John Marse button collection, 1896-1917
These buttons were originally collected by John Marse (1914-2004), a Presbyterian minister in Texas. He earned his Bachelor of Divinity degree from Austin Seminary in 1941.
This collection consists of three commemorative buttons as described below:
Button 1: "Texas Presbyterian University, chartered Feb. 19, 1896." These words encircle the seal of the Texas Presbyterian University. This University was a proposed effort of the combined northern and southern Presbyterian churches starting in the late 1890's and ending, before the establishment of the University, when sufficient funds could not be raised. An "explanation" of the seal of the Texas Presbyterian University, which was "Founded as a memorial of the semi-centennial of Texas" is on the reverse of the button: "The 'Lone Star of Texas' is transformed into the 'Lone Star of Bethlehem' by the Bible, upon the open page of which, the Holy Spirit (the burning oil) shines. The Globe represents Science, Wheel Mechanics, Palette Art, Harp Music, all, like the Bible, studied under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. The blue sky represents those Old Fashioned ‘Blue Stocking’ Presbyterian doctrines which, like the blue sky of heaven, have overshadowed the world with blessing."
Button 2: "General Assembly, Presbyterian Church, U.S.A., 129th Annual Meeting, Dallas, Texas, 1917." These words encircle an open Bible which depicts the phrase "The Word of God" facing the image of a cross draped with a serpent.
Button 3: "Texas Sunday School Association, Vision-Vigor-Victory." These words encircle two flags with their poles crossed, and tied together. One of the flags is the U.S. flag, the other depicts a cross and the phrase "By this sign conquer." A ribbon printed with the word "Delegate" is attached to the button. Dates from between 1908 and 1911. The Texas Sunday School Association was a non-denominational organization consisting of delegates from Sunday schools in Texas, and which promoted Sunday school programs.
Materials are available by appointment only. Contact the archivist for details.
John Marse button collection, 1896-1917, Austin Seminary Archives, Stitt Library, Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary
These three buttons were purchased by John Marse at an Austin antique store. They were given to Thomas White Currie, Jr. as a gift by Marse in 1987. Currie donated these buttons to the Austin Seminary Archives in 1996.
Detailed Description of the Collection