Guide to Business and Industry in Missouri

Resources for Business and Industry Research

The State Historical Society of Missouri's manuscript collections include the papers of business and corporate leaders; records of business organizations; and records of institutions, stores, and companies.

Missouri’s first entrepreneurs were in frontier occupations such as fur trading, but as the territory grew and became a state, other industries spread across the region, particularly agriculture and mining. Merchants and millworks also played a large role in the lives of Missourians as the state developed. Missouri eventually featured a diverse mix of rural and urban enterprises across a wide range of industries. Some examples within the Society’s collections include the papers of Henry W. Bloch, cofounder of H&R Block; the T.J. Moss Tie Company records, which contain company correspondence pertaining to the manufacture and sale of railroad ties; and the business records of the Aull family, which owned stores in western Missouri in the early nineteenth century that catered to merchants, farmers, and pioneers setting out on the Santa Fe and Oregon Trails.

For material specifically concerning agriculture, architecture, engineering, labor, and mining, please see the research guides for those subjects.