Folder & Finished: Ila Duncan Sewell Papers

The Ila Duncan Sewell Papers (1921-1924) are processed and ready for researchers. The finding aid for the papers is now available on DigitalCommons@ACU and digitized selections are also available on DigitalCommons@ACU.

Scrapbook page 5, 1921-1924, Ila Duncan Sewell Papers, 1921-1924. Center for Restoration Studies MS#399. Abilene Christian University Special Collections and Archives, Brown Library. Abilene Christian University, Abilene, TX.

​Ila Christine Duncan received an A.B. from Abilene Christian College in 1924, and married Jesse Mac Sewell on December 30, 1926, in El Paso, Texas. She taught English in Ysleta High School (El Paso, Texas), and later received an M.A. from Texas Western College of the University of Texas (later named the University of Texas at El Paso) in 1949. She died on December 25, 2002.

Scrapbook page 109, 1921-1924, Ila Duncan Sewell Papers, 1921-1924. Center for Restoration Studies MS#399. Abilene Christian University Special Collections and Archives, Brown Library. Abilene Christian University, Abilene, TX.

This collection contains a scrapbook from Ila’s time as a student at Abilene Christian College. This scrapbook includes photographs of ACC students and Jesse Mac Sewell, pamphlets from school shows and graduations, some correspondence, newspaper clippings, and biographical information from many fellow ACC students.

Foldered & Finished: Rees Odeil and Patti Mattox Bryant Papers

The Rees Odeil and Patti Mattox Bryant Papers are ready for researchers. The finding aid for the papers is now available on DigitalCommons@ACU and the digitized selections are also available on DigitalCommons@ACU.

Photograph of the Bryant family, Box 2, Folder Photographs (5 of 5), Rees Odeil and Patti Mattox Bryant Papers, 1957-2007. Center for Restoration Studies MS #486. Abilene Christian University Special Collections and Archives, Brown Library. Abilene Christian University, Abilene, TX.

These papers document the Bryant’s involvement in missions in Nigeria through correspondence, newsletters, financial documents, and photographs. There are also board minutes and information about the African Christian Hospitals Foundation and other organizations the Bryants either founded or supported throughout Africa.

Rees Odeil Bryant and Patti Mattox Bryant were missionaries in Nigeria from 1958-1967. Their involvement in Nigeria and other ministry continued long after they left the Nigerian mission field.

Letter from Patti Mattox Bryant to F. W. and Mildred Mattox dated 7 April 1960, Box 1, Folder 1960, Rees Odeil and Patti Mattox Bryant Papers, 1957-2007. Center for Restoration Studies MS #486. Abilene Christian University Special Collections and Archives, Brown Library. Abilene Christian University, Abilene, TX.

Rees Odeil Bryant was born to Emmett and Nell Bryant in 1930 in Memphis, Tennessee. Patti Mattox Bryant was born to F. W. and Mildred Mattox on 8 April 1933 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. They both felt a call to world missions at an early age and met at Harding College in Searcy, Arkansas, and were married the day of graduation.

Rees was the first graduate of Mars Hill Bible School in Florence, Alabama and graduated from Harding College with Bachelors and Masters degrees. He earned another Masters degree and a doctorate from Fuller Theological Seminary.

Photograph of Rees Odeil Bryant and Bible Training College students, Box 2, Folder Photographs (5 of 5), Rees Odeil and Patti Mattox Bryant Papers, 1957-2007. Center for Restoration Studies MS #486. Abilene Christian University Special Collections and Archives, Brown Library. Abilene Christian University, Abilene, TX.

After serving congregations in Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Alabama the Bryant family arrived in Nigeria in early 1958 along with their two young children, Sara Jo and William. The Bryants quickly identified the need for healthcare and eventually started the Nigerian Christian Hospital near the Bible Training College. The couple had two other children, David and Rebecca, while serving as missionaries. The Bryant’s third tour of Nigeria ended in 1967 before the start of the Biafran Civil War. The couple continued to be involved with the Nigerian Christian Hospital Foundation which is now known as the International Health Care Foundation.

Newsletter No. 4 dated 1 June 1958, Box 1, Folder 1958, Rees Odeil and Patti Mattox Bryant Papers, 1957-2007. Center for Restoration Studies MS #486. Abilene Christian University Special Collections and Archives, Brown Library. Abilene Christian University, Abilene, TX.

Rees taught at Lubbock Christian College, Pepperdine University, and Lincoln Christian College. Patti worked as a teacher and secretary and later in life went on to earn her Masters in Theology and Philosophy.


Selected additional Africa mission resources from ACU Special Collections and Archives:

Foldered & Finished: Owen Glen Cosgrove Papers

The Owen Glen Cosgrove Papers (1973-1996) are processed and ready for researchers. The finding aid for the papers is now available on DigitalCommons@ACU and digitized selections are also available on DigitalCommons@ACU.

Abilene Christian College postcard from the Sewell Photograph Collection

Dr. Owen Glen Cosgrove received his Bible degree from Abilene Christian College, a master’s degree from Sul Ross, and a Ph.D from the University of North Texas.  While a student at ACC, Cosgrove preached for the Church of Christ in Robert Lee, Texas. He served as minister in several Churches of Christ and also held gospel meetings across the Southwest. Cosgrove is known for authoring several gospel tracts popular among Churches of Christ.

Batsell Barrett Baxter’s interview with President John C. Stevens is now digitized.

This collection contains oral histories made by Owen Cosgrove and others. These histories contain the recollections of influential persons associated with Abilene Christian University. Some of the individuals interviewed include Don H. Morris, John C. Stevens, Garvin V. Beauchamp, and Walter H. Adams. The collection includes interview transcripts and cassette tapes of the interviews.


We hope you will check out the digitized selections from the Cosgrove Papers available on DC@ACU. We’ll be adding to this digital content for a while, so check back again soon to hear more oral histories!