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Harper Sibley papers

Identifier: Y.USA.26


The collection contains primarily materials collected by Sibley's wife, Georgiana, including congratulatory letters on the Sibleys' 50th anniversary, as well as condolence letters on Harper's death. Also included is YMCA correspondence, which covers, in part, Harper's work with the International Committee.


  • 1939-1980
  • Majority of material found within ( 1958-1959).


Language of Materials


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.


Fletcher Harper Sibley (known as Harper Sibley) was born in New York City on April 5, 1885. His grandfather, Hiram, was an associate of Samuel Morse and helped organize the Western Union Telegraph Company.

Harper graduated from Harvard University in 1907, where he was a classmate of Franklin D. Roosevelt. He studied law at the New York Law School and was admitted to the New York Bar in 1909. Later in life, in 1936, he received a LL.D. from Hobart College. In 1908 he married Georgina Farr, with whom he had six children.

Sibley practiced law in New York City until 1912, when the family moved to Rochester, New York, where he entered the office of his father, Hiram Sibley and became identified with the business interests of the family. These included the McKinley-Darragh-Savage mines in Ontario, where he was treasurer; the Provident Loan Society of Rochester, where he was president; and the Rochester Homeopathic Hospital, where he was treasurer.

Sibley identified himself as an agriculturalist because of his extensive farm and ranch operations in Illinois, California, New York state and Alberta, Canada. He pursued a business career that peaked as president of the Chamber of Commerce of the United States in 1935 and 1937. After his two terms with the organization, he remained on its senior council. During his career, he was a director on many corporate boards, including Security Trust Company of Rochester, the New York Life Insurance Company, the Western Union Telegraph Company, the Hollister Lumber Company and the Leckie Smokeless Coal Company.

Sibley was involved heavily with the YMCA in Rochester, as well as on a national level. He was a member of the YMCA International Committee from 1917 to 1950. He served on the National Council from 1924 to 1927 and from 1941 to 1959; he was its president in 1951 and 1952. He served on the National Board from 1948 to 1959; he was its president in 1949 and 1950 and was on its Board of Trustees from 1939 to 1959. He served as the general chairman of the Centennial International Convention in Cleveland in 1951 and was president of the USO. Also a member of the World Council and its executive committee, he chaired the Committee on Work with Refugees and Migrants after World War II.


1.0 Cubic Feet (3 boxes)


Mostly personal materials on Harper Sibley and his wife, Georgiana's 50th anniversary and letters of condolence sent to Georgiana on Harper's death. Also included is correspondence concerning Harper's work with the YMCA.

Processing Information:

Processed by: Chan Harries, February 2005.

Catalog Record ID number: 4510969

Material in this collection was formerly cataloged as part of the YMCA Biographical Files.

An Inventory of His Papers
Finding aid prepared by Chan Harries.
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Collecting Area Details

Contact The Kautz Family YMCA Archives Collecting Area