Earl N. Hale

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Earl Hale at the West Point Campsite

Born:1889

Died:

Camp Director:1914-1919
Boys' Work Director:1914-1921

Earl N. Hale was the Boys' Work Secretary (who also oversaw nascent camping operations) at the Youngstown YMCA from 1914[1] to 1921[2]. Because his appearance in the association coincides with the decision by the Youngstown YMCA to permanently commit to summer camping[3], it seems likely that Earl was hired at least in part for his experience and interest in camping. As the Camp Director that oversaw the growth at the West Point campsite, including the donation by John H. Fitch that allowed purchase of the property and a long term plan for camping, Earl was foundational in the development of Camp Fitch. Based on photographs of life in Camp at the West Point site, he appears to have been a mentor to both Paul B. Davies and Raymond L. "Curly" Johnson. He came to Youngstown in 1914 from the Dayton YMCA where he was the Assistant Boys' Work Secretary[4] and may have been involved there in camping experiences for boys. In the early 20th century, the Dayton YMCA appears to have been a much larger association than the growing Youngstown YMCA and taking over as Boys' Work Secretary was a promotion and a step up the career ladder for Earl. In 1922, Earl became head of the Religious Department in the Youngstown YMCA allowing Paul B. Davies to become the Boys' Work Secretary. [5]

Career After Youngstown

Earl left the Youngstown YMCA to be the first General Secretary of the Tiffen YMCA in its founding year of 1923.[6] [7]. He served as the General Secretary in Tiffen for three years, and in 1926[8] he took the post of General Secretary of the Marion YMCA where he stayed until at least 1940.[9] [10] In Marion, he also served as the president of the Rotary Club in 1932.[11]

Trivia

Earl spent his teen years in Dayton, Ohio at 431 Richard Street.

As a teen, Earl was a collector of autographs and at least two letters he wrote requesting autographs of people he admired are on record. In 1905, as a sixteen year old boy, Earl wrote to poet and fellow Daytonian Paul Laurence Dunbar and also to naturalist John Muir. In a very well written letter (for a sixteen year old) to Muir, Earl expresses his respect for an adventuresome spirit and outdoor life by writing that “America, the greatest and grandest of all nations, has produced many great and good men. Ranking among the foremost of these men is Mr. John Muir; who by his genuine American pluck and makeup has risen to be America's leading explorer, naturalist and writer . . . I would not consider my collection complete in the least without your [autograph].”

Earl entertained audiences such as the University Women's Club with talks surrounding his hobby of “gathering of unusual and little known facts and interesting anecdotes concerning the presidents of our country.” His collection included Currier and Ives prints, cartoons and presidential campaign posters along with what was reputed to be the most extensive collection of figurines of the presidents' wives[10].

Photos

Follow this link to see all photos of Earl Hale in the galleries on Pygmy Island.

References

1. a Int'l Committee of Young Men's Christian Associations, 1915. Year Book of the YMCA of North America for the Year May 1, 1914 - April 30, 1915. Association Press, New York, pp.303.
2. a Int'l Committee of Young Men's Christian Associations, 1921. Year Book of the YMCA of North America for the Year May 1, 1920 - April 30, 1921. Association Press, New York, pp.131.
3. a Youngstown Vindicator, April 28, 1989. Camp Fitch had Primitive Beginnings. Vindicator Printing Company.
4. a Int'l Committee of Young Men's Christian Associations, 1912. Year Book of the YMCA of North America for the Year May 1, 1911 - April 30, 1912. Association Press, New York, pp.67.
5. a Int'l Committee of Young Men's Christian Associations, 1923. Year Book of the YMCA of North America for the Year May 1, 1922 - April 30, 1923. Association Press, New York, pp.67.
6. a Int'l Committee of Young Men's Christian Associations, 1924. Year Book of the YMCA of North America for the Year May 1, 1923 - April 30, 1924. Association Press, New York, pp.62.
7. a Tiffen YMCA. Official Website.
8. a Int'l Committee of Young Men's Christian Associations, 1927. Year Book of the YMCA of North America for the Year May 1, 1926 - April 30, 1927. Association Press, New York, pp.90.
9. a Int'l Committee of Young Men's Christian Associations, 1934. Year Book of the YMCA of North America for the Year May 1, 1933 - April 30, 1934. Association Press, New York, pp.193.
10. a, b Lima News, 10 Nov, 1940. University Club to Hold Guest Meeting. Lima News.
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