• Identification00064602
  • TitleDescriptive inventory for the Association House of Chicago records, 1899-1972
  • PublisherChicago Historical Society
  • Language
    • English.
    • English
  • RepositoryChicago History Museum Research Center 1601 North Clark Street Chicago, IL 60614-6038
  • OriginationAssociation House of Chicago
  • Date1899-1974
  • Physical Description11.25 linear feet (27 boxes, 1 oversize folder)
  • Location
    • MSS Lot A
    • MSS Oversize A

Box 27 is closed to researchers.

Copyright may be retained by the creators of items, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law, unless otherwise noted.

Gift of Association House (accession #: 1972.0082, 1977.0020).

Association House of Chicago records (Chicago History Museum) plus a detailed description, date, and box/folder number of a specific item.

Correspondence, minutes, financial records, staff handbooks, workshop materials, program reports, staff evaluations, newsletters, scrapbooks of newsclippings, and other materials created by staff, board members, community groups, and support groups affiliated with Association House, a Presbyterian-sponsored settlement house based in the West Town neighborhood of Chicago, concerning its administration, fund-raising, training of social workers and religious service workers, welfare services, day care, youth camps, neighborhood demographics and needs, and social, recreational, and educational programs for adult and youth groups. Principal correspondents include head residents of the settlement house, Carrie B. Wilson, Philip M. Irey, Mr. and Mrs. Edwin Eells, Alfred E. Rath; long-time officer, Ellen Holt; the Chicago Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers; Presbyterian organizations, particularly the Presbytery of Chicago and McCormick Theological Seminary; and Association House support groups, especially the North Shore Board of Association House, the Ladies' Auxiliary, and the Association House Service Guild of Evanston.

The Association House of Chicago originated in 1899 as a recreational and educational program for youth in the West Town area of Chicago. Under the auspices of the Young Women's Christian Association, the group rented a building to house resident staff and provide space for classrooms and recreational activities. In 1901 the organization was incorporated as the Association House of Chicago with the mission of providing religious and industrial instruction and engaging in the work typically carried out by social and religious settlements. A new structure was built in 1905-1906 at 2150 W. North Avenue. In 1926, Association House gave up its independent status and officially transferred its property to the Presbyterian Church Extension Board. Over time, Association House adapted its services to changes in the economy and the population in the area by providing emergency relief, English and citizenship classes, counseling and day care services, summer camps, and space for clubs and neighborhood groups. Providing educational experiences for potential professional social workers became one of the major objectives of program planning, and the work of the professional staff was supplemented by the efforts of social work students and volunteers. In the 1960s, Association House entered into cooperative relationships with neighborhood conservation and planning councils. Programs and activities were increasingly oriented around the needs and interests of Spanish-speaking people, especially Puerto Ricans, who came to be the largest component in the area served. As of 2016, Association House was still operating in the Humboldt Park neighborhood of Chicago.

  • Names
    • Association House of Chicago--Archives
    • Chicago Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers
    • McCormick Theological Seminary
    • United Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A--Presbytery of Chicago--Presbyterian Church Extension Board
    • Eells, Edwin
    • Holt, Ellen
    • Irey, Philip M.
    • Rath, Alfred E.
    • Wilson, Carrie B.
  • Subject
    • Americanization
    • Charities--Illinois--Chicago--20th century
    • Child care services--Illinois--Chicago--20th century
    • Church camps--Middle West--20th century
    • Church work with youth--Illinois--Chicago--20th century
    • Community centers--Illinois--Chicago--20th century
    • Day care centers--Illinois--Chicago--20th century
    • Education--Illinois--Chicago--20th century
    • Ethnicity--Illinois--Chicago--20th century
    • Fund raising--Illinois--Chicago Metropolitan Area--20th century
    • Hispanic Americans--Illinois--Chicago--20th century
    • Human services--Illinois--Chicago--20th century
    • Immigrants--Illinois--Chicago--20th century
    • Latin Americans--United States
    • Presbyterian Church--Charities--Illinois--Chicago--20th century
    • Puerto Ricans--United States--20th century
    • Recreation--Illinois--Chicago--20th century
    • Social settlements--Illinois--Chicago--20th century
    • Social workers--Illinois--Chicago--20th century
    • Social workers--In-service training--Illinois--Chicago--20th century
    • Women volunteers in social service--Illinois--Chicago Metropolitan Area--20th century
    • Youth--Services for--Illinois--Chicago--20th century
  • Geographic Coverage
    • 2150 West North Avenue (Chicago, Ill.)
    • Chicago (Ill.)--Social conditions--20th century
    • West Town (Chicago, Ill.)
    • Logan Square (Chicago, Ill.)
    • Humboldt Park (Chicago, Ill.)

The collection is arranged by subject in in eight series and nine subseries.

Series 1. Historical file, 1899-1962 (Box 1, 22-26)

This series consists of papers pertaining to the history of Association House from its founding in 1899 to the 1960s, including descriptive booklets issued in early years, scrapbooks of program announcements for 1916-1921, and historical accounts compiled between 1930 and 1959. There are also loose collections and scrapbooks of clippings from the late 1930s to the early 1960s, letters of tribute and related statements presented in 1936 at the Vesper Service for Carrie B. Wilson (who served as head resident from 1900 to 1916), tributes to Alfred E. Rath compiled in 1962 when he left the position of head resident, and correspondence between several head residents and Ellen Holt, who was instrumental in founding Association House and who served as a presidential officer or member of the Board of Directors for over fifty years. Also included in this series are five scrapbooks in fragile condition containing leaflets, announcements, and clippings of news items about programs at Association House from 1899 to 1941. Additional leaflets and program announcements pertaining to the early years of Association House are contained in Series 8.

Series 2. Board of Directors’ materials, 1910-1971 (Box 2-6)

This series contains the original version and revisions of the constitution and bylaws of Association House, records of the Board of Directors’ meetings from 1910 to 1969, and some correspondence and related papers pertaining to the board for various years. There are also papers concerning groups that assisted the board by raising money and securing other support: the Auxiliary, Associate Board, Evanston Service Guild, and its North Shore Board. The materials are arranged in two subseries: Subseries l, Board records, 1910-1969; and Subseries 2, Board-related group materials, 1927-1971.

Subseries l. Board records, 1910-1970

This subseries contains a copy of the articles of incorporation of Association House dated 1901, the constitution and bylaws in the original form and as subsequently revised, and the secretary's record (which includes minutes of the boards’ meetings) from May 1910 to Dec. 1931. There are also minutes for 1932-1969 and other papers including correspondence, committee reports, attendance records, and orientation materials pertaining to the activities of the Board of Directors in the 1950s and 1960s.

Subseries 2. Board-related group materials, 1927-1971

This subseries consists of minutes of the Association House Auxiliary for 1927-1962, some correspondence of the Evanston Service Guild from 1959-1964, a membership roster of the Associate Board in 1967, and correspondence of the North Shore Board for 1963-1971.

Series 3. Financial records, 1930-1971 (Box 7-10)

This series consists of financial records of Association House for the 1940s, 1950s, and early 1960s, including budget reports to the Community Fund and Welfare Council of Chicago and financial statements submitted with applications for endorsement by the Chicago Association of Commerce and Industry. Also included are reports on fund-raising activities in the same period, policy statements on church support issued by the Presbytery of Chicago, and correspondence pertaining to various grants and bequests. The papers are arranged in two subseries: Subseries 1, Budget and service reports, 1939-1967; and Subseries 2, Fund-raising, grants, and bequests, 1930-1971.

Subseries 1. Budget and service reports, 1937-1967

This subseries consists of balance sheets and income and expense statements submitted to the Community Fund of Chicago by Association House for 1939-1958; service reports with financial data submitted to the Welfare Council of Chicago for 1937, 1941, and 1944-1965; and copies of Association House applications for endorsement by the Chicago Association of Commerce and Industry from 1941-1965. Included are several internal financial reports for the 1950s, monthly statements of operations for 1961 and 1962, and auditor's reports for 1957, 1958, and 1961.

Subseries 2. Fund-raising, grants, and bequests, 1930-1971

This subseries contains several types of materials pertaining to fund-raising efforts by or on behalf of Association House, including policy statements by the Presbytery of Chicago on local church support of neighborhood houses for 1944-1971. Public relations pieces and acknowledgements of contributions further document fund-raising activities by Association House. (Other correspondence concerning contributions is in Series 4, Subseries 1.) Included also are reports on the Auxiliary's fund-raising activities and correspondence pertaining to grants and bequests.

Series 4. Staff papers, 1939-1972 (Box 11-14, 27)

The papers in this series were generated or compiled by Association House staff between 1940 and 1972. Included is some general correspondence of head residents, but most of the papers consist of handbooks on policies and procedures for staff use, workshop materials, and minutes of some staff meetings in the 1950s and 1960s. Some papers in this series are concerned particularly with social work service and study programs conducted at Association House during the summers. The staff papers are arranged in three subseries: Subseries 1, General correspondence, 1950-1971; Subseries 2, Staff minutes, manuals, and newsletters, 1940-1972; and Subseries 3, Social work field education program papers, 1946-1967.

Subseries 1. General correspondence, 1950-1971

This subseries consists of some letters directed to, and copies of responses by, the head residents of Association House in the late 1950s and 1960s. Except for a few letters of recommendation for individuals written in the 1950s, the correspondence is concerned with general information about and contributions to Association House. The correspondence for 1956-1958 and 1961-1962 was written during the tenure of Alfred E. Rath as head resident, letters from 1967-1968 were written when the head resident was Al Mackin, and those for 1969-1971 were written when the position was held by Nancy Murray.

Subseries 2. Staff minutes, manuals, and newsletters, 1939-1972

This subseries includes manuals and statements of personnel policies applicable to the staff of Association House in the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s; minutes of staff meetings and notes on workshops held from 1949 to 1969; and issues of the staff "News Sheet," including minutes of meetings, for 1970-1971. Among the papers in this series are some materials concerning staff recruitment, such as job analyses and applications, for 1958-1964. Papers pertaining to the staff of summer services and educational programs are in Subseries 3.

Subseries 3. Social work field education program papers, 1946-1967

This subseries contains policy statements and several reports from students who worked at Association House through the field education component of the curriculum of the Department of Church and Community, McCormick Theological Seminary. It also includes individual applications for positions on the Summer Service and Study Project staff for 1961-1966 and student evaluation papers written between 1946 and 1956 and between 1965 and 1967. In addition, there are miscellaneous news clippings, published articles, and memoranda that were compiled for staff study between 1963 and 1967.

Series 5. Groups and programs, 1939-1974 (Box 15-18)

The papers in this series pertain to groups and programs that were focal points for the activities of Association House, especially in the 1950s and 1960s, including those centered at Association House and related groups in the community. Some papers concerning Association House’s resident summer camping programs are included. The papers are varied in scope and form and reflect changes in the membership and services of Association House. The papers are divided into two subseries: Subseries 1, Groups and services, 1939-1972; and Subseries 2, Resident summer camps, 1950-1969.

Subseries 1. Groups and services, 1939-1974

This subseries contains correspondence, reports, attendance records, memos, and schedules of various organizations and programs that were based at Association House or in the community it served. The programs represented include day care, recreational activities for children and teenagers, and summer day camps. The list of groups and services that appear in this series is not complete, as other groups and programs in the early years of Association House are identified in the historical materials in Series 1. The papers are grouped chronologically in the following categories: before 1950, the 1950s, the 1960s, and the early 1970s; within these time spans they are arranged alphabetically by name of group or program.

Subseries 2. Resident summer camps, 1950-1969

This subseries consists of papers such as policy statements, reports, and information sheets concerning the resident summer camping programs of Association House. For various years in the 1950s and 1960s, there are some papers pertaining to Camp Gray, Camp Reinberg, and Camp Saugatuck.

Series 6. Related organizations, 1946-1966 (Box 19)

This series contains memoranda, reports, proceedings of meetings, and similar papers concerning church and professional organizations with which Association House was affiliated. Among these organizations are the National Presbyterian Health and Welfare Association and the National Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers and its counterpart at the local level. Included in the series are some papers and correspondence from the Presbytery of Chicago, which assumed responsibility for supporting Association House in the mid-1920s. There are also some papers concerning United Christian Community services, an umbrella organization that encompassed Association House and similar agencies beginning in the 1960s. The files are divided into two groups (and within these arranged alphabetically): national organizations and Chicago organizations.

Series 7. Special studies, 1922-1969 (Box 20)

Reports of special studies of Association House and the community it served are contained in this series. Included are "A Study of Association House" by the Chicago Council of Social Agencies in 1922, community surveys and inventories in the 1940s (including one of the Logan Square neighborhood), a 1961 study of Association House conducted under the auspices of the Presbytery of Chicago, and a demographic sketch of the service area of Association House (West Town and Logan Square).

Series 8. Public information and newsletters, 1900-1972 (Box 20-21, OS folder 1)

This series consists of two types of informational pieces generated by Association House: promotional literature aimed at supporters and friends and newsletters primarily for internal circulation. Many of the former are printed leaflets, and although some refer particularly to summer programs, most are broad in scope. The materials are arranged chronologically (similar papers may be found in Series 1). The newsletters, most of which are mimeographed, were produced by various groups at Association House primarily for internal circulation; they are also arranged chronologically.