The State Federal Soldier’s Home was established in 1896 by the Women’s Relief Corps Soldiers’ Home Association and was deeded to the State of Missouri in 1897. Its original purpose was to provide care to aging Missourians who had fought for the Union in the Civil War. In 1931, the state Legislature, at the request of organized veterans groups, created the Office of State Service Officer for the purpose of counseling and assisting veterans of WWI and earlier conflicts whose service connected disabilities were becoming manifest and for whom numerous benefits were being made available through the newly established Veterans Administration.
In 1974, the Omnibus Reorganization Act placed the Division of Veterans Affairs within the Department of Social Services. The State Federal Soldier’s Home and Office of State Service Officer remained separate entities until the Reorganization Act of 1974 combined the two, re naming the home and establishing the Division of Veterans Affairs within the Department of Social Services.
As defined in the Omnibus State Reorganization Act of 1974, the Division of Veterans Affairs, as provided in Chapter 42, RSMo, 1978, was transferred from the Department of Social Services to the Department of Public Safety, Office of the Adjutant General, by a Type I Transfer.
Executive order 81-18 (February 1981) passed at the First Regular Session of the Eighty First General Assembly, put this law into effect in September of 1981. On August 28, 1989, the Division of Veterans Affairs was replaced by the establishment of the Missouri Veterans Commission as a Type III Transfer. Chapter 42, RSMo governs the commission’s operation as a state agency.