(Deceased)

State: Texas

City: San Antonio

Chapters:63

Members: Unknown

Convention: San Antonio, TX - June 13-16, 1928

Income: $7,700

Banker, 30 year old, Ernest A. Baetz elected president for a full term.

Executive Vice President:* Richard F. Wood Omaha, NE
Vice President: E. W. Viets Flint, MI
Vice President: N. Baxter Maddox Atlanta, GA
Vice President: Walton Clinton Tulsa, OK
Vice President: E. Rollins Dunn New York, NY
Treasurer: Arthur G. Randol San Antonio, TX
Secretary to the Board: Young C. Crooks San Antonio, TX
Executive Secretary:** Harry Krusz
San Antonio, TX

Directors:
 
 
John Briggs Dallas, Tx
A. P. Phillips, Jr. Orlando, Fl
Edwin Tiemeyer Cincinnati, Oh
George T. Miller Sapulpa, Ok
G. Edward Dahlin Chicago, IL
H. F. McCulla Lincoln, NE
Walter Melius Milwaukee, WI
Sam C. Schumlbach Cairo, IL
John Armbruster St. Louis, MO
Thomas Barlow New Brunswick, NJ
Durward Howes *** Los Angeles, CA

*This term should not be confused with currently used expression of Executive Vice President. Wood was a non paid officer, responsible for organizational policy. Harry Krusz, the paid executive secretary, is akin to the current Executive Vice President, and handled actual administration.

** From 1928-34 Harry Krusz moved to home of national president.

***Los Angeles resigned from the organization, but had returned to membership by the time of the mid-winter conference in 1929. Howes, therefore, actively served as a director.

Flint, MI to host 1929 convention.

Newly elected Ernest A. Baetz of San Antonio, Texas had a personal success story much like that of many other early Jaycee presidents. His father had died when he was 17, and following graduation from high school in 1915. He was presented with a scholarship to the University of Texas as a result of his scholastic record and speaking ability. He chose to go to work as a collector and office boy at a bank however, and was shortly to shift to the Commercial National Bank and the Bexar National Bank, which he now heads as president.

After a short stint in the banking business, Baetz realized that more education would help him, and with this in mind he entered the famed Wharton School of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania. He did not choose to complete a four year course, however.

Following a hitch in the Army, Baetz returned to the bank and has been there ever since. At the time of his election as Jaycee president in 1928, he was a cashier, the youngest in San Antonio. This phase of his background resembles that of the founder, Hy Giessenbier.

Baetz’ Jaycee career was equally impressive, and included service as a local president and both a director and vice president of the national organization. It was appropriate that Baetz, a banker, should take over the USJCC in 1928, for the chief problems of the organization were financial. The $1 dues had brought in greater revenue, but affiliated groups were beginning to resent the dues boost which had come about the year before. This was illustrated by the resignation of Los Angeles, Chicago and Des Moines early in the term.

Although the hiring of an executive secretary was a financial strain on the organization, Harry Krusz was confirmed as official secretary early in Baetz’ administration; officers were established and space made available by the Commercial National Bank of San Antonio, and the new president went to work.

The most pressing assignment was to entice Los Angeles, Chicago and Des Moines back into the dues paying ranks, as well as strengthen bonds with other locals; just how this was accomplished is described by Baetz:

“Immediately after the convention, Los Angeles, Chicago and Des Moines resigned because of the additional financial burden. This prompted Harry Krusz and I to make personal visits to these organizations at which time we resold them and they remained strong members. We decided these visits were vital in building morale and we tried to visit each of the 56 members and also other new member bodies. The need of finances to employ a permanent secretary almost wrecked us. We inherited a small deficit but finished with a small surplus and all bills paid. Of course, the secretary’s salary was low and I used my personal auto in making trips and we had free rent and no postage bills. Usually our hotel bills were paid by members we visited. Andy Mungenast, Harry Krusz, John Armbruster, and I visited Mr. Clarence Howard of the Commonwealth Steel Company and were successful in obtaining a check for $1,000 as a contribution.”

Baetz’ year end report, carried in the August, 1929, issue of Expansion (the swan song issue of that publication), and mentions that he and Krusz traveled approximately 40,000 miles during the year. This was a new record for a Jaycee president, even topping the far ranging exploits of Bob Condon. It is important to note that Krusz went on almost all of the trips with Baetz. The USJCC president realized that this helped add continuity to the operation of the federation. As John Armbruster explains:

“During previous administrations, the president made these visits and when his term of office was up, this contact was lost, so it was thought that it was more essential for the executive secretary to become personally acquainted with the individual members of each local organization and with its problems and with its objectives and set up, and he believed that this policy was very important and laid the foundation for the growth that was experienced in the succeeding administrations.”

The most important announcement to come out of the mid winter conference, held in Memphis, Tennessee, January 19-20, 1929, was that a referendum had been approved by the membership, and dues were to be lowered effective July 1, 1929. Essentially, this called for 50 cent per member, with the exact provisions listed; membership divisions set up which affected not only payment but votes at national conventions.

Dues Schedule Retroactive July 1, 1928

Class
Membership Dues
dUES
Convention Votes
A
1-50
$35.00
2
B
51-100
$50.00
4
C
101 -200
$100.00
6
D
201-300
$150.00
8
E
301-up
$200.00
10


This schedule calling for approximately 50 cent per member, was to remain basically the same until the 1941 convention when a boost to $1 was made, effective April of 1942.

Another announcement at Memphis concerned a $1,000 donation from Ed Kifer, President of the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce. This was an example of the friendship which existed between Junior Chambers and senior Chambers in many localities.

Real progress was made under Baetz towards resolving the question of Junior Senior Chamber relations, and after the Flint, Michigan, convention in 1929, the most inclusive agreement to date was reached between the two bodies.
Concerning this problem, Secretary Harry Krusz mentions that for years the Junior Chamber wanted some sort of agreement or affiliation with the Chamber of Commerce, but actually did not specifically know what rights if any it wanted to forsake to secure an affiliation.

Conferring twice during 1928-29 with F. Stuart Fitzpatrick, Manager of the Chamber’s Civic Development Department, Krusz learned the latter’s views, namely that the organizations could not become affiliated and still remain separate entities, so they would have to work together in some other way.

At the Flint convention, a Jaycee committee was appointed to formulate a working plan,; comprising the committee were Baetz as chairman, and members Giessenbier, Condon, Howes, Vien, McCulla and Krusz. The plan it devised was approved in November of 1929 by the Civic Development Committee (after a sub committee study by Robert Beach of Chicago) and again Okayed by the Civic Development Committee in April of 1930. The Chamber Board of Directors also ratified the plan in April.

This agreement between the junior and senior Chambers was a very simple one. It said that the U.S. Junior Chamber would not accept or retain in membership any local chapter not in harmonious relation with the local senior Chamber. The senior Chamber was to be the judge of the relationship existing. As a national organization, the Junior Chamber was also promised not to have any major policies inconsistent with those of the senior group. In turn for this cooperation, the Chamber of Commerce of the US was to encourage strong backing of the Junior Chamber in cities across America.

Although Baetz was chairman of the group which worked out the agreement, he gives most of the credit to McCulla, the man who was actually president when the Jaycee committee went into action, and at the time the plan was ratified by the Chamber.

This agreement seemed very important in 1930, for it was the first time that the Chamber directors officially agreed to encourage its own locals to cooperate with the Junior Chambers. However, within a very few years, this agreement was lost in a perpetual USJCC swamp lack of continuity and a similar proposition was actually turned down by the Junior Chamber in the fall of 1935 when the organization was considering a senior Chamber offer of Washington offices in their headquarters building.

Nevertheless, the 1930 agreement was, in its day, considered a real accomplishment. It reflected, more than anything else, a growing belief by the senior Chamber that the junior group was a positive force in our national life. Even the National Association of Commercial Organization Secretaries (NACOS composed of paid Chamber executives) was beginning to admit this, and Krusz spoke to them at their national meeting in 1928, and for several years thereafter. Work being turned in by Junior Chambers, for instance Tulsa Jaycees put a Chamber of Commerce drive other the top was making the NACOS take notice.

Beatz’ year in office was another successful one, program wise, with the “Get out the Vote” campaign of unusual merit. Encouragement of voting had been a national project for two previous years, but the emphasis had been on encouraging local action in general. Since 1928 was election year, the organization felt that this was the time to press for an all out voting campaign in conjunction with the presidential election show down between Alfred Smith and Herbert Hoover. This promotion was under the direction of Political Education Committee Chairmen Robert Corcoran of Chicago. One of the key instruments in boosting the campaign was a brochure prepared by Travis Morsund of San Antonio, William Woollett of Los Angeles, and Harry Krusz.

Referring to the undertaking in the December issue of Expansion, Baetz ha this to report:

“The United States Junior Chamber of Commerce is the only national organization that conducted a systematic and planned campaign to educate the people of this country in their duty to vote. The Junior Chamber does not presume to take credit for this tremendous increase in the number of voters; the intense interest aroused by the issues of the campaign brought the people to the polls. But, the Junior Chamber does take credit for a certain percentage of the increase because of their determined campaign.”

The increase in voting interest across America is reflected in comparison of the number of votes for president in 1924 and 1928. In 1924, about 24 million cast their ballots, while the total jumped over 36 million in 1928.

Aviation continued as a national project with heavy emphasis, and, under Chairman William E. Barton of Tulsa, the organization was working to encourage airport construction, forming the flying clubs, air mail usage, and marking of towns to identify them easily from the air. Publicity for the Junior Chamber was gained through presentation in the National Air Tour, a program which been initiated by aviation backers to prove the reliability of aircraft. Essentially, the tour consisted of planes from various cities sponsored by many different groups completing a 6,300 mile tour of the nation, stopping at cites from coast to coast.

The Junior Chamber played its part since the Tulsa plan was co sponsored by the Jaycees and Barnsdall Refineries. Barton the national Jaycee aviation chairman was a Tulsan, and a passenger in his city’s plane, and the organization received much publicity along the way. At most of the cities visited, the local Junior Chamber was in charge of hosting the touring planes.

Airports were continually being born because of Junior Chamber work at local level. A good example was in St. Louis, where a $2,000,000 airport bond issue was ratified. When the airport had been proposed, the St. Louis Junior Chamber became the first group to lend its support. the organization’s Airbird Committee was one of the keys to the success of the bond issue.

Anti-loan shark and reforestation both received support at local level across the country, although nationally they were not publicized as much as “Get out the Vote” or “National Junior Chamber Week”

“National Junior Chamber Week,” held for the first time May 12-17 of 1929, was observed by practically every member body. The Jaycee message was carried nationally by a radio broadcast over the NBC Blue Network on the Collier’s Hour. An estimated 2,000,000 Americans heard the Jaycee representative famed pilot, Walter Hinton send the organization’s message to the public. Junior Chamber Week was managed by Executive Vice President Richard F. Wood of Omaha.”

The presence of famous young men such as Hinton in the Junior Chamber movement was very important in the gaining of publicity. Other celebrities who held membership in the organization included two sports heroes, Young Stribling and Waite Hoyt.

Stribling, a member of the Macon, Georgia, Jaycees, came close to dethroning heavyweight champion Jack Sharkey in a title fight. Hoyt, a member of the Brooklyn chapter, won two games as the New York Yankees spilled the Brooklyn Dodgers in World Series. It was a case of punching his own home city in the nose, but Brooklyn Jaycees were still proud of Hoyt!

The question of encouraging and cooperating with the Junior Chamber movement in other countries was still receiving much thought, and progress was indicated in a report submitted by Past President E. Fred Johnson, foreign affairs chairman. Published in the February, 1929, issue of Expansion it said:

“The international aspect of the Junior Chamber of Commerce movement is steadily making progress, and is more in evidence today than at any previous time. There are seven Junior Chamber of Commerce organizations now functioning in England, with inquiries from many other places throughout Great Britain which are expected to later establish them.”

“Junior Chambers in England are located in Birmingham, Lincoln, Sheffield, Northampton, Oldham, Nottingham and Newcastle. We have had correspondence at various times over a period of years with William A. Howitt of Brayford, Lincoln, England, which was the pioneer organization in England. He is one of the leader’s of the movement and secretary of the Organizing Committee of the proposed Association of British Junior Chambers of Commerce, which is working on the organization of a national body among the Junior Chambers of England and Great Britain.”

“E. Spencer Greason, of New York City, who is a member of this committee, made a trip to England last summer, and investigated conditions there, visiting the various organizations. He reports a great deal of progress and interest.”

“Douglas H. Jelly, President of the Junior Chamber of Commerce of Northampton, England, was a visitor in the United Sates in September, and was entertained extensively by members of the Brooklyn Junior Chamber of Commerce and the New York board of Trade. Mr. Jelly has presented a resolution, which was passed at the November 16th meeting of his organization, urging further cooperation between the Junior Chambers of Commerce of Great Britain and the United States, and also urging that delegates from England be sent to the United States Junior Chamber of Commerce convention in June at Flint.”

No visitors from England came to Flint in 1929. It was a year later at the Brooklyn convention that delegates from Great Britain made their first appearance.

In almost every phase of activity, the Junior Chamber operation under Baetz was impressive, including the publishing of helpful materials for the locals. Among subjects covered in bulletins were: “Membership turnover and Increase,” “Program of Work,” and “Committee Management.”

From the standpoint of extensions, 11 new cities affiliated with the Junior Chamber, brining the total to around 60. New additions were Ardmore, Oklahoma, Bay City, Michigan, Beatrice, Nebraska, Marianna, Arkansas, Mayville, Wisconsin, Newark, New Jersey, Fort Wayne, Indiana, North Platte, Nebraska, Blackwell, Oklahoma, and Okmulgee, Oklahoma,
For purposes of expansion, the nation had been divided into five divisions the Western, North Central, South Central, South Eastern and Eastern with vice presidents in charge of each area.

A study made on the general subject of expansion, and the size and location of Junior Chamber cities, indicated that at the time few cities of 10,000 and less could properly maintain a chapter. This meant that concentration for many years was to be in the larger cities, and chiefly those of 25,000 and more population.

The Baetz administration came to a conclusion in Flint, Michigan, and had the unique Jaycee distinction of finishing with a surplus of almost $600 out of an $8,000 budget.

Herbert F. McCulla of Lincoln, Nebraska, was unanimously selected president as the Junior Chamber prepared to enter the 1929-30 administration. Brooklyn was selected as the site of the next convention, after Atlanta withdrew from the contention. It was generally agreed that holding a convention in the east would be a big stimulus to growth.

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