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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: Lyon, Adrian.
Title: Adrian Lyon papers.
Date: 1922-1945.
Collection Number: Y.USA.24
Abstract: Papers of Adrian Lyon documenting his work at many levels within the YMCA, primarily as chairman of the General Board of the National Council of the YMCA.
Quantity: 1.4 cu. ft. (4 boxes)
Location: See Detailed Description section for box listing.


Adrian Lyon was born on July 25, 1869 in Pluckemin, New Jersey. He received his LL.B. from the New York Law School in 1894. Prior to his receiving his degree, he was admitted to the New Jersey Bar. He was superintendent of schools in Perth Amboy, New Jersey from 1894 and 1895 and city attorney from 1895 to 1898. He was a representative in the New Jersey State Assembly in the 1900-1901 session. He became a judge in the Perth Amboy district court in 1901, holding that position until 1909, when he was appointed to Common Pleas Court in Middlesex County, New Jersey. In 1913 he served as referee for U.S. district bankruptcy court from 1913 to 1931, after which time he returned to Common Pleas Court, where he continued until 1945.

Lyon was active in the organizing of the Perth Amboy YMCA in 1912 and was its president from 1912 to 1950. In 1915 he was the president of the New Jersey State Convention. Lyon was also very active in the organizational procedures leading up to the establishment of the National Council in 1924 and its subsequent operations. In the fall of 1920 he was appointed chairman of the Commission on Convention Representation and Rules, which had been established at the International Convention in 1919. When the Commission reported its findings at the 1922 convention, it recommended the calling of a constitutional convention to resolve issues surrounding the relationship of local associations to those at the state and national level. The Committee of Thirty-Three was established, with Lyon as its chairman, to organize the convention. Through the convention, the National Council was established, which had Lyon as its first president and as a member from New Jersey. He also served as chairman of the General Board of the National Council from 1924 to 1934. As a member of these bodies, he contributed to planning and decision making on a number of important issues, including fund-raising during the Depression, the search for John Mott's successor as General Secretary and efforts to keep good relations with the student movement. In Lyon's later years, his efforts to devote time to association work were hindered by his judicial duties and poor health, but he remained a member of the National Council until his death in 1950.


Lyon's papers document his wide range of work for the YMCA on the local, state, and national level. Most of the papers date from the 1920s, especially those relating to the establishment of the National Council. These latter records include budget reports, meeting minutes and correspondence of the Committee of Thirty-Three; materials relating to the Cleveland Constitutional Convention, including proposals and resolutions, newspaper articles and correspondence regarding arrangements. Other records document Lyon's work with the New Jersey State Committee and the Perth Amboy YMCA. Lyon's work with various fund-raising programs for the YMCA, including the Stabilization Fund are also documented.


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]. Adrian Lyon Papers. Kautz Family YMCA Archives. University of Minnesota.
See the Chicago Manual of Style for additional examples.
Processing Information:
Processed by: Chan Harries, January 2005.
Catalog Record ID number: 4501220
Material in this collection was formerly cataloged as part of the YMCA Biographical Files.
Audio/visual materials removed from this collection include 8 photographs, 1 negative and 1 plate.


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

1 Biographical sketch by Ethan Colton, undated.
Budget Committees, 1924-1925.
Clippings, 1926.
Committee of Five, 1924-1934.
This committee was formed to study the work of the National Council in relation to state work.
Committee of Nine, 1927-1929. 2 folders.
The Committee of Nine studied the practice of railroad companies issuing passes to secretaries and clarified the rules as to which department's secretaries were eligible to receive passes.
Committee of Seven, 1925-1926.
This committee was established to study "the present plans and organization of the National Council for the purpose of ascertaining whether or not radical and fundamental changes can be effected which will largely reduce (...) the contribution requirements of the National Council."
Committee of Thirty-Three, undated, 1922-1934. 3 folders.
The Committee of Thirty-Three was appointed by the International Convention of 1922 to make all general arrangements for a constitutional convention.
Committee of Twenty-One, 1924.
The committee was charged with "mak(ing) a thorough study of all the questions and problems involved in the financing of the Association General Agencies..."
2 Conferences, 1923-1933.
Constitutional Convention, undated, 1922-1923.
Constitutional Convention, clippings, 1923.
Correspondence, 1923-1945. 6 folders.
Correspondence regarding confirmation of Philo Dix, 1925-1926.
Correspondence with YMCA leaders in Pennsylvania to gain a consensus on the nomination of Dix as the state secretary.
Evangelism, 1929-1931.
Foreign work interests, 1925-1930.
3 General Board, undated, 1925-1945. 4 folders.
General Secretary replacement, 1928.
Correspondence regarding John Mott's successor.
International Committee, 1933-1934.
International Survey of YMCAs and YWCAs, 1929-1931.
National budget, 1928-1929.
National Council, 1924-1933.
National Social Work Council, 1930.
New Jersey state work, 1923-1929. 3 folders.
4 New Jersey state work, 1930-1935.
Pennsylvania state student matters, 1929-1931.
Perth Amboy, New Jersey YMCA, undated, 1914, 1923-1929, 1937-1938.
Report of the commission of Cooperation among Associations with the Churches, undated.
Reminiscences, 1950-1964.
Report on social trends, 1933.
An overview of the report commissioned by President Hoover on social trends in the United States.
Speaking engagements, 1925-1926, 1931.
Speeches, undated, 1923.
Stabilization fund, 1928-1929.
Transportation department, 1924, 1927-1929. 2 folders.
World Alliance, 1927-1931.


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.
Young Men's Christian associations -- Administration.
Young Men's Christian associations -- Employees.
Young Women's Christian associations.
Perth Amboy (N.J.).
Dix, Philo.
Lyon, Adrian.
Mott, John Raleigh, 1865-1955.
National Social Work Council (U.S.).
State Young Men's Christian Association of Pennsylvania.
Young Men's Christian Associations of North America. International Committee.
Young Men's Christian Associations of New Jersey.