The Frances Field Memorial

Field Memorial is dedicated to Frances Field, who died in 1909 after serving the YWCA in many ways, most notably as state secretary for New York and New Jersey, and then as private secretary to Grace H. Dodge (1856-1914), the first president of the YWCA in the U.S.A.

The dedication service was a small one, held on July 1, 1913, between the YWCA student and city conferences at Silver Bay. Mabel Cratty, General Secretary of the YWCA, met with a group of workers in “the attractive little bungalow” and spoke of Miss Field’s long, uncomplaining struggle against ill health and of “the gray monotony of a life spent so largely in committee meetings.” But she also spoke of the strength and purity of Field’s spirit, the clarity of her mind, the trueness of her heart.

One woman at the dedication, Ethel Hubbard, later wrote, “In the fragrance of the summer air, with the sunlight falling on the daisies which made beautiful the room, it was not with the sorrow of just a memory so much as with the joy of her spiritual presence that we joined in the prayer of dedication and sang with full hearts, ‘To all the saints, who from their labors rest.’”

field-memorial-web

Today, Field Memorial still stands, again in the words of Hubbard, as “a silent witness to the power of a life given to God and used by him in the service of young women.”

Field Memorial

Field Memorial, July 2009

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Quotes from Association Monthly, Young Women’s Christian Association of the U.S.A., September 1913; photos by Jesse Sumner Wooley, Richard K. Dean from a 1954 Dean Color Service postcard, and the author.

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