This is a great find! I’ve read about many Sunday School conventions that took place in Bryan County, but this is the first time I’ve read such a detailed description. This was printed as a supplement to the regular newspaper and contains the actual program for the two-day event. It is so extensive that I don’t have the time or patience to re-type it and the print is so small that I don’t think you could read a scan. However, I have included a few highlights and if you want to inquire about a specific person I will be happy to check the program for you.
The Sunday school of this time period was held in the afternoon, lasted up to two hours and combined general education, religious training, and evangelism. It was especially popular with poor and rural communities because many of their children were needed to work at least part of the week and often missed public school. The religious training focused on kindness, morals, generosity, and obedience and was for the most part non-denominational. And unlike the public schools, Sunday Schools often had classes composed of whites, Indians, and blacks. They also welcomed mixed ages and taught new immigrants to speak English.
The public school administration supported Sunday schools and in 1916 County Superintendent R. K. McIntosh made this request: “I am asking the teachers in the public schools of Bryan County to add one percent of each student’s monthly average for every Sunday School attendance at some Sunday School.”
Just reading the schedule for the two days makes me tired. I’m not sure how they managed to stay attentive throughout the whole day.
The Bokchito News
May 9, 1912
Sunday School Convention at Caddo May 25-26
The “best yet” convention, the “biggest yet” program, the “largest yet” delegation, and the “greatest yet” time is assured in the fifth annual convention of the Bryan County Sunday School Association to be held at Caddo on Saturday and Sunday, May 25 and 26.
Never before have the workers manifested a greater interest, never before has any town made such extensive preparation than has Caddo; never before has such an extensive and profitable program been arranged and never before have the railroads offered reduced rates to the county convention.
Railroad Rates- The Katy, Frisco, and M.O. &. G. offer a fare of one and one-third for the round trip. This applies to any town within fifty miles of Caddo. Tickets may be purchased for any train on May 25 and 26, good for return up to midnight of Monday, May 27. Trains leave Durant over the Katy at 12:09 and 7:55 a.m. and 1:05 and 4:00 p.m. No special trains will be run. All Katy passenger trains, both northbound and southbound now stop at Caddo. The Katy will carry special coaches for the occasion.
Free Entertainment- The good citizens of Caddo will give free entertainment to all delegates who reach Caddo any time Saturday. This means that you will be given meals and lodging in the homes of Caddo citizens. A reception committee will meet all trains and assign homes to all delegates.
Sunday School Parade- A grand street parade, let by the Caddo brass band and seventy-five trained singers will march from the Methodist Church to the city park on Sunday morning. All the Sunday schools of Caddo and the rural districts and the delegates and visitors of the entire county will be in the monster procession. Wagons, floats and buggies will carry all the little folks and aged.
Model Sunday School- On Sunday morning at 9:30 at the pavilion at the city park a model union Sunday School will be held. It is expected that not less than 3,000 men, women, and children will be present. Durant expects to have no less than 500 in attendance. Forty teachers and ten superintendents will assist President Glenn on presiding over the great Sunday School.
Dinner on the Ground- At noon Sunday a great feast will be spread upon the ground. All delegates and visitors who reach Caddo on Sunday morning will be expected to carry their dinners as the crowds will be so great and the time too short for the people of Caddo to prepare dinner. Dinner will be prepared for all delegates who reach Caddo any time Saturday, however. Swing a lunch on your arm and attend the big outdoor Sunday school banquet.
Great Big Program- Take a look over the big program below. It is an eye-opener. Two hundred and fifty people- men, women, and children, the best talents in the county- are on this program. There will be seventy-five trained voices in the choir. The Jennings Orchestra of Durant and the Caddo brass band will furnish music. Classes and children will be featured. A boy of thirteen years of age will deliver a sermonette on “God’s Call to Young Men”. Numerous other numbers of this nature will be presented.
Get There Saturday- All superintendents, officers, teachers, and other workers should not fail to attend the sessions to be held on Saturday, as the day is given exclusively to the work of the Sunday school. Those leaving Durant at 8:00 a. m. will reach Caddo in time for the opening session. If you cannot reach there on this train, be sure to reach there on the train that leaves Durant at 1:00 p.m.
To Superintendents- By all means have your Sunday school well represented on both days. It will put new ideas and new life on your workers, encourage them to greater activities, and prove a blessing to them and your community. Don’t send your workers and pupils- bring them. Urge all workers to come on Saturday morning and all your pupils, young and old, to come Sunday morning. They will enjoy the trip and convention. Credentials are unnecessary- bring every person you can. You will never regret any effort you may make to get your people to the convention. Come whether you feel like it or not- the feeling will come after you get there.
Saturday 9:30 to noon
Song service led by Caddo choir of seventy-five voices.
Devotional led by President Glenn
Variety of speakers from Durant including W. H. Echols, Superintendent of Durant Public Schools and W. B. Morrison, president of Oklahoma Presbyterian College for Girls.
1:30 to 3:15
Round table discussion - The Sunday School. Topics (18) include finance, grading, music, attendance, etc. Speakers listed from Durant, Bokchito, Caddo Albany, Mead, Roberta, Kemp, Bennington, Pirtle, and Calera.
Recess of ten minutes.
Round table discussion - The Teachers. Subjects (13) include how to teach, how to tell a story, classroom organization, discipline, and prayer. Speakers listed from Durant, Bennington, Caddo, Colbert, Armstrong, Bokchito, Utica, and Achille. U. S. Markham, Caddo, to speak on “How to Rule the Unruly?”
Round table discussion- The Superintendent. Topics (10) include qualifications, attitude toward co-workers, influence on the community and reward. Speakers listed from Blue, Yarnaby, Kemp, Durant, Kenefic, and Silo.
Song service by the Caddo Choir
Devotional led by R. A. Chesnut of Calera
Speakers, including C. L. Neely Bryan County Superintendent, songs, testimony.
6:00 a. m. – ringing of Caddo Church bells. Wake up and get up.
6:05 - Every officer, teacher, and pupil in county pray for their schools and classes.
8:30 - Caddo citizens, delegates, and visitors assemble at the Methodist church. Music by Caddo band.
9:00 - Parade from Methodist church to Pavilion at City Park.
9:30 – Sunday School presided over by President Glenn, ten regular superintendents, and forty teachers.
Music, presentations, speakers, prayer.
Recess and dinner on the ground.
Music and speakers. Sermonette, “God’s Call to Young Men”, by St. Clair Homer (13) of Caddo. Violin solo by Dorothy Davis of Durant, aged six, “probably the youngest violinist in the United States.”
Song service, report of nominating committee, speakers, closing by President Glenn.
Sunday speakers listed from Caddo, Durant, and Colbert.