State: Iowa

City: Des Moines

Chapters: 122

Members: Unknown

Convention: Des Moines, IA - June 10-13, 1931

Income: $10,000*

30 year old, George Olmstead elected president for a full term.

Vice President: Howard S. Davidson Chicago, IL
Vice President: Robert W. Hall Memphis, TN
Vice President: Walter E. Holman Portland, OR
Vice President: Harvey Humphrey Los Angeles, CA
Vice President: Courtlandt Otis New York, NY
Vice President: Lee B. Thompson Oklahoma City, OK
Treasurer:** Harold P. Klein Des Moines, IA
Executive Secretary:*** Harry Krusz
Des Moines, IA

Jack Addington Phoenix, AZ
George L. Bieler Cincinnati, OH
John O. Campbell Marion, IN
Linton M. Collins Miami, FL
G. Crawford Follmer Omaha, NE
Leo M. Ford Sioux City, IA
Robert G. Fry Tulsa, OK
Paul Harding E. St. Louis, IL
J. Howard Hayden Dallas, TX
Sam Street Hughes Lansing, MI
Carl L. Junge Lincoln, NE
Vernon G. Latimer Seattle, WA
Lathrop K. Leishman Pasadena, CA
D. Howe Moffatt Salt Lake City, UT
Walter D. Moore, Jr. Portland, ME
William P. Murphy St. Cloud, MN
Charles D. Norfleet Winston-Salem, SC
Richard J. Reynolds, Jr. Atlanta, GA
Edward H. Steinbuehler Brooklyn, NY
Jerry Vinson Wichita Falls, TX

* estimated figure.

** Appointed position.

*** From 1928-34 Harry Krusz moved to home of national president the position was an appointed position.

Pasadena, CA to host 1932 convention.

Cities having "officially recognized" Junior Chamber of Commerce Member organizations


Los Angeles
San Jose



St. Augustine


East St. Louis

INDIANA Fort Wayne

IOWA Davenport
Des Moines
Fort Dodge
Mason City
Sioux City



MAINE Portland

Grand Rapids

St. Paul
Sauk Center

Water Valley


St. Louis


New Brunswick

NEW YORK Brooklyn
New York City


OHIO Cincinnati


Oklahoma City

OREGON Portland



TEXAS Corpus Christi
San Antonio
Wichita Falls

UTAH Salt Lake City




A Graduate of the 1922 class at West Point, George H. Olmstead brought an unsurpassed educational background with him into the Junior Chamber of Commerce movement as he assumed the presidency. While at West Point, he was distinguished cadet, first captain, class president and recipient of athletic awards in football, boxing and fencing. His Junior Chamber career listed service as a local and state president and national vice president.

Establishing of Distinguished Service Awards, along with tremendous expansion, was the greatest achievement of Olmstead’s administration, for, in doing so, he gave birth to a program which has been adopted by almost every chapter in America. National DSA winners named a few years after Olmstead’s term were the predecessors of today’s TOYM.

As originated, the DSA was given to the outstanding young man in each Jaycee community across America. The national organization provided the actual gold key and it was presented locally to the young man under 35 chosen in his city for outstanding service.

Many of the DSA awards were presented on January 20, 1932, when chapters were urged to hold a dinner meeting commemorating the founding of the national organization.

President Olmstead of the USJCC and Silas Straw, heard of the senior Chamber, spoke on NBC radio that night and it was possible for all of the chapters to hear these addresses simultaneously.

Referring to this great program, Olmstead said:

“It was possible for our individual members to realize possibly for the first time that they are part of a great national movement. From our organizations all over the country came the heartiest approval of the anniversary banquet and radio program idea and a desire that this occasion be observed annually.”

More than 25 years later, January was still highlighted by “Jaycee Week” and the majority of local DSA award programs are held during that month.

The program of activities for 1931-32 was the most extensive to date, with various programs emphasized during different parts of the year. In the fall, locals were encouraged to hold membership campaigns to build their own strength, and then, in October and November, state organizations were asked to meet and coordinate their activities with national. December saw promotion of Christmas lighting and decorating contests, parties for the poor and similar projects. These Christmas activities were very popular in most cities.

January was featured by the DSA program and the nationwide radio broadcast, and then in April the spotlight was on city beautification and clean-up and paint-up. May was emphasized by aviation, with particular interest centering on the National Air and Balloon races sponsored by the Omaha Jaycees.

June saw the kickoff of a Fifty-Million-Vote campaign, which was to be climaxed in November of 1932 at the time of the presidential election. The Junior Chamber vote campaign was endorsed by President Hoover, the political parties, and the press.

Through most of the term, the organization was also concerned with unemployment relief. As President Olmstead describes this program:

“At the request of the President’s Committee on Unemployment Relief and in conjunction with the other organizations working on this problem, the United States Junior Chamber of Commerce and its local member organizations carried on an intensive campaign. Much of our activity was in the phase of repairing, reconditioning and modernizing. However, several of our organizations assumed the entire responsibility for the unemployment relief work in their cities.”

Although there was no national magazine to serve members, other material which went to locals reached a new high. It included a monthly news bulletin sent to officers and directors of local and state organizations; pamphlet compilation of round table conference reports from the Des Moines convention, other assorted pamphlets, a monthly report of activity, and national committee program “how-to-do-its.”

The president, secretary, and other officers also visited ever local organization, either at its own city or at a regional, district or state meeting.

State organizations had increased to a new high, and were operating in Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas and California.

Even now, there were state organizations which were not cooperating fully with national and for several years there would be local groups not belonging to national but affiliated with the state group, as well as, locals affiliated with national but not with state. In some cases, there even seem to have been state organizations that did not belong to national.

The problem of local-state-national ties, which would not be steeled until a new constitution went into effect in 1938, was being attacked even in 1931-32 by President Olmstead. A pamphlet was published which said:

“There is only one Junior Chamber of Commerce movement. The local, state and national organizations are merely subdivisions of the movement as a whole. The state Junior Chamber of Commerce is a necessary and important link and is in a position to strengthen and coordinate the local, state and national programs.”

Olmstead even recommended constitution changes to settle the problem of state-national relations at this early date, but the time was not yet ripe.

Relations with the Chamber of Commerce of the U.S. continued on a high plane, and the senior body actually advised its member groups that:

“Both locally and nationally, the Junior Chamber has been developing its leadership and crystallizing its policies in a helpful program until today it may fairly claim consideration as a useful component of the Chamber of Commerce movement.”

Even the National Association of Commercial Organization Secretaries (NACOS) gave its full support to the USJCC, and President Olmstead was a speaker on its main national program in Toledo, Ohio, in October of 1931. Previously, Jaycees had appeared before NACOS, but never on the principal program. Cooperation with NACOS was also emphasized by Harry Krusz’ attendance at the NACOS school at Northwestern University in August of 1931.

The five-man committee on participation of young men in Chamber of Commerce affairs reported that all was well, and relations between the two groups seemed to have reached a peak. It was even provided that new Jaycee officers would go to Washington for advice each fall.

In 1934, however, the Jaycees were to turn down an offer of officers in the Chamber offices in Washington, and from that point on, relations would be friendly, but with both parties realizing that they would remain essentially autonomous.

An interesting innovation was to use the official crest of the organization in a pin to be worn by all members. This is the first time that a national Jaycee pin had been adopted and its sale encouraged.

From a financial standpoint, the Olmstead administration operated on a budget of about $10,000, nearly half of which came from dues, and the remainder from sustaining memberships, and the Des Moines chapters both the Chamber and Junior Chamber contributed $1,000 each. Trust and endowment funds were still being discussed, but the depression prevented real action.

From the standpoint of expansion, Olmstead’s regime set a new record by establishing 33 new groups. For the first time in history, there were no drops in affiliation, which meant that total membership had jumped to 122 groups by the end of the year.

This expansion had been made possible not only through the widespread travel of the president, but by subdividing the seven major regions into 28 district cities. A vice president was in charge of regions, and a director headed a particular district.

In addition, Olmstead indicated in his speech before NACOS in October of 1931 that it was no longer thought that city had to have 10,000 or 25,000 people to support a Junior Chamber. As he said:

“It is not possible to state that a city below a certain size cannot support a Junior Chamber of Commerce. We rather take the position that to be effective it must have at least 25 members, consequently if there are 25 men under 35 years of age in your city that have the city’s interest and their own at heart, you have material for a successful Junior Chamber.”

The widespread adoption of such a philosophy was what made possible the tremendous growth of the USJCC, which would not have been possible had it limited itself to the big city.

Because the convention was planned to coincide with the Olympic Games, it was not held until August 3-6, 1932. One of the most important events at Pasadena was an international relations conference and luncheon. It was revealed there that during the year, 42 nations had been contacted in regard to forming Junior Chambers, and 26 indicated a real interest in doing so.

Although Past President Durward Howes did not feel that time was ripe for an international group, an International Executive Council on Junior Chambers was formed. Howes was named its head, with members including the U.S. and Mexico, New Zealand, Canada and Great Britain appointed representatives the following year. This International Executive Council was to cause a big controversy a year hence at the 1933 convention. Chosen president for the coming year at Pasadena was Courtlandt Otis of New York. 

Presidential Speech referring to Junior Chamber/Jaycees:

March 26, 1932 Herbert Hoover - Statement on the "Get Out the Vote" Drive of the United States Junior Chamber of Commerce.


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