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History of young people's Christian Union

Rev. George F. Fortier
On January 8, 1888, Rev. C. A. Skinner gave notice from his pulpit that on that evening a meeting of the young people (fifteen to eighty years of age) would be held for the purpose of forming a religious society. In response to the call, about sixty persons gathered in the vestry, and after the plan had been explained by H. E. Robinson and H. R. Rose, students at Tufts Divinity School, it was voted to form a society; and committees were appointed to draw up a constitution, decide upon a name for the society, and bring in a list of names for officers.

At the next meeting of the society, the name Young People's Society of Christian Endeavor was adopted, and the following officers were elected: President, F. M. Hawes; vice-president, Lillian F. Ayer; secretary and treasurer, William Moore. It was voted to hold weekly devotional meetings and monthly business meetings. It was also voted that all funds be raised by voluntary contribution. It may be interesting to note the first year's work of the society. Forty-one devotional meetings were held, in charge of twenty-one persons, nine being members of the society, and twelve being ministers, divinity students, etc. These meetings averaged seventy-five in attendance. The society sent money to both the state and general convention of Universalists, and did considerable missionary work.

In January, 1889, Leslie Moore was elected president, and served six months. During his term of office, Sunday [82] schools at Dover, N. H., and Blenheim, Canada, were aided. At this time the formation of a national confederation of young people's societies was being agitated, and our constitution was made the basis of the proposed society. Alfred Cardall was at the head of the movement, and the result was our present national Y. P. C. U.

Miss Gertrude Earle was the next president, serving from June, 1889, to June, 1890. Her term of office was an exceedingly busy one. Aid was given the new societies at Cambridge and Arlington, leaders being supplied for their meetings at times. Money was given toward the scholarship at Tufts, founded by the Ladies' Society, toward the Bethany Home for Women, and toward the Japan Mission. On January 4, 1890, the society joined the national Y. P. C. U.

Miss Mary E. Ferguson held the office of president for the next six months. As the fair was held at this time, all the energies of the society were devoted to that.

F. H. Safford was the next president, holding office from January, 1891, to January, 1892. So many calls were made upon the society at this time, that an entertainment committee was formed to raise funds, and they were, and have been, successful. Much outside work was done, and our own church helped.

Mr. Safford was succeeded by H. T. Harwood (January, 1892, to June, 1892). The society devoted their whole strength to the church at this time, and $100 was paid toward defraying the expenses of an unfortunate lawsuit.

Mrs. F. H. Safford was elected president June, 1892, and served until June, 1893. During her term of office, more outside work was done than at any other time.

In June, 1893, George F. Fortier was elected president. He resigned February 4, 1896, and Miss Amy Meserve was elected president. This same year $25 was contributed toward the Social Hall fund. [83]

Other presidents have been: Miss Minnie Flagg, 1897; Mrs. Fanny B. Kelly, 1898, January to June; Miss Mabel G. Delano, 1898, July to December; Miss Abbie Southworth, 1899; Miss Mabel Leavitt, 1900; Miss Lottie Draper, 1901; Miss Florence Stacey, 1902; Miss Nellie Quinnell, 1902-3; Miss Dorothea Benson, 1903—4.

During the fifteen years the society was in existence, the interest in its meetings and the missionary work done both inside and outside the parish was largely due to the efficient committees in charge of the work, and throughout its life it well exemplified its name by its many endeavors for Christ and His church.

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