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Swedish-American Athletic Association Records

Identifier: SAAGC/017
The records of the Swedish-American Athletic Association contain the association's constitution, bylaws, and incorporation documents; minute books; financial docuements, ledgers and paid bills; membership information; information about the association's programs; and correspondence.


  • 1914 - 1984


Conditions Governing Access

There are no access restrictions on the materials, and the collection is open to all members of the public. However, the researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming with the laws of libel, privacy, and copyright that may be involved in the use of this collection.


8.2 Linear Feet (17 containers)

Biographical / Historical

On July 17, 1914, the Swedish-American Athletic Association (S.A.A.A.)  was chartered by the State of Illinois. The S.A.A.A. was formed by the merger of three groups dating back to the 1880s: The Swedish Gymnastic Club, Eskil Athletic Club of the South Side, and the Scandia Athletic Club of the North Side.The S.A.A.A. charter was signed by members Harold Nelson, Carl A. Anderson, Arthur L. Shelstrom, Richard Anderson, Frank Gustafson, and Engvald Stevenson. The goals of the S.A.A.A. stated in the charter was to: unite men of Swedish birth or descent of sound, health and good moral character; to aid, promote and advance Swedish gymnastics, and all indoor and outdoor sports or athletics, and in general work for the social and intellectual welfare and advancement of the association and its members.

The S.A.A.A. was at first a south side club. Also in 1914, a north side athletic club was formed - the Chicago Swedish American Club. It was created by the merger of Scandia A.C., Brage A.C. and the Sparta Football Club. The Chicago Swedish American Club later joined with the S.A.A.A. to form one city-wide S.A.A.A. However, the south side and north side groups continued to meet separately. Years and places of south side meetings were: from 1934 to 1962 at 852 E. 75th Street, from 1962 to 1967 at 344 W. 119th Street (Roseland), from 1967 to 1974 at 219 E. 113th Street, and from 1975 at 243 E. 113th Street.

The northsiders rented until 1927. In 1927, they bought a building at 901 Fletcher Street. They purchased a new headquarters at 3541 N. Clark Street in 1954. The 60th anniversary program book says that the Swedish-American Athletic Association has been affiliated with the Central Amateur Athletic Union for over 40 years. The S.A.A.A. has competed in track and field, tug of war, wrestling, boxing, soccer, bowling, basketball, golf, and baseball. They have competed against such groups as Illinois A.C., Hebrew Institute, Hull House, Gary Y.M.C.A., Grand Rapids Post, and Oklahoma University. Competitive successes of the S.A.A.A. include: Central A.A.U. wrestling championship (1915-1929); boxing trophies in Central A.A.U. championships, Golden Gloves and Gary Middle State Tourney, and the 1945 Illinois State Championship in soccer. In recent years, the athletic activities of the club have been less rigorous. The club continues to hold an annual picnic and publishes a quarterly newsletter "The Punching Bag".


Arranged by topic and then chronologically.

Processing Information

Originally arranged and described by Eric Lundberg. Redescribed by Ted Roberg, May 1987
Funding to migrate and update this finding aid was provided by the Swedish Council of America through the 2019 grant "Improving and Expanding Access to the Swedish–American Archives of Greater Chicago."

Repository Details

Part of the Swedish-American Archives of Greater Chicago Repository

3225 W Foster Ave
Box 38
Chicago IL 60625 USA