History, District



(Issued in 1974 by Tuck Tucker, – Revised in 1981 by Les Mace – Revised in 1995 by Herb Roberts)

                The first club in Missouri was organized in St. Louis, MO, July 19, 1917.  The charter was presented on April 16, 1918.  Lee W. Grant was the first President.

                The second club in Missouri was organized in Kansas City, MO, August 24, 1918.  The charter was presented on October 12, 1918.  Charles L. Scott was the first President.  O. Sam Cummings International Secretary, presented the charter.

                Joplin, the third club, was completed on May 17, 1920, Springfield, the fourth club was completed on June 25, 1920, St. Joseph, the fifth club was completed on August 11, 1920 and the sixth club, Kirksville, was completed on November 9, 1920.  Many others followed in rapid order.

                At a meeting held in St. Louis in the Fall of 1918, the Missouri District of Kiwanis International was formed with just two clubs in existence.  Lee. W. Grant of St. Louis was appointed the first Governor.  He continued to serve until November, 1920.

                At the St. Louis Convention in 1920, Kansas was combined with Missouri to form the Missouri-Kansas District.  Thus, a third club was added – chartered with a membership of 50 on November 28, 1919, in Lawrence, Kansas, just ahead of Joplin.

                On June 30, 1923, Arkansas was affiliated with the Missouri-Kansas District, and the first convention for the Missouri-Kansas-Arkansas District was held in October, 1923 at Springfield, MO.

                Normal growth of the Mo-Kan-Ark District continued in the Tri-State area until 1931-33, when the depression and economic crisis overtook service clubs.  Past Governor and past District Historian, John P. Davidson, Wichita, Kansas, worked diligently to keep clubs from surrendering their charters until people became adjusted, business improved, and an upward trend could be foreseen.

                The year 1946, following the end of World War II, saw phenomenal growth of new clubs.  Governor George W. Kirk, Sikeston, MO, helped build 25 new clubs:  14 in Missouri; 8 in Arkansas; and 3 in Kansas.

                Due to a general feeling that the Tri-State area was entirely too large for good administrative purposes, the Missouri-Kansas-Arkansas District was divided into two districts, Missouri-Arkansas District, and the Kansas District.  This division was completed by unanimous action during the Convention held in Topeka, Kansas, October 8-11, 1950.  Final approval was granted by the International Board of Trustees at its meeting October 29, 1950.  District officers were elected for each District effective January 1, 1951.  The division of funds was based upon the certified number of clubs on July 1, 1950.  The club totals on July, 1950 were:  Missouri-76, Arkansas-34, for a total of 110 clubs in the new Missouri-Arkansas District and 58 clubs in the new Kansas District.

                The first Missouri-Arkansas District Key Club (No. 106) was chartered at Caruthersville, MO.  In 1981, there were more than 100 active Key Clubs in Missouri and Arkansas.  There are now 125 Key Clubs in the District.  The District now has 17 active Circle K Clubs.  Builders Clubs have also gained stature in the district.

                The Missouri-Arkansas District hosted the Kiwanis International Conventions in 1951 and 1990.  Dr. Gene Engelhardt was General Chairman of the 1990 Convention and was also elected for a three year term as International Trustee.

                The new club building record was broken during the Administration of Governor Elmer H. Austermann, Jr., 1964, with a total of 26, unexcelled in the history of the district.  Eighteen clubs were organized in Missouri and 8 in Arkansas.

                For many years, with Board approval, the District Secretary was appointed by the new Governor.  No permanent Central Office was established, and the address of the District Office was moved from year to year.  Finally, in 1957, under the leadership of Governor Robert F. Lawyer, a movement was started to establish a permanent office for the Missouri-Arkansas District.

                The task of combining the Kiwanigram Editorship, secretarial support, and other normal office functions under one roof was assigned to the Governor, Dr. Earl A. Collins of Cape Girardeau, MO.  Governor Collins diligently continued in this capacity until his death in 1960.  In recognition of his efforts, the Earl Collins Memorial Scholarship Fund was inaugurated in his memory.

                Dr. Earl A. Collins was succeeded by Linus W. Bartels, who served until he ran for Governor.  Past Governor, E. W. (Tuck) Tucker, assumed the secretarial and editorial duties in 1962 and continued in this capacity through 1977.  Charles (Pheeze) Kemper has served in this office since that time.

                Combining the offices of the District Secretary and the District Treasurer was considered from time to time and was finally adopted in 1981.

                In 1959, the Missouri-Arkansas District of Kiwanis International was incorporated through the efforts of Todd Harrison, Blytheville, Arkansas and W. Donald Dubail, St. Louis, MO.

                At the District Convention in Kansas City in 1957, and again at the District Convention in Hot Springs, Arkansas in 1973, there were discussions presented that the Arkansas Kiwanians should withdraw from the District and for a separate district.  Each time the pros and cons were introduced in the House of Delegates, the proposal was overwhelmingly abandoned.

                The Kiwanigram, the official publication of the District, has been issued 10 times each year for the past 72 years.  The Kiwanigram is to the District what The Kiwanis Magazine is to Kiwanis International – a promotional tool, particularly in the field of Kiwanis Education and an invaluable public relations instrument.  The Kiwanigram has been frequently cited as the top district publication in all of Kiwanis International.

                The designated District-wide sponsored project is the Earl Collins foundation which was initiated at the District Convention held in St. Joseph, MO in 1960 during the Administrative year of Governor Joe A. Mueller.  The not-for-profit, tax-exempt foundation By-Laws provide for a separate governing Board of Trustees.

                At the District Convention in St. Louis in 1984, under the guidance of Governor Myral Coatney, the Foundation’s by-laws were significantly revised to provide that the Board would consist of a representative from each of the divisions who were to serve for two years and each to be elected in alternate years, the even numbered divisions in even numbered years and the odd numbered divisions in the odd numbered years.  The President shall be a Past Governor.  It was informally agreed that the President would generally be the Governor immediately prior to having served as Immediate Past Governor.  Much greater emphasis was put on funding the Foundation, and it was agreed that income from the funds would only be used primarily to sponsor scholarships.  Last year, 1994-5, seventeen scholarships were provided in the amount of $750 each.  Also, annual contributions are made to the District Key Club Organization and the District Circle K Organization.  During 1986, Don Dubail presented the Foundation with a check for $150,000 from an estate which he had probated.  At the same time, Pheeze Kemper presented a check for $10,000 to the Foundation from another estate.  At the present time, 1995, the Foundation has about $350,000 in total assets.

                The District pioneered the Inter-Club Relations Council idea which has since been adopted by other Kiwanis Districts.  Between 30 and 40 clubs in the Greater St Louis (Divisions 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10) sponsor Kiwanis Camp Wyman for disadvantaged children and adults.  This has been a traditionally successful enterprise bearing the Kiwanis label.  Kiwanis Camp Wyman is now completing a five-million dollar capital campaign and operates with a budget of about 1.5 million dollars per year.  The Kansas City Kiwanis Metro Council included clubs in the Kansas District as well as the Mo-Ark District and is dedicated to promoting local projects as well as Kiwanis International projects such as Immune Dificiency Disorder (I.D.D.).  Other councils are located in Springfield and Little Rock.

                At the request of Past Governor, Dean Murphy, and M-A Fund was established during the 1980 District Convention at Hot Springs, Arkansas.  The purposed of this fund is to give financial assistance to a Past Governor of the Missouri-Arkansas District while campaigning for a Kiwanis International Office and while service as a Trustee or Officer of Kiwanis International.  The first person for whom this fund was used was Past Governor, Raymond Lansford in his bid for Vice President of Kiwanis International.  Raymond ultimately served as a Trustee for two terms, 1977-79 and 1979-81.  Ray was successful in his bid for Vice President, and at the Minneapolis International Convention in 1982, he was elected to the Office of Treasurer, Kiwanis International for the 1982-83 term.  Ray served as President of Kiwanis International during the 1984-5 Administrative year.  The Fund has been used to help elect Gene Engelhardt, International Trustee, on two occasions and has aided Gene Engelhardt’s campaign to become an Officer of the Kiwanis International Foundation for which he has served as Secretary, Treasurer, Vice-President, and President.

                Missouri-Arkansas participation in the Children’s Miracle Network Telethon Program was initiated by Past Governor, Lou Stepter, and has grown each year both in number of clubs participating and in dollars contributed.  Kiwanians and Kiwanis Clubs in the District have contributed over $70,000 since 1988 to support this program as part of the $6,900,000 raised in the Missouri-Arkansas area.

                The Hugh O’Brien Youth Foundation, (HOBY) has developed into a Missouri-Arkansas activity.  Bob Rieders, 1992-3 Chairperson, reported that 800 plus high school sophomores participate each year.  The total cost is more than $175,000 per year.  Kiwanis Clubs and Kiwanians contribute money, and Kiwanians serve in the Administration and as Counselors

Les Mace Kiwanigram Collection

Les Mace has a collection of Kiwanigrams. His plan–

Attached is a file showing the Kiwanigram’s, Mid Year programs and Convention programs that I have on hand.

As we all know they have a wealth of “History” in them. To help me and all of you in making the history complete and vibrant, I would like to have as many of these publications on hand as possible.

Review this list and let me know any of them that you have and I will add them to my collection.

When we are through with the history project, I will forward all that I have to the Mo-Ark History museum in Harrison, AR, for Troy Massey and the staff to keep on file.

Again, Thank you all for participating.

Les Mace

Mo-Ark History Book 2023

The last Missouri-Arkansas Kiwanis District History Book was published in 1995, which means that we have a lot of “catching up” to do as we prepare for the 2023 edition.

We will have printed history books to sell during the District Convention next August. The Earl Collins Foundation will provide the books, with all proceeds to go to the ECF.

Listed below are the chapters and members showing the area of Mo-Ark history that they have agreed to research and write a chapter about:

Aktion Club, Dolores Stamps; BJK Youth Kamp, Jerry Martin; Builders Club, Bill Dooley; Circle K, Richard Hammond; Community Service, Les Mace, Conventions, Jennifer York; Earl Collins Foundation, Les Mace; Key Club, Jim Fritz; Key leader, John Goss; Kiwanigram, Mary Vaughn; Kiwanis Children’s Fund, Roger Jespersen; Kiwanis International, Paul Sherman; MoArk Mid-Year, Susan Lafond; MoArk Trivia, Les Mace; Past Governors, Carla O’Brien; Past Lieutenant Governors, Tom Wiles; Website, Paul Eckler.

The oldest edition of a Kiwanigram that I have on hand is for October 1926. It contains a lot of information along with other older editions in the 1930’s and 1940’s.

The timeline is to have any information, questions or suggestions forwarded to the writers of the chapters no later than December 31, 2022.

Mo-Ark History 2023, Community Service and Service Leadership

An added feature of the Mo-Ark History 2023 book is to feature a section highlighting individual club Community Service and Service Leadership. As we know, community service with an emphasis toward children is the bottom line of Kiwanis. Please include the name and location of your club and information about Community Service or Service Leadership and events. The committee will select the ten best Community Service and the ten best Service Leadership projects to include in the history book.

Mo-Ark History 2023, Articles

Photos from club projects are encouraged. Preference will be given to photos of Kiwanians participating in and interacting with children at service projects.  Please include a brief description of each photo and the names of the Kiwanians featured in the photo. The photos should be submitted by email and have the suffix or ending of .jpg or .jpeg. Preferably with a dots per inch (DPI) of 600 or more.

All articles shall be submitted in Word format.

Chapters to be included in the Mo-Ark 2023 History Book shall be submitted to Les Mace by e-mail to [email protected] no later than January 31, 2023.

Les Mace., CHAIR

November 11, 2023

September 10, 2022

To: History Committee, 2022-2023

Thank you to each one of you for agreeing to serve on the MoArk History 2023 Committee.

The last Missouri-Arkansas History Book was published in 1995, which means that we have a lot of “catching up” to do as we prepare the 2023 version.

Attached is a list of the committee members showing the area of M0Ark history that we have agreed to research and provide information in each area.

The timeline is to have your final draft forwarded to me no later than December 31, 2022.

Next, we will meet at the Mid-Year next March to review the layout and select the design, printer, price, and time of receipt of the books. I will do research for a printer. If any of you have had experience with printing a book(s), forward the name, etc. to me so I can get as many bids as possible to print the book.

Barbara Thompson has agreed to serve as editor which means that as we need to get our draft finalized forward the copy to Barbara ASAP, with the deadline being as mentioned previously, no later than December 31, 2022.

Then we will have printed history books to sell during the District Convention next August.

The Earl Collins Foundation will be the provider of the books, with all proceeds to go to the ECF.

Again, thank each of you for agreeing to help compile a 2023 MoArk History book.

Attached is a list of the committee members.

Les Mace

 CHAIR                           Les Mace

EDITOR                          Barbara Thompson

Aktion Club                                        Dolores Stamps                [email protected]               (479) 799-1687

BJK Youth Kamp                               Jerry Martin       [email protected]          (479) 871-8733

Builders Club                                     Bill Dooley                          [email protected]            (816) 419-5180

Circle K                                                 Richard Hammond          [email protected]                    (501) 2696250

Conventions                                      Jennifer York                     [email protected]           (417) 522-0464                 

Earl Collins Foundation                 Les Mace                             [email protected]                            417-861-6887

Key Club                                              Jim Fritz                               [email protected]                           (314) 722-0466

Key leader                                          John Goss                           [email protected]                        (501) 223-4077

Kiwanigram                                        Mary Vaughn                    [email protected]     (314) 581-0497

Kiwanis Children’s Fund                Roger Jesperson              [email protected]                   (573) 803-0757

Kiwanis International                    Paul Sherman                    [email protected]           (417) 496-9282

MoArk Mid-Year                              Susan Lafond                     [email protected]                 (501) 337-6422

MoArk Tid-Bits                                 Les Mace                             [email protected]                               417-861-6887

Past Governors                                 Carla O’Brien                     [email protected]         (314) 520-7905

Past Lieutenant Governors          Tom Wiles                          [email protected]       (479) 738-8811

Website                                              Paul Eckler                          [email protected]                      (636) 273-5398