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Ray 150 150 ctx

Jessie Newby Ray Collection, 1923-1967
2 folders
Location: 0622
Accession #: H.111


This collection highlights the biblical selections made by Mary Newby Miller when she quilted her Bible Quilt and gave lectures on the specific verses used to illustrate the life of Christ. Her family played a major role in the establishment of the Disciples of Christ in Oklahoma and surrounding states. The photograph to the right is Accession # H.111.33, “Aunt Mary & Uncle Porter Miller, Charles & Jessie, about 1923.”


Jessie “Dimple” Newby Ray
Jessie Newby Ray was born in Elmsdale, Kansas, to Reverend H. Warner Newby and Ceora Bowers Newby. Her father was a pioneer evangelist of the Disciples of Christ and organized many churches in Oklahoma and surrounding states. Her mother taught art and music. Jessie was a founding member of the Delta Kappa Gamma Society in Oklahoma, 1932-1974. She wrote two books, The History of the Delta Kappa Gamma Society in Oklahoma from Alpha to Omega (1945) and The ‘Y’ Chapel of Song(1951).

“Dr. Ray received her A.B. and A.M. degrees from the University of Oklahoma, and her Ph.D. degree from the State University of Iowa. As a teacher in Oklahoma for fifty years before her retirement in 1956, she is best known as a teacher of Latin in Central State College. She is also known as a lecturer and as a writer of many articles for professional magazines.” (Biographical footnote in The ‘Y’ Chapel of Song.)

Connor, Kerry L. “The Delta Kappa Gamma Society in Oklahoma, 1932-1974, Founders.” An OKGenWeb Project. (link)
Ray, Jessie Newby. “The ‘Y’ Chapel of Song”, Electronic Publishing Center, Oklahoma State University Library (Adobe PDF)

Mary Newby Miller
Mary Newby Miller was born on a farm near Plattsburg, Missouri, on September 21, 1876. She was the daughter of Reverend Alexander Newby and Malinda Holman Newby. The family moved around quite a bit, living for a time in Tonkawa, Oklahoma; Mounds, which is south of Tulsa, Oklahoma; Chattanooga, Oklahoma; and New Sharon, which is east of Des Moines, Iowa. She taught country school from 1902-1904 at Mounds, and she married on June 27, 1902 to Porter Randall Miller in Muskogee. He died on November 1, 1926.

She was initiated into the Order of the Eastern Star in 1918 and served as a worthy matron. She was initiated into Philanthropic Educational Organization Sisterhood at New Sharon in 1924. She helped her father Reverend Alexander Newby and brother Reverend H. Warren Newby in state evangelistic work from 1891-1894. She was an organist for country Sunday school conventions at the age of 13.

Written by Mary Newby Miller:
“My hobby was piecing and quilting quilts. The most outstanding was the satin Bible quilt consisting of 35 embroidered blocks depicting the ancestors and life of Christ. The Bible reference is given for each scene. I gave 12 lectures on this in churches and to groups in Des Moines. My father’s mother was a cousin to John Adams, President of the U.S.A. My mother’s mother was Nancy Jackson Holman, cousin of Stonewall Jackson, a general in the Civil War. She was married at the age of 15, rode all the way from Kentucky to Plattsburg, MO, on horseback. She and her husband homesteaded a farm near P. and it is still in the name of Holman. Nancy Holman died at the age of 97 ½ years – good eyesight. In 1927, I gave $2,000 to the Manhattan Bible College for a chapel room in memory of Father and Mother. I made it possible for the boys in the naval training station at Great Lakes to have a communion set during World War II.”

Handwritten biographical outline. Jessie Newby Ray Collection.
“Life Story of Mrs. Mary Miller”, Mahaska County, Iowa, newspaper; date unknown. Jessie Newby Ray Collection.

The collection consists of two color transparency slides, four photographs, one postcard, typewritten correspondence between Jessie Newby Ray and Pauline Kirks, photocopies of article concerning quilting, and biographical outlines for Anna Lewis and Mary Newby Miller. A folder also contains the revised Bible verses and notes that Mary Newby Miller selected to illustrate in her Bible Quilt, which she also taught lectures on these specific verses when she exhibited the quilt. Collection items span the dates 1923 to 1967.

Personal Names:
Miller, Mary Newby
Ray, Jessie Newby

Subject Headings:
Christian Churches (Disciples of Christ)
Quilting–United States—Patterns
Women Biblical scholars
Women Biblical teaching

The accession date of this collection is not noted in the accession files, but it likely arrived during the 1960s shortly after the Museum opened. The finding aid was written and updated online by archivist/librarian Laura Anne Heller on February 11, 2010.

The collection is open for research. It is advisable for researchers to discuss their proposed research with staff prior to visiting the Center.

Jessie Newby Ray Collection, Box ##, Folder ##, Dickinson Research Center, National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Series 1: Jessie Newby Ray Collection
Photographs have not been cataloged or scanned in the Image Archive Database yet.
Box/Folder # Accession # Folder Title/Description
1/1 Biographical Information on Mary Newby Miller; Includes photographs
H.111.29.1 “Civil War refugees made this quilt made in 1863.” Kodachrome Transparency slide. [1]
H.111.29.2 “Bible quilt, cross and crown quilting, made by Mary Newby Miller in 1934.” Kodachrome Transparency slide. [1]
H.111.30 “1861. Pieced in Indiana, Quilted in Illinois, Belonged to Grandmother Bowers.” Photo printed by MacArthur Co. Kodak Finishing, Oklahoma City, OK. #522. Photograph, b&w, 2.5×4.5 in. [1]
H.111 Handwritten biographical outline of Mary Newby Miller. Blue ink, front and back of page. [1]
H.111 Photocopy of two articles: (1) “Life Story of Mrs. Mary Miller” from a Mahaska County, Iowa, newspaper; date unknown. (2) “Mary Miller Rites Are Set” from a “D.M. Paper” (possibly Des Moines, IA?), date February 27, 1962. [1]
H.111.31 “Uncle Ed Baptising.” Photograph, b&w, 4×5 in. [1]
H.111 “A ‘souvenir’ I purchased in the Buckhorn Saloon, San Antonio, in 1921. I have an idea it was ‘Made in Japan.’” Envelope with Little Rock, Arkansas, return address stamped on it. Typed description. No contents. [1]
H.111.32 “‘All these women married warriors, married brave and haughty husbands.’ The Song of Hiwatha – Longfellow.” Raphael Tuck & Sons’ “Oilette.” Hiwatha Series II, Postcard 9011. Art Publishers to Their Majesty the King and Queen. Printed in England. Tuck’s Post Card. Addressed to “Mrs. C.A. Newby, Guthrie, Okla.” With postmark Guthrie, Okla., June 9, 1906. 2 pm. [1]
H.111 Letter written in ink on folded stationary note card. Signed “Aunt Mary.” November 30, 1947. Handwritten pencil notations identify persons being mentioned. [1]
H.111 Handwritten in pencil notes of supplies used along with prices for quilt. Handwritten in ink: “Bible quilt, I paid her $40.00 in all.” Partial letter on reverse side, written in ink. Slip of paper. [1]
H.111 Harrison, Margaret. “Quilting Bee.” The Sunday Oklahoman, Women section, November 12, 1967. Staff photos by Al McLaughlin. Five pages of photocopies from newspaper. [5]
H.111.33 “Aunt Mary & Uncle Porter Miller, Charles & Jessie, about 1923.” Portrait photograph, sepia, 5×7 in. [1]
H.111.34 “Mary Newby Miller, Aunt Mary, 1935.” Portrait photograph adhered to matte board, which is enclosed in board envelope. Printed by Woltz Studios, Des Moines, IA, & Ames, IA. Photograph, sepia, 4×6 in. Envelope, green marble, 5.5×8.5 in. [1]
H.111 Pioneer Women Teachers of Oklahoma, 1820-1860. By Ethel McMillan. Reprinted by The Delta Kappa Gamma Society of Oklahoma from The Chronicles of Oklahoma Published by the Oklahoma Historical Society, Volume XXVII, No. 1, Spring, 1949. Title page signed by Ethel McMillan. 32 pages. [1]
H.111 Typewritten letter from Pauline Kirks to Dr. Newby, November 6, 1944, on Hotel Congress stationary, E. L. May Company. Address typed: Henryetta, Oklahoma. One page, front and back. [1]
H.111 Typewritten letter. On front, letter from Pauline Kirks to Dr. Newby, October 22, 1944, from Henryetta, Oklahoma. On back, typed response from Dr. Newby to Mrs. Kirks on October 25, 1944, from Edmond, Oklahoma. [1]
H.111 Typewritten letter from J.D. N. to Mrs. Kirks on October 15, 1944, from Edmond, Oklahoma. One page, front and back. [1]
H.111 Typewritten letter from Pauline Kirks to Dr. Newby on October 15, 1944, from Edmond, Oklahoma. One page, front and back. [1]
H.111 Typewritten letter from [Dr. Newby] to Mrs. Kirks on October 11, 1944, from Edmond, Oklahoma. One page, front and back. [1]
H.111 Typewritten letter from Mrs. Kirks to [Dr. Newby]. No location. No date. One page, front only. Back is recycled text. [1]
H.111 Biographical information for Anna Lewis. Two pages. [2]
1/2 Mary Newby Miller, Bible Lessons
H.111 Bible verses on slips of paper. Total of 35 verses, some paper slips have several verses. Some paper has been crumpled due to improper storage. [23]
H.111 Handwritten notes in pencil on names mentioned in Bible. One page, front and back. [1]
H.111 “Suggestions for mounting the Bible Quilt.” Handwritten notes in ink by “Jessie Newby Ray, daughter of H. Warner Newby, brother of Mary Newby Miller.” Edmond, Oklahoma. March 10, 1967.
H.111 Typewritten Bible verses. Total of 35 verses. Three copies on legal length paper. [12]
H.111 Typewritten Bible verses. Total of 35 verses. One copy on legal length paper in typed blue ink. [4]
H.111 Typewritten Bible verses. Total of 35 verses. Three copies on letter length paper. Some notes written in pencil. [15]
H.111 Typewritten Bible verses. Total of 35 verses. One copy on letter length paper. Some notes written in pencil and typed. [4]
H.111 “The Tower of Babel.” Typed Bible story. James T. Nichols, handwritten signature in pencil. [1]
Adventure District
Adventure Road
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