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Adrian Lyon papers

Identifier: Y.USA.24


Lyon's papers document his wide range of work for the YMCA on the local, state, and national level. Most of the papers date from the 1920s, especially those relating to the establishment of the National Council. These latter records include budget reports, meeting minutes and correspondence of the Committee of Thirty-Three; materials relating to the Cleveland Constitutional Convention, including proposals and resolutions, newspaper articles and correspondence regarding arrangements. Other records document Lyon's work with the New Jersey State Committee and the Perth Amboy YMCA. Lyon's work with various fund-raising programs for the YMCA, including the Stabilization Fund are also documented.


  • 1922-1945.


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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.


Adrian Lyon was born on July 25, 1869 in Pluckemin, New Jersey. He received his LL.B. from the New York Law School in 1894. Prior to his receiving his degree, he was admitted to the New Jersey Bar. He was superintendent of schools in Perth Amboy, New Jersey from 1894 and 1895 and city attorney from 1895 to 1898. He was a representative in the New Jersey State Assembly in the 1900-1901 session. He became a judge in the Perth Amboy district court in 1901, holding that position until 1909, when he was appointed to Common Pleas Court in Middlesex County, New Jersey. In 1913 he served as referee for U.S. district bankruptcy court from 1913 to 1931, after which time he returned to Common Pleas Court, where he continued until 1945.

Lyon was active in the organizing of the Perth Amboy YMCA in 1912 and was its president from 1912 to 1950. In 1915 he was the president of the New Jersey State Convention. Lyon was also very active in the organizational procedures leading up to the establishment of the National Council in 1924 and its subsequent operations. In the fall of 1920 he was appointed chairman of the Commission on Convention Representation and Rules, which had been established at the International Convention in 1919. When the Commission reported its findings at the 1922 convention, it recommended the calling of a constitutional convention to resolve issues surrounding the relationship of local associations to those at the state and national level. The Committee of Thirty-Three was established, with Lyon as its chairman, to organize the convention. Through the convention, the National Council was established, which had Lyon as its first president and as a member from New Jersey. He also served as chairman of the General Board of the National Council from 1924 to 1934. As a member of these bodies, he contributed to planning and decision making on a number of important issues, including fund-raising during the Depression, the search for John Mott's successor as General Secretary and efforts to keep good relations with the student movement. In Lyon's later years, his efforts to devote time to association work were hindered by his judicial duties and poor health, but he remained a member of the National Council until his death in 1950.


1.4 Cubic Feet (4 boxes)


Papers of Adrian Lyon documenting his work at many levels within the YMCA, primarily as chairman of the General Board of the National Council of the YMCA.

Processing Information:

Processed by: Chan Harries, January 2005.

Catalog Record ID number: 4501220

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

Audio/visual materials removed from this collection include 8 photographs, 1 negative and 1 plate.

An Inventory of His Papers
Finding aid prepared by Chan Harries.
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Script of description
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Collecting Area Details

Contact The Kautz Family YMCA Archives Collecting Area