Manuscript Collections - J. Franklin Thackery


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5 linear feet, 2 linear inches (12 LGA-S boxes)
Herbert Hoover Presidential Library

The papers of J. Franklin Thackrey, longtime Director of Economic Information with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, consist of 5 linear feet of correspondence, memoranda and reports that were donated to the Hoover Presidential Library by Thackrey’s family in 1992.


John Franklin Thackrey was born on December 16, 1910 in Kansas City, Kansas.  At an early age, his family moved to Manhattan, Kansas, where Thackrey later enrolled as a student at Kansas State University (then known as Kansas State College of Agriculture and Applied Science).  Thackrey studied journalism at Kansas State, earning a bachelor’s degree in 1933 and a master’s degree in 1934.  Following his studies, Thackrey worked for a year as a reporter with the Fort Worth[Texas] Press, and the Manhattan[Kansas] Mercury-Chronicle.  In early 1935, he took a position as a statistical clerk with the Resettlement Administration in the Department of Agriculture.  Although this position lasted only two years, it marked the beginning of Thackrey’s service with the Federal government, which with the exception of a couple of brief periods, lasted until his retirement in ­­­­­­1974. 

In 1938, Thackrey took a position with the University of Nebraska Agricultural Extension Service as assistant extension editor.  Three years later he accepted a position as an information specialist with the Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Agricultural Economics, and moved to Washington DC. 

In 1946 he was appointed Director of Economic Information within that agency, and served in that same capacity in the Agricultural Marketing Service and the Consumer and Marketing Service of the Department of Agriculture during the next two and a half decades.  In this position, Thackrey supervised the editing and distribution of a variety of publications that the Bureau produced, including crop and livestock reports, outlook and situation reports, and publications geared toward consumers of agricultural products. 

During his tenure, Thackrey also introduced and promoted the translation of these publications into Spanish, and was a member of the Languages and Literature Committee of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Graduate School.  A longtime resident of Falls Church, Virginia, Thackrey was also active in a number of civic groups there, including a committee that drafted the city charter.

J. Franklin Thackrey died on November 24, 1990.


The J. Franklin Thackrey Papers are arranged in alphabetic order by name and subject. Through the activities of the Agricultural Marketing Service and its successor bureaus, one can see a shift in the activities of the Department of Agriculture from not only helping producers market their products but to also serving as an advocate for the consumer.  Topics covered in Thackrey’s papers include the development of consumer information and education materials, the publicizing of food stamps and free school lunches sponsored by the Department, meat and poultry inspection programs, as well as Thackrey’s trip to the Soviet Union in 1960 as part of an agricultural communications delegation.


Peter DeVries Papers. DeVries was head of the Bureau of Agricultural Economics when Thackrey worked there.


Box Contents

Agricultural Communicators in Education, 1980
Agriculture Department

Agricultural Marketing Service

Baker, John D., 1956, Internal Security Investigation
Consumer Information and Protection, 1938, 1964-1975, and undated (4 folders)
Dairy Production, 1960-1974
Fair Packaging and Labeling, 1965-1970
Foreign Agricultural Service

General, 1960

Japan, 1959-1965
Latin America, 1966-78
Scandinavia, 1946


General, 1950-1979 (4 folders)
General – Clippings, undated
Grapes, 1968
Information Division
General, 1962-1976
Wire Services

General, 1963-1973
Ridder Publications, 1963-1973


Market News Service, 1933-1974 (2 folders)
Meat and Poultry Inspection and Grading, 1954-1976, and undated (5 folders)
Meat and Poultry Inspection and Grading. Sausages, Fat Content, 1967-1971, and undated


National Food Buyers’ Quiz, 1966
Peanuts, 1968-1974
Personnel, 1949-1974
Reports and Meetings, 1959-1981
Transportation of Food, 1973-1974 

Agricultural Research Service, 1954-1975


Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), 1965-1974, and undated
Benson, Ezra Taft, Burned Books, Clippings, 1955-1958
Communications and Information, 1954-1973, and undated
Computer Systems, 1974
Co-op Information, 1977
Defense Operations, 1955-1962
Disaster Food Relief, 1967-1973
Extension Service, 1953-1970
Farm Population Report, 1958-1962
Farm Subsidy Programs, 1968
Food and Nutrition Service, 1962-1970
Food Editors Conference, 1974
Food Market Alert, 1973
Food Safety, 1964-1978, undated
Food Surplus Distribution, Webaux County, Montana, 1968
Freedom of Information, 1953-1969


Freedom of Information, 1970-1973, and undated (2 folders)
Freeman, Orville, 1966-1969
General, 1935-1972, and undated (2 folders)
Graduate School, 1963-1979
Hunger in America, 1966-June 1968 (3 folders)


Hunger in America, July 1968-1971, and undated (3 folders)
Hunger in America. Food Stamp Program, 1965-1973
Hunger in America. School Milk and Lunch Program, 1946-1977
Internal Security, 1955-1973
The Law & the Market, 1966 (booklet)
Letters of Appreciation, 1955-1978
Nader, Ralph, 1968-1972
Office of Information, 1933-1974
Plentiful Foods, 1969-1981, and undated
Politics, 1951-1971
Population, 1958-1968, and undated


Publications Program, 1954-1974, and undated
Public Relations, 1959-1962
Radio Scripts, 1938 Farm Program
Reorganization, 1971-1972, and undated
Resettlement Administration 

First Annual Report, 1936
General, 1930-1937, and undated
Nebraska Office, 1934-1941, and undated 

Speeches and writings by others, 1954-1974, and undated


Soviet Union. Agricultural Information Trip, 1960

Background Information
Diaries and Reports
Itinerary and Notes
Printed Information
Report by Ray E. Durham
Soviet Agricultural Delegation to the United States


American Association of Agricultural College Editors, 1941-1976
Benson, Ezra Taft, 1955
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Publications, 1934-1941
Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions, Mass Media, 1960
Civil Service Reform, 1949-1980
Consumer Price Index, 1981
Food and Drug Law Institute, 1966
Government Printing Office, 1972
Health, Education, and Welfare Department

Complaints, 1971
Genie, 1967 (film script)
Gerontology Research Center, 1972-1979
Education, 1940-1977

Humor, undated
Information Advisory Group, 1946-1951
Leonard, Rodney, Affidavit, Mar 1970
Maps, 1952, and undated


National Livestock and Meat Board, 1970-1972
National Press Club, 1971
President’s Advisory Committee on Universal Training, 1945-1946
Public Relations Society of America, Inc., 1969
Scandinavian Brochures, 1960
Senate and House Bills. 1973-1974
Stevenson, Adlai – Death, 1965
Thackrey, J. Franklin

Awards, 1968-1973
Nebraska, 1935-1941

Agricultural Marketing Service Business, 1937-1978, and undated (2 folders)
Biographical Information, 1910-1940
Falls Church, Virginia, 1946-1981, and undated
Family Business and Letters, 1924-1980, and undated (3 folders)
Insurance, 1956-1980


Internal Security Investigation, 1956-1964
Professional Organizations, 1965-1975
Retirement, 1974-1975
Speeches and Talks, 1959-1976
Travel, 1962-1975

Thackrey, Russell I., 1969
United Nations, Food and Agriculture Organization, 1959