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Wilmer J. and Mildred Binns Young Papers

Identifier: SFHL-RG5-289

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.


  • Creation: 1909-2014


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to reuse, publish, or reproduce items in this collection beyond the bounds of Fair Use or other exemptions to copyright law must be obtained from the copyright holder or their heirs/assigns. See

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.


2 linear ft. (3 boxes)

Language of Materials



Wilmer J. Young (1887-1983), a Quaker teacher and peace activist born in Iowa, was involved in post World War I reconstruction in France and Poland. He married Mildred Binns in 1922, and together they worked with AFSC work camps and cooperative farms until he began to teach at Pendle Hill in 1955. The collection contains primarily journals and correspondence from his time in France.

Physical Location

For current information on the location of materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donor: Karen Young

Date: 2014

Accession number: 2014-006

Related Materials

Peace Action Center records, 1959-1963. Swarthmore College Peace Collection

Visible witness : a testimony for radical peace action, by Wilmer J. Young. Pendle Hill Pamphlet, v. 118.

Separated Materials

Photographs from Wilmer J. And Mildred Binns Young Papers have been stored separately as PA 173. They include images of France and Poland and family photographs, as well Westmoreland Work Camp, Little River Farm, Delta Cooperative Farm, Mt. Rainier Camp, Pendle Hill, and Quaker Peace Witness.

Processing Information

The papers were arranged and labeled by Mildred Young in 1983.

An Inventory of the Wilmer J. and Mildred Binns Young Papers, 1918-2014
FHL staff
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Find It at the Library

Most of the materials in this catalog are not digitized and can only be accessed in person. Please see our website for more information about visiting or requesting repoductions from Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College Library

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Swarthmore Pennsylvania 19081 USA