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MS - 062: George Hay Kain (Class of 1897) Papers

Processed by: Julia Grover, '06
February 2005

Provenance: Gift of Kenneth Basile, January 1996.

ms062 Biography: George Hay Kain was born on April 13, 1877 to William Henry Kain (Gettysburg, Class of 1871) and Clara Maria Hay Kain in York, PA. Both of his parents died in 1883 of tuberculosis.

Kain entered Gettysburg College in 1893 as a freshman. At Gettysburg, Kain participated in the YMCA, Camera Club, Snake and Coffin Biological Club, the Delmonico Club, Scientific '97 and Phi Beta Kappa. He was an active brother in the Phi Delta Theta fraternity. He appears to have been involved in the first issue of The Gettysburgian in 1897; however he is not mentioned as being a part of later issues. Kain received Honorable Mention for the Baum Sophomore Mathematical Prize, served as associate editor for the Spectrum in his junior year and was class historian in his senior year. He graduated in 1897 from the scientific course, receiving a Bachelor of Science, and a Commencement speech entitled, "The Unification of Science." Kain later received a Master of Science from Gettysburg in 1900

Upon graduation, Kain spent a year as a math tutor in the Preparatory Department Academy of Gettysburg College. He attended Harvard Law School from 1898 until 1902 and graduated with a LL. B. degree. Kain practiced law in York, PA, and was vice president and director of the York Trust Co. and the York Water Co. He is the author of History of the Grand Commandery of Knights Templar of Pennsylvania, 1797-1949 (1949), and also co-authored City Digest of York, PA (1906); History of York Lodge, No. 266, Free and Accepted Masons, and of St. John's Lodge, No. 123, Ancient York Masons, held at York, PA (1932); and A History of the York County Academy, York, Pennsylvania (1953). Kain was a 33rd degree Mason and past Grand Commander of Knights Templar of Pennsylvania. He was given an honorary doctor of laws degree from Gettysburg College in 1951.

Kain married Cara Bahn Watt on January 1, 1901. They lived in York, PA and had three children: George Hay (born in 1907), Richard Morgan (born in 1908), and William Henry (born in 1912). George Hay Jr. and William Henry were partners with their father in the York law firm of Kain, Kain, and Kain. He died February 1, 1958 in York, PA.

Scope and Content Notes:

  • Series I - Correspondence: The collection consists of 46 of George Hay Kain's letters to his college girlfriend, A. Marjorie Zug, a student at the Women's College of Baltimore. Marjorie attended the Women's College but dropped out after her junior year. She was born in Washington D.C. and lived most of her life in Bowie, MD. She was never married and died in 1967. Kain's letters include commentary on various aspects of college life, including classes, assignments, faculty, fraternity events, sports, commencement, class days, the Preparatory School, and the college publications. He also writes about interests such as photography and bicycling, as well as traveling to and from Baltimore. The dates span from fall of 1896 to the winter of 1898. Additional material in the collection includes a letter from the Arlington Monument Company to A. M. Zug, and a letter to Zug from her brother in Alaska, both dated 1916.
  • Series II - Photocopies: Arranged same as originals.

    Note on related materials: Special Collections contains a copy of History of the Grand Commandery of Knights Templar of Pennsylvania, 1797-1949, by Kain (HS757 .P4 K3) and Songs of Phi Delta Theta. 4th Ed. (M1960 .P49 1895), signed by Kain
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