Civic Affairs and Leaders Research Guide

The collections of the State Historical Society of Missouri include the materials for civic leaders who are not politicians, who work toward the betterment of the community and the lives of the people who live there. They may be labor leaders, civil rights leaders, environmentalists, the founders of non-profit organizations, or the supporters or opponents of a host of social and economic issues that affect society. Also, included in this category are organizations or groups who advocate for similar causes. Some examples of collections available through the State Historical Society of Missouri include the personal papers of Johnson Lykins Bingham and Martha Lykins who promoted the establishment of the Home for Widows and Orphans of Confederate soldiers; Rosemary Claypool Young who advocated for women, children and automobile safety; or groups such as the League of Women Voters. These, along with around 175 other collections, represent the civic engagement of a host of Missourians who sought to better their communities.

Articles from Missouri Historical Review and Missouri Times


Many of the State Historical Society’s holdings are included in the SHSMO online catalog. The State Historical Society holds numerous books on the history of civic affairs and leaders in Missouri, the Midwest, and the United States generally. Use the term "civic affairs." For a more specific search, simply add the subject term “Missouri” to your search.

Editorial Cartoons

The Society’s collection of editorial cartoons was started in 1946 with an important donation of works by Pulitzer-prize-winning artist Daniel F. Fitzpatrick. The collection continues to grow, with over 8,000 works from Bill Mauldin, Tom Engelhardt, and many others.

The works graphically and often poignantly reflect the attitudes and opinions of the artists and the citizens of Missouri from the early days of the twentieth century through World War I, the Great Depression, World War II, and later events that saw the United States develop into a world leader.

View the Editorial Cartoons Digital Collection

Historic Missourian Biographies


The State Historical Society of Missouri manuscript collections include personal and professional papers of community leaders, but not politicians, who take active roles to improve their communities, and of organizations with similar goals. Collections may also include the records of social service organizations with civic aims.

View All Civic Affairs and Leaders Manuscript Collections


The newspapers found in this list represent papers with a civic-minded agenda. Included here are labor titles, or papers that advocated for certain populations such as farmers or immigrants.

For a list of all digitized newspapers, visit the Missouri Digital Newspaper Project.

For a list of newspapers on microfilm at The State Historical Society of Missouri, visit the newspaper catalog.

County City Title Also Available On Date Range
Caldwell Hamilton Farmers' Advocate Microfilm April 5, 1893-December 20, 1906
Caldwell Hamilton Hamilton Farmer's Advocate Microfilm April 26, 1890-February 27, 1919
Christian Billings Reformer Microfilm March 8, 1876
Christian Ozark Free Silver Herald Microfilm January 15, 1897-May 21, 1897
Greene Springfield Equal Rights Gazette Microfilm August 25, 1860-September 21, 1861
Greene Springfield Springfield Labor Record Microfilm August 31, 1979-March 21, 1985
Greene Springfield Springfield Laborer Microfilm December 12, 1916-June 15, 1917
Greene Springfield Union Labor Record Microfilm October, 20 1937-August 24, 1979
Jackson Independence Equality Microfilm November 15, 1909-November 1, 1911
Jackson Kansas City Kansas City Labor Microfilm January 12, 1895-March 16, 1895
Jackson Kansas City Kansas City Labor News Microfilm March 7, 1924-May 27, 1938
Jackson Kansas City Labor Herald Microfilm February 5, 1904-September 27, 1940
Jackson Kansas City Labor Journal Microfilm September 25, 1942-December 24, 1962
Jackson Kansas City Liberator Microfilm January 2, 1903-December 24, 1903
Jackson Kansas City People's Advocate Microfilm April 10, 1902-April 15, 1902
Jackson Kansas City Reform Microfilm March 17, 1900-June 19, 1909
Jasper Carl Junction Socialist News Microfilm October 2, 1906-April 16, 1907
Jasper Joplin Labor Record Microfilm April 1, 1900-September 15, 1901
Jasper Joplin Missouri Trades Unionist Microfilm January 13, 1908-March 16, 1921
Laclede Lebanon Lebanon Anti-Monopolist Microfilm August 4, 1876-March 5, 1880
Lawrence Mount Vernon Immigrant's Guide Microfilm November 1, 1878-March 31, 1880
Lewis Canton Missouri Plebeian Microfilm June 16, 1848-April 27, 1849
Macon Macon Missouri Granger Microfilm March 3, 1874-May 12, 1876
Marion Hannibal Hannibal Labor Press Microfilm December 11, 1915-January 1, 1971
Pettis Sedalia Liberator Microfilm August 27, 1910-August 22, 1914
Pettis Sedalia Missouri Dry Microfilm January 1, 1916-December 1, 1916
Pettis Sedalia Social Messenger Microfilm September 7, 1913-November 30, 1918
Phelps St. James Progressive News Microfilm December 12, 1912-December 25, 1913
Randolph Higbee Altruist Microfilm August 1, 1895-November 30, 1895
Reynolds Centreville Centreville Reformer Microfilm March 3, 1904-December 26, 1907
St. Clair Osceola Voice of the People Microfilm January 6, 1880-November 21, 1883
St. Louis St. Louis Altruist Microfilm April 1, 1885-May 1, 1917
St. Louis St. Louis Communist Microfilm December 1, 1868-February 28, 1885
St. Louis St. Louis Equality Microfilm April 3, 1905
St. Louis St. Louis Gas House Worker Microfilm April 6, 1935-June 19, 1935
St. Louis St. Louis Gay News-Telegraph Microfilm October 6, 1981-November 8, 1996
St. Louis St. Louis Illinois Labor Tribune Microfilm May 23, 1963-April 7, 1966
St. Louis St. Louis Indiana Labor Tribune Microfilm June 1, 1955-January 9, 1970
St. Louis St. Louis Labor Microfilm April 29, 1893-April 22, 1899
St. Louis St. Louis Labor Campaign Microfilm October 7, 1894-October 28, 1894
St. Louis St. Louis Labor Compendium Microfilm July 28, 1901-March 31, 1911
St. Louis St. Louis St. Louis/ Southern Illinois Labor Tribune Microfilm November 1, 2012-October 30, 2014
St. Louis St. Louis Labor’s Call Microfilm April 25, 1977-June 15, 1979
St. Louis St. Louis Lesbian and Gay News-Telegraph Microfilm June 1, 1988-December 9, 1994
St. Louis St. Louis Midwest Labor World Microfilm May 12, 1943-May 15, 1963
St. Louis St. Louis Milwaukee Labor Microfilm September 3, 1894
St. Louis St. Louis Missouri Labor Microfilm February 20, 1897-January 7, 1906
St. Louis St. Louis Missouri Socialist Microfilm January 5, 1901-November 1, 1902
St. Louis St. Louis Missouri Teamster Microfilm June 7, 1963-December 31, 1937
St. Louis St. Louis Nation-Wide Protest Microfilm July 1, 1937-July 31, 1937
St. Louis St. Louis Progressive Press Microfilm December 12, 1930-January 31, 1932
St. Louis St. Louis Social Revolution Microfilm March 1, 1917-February 28, 1918
St. Louis St. Louis Southern Illinois Labor Tribune Microfilm January 1, 1954-May 16, 1963; April 14, 1966-December 25, 1970
St. Louis St. Louis St. Louis Labor Microfilm January 3, 1903-December 6, 1930; December 7, 1895-July 25, 1896
St. Louis St. Louis St. Louis Labor Tribune Microfilm June 25, 1937-August 29, 1985
St. Louis St. Louis St. Louis Progressive Woman Microfilm May 1, 1995-March 31, 2003
St. Louis St. Louis St. Louis Union Labor Advocate Microfilm September 3, 1934-August 29, 1958
St. Louis St. Louis St. Louis/Southern Illinois Labor Tribune Microfilm September 5, 1985-October 25, 2012
St. Louis St. Louis Troy Labor Microfilm July 21, 1894-August 18, 1894
Scotland Memphis Farmer's Union Microfilm February 5, 1891-January 24, 1895
Scotland Memphis People's Messenger Microfilm March 19, 1896-February 17, 1898
Washington Caledonia Rural Progressive Microfilm October 6, 1977-January 26, 1978

Oral Histories

Maxwell Williams was a leader of civic groups concerned with transportation and educational improvements in the area, served on the board of directors of the Little River Drainage District, was president of Sikeston Federal Land Bank Association (1943-1944), and was a member of the state advisory committee of the U.S. Farmers Home Administration (1950s).


Search the following names and collections on SHSMO's Digital Collections website for images of individuals who have served their communities. Most of the images are portraits of individuals or families who showed civic leadership during their lives. Examples include Thomas Bullene, former mayor of Kansas City, and Henry J. Haskell the editor of the Kansas City Star and a trustee of the State Historical Society of Missouri.

  • Thomas B. Bullene
  • Business men’s portraits of 1897 (K0542)
  • Convention Halls and Municipal Auditorium Scrapbook
  • Henry J. Haskell
  • Kansas City Convention Hall Records
  • Joseph Van Clief Karnes
  • Phoebe (Test) Moulder Black
  • Thomas V. Moulder
  • Wilbur Moulder
  • Moulder Family
  • Francis Moulder
  • The Missouri Collection (C3982)
  • Robert T. Van Horn