PPMA History

For over seventy five years, the Pershing Park Memorial Association (PPMA) has dedicated itself to keeping the memory of General of the Armies of the United States John J. Pershing alive. Our mission is to construct a living and lasting memorial to the extraordinary service and sacrifice of General Pershing. One strategic component remains. We have nearly reached our goal with the 2012 purchase of a 7,800 square foot building in Laclede, Missouri. This structure will be the Pershing Memorial Museum and Leadership Archives. 

The Pershing Memorial Museum and Leadership Archives will interpret Pershing's life for visitors - from the time young Cadet Pershing arrives at West Point Military Academy through his life, career, and ascension to the highest rank and title ever awarded to a United States Military Officer while alive, General of the Armies of the United States, a 6 star general.

The museum will interpret history in a way that is accessible to today's scholars and students. The modern exhibit gallery will display educational, hands-on, and interactive displays spanning General Pershing's life and military career. A flexible theater space will accommodate small groups or expand for larger audiences. We anticipate the viewing of restored World War I film footage, lectures, conferences, and book signings. The main gallery and a classroom space will allow the facility to feature special exhibits and traveling displays. The fire and tornado safe archives will primarily store two-dimensional objects such as books, letters, diaries, photographs, paintings, and portraits. A special collections secure display room will contain treasures, such as the General's West Point class ring and a jeweled ceremonial saber given to General Pershing by the Mayor of London, England at the conclusion of the World War I.

General Pershing honorably retired from the US Army in 1924. He spent much of his retirement establishing memorials in Europe for fallen soldiers. Pershing was an extremely modest man, never pursuing honors in his own name. In 1930 a group of Missouri visionaries founded the Pershing Park Memorial Association (PPMA) to establish a lasting tribute to one of America's greatest military leaders. Present efforts are now focused on the Pershing Memorial Museum and Historical Archives to be located in Pershing’s hometown Laclede, Missouri, on the State Historical Site. Significant activities completed by the PPMA include: 

The Association, made up of volunteers. has a consistent track record for successful projects as follows:

In 1931, the PPMA purchased 2,450 acres located six miles west of Laclede along the banks of Locust Creek in Linn County, Missouri. PPMA members constructed a picnic area and started planning for a State Park on the grounds. In 1937 the land was given to the Missouri Parks Board and Pershing State Park was established. Today, the park has grown to well over 5,000 acres and contains one of America's finest natural wetland prairies. Pershing Park hosts thousands of visitors annually to camp, explore the nature trail and enjoy the great outdoors.

Saved the Pershing Home in 1948 and sold it to the State Park system in 1952.

Relocated the General's Bronze statue from Jefferson City to Laclede in 1977.

Relocated the one room Prairie Mound School in 1982, where Pershing taught grades one-eight.

Established the wall of honor, consisting of ten Granite stones with over 1500 veteran contributors in 1983. This is an on-going project.

Purchased the new museum in 2012.

Purchased the land for the War Mothers statue and garden in 2015. Please go to the War Mothers tab for the complete story.