Nowlen, Clair A. (1865–1961)

By Eugenio Di Dionisio

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Eugenio Di Dionisio

First Published: January 29, 2020

Clair A. Nowlen, North American Adventist canvasser, served as a pioneer missionary in Central and South America.

Clair A. Nowlen was born in Mentor, Ohio, United States, on April 25, 1865.1 On December 10, 1891, he arrived in the city of Montevideo, Uruguay Republic, together with Elwin W. Snyder and Albert Stauffer. Those canvassers were the first missionaries sent to South America by the General Conference. Later they moved to Buenos Aires, Argentina, where they arrived on February 3, 1892.2 They were active distributors of publications.

Nowlen canvassed in Argentina, the Falkland Islands, Chile, and Uruguay. In Argentina Patagonia Nowlen visited Welsh immigrants and reached the Strait of Magellan. In Uruguay he canvassed among the Waldenses.3 On December 1894, Valparaiso Harbor, Chile, he welcomed the pioneer canvassers Thomas H. Davis and Frederick W. Bishop.4

Around 1895, he married Ethel Threadgold, who worked as a teacher at the Buenos Aires Adventist School. Later they moved to England.5 Then, in 1907 they went to Central America where Nowlen worked as a secretary-treasurer in the Central America Conference. In April 1908, his only daughter, Marjorie Ruth, died in Belize at the age of 8. Shortly after, his wife also died on December 29, 1908.

Clair A. Nowlen died on June 24, 1961, in Clarkston, Washington, United States, at the age of 96. He stood out for being one of the first three young missionary canvassers in the territory of what became the South American Division.

Sources

“Brief Mention.” The Missionary Magazine II, n° 9, September 1900, 430.

Brooking, L. “Argentina.” ARH, November 24, 1896, 751.

Craig, R. B. “Canvassing in South America.” The Home Missionary, vol. 7, nº 1, January 1895, 20.

Davis, T. H. “Five Years in Chile.” The Missionary Magazine, vol. 12, nº 5, May 1900, 216.

Greenleaf, Floyd. Tierra de esperanza: El crecimiento de la Iglesia Adventista Sudamericana [Land of Hope: The Growth of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church in South America]. Trad. Claudia Blath. Buenos Aires: South American Spanish Publishing House, 2011.

“In Remembrance” (Clair A. Nowlen). ARH, September 7, 1961, 24.

Mammana, Fernando Adrián. “Historias del colportaje y la distribución de los impresos adventistas en la República Argentina desde 1891 hasta 1942” [Stories of canvassing and distribution of Adventist literature in the Argentine Republic from 1891 to 1942]. Tesis de Licenciatura en Teología [Bachelor's Thesis in Theology], River Plate Adventist University, 2005.

Mead, F. L. “Item from the Canvassing Field.” ARH, October 30, 1894, 165.

Meyers, E. H. Reseña de los comienzos de la obra en Sudamérica [Overview of the beginnings of the work in South America]. Buenos Aires: South American Spanish Publishing House, 1940.

Mrs. C. A. Nowlen. “Obituaries” (Marjorie Ruth Nowlen). ARH, May 21, 1908, 23.

Nowlen, Clair A. “Falklands Islands.” The Home Missionary, vol. 6, nº 7, July 1894, 165.

Peverini, Héctor J. En las huellas de la Providencia [In the footsteps of Providence]. 1st Ed. Buenos Aires: South American Spanish Publishing House, 1988.

Snyder, Elwin W. “South America.” The Home Missionary, IV, February 1896, 46.

Snyder, Elwin W. and C. A. Nowlen. “Work in South America.” The Home Missionary, vol 4, nº 4, April 1892, 91.

Spicer, W. A. “Obituaries” (Ethel T. Nowlen). ARH, January 14, 1909, 23.

Stauffer, A. B. “Entre Ríos and Santa Fe.” The Home Missionary, vol. 5, nº 6, July 1893, 124.

Westphal, Frank H. Pioneering in the Neglected Continent. Nashville, Tennessee: Southern Publishing Association, 1927.

Notes

  1. “In Remembrance” (Clair A. Nowlen), ARH, September 7, 1961, 24.

  2. E. W. Snyder, “South America,” The Home Missionary IV, February 1892, 46. E. W. Snyder, C. A. Nowlen, “Work in South America,” The Home Missionary, vol 4, nº 4, April 1892, 91. Héctor J. Peverini, En las huellas de la Providencia [In the footsteps of Providence] (Buenos Aires: South American Spanish Publishing House, 1988), 41. Fernando Adrián Mammana, “Historias del colportaje y la distribución de los impresos adventistas en la República Argentina desde 1891 hasta 1942” [Stories of canvassing and distribution of Adventist literature in the Argentine Republic from 1891 to 1942] (Thesis in Theology, River Plate Adventist University, 2005), 34-43. E. H. Mayers summarized the canvassing of the first times in Spanish-speaking South America in: E. H. Meyers, Reseña de los comienzos de la obra en Sudamérica [Overview of the beginnings of the work in South America] (Buenos Aires: South American Spanish Publishing House, 1940), 9, 10. Floyd Greenleaf, Tierra de esperanza: El crecimiento de la Iglesia Adventista Sudamericana [Land of Hope: The Growth of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church in South America], trad. Claudia Blath (Buenos Aires: South American Spanish Publishing House, 2011), 30, 34, 35, 37.

  3. A. B. Stauffer, “Entre Ríos and Santa Fe,” The Home Missionary, vol. 5, nº 6, July 1893, 124. C. A. Nowlen, “Falklands Islands,” The Home Missionary, vol. 6, nº 7, July 1894, 165. L. Brooking, “Argentina,” ARH, November 24, 1896, 751. “Brief Mention,” The Missionary Magazine II, n° 9, September 1900, 430. R. B. Craig, “Canvassing in South America,” The Home Missionary, vol. 7, nº 1, January 1895, 20.

  4. F. L. Mead, “Item from the Canvassing Field,” ARH, October 30, 1894, 165. T. H. Davis, “Five Years in Chile,” The Missionary Magazine, vol. 12, nº 5, May 1900, 216.

  5. Frank H. Westphal, Pioneering in the Neglected Continent (Nashville, Tennessee: Southern Publishing Association, 1927), 39, 40. W. A. Spicer, “Obituaries” (Ethel T. Nowlen), ARH, January 14, 1909, 23. Mrs. C. A. Nowlen, “Obituaries” (Marjorie Ruth Nowlen), ARH, May 21, 1908, 23.

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Dionisio, Eugenio Di. "Nowlen, Clair A. (1865–1961)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. January 29, 2020. Accessed June 18, 2024. https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=4GM3.

Dionisio, Eugenio Di. "Nowlen, Clair A. (1865–1961)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. January 29, 2020. Date of access June 18, 2024, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=4GM3.

Dionisio, Eugenio Di (2020, January 29). Nowlen, Clair A. (1865–1961). Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved June 18, 2024, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=4GM3.