Claxon mss. II, 1937-2000
Lilly Library (Indiana University, Bloomington)
1200 E. Seventh St.
Bloomington, IN 47405-5500
Claxon, Neville, 1915-1998
Claxon mss. II, 1937-2000
ca. 5000 items
Materials are in English and French.
The Claxon mss. II, 1937-2000, consists
of the personal papers of William Neville and Emma (Osborne) Claxon.
This collection is open for research.
The Claxons, originally from Kentucky, spent more than thirty years of their lives
pursuing Baptist missionary work in West Africa. The materials in this collection
date to before, during, and after their tenure as missionaries abroad.
The collection is arranged into the following series: I. Biographical; II.
Correspondence; III. Subject Files; IV. Writings; V. Conferences; VI. Photographs.
Scope and Content Note
The Biographical series includes biographical writings, educational information,
passports, and other personal documents, which provide background information about
the Claxons themselves. The Correspondence series contains some letters from the
Claxons and many by acquaintances and colleagues affiliated with the Baptist church
and mission. (Most family letters are contained within the first Claxon mss
collection.) There is also a topical file of correspondence related to the effects
of the United States' Civil Rights movement on African nations. Frequent
correspondents include T. A. Akande, Edgar H. Burks, Bob Couts, Edna Frances
Dawkins, Gaines S. Dobbins, Cornell Goerner, I. N. Patterson, M. Theron Rankin,
George W. Sadler, and Carl F. Whirley.
The third series, Subject Files, contains materials related to the Claxons'
professional endeavors as Baptist missionaries in various African countries, as well
as their daily life, travels, and activities within the United States. Subject files
are divided into four subseries: Nigerian Baptist Training Union, Nigeria Mission,
Benin Mission, and General. The Nigerian Baptist Training Union subseries provides a
record of Neville's role as secretary—the highest position in the training
union—through which he helped to improve religious education and maintained active
communication with churches throughout Nigeria. The Nigeria Mission subseries
documents the Claxons' general mission work in Nigeria. The Benin Mission subseries
documents the Claxon's role in establishing and advancing the Baptist mission in
Benin. The General subseries contains subject files documenting the Claxons' other
undertakings; these include files related to shorter mission appointments outside of
Nigeria and Benin, jobs and activities pursued in the United States while on
furlough, travel documents, materials from various churches (including Neville's
home church in Switzer, KY), and documentation of mission-like endeavors pursued
after retirement to the United States, including work with Haitian immigrants in
The fourth series, Writings, is divided into two subseries: Sermons and additional
religious materials; and Additional writings. The first subseries includes a large
number of sermons, religious messages, talks, and notes for speaking engagements
composed and used by Neville Claxon. (Most of these materials are in English;
however, there is also a group of French sermons used during the Claxon's work in
Benin. Some of the French-language materials may have been reused during mission
work with Haitian immigrants.) The second subseries contains articles, datebooks,
memoirs, meeting notes, and documents written for radio and television work in
A series on Conferences includes pamphlets, programs, notes, travel documents, and
other materials related to various Baptist conferences attended by the Claxons. The
final series, Photographs, contains photographs taken by and of the Claxons; almost
all photographs depict mission work and life in Africa.
Burks, Edgar H.
Dawkins, Edna Frances.
Dobbins, Gaines Stanley,
Goerner, Henry Cornell,
Patterson, I. N.
Rankin, Milledge Theron,
Sadler, George W.
Whirley, Carl F.
Convention. Foreign Mission Board.
Nigerian Baptist Training
Prior arrangements are not necessary before coming to the Library, however,
patrons from out of town are encouraged to communicate with the Library in
advance of their visits to ascertain availability of materials.
Photocopying permitted only with permission of the Curator of Manuscripts, Lilly
Claxon mss. II, Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.
I. Biographical, 1934-1998, undated
Arranged with primary biographical background information and educational
details first. Other biographically oriented materials follow, arranged
alphabetically by subject.
Claxon Background Information,
Education (Neville Claxon),
Georgetown College, 1941-1942, undated
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary,
1950s conflict, 1958
International Certificates of Vaccination, 1955-1965
Neville Claxon Memorial, 1998
Nigerian Firearms License, 1965-1970
Special [contains Memorial Address in memory of John F. Kennedy,
by Neville Claxon with thank you letter from American Consul; Official
document (in French) from the US. Department of State], 1963, 1972
II. Correspondence, 1974-2004
Subject oriented correspondence is arranged first. General correspondence
follows, which is arranged chronologically.
Family letters, 1948-1977
Mission and Civil Rights movement, 1961-1963
III. Subject Files, 1937-2000
The Subject files series contains materials related to the Claxons’
professional endeavors as Baptist Missionaries in various African countries,
as well as daily life, travels, and activities within the United States.
Subject files are divided into four subseries: Nigerian Baptist Training
Union, Nigeria Mission, Benin Mission, and General. Subseries are arranged
in chronological order, following the Claxon’s path within Africa. In each
subseries, any historical-related files are placed first, alphabetical
subject files are organized next, and general files are placed last; general
files are arranged chronologically. When multiple files exist on a single
subject, they are arranged chronologically by earliest date.
Nigerian Baptist Training Union, 1942-1985
Correspondence and related materials, 1957-1985
Nigeria Mission, 1947-1991, undated
Billy Graham Proposed Campaign, 1959
College Observer, newsletter,
Executive Committee, 1955-1956
Ikire Church, 1954-1955
Oyo Exhibition Agriculture and Handicrafts pamphlet,
Benin Mission (formerly Dahomey), 1966-1993
(some materials in French)
Yesterday... Today, Then... Now:
Benin Baptist Mission
, unpublished mss. by Marilyn
Research Materials of Marilyn Bonnell, 1969-1993
Meeting and professional materials,
Mission Strategy and meeting information, 1973-1993
General, 1937-2000, undated
African Baptist Missionary list, 1970
African cards and recipe booklet, undated
Battle Hymn of the Bartels, undated
Burkina Faso (formerly Upper Volta), 1973-1974
Business cards, 1971, undated
Directory of Churches and Pastors, California, c. 1987, undated
Dobbins, Dr. Gaines S., 1956, undated
Elkhorn Annual, yearbook
(features Neville as fifth grade instructor), 1937
French studies, 1969-1971
Ghana (formerly Gold Coast),
Kumasi, 1948, undated
Greece, Athenai Airport Chapel program (Neville delivered
Highland Baptist Herald, 1956, undated
Kentucky – Brazil Baptist Partnership, 1991-1992
Kentucky Southern College,
(with ID cards)
Fiesta Portfolio, 1967-1969
Newspaper Clippings, 1960-1967
Solicitation Approach, 1967-1968
Lawrenceburg, 1948, 1984-1991
Long Lick Baptist Church, 1942-1994
Lott Carey Mission, Brewerville, Liberia, 1956
MK Home (Mission Kids Home), 1956-1969
"Music and Sounds of Africa"
cassette track list, undated
Newspaper Clippings, Other Missionaries, 1965-1991, undated
Social Security, 1957
Switzer, Kentucky, 1942-1996
Testimonial of the Claxons’ influence, undated
Whitton Baptist Church, Great Britain, 1954-1955
IV. Writings, 1941-1998, undated
Divided into two subseries: Sermons and additional religious materials; and
Most items in this series are assumed to be written by Neville Claxon;
however, many items are not specifically attributed to any author.
Sermons and additional religious materials, 1941-1998, undated
In the interest of maintaining original order, materials within this
subseries retain the titles and groupings assigned by their creator,
Neville Claxon. Sermons, messages, and talks contain similar religious
content; however, sermons appear to be more note-based, whereas messages
and talks exhibit more thorough text. Sermons are placed first and are
arranged alphabetically by subject. Files containing sermons along with
another type of religious writing are placed first.
Alphabetically-arranged subject files are placed next. General sermons
follow, which are arranged chronologically; these are primarily in
English, though some materials in French are interspersed. Sermons
solely in French follow general English sermons and are arranged
chronologically. Other religious writings follow sermons and are
and Devotionals, 1945-1997, undated
and Notes, 1974-1979
Retirement, 1996, undated
(folder 1 of 2)
(folder 2 of 2)
Christian Home, 1954-1988
Church Talks, 1952-1957
Nigerian Seminary: Lectures and Graduation Message by J.C.
(unclear if these were written or delivered by Neville
Religious Education Course, Lomé, Togo, 1972
(unclear if this was written by Neville Claxon)
Speaking Engagements, 1940-1988
Additional Writings, 1941-1992, undated
Materials are arranged alphabetically by subject or title of writing.
"America, The World's Hope for
The Georgetown Review, by Neville
Claxon, c. 1941
Benin Memoirs and related material, 1969-1979
"Dahomey and Baptist
Royal Service, by Emma Claxon,
Datebooks (by Neville Claxon),
Diaries and Memoir, undated
Notes on Mission Meetings, 1975
Radio and Television Work, 1965
Recollections of Mission Life, 1980-1981
Training Union History, 1956-1974
V. Conferences, 1939-1991, undated
Materials from Africa are placed first and are arranged alphabetically. Other
conference materials follow, also arranged alphabetically.
Nigeria, Mission Conferences, 1951-1980, undated
Nigerian Baptist Convention,
Box 7 (oversize)
70th Anniversary Celebration Poster, 1991
Box 6 (continued)
Nigerian Youth Conference, 1959
Pan-African Baptist Youth Conference, 1959-1964
(photographs originally contained in this folder were moved to
British Empire Congress, London, 1951
International Conferences, 1948-1960
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Baptist World Alliance Congress,
Various Notes, 1955-1983, undated
VI. Photographs, 1948-1995
Materials are arranged chronologically.
Miscellaneous Nigerian Photos, c. 1948-1951
Iwo, Nigeria, 1949-1951
Nigerian Mission Centennial, 1950
Mission, General, c. 1950-1060
Neville at work as Secretary of the Baptist Training Union,
Baptist Chapel, Ibadan, c. 1950-1960
Pan-African Baptist Youth Conference, c.
Cotonou, Benin (formerly Dahomey) and Burkina Faso (formerly
Upper Volta), c.
Other, Missionaries, Ridgecrest, 1987; "Lauren, 8
Box 7 (oversize)
Neville receives an award, 1974