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Association news. : (Martinsburg, W. Va.) 1887-18??
Place of publication:
Martinsburg, W. Va.
Geographic coverage:
  • Martinsburg, Berkeley, West Virginia  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
Young Men's Christian Association, Martinsburg, W. Va.
Dates of publication:
  • Vol. 1, no. 1 (June 1887)-
  • English
  • Martinsburg (W. Va.)--Newspapers.
  • West Virginia--Martinsburg.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01224867
  • West Virginia.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01205316
  • Young Men's Christian associations--West Virginia--Newspapers.
  • Young Men's Christian associations.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01183052
  • Available on microfilm from West Virginia University Library Photoduplication Section and Bell & Howell.
sn 97066537
View complete holdings information

Association news

The Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) established a branch in Martinsburg, West Virginia, in November 1886. Led by its president, Frank D. Staley, the Martinsburg YMCA published its own newspaper, the Association News. The Association News outlined the goals of the YMCA and its progress as a society in Martinsburg. "The aim of this organization is not only to provide for the mental improvement of the young and to surround them with religious influences," it stated, "but [also] to do definite work—to lead those who are out of Christ to a saving knowledge of the truth." The Association News beseeched the men of Martinsburg to attend with promises of salvation and morally suitable entertainment. "We have tried to make our rooms as attractive as possible with our limited finances," the general secretary boasted, "and trust all men will appreciate our efforts and come to them more, as they are very pleasant." The library was the YMCA's crown jewel. The Association News reported in July 1887 "[that] the library has been enlarged by about 250 volumes … many of which are very fine and all good reading matter." It hoped the library and the reading materials it offered would attract wayward men in need of Christian guidance.

The Association News directed its appeals to women, too. Members of the YMCA accepted Victorian constructs of morally pure womanhood and agreed that women could be their best advocates and recruiters of young men. Portions of the Association News implored women to lead by example and shamed them when it deemed it necessary. "Mother, are you setting a good example for your boys?" one asked. "Sisters! Are you setting a good example for your brothers?" If mothers and sisters felt compelled to help, the Association News had a practical solution. They could donate to the YMCA, join the "Ladie's [sic] Auxiliary," or give their "prayers and presence" at the poorly attended meetings.

When the Association News was not recruiting or providing local updates, it was covering the progress of other YMCA chapters. "The Stanton Va., Association is planning to erect a new building this year, to the cost of $15,000," it announced. "Let us be up and doing, that we may do like-wise before many months roll by." The directors of the Martinsburg YMCA marveled at the finances other branches possessed. The August 1887 edition of the Association News devoted an entire spread to a YMCA gymnasium being erected in Chicago. The main room was 109x46.5 feet, "with a ceiling of an average height of 16 feet." The Martinsburg YMCA could not match it in 1887. "How long! O! how long, shall we have to wait for this blessing for our young men?" one member asked. The answer was twenty-one years. In 1908, after the Association News's apparent discontinuation, the Martinsburg YMCA opened a new building on West King Street

Provided by: West Virginia University