloth, with gold letters, “Billy Sunday Revival Campaign 1915," with a balck and white photo of Billy Sunday atttached.. @8 ½ inches long, 9 ½ inches wide.
POSTER (PC29). September 21, 1925. Poster from the Associated News Service. A large photo of Sunday grimacing or smiling while being taken into custody. The accompanying caption reads: “NOTED REVIVALIST "RESISTS ARREST" followed by Rev. Billy Sunday shows that he still has his old time pep when it takes the combined efforts of four cops to load him into patrol wagon. The ‘arrest’ was framed by the Portland (Oregon) Advertising Club as a joke on Billy.” 14" x 17". (Previously Accession 1995.0185 in the BGC Museum collection.)
Lithograph titled “Billy Sunday” of Sunday preaching while straddling two desks, 1923, by George Bellows (American realist painter), signed by artist in pencil, printed by B. Brown, Imp., 21.875" x 15.5", image size is 9" x 16.25". (Previously Accession 1981.0399 in the BGC Museum collection.)
Magazine illustration Boardman Robinson titled “Billy Sunday in Action” depicting many of Sunday’s preaching poses and gymnastics (also includes one of him resting in bed between meetings) from McCLURE’S MAGAZINE, May 1915 issue, 10.375" x 14". (Previously Accession 1993.0021 in the BGC Museum collection.)
Type of material: Phonograph Records
The following items are located in the PHONOGRAPH RECORD FILE:
P1 - 78 rpm. Side 1 is entitled "Moody and Sankey Hymns," and includes songs sung by Bliss and Lowry. Side 2 is entitled "Billy Sunday Hymns" and includes solos by Ackley, Asher, and Gabriel. Ca. 1920.*****
Accession: 77-23, 79-15, 79-105, 79-135, 80-48, 80-137, 84-27, 85-102, 86-20, 92-61, 92-150, 93-99, 94-91, 95-110, 95-125, 98-8, 99-72, 00-31, 00-36, 02-26, 02-43, 03-26, 04-10, 04-11, 09-29, 16-18
Type of material: Photographs
The following items are located in the PHOTO FILE; request by folder title (in bold) at the beginning of each entry below.
PLEDGER, CLIFTON PRYOR. Picture postcards of Clifton Pryor Pledger; 1908. 2 b&w.
RODEHEAVER, HOMER. Picture postcards of Homer Rodeheaver, some of him with B. D. Ackley; 1911-1912, n.d.. 7 b&w.
SIEBERT, FRED. Postcard of Fred Siebert, one of Billy Sunday's assistants. 1913. B&w.
SUNDAY, HELEN THOMPSON. 28 b&w. Portrait photos of Helen Thompson "Ma" Sunday, snapshots of her with Billy, postcards of her, with Billy, with their children, with the Sunday evangelistic party in Marshalltown and elsewhere, with Homer Rodeheaver; pictures from a 1948 trip to Plymouth, Massachusetts, some duplicates. 1905-ca. 1955, n.d.
SUNDAY, WILLIAM ASHLEY. 61 b &w, 6 color (not including many duplicates).
Portrait photos of Sunday and informal snapshots as well as many postcards.
Pictures of Sunday with his wife Helen, his children, mother Mary Jane (Corey),
half brother Leroy, William Jennings Bryan. There are many postcards of Sunday
preaching or striking dramatic poses. One photo of Sunday speaking into a radio
microphone at the Franklin Gospel Tabernacle. Some of the portrait photos are
autographed by Sunday. There are also several postcards of the Sunday's home
in Winona Lake, Indiana and of the Billy Sunday Tabernacle in Winona Lake Indiana
which was named in his honor. There are a few snapshots of sites around Nevada,
Iowa, where Sunday spent part of his childhood. 1908-1998, n.d.
SUNDAY, BILLY (Oversize) 1 b&w. Panoramic photo of Billy and Helen Sunday with hundreds of the secretaries of the 1917 Los Angeles campaign.
SUNDAY, BILLY (PC29) 1 sepia tone. Panoramic photo of Billy Sunday with 180 male secretaries of the 1918 Chicago Campaign on May 5, 1918, with the tabernacle in the background, 49.25" x 10". (Previously Accession 1980.3964 in the BGC Museum collection.)
SUNDAY, WILLIAM ASHLEY - CO-WORKERS. 9 b&w. Various postcards and snapshots of Sunday with one or more of his evangelistic staff, including Fred Fisher, Homer Rodeheaver, Clifton Pledger, B.D. Ackley, Grace Saxe, Virginia Asher, Francis Miller, Fred Siebert and others. 1908-1914, n.d.
SUNDAY, WILLIAM ASHLEY - TABERNACLES. 42 b&w, 3 color. Several postcards show the wooden tabernacles (mostly exteriors, but some interiors) in which meetings were held. There are pictures of tabernacles in Galesburg, Illinois (1907), Bloomington, Illinois (1907-1908), Decatur, Illinois (1908), Springfield, Illinois (1909), Lima, Ohio (1911), Toledo, Ohio (1911), Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania (1912), McKeesport, Pennsylvania (1912), South Bend, Indiana (1913), Columbus (1913), Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania (1913), Scranton, Pennsylvania (1914), Elkhart, Indiana (1914), Syracuse, New York (1915), Philadelphia (1915), Paterson, New Jersey (1915), Trenton, New Jersey (1916), Kansas City (1916), New York City (1917), Chicago (1918). There are also postcards from the Billy Sunday Memorial tabernacle in Winona Lake, Indiana.
SUNDAY, WILLIAM ASHLEY. Portrait photos of Sunday and informal snapshots as well as many postcards. Pictures of Sunday with his wife Helen, with William Jennings Bryan, B. D. Ackley, with his evangelistic party. There are many postcard of Sunday preaching or striking dramatic poses. Several postcards show the wooden tabernacles (with or without crowds) in which meetings were held. There are pictures of tabernacles in Galesburg, Illinois (1907), Lima, Ohio (1911), Toledo, Ohio (1911), Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania (1912), South Bend, Indiana (1913), Columbus (1913), Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania (1913), Scranton, Pennsylvania (1914), Syracuse, New York (1915), Philadelphia (1915), Paterson, New Jersey (1915), Kansas City (1916), New York City (1917) and of Sunday speaking into a radio microphone at the Franklin Gospel Tabernacle. There are several scenes of activities within the tabernacle during the Marshalltown, Iowa campaign (1909) and scenes of Sunday preaching as well as other members of his team in action, such as Clifton Pledger, Fred Fischer and Annie MacLaren (later Wright). There are two postcards of Sunday handling correspondence with B. D. Ackley. There are also several postcard of the Sunday's home in Winona Lake, Indiana and of the Billy Sunday Tabernacle in Winona Lake Indiana which was named in his honor. There are many duplicates. 1958-1951, n.d. 114 b&w, 9 color (tinted).*****
Accession: 79-16, 88-31,92-38, 94-89
Type of material: Videotape
The following items are located in the VIDEOTAPE FILE:
V1 - 3/4", U-matic video cassette and 2 VHS cassettes, 60 minutes. Copy of F1. VHS cassette produced by Beacon Video.
V2 - 3/4" U-matic video cassette, 15 minutes. Copy of a black and white film titled Billy Sunday...A Memory, ca. 1951. Producer unknown. Narrated by Bob Pierce. Contains sound footage of Sunday preaching in the 1920's against Prohibition repeal. Also contains footage of Billy Graham preaching and Pierce makes comparisons between the two men.
|1||1||The Advance - Article analyzing a Sunday campaign; Jan. 1917|
|1||3||Article - "Back of Billy Sunday"; May 1915|
|2||6||Article - "Day on the Sidelines with the Sunday Party"; ca. 1915|
|2||1||The Billy Sunday Crusade in New York; Feb.-Mar. 1917|
|1||2||Book Promotion - Billy Sunday: The Man and His Message; Nov. 1914|
|2||2||Campaign Forms; 1915-1928|
|2||3||Invitation for Campaign; Jan. 28, 1927|
|2||4||Millar, W.B.; Sept. 1917|
|2||5||Relating to Billy Sunday; Nov. 1961-Oct. 1970|
|4||7||Funeral Booklet; 1939|
|2||7||Handbill - Youngstown Tabernacle; Jan.-Feb. 1910|
|3||3||Miscellaneous; 1909-1931; n.d.|
|6||10||Music: Billy Sunday's Victory March; ca. 1913|
|1||5||Jan. 1917-1971; n.d.|
|1||6||Bluefield, WV; June 12, 1921|
|6||4||Columbia, South Carolina; 1923|
|6||9||Everett, Washington; July 11, 1910|
|1||7||Iola, KS; Apr. 16, 1928|
|1||8||Iola, KS; Mar. 12, 1928|
|4||5||Miscellaneous; 1947-1989; n.d.|
|1||4||New York City - New York American - "Billy Sunday Extra"; Mar. 1917|
|St. Louis, MO|
|1||9||Jan. 9, 1928|
|1||10||Jan. 12, 1928|
|1||11||Jan. 22, 1928|
|1||12||Jan. 27, 1928|
|1||13||Jan. 29, 1928|
|1||14||Feb. 9, 1928|
|1||15||Feb. 10, 1928|
|1||16||Feb. 13, 1928|
|1||17||Feb. 16, 1928|
|1||18||Feb. 18, 1928|
|1||19||Feb. 19, 1928|
|1||20||Feb. 20, 1928|
|1||21||Feb. 22, 1928|
|1||22||Feb. 23, 1928|
|1||23||Feb. 24, 1928|
|1||24||Feb. 25, 1928|
|1||25||Feb. 26, 1928|
|1||26||Feb. 27, 1928|
|6||7||Springfield, Illinois; 1909|
|2||8||Nov. 1925-Nov. 1935|
|5||1||Kansas City; 1916|
|3||1||Obituary Clippings; Nov. 1935|
|4||2R||Omaha, NE, Campaign; Sept. - Oct. 1915|
|4||3||Omaha, NE, Campaign; (Xerox Copies) Sept.-Oct. 1915|
|3||2||Philadelphia Campaign Clippings; 1915|
|OS36||Philadelphia Scrapbook; 1915-1916|
|7||1||St. Louis; January, 1928|
|7||2||St. Louis; January-February, 1928|
|7||3||St. Louis; February, 1928|
|3||6||Sermons by Helen Thompson "Ma" Sunday; ca. 1945|
|3||4||The Y.W.C.A. Bulletin; April - May, 1917|