Barnes Reid Family Collection

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Reference code

US ILfC SC/010

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Barnes Reid Family Collection


  • 1890-1977 (Creation)


7 boxes

Name of creator


Biographical history

Lilace Reid Barnes, the daughter of Clifford Barnes (1864-1944) and Alice Reid (1866-1938), was born in 1900 and followed her family's pioneering spirit of generosity throughout her life. Most notably, she accomplished much as first American World President of the YWCA (Young Women's Christian Association) and with also her later involvement at Lake Forest College.
Initially, she began her work with the YWCA in 1926 as a volunteer secretary and soon joined the YWCA national board leading to her eventually rise as the 1947 World President of the International YWCA meeting in China. She held this office in Geneva, Switzerland until 1955. Upon her return to the United States, she was chosen to serve as the head of the YWCA US National Board until 1961 playing a strong role on local, national, and international stages of the organization.

Lilace directly continued to show her propensity for leadership roles as she was the first woman on the Lake Forest College Board Trustees in 1944 and served until 1962. In 1968, she was made an honorary life member and her name holds import on campus at the Lilace Reid Barnes Interfaith Center and with the donation of Reid Barnes collection to the Library Archives and Special Collections. She died in Lake Forest at the age of 89 in 1989.

Name of creator


Biographical history

Clifford W. Barnes was a clergyman and sociologist born in Corry, PA on October 8, 1864. He was an accomplished student attending both University of California and Oxford University (England) and graduating from of Yale University. He also received a Masters degree from University of Chicago. He began his career as a pastor in New York City and Chicago. Importantly, he became the first male resident of the Hull House, Chicago, in 1893.

Alongside his church work in Chicago, Barnes traveled throughout Europe to places within England and France to learn and teach in schools. He pursued such a course of teaching to closely examine the differing definitions of morality held worldwide. He soon returned to the United States to teach sociology at UIC for a year and he married Alice Reid on May 5, 1898. Clifford and Alice became parents of a son Summerville Reid, who died in early childhood and of a daughter, Lilace.

Clifford Barnes was later officially appointed as President and professor of Illinois College in Jacksonville, Illinois in 1900. Yet, Barnes always chose to devoted his energies to many social movements and held a number of organizational positions/titles. One of best known group created by Clifford was the well known Chicago Sunday Evening Club.

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Scope and content

The collection consists of correspondence, family scrapbooks, yearbooks, legal documents, awards, Clifford Barnes's own personal memoir manuscript, group pamphlets/programs and photographs that all originate from the Barnes Reid Family. Overall, the artifacts of this collection shows the family's shared dynamic of moral beliefs and devotion to a life of service.

The collection is split into 3 distinct series-1) Lilace Reid Barnes Documents, 2) Clifford Webster Barnes Documents, and 3) Assorted Reid Barnes Family Documents.
For more information, contact the Lake Forest College Archivist and consult the biographical sketches of the creators/main family members also provided on this page.

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