YMCA Archives Logo
318 Elmer L. Andersen Library, University of Minnesota, 222 21st Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55455

An Inventory of his papers

Biography | Contents Summary/Organization | Administrative/Access Info | Contents Details | Indexed Terms/Access Points


Creator: Hanson, Wayne, 1877-1965.
Title: Wayne Hanson papers.
Date: 1892-1965.
Collection Number: Y.USA.17
Abstract: Material documenting Hanson's career with the YMCA, as well as his work as a professional speaker on international issues. Of particular interest are the journals, which cover his time in Europe working with the Foyers du Soldat during World War I.
Quantity: 3.8 cu. ft. (10 boxes).
Location: See Detailed Description section for box listing.


Agassiz Wayne Hanson was born on August 24, 1877 in Green Hill, Indiana. He graduated from Indiana University in 1899, where he had been the president of the student YMCA. After graduating he became assistant state secretary for Indiana, responsible for city, railroad and student associations, as well as fundraising.

In 1919 the YMCA's Overseas Division called him to work with the Foyers du Soldat, a French organization similar to the YMCA. He was first assigned to a large sailors' foyer in Toulon, where he coached the French personnel in association methods and developed this center into a model foyer. Later he took charge of the American YMCA staff in Paris, where he oversaw the demobilization of the French foyer work after the end of the war.

Hanson stayed in Europe after working in Paris, as he accepted a position as an associate secretary for Europe, headquartered in Geneva. His experiences in Europe prepared him for his next position, which was the director of the bureau of information and publicity for the YMCA's International Committee, a position he took in 1924. In this capacity he conducted international institutes, which helped educate local associations on the work of the YMCA World Service.

In 1932 Hanson relocated to Chicago to become the western field secretary of the International Committee. Here he continued an active interest in international affairs and continued to educate on world citizenship and the World Service, as well as fundraising.

In 1939, Hanson retired from the YMCA and became a lecturer on international affairs. He continued his international travels and contributions to the YMCA up to his death in 1965.


Hanson's papers contain a series of diaries, starting with a diary of a trip to Williamsport, Indiana at the age of fifteen. Other diaries span the dates 1923-1962 and cover his personal life (health, reading, church, etc.) and his career with the YMCA (fundraising, travel, meetings, etc.). His work in France during World War I is described in his and his wife's letters to their families. There is also a guest book of their residence while in France.

Other records include letters on his travels in Latin America (Mexico, South America and the Caribbean) from 1939-1942. A report and related correspondence on a Polish refugee camp in Mexico, which Hanson was hired by the U.S. government to assess. Hanson's fundraising work for churches is documented in correspondence and reports from 1947-1954. Also included are materials concerning his speeches on international issues (1952-1961).


Use of Materials:
This collection is protected by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code). It is the user's responsibility to verify copyright, ownership, and to obtain all the necessary permissions prior to the reproduction, publication, or other use of any portion of these materials.
Preferred Citation:
[Indicate the cited item and/or series here]. A. Wayne Hanson papers. Kautz Family YMCA Archives. University of Minnesota.
See the Chicago Manual of Style for additional examples.
Processing Information:
Material in this collection was formerly cataloged as part of the YMCA Biographical Files.
Processed by: Chan Harries, September 2004.
Catalog Record ID number: 4459114


The following section contains a detailed list of the materials in the collection. To request materials, please note the corresponding box number.

1 Provenance
Biographical data
Passports, undated.
Guest book, 1919-1957.
The guest book was used at the Hanson's residences in France during World War I, as well as in the United States.
Family letters, 1919.
Family newsletters, 1953, 1957, 1959-1960, 1962, 1964.
Personal news letter of Wayne and Gertrude Hanson.
Gertrude Hanson, correspondence, 1919-1923. 2 folders.
Correspondence, undated, 1919-1966. 4 folders.
2 Percy Julian, correspondence, 1964-1965.
Julian was a prominent African-American chemist.
French autograph book, 1922.
An souvenir autograph book prepared for Hanson by the French-American Société des Foyers.
Books read by Hanson, lists, undated.
The Most Remarkable Person I ever Met, undated.
Writing by Hanson on Asa Jennings, a YMCA director who helped evacuate Greeks from the Turkish invasion in Smyrna.
Letters to church study group, 1937-1943.
Letters written by Hanson, who was traveling, to his home congregation in Oak Park, Illinois.
Oak Park community lectures, programs, 1942-1957.
Village Manager Party, letters of congratulations, 1953.
The Village Manager party was a local political party which Hanson managed during the 1953 election.
Personal reflections, undated.
Collected humor, undated.
Sketches, 1930.
Sketches created by friends of Hanson.
Irish postcards, undated.
3 Prayer covenant, undated, 1924-1938.
Writings, undated, 1901, 1947-1951.
Newsletters and clippings, 1940-1941, 1964-1965.
Papers from philosophy of education courses, undated.
Speaking circuit, 1949-1952.
Gondrecourt celebration, 1923.
"Adventures Afoot", undated.
A composition by the Hansons submitted to the Irving Literary Club of Chicago.
Secretary education and training manuscript, undated.
Secretaryships, correspondence, 1918-1931.
A collection of correspondence regarding Hanson's service at various YMCAs.
Letters from Europe, 1936, 1938, 1952.
The letters from geographical locations are newsletters written by Hanson to reflect current affairs in these locations and his impression thereof.
Letters from Latin America, 1940-1941, 1945, 1947.
Letters from Mexico, 1937, 1939, 1942, 1944-1945.
Outlines for speeches, 1947-1957.
4 Speeches, undated, 1928, 1937, 1949, 1954, 1961.
Speeches, clippings, 1939-1941.
French speeches, undated, 1924.
Speeches on Europe, clippings, 1936-1939.
Speeches on Mexico, clippings, 1935-1939.
Latin America speech, 1950.
Comments on laity and church, 1962.
Finance campaigns, 1947-1954, 1962. 2 folders.
Polish refugee camp, correspondence, 1942-1944.
Hanson was charged by the American government to make a report on the conditions of Santa Rosa Polish refugee camp in Leon, Mexico.
Date books, 1902-1903.
5 Date books, 1904-1918, 1922. 6 folders.
6 Personal ledger, 1902-1955.
Diary, 1892.
Journals, 1919, August 1923-October 1928. 5 folders.
7 Journals, October 1928- May 1936. 7 folders.
8 Journals, June 1936-November 1950. 9 folders.
9 Journals, November 1950-August 1962. 4 folders.
Tributes, 1957.
"The Hanson Trail", 1965.
A short autobiography.
10 Colonia Santa Rosa in Mexico, 1943.
Report on Polish refugee camp in Leon, Mexico.


This collection is indexed under the following headings in the catalog of the University of Minnesota Libraries. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons or places should search the catalog using these headings.
Fund raising.
Refugee camps -- Mexico.
Refugees -- Poland.
World War, 1914-1918 -- War work -- Young Men's Christian associations.
World War, 1914-1918 -- France -- Personal narratives, American.
Young Men's Christian associations -- Finance.
Young Men's Christian associations -- Employees.
Williamsport (Ind.) -- Description and travel.
Latin America -- Description and travel.
Julian, Percy, 1940-.
Foyers du soldat de l'Union franco-américaine.
National Board of the Young Men's Christian Associations.
Young Men's Christian Associations of North America. International Committee.
Types of Documents: