'Dayton's Loss of a Real Man'
The following editorial appeared in the Dayton Journal on
June 4, 1917, the morning after Mr. Carl B. Kern was killed at age 37
in an automobile accident.
There are few homes in Dayton today - homes with little boys in
them - that do not grieve for the passing away of Carl B. Kern,
director of the boys' department of the Young Men's Christian
association. The loss of this man, who stood head and shoulders
above thousands of his fellows as a real man can not now be
estimated. It is too soon for that, albeit the community already
had been able to appreciate just what was his influence for good
with the growing boys, the future citizens of Dayton.
Taken in the prime of his manhood, in the prime of his ambitious
undertakings, in the prime of his service to Dayton, at a time when
hundreds of his little friends found in him a teacher, a friend and
big brother, he has left a vacancy that will be hard to fill. It
can not be filled in the hearts of his friends and his loved ones,
nor will it be filled just as he filled it in the great organization
of which he was such a virle, inspiring spirit. The Young Men's
Christian association will feel that for a long time.
Carl B. Kern was engaging to a point that made it possible for him
to attract to him hundreds of boys who found in his department a
guide such as every mother might choose for her son. And the boys
followed him with gladness, their faith in him never anything but
strong, their love for the big director ever increasing. He was with
them heart and soul and they with him. In the big outdoors which he
loved so well he camped with them, became a boy again and entered
into the spirit of their frolics. Too, he made their tasks a sport
and they loved him for that though his discipline was rigid. Gentle
but firmly he led them on the right way, laid the foundation for
manliness in his charges, accomplished many a thing that fathers and
mothers had failed to accomplish, thus endearing himself to these
same fathers and mothers who were proud to have their sons follow
In all things Carl B. Kern was big. There was nothing of littleness
about him. He was a man for boys to love and follow. He was a man's
man. He was a real man.