Pictures and Illustrations.
Chairmen of State Executive Committee — L. A. Trowbridge. Watts DeGolyer. W. A. Douglass. Willis S. Herrick.
Chicago Pennsylvania Lines R.R.
Secretaries Employed During the Twenty Years, 1880-1900 — R.H. Shanks. E.T. Colton. G.N. Taylor. B.R. Barber. S.F. Wishard. A.M. Brunder. J.V. Read. G.B. Smith. E.E. Brown. I.E. Brown. A.T. Stephens. F.H. Jacobs. E.C. Anderson. L.A. Bowman. W.H. Gebhardt. F.H. Burt. A.G. Copeland. W.F. Levings. K.A. Shumaker.
Secretaries of the Committee, June, 1900 — F.H. Burt. E.T. Colton. A.M. Bruner. K.A. Shumaker. I.E. Brown. L.A. Bowman.
TWENTY YEARS of organized work for the young men of the State has been done, under the leadership of Mr. I. E. Brown, by the State Executive Committee of Illinois Young Men's Christian Associations.
The January (1900) meeting of the State Committee decided to issue an account of this work. The Committee appointed for that purpose has prepared this book, which it invites all the friends of the Association movement and of young men to study.
A more consistent and perhaps a stronger presentation could have been made by one man, particularly by THE one man who has been most active in all this. But the committee has planned to have most of the State Secretaries and several members of the Committee bear a hand. Some advantage of diversity of view and style may have resulted from this manner of composition, which also accounts for some personalities, and other impersonalities. Perhaps it may as well be said that the chapters on Beginnings, Secretaries and Endowment were neither written nor "inspired" by State Secretaries.
The chapter on Endowment was prepared by Dr. John M. Coulter of the University of Chicago.
It is a great and a blessed work in which we are all permitted to share. Let us make it greater and more blessed, in so far as we can, for the next twenty years.
FRANKLIN W. GANSE,
L. WILBUR MESSER.
THE Young Men's Christian Association movement was born in London in 1844. In 1851 it crossed the Atlantic and the Boston and Montreal Associations were started. In 1858 the work began in Illinois by the organization of the Chicago Association.
A few words are needed to connect these beginnings with the organized work for the whole state of Illinois which may properly be said to have commenced in 1880.
The Association movement has been more successful in America than in the land of its birth, so that the "American type of work" hich is the same as the "Illinois type," is its highest achievement. Three characteristic principles account largely for this success of the movement here.
1. It convened. In 1854 the American Associations met in the first of those international conventions which to this day establish harmony of principles and of methods all over the continent.
2. These conventions secured supervision and guidance for the new Associations which were rapidly springing up. This supervision, the need of which might not occur to a superficial observer, is vital to the movement; in proportion to its wisdom and closeness is the success of the work in the territory supervised. International supervision was loose until after the civil war, and consequently the work of the Associations was diverse and indefinite.
10During that war most of the energy of the members went into the work of the Christian Commission.
3. Having come together and established at least a measure of harmony and of supervision, the third characteristic principle was soon adopted — that of special work by young men for young men.
1866 is a historic year in the Association movement in America, because at the Albany international convention of that year it was decided to strengthen the International Committee, to give it a fixed location, and to instruct its corresponding members to call the first State Conventions in their respective states. The idea of specialized work for the salvation of young men, and of those distinctive forms of activity which have proved so popular and effective, was also a prominent feature of the Albany convention.
These principles traveled slowly on their trip to Illinois. They began to reach us when Robert Weidensall, Secretary of the International Committee, made his first brief visits in 1869 and 1870. In 1873 he called the first State Convention. There was no corresponding
11member of the International Committee to do it. It met at Bloomington, November 6-9, 1873, when fourteen Associations were represented by seventy-five delegates. In 1875 another State Convention, worked up by Mr. Weidensall, was held at Jacksonville, when a State Executive Committee was appointed, with John V. Farwell as Chairman, a position he occupied for the next three years, as he had already for one year. This convention and the one held at Springfield in 1876, acting under Mr. Weidensall's advice tried to secure Mr. Charles M. Morton as State Secretary and finally succeeded. The Illinois Associations, under Mr. Weidensall's wise nursing had learned to come together in harmony, and had seen the wisdom of definite supervision clearly enough to establish their State Executive Committee, and to employ a State Secretary.
But as yet there was almost no distinctive, all around work, devoted to the modern purposes of a Young Men's Christian Association. Many of the organizations were mere rallying places for the Christian young men and women of the community,
12for promoting evangelistic meetings. In this they gained great success and did much good. The idea of a special work for the salvation and strengthening of YOUNG MEN in soul, brain and body, which may be said to have well begun in the East by the erection of the New York building in 1869, had not yet arrived here, and Mr. Morton was selected for his abilities as an evangelist, which he well proved throughout the length and breadth of the State up to the time, in the fall of 1877, when he resigned the secretaryship to enter the evangelistic field.
By the time of the 1879 convention at Decatur, the Associations of the State and their State Executive Committee were thoroughly converted to the modern Association idea. They wanted the state work to be established and supervised in harmony with that idea. Plans were formed at that convention for the selection and support of a State Secretary who could see to the execution of this great task. It required a man consecrated to the salvation of his fellow men throughout the great commonwealth, in sympathy with a special work which had not entirely proved its right to continue, able to guide that special work as it should grow and conditions should change, competent to influence men of means and of character to lend their strength to the institution, successful in raising the money to keep the work moving, and ever ready to counsel and guide the different Associations in their difficulties. In short, the Young Men's Christian Association movement in Illinois in 1880 needed the man
13who could develop the work which is described in this little book.
This man was in Decatur. He was a prominent member of the convention which was searching for him. His name was I. E. Brown. Mr. Weidensall crowned his preliminary work by pointing out Mr. Brown as the right man for State Secretary and by inducing him to accept the position. Mr. Brown entered upon the duties of his office in June, 1880 and has proved not only the right leader for Illinois, but one of the most influential among the men who, with God's blessing, have brought the Young Men's Christian Associations of America to their present standard of efficiency.
IN the spring of 1880, W. W. Vanarsdale, at that time Secretary of the State Executive Committee, put into the hands of the new State Secretary a list of the Associations known to exist in Illinois. Tearing off a piece of manila paper from a sheet on his desk, he wrote with his stylographic pen sixteen names. This was the beginning of the State list of Associations. Investigation showed that one of the sixteen Associations had never been organized, that a second was not properly a Young Men's Christian Association, and that a third was near dissolution.
Those of the sixteen Associations reporting to the Convention of 1880 showed a membership of 2,393. Buildings were owned and occupied by the Associations in Chicago and Aurora, and a small chapel about to be sold was also held by the Association at Mason City which was planing to give up its work. The total value of real estate reported was $122,500, of which $110,000 was in Chicago and $12,500 outside. On the latter, however, there was an indebtedness of $2,950, leaving the total real estate outside Chicago with a net value of $9,550.
Today the total number of Associations is 115,
15exclusive of six organized bands. The reported membership in October, 1899, was 17,121.
Twenty-two buildings are now occupied by the Associations, the total value of which is reported as $2,574,005, on which there is an indebtedness of $875,730, leaving the net property in buildings $1,698,275. To this, however, must be added other property reported, amounting to $143,000, making the net property of the Associations in Illinois, exclusive of the furnishings of rooms and buildings, $1, 841,275, as contrasted with net property twenty years ago of $119,550.
This property statement is perhaps emphasized when we recall the fact that outside our great metropolitan city of Chicago, the net property has grown from $9,550 in 1880 to $474,170 in 1900.
In 1880, thirteen men were employed by the Associations, nine of these being in Chicago and four outside.
So far as could be discovered, in 1880, the only records were the minutes of the preceding seven conventions, two of these being in manuscript and five printed in pamphlet form. There were no systematic records of the local Associations, no official list even, no recorded minutes of meetings of State Executive Committee, no lists of contributors, no records of visitation, no plan for systematic reports. Today in the central office all these are supplied, together with all other records which the experience of years have shown to be of real value.
Not only has there been development along the lines already indicated, but new lines of work have
16been opened up in Illinois as indicated in another chapter of this book. The Corresponding Membership has been inaugurated, has grown to large proportions, and has proved its usefulness. The secretarial organization has been brought to an efficient working basis. The Association has been introduced into the State Reformatory and has begun a work among the miners. The enlistment of college men in deputation work has been inaugurated.
In the internal development of the Associations marked progress has been made. Twenty years ago the physical work was represented by one small gymnasium in the city of Chicago. The latest report shows 38 of these "halls of health," a number of them being in permanent Association buildings and splendidly equipped.
The educational work, of which there was but an embryo in 1880, represented by five educational classes reported, has made rapid progress, especially within the last two or three years. Two years ago, five Associations reported to the International Committee that they conducted evening class work. In 1900 this number had increased to 14, conducting 112 classes. Five of these — Associations — four of which were in cities of less than 40,000 population — took part in the International examinations and secured International certificates.
In the encouragement of Bible study good progress has been made. In the Student Associations over 1,200 men were enrolled in voluntary Bible classes during the last school year. In the Railroad and City Associations 836 different men were enrolled in similar classes, a gain of 50 per cent. over the preceding year. The Town Associations are also making progress in this line, 80 men being enrolled in Iroquois County alone.
The full significance of the present work and of the growth of the twenty years can scarcely be realized without a vivid understanding of the chaotic condition of the Associations in this State twenty years ago. With differing local plans of work, with indefiniteness of aim, with poor material facilities, with little to bind the organizations together, there was little to suggest the compact organization of today. Perhaps in nothing was this more marked than in the lack of definite aim to reach young men and to cultivate the entire man, body, soul and spirit. This is indicated in the fact that the Associations of the State reported but five religious gatherings per week for young men only. That this direct religious work for a definite class has grown from five gatherings per week to 258 per week indicates that the Association has held fast to the central purpose of the organization.
Perhaps no change has been more striking than the general sentiment regarding the Association work in the minds of the ministry and of the churches generally. Possibly no state today has wider Association information or a broader sympathy with the
18Association movement than Illinois. With organized work — either Association or Band — at 121 points, with our Corresponding Membership reaching 737 additional communities, with our financial constituency extending into more than 800 towns, with our literature as widely diffused as our constituency, the Illinois work is built upon a broad basis of intelligence regarding its aims, methods and results.
Some lines of growth of the past twenty years are indicated in the accompanying table which in graphic form shows something of the progress of this period.
|Associations and Departments on List||16||65||85||111||115|
|Associations owning Buildings||2||4||11||15||22|
|Value of Buildings, Lots and Funds paid in.||$122,500||$254,585||$863,215||$2,430,250||$2,717,005|
|Number of Paid Employees||13||34||68||84||87|
|Number of Gymnasiums||1||7||22||32||38|
|Number of Social Gatherings||74||97||157||338||295|
|Number of Lectures and Entertainments||71||78||171||240||310|
|Number of Educational Classes||5||20||38||90||112|
|Number of Religious Gatherings, Men Only, (per week)||5||74||175||208||258|
|Number of Corresponding Members||None.||None.||230||402||737|
THE existing plan of Departmental organization in Illinois is the result of fourteen years of growth. It dates its beginning at the call of W. F. Levings to the position of Office Secretary, April 17, 1886. At the present time it includes five departments, each with its secretary in charge, and with a clearly defined field of effort.
Of these five departments, three, the Railroad and City, the Student, and the County and Town, are known as the field departments, each having in direct charge of its work a Sub-Committee of the State Executive Committee, made up, in each case, of representative men from Associations in the department. The Secretary in charge of the Correspondence Department reports directly to the State Executive Committee. The State Secretary and Assistant State Secretary are most closely identified with the department of General Administration. They report directly to the State Executive Committee, but in their work co-operate with the different regular and special Sub-Committees.
THE RAILROAD AND CITY DEPARTMENT. — Included in this department are the six Railroad and twenty-nine City Associations of Illinois outside of Chicago, together with the work for the boys of the
21Illinois State Reformatory at Pontiac and the Miner's Association at Carbon Hill.
The attention of the department Sub-Committee and Secretary are given chiefly (a) To counsel and co-operation with the Associations of the department in their business interests, and in the formation and development of their general polices of work. (b) To the recommendation of General Secretaries to Boards of Directors, as such recommendations are needed. (c) To the reorganization, in emergencies, of the entire work and policies of particular Associations.
It also includes the study of the field at such railroad centers or cities of the state as may desire Association work, the recommendation of plans and policies for the inauguration of such work, and the supervision of its establishment.
STUDENT DEPARTMENT. The Student Department includes the Associations of the State which are organized in institutions of higher learning.
Of the 52 Associations now enrolled in the department, five are in State Universities; 19 are in professional schools of Chicago; 17 are in additional universities and colleges; 6 are in preparatory schools; 3 in normal and scientific schools; 2 are in schools of technology and manual training schools.
It is the effort of the department Sub-Committee and Secretary to so effectively organize and develop the organized Christian work in these institutions of higher learning as to secure for the Christian organization its rightful place and power in the student life and to enable it to make to the life both
22of the individual student and of the student body the largest and most helpful contribution possible.
COUNTY AND TOWN DEPARTMENT. The work of this department is two-fold. There are many communities in the State where it is impracticable to organize an Association employing a General Secretary, yet in many of these communities there are groups of young men desiring to unite their efforts in behalf of their fellow young men. There are at present 16 Associations and 6 Association Bands in the Department.
It is the effort of the department to so cooperate, counsel with, and guide the efforts of such groups of young men as to secure the best possible results in the work they may undertake.
It is the further effort of the department to organize work for young men in a selected number of counties of the State, the work in each county being in charge of a County Committee and County Secretary, whose duty it shall be to promote work for young men in the towns, villages and country places of the county.
CORRESPONDENCE DEPARTMENT. In 737 communities of the state where there is no definitely organized Christian work for men the State Committee has appointed Corresponding Members. It is the duty of each Corresponding Member to notify
23the Secretary in charge of this department of the names and addresses of young men leaving the community to make their permanent residence elsewhere. Upon receipt of such information, correspondence is at once begun with leaders of Christian work in the community to which the young man goes, and effort is made to give to him at once Christian acquaintances and friends.
GENERAL ADMINISTRATION. Within the field of the department of General Administration are included, (a) The supervision of the educational and religious work of the Railroad and City Department. (b) The regular and special conventions, conferences and "Young Men's Sundays" held from time to time. (c) The necessary book keeping, accounting and general office work connected with the administration of all departments. (d) The collection, classification and issuing of Association statistics, reports, etc. (e) The preparation and publication of printed matter of the Committee. (f) The supervision of Association building movements. (g) Advisory relations with the Chicago Association and its Railroad and City Departments. (h) Responsibility for the general business interests of the Committee, with close co-operation with the Department Sub-Committees and Secretaries in the business interests of the different Departments, (i) Close supervisory and unifying relations with all departments.
IN view of the agricultural, industrial, commercial, and educational supremacy of the Prairie State, it is not to be wondered that Illinois should have made large and important contributions in men and ideas to the general cause of the work among young men throughout the country. It has been the privilege of our State to take the lead not only in many important details of administration, but also in founding and developing some permanent phases of the Association work.
1. OFFICE AND SECRETARIAL ORGANIZATION.
Every well organized enterprise needs a well equipped office, with facilities for permanently recording the facts incidental to the organization and development of its work. The Illinois State Committee was the first one in the country to give special attention to the equipment of adequate offices. Its suite of offices at 609 Association Building is a place of constant consultation regarding all phases of the work. Its records are constantly in demand for different purposes. Here the entire time of an office secretary, a book-keeper and two stenographers is constantly occupied, while additional help is frequently needed.
With the various lines of work, each requiring peculiar skill and efficiency, the Committee early recognized that the principle of division of labor, applied to its work, would bring the best results.
25Accordingly the department plan of organization was established, with a skilled secretary in charge of each department and responsible for its development. But, in order that the different departments might work together with the fullest degree of harmony and with the work of the entire field constantly before each department, stated conferences of the different secretaries were inaugurated, first quarterly and then, with the growth of the work, monthly. At these meetings the condition of the whole field comes in review, weak points are brought to light, and the combined experience of the whole force is brought to bear on problems of special difficulty and upon pressing emergencies. Special topics bearing on the internal development and on the extension of the work throughout the State are presented in carefully prepared papers and are thoroughly discussed.
Chicago Pennsylvania Lines R.R.
Illinois was the first State to give particular attention to the young men in villages and country districts. As a starting point in bringing the young men in the rural communities into contact with the Association work, the office of Corresponding Member was created in 1886. The plan provided for the selection and appointment, in every village,
26of one earnest Christian young man whose special duty it shall be to inform the State Committee of every young man who leaves his community to enter school or business in another locality. During the next five years, two hundred of the towns in the State were supplied with these Corresponding Members. In 1891, it was made one of the Departments of the work, and a secretary placed in charge, giving a small portion of his time to the development of the plan. In 1897, on the recommendation of the secretary in charge, an important modification was made in the plan of the work, and a central bureau of correspondence was established at the State office. This bureau has since been maintained, with much additional work, and has very greatly increased the efficiency of the plan of work. The letters regarding removals are registered at the state office, and correspondence is immediately opened with the Young Men's Christian Association or with pastors or other Christian workers, asking special attention to, and interest in the young man who has just arrived in their community. The letters fill a twofold purpose. First : They are a means of information; without them in most cases, the Christian people would know nothing of a stranger within their gates. Second : They serve as a stimulus to earnest and thorough work in his behalf. Some pastors have driven miles out into the country to meet and invite to church the young man concerning whom word has been received from the Corresponding Member through the State Committee.
During the first year of the work on this plan, two hundred young men were followed by these letters; the second year, three hundred; and the third year, 575 young men leaving Illinois homes were followed by the letters of the correspondence bureau. They went to twenty-five different states and territories, and to three foreign countries. The letters on file at the office show something of the efforts put forth and of the real good accomplished. None of these hundreds of young men who have been met by Christian people and invited to Association and church can ever say "No man cared for my soul."
To June 1, 1900, the system was extended to 737 towns.
This plan of work has spread into many other states of the Union.
On March 24, 1898, a very unusual request came to the State Committee. It was from the President of the Board of Managers of the Illinois State Reformatory, calling attention to the 1,400 boys between the ages of ten and twenty-one, confined in the Institution, and requesting the organization of a Young Men's Christian Association among them. Later on the request was repeated. Seriously questioning the possibility of any permanent Association
28among the boys, a secretary was assigned to investigate the conditions. After several visits, on October 30, 1898, a Young Men's Christian Association was organized, with 16 of the Christian teachers as active members, and several hundred of the "first grade" boys as associate members. Devotional meetings, planned and conducted by the boys themselves, have been held regularly ever since, with an attendance averaging more than 300, and at times reaching 600. That these meetings have been a source of inspiration and helpfulness to the boys, no one who has attended one of their Sunday morning meetings could question. In May 1899, the Association Literary Society was formed and meetings have been held regularly since. These have also been of inestimable benefit to the boys. The voluntary expressions of the officers of the Institution show conclusively the usefulness of this unique organization. Chaplain Boller says, "Our boys, as well as the officers, give frequent testimony that nothing in the history of this Institution has to them ever availed for so much in lasting and substantial good as the influence of our Association. It has opened to them a new world of light and hope, and dispelled the darkness from the heart and life of many a one who came here disheartened and friendless."
In 1889 there started in Knox College a movement to send out in the summer vacation a group of volunteers for evangelistic work among young men in some of the smaller places. A number of
29summers since have seen a similar band of students engaged in this work, Illinois College joining Knox for one or two summers. The leader of this movement was Geo. N. Taylor, who afterwards became one of the Assistant State Secretaries in Illinois. He went from that position to the general secretaryship at Decatur, from which he was called to the general secretaryship of the old city of Mexico. While attending the General Secretaries' Conference at Louisville, Ky., in 1893 he was stricken down with fever resulting from overwork and died in that city May 26, 1893.
The illustration shows the original band. The first man on the reader's left, standing, is Matt Gonterman who was in Knox Academy when the first band was formed. After finishing his course at
30Knox he became a student at Harvard where he was a leader in athletics. He is now in charge of the physical work at Knox College.
Ralph B. Larkin stands next to him. After completing his college and seminary course he became a missionary of the American Board at Mardin, Turkey. Returning to this country in 1898 on account of the health of his wife, he became pastor of the Congregational church at Buena Vista, Colorado.
Grove F. Ekins, standing at the right of the picture, was in '89 a student in the Academy. He completed the full course at Knox, after which he was engaged in the Association work at Sacramento and San Francisco, California. He is now General Secretary of the Association at Galesburg.
The first man sitting, at the left of the picture, is J. Philip Read, who was the organist of the band. George Taylor, the founder of the band sits next to him, followed by Thad Stephens who had just been graduated in the class of '89. His work in the band led him into the Association secretaryship. After two years as General Secretary at Geneseo, Ill., he spent three years as one of the Assistant State Secretaries in Illinois; following which he was General Secretary at Kankakee, Ill., and at Anderson, Ind. He is now a student in the Chicago Theological Seminary, and at the same time is serving as pastor of the Congregational church at Morton Park, Ill.
Sitting at the right of the group is L. Burt Crane who in 1889 was a Sophomore at Knox. Since completing his college course and theological course at
31Princeton he has served for several years as an instructor of the English Bible in Princeton, at the time being assistant pastor of one of the churches. He is now pastor of the Calvary Presbyterian church, Buffalo, N. Y.
Besides those whose pictures are shown, three others spent some time with the band; Frank M. Lay, who is now engaged in business at Kewanee, Ill.; E. E. Working, now a dentist at Tiskilwa, Ill.; and E. B. Cushing, who since completing his college course and his theological seminary course, has been a professor in Yankton College, S. D.
These are some of the most interesting and important features of Association work which have been developed in Illinois under the direction of the State Executive Committee. Some of them have proved important contributions to the cause throughout the country, in addition to their primary success in helping to reach and save the young men of Illinois.
IN the twenty years under consideration the State Executive Committee has had but four chairmen. In 1880 Mr. Watts DeGolyer of the Watts DeGolyer Varnish Co., Chicago, was chosen to that position. His interest was especially marked in the religious work of the Association.
In 1882, Mr. W. A. Douglass, at that time Assistant Manager of R. G. Dun & Co., was chosen chairman of the Committee. This position he held until 1891.
Mr. L. A. Trowbridge assumed the duties of chairman in that year. Mr. Trowbridge brought to the Committee experience gained in a long term of service as a member of the Board of Directors of the Rockford Association. The position of chairman he held for four years.
Mr. Douglass still remains a member of the Executive Committee and Mr. Trowbridge is a member of the Advisory Committee, both continuing their interest in the state work and being closely identified with it.
In 1895, Mr. Willis S. Herrick of the insurance firm of Lyman & Herrick became chairman of the Committee, and has continued in that position to the present time. He has given much of time and
33effort to the work of the Committee and has put himself in touch with the Association work at large through attendance at International Conventions. His sound business judgment has always been available in the work of the Committee.
The frontispiece of this volume shows the faces of the four men who have been at the head of this work during these years.
A. B. Wicker, 1873-1874.
John V. Farwell, 1874-1878.
R. D. Russell, 1878-1879.
E. S. Albro, 1879-1880.
Watts DeGolyer, 1880-1882.
W. A. Douglass, 1882-1891.
L. A. Trowbridge, 1891-1895.
Willis S. Herrick, 1895-1900.
Secretaries Employed During the Twenty Years, 1880-1900
R. H. SHANKS. E. T. COLTON. G. N. TAYLOR. B. R. BARBER.
S. F. WISHARD. A. M. BRUNER. J. V. READ. G. B. SMITH.
E. E. BROWN. I. E. BROWN. A. T. STEPHENS.
F. H. JACOBS. E. C. ANDERSON. L. A. BOWMAN. W. H. GEBHARDT.
F. H. BURT. A. G. COPELAND. W. F. LEVINGS. K. A. SHUMAKER.
THE rapid evolution of the Young Men's Christian Association movement has developed a new profession. The large property interests, the improved type of men composing the managing boards and committees, an increasing and representative membership and the important relationships with religious, educational, social and civic movements has demanded executive leaders of special training and ability. These salaried executive officers in 1871 were given the title of "General Secretary" at which time there were less than twenty such officers in the entire country. The present number, including Physical Directors and Educational Directors and secretaries of supervisory and training agencies is 1,442, and most Associations even in towns of 3,000 population now employ a General Secretary.
As the Directors of local Associations have found it necessary to secure a trained Association specialist in developing their work, still more have the State Committees required similar officers. The first State Secretary was engaged by the Pennsylvania State Committee in 1871. The requisite qualifications for this position are a manly Christian character, a correct and intelligent conception of religious beliefs and relationships, social attractiveness, a broad general education, business ability, executive leadership, knowledge of the history and methods of the Association movement and the gift of acceptable
37public speaking. The duties of the State Secretary will include office work, which implies a voluminous correspondence; extension, in investigating and organizing new fields; finance work in securing support for the State Committee and assisting Associations in current and building problems; securing and training secretaries for the local fields; arranging for state and district conventions; and the development of the State Executive Committee in volunteer service in these departments of effort throughout the state.
The rapid growth of City, Student, Railroad, County and other departments of Association work has required special State Secretaries for these important fields.
The State Executive Committee is a purely advisory agency created by and responsible to the local Associations. Without authority, this committee seeks to unify, inspire, instruct, supervise and extend the Association movement throughout the state.
It has been truly said that the Young Men's Christian Association is more comprehensive and broad in its membership than any other organization which can be suggested. Not only church members but young men of good moral character without regard to religious belief are invited to enjoy the advantages and privileges of the organization. Class barriers are unknown and the undisputed fact is evident to all familiar with the Association that
38within it is found the capitalist, the clerk, the college student, the railroad official and his employe, the colored man, men of foreign races, the Indian, the clergyman, the manufacturer, the mechanic and representatives of every trade and calling, condition and class. The executive officer of a committee charged with the supervision and extension of a movement with such important functions and delicate relationships must possess a rare personality to accomplish his work.
The chief executive of the State Committee of the Illinois Young Men's Christian Associations is Mr. Isaac E. Brown. For the entire period of twenty years covered by this historical statement this wise, able and honored man of God has devoted his life to the young manhood of this state. For these twenty years he has prayed, traveled and labored in promoting this work. The word "governments" in the scriptural classification of God's workmen literally should read — guiding the helm of affairs. This is the chief function of our State Secretary. Loyal to the evangelical basis, magnifying the study of God's word as suited to Association ideals, emphasizing the great fundamentals of the Christian life, in love with definite work by young men for young men, standing for symmetrical development of the Association as a physical, religious, educational and social agency, with rare tact and organizing power, Mr. Brown has ever sought to come up to the level of his best, making the most of his opportunities, thus acquiring the truest success.
From the chaotic conditions of the Association movement as found at the beginning of his work when Association aims were vague and indefinite, methods crude and equipment primitive, with little financial support and few efficient helpers, the Illinois state work has developed to the strength and efficiency now so generally recognized throughout the country. To our veteran and pioneer International Secretary, Robert Weidensall, we are indebted for the discovery of this man who was turned from the career of a professional teacher (in which calling he was successfully engaged) to the Association movement.
Mr. F. H. Burt began his work with the Committee June 15, 1889, and closes his successful labors in this state in December 1900, to enter upon his duties as State Secretary of Missouri. Mr. Burt has proven himself a man of all around development, with marked administrative power and deep religious experience. He largely effected the organization of the College Department in the state, placing this work upon a strong and permanent basis, doubling the number of Associations and more than doubling their efficiency. In later years with equal success he has been associated directly with the work of general administration.
Mr. A. M. Bruner entered the service of the Committee January 1, 1887. His first work was in the Business Department, also devoting considerable
40time to emergency work. His positive, forceful, untiring effort, with deep devotion to the Association cause, his absolute hopefulness in the face of discouragement have resulted in heroic work often amid discouraging financial conditions in the City and Railroad Associations.
Mr. L. A. Bowman was engaged as Office Secretary March 6, 1890, and still remains with the Committee in this important position. His work has been characterized by absolute faithfulness in the development of approved business methods in office and correspondence work. A special feature in charge of Mr. Bowman is the Correspondence Department which has shown a marvelous increase.
Mr. Karl A. Shumaker, a graduate of the Secretarial Institute and Training School, assumed charge of the work in small towns September 1, 1899. This department also includes the County work which is having a successful development.
The following additional persons have been identified with the State work in Illinois as Assistant State Secretaries :
Mr. F. H. Jacobs, now an assistant pastor in Brooklyn, N. Y., for a short time assisted in general work. He was the first Assistant Secretary but held the office only two months.
Mr. E. E. Brown, a brother of our State Secretary, served the Committee from September 15, 1884, to September 15, 1887, as a general assistant. His rare qualifications made him a valued helper in the formation and permanent development of state work
43in these earlier years. He suggested the corresponding membership, the observance of the "Young Men's Sunday," and the regular conference of State Secretaries. Mr. Brown is now professor of Pedagogy at the University of California.
Secretaries of the Committee, June, 1900
Mr. W. F. Levings rendered most valuable service to the Committee from May 15, 1886 to September 30, 1894 as Office Secretary. He created the office, and as a master of detail, with a devoted Christian life, intense enthusiasm and loyalty to Association service, became a most efficient and valued worker.
Mr. S. F. Wishard, now engaged in evangelistic work in Minnesota, served the Committee in 1888 and 1889 chiefly in promoting religious work among the Associations of the state.
Mr. R. H. Shanks, now engaged in business in Winnipeg, Manitoba, was an Assistant Secretary for a short time in 1888.
Mr. W. H. Gebhardt, now in business in Racine, Wis., was engaged in the Office Department from February 15, 1889 to March 4, 1890.
Mr. Geo. N. Taylor who entered the service of the Committee September 5, 1889, came to the attention of the State Committee through his ability in organizing the Knox College students for their first campaign in the state. Mr. Taylor's time with the Committee was devoted to the work in small towns. He died May 26, 1893, being at that time Secretary of the Association in the City of Mexico.
Mr. J. V. Read, now State Secretary of Georgia, rendered special assistance in the Financial Department from September 24, 1890 to March 31, 1895.
44Mr. Read possessed rare business qualities and materially strengthened the business standing of the State Committee.
Mr. A. T. Stephens was Secretary of the Town Department from October 24, 1891 to September 1, 1894. He is now a student in the Chicago Theological Seminary and is at the same time acting as pastor of a church.
Mr. A. G. Copeland, now General Secretary at Kalamazoo, Mich., after successful service as General Secretary at Aurora, Ill., was called to the Town Department of the State Committee September 1, 1895, occupying that position until November 1, 1898. Mr. Copeland's ability as a Bible teacher and his strength as an organizer made him specially efficient in his work.
Mr. Geo. B. Smith followed Mr. F. H. Burt as Student Secretary from September 1, 1895 to October 31, 1897. The student work developed strongly during this period and the work of Mr. Smith was so efficient and fruitful as to result in a call to the position of General Secretary at Madras, India.
Mr. B. R. Barber followed Mr. Smith in the Student Department, conducting the work during the following College year. He was equally successful among the Student Associations and while occupying this position was called to the College Secretaryship at Calcutta, India.
Mr. E. C. Anderson was engaged with the Committee as Assistant Office Secretary for one year. He is now a student at the North-Western University at Evanston.
Mr. E. T. Colton conducted the Student work with marked success during the college year 1899-1900 at the end of which he accepted a position as a Student Secretary of the International Committee.
The secretarial force engaged in the State work of the Illinois Associations has always labored as men who were divinely called to this special work. This conviction has resulted in a holy enthusiasm leading to heroic endeavor. Not always conspicuous but ever active, their abilities never fully recognized, always courageous and forceful, they have shown a power to unify and inspire the entire Association movement in this state. The Association work in Illinois has been blessed with unity and progress, The State Secretaries, who are traveling sermons throughout the year in all parts of the state, have largely contributed to the general success of the entire movement.
|NAME.||TIME OF SERVICE.||PRESENT LOCATION.|
|1. I. E. Brown||June 1, 1880.|
|2. F. H. Jacobs||July 7, 1884.||Sept. 14, 1884.||Ass't pastor, Brooklyn, N. Y.|
|3. E. E. Brown||Sept. 15, 1884.||Sept. 15, 1887.||Prof. of Pedagogy, U. of Cal, Berkeley.|
|4. W. F. Levings||May 15, 1886.||Sept. 30, 1894.||In business, Paris, Ill.|
|5. A. M. Bruner||Jan. 1, 1887.|
|6. S. F. Wishard||April 3, 1888.||Aug. 5, 1889.||In evangelistic work, Minnesota.|
|7. R. H. Shanks||July 1, 1888.||Oct. 31, 1888.||In business, Winnipeg. Manitoba.|
|8. W. H. Gebhardt.||Feb. 15, 1889.||Mar. 4, 1890.||In business, Racine, Wis.|
|9. F. H. Burt||June 15, 1889.|
|10. G. N. Taylor||Sept. 5, 1889.||Oct. 1, 1891.||Died May 26, 1893.|
|11. L.A. Bowman||March 6, 1890.|
|12. J. V. Read||Sept. 24, 1890.||Mar. 31, 1895.||State Secretary of Georgia.|
|13. A. T. Stephens||Oct. 24, 1891.||Sept. 1, 1891.||Student Chicago Theological Seminary.|
|14. A. G. Copeland||Sept. 1, 1895.||Nov. 1, 1898.||General Secretary, Kalamazoo, Mich.|
|15. G. B. Smith||Sept. 1, 1895.||Oct. 31, 1897.||General Secretary, Madras, India.|
|16. B. R. Barber||Sept. 1, 1898.||June 30, 1899.||College Secretary, Calcutta, India.|
|17. E. C. Anderson||Oct. 15, 1898.||Sept. 15, 1899.||Student, N W. University, Evanston, Ill.|
|18. E. T. Colton||Sept. 1, 1899.||June 15, 1900.||College Secretary, International Committee|
|19. K. A. Shumaker||Sept. 1, 1899.|
THE progress made in the past twenty years in securing homes for the Associations of Illinois has been marked. In the year 1880 there were two Association buildings in the State. One of these was the building of the Chicago Association with its entrance at 148 Madison street. The total value of the property was given as $100,000. A large part of the building was rented for various purposes. Through a book store, entrance was secured by a 12-foot passage way to a few rooms in the rear which were devoted to the Association. These consisted of a general reading room in which the office was located, a parlor and a lecture hall in which the noon meetings and other religious gatherings were held. In the basement were located a few poorly constructed bath rooms and the toilet rooms. A room, with entrance from Arcade court, was devoted to the Employment Bureau, while on the fourth floor a small room was fitted up for the gymnasium. On the second floor with separate entrance from Madison street was the large Farwell Hall capable of seating some 1,700 people.
The second building, at Aurora, valued at $10,000, with an indebtedness of $2,950, practically had no facilities for Association work. The basement was occupied by a Chinese laundry, the gilded sign of a pawnbroker swung above the first floor entrance, while a photographer occupied the second floor. The rear room on the first floor was used by various philanthropic societies, and once a year was taken possession of by the Young Men's Christian Association for its annual election of officers. On May 10, 1880, the Association was reported by one of its former officers as "dead."
The total value of real estate reported in 1880 was $122,500 with an indebtedness of $2,950 leaving a net property of $119,550.
The last state report, 1899, shows the value of 22 buildings to be $2,574,005, and other property is also reported, amounting to $143,000. Subtracting an indebtedness of $875,730, there is shown to be a net property value of $1,841,275.
There is appended a table showing the value of buildings, real estate, etc., as reported to the State Executive Committee, in October, 1899. This table also indicates the date when each building was dedicated or occupied. There are also inserted small half-tones of every Association building in the State at the close of the twenty years.
It is impossible, however, either by table or by illustration to indicate the prayer, effort and self sacrifice which have gone into the building movement in this state. In connection with almost every building enterprise, incidents have occurred which might well find record here were there space to record them.
The building fund at Jacksonville, where was erected the first building during the twenty years, was begun by subscriptions of $500 each from a young lawyer and two young physicians. The foundation of the building fund of the Central Department in Chicago was laid through a bequest of $50,000 from Mr. John Crerar. The West Side Department building was made possible through a single gift of one-third of the $50,000 necessary. The splendid canvass at Freeport in 1894, when $16,500 was raised in three weeks to save the building, is worthy of special note. At Galesburg, Jacksonville and Monmouth, the lot was the gift of a single individual, while at Rockford, a part of the present site was similarly donated.
The building movement has but just begun. As the twenty years close, Elgin is in the midst of a building canvass; Decatur is agitating the matter of a new building; while generous offers have been made by three railroad companies for as many buildings for their employes.
|NAME OF ASSOCIATION.||Population of City.||Date Building Dedicated.||Value Of Building And Lot.||Debt on Same.||Value of other Real Estate||Debt on Same||Additional Bld'g Funds Paid in.||Additional Bld'g Funds Pledged||Amount of General Endowment||Amount of Special Endowment.|
|Aurora||25,000||April 26, '71||$ 10,000|
|Chicago||1,500,000||Jan. 1, '94||1,885,155||$630.300||$6,450||$50,000|
|C. & N. W. R. R. D.||Oct. 28, '97||25,000|
|G. T. R. R. Dpt.||July 15, '98||5,300|
|Englewood Dpt.||Sept. 1, '95||25,000||10,000|
|Garf'd B. R. R. D.||Oct. 6, '89||10,000||1,000|
|West Side Dept.||June 11, '93||75,000||6,000|
|July 12, '99||7,000|
|Evanston||20,000||Oct. 6, '98||120,000||67,000|
|Freeport||14,000||Dec. 17, '89||32,000||6,800||$10,000|
|Galesburg||10,000||May 8, '98||30,000||5,000|
|Jacksonville||15,000||Oct. 13, '81||30,000||4,000|
|Joliet||30,000||M'ch 24, '89||20,000||7,630|
|NAME OF ASSOCIATION.||Population of City.||Date Building Dedicated.||Value of Building and Lot.||Debt on Same.||Value of other Real Estate.||Debt on Same.||Additional Bld'g Funds Paid in.||Additional Bld'g Funds Pledged.||Amount of General Endowment.||Amount of Special Endowment.|
|Monmouth||8,000||Feb. 22, '90||12,000|
|5,000||Aug. 29, '97||5,250|
|Pana||6,000||Sept. 6, '96||25,000||7,000|
|Peoria||57,000||M'ch 17, '91||130,000||85,000|
|Quincy||36,000||Feb. 18, '94||22,000|
|Rockford||31,000||Nov. 3, '90||55,000||15,000||$10,000|
|Rock Island||19,000||Jan. 1, '94||40,300||8,000|
|Springfield||34,000||Nov. 16, '85||40,000||20,000||2,000|
|University of Ill.||Sept. '99||10,000||3,000||12,000||3,100||5,000|
FIELD. The Old Prairie State is not exceeded by any in the Union for magnificent resources, with its mighty fields of cereals waving for the harvest, vast bodies of coal and mineral wealth waiting to be converted from raw material into finished product and sent to every part of the world. We realize that in bringing about this transformation the greatest factor is man. Turning to investigate, we see nearly one million young men within our borders and appreciate that the field is one calling for courage, faith and sacrifice.
NEED. With the saloon, gambling house and brothel, triumvirate of the powers of darkness on every hand to rob us of our heritage, municipal depravity and misrule, with a mighty conflict raging between capital and labor, and the church pleading with outstretched hands for men to carry forward the work in home and foreign fields, we must concede that at no time in the world's history has greater need existed than at present.
RESPONSIBILITY. Flocking by thousands into the cities, mingling with the discordant element in the industrial world, crowding into colleges and professional schools, ready to be moulded into loyal
53citizens or carping demagogues, the Association holds men for a day in its hands in their onward march to destiny. This responsibility must be met with promptness and fidelity.
ORGANIZATION. Twenty years of conservative, active effort in Illinois have developed an agency for the extension of an aggressive work among young men unsurpassed by any in the Association world. With a well organized State Executive Committee, composed of prominent business men identified with the work, well organized Sub-Committees actually engaged in working out the problems, and experienced secretaries in charge of Railroad and City, Student, County and Town, Business and Correspondence Departments, its utility and comprehensiveness is unequalled, while a successful record of twenty years stands behind it like a granite wall indicating solidity and strength.
OFFICE. Among the facilities for handling this vigorous work is a well equipped office, containing accurate records of statistics, meetings of Committees and secretaries, state gatherings, conventions, policies, emergencies and detail work; the value of which can hardly be estimated in dealing with problems constantly arising for adjustment and solution.
ASSOCIATIONS. One hundred and fifteen Associations with a membership of 17,121 are touching young men in cities, towns, colleges and professional schools, railroad centers, mining districts, military camp and State Reformatory; and over 700 Corresponding Members are following by letter hundreds
54of young men who are constantly moving from place to place.
SECRETARIES. A body of loyal General Secretaries are serving as executive officers of the Associations. Not only are these men efficient officers and leaders, but they stand as one man, representatives of the united work in closest bonds of Christian brotherhood.
CONSTITUENCY. The kind and friendly spirit in which the work is held is evidenced as follows:
In 1880 there were enrolled on the books of the Committee 44 personal subscriptions aggregating $1,500; while in 1899, 4,700 subscriptions aggregating $18,171.00 were recorded.
RECOGNITION. The work of twenty years ago would scarcely be recognized in the growing organization of today. With the personnel of strong Christian business men has come recognition from individuals, railroads, state institutions, military authorities and corporations, that means wider influence and larger returns for the investment of money and effort.
PROPERTY AND FAVOR. The number and value of the buildings owned throughout the state gives the work stability and power, while the manifest favor of God is evidenced in thousands of lives transformed by the power of the Gospel, hundreds
55more aroused to Christian activity and scores of others sent to carry the Gospel to the ends of the earth. Onward, upward and forward the forces are moving, and catching a glimpse of morning sunlight on the far away heights, sing with Longfellow :
The world rolls into light,
'Tis daybreak everywhere."
NOTWITHSTANDING all that has been accomplished in the last twenty years, the unorganized communities far outnumber those which today have the helpful influence of the Young Men's Christian Association. To many of these unorganized communities the doors are now wide open. With adequate support and an adequate force of secretaries, much of the unoccupied territory could be speedily taken for the Association cause.
I. THE CITIES. Illinois contains 44 cities above 5,000 population. In these there were gathered at the time of the census of 1890, a population of 1,595,678, about one-fifth of whom were young men.
Let us use our imagination if we can to get before us the picture of what it would mean if in these 44 cities there were not opened a single door of the Young Men's Christian Association; thousands upon thousands of saloon doors wide open, doors leading to every form of vice and debauchery, but not one door where one of the half million of young men might find a hand of Christian welcome, a place of refuge, influences buttressing faith and virtue. If such a condition could be brought vividly before the united Christian church it would indeed arouse an enthusiasm by the side of which the enthusiasm of
57the First Crusade would pale. Peter the Hermit preached his Crusade to rescue an empty tomb from the hands of the Saracens, but this Crusade is for living men, made in the image of God, but degrading that image all too often to the level of the beasts.
But something has been done in providing the open doors. In 1880 there were organizations — the most of them very limited in the scope of their work — in nine of the 44 cities. At present, organizations exist in 30 cities above 5,000 population. Not only have the nine been gradually strengthened in their work, but 21 new points have been opened. We must remember, however, that fourteen cities above 5,000 population, nearly one-third the whole number in the state, are still without organized Christian work among young men.
If we take a little lower limit, namely 3,000 population, we shall find that 85 cities of that class are found within our Commonwealth. Organizations exist in 39. We immediately realize that the number of communities exceeding 3,000 population which still have no Christian Associations reaches 46, or more than half the whole number.
Is the Young Men's Christian Association in our community of value? Has it furnished a rallying point for Christian work? Has it given an open door of refuge to tempted and tried young men? Has it increased the love for the Word of God? Has it quickened the spiritual nature? Then does there not sound out a call to those who have been thus favored that they should remember the less
58favored, and see that the agency of the united work is strengthened so that it may extend this net work of influence until it shall reach every city within the borders of Illinois.
II. RAILROAD COMMUNITIES. There are within the borders of Illinois 80,000 railroad men. Recently a great advance has been made in the establishment of Railroad Associations, but as yet, not one-half of the strategic points for reaching railroad men are touched by our Associations. With the strenghtening of our state work this Department might be greatly extended. It seems worthy the ambition of man to make the extension of this work possible through larger gifts.
III. TOWN AND COUNTRY. There are in Illinois 2,577 post offices. There are 85 cities and towns above 3,000 population. This leaves the number of communities with less than 3,000 population at 2,492; twenty-five hundred, in round numbers, in which the population is small, and often the moral and religious influences very weak. In 1890 more than half the population of the state was in such communities.
|In cities above 3,000,||1,744,316|
|In communities not exceeding 3,000,||2,082,035|
Of the 102 counties in Illinois, 69 counties have no community exceeding 5,000 population and 40 of these counties have no community exceeding 3,000.
Those who have investigated the conditions of these smaller communities are made painfully aware by observation and by conversation with the pastors, of the utter lack of interest in anything relating to church work on the part of most young men. One writes concerning it, "There is nothing like actual contact with conditions to impress one with the need."
IV. INSTITUTIONS OF LEARNING. As we turn to our colleges and institutions of higher learning, we are almost appalled by the tremendous possibilities which are ours in touching the very springs of influence for Jesus Christ. In one hundred institutions of Illinois, there were during the academic year of 1897-8 more than 17,000 young men. The Young Men's Christian Association was organized in institutions containing 11,700 of this number. But perhaps the most striking fact is this that more than 6,000 of these young men were in schools where the only direct religious influence was that exerted by the Association. The most of the college work of the state has been brought into existence through the co-operation, and kept in good condition through the supervision, of the State Executive Committee. While we have reached institutions containing two-thirds of the young men, it still remains true that more than half of the institutions are yet without the Young Men's Christian Association.
If this Department of work were the only one conducted by the State Executive Committee, would it not be a privilege to have a part in it, and a large part, too; realizing the tremendous sweep of the influences which center in college life?
V. MINERS' WORK. Besides these well recognized fields of labor, there are others, not so prominent perhaps in thought, but needing most careful attention. In Illinois there are 35,000 miners, half as many as the number of railroad men, more than twice as many as the number of college boys. But a glance at the actual conditions under which these miners work will give convincing argument of the need of special religious work among them.
In one town where this work has been begun, a town of perhaps 900 population, eleven saloons were found doing their work vigorously and successfully. There was no resident pastor in the town, and there was no door constantly open for the young man except the saloon door. Now in the midst of this community a good strong Association work has been undertaken with a building rented and fitted for this work. But this work has been started in but one of the many mining communities of the state.
VI. CORRESPONDING MEMBERSHIP. As we have already said there are nearly 2,500 communities in Illinois, in none of which there are over 3,000 population. Some day it may be that Associations will
61be organized very extensively in these smaller communities, but in the meantime tides of young men are setting out from these smaller places toward the great city centers. We cannot wait for organization. We must not allow these thousands upon thousands of young men to leave their country homes with no effort on our part to bring them into contact with warm and earnest Christian life.
Fourteen years ago last Spring, the plan was inaugurated of securing a Corresponding Member in each unorganized field. This Corresponding Membership gradually grew until in 1892 these representatives of the Association were found in 326 communities. Since that time enlargement has continued until today over 700 of these agents of the Young Men's Christian Associations have been appointed in as many towns in Illinois.
Now suppose this whole system were blotted out. It is already apparent that hundreds of young men who are now brought into touch with Christian influence at the very beginning of their life away from home would be left to drift into idle and hurtful companionships.
It seems a blessed co-partnership into which some thousands of Illinois men and women have entered; a co-partnership the object of which is to save the young manhood of this state; a co-partnership in which the Lord Himself has an interest. We are co-workers with Him, by prayer and effort, by gift and sacrifice.
Some sweet day, someone to whom the Lord has given large means will count it a joy to make
62this work a permanent feature of our activities, and to put it beyond the possibility of being crippled, but until that glad day, the work must be carried on by the subscriptions of many friends who want some small investment in this work of the King.
We have now glanced at some of the things that have been done and some that remain to be done. There is needed for the proper prosecution of the work, $17,000 a year.
THE annual expense budget made necessary in the maintenance of the comprehensive work entrusted to the Committee has increased from $2,300 in 1880 to $17,100 in 1900. The money necessary to meet this budget comes to the Committee's Treasury from two sources.
1. The appropriations of local Associations toward the maintenance of the united work. Such appropriations, where made, are voluntary, but nearly all of the local Associations recognize the propriety of financial cooperation in the work which they have brought into being, and which exists largely in their interests. These appropriations range from $5 to $600, and the aggregate amount for the fiscal year ending December 31, 1900 is $1,769.50.
2. The only other source of the Committee's income is found in the voluntary subscriptions of the friends of Christian manhood in Illinois. These subscriptions range from $1 to $500 each, there being many of the former, and but one of the last mentioned amount. Without question the financial strength of the Illinois work is found in the large number of people in all parts of the state, who have
64many of them during an uninterrupted series of years helped through their financial support to make possible the growth and attainment of these years. Other states and other agencies of Christian effort have larger subscriptions and more large subscriptions. No State Committee of Young Men's Christian Associations and few other forms of Christian work in Illinois have a larger number of interested and helping friends than the "Illinois State Work."
Notwithstanding this, the securing of adequate financial support requires far too large a proportion of the time and strength of the secretarial force, and is made possible only by continued prayer and effort. The need of increased support in caring for the annual current expenses of the Committee is immediate and pressing.
THAT close supervision of State Work is necessary is no longer an open question. It is not merely essential from a theoretical point of view, but years of practical experience have demonstrated that it is of vital importance. The proper financial support of supervision has always been a serious problem, and has taken much of the time and energy of the State Committee, and of the Secretaries. Under the present methods the work secures a bare hand-to-mouth existence, which handicaps it in every direction, and induces timidity and uncertainty where there ought to be aggressiveness and confidence.
The present publication indicates the great interests involved in the State Work. Probably no other single enterprise means so much to the State in Christian manhood. And yet the work is not in proportion to the greatness of the state. The present state force is working up to its limit, and the unoccupied territory must be a region of hope, rather than cultivation. The reasons why money for supervision is difficult to obtain are evident. Supervision is a general, impersonal thing, which lacks the appeal
66to local pride and to the desire to do good at home, which is so effective in most good enterprises. It is work which is pervasive rather than evident, working through men rather than before men. It takes intelligence to see that money for supervision works in every locality; and it takes unselfishness to give money which works behind the scenes rather than upon the stage.
It seems certain that the work of supervision cannot be maintained and developed properly without an endowment which will secure a reasonable income. What an endowment will do for supervision may be summarized as follows:
1. IT WILL LIBERATE ENERGY FOR LEGITIMATE WORK. What has impresed me more than anything else in connection with the State Work is our waste of energy. We engage efficient secretaries to supervise, and then compel them to divert their energies from the work of supervision to the raising of money for their own support. I venture to say that although the amount of time given to money raising may not be equal to that given to the real work, the amount of nerve tissue used up is greater. The work of supervision is a joy, but the raising of the budget is an unmitigated evil. I am not asking that men shall be relieved from work, but that they may be free to work less for means and more for results.
2. IT HELPS IN SECURING AND RETAINING STRONG MEN AS SECRETARIES. It is necessary to develop men through years of service in order to secure the greatest efficiency. Illinois has been wonderfully fortunate in securing and retaining strong men, but it has not been because of their love for their annual budget experience. To abandon other plans, and to enter upon secretarial work for life, is a decision which demands something definite as to the future, and it is no wonder that strong men are induced against their real desires to refuse or abandon such a life work.
3. IT WILL PERMIT PLANS WHICH LOOK TO THE FUTURE. At present the only plan possible is one which looks to holding on to the work for one year. In a business sense the years which follow are blanks. The State Committee needs to be free to plan a campaign which looks far enough ahead to include the complete occupation of the State of Illinois with aggressive work. No one is interested in planning, no one can plan a campaign whose future is indefinite. It is the certainty of the future which makes possible work of dignity and force, of increasing comprehensiveness and attainments.
The time has certainly come when those who seek largest returns from their gifts in the name of
68the Master should join in providing an endowment for the work of supervision.
|Railroad and City.||100,000|
|County and Town,||40,000|
Form of Bequest for State Work.
I give, devise and bequeath to the "State Executive Committee, Illinois Young Men's Christian Associations," the sum of................. Dollars. .................
Signed by the said .....................
as and for his last will and testament, in the presence of us, who, at his request, in his presence, and in the presence of each other, have hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses.
(To be signed by not less than two witnesses).