For several years there had been talk among members of the local shoe and leather trade of the feasibility of the formation of some sort of an organization. More especially for the social side and as a means of promoting good-fellowship and furnishing a common meeting ground for those in the trade to get together outside of working hours. The matter was discussed by enterprising members of the trade more than once, but no definite action was taken until 1907, when the shoe manufacturers of the city, through their association, tendered a dinner at the Missouri Athletic Club, to a number of the superintendents and foremen in the trade.
At that dinner the matter was discussed and plans made for perfecting some form of organization. For some reason the project was not pushed and the idea slumbered for several years, though it was informally discussed from time to time, until 1912, when a call for a meeting was issued to the trade, in an endeavor to really get the movement for forming an association of some kind in the trade under way. Notices were sent to a number of the leading superintendents and foremen, outlining the purposes of the meeting, which was held in the rooms of the St. Louis Shoe Manufacturers' & Jobbers' Association, in the Odd Fellows Bldg. Sixteen men were present and it was voted to send a letter to each superintendent and foreman in the trade, inviting them to join the movement. The following officers, pro tem, were elected: President, E. F. Spalsbury; first vice-president, H. A. Higgins; second vice-president, J. F. Bush; secretary, E. N. Mock; treasurer, J. J. Scannell, and the meeting adjourned until March 26th, 1912.
At this meeting the following committee on constitution and by-laws was appointed: H. A. Higgins, chairman; M. V. Kedian, Ed De Largy, C. E. Anglim, A. P. Brown, and this committee's report was adopted at the following meeting on April 2nd.
On April 9th a permanent organization was perfected, and the following officers were elected: President, M. V. Kedian; first vice-president, Ed De Largy; second vice-president, T. O. Nolan; secretary, E. N. Meek; treasurer, C. E. Anglim. Executive Board, A. L. Brown, chairman; H. A. Higgins, Jno. Flynn. Jno. Finke, F. H. Voss. Trustees' Board: E. F. Spalsbury, chairman; H. P. Preston, Jas. Quinn, Jr.
At the meeting of April 23rd, a committee on permanent quarters, consisting of J. N. Rainey, chairman, Ed De Largy and A. G. McGaghey was named. The work of this committee resulted in the leasing of commodious quarters in the Princess Theater Bldg., at Grand and Olive street, which were occupied about June 1st, and this marks the real beginning of the organization as a permanent affair, 50 new members being taken in at the first business meeting there.
Then followed a rapid growth. Invitations were sent to every superintendent and foreman in the trade, and following action by the members, to all members of the allied trade. The first social functon of the new organization was a smoker, held May 21st, in the North St. Louis Hall, at which nearly 200 members and prospects were present. This resulted in largely increasing the membership.
Early in June, President Kedian resigned on account of leaving the city, and at a special election on June 18th, 1912, to fill the unexpired term, J. N. Rainey was elected to succeed him, the balance of the officers and directors being unchanged.
On June 29th, the first annual picnic was held and a whole day spent in an outing of the members, friends and families, and resulted in a net earning of over $400 for the treasury. With the approach of fall a more active canvass was made for members, with 300 as the objective point and on November 12th a second smoker was held, which was largely attended. By January 1st, 1913, the membership had reached 325 and at the first regular election, held December 10th, previously, the voting was large and spirited.
This election resulted as follows: President., C. E. Anglim; first vice-president, P. R. Favreau; second vice-president, Jos. Loftis; secretary, F. W. Condon;
1. "History of Our Organization", Official Reference Book of the St. Louis Association Of Superintendents And Foremen, Published by the Association, 1918, Page 13.
See AlsoSt. Louis Shoe and Leather Club 1918 Roster