Autobiography of James Naismith(1891)
Autobiography of James Naismith(1891)
Springfield College--Alumni and alumnae; International Young Men's Christian Association Training School (Springfield, Mass.); Springfield College--Faculty; Basketball--History;
Naismith, James, 1861-1939; yearbook; biographies and prophecy; autobiography;
“Autobiography of James Naismith from Yearbook (1891)” was written by James Naismith for the International YMCA Training School’s (now known as Springfield College) 1891 Yearbook “Biographies and Prophecy.” In this short one-page document, Dr. James Naismith talks about his early life and influences. This was written before the invention of Basketball. Dr. Naismith studied at Springfield College from 1890-1891, graduating in the Spring of 1891. After completing his one-year program to become a physical director for the YMCA, he took a position as a full-time faculty member at Springfield College, which he kept through the spring of 1895. Just prior to the Christmas break in 1891, with the intent to appease a restless secretary department physical exercise class, he designed a new game: Basketball. A quote on his application may sum up best why and how he created this wonderful sport. In reply to why he desired to become a YMCA Physical Director, Naismith simply states, “My life work is to do good to men and serve God and wherever I can do this best is where I want to go.”
Autobiography of James Naismith, Class of ’91; born November 6, 1861 in Almonte, Ont., Canada. Father and mother Scotch. Father a carpenter. Parents both in died in the fall of 1870. Went to live with an Uncle and Grandmother on a farm, and spent the most of my youthful days there. When old enough, helped at work in the summer until 15 years of age when I left school, though my Uncle advised me to continue my studies. Worked on the farm in the summer, and in the woods in the winter until 19 years of age, when the value of an education impressed itself upon me. Attended the High School for two years and matriculated into McGill University in 1883. Attended there during the session and returned to the farm in the summer nad graduated in 1887. Entered the Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Montreal that same fall and graduate din 1890. The memory of my mother and the Christian life of my Uncle, led me into the Christian life when about 15 years of age. When in College always took part in the sports of the college and saw the influence that could be exerted on men through this side of their nature. Had charge of the college gymnasium during the last two years of my course there, and saw the opportunities there were, for a man in this line of work. Caught a glimpse of the way in which men could be influenced and determined to devote myself to the cause of young men, and came to the school here, because I felt the importance of getting all the information possible, along the line in which I mean to spend my life. My plans for the future are to go where I can do the most for the Master whom I serve. For the present my field will be in the School. It is my intention to have a home.
Naismith, James, 1861-1939
Part of the Class of 1891 biographies and Phophecy
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Springfield College Graduating Class Materials
Class of 1889 to 1892
Class Papers - Class of 1891 - Biographies and Prophecy (Yearbook)
Naismith, James, 1861-1939, “Autobiography of James Naismith(1891),” Digital Commonwealth , accessed March 6, 2014, http://digitalcommonwealth.org/items/show/72265.