Scope and Contents
This collection includes Wilmer J. Young’s journals and correspondence from his time in France, 1918-1919, as arranged by Mildred Binns Young in 1983. It also contains day books from Haverford College and a typescript essay of memories of her grandfather by Karen Young. There are also clippings and other memorabilia of his involvement with the peace movement in the late 1950s and early 1960s; a larger collection of his papers were destroyed in a fire while he and Mildred were living at Guild House in 1970.
Copyright and Rights Information
Copyright has not been assigned to Friends Historical Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in to the Director. Permission for publication is given on behalf Friends Historical Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by reader.
Biographical / Historical
Wilmer J. Young was born in 1887 in Linn County, Iowa, the son of William Penn and Mary Mott Young. He attended Westtown School and graduated from Haverford College in 1911. Young taught at Olney, Moses Brown, and Westtown. In 1918, he joined about 200 other American Quakers in reconstruction work in war-torn France. He was selected to succeed Charles J. Rhoads as head of the American Unit in 1919. Wilmer returned to the United States in 1920. His fiance, Mabel Halloway, had died while he was abroad, but in 1922, he married Mildred Binns and returned to teaching in Kansas City, Missouri. Mildred was born in 1901 in Barnesville, Ohio. The Youngs returned to Europe in the mid 1920s to work in Poland.
In 1934 he headed the American Friends Service Committee’s first work camp in Westmoreland County, Pa. Two years later the family moved to the South for 19 years to work with tenant farmers in programs spondored by the AFSC at the Delta Cooperative and Little River Farms. Wilmer then taught at Pendle Hill, the Quaker Conference Center in Wallingford, Pa., from 1955 to 1968.
Mildred also taught at Pendle Hill and wrote several pamphlets on Quaker topics and served on the board of Friends Journal. In later life, the Youngs became increasingly involved in the peace movement and non-violent activism. Wilmer participated in the Omaha Project in 1957 and A Quaker Action Group in the late 1960s and was arrested and jailed with A.J. Muste, Lawrence Scott, and others during the former. He died in Philadelphia in September 1983, and Mildred died in 1995.