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Special Collections

Musselman Library
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Gettysburg College Box 420
Gettysburg, PA 17325

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MS - 012: Robert Weidensall Collection

(2 boxes, .54 cubic feet)

Inclusive Dates: 1857-1992

Processed by: Christine M. Ameduri
January 2002

Link to Full Finding Aid - PDF


Credited with establishing a YMCA branch on the Gettysburg College campus in 1867, Robert Weidensall (1836 - 1922) was elected the first national field secretary of the International Committee of the YMCA in 1868, a position which he held until his retirement in 1918.

Born April 20, 1836 in Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania, he entered Gettysburg Preparatory school in 1854 after working in the carpentry trade, and graduated Gettysburg College in 1860. He taught school in Middletown, Maryland from 1861 to 1863 before joining the Construction Corps of the United States Military Railroads, 1863 - 1864. From 1864 to 1868 he worked as a superintendent in the construction shops in the Union Pacific Railroad in Omaha, Nebraska.

He was instrumental in helping to create the YMCA's training schools, state committee organizations and the Worker's Bible Training classes. He is the author of Construction Corps U. S. Military Railroads and numerous YMCA pamphlets and publications. He died September 13, 1922.

Scope and Content Notes:

The collection is almost exclusively comprised of materials relating to Weidensall's work with the International YMCA, much of it authored by himself. No personal information other than his employment history with the association is included. Also see related collection, VFM 168 - YMCA, 1867 - 1872.

Link to Full Finding Aid - PDF