Professional Organizations Research Guide

A Brief History

Professional organizations are groups dedicated to the promotion of various professions. These organizations allowed members a vehicle for networking opportunities and social interaction while simultaneously advocating for the professional advancement of those engaging in the profession. Many professional organizations were politically active, lobbying for legislation that would be beneficial to members as a whole.

One of the most well-documented and politically active organizations in the state of Missouri was the Missouri Farmer’s Association (MFA). Founded by William Hirth, MFA was part of the growing farmers' cooperative movement, in which farmers formed clubs to conduct their business. By working together, farmers were able to buy goods at lower bulk prices and sell their products more profitably. The first Farm Club formed in Chariton County in 1914. By July 1916 there were 500 clubs across the state.

In 1917, Fred V. Heinkel attended a lecture by William Hirth. Heinkel was impressed with Hirth's argument in favor of farm clubs and cooperatives, and he quickly joined his local club. Heinkel became secretary-treasurer of his farm club and was elected president of the Franklin County Farmers Association, his local MFA cooperative. As the leader of the Franklin County cooperative, Heinkel developed a close relationship with Hirth, advising him on issues of agricultural politics. In 1936 he was elected vice president of MFA, and when Hirth died in 1940, Heinkel became MFA president. He was reelected to that position every year until 1979. During Heinkel's presidency, MFA grew to become a large and successful business involved in all aspects of agriculture. Heinkel oversaw the expansion of the cooperative and led it through several reorganizations. Between 1940 and 1979, MFA's membership grew from approximately 32,000 to over 175,000 and soon MFA became one of the most successful farmers' cooperatives in the United States. In 2014 the cooperative celebrated its one hundredth birthday and remains an active professional organization.

Articles in the Missouri Historical Review

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.

Subject terms to use when searching the Editorial Cartoon Digital Collection are: "association" or "profession."

View a Selection of Related Editorial Cartoons

Manuscripts

The State Historical Society of Missouri's manuscript collections contain records of organizations devoted to promoting the interests of various professions. These organizations provide networking opportunities and social interaction while simultaneously advocating for the advancement of those engaging in the profession. Many professional organizations are politically active, lobbying for legislation that would be beneficial to their own members. Some examples of collections available through the State Historical Society of Missouri include records of the American Institute of Architects, Kansas City Chapter and the Fred V. Heinkel Papers, which contain materials documenting the political and business activities of the Missouri Farmers Association.

View All Professional Organization Manuscript Collections

Newspapers

The newspapers found in this list represent papers promoting the interests of various professions. Included here are papers that advocated for certain professional populations such as farmers or miners.

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
Adair Kirksville Adair County Farmer Microfilm September 19, 1891-March 10, 1894
Andrew Savannah Patron of Husbandry Microfilm February 17, 1876
Boone County Missouri Farm Bureau News Microfilm November 4, 1921-March 24, 1922
Buchanan Faucett Buchanan County Farmer Microfilm July 25, 1985-March 22, 1990
Buchanan St. Joseph Buchanan County Farmer Microfilm January 5, 1963-December 30, 1966; January 5, 1978-July 18, 1985
Buchanan St. Joseph Buchanan County Farmer and Grower Gazette Microfilm January 6, 1967-January 6, 1977
Buchanan St. Joseph Journal of Livestock and Agriculture Microfilm July 24, 1969-June 7, 1978; January 3, 1963-January 6, 1966; June 14, 1978-July 3, 1986
Buchanan St. Joseph St. Joseph Stock Yards Journal Microfilm January 19, 1950-November 11, 1954
Buchanan St. Joseph Stock Yards Daily Journal Microfilm December 29, 1904-February 21, 1906
Buchanan St. Joseph Stock Yard Journal Microfilm January 4, 1940-December 22, 1949
Caldwell Hamilton Farmers' Advocate Microfilm April 5, 1893-December 20, 1906
Caldwell Hamilton Hamilton Farmers' Advocate Microfilm April 26, 1890-February 27, 1919
Carroll Dewitt Carroll Farmer's Herald Microfilm July 26, 1901-October 25, 1934
Cole County Jefferson City Missouri Farm Bureau News Microfilm March 31, 1922-Mary 15, 1957
Cole Jefferson City Missouri Trades Unionist Microfilm June 1, 1924-September 30, 1946
Madison Fredericktown Farmer and Miner Microfilm March 18, 1876
Newton Granby Granby Miner Microfilm October 4, 1973-September 16, 1876; February 21, 1913-February 27, 1914
Newton Granby Granby Miner-Missourian Microfilm April 14, 1916-December 31, 1920
Newton Neosho Daily Miner and Mechanic Microfilm September 23, 1879-March 25, 1880; October 25, 1879-January 6, 1961
Newton Neosho Neosho Miner-Mechanic Microfilm September 23, 1966-December 31, 1971
Perry Perryville Mid America Farmer Grower Microfilm July 21, 1988-December 26, 2014
Perry Perryville Mid America Farmer Microfilm June 4, 1987-July 14, 1988
Perry Perryville Mid America Regional Farmer Microfilm April 9, 1987-May 28, 1987
Perry Perryville Regional Farmer Microfilm August 4, 1982-April 1, 1987
St. Louis St. Louis Gas House Worker Microfilm April 6, 1935-June 19, 1935
St. Louis St. Louis Journal of Agriculture and Farmer Microfilm September 7, 1876-December 9, 1886
St. Louis St. Louis St. Louis Merchant's Journal Microfilm July 25, 1901-June 5, 1902
St. Louis St. Louis St. Louis Midland Farmer Microfilm  
St. Louis St. Louis St. Louis Mining News Microfilm May 7, 1887
Scotland Memphis Farmer's Union Microfilm February 5, 1891-January 24, 1895
Shelby Clarence Farmer's Favorite Microfilm May 19, 1899-November 1, 1901
Taney Forsyth Pioneer Farmer Microfilm June 2, 1876
Washington Potosi Miner's Prospect Microfilm September 20, 1849

Photographs