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Missouri Pacific Lines Magazine

Edited by Edward Harlan "E.H." McReynolds,
Special Assistant to the President

McReynolds' guest column, 1929 
Edward Harlan "E.H." McReynolds (1890-1937) was an early Missouri newspaperman who rose to become a prominent public relations and advertising executive with the Missouri Pacific Lines railroad in St. Louis in the 1920s and '30s.

During his years with the Missouri Pacific, from 1923 to 1937, he served as editor of the Missouri Pacific Lines Magazine, chronicling the people, places and events of the growing company. His name graced the masthead of each and every issue.

The magazine was a substantial production of work, sometimes totaling as many as 88 pages. It carried advocacy opinion pieces about the industry as well as articles about the company's financial performance, operations and personnel. Included were reports from its individual sections, from St. Louis, Kansas City and Omaha to Memphis and Houston, and many smaller towns in between. 

The first edition was produced in July 1923. Inside the front cover was a message to all employees: “The Missouri Pacific Magazine is yours! We need your help to make it the best of its kind in America… We want lots of pictures!” It included a letter to all employees by new President L.W. Baldwin and a history of the railroad by Edward J. White.

Then in the November 1924 edition, on the magazine's back cover, Baldwin authored an essay explaining the greater good that the company's public relations and publishing were accomplishing. Under the headline "Missouri Pacific Railroad 'Open Door' Policy Is Helping to Bring About Better Understanding of Railroad Question," he wrote:

Back cover essay by President Baldwin, November 1924 edition

This is the twelfth monthly statement devoted to giving patrons of the Missouri Pacific and the public information about this railroad and the railroad situation generally. We began publishing these statements a year ago with a view to keeping our friends and patrons informed on matters of mutual interest.

These statements have been prepared with a view to clearing away any alleged mystery which might be supposed to surround the railroads or the Missouri Pacific. We have discussed frankly the questions of service, rates, the Transportation Act, railroad credits, the relationship between the railroads and the farmers, volume of traffic, progress being made in improving the railroad situation, taxes, dividends, the necessity for practicing Safety First, advice to shippers regarding co-operation in increasing average car loadings, requests for co-operation in prompt release of equipment, and discussions of the cost of equipment and other items that enter into the production of adequate and dependable service.

Railroads have made mistakes in the past by failing to take the public fully into their confidence and the public has made mistakes by demanding the wrong kind of railroad regulation and service that was impossible to render under the circumstances. We feel that this condition is being corrected through the medium of these statements, supplemented, of course, by the highest character of service we are able to provide.

We know that the feeling toward the Missouri Pacific is more friendly today than it ever has been in the past. We are proud of that. We believe the principal reason is that the public knows more about the Missouri Pacific and on our part we are constantly striving to keep in close touch with our patrons and keep advised as to what they want.

Political cartoon, 1923
We believe the citizens in the territory served by the Missouri Pacific are fully alive to the advantages they obtain and enjoy through constructive treatment of the railroads as compared with the disadvantages all must suffer as a result of unconstructive regulation. We realize, and we want the public to know that we realize, that our duty is to provide an adequate and satisfactory service, and that we must contribute our full share to the upbuilding, the progress and the prosperity of the territory we serve and have a fair profit for the benefit of the security owners in the property, and we have an abiding faith in the fairness of the American people and the communities we serve to work with us to these purposes.

We believe that we would be unfair to our friends and ourselves if we failed to keep the public informed on the matter. After a year of activity along this line we are convinced that our patron and friends understand and appreciate what we are trying accomplish. I solicit your co-operation and suggestions.

Included over the years were pieces on charitable organizations such as the Boy Scouts and apple blossom festival organized by the Missouri River Apple Growers. The railroad's booster clubs all along the rail lines contributed articles, and there were numerous photographs of employee sports teams, children's photos and various special interest groups. Stories promoted safety, chess tips and an honor roll of deceased employees. The inaugural issue also contained a political cartoon showing a snake -- labeled "Bolshevism" -- threatening "your liberty" - "your home" - "your job" - "your money."

Unlike corporate magazines of today, the publication carried third-party advertising targeting the MOPAC's thousands of employees. The June 1929 edition, for example, contained advertisements from Illinois Watch, Chrysler Motors, Edgeworth Tobacco and International Correspondence Schools.

Occasionally, McReynolds himself would write by-lined pieces about major corporate developments. In March 1929, for example, he authored "Bringing Our Family Together: Application Before the I.C.C. Would Lease 22 Missouri Pacific Subsidiaries to a Single Operating Company."

This page provides a summary of the original editions of the magazine preserved today in the Minerd.com Archives.


July 1923 June 1924 November 1924 
 February 1926 March 1926  June 1926 
 August 1926 November 1926   December 1926
 March 1927 August 1927  September 1927 
December 1927  March 1928   June 1928
 July 1928 September 1928   October 1928
 November 1928 February 1929  March 1929 
 April 1929 May 1929   June 1929
September 1929  September 1930  February 1931 
September 1931 November 1931   November 1933
 May 1934 August-September 1934   Dec. 1934-Jan. 1935
August-September 1935   October-November 1935  February-March 1936
October-November 1936  Dec. 1936-Jan. 1937  February-March 1937 
 April-May 1937  June-July 1937  



Copyright © 2010-2024 Mark A. Miner

March 1928 issue courtesy of Lillian Moffeit and Barbara Boren