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[p. 16]

Medford young men's Christian Association.

by Benjamin Pratt Hollis.
[Read before the Medford Historical Society, April 7, 1906, by C. H. Loomis.]

In the autumn of 1866, thirty-nine years ago, a movement was made in Medford to establish a Young Men's Christian Association. To that end, the various churches in town were requested to discontinue the evening worship on a certain Sunday and meet in a union service at Mystic Congregational Church. The meeting, which was well attended, was presided over by Mr. Baxter E. Perry, and the principal speaker was Mr. L. P. Rowland, secretary, at that time, of the Boston Young Men's Christian Association. A substantial collection, taken at the meeting, provided the embryo society with funds to commence its work.

The first meeting of the Association was held December 31, 1866, when the following officers were elected:β€”

President,Baxter E. Perry.
Vice-president,Joseph L. Goldthwait,Methodist.
Elisha B. Curtis,Baptist.
Eleazer Boynton, Jr.,Mystic Congregational.
Almarin F. Badger,First Congregational.
Gardiner P. Gates,Episcopal.
Treasurer,Alonzo E. Tainter.
Secretary,Charles E. Joyce.

On the fifth of April, 1867, the society took possession of a room in Usher's building on High street, subsequently occupied by the Medford Savings Bank. The apartment was well furnished with magazines, newspapers and suitable periodicals, and the walls hung with appropriate pictures.

The following extract from the constitution will show the reason for its existence:β€”

β€˜The object of the Association shall be the improvement of the spiritual, mental and social condition of Young Men.’

At the second choice of officers, in 1867, Charles H. Merrill, of First Congregational, was substituted as vicepresident.

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