• Creator
  • W. H. Drew, Stereopticons
  • Created Date
  • 1900-1910
  • Publisher
  • Springfield College
  • Description
  • The St. Louis YMCA was founded on October 13, 1853. The chapter held its first public meeting the following month in a suite of three rooms at the Mercantile Library in downtown St. Louis. Two hundred and ninety-eight new members attended, representing twelve different Christian denominations. Initially, the YMCA focused on promoting men's spiritual development through an organization of volunteers. In 1881, the St. Louis YMCA opened its first... more
    The St. Louis YMCA was founded on October 13, 1853. The chapter held its first public meeting the following month in a suite of three rooms at the Mercantile Library in downtown St. Louis. Two hundred and ninety-eight new members attended, representing twelve different Christian denominations. Initially, the YMCA focused on promoting men's spiritual development through an organization of volunteers. In 1881, the St. Louis YMCA opened its first Medical Mission and, soon after, built a small hospital. In 1886, they added their firsty gymnasium. Economic depression during the 1890s spelled hard times for the YMCA. By 1893, its Branch for Colored Men folded and its prosperous German Branch was in trouble. However, within five years, a number of prominent black citizens purchased a house and reorganized their group as the Afro-American Christian Home Association. The tornado of 1896 damaged their headquarters and destroyed the organization's railroad branches. The Stock Market crash of 1929 posed additional challenges. YMCA job training and employment bureau programs, vocational guidance, counseling services, and recreational activities offered many men hope during the Great Depression. In 1935, the association, with support from local industries, opened its Day Cooperative College, a division of the Federal Relief Administration's Jefferson College. Participating students alternated six week school terms with salaried jobs at local businesses. After World War II, the organization turned to the problems of postwar readjustment, continuing the association's vocational guidance and job placement programs. Text on border reads, "St. Louis, Mo, Building. less
  • Format
  • Photographs
  • Rights
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