Guide to the Pool Family Papers, 1930-2000


The Pool Family, including James Christopher and Elizabeth Pool and their three children, were Southern Baptist missionaries based in Nigeria, Liberia, and Texas between 1935 and the late 1970s. The collection also includes materials about foster children that they sponsored.

Collection includes correspondence, printed materials, administrative records, photographs, and writings documenting the life and activities of the Pool family, particularly J.C. and Elizabeth Pool, and their lives as Southern Baptist missionaries to Nigeria and Liberia in the mid-20th century. The materials are especially relevant to the history of the Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary and the Pools' work with the Baptist community in Nigeria.

Descriptive Summary

David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University
Pool family.
Pool Family papers 1930-2000
Language of Material
20 Linear Feet, 15000 Items
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

Collection Overview

The collection is divided into 8 series, each listed below with detailed descriptions. The largest series in the collection is the Correspondence Series, which consists of letters sent to and by the Pool family and their relatives, friends, and colleagues. It ranges from 1928-1998 with some undated materials, and with a gap in coverage from 1963-1968. Notable events and correspondence are described in the Collection Contents, roughly divided by decade.

The Photographs and Artwork Series includes both professional photographs from the Division of Visual Education at the Foreign Missions Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, along with personal portraits and snapshots taken by the Pools of both family and Nigerian scenes. The artwork present in this series consists of a set of watercolor prints with scenes of Liberia, created by Swedish artist Roland Svensson and published in 1969.

Family Writings includes J.C. Pool's autobiographies; J.C. Pool's sermon notes and writings, including his doctoral dissertation, addresses, historical essays, and many undated sermons; Elizabeth Pool's writings, including a draft of her book, autobiographical notes, and various poems, articles, and essays; E.C. Routh's writings; and other works collected by the Pools.

J.C. Pool's Teaching Materials include syllabi, student papers, and other materials, largely related to his career as a teacher at the Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary. A related series is the Missionary Materials Series, which also includes NBTS administrative and management documents, such as meeting minutes, founding documents, as well as materials from related organizations such as the Southern Baptist Convention's Foreign Missions Board.

The Family Papers Series includes the family's legal documents, financial accounts, a small amount of genealogy and family history materials, and a significant amount of memorial materials from the death of J.C. Pool in 1978. Family travel documents have been removed to the Travel Series, which also includes tickets, postcards, immigration materials, and other memorabilia from the many trips taken by the Pools.

Finally, the Printed Materials Series includes clippings, pamphlets and programs, magazines saved by the Pools, and reports about the Nigerian government and politics.

Restrictions on Access & Use

A majority of collections are stored off site and must be requested at least 48 business hours in advance for retrieval. Contact Rubenstein Library staff before visiting. Read More »

warning Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. The library may require up to 48 hours to retrieve these materials for research use.

Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.

warning Use Restrictions

The copyright interests in this collection have been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

Contents of the Collection

The Correspondence series consists of letters sent to and by the Pool family and their relatives, friends, and colleagues. It ranges from 1928-1998 with some undated materials, and with a gap in coverage from 1963-1968. Notable events and correspondence are detailed below, roughly divided by decade.

Correspondence from 1928 through the 1930s includes a number of letters between J.C. Pool and W.A. Criswell, as well as many between J.C. and Etta H. Pool and between Elizabeth and E.C. and Alice Routh. In 1934 both J.C. and Elizabeth corresponded regularly with Charles Maddry and his secretary Jessie Ford regarding their applications to the Foreign Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention and their plans for travel to and service in Nigeria. The letters document their trip to Nigeria in September 1934, and their experience as missionaries, including such events as Elizabeth’s adoption of Gordon on October 27, 1934; J.C.’s breaking his engagement to Faye Winfree in early September, 1935; J.C. and Elizabeth’s courtship and engagement that same month, and their marriage on December 26, 1935; Frances’ birth on Jan. 17, 1937; the death of Lucille and another missionary, Frances Jones, from yellow fever in the summer of 1937; and the Pools’ first furlough in the United States from November 1937-October 1938. The seminary was moved to Oyo in 1937 upon the Pools’ departure, then moved back to Ogbomosho upon the Pool’s return. On June 27, 1938, E.C. Routh received a personal letter from J. Edgar Hoover regarding an article published in the Baptist Messenger, of which E.C. was the editor. Letters from the fall of 1939 and onward discuss WWII and the implications for Americans serving overseas, in both Nigeria and China.

Correspondence in the 1940s covers Carolyn’s birth on Jan. 24, 1940; the Pools’ furlough in the U.S. from 1941-1943 (the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor occurred the day the Pools arrived in America and the American entrance into WWII delayed their return by a year); J.C.’s return to Africa in 1943 while Elizabeth and the girls stayed in Oklahoma (the Pools wrote frequently to each other while separated); Elizabeth, Frances, and Carolyn’s return to Nigeria in 1944; the publication of The Hill Called Moon the same year; Jim’s birth on July 29, 1945; the Pools’ 1947-1948 furlough in the U.S.; and Elizabeth’s hospitalization and back surgery in Creek Hospital, Lagos, in 1949, as the African nurses’ and hospital workers’ strike took place. Letters from 1941 concern American missionaries in eastern and southern China in light of the withdrawal of U.S. Marines and letters from the late 1940s discuss the negotiations by which the Southern Baptist Convention and the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary would eventually become affiliated with the Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary (NBTS) for degree-granting purposes.

Correspondence from the 1950s covers a number of significant events for the Pool family. A great deal of correspondence from 1950-1951 concerns Copass Routh’s debts and his family’s efforts to make good on them. The Pools went on furlough in America from 1950-1951, at the end of which Frances stayed in America with relatives; after graduating high school in 1953, she enrolled at Baylor, having been granted a scholarship from the Women’s Missionary Union. Claribel Pool married Jonathan Ojeleye December 24, 1953, which caused some controversy due to Claribel and Jonathan’s desire to include Yoruba customs that J.C. and Elizabeth found inappropriate for a Christian ceremony; the two had a child, Funlayo Ojeleye, in Sept. 1954. Elizabeth published a biography of Lucille Reagan in 1954 and The Bead-Maker’s Son in 1957. The Pools again went on furlough in the U.S. from 1954-1955, at the end of which Carolyn stayed in America with relatives. Frances married Robert (Bob) H. Blinn in June 1955; they had Robert (Bobby) in March 1956. Carolyn moved in with Bob and Frances until her graduation from high school in 1958. During that period, Bob, who was in the Air Force, was deployed to Korea in 1957, and the couple had a second son, Keith, in March 1958. Alice Routh died Oct. 24, 1957; the collection includes a number of condolence letters around this time. Family friend and colleague Osad Imasogie married Yewande Akinwumi April 22, 1958 in Nigeria. When the Pools returned to the U.S. on furlough from 1958-1959, they held posts at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Carolyn completed her first year of college at the University of Louisville in order to be close to her parents while they served at SBTS, then transferred to Baylor when the Pools returned to Nigeria.

Correspondence from the 1960s includes letters discussing the establishment of an Foreign Missions Board-funded “M.K” (missionary kids) home in Kentucky with missionaries Neville and Emma Claxon, which opened in Sept. 1960; Jim, who had traveled alone to the U.S. in July, would move into the home when it opened. Claribel and Jonathan had another child, Molara, that same fall, and Katherine Blinn was born to Frances and Bob in June 1961. Gordon married Mary in Dec. 1964. E.C. Routh died in May 1966. Letters from this period also discuss Nigerian independence, the political situation in Africa generally, and Africanization. There is a gap between Aug. 15, 1963 and Nov. 28, 1968, and coverage is generally sparse from Dec. 1961-April 1970.

Correspondence from the 1970s covers a wide range of events. The Pools went on furlough in the U.S. from 1970-1971, leaving Nigeria for good; Carl Whirley was inaugurated as principal of the NBTS in J.C.’s stead. Jim married Mary in 1970. The Pools returned to Africa in 1971, this time to Mount Nimba Baptist Church in Yekepa, Liberia, where J.C. was the pastor and Elizabeth was the bookkeeper and kept records. Frances had an operation in 1971. Carolyn married Richard Bullington, Jr. Dec. 3, 1971. J.C. Pool was injured in a serious fall early in 1972, prompting hospitalization and a number of letters of sympathy before they finally made the decision to retire in Texas that summer. Jim and Mary had James (Jimmy) in June 1972, and Richard and Carolyn had Richard II in Sept. of the same year. In 1972, Elizabeth was awarded the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the San Marcos Baptist Academy. Bob and Jim were deployed to Thailand in the early 1970s by the Air Force; their service in the Vietnam War had a deleterious effect on their marriages and both Bob and Frances and Jim and Mary began divorce proceedings in 1973. Frances married John Haaren and Jim married a woman named Judy (they would divorce in 1976) and relocated to Hawaii. Bobby Blinn left the Air Force Academy to enter the ministry and married Mary Beth Turkington in the summer of 1977. Carolyn adopted ten-year-old Susan in 1977. In January of 1978, J.C. Pool died. That August, Gordon and his five sons were killed in a car crash in Africa. Porter Routh retired from the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention in 1979. That same year, Elizabeth traveled to Nigeria to witness the inauguration of longtime friend Osad Imasogie as the principal of NBTS. In addition to these family events, this period includes correspondence (personal letters and formal invitations) between the Pools and the Liberian president, William R. Tolbert, Jr., as well as a discussion of the Udogi policies in Nigeria and efforts to get SBTS to re-certify NBTS degrees after the Nigerian government declared they would no longer enable their recipients to teach.

Correspondence from the 1980s covers Elizabeth’s 1981 application to the Daughters of the American Revolution, notes from and correspondence regarding Ross Routh’s family genealogy book project in 1982, and Keith Blinn’s marriage to Laura. Several of Elizabeth’s relatives died during this period: Clinton Burnett in Oct. 1985, Copass Routh in Feb. 1987, Ross Routh in July 1987, and Porter Routh in Nov. 1987.

Correspondence from the 1990s covers Elizabeth’s selection as the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor’s Outstanding Alumna of the Year, Katherine’s marriage to Russ Allison, Gene and his family’s move to Germany, E.C. Routh’s induction into the Oklahoma Baptist Hall of Fame in Nov. 1994, and Carolyn’s participation in an “MK” (Missionary Kids) listserv in 1996, a number of printed emails from which are included in the collection and touch on a number of past and contemporary African issues, including the execution of Ken Saro-Wiwa.

Correspondence, 1928 July-1930 Aug.
Box 1 Folder 1
Correspondence, 1930 Sept.-1930 Dec.
Box 1 Folder 2
Correspondence, 1931 Jan.-1931 Apr.
Box 1 Folder 3
Correspondence, 1931 May-1932 Mar.
Box 1 Folder 4
Correspondence, 1932 May-1933 Nov.
Box 1 Folder 5
Correspondence, 1934 Jan.-1934 May
Box 1 Folder 6
Correspondence, 1934 June-1934 Sept.
Box 2 Folder 1
Correspondence, 1934 Oct.-1934 Nov.
Box 2 Folder 2
Correspondence, 1934 Dec.-1935 Jan.
Box 2 Folder 3
Correspondence, 1935 Feb.-1935 Apr.
Box 2 Folder 4
Correspondence, 1935 May-1935 June
Box 2 Folder 5
Correspondence, 1935 July-1935 Aug.
Box 2 Folder 6
Correspondence, 1935 Aug.-1935 Oct.
Box 2 Folder 7
Correspondence, 1935 Oct.-1935 Nov.
Box 3 Folder 1
Correspondence, 1935 Nov.-1935 Dec.
Box 3 Folder 2
Correspondence, 1935 Dec.
Box 3 Folder 3
Correspondence, 1935 undated
Box 3 Folder 4
Correspondence, 1936 Jan.-1936 Feb.
Box 3 Folder 5
Correspondence, 1936 Mar.-1936 Apr.
Box 3 Folder 6
Correspondence, 1936 May-1936 July
Box 3 Folder 7
Correspondence, 1936 July
Box 3 Folder 8
Correspondence, 1936 Aug.-1936 Oct.
Box 3 Folder 9
Correspondence, 1936 Nov.-1936 Dec.
Box 4 Folder 1
Correspondence, 1936 Dec.
Box 4 Folder 2-3
Correspondence, 1936 undated
Box 4 Folder 4
Correspondence, 1937 Jan.
Box 4 Folder 5-7
Correspondence, 1937 Feb.-1937 Apr.
Box 4 Folder 8
Correspondence, 1937 May-1937 July
Box 5 Folder 1
Correspondence, 1937 July-1937 Dec.
Box 5 Folder 2
Correspondence, 1938 Mar.-1938 Oct.
Box 5 Folder 3
Correspondence, 1938 Oct.-1938 Dec.
Box 5 Folder 4
Correspondence, 1938, undated
Box 5 Folder 5
Correspondence, 1930s, undated
Box 5 Folder 6
Correspondence, 1939 Jan.-1939 Mar.
Box 5 Folder 7
Correspondence, 1939 Mar.-1939 Aug.
Box 5 Folder 8
Correspondence, 1939 Sept.-1939 Dec.
Box 5 Folder 9
Correspondence, 1939, undated
Box 5 Folder 10
Correspondence, 1940 Jan.-1941 Jan.
Box 5 Folder 11
Correspondence, 1941 Mar.-1942 Dec.
Box 5 Folder 12
Correspondence, 1943 Feb.-1943 Oct.
Box 6 Folder 1
Correspondence, 1943 Oct.-1943 Dec.
Box 6 Folder 2
Correspondence, 1944 Jan.-1944 July
Box 6 Folder 3
Correspondence, 1944 July-1944 Dec.
Box 6 Folder 4
Correspondence, 1940s, undated
Box 6 Folder 5
Correspondence, 1945 Jan.-1947 June
Box 6 Folder 6
Correspondence, 1947 Sept.-1948 Sept.
Box 6 Folder 7
Correspondence, 1948 Oct.-1949 May
Box 6 Folder 8
Correspondence, 1949 May-1949 Dec.
Box 6 Folder 9
Correspondence, 1950 Jan.-1950 Dec.
Box 6 Folder 10
Correspondence, early 1950s, undated
Box 6 Folder 11
Correspondence, 1951 Jan.-1951 May
Box 7 Folder 1
Correspondence, 1951 May-1952 Jan.
Box 7 Folder 2
Correspondence, 1952 Feb.-1952 Aug.
Box 7 Folder 3
Correspondence, 1952 Sept.-1953 July
Box 7 Folder 4
Correspondence, 1953 Aug.-1953 Dec.
Box 7 Folder 5
Correspondence, 1954 Jan.-1954 Dec.
Box 7 Folder 6
Correspondence, 1955 Jan.-1955 Sept.
Box 7 Folder 7
Correspondence, 1955 Sept.-1956 Feb.
Box 7 Folder 8
Correspondence, 1956 Mar.-1956 Oct.
Box 7 Folder 9
Correspondence, 1956 Nov.-1957 Aug.
Box 7 Folder 10
Correspondence, 1957 Aug.-1957 Nov.
Box 8 Folder 1
Correspondence, 1957 Dec.-1958 Feb.
Box 8 Folder 2
Correspondence, 1958 Mar.-1958 June
Box 8 Folder 3
Correspondence, 1958 June-1959 Aug.
Box 8 Folder 4
Correspondence, 1959 Aug.-1959 Dec.
Box 8 Folder 5
Correspondence, mid-1950s, undated
Box 8 Folder 6
Correspondence, late 1950s, undated
Box 8 Folder 7
Correspondence, 1960 Jan.-1960 May
Box 8 Folder 8
Correspondence, 1960 June-1960 July
Box 8 Folder 9
Correspondence, 1960 Aug.-1960 Dec.
Box 8 Folder 10
Correspondence, 1961 Jan.-1963 Aug.
Box 8 Folder 11
Correspondence, 1968 Nov.-1971 Jan.
Box 9 Folder 1
Correspondence, Mailing lists, 1971-1976
Box 9 Folder 2
Correspondence, 1971 Feb.-1971 June
Box 9 Folder 3
Correspondence, 1971 June-1971 Aug.
Box 9 Folder 4
Correspondence, 1971 Aug.-1971 Dec.
Box 9 Folder 5
Correspondence, 1971 Dec.
Box 9 Folder 6
Correspondence, 1972 Jan.
Box 9 Folder 7
Correspondence, 1972 Jan.-1972 Feb.
Box 9 Folder 8
Correspondence, 1972 Feb.
Box 10 Folder 1
Correspondence, 1972 Mar.
Box 10 Folder 2
Correspondence, 1972 Apr.-1972 May
Box 10 Folder 3
Correspondence, 1972 June-1972 Dec.
Box 10 Folder 4
Correspondence, 1973 Jan.-1973 June
Box 10 Folder 5
Correspondence, 1973 July-1973 Dec.
Box 10 Folder 6
Correspondence, 1974 Jan.-1974 Nov.
Box 10 Folder 7
Correspondence, 1975 Jan.-1975 Dec.
Box 10 Folder 8
Correspondence, 1976 Jan.-1976 Dec.
Box 10 Folder 9
Correspondence, 1977 Jan.-1977 Dec.
Box 11 Folder 1
Correspondence, 1978 Jan.-1978 Oct.
Box 11 Folder 2
Correspondence, 1978 Nov.-1978 Dec.
Box 11 Folder 3
Correspondence, 1979 Jan.-1979 Aug.
Box 11 Folder 4
Correspondence, 1970s, undated
Box 11 Folder 5
Correspondence, 1979 Oct.-1980 Nov.
Box 11 Folder 6
Correspondence, 1981 Jan.-1982 Sept.
Box 11 Folder 7
Correspondence, 1983 Jan.-1985 Nov.
Box 11 Folder 8
Correspondence, 1986 Feb.-1987 Nov.
Box 11 Folder 9
Correspondence, 1988 Jan.-1988 Dec.
Box 11 Folder 10
Correspondence, 1989 Jan.-1990 June
Box 12 Folder 1
Correspondence, 1990 June-1990 Dec.
Box 12 Folder 2
Correspondence, 1991 Feb.-1991 Dec.
Box 12 Folder 3
Correspondence, 1992 Jan.-1994 Jan.
Box 12 Folder 4
Correspondence, 1994 Apr.-1994 Oct.
Box 12 Folder 5
Correspondence, 1994 Oct.-1994 Dec.
Box 12 Folder 6
Correspondence, 1995 Jan.-1995 Feb.
Box 12 Folder 7
Correspondence, 1995 Feb.-1995 Apr.
Box 12 Folder 8
Correspondence, 1995 May-1995 July
Box 12 Folder 9
Correspondence, 1995 July-1995 Dec.
Box 13 Folder 1
Correspondence, 1996 Jan.-1996 Feb.
Box 13 Folder 2
Correspondence, 1996 Feb.-1996 Dec.
Box 13 Folder 3
Correspondence, 1997 Jan.-1997 June
Box 13 Folder 4
Correspondence, undated (1939-1998)
Box 13 Folder 5

Photographs and Artwork, 1930s-1990s

(5 boxes and 1 oversize folder)

Materials in the Photographs and Artwork series include both professional photographs from the Division of Visual Education at the Foreign Missions Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, along with personal portraits and snapshots taken by the Pools of both family and Nigerian scenes. The family snapshots are loosely sorted into Pool Family and Nigerian subseries, but have not been arranged further. They contain a range of dates and subjects, including the NBTS, Mt. Nimba, scenes of Nigerian and Liberian culture and festivals, travel photographs, and more formal portraits of friends and family members. Many of these photographs have been captioned by Jim Pool. Box 14 includes a small photograph album of Pool family vacation photographs. Boxes 16 and 17 contain the FMB photographs, which include both Nigerian and Liberian churches, pastors, parishioners, and scenes of local life in Africa. Most include detailed captions. The artwork present in this series consists of a set of watercolor prints with scenes of Liberia, created by Swedish artist Roland Svensson and published in 1969. It has been housed in Oversize Folder 1.

Pool family photo pages, removed from album
Box 13 Folder 6
Pool family glass negative [broken]
Box 13 Folder 7
Pool family photograph album, 1930s-1940s
Box 14
Pool family, general
Box 15 Folder 1
Pool family, 1970s
Box 15 Folder 2
Pool family and friends, 1974-1985
Box 15 Folder 3
Pool family: photographs taken by Jim in Nigeria, U.S.A., and Rome
Box 15 Folder 4
Nigerian photographs
Box 15 Folder 5-7
FMB color photographs, 8 images
Box 16
FMB color photographs, 10 images
Box 17
"Liberia" watercolor prints, by Roland Svensson, 1969
Oversize Folder 1

The Family Writings series consists of non-correspondence writings and notes by the Pool family and their relatives. It ranges from 1930-1998 and is divided into five subseries: J.C. Pool Autobiographical Materials, J.C. Pool Sermon Notes and Writings, Elizabeth Pool Writings, E.C. Routh Writings, and Other Pool Family Writings, with this last reserved for writings by family members other than J.C. Pool, Elizabeth Pool, and E.C. Routh. In addition to these subseries, the collection contains a small amount of writings and poems collected but not authored by the Pools.

The J.C. Pool Sermon Notes and Writings subseries is comprised of J.C. Pool’s early notes and publications while a student at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, including his doctoral thesis on the Jesuits, “An Estimate of the Society of Jesus in the Reformation and the Post-Reformation Periods”; dated sermons, sermon notes, and writings, including his address at his father’s funeral, writings on Yoruba culture and religion, a history of the Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary co-written with Elizabeth Pool, various lectures given at commencements, graduations, and conferences, as well as one broadcast on Nigerian radio, and another essay on the history of the NBTS; a number of sermon notes and Bible Study lesson plans during the Pools’ tenure at Mount Nimba Baptist Church in Yekepa, Liberia from May 1971-July 1972; two collections of typed sermons, the latter of which focuses especially on Christianity in Africa; and a significant amount of undated material, largely handwritten sermon notes.

The J.C. Pool Autobiographies subseries has two types of material. The first consists of manuscript drafts of J.C. Pool’s autobiography, both typed and handwritten, covering the years 1905-1951. The second consists of diaries and handwritten summaries from 1935-1972 (non-inclusive), with diaries from 1942 and 1943.

The Elizabeth Pool Writings subseries consists of notes and writings by Elizabeth Pool, including a brief autobiographical sketch, notes for her 1951 biography of Lucille Reagan for the Foreign Mission Board, a copy of an article she contributed to a local book on the history of the Grapevine region circa 1982, and various poems and essays, as well as a draft of her book A Hill Called Moon circa 1943.

The E.C. Routh Writings subseries consists of notes and writings by Elizabeth Pool’s father, E.C. Routh, who was the editor of and a contributing writer to the Baptist Messenger. The collection includes essay drafts, sermon notes, and biographical sketches of both personal friends and prominent Baptists.

The Other Writings subseries includes work by Alice Routh (E.C. Routh’s wife and Elizabeth Pool’s mother), J.C. and Elizabeth’s son Jim and daughter Carolyn, and other Pool relations. Stories, poems, biographies, and essays are all present.

Greek Notes; Introductory-Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 1930; Luke Gospel, undated
Box 18 Folder 1
"Missionary Element in Isaiah," 1932-1933
Box 18 Folder 2
Doctoral thesis, SBTS, 1934-1935
Box 18 Folder 3
Box 18 Folder 4
c. 1942
Box 18 Folder 5
c. 1945-1950
Box 18 Folder 6
Box 18 Folder 7
Box 18 Folder 8
Box 19 Folder 1
Mt. Nimba Baptist Church, Yekepa, Liberia, Bible Study, 1971 Aug.-1972 Mar.
Box 19 Folder 2
Mt. Nimba Baptist Church, Yekepa, Liberia, 1971 Aug. 1972 July
Box 19 Folder 3-7
Collection of sermons, 1957-1970 and undated
Box 20 Folder 1
Collection of sermons focusing on Africa, undated
Box 20 Folder 2
Notebook, including: essays on missionary work, hunting in Africa, notes and packing lists, NBTS work, family history, etc.
Box 20 Folder 3
Notes, undated
Box 20 Folder 4
Box 20 Folder 5-8
Box 21 Folder 1-8
Box 22 Folder 1-2
Manuscripts, 1905-1934
Box 22 Folder 3
Manuscripts, 1935-1937
Box 22 Folder 4
Manuscripts, 1938-1944, 1951
Box 22 Folder 5
Notes and diaries, 1935-1945
Box 22 Folder 6
Notes, 1946-1972
Box 22 Folder 7
Go-to-Africa gift list, wedding gift list, and French grammar notes
Box 23 Folder 1
1934-1995 and undated
Box 23 Folder 2
Partial draft of autobiographical book, 1942-1943
Box 23 Folder 3
A Hill Called Moon draft, 1943
Box 23 Folder 4
1935-1960 and undated
Box 23 Folder 5
Sermon notes, 1950s
Box 23 Folder 6
Biographical sketches of friends and prominent Baptists, 1950s
Box 23 Folder 7
Other Pool family writings, 1935-1995
Box 23 Folder 8
Jim Pool's art and schoolwork, 1951-1995 and undated
Box 23 Folder 9
Writings and poems collected by the Pool family, 1935-1998 and undated
Box 23 Folder 10

The J.C. Pool Teaching Materials series consists of materials used by J.C. Pool throughout his career as an educator, as well as student papers written for him at the Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary. Syllabi, lesson plans, notes, and exam materials cover a range of classes, with a large portion of the material devoted to courses on Christian missions. The NBTS student papers focus on the interaction of Christian theology and Yoruba cultural and religious practices.

Syllabi, lesson plans, and exam materials, 1948-1955 and undated
Box 24 Folder 1
Syllabi, lesson plans, and exam materials, 1967 and undated
Box 24 Folder 2
"Missions" syllabi and lesson plans, 1966-1967 and undated
Box 24 Folder 3
NBTS student papers, 1945-1967 and undated
Box 24 Folder 4
"Special" NBTS student papers, 1967-1970
Box 24 Folder 5
Christian theology NBTS papers, 1969 May
Box 24 Folder 6
"Major Theological Issues as Viewed through Traditional Yoruba Thought," NBTS student papers, 1969-1970
Box 24 Folder 7
NBTS student thesis, 1970
Box 24 Folder 8
"History of Baptist Missions" by H.C. Coorner
Box 24 Folder 9

The Travel Records and Memorabilia series contains records of the Pool family’s various trips from 1934 to 1991, with some undated material. The series includes an itinerary summarizing nearly all of the journeys documented in the rest of the series. It also includes material such as luggage tags, programs from events held during various cruises, airplane tickets and records, printed travel books, and postcards and other tourist materials. Notable journeys that receive a significant amount of coverage include Elizabeth Pool’s 1979 journey to Nigeria for longtime friend Osad Imasogie’s inauguration as Principal of the Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary in Ogbomosho.

Legal documents re: travel, immigration
Box 25 Folder 1
Box 25 Folder 2
Box 25 Folder 3
1958 July
Box 25 Folder 4
1958 Aug.-1960 July
Box 25 Folder 5
1970 July and 1972 June
Box 25 Folder 6
Box 25 Folder 7
Itineraries, 1934-1972
Box 25 Folder 8
Lamco Yekepa, Liberia, tourist material and postcards
Box 25 Folder 9
Elizabeth Pool's trip to Nigeria for Osad Imasogie's inauguration, 1979-1980
Box 25 Folder 10
Postcards, general
Box 25 Folder 11

The Missionary Materials series largely consists of records from the Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary and related organizations including the Nigerian Baptist Mission, the American Baptist Mission, the Christian Council of Nigeria, the Baptist Mission of Nigeria, and the Home and Foreign Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. It ranges from 1938-1980 with some undated material. In addition to general policies and proceedings, the material touches on polygamy and marriage practices in the 1930s-1950s, Nigerianization, and questions concerning refugees and relief efforts during and after the Nigerian Civil War (1967-1970).

This series contains three sorts of materials: agendas and meeting minutes, reports, and founding documents. Agendas and meeting minutes contains materials from the organizations listed above and is arranged chronologically, not by organization; issues covered in this material include budgets, personnel, education and schools (including enrollment and accreditation issues), medical facilities, agriculture, transportation, media (use of AV equipment, literature, publishing, and bookstores), and scholarships. Reports mostly contains materials by or about the Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary, including yearly histories and information about budgets, enrollments, and calendars. Founding documents consist of resolutions, statements of purpose, constitutions, personnel policies, manuals, and programs for the Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary, the Western Division of the Baptist Mission of Nigeria, the Ogbomosho Baptist Medical Center, and the Foreign Mission Board. Other materials include catalogs, directories, issues of The Theologue (a student publication), and 1970 press materials from the Foreign Mission Board.

Agendas and meetings minutes, 1938-1951
Box 26 Folder 1
Agendas and meeting minutes, 1940s
Box 35 Folder 4
Agendas and meeting minutes, 1950s (2 folders)
Box 35 Folder 5-6
Agendas and meetings minutes, 1952-1959
Box 26 Folder 2
Agendas and meetings minutes, 1960-1964
Box 26 Folder 3
Agendas and meeting minutes, 1960's
Box 35 Folder 7
Agendas and meetings minutes, 1965-1970
Box 26 Folder 4
Agendas and meeting minutes, 1970's and Undated
Box 35 Folder 8
Agendas and meetings minutes, 1976-1979 and undated
Box 26 Folder 5
Founding documents, 1954-1980
Box 27 Folder 1
Foreign Mission Board materials, 1930s-1970s
Box 27 Folder 2
NBTS The Theologue issues, 1958 July and 1962 Mar.
Box 27 Folder 3
Student catalogues, 1956-1965 and undated
Box 27 Folder 4
Speeches and addresses, 1947 and 1979
Box 27 Folder 5
Speeches and addresses, 1964-1970
Box 34 Folder 3
Directories, 1969 and 1980
Box 27 Folder 6
Reports, 1945-1977 and undated
Box 27 Folder 7
Reports, 1947-1968
Box 34 Folder 2
Reports, Undated
Box 34 Folder 1
Baptist Schools, 1940s
Box 35 Folder 1
Baptist Schools, 1950s
Box 35 Folder 2
Baptist Schools, 1960s
Box 35 Folder 3
Box 35 Folder 9

The Family Papers Series contains family history and genealogy notes; awards, diplomas, and other honors acquired by the Pools throughout their lives; family legal and financial documents, such as receipts, licenses, debt records, and property inventories; and other miscellaneous items including a family guest book, cancelled stamps from throughout the world, and other items saved by the Pools. The bulk of this series consists of memorial materials from J.C. Pool's death and funeral.

Family history
Box 28 Folder 1
Financial records relating to C. Routh's debts in Lake Charles, LA, 1950-1951
Box 28 Folder 2
Financial records
Box 28 Folder 3
Property inventories and lists
Box 28 Folder 4
Awards, degrees, and honors
Box 28 Folder 5
Legal records
Box 28 Folder 6
Box 28 Folder 7
J.C. Pool memorial album
Box 32 Folder 1
J.C. Pool memorial binder 1, Jan. 1978
Box 32 Folder 2-4
J.C. Pool memorial binder 2
Box 32 Folder 5
J.C. Pool memorial binder 3
Box 32 Folder 6-7
J.C. Pool memorial binder 3
Box 33 Folder 1-4
J.C. Pool memorial notebook
Box 33 Folder 5
J.C. Pool memorial papers, 1977 Oct.-1978 July
Box 33 Folder 6
J.C. Pool memorial papers, from Notebook 1, 1978 Jan.
Box 33 Folder 7
J.C. Pool memorial papers, from Notebook 2, 1978 Jan.
Box 33 Folder 8
J.C. Pool memorial papers, notices of gifts and donations, 1978 Jan.
Box 33 Folder 9
Other Pool family memorial materials, 1966-1987 and undated
Box 33 Folder 10

The Printed Materials series is comprised of published materials collected by the Pool family and ranges from the 1930s to the 1990s with some undated material. It is divided into five subseries: Clippings, Programs and Publications, Reports, Magazines, and Books. Clippings consists of clipped materials from magazines and newspapers, as well as a few complete editions. It mostly contains articles and notices about the Pools from local papers (weddings, visits, obituaries, etc.); it also contains some examples of published writing by the Pools and their relatives, particularly columns by Elizabeth Pool’s father, E.C. Routh. Programs and Publications contains a large number of church bulletins and programs, many from the Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary and the First Baptist Church Oke’lerin (both in Ogbomosho, Nigeria), and others from various services attended by the Pools. It also includes other published materials, such as religious and travel pamphlets, as well as small New Testaments and other books owned by the Pools and their relatives. Magazines includes a variety of publications collected by the Pools, most of which are missionary publications (Home and Foreign Fields, World Comrades, Tell, SIMNOW), general interest Nigerian publications (Ibadan, Nigeria Magazine), or religious and educational publications from the United States (Review and Expositor, The OBU Report, Baptist Messenger, Founders Campaign Quarterly). There are generally only one or two issues of each magazine, with one exception: a significant portion of this subseries consists of issues of The Nigerian Baptist from 1954-1988 (non-inclusive). Reports consists almost entirely of various published reports on Nigerian politics and government. The Books subseries contains printed publications, written in both the English and Yoruba languages. Many of these books include notes or inscriptions by the Pools.

Clippings, 1930s
Box 29 Folder 1
Clippings, 1940s
Box 29 Folder 2
Clippings, 1950s
Box 29 Folder 3
Clippings, 1960s
Box 29 Folder 4
Clippings, 1970s
Box 29 Folder 5
Clippings, 1980s
Box 29 Folder 6
Clippings, 1990s and undated
Box 29 Folder 7
Programs and Publications, 1930s-1940s
Box 29 Folder 8
Programs and Publications, 1950s
Box 29 Folder 9
Programs and Publications, 1960s
Box 30 Folder 1
Programs and Publications, 1970s
Box 30 Folder 2
Programs and Publications, 1978-1979
Box 35 Folder 10
Programs and Publications, 1980s-1990s
Box 30 Folder 3
Programs and Publications, undated
Box 30 Folder 4-7
Re: Missionary work, 1934, 1935, 1969, 1991
Box 30 Folder 8
Re: Nigeria, general, 1960
Box 31 Folder 1
Re: Nigeria, general, 1960
Box 35 Folder 11
Re: Nigeria, general, 1962-1968
Box 31 Folder 2
The Nigerian Baptist, 1954-1968
Box 31 Folder 3
The Nigerian Baptist, 1969-1982
Box 31 Folder 4
The Nigerian Baptist, 1983-1988
Box 31 Folder 5
Re: United States, religious and educational
Box 31 Folder 6
Reports, 1939-1955
Box 31 Folder 7
Reports, 1957-1969
Box 31 Folder 8
Iwe Kika Ekarun Li Ede Yoruba (1947)
Box 34 Folder 4
The History of the Yorubas: From the Earliest Times to the Beginning of the British Protectorate (1966)
Box 34 Folder 5
Really Free! The News Kwacha Freedom Uhuru (1966)
Box 34 Folder 6
How to be Nigerian (1967)
Box 34 Folder 7
Baptist Missions in Nigeria (1928)
Box 34 Folder 8
Iwe Itan Ogbomoso (1934)
Box 34 Folder 9
IFA (Undated)
Box 34 Folder 10
Owe Yoruba At' Ebo (Undated)
Box 34 Folder 11

Historical Note

The Pool Family Papers consist of documents collected by Baptist missionaries J.C. (James Christopher, also Christie) and Elizabeth Pool and their relatives. J.C. was born Jan. 26, 1905 and earned an undergraduate degree from Baylor University in 1929 (after having been ordained in 1928) and a graduate degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Elizabeth was born July 17, 1909, earned an undergraduate degree at the Baylor College for Women (subsequently Mary Hardin-Baylor College and the University of Mary Hardin Baylor) in 1930, and taught at the San Marcos Baptist Academy from 1930-1932. After both traveling to Nigeria as missionaries in 1934, they were engaged and married in 1935. They had three children--Frances, born 1937, Carolyn, born 1940, and James (Jim), born 1945--and adopted two Nigerian children, Gordon Buraimo Pool, born 1934, and Claribel Olubunmi Alanke Pool, born 1931.

The Pools became key figures in the Baptist missionary community of Nigeria, primarily through their work at the Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary (where J.C. was principal) but also at the Ogbomosho Day School and the Baptist Mission Hospital, among other institutions. While in Nigeria Elizabeth published several books, including The Hill Called Moon (1944), Lucille Reagan of Africa (1954), and The Bead-Maker’s Son (1957). They were stationed in Liberia from 1971-1972 before retiring to San Angelo, Texas due to J.C.’s health problems. J.C. died Jan. 21, 1978, and Elizabeth died Nov. 13, 2000.

Notable family members include Elizabeth’s brother Ross Routh, a Brigadier General in the U.S. Army and Elizabeth’s father, Eugene Coke Routh, who served as the editor of the Baptist Messenger from 1928-1943 and the editor of the Commission(published by the Foreign Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention) from 1943-1948 and published a number of books on religious subjects.

In addition to these, relatives who are frequently mentioned in the Pool Family Papers include J.C.'s and Elizabeth's children and grandchildren: daughter, Frances Elizabeth Pool Haaren (also known as Frances Blinn, married Robert (Bob) H. Blinn, married John Haaren) and her children, Robert (Bobby), married Mary Beth; Keith, married Laura; Katherine, married Russ Allison; and Eugene (Gene), married Ruth. Another daughter of J.C. and Elizabeth was Carolyn Pool (also known as Carolyn Pool Bullington, married Richard Lunson Bullington, Jr.); her children were Richard, Jr., Margaret, Susan, Brenda, and Lillie. The Pools' youngest child, James (Jim) Christopher Pool, Jr., married Mary and had a son, James (Jimmy). The Pools also corresponded frequently with their two adopted children, Gordon Buraimo (who married Mary and had several children) and Claribel Olubunmi Alanke (who married Jonathan Ojeleye and had two children, Funlayo and Molara). Other relatives frequently mentioned in the Papers include J.C. Pool's mother, Mrs. U.H. (Etta) Pool; his siblings and in-laws, Albert and Josephine Pool; his aunt, Fannie Pool Lancaster; J.C. Pool's cousin, Wade Hill Pool; Elizabeth Pool's parents, E.C. and Alice Routh; her siblings and in-laws, including W.W. (Walter Wendell) and Leila K. Arnett, Clinton and Lucile Burnett, Copass and Loretta Routh, Porter and Ruth Routh, and Ross and Fay Routh; and her aunts and uncle, Katie Wrol House and B.B. and Leila Routh McKinney.

Friends and colleagues frequently mentioned in the Papers include Ruby Cooper, W.A. Criswell, Jessie Ford, Cornell Goerner, Osadolor (Osad) and Yewande Imasogie, Burton and Margaret (Margie) Lindan, Charles Maddry, Kathleen Manley (Man), Charles Martin, Hugh and Vera Peterson, Lucille Reagan, Josephine (Jo) Scaggs, William R. Tolbert, Jr., and Carl and Enid Whirley.

Subject Headings

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Pool Family Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.


The Pool Family Papers were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a gift in 2011.

Processing Information

Processed by Kaley Deal, Rebecca Evans, Meghan Lyon, June 2012

Encoded by Meghan Lyon, June 2012

Accession(s) described in this finding aid: 2011-1028

Descriptive sources and standards used to create this inventory: DACS, EAD, NCEAD guidelines, and local Style Guide.

This finding aid is NCEAD compliant.