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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: Wiley, S. Wirt, (Samuel Wirt), b. 1878.
Title: Wirt Wiley papers.
Date: 1897-1970 (bulk 1929-1950).
Collection Number: Y.USA.18
Abstract: Papers, primarily correspondence, documenting Wiley's work with YMCA history, the YMCA retirement fund, evangelical organizations outside of the YMCA and work within the YMCA's National Council, including reorganization.
Quantity: 4 cu. ft. (6 boxes).
Location: See Detailed Description section for box listing.


Wiley grew up on a farm near Peoria, Illinois. He received his B.A. from Monmouth College in 1901 and an M.A. from Yale in 1902. Intending to be a minister, he was drawn to YMCA work by the prospect of active service to communities. He worked in the Chicago association for two years, after which he was offered the position of executive secretary of its central branch. He declined and chose rather to tour Europe and study social service agencies there. On his return to the U.S. in 1906 he became the general secretary of the Minneapolis association, a post he held until 1925. During his term, a finance campaign for a new building was conducted and the building was completed just in time to serve the soldiers coming back from World War I. During this period, he also took special assignments as director of publicity for the War Work Council (1917-1918) and as special commissioner for the International Committee to South America (1921).

From 1925-1929 he went to work for the YMCA National Council as associate general secretary of the Home Division. He became general secretary of the Rochester, New York association in 1929 and remained there until his retirement in 1939. He was also a trustee of George Williams College from 1919-1925 and of Springfield College from 1929-1940.


Wiley's papers include a biographical sketch, as well as a lengthy autobiographical manuscript. Numerous papers, speeches and notes on the YMCA in relation to communities, churches, rural youth, character education, boys work, and foreign work are also included. There is an extensive collection of correspondence, including correspondence with leaders in the Minneapolis and Rochester, New York associations; and correspondence with members of committees on which Wiley served, including the Historical Resources Committee and the YMCA Retirement Fund.


These documents are organized into the following sections:
Personal Papers
Minneapolis YMCA
Evangelical Organizations
Historical Work
National Council Reorganization
Metropolitan General Secretaries
YMCA Retirement Fund, Inc.
Research Council
Constitutional Convention
General Papers


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]. Wirt Wiley 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 catalogued as part of the YMCA Biographical Files.
Processed by: Chan Harries, October 2004.
Catalog Record ID number: 4470744


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

Personal Papers

Box 1 Wiley genealogy, undated, 1935-1936. 2 folders.
College report cards, 1897-1901.
Autobiography, undated. 15 folders.
Includes hand and typewritten copies.
Articles about, 1922-1963.
Addresses and talks, 1919-1924. 4 folders.
Speeches, 1918-1933. 7 folders.
Notes, 1900-1933. 4 folders.
Projects and goals, 1931-1938.
Writings, 1919, 1923-1930. 2 folders.


Box 1 Correspondence, 1903-1905.
Correspondence, 1945-1970.
Eugene Barnett, correspondence, 1939-1957.
Fletcher and Mary Brockmann, correspondence, 1929-1957.
John W. Cook, correspondence, 1939, 1945-1947.
Raymond Kaighn, correspondence, 1935-1952.
Box 2 A. G. Knebel, correspondence, 1929-1939. 4 folders.
Frank Koehler, correspondence, 1929-1953. 4 folders.
Robert Lewis, correspondence, 1953-1959.
John Manley, correspondence, 1932-1954.
James McCandless, correspondence, 1930-1956.
Smithville Cemetery, correspondence, 1911-1957.
Correspondence regarding the Wiley family lot outside of Peoria, Illinois.
Owen Pence, correspondence, 1952-1957.
William Speers, correspondence, 1929-1954.
Jay Urice, correspondence, 1929-1955.
Ralph Wolf, correspondence, 1927-1952.
Clark Worman, correspondence, undated, 1949-1958.

Minneapolis YMCA

Box 2 Minneapolis YMCA, 1919, 1929, 1939-1943.
Minneapolis board meeting report exhibits, 1953.
Americanization Department, 1922-1923.
Young men's division clubs, undated.

Evangelical Organizations

Box 2 Association for Christian Cooperation, correspondence, 1929-1935. 3 folders.
Fellowship for Christian Cooperation, brochures and pamphlets, undated.
Modern Missions Movement, correspondence, 1934-1935.
Modern Missions Movement, materials, 1934-1935.
Movement for World Christianity, correspondence, 1936-1937.
Movement for World Christianity, informational materials, 1933-1937.

Historical Work

Box 2 Nineteenth centenary observance proposals, 1927.
Boys work history, working files, 1923, 1943-1954.
Committee on Historical Resources, correspondence, 1942-1952. 3 folders.
Historical Resources Committee, 1949-1952.
Historical Library Committee, 1958, 1960.
Laymen biography project, correspondence, 1956-1960.
Local associations, histories, correspondence, 1938-1948.
Mott biography, 1957-1964.
Mott papers, correspondence regarding, 1948-1950.
Old Guard histories, correspondence, undated, 1937, 1945-1948. 2 folders.
Physical education history, correspondence, 1953-1963.
Physical education history, notes and appraisals, 1955-1957.
Box 3 Robert Lewis autobiography, correspondence, 1955-1958.
YMCA history, author search, correspondence, 1946-1948.

National Council Reorganization

Box 3 National Council meeting, 1928.
National Council reorganization, correspondence, 1924.
National Council reorganization, 1922-1924. 2 folders.
General agencies, reorganization, 1932-1934. 3 folders.

Metropolitan General Secretaries

Box 3 Metropolitan General Secretaries conference, 1911.
Metropolitan General Secretaries conference, program, 1912, 1914-1918. 5 folders.
Metropolitan general secretaries conferences, 1916-1923, 1964. 2 folders.
Metropolitan Secretaries Association, 1929-1934.

YMCA Retirement Fund, Inc.

Box 3 YMCA Retirement Fund advisory committee, 1927.
YMCA Retirement Fund, Inc., 1932-1939. 7 folders.
Retirement Fund trustee meeting, 1938.
Miscellaneous, undated.
Annual reports, 1936-1938.

Research Council

Box 3 Research Council, 1940-1954. 2 folders.
Research Council, meeting reports, 1941-1945.
Critique of work of Research Council, 1949.

Constitutional Convention

Box 3 Constitutional Convention, 1922-1923. 3 folders.
Constitution, revisions, undated, 1935.

General Papers

Box 4 Conference on international economic and social development, reports, 1958-1959.
Conference on India and U. S., 1959.
Relation of YMCA to men and boys of the churches, report of the commission, undated.
Southern Area Council, meeting program, 1962.
Activities report, undated.
Basic areas of professional competence in the YMCA secretaryship, 1954.
"Building a Christian Society," undated.
Character education, undated, 1929. 2 folders.
Chicago annual report, 1959.
Citizenship and world affairs, 1941-1945.
Community Chests-YMCA relationships, undated.
"A Community Message to the Brotherhood: the Church and the YMCA," 1925.
Contribution of YMCA colleges to YMCA research, 1948.
Director and general secretary expectations, 1938.
Discussions of social and economic problems for employed boys groups, undated.
Edgar Couper, biographical materials, 1916-1958.
General secretary study, 1947-1950.
Hazen Foundation interviews, 1939.
Edward Hazen Foundation, booklet, 1931.
Harper Sibley, biographical material, 1958-1959.
Home division committee, undated, 1929.
Milwaukee annual report, 1949.
Box 5 "Nature and Task of the YMCA in Confessional Perspective," 1961.
Reconnaissance study of YMCA-YWCA field relationships, 1929-1931. 2 folders.
Recruitment pamphlets, 1914-1918.
Report letter to Mott, 1928.
Rochester, New York, clippings, 1930.
Rochester, New York, general secretary annual report, 1929-1930.
San Francisco program modernization, 1953.
Secretary education, pamphlets, 1909-1915.
Some accomplishments during the first four years of the National Council, 1929.
South America Foreign Fund, 1922-1925.
Springfield College materials, 1928, 1940-1957.
Student work, pamphlets, undated, 1914.
Secretaryship vocation, brochures, undated, 1910, 1912.
"These are the Facts About the Boys' Work Program of the YMCA in 31 Associations, undated.
Box 6 "The Unceasing Quest: AChronology," 1946.
Training school graduates in secretary work, 1911.
Trends in association work, 1927-1928.
Vellore News, 1968.
YMCA cabinet meetings, 1930-1933.
Youth and farm labor issues, 1944.
"Youth United" a narrative dramatization of 100 years of the YMCA, 1944.


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.
Evangelistic work.
Young Men's Christian associations -- Administration.
Young Men's Christian associations -- Employees.
Young Men's Christian associations -- Minnesota -- Minneapolis.
Young Men's Christian associations -- New York -- Rochester.
Young Women's Christian associations.
Barnett, Eugene Epperson, 1888-.
Couper, Edgar.
Kaighn, Raymond P.
Mott, John Raleigh, 1865-1955.
Sibley, Harper, 1885-1959.
Wiley, S. Wirt, (Samuel Wirt), b. 1878.
Wiley family.
Movement for World Christianity.
National Council of the Young Men's Christian Associations of the United States of North America. Historical Resources Committee.
Springfield College.
YMCA Retirement Fund.