Santa Claus watching over sleeping kids graced the cover of the December 1927 issue of the Missouri Pacific Lines Magazine of the St. Louis-based railroad which made significant expansions into Texas and Louisiana in the 1920s and ’30s. The publication was edited by Edward Harlan “E.H.” McReynolds, an early Missouri newspaperman, who was hired in 1923 as assistant to the president and director of publicity-advertising.
Over the span of his 14-year career, his name graced the masthead of each and every issue. Edward once wrote of his gratification in the “continuous publication of what has come to be widely acclaimed as one of the outstanding employe magazines in America.”
The MOPAC magazine was a substantial production of work, sometimes totaling as many as 88 pages. It carried articles about the company’s financial performance, operations and personnel as well as reports from its individual sections, from St. Louis, Kansas City and Omaha to Memphis and Houston, and many smaller towns in between. Inside the inaugural edition’s 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 Lewis W. Baldwin.
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.”
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