Moniteau County, Missouri
Below are brief biographical sketches of California Mayors. These were presented at the annual Chamber of Commerce Dinner January 31, 2009. The material presented here was researched by James Albin and taken from obituaries and cemetery records, among other sources.
The early history of California is covered by clicking here.
Municipal organization of California:
On page 371 of Goodspeed's History of Moniteau County, published in 1889 it states "California was incorporated August 19, 1848, on petition of J. F. Houx and others, and William M. Robertson, John Farish, Ezra Balis, Alex. Hanna and A. T. Byler were appointed trustees of the town. There was little or no attention paid to this act of the county court, for the pioneers of the ambitious little town of forty years ago would rather live under township rule than settle down under the government of a president and board of trustees.
The legislature of 1857 came to their relief and on November 14, 1857, the act was approved which gave a town government, with mayor, city council and a full set of officials."
There is some conflicting information as to who should be considered the first mayor of California.
James Albin stated "I checked the early records at city hall. The earliest book of minutes is for the year 1870. The oldest record they have is a book containing the Articles of Incorporation and numerous articles passed afterward. The charter was approved November 14, 1857. Article II dealt with the election of city officials. It covered mayor, city council, recorder, marshal and city attorney. It said the election would be held on the fourth Monday of November each and every year. Several ordinances were approved in September of 1858 and 1859. L. L. Wood signed as mayor. So, it appears as if L. L. Wood was the first mayor. I don't know what type of government the city had before its incorporation. I also don't know where Goodspeed got his information showing William M. Lansdale, James W. Boswell and Robert M. Shankland as the first three mayors. There are no records at city hall [in 2009] to substantiate this."
Early records are sometimes conflicting and confusing. L. L. Wood's obituary reads, "In 1849 I was elected treasurer of Moniteau County and in 1845 [probably should be 1855] Mayor of the City of California. This office I held continuously until 1861." The book Wood and Allied Families by Margaret Gerhart Woolf (1988) states on page 77 that L. L. Wood was mayor from 1855-1861.
Goodspeed lists on page 371 "since 1858, when William M. Lansdale was chosen, the mayors of the city, in order of service have been: James W. Boswell, R. M. Shanklin, L. L. Wood (two years), . . ."
From 1858-1903 Mayors of California served one year terms from January 1 through December 31.
1858: William M Lansdale - No information available.
1859: James W Boswell - There was a person by this name born in 1825 and died in 1874. He was a businessman who helped start the town. In later years, he lived near Prairie Home in Cooper County. He was the only person by that name residing in the area at that time.
1860: Robert M Shankland - Little is known about the Shanklands. The California Democrat shows Dr Robert Shankland died May 29, 1868 in Moniteau County. It does not say where he was buried. There is a stone for Elizabeth wife of R M Shankland who died April 17, 1852 at the age of 52 years 6 days at the Old Town Cemetery. It’s possible he was buried next to her. J. E. Ford's 1936 Moniteau County History states Dr Robert Shankland was involved in a meeting held in 1850 to establish a Christian Church in California.
1861-1862 (Goodspeed) 1855-1861 (indicated by other records):
Lashley Lucas Wood was born June 15, 1798 in Kentucky. Early in life he taught school. He moved to Missouri in 1827 residing in Cole County. In 1828 he married Sarah McKenzie his second wife and they had twelve children. He traveled back and forth to Kentucky, before settling here permanently. He was instrumental in working with the legislature to establish Moniteau County in 1845. He moved his store to California in 1849. In 1850 he built a building to live in and moved his store in to it. He also started a hotel. He served as treasurer of Moniteau County and as mayor of California. He died November 4, 1892 and is buried in the Masonic Cemetery.
1863: Gustave A Burkhardt was born May 31, 1835 in Saxony Germany. He arrived in America in 1851. He stayed in New York, a short while, went to Chicago, before coming to Hermann, Missouri. He worked on a farm and then went to St Louis to work as a clerk in a store. He went back to Germany in 1856, returning to America in 1857 to stay. He started in the mercantile business in California in partnership with C F Eberhardt in 1857, buying out Eberhardt’s interest in 1861. He served as sheriff and county treasurer. He was city treasurer, city auditor, councilman and mayor of California. His wife was Emma Kehr and they had six children. He died January 27, 1907 and is buried in the Odd Fellows Cemetery.
1864: Peter Wackerlin - Settled in Moniteau County in 1844. He was a native of Germany. He was one of the first businessmen in California, opening a saddlery shop in 1846 when California was started. He was married in 1845 and had a son William born in 1846, the first child born in California. Ludwig Markworth who opened up a harness shop in California worked for Peter Wackerlin for two years. Peter Wackerlin died June 30, 1867 about 75 years old. It is not known where he is buried. At his death his son William inherited the business.
1865-1868 - Gustave Burkhardt (see above)
1869-1870: James Jordan - Little is known about James Jordan. He served as county clerk from 1870 to 1874. In 1875 he went to Colorado, where he was involved in mining and real estate speculation. He died December 21, 1890, about 60 yrs old. He was married and had an adopted daughter.
1871: John Patrick Henry Gray was born in Virginia, August 7, 1821. He read medicine under an uncle, John Gray. He came to California in 1848, after graduating from the Missouri Medical College and St Louis College. He spent two years in the State of California, after gold was discovered. He served two terms in the legislature. He married Hester Wood and had six children. After Hester's death, he married Mary Tucker and had one son. His three sons from his first marriage followed their father in the medical profession. He died February 11, 1909 and is buried in the Masonic Cemetery.
1872: Charles Milford Gordon was born October 6, 1832 in Ohio. He came to Missouri in 1858 locating at Columbia, then Boonville. He returned to Ohio, graduating in 1862 from Ohio State Law School in Cleveland. In 1862 he organized Company H 122 Ohio Volunteer Infantry. He served in the Civil War until 1864. He moved to Missouri and was admitted to the bar in California in 1865. He served several terms as prosecuting attorney. He was married to Agnes Wood and they had six children. He died May 17, 1916 and is buried in Crown Hill Cemetery.
1873-1876: John D Wood was born in Cole County (now Moniteau) on August 24, 1831, the son of Lashley L Wood. He farmed and helped at the Wood Store. He took charge of the store and changed the name to J D Wood & Company. He served several years as postmaster of California and sheriff of Moniteau County. His wife was Joanna Alexander and they had five children. He passed away December 2, 1901 and is buried in the Masonic Cemetery.
1877: John G Ehrhardt was born March 22, 1827 near Leipzig Prussia. He was in the coal mining business in Germany before coming to America in 1851. He came to St Louis for a year and then to Moniteau County. In 1854 he went to New York City. After gold was discovered he went to the State of California for a while. He returned to Germany in 1858 and married Liberte Heysel. After marriage he returned to Moniteau County where he engaged in farming. In 1864 he started a mercantile business in California. In 1868 he laid out the town of Excelsior in Morgan County, building the first house and a store. After three years he sold out and started a firm in Olean, which he sold in 1889. He served several terms as county treasurer. He had six children and died October 7, 1898. He is buried in the Lutheran Cemetery.
1878-1882: Samuel H Owens was born May 8, 1835 in Springfield, Illinois. He grew up in Cole County. After attending the University of Missouri he clerked in stores at Jefferson City & Leavenworth, Kansas. After his marriage to Elvira Thorp he settled in California to practice law. He formed a partnership with L F Wood in 1867. He was an active Mason and belonged to other organizations. He passed away unexpectedly February 22, 1882 and is buried in the Masonic Cemetery.
1882: Edmund Burke was born June 3, 1829 in County Clare, Ireland. He learned the trade of farming, helping his father until 1842 when he sailed for America. He landed at New Orleans, attending school until 1845, when he went to St Louis. In 1848 he went to Dubuque, Iowa to help his brother John in the mercantile business. In 1850 he went to Lewis County, Missouri to teach school and study law. He was admitted to the bar in 1854. In 1855 he moved to California to practice law. He married Philomelia Smoot. He died August 3, 1915 and is buried in the Burke Cemetery, which became part of Crown Hill Cemetery.
1883-1885 - John D Wood (see above)
1886: John P Burke was born May 1, 1857. He attended St Louis University and started studying medicine at the age of 17, graduating in 1878. That same year he started in practice with J P H Gray. After a year he started practice on his own. He served as county coroner and surgeon for the Missouri Pacific Railroad at California. He was married to Alice Smith and they had four children. He died August 24, 1925 and is buried in Annunciation Catholic Cemetery.
1887: Van Buren Beam was born October 31, 1841 in Ohio. He joined the 30th Ohio infantry when the civil war started. He came to California in October 1865. He was in the mercantile business with the firm of Beam & Fulks and afterward V B Beam. He was postmaster of California and mayor. His wife was Catherine Gillis and they had seven children. He passed away December 28, 1916 and is buried in Crown Hill Cemetery.
1888: James Savane Roth was born June 26, 1848 at sea, his parents sailing to America from Switzerland. He grew up in Ohio. He enlisted for the Civil War in Company K First Regiment volunteers in 1864. He learned the blacksmithing trade in Rogersville working until 1866. He then did journey work until 1868, when he came to California. In 1875 he formed a partnership with Fred Hert to start the Hert Roth carriage works. He first married Marie Schneiter and they had six children. After her death he married Margaret Hoberecht and they had a son. He passed away April 10, 1930 and is buried in the Masonic Cemetery.
1889: Lashley Monroe Gray was born August 8, 1858. After being educated in the parochial schools, he was sent to St Louis to attend Christian Brothers School. He then entered St Louis University Medical College to study medicine. After practicing with his father he went to study in London and Heidelberg Germany. He returned to California to practice with his father until 1888, when he went to Woodland, California. He returned to California in 1893 to stay. He served on the school board and board of directors of the Moniteau National Bank. He married Florence Stephens and they had two children. He died September 16, 1939 and is buried in the Masonic Cemetery.
1890: David Preston Moore was born November 21, 1848 in Miller County, Missouri. He moved to California in 1865. He was in the mercantile business, farming and dealt in trading land, horses and mules. His wife was Mary Farley and they had a daughter. He died March 13, 1909 and is buried in the Masonic Cemetery.
1891-1892: Henry E Blakeman was born October 5, 1851 in Connecticut. In 1877 he moved to Jamestown for five years. He surveyed Moniteau County to make a map. He was a deputy sheriff, employed at Kiely Hardware Co. and postmaster. His first wife was Margaret Band of Dunnville Ontario, Canada. They had three children. After her death he married Jennie Beach. In 1919 he left California to return to Bridgeport, Connecticut, for a position as secretary of the home building & loan association. He was serving in that capacity when he died July 19, 1935. He is buried in the California Masonic cemetery.
1893: Alonzo F Snow was born January 18, 1854 in Kentucky. He came to California in 1871 to learn the drug business under his uncle Dr J J Russell. He resided in California except for a short time when he operated a drug store in Texas. He became a partner in his father-inlaw G A Burkhardt's business. After the death of his father-in-law, he assumed control of the business, running it until he sold out. He became associated with the California State Bank and the Farmers and Traders Bank, which took over the California State Bank. His wife was Laura Burkhardt. They had eight children. He passed away December 5, 1939 and is buried in the Masonic Cemetery.
1894: Hugh Ashburn Yarnell was born March 13, 1839 in Knoxville, Tennessee. One of his ancestors, Francis Yarnell, married President Abraham Lincoln's great-great aunt, Mary Lincoln. When he was about three months old, he came with his parents to Missouri. The settled near High Point. He was a farmer, at one time ran a livery stable, and was a marble dealer being involved in the Handley Monument works. He fought in the Civil War and was honorably discharged in 1865 having obtained the rank of captain. He held public office to include city council member for a number of years, mayor in 1894, and he served as county sheriff and collector from 1872-1884. He also was a director of the Farmers and Traders Bank. He was married three times. First to Virginia Defoe on November 5, 1857; they had nine children. One of his daughters from this marriage, Mary Olive, married William Philip Handley (mayor in 1896-97, 1917-21 and 1929-30). After Virginia's death, Hugh married Mollie Wood and they had one son, Emmet Logan Alexander Yarnell. His third wife was Henrietta Hill. Hugh Yarnell died March 20, 1929 in California and is buried in Crown Hill cemetery.
1895: William Heck was born July 20, 1854 in Gasconade County. He grew up in Chariton County, learning the trade of tanning and harness making. In 1878 he came to California and became a partner of Ludwig Markworth in the harness and saddlery business, After 10 years, he brought out his partner and became sole owner. In 1919 it was incorporated as the William Heck Saddlery Company. When tractors started coming out William Heck expanded in the areas of collar making and a shoe finding line. In 1906 fire destroyed the factory and Heck rented a building to start up while rebuilding. He helped form a corporation to finance building an electric power plant. His wife was Emma Wieneke and they had five children. He passed away December 31, 1931 and is buried in the Masonic Cemetery.
1896-1897: William Philip Handley was born December 27, 1856 in St Louis. The family moved near Jefferson City after the Civil War. William worked with his father in the monument business until his father's death in 1877. William decided then to move to California and start a monument business there. He served six terms on the board of alderman. He was serving a fifth term as mayor when he passed away December 22, 1929. He married Olive Yarnell and they had seven children. After her death he married Anna Wood. He is buried in the Crown Hill Cemetery.
1898: Oliver E Sprouce was born January 21, 1861 in Virginia. He came with his parents to California in 1865. He learned the carpenter trade working with W R Bishop. Mr. Sprouce was the architect for the Eitzen mansion, post office building, William Heck building, Kiely building, Burkhardt building, Finke building, Latham Sanitarium and most of the churches in California. He died February 28, 1927 and is buried in Crown Hill Cemetery.
1899: Aaron S Hodel was the son of Christian Hodel who came to Moniteau county from Ohio. Aaron Hodel organized the Hodel-Mutti Manufacturing Company that built wagons & carriages. His wife was Naomi Mutti. Somewhere around 1910 the family moved to Montana. They had twin daughters who died in the flu epidemic of 1918 at the age of 21. After the death of the daughters, Naomi came back to Missouri to live. She died in November of 1944. Her husband was still living in Montana.
1900: Frank A Rice was born January 5, 1866 in California, Missouri. At the age of 18, he entered employment at the Moniteau National Bank. He succeeded his father as cashier and held that position at his death. He was city councilman, city clerk and mayor. He served on the school board. His wife was Sophia Blakeman and they had two daughters. He died April 18, 1911 and is buried in the Masonic Cemetery.
1901-1903: Charles E Born was born in 1866. He became a telegraph operator for the Missouri Pacific Railroad. In 1892, he became a deputy sheriff. He later became sheriff for four years. His wife was Cornelia Burkhardt (daughter of former mayor Gustave Burkhardt) and they had four daughters. He moved to the state of California about five years before he passed away in September 1925 at the age of 59.
1904: F Henry Zeitz was born August 27, 1861 in Osage County. His father died when he was young and Henry got a job as a store clerk in Morrison. Later he got a job with the Missouri Pacific Railroad. He came to California as an agent in 1897. He was still with the railroad when he retired on his seventieth birthday. His wife was Sarah Englage and they had three daughters. He passed away February 28, 1938 and is buried in Crown Hill cemetery.
Mayors begin serving two-year terms: April through December
1905-1907: William Charles Finke was born June 14, 1857 in California, Mo. He grew up helping his father in a clothing store, taking over at his father's death. He helped build the Finke Building near the depot. After he sold the clothing store, he became owner and manager of the Finke opera house. During his term as mayor the city water wells were put in operation. He married Sarah Anderson and they had one daughter. He passed away July 8, 1925 and is buried in the Masonic cemetery.
1907-1909: Edward Nischwitz was born Jan 20, 1866 in California, Mo. He grew up helping his father in the furniture and cabinet making business. He had a large furniture store and undertaking business. The store burned in 1921 and he didn't rebuild. He worked for a time after that as a salesman. He served as presiding judge of the county court and mayor of California. He served on the board of public works and as vice president of the Farmers & Traders Bank. His wife was Selma Ehrhardt and they had a daughter. He died April 19, 1941 and is buried in the Lutheran Cemetery.
1909-1915: Joseph Hunter was born November 17, 1851 in Ohio. He came to California in 1880 and was admitted to the bar in 1883. He practiced law until 1924, when he moved to the State of California. He served as prosecuting attorney and mayor of California. His last few years were spent at the Masonic Home in St Louis where he died on February 28, 1938. His wife and two children survived. He is buried in the California Masonic cemetery.
1915-1917: Albert Byrd Cole was born May 30, 1890 in Tipton Mo. When he was four, the family moved to California. At the age of 18 he became associated with the A B Cole & Sons business. In 1926 he went to Buffalo, NY to engage in the produce brokerage business .He served in the Air Force during World War I. He came back to California in 1935. His wife was Ella Black and they had two daughters. He passed away July 28, 1939 and is buried in the Masonic Cemetery.
1918-1921: William Philip Handley (see above)
1921-1923: Albert Brooks Cole was born in Portsmouth, Ohio, November 18, 1864. He grew up near Gallatin in Davies County, Mo. In 1892 he came to California, Mo. to manage the New York Poultry & Egg Co. He worked for this company 12 years before being transferred to Sedalia. After about a year, he moved back to California to start his own business. In 1911 the business was incorporated as A B Cole & Sons. He went into the farming business operating a dairy farm. In 1928 the Cole’s sold out to Swift & Co. He served on the city board, as mayor and was vice-president of the Farmers and Traders Bank. His wife was Maude Grant. They were the parents of six children. He died July 4, 1942 and is buried in the Masonic Cemetery.
1923-1927: Henry W Kuhn was born in California, Mo on May 3, 1870. His parents moved to Jamestown and Henry grew up there. He started in the banking business in 1907 as cashier in the California State Bank. In 1908 he became cashier at the Farmers & Traders Bank, holding that position for 34 years, becoming president in 1942. He never missed a day at the bank until February 1965. He made his last trip to the bank June 24, 1966, four days before his death on June 28. His wife was Dorothy Stock and they had one daughter. He is buried in the Lutheran Cemetery.
1927-1929: Jack Bowlin was born May 2, 1876, north of California, Mo. His mother died when he was a child, and he went to live with an uncle and aunt, Logan & Dizana Bowlin Allee. At the age of 14, he went to work for the D P Moore railroad tie business at Bagnall. After his marriage in 1896, he went to work for A V Inglish; then became manager at the Bacon store. In 1903 he went to work at the Lansdown Mercantile Co at Centertown. Later he worked for R Kiely & Sons Hardware at Centertown, before moving to California, to work for them. In 1923 he formed a partnership with Virgil Morrow in the furniture and undertaking business. They divided the business with Jack focusing on the funeral home business. In 1927 he sold out to J W Wilson. Until 1937 he ran a restaurant, glove factory, a service station and worked at the prison in Jefferson City. In 1937 he established the Bowlin Funeral Home in California. His wife was Martha Duncan. They had a daughter dying in infancy and a son Earl, who took over operation of the funeral home, when his father died. Jack passed away September 13, 1946 and was buried in the California City cemetery.
1929-1930: William Philip Handley (see above) died December 22, 1929 while serving his 5th term as mayor.
1930-1937: James Thompson Lee was born November 3, 1893 in Phelps County. After graduation he became a school teacher. After service in World War I he returned to the school system as principal at Lamar. After marriage to Edwina Johnson, he decided to not continue in the teaching profession. In 1920 be bought the abstract business of J W Hunter. He expanded the business to include real estate, insurance and loans. In 1950 he sold his abstract business and joined Farmers & Traders Bank. He served as county treasurer, on the city council and as mayor. Three daughters were born to the Lees. He passed away January 7, 1960 and is buried in the Masonic Cemetery.
1937-1939: Alexander Lincoln Howard was born August 31, 1866 north of California, Mo. As a young man, he ran a shoe store with John Haldiman. He served as state food and drug inspector, from 1924 to 1932. He served as assistant postmaster, then postmaster from 1910 to 1916. His first wife was Lillian Pountain. After her death he married Selma Blackburn. He had no children. He died August 2, 1949 and is buried in the Masonic Cemetery.
1939-1951: George Stegner was born October 16, 1865 in Cooper County. As a young man, he learned the harness trade, under H T Hudson at Boonville. He became associated with the Heck Saddlery Company in 1898, and was with them until 1942, when he retired. He was a mason. He served with the California Building & Loan Association. His wife was Bertha Weber. They had two children, a son who died in infancy and a daughter. He passed away October 21, 1954 and is buried in the Masonic Cemetery.
1951-1953: Robert Henry Latham was born November 7, 1880 at Latham, Mo. He attended Central Business College in Sedalia. He then became associated with a drug company in Kansas City. He returned to Latham in 1819 to help his brother Dr L L Latham in establishing a hospital at Latham. He continued as a druggist at Latham until the Latham Hospital was started at California, in 1925. He worked at the hospital in California until he retired in 1956. He served on the city council and as mayor. He served as President of the Moniteau National Bank and as president of the Latham Bank. His wife was Nora Johnson. They had two sons. He died February 4, 1958 and is buried in the Masonic Cemetery.
1953-1965: Arthur William Baker was born October 22, 1904 at California, Mo. He farmed and operated a plumbing business. He was a city alderman and served as mayor from 1953 to 1965. His wife was Clara Schaff. They had six children. He died January 13, 1979 and is buried in the City Cemetery.
1965-1969: Ralph A Sullins was born July 2, 1916 at Latham, Mo. He co-owned Sullins & Chambers Tire Shop in California. He retired in 1975, when the business was sold. He served on the board of Public Works, as a city councilman and mayor. His wife was Donna Birdsong and they had a son. He died October 30, 1994 and is buried in the Hickman Cemetery at Clarksburg.
1969-1971: Richard Barry was born February 12, 1925 in rural Cole County near Russellville, Missouri. He had five brothers and one sister. The family moved to California so the children could go to school there. In 1946 he married Julivia Maier. The have two sons - David and Fred. His careers were in the automotive parts business and bus transportation. He served in World War II for two years - North Africa and Europe. He came through Anzio Beach, Rome and was injured south of Florence, Italy. He has enjoyed life through volunteer service with Boy Scouts, Kiwanis and served on the United Church of Christ consistory. Richard was California Citizen of the Year in 1973. He remembers his salary as mayor was $100 per year.
1971-1975: Lloyd Donley was born July 6, 1920 at Clarksburg, Mo. He ran a barbershop for several years. He served three terms as a city alderman and two terms as mayor. His wife was Viola York, and they had a daughter. He died February 18, 1977 and is buried in the Hickman Cemetery at Clarksburg.
1975-1979: Aubrey Brooks Chambers was born November 24, 1921 at home in California, Missouri. He attended four years of high school at four different schools. He played basketball during his freshman year at California High School and then was recruited to play for Jamestown during his sophomore year, Green Ridge his junior year and Camdenton his senior year where he graduated. During his senior year, the team won the state championship. On February 2, 1945, he married Margaret Moser and they had four children. Brooks spent three and one-half years in the Air Force, Air Trans Command. Following the Air Force, in 1951 he and a partner, Ralph Sullins, bought the MFA Service Station. In 1952, the built a building next to the station to recap tires. The business grew and in 1957 it was moved to a new building on Highway 50 West. Sullins and Chambers sold the business in 1975. He served a second term as mayor from 1987-1990. He died February 3, 2009.
1979-1983: Paul Imhoff was born December 22, 1935 in Jamestown. He served in the U S Navy. He worked for the U S Postal Service for 27 years. He served on the school board and two terms as mayor. His wife was Doris Burlingame and they had six children, He died August 8, 1989 and is buried in the Cedron Catholic Cemetery.
1983-1985: Jack Proctor Crawford was born June 17, 1925 in Taylorville, Ill. He graduated from the University of Missouri, Columbia with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He was working on a degree in journalism, when he was called to active duty in the Korean War. In 1953 he became manager of the California Democrat. A year later, he bought the business. He sold the newspaper in 1979 to the Sedalia Democrat. He was a member of the Chamber of Commerce, California Industrial Development Committee, California Lions Club and Central Missouri Press Association. He served one term as mayor. His wife was Marianne Moffett and they had two children. He died November 1, 1994 and his ashes were placed in the California Masonic Cemetery.
1985-1987: Roy Gerald Sparks was born March 20, 1917 at Princeton, Mercer County, Missouri. He had two brothers and two sisters. He became an ordained minister. He married Arlene McKinney in Princeton on May 16, 1942. They had two sons and one daughter. In the spring of 1963 he came to California to serve as pastor of Green Ridge Baptist church. Later he served as pastor of Salem, Pisgah and Huntsdale Baptist churches. Rev. Sparks preached over 50 years. He also served in various capacities of city and county government to include Deputy Sheriff, Chief of Police, and City Marshall. His grandson remembers when he was mayor he drove a large, yellow Cadillac. He passed away August 13, 2010.
1987-1990 Brooks Chambers (see above)
1990-1995: Carol Beth Rackers was born in rural Moniteau County, Missouri on December 16, 1941. She attended Lincoln University. She married Charles Rackers on December 28, 1963. The have two daughters - Beth Ann and Julie. Carol was the first woman to serve on the city council, first and only [as of 2014] woman mayor of California, and first woman division director for the Missouri Department of Agriculture. Carol was California Citizen of the Year in 1985 and served as president of the chamber in 2007. Except for four years in Cole County, Carol and Charley have resided in California.
1995: Nelson Bochard was born September 24, 1941 near the West Virginia border in Richmond, Ohio. Nelson graduated from New Holland (Ohio) High School. He resided in Ohio until 1967 when he came to Moniteau County, California, Missouri and was employed by the Ralston Purina Turkey Plant. He married Judy Zimmerman September 2, 1971. He has three step-children - Shelly, Lisa and Todd.
1995-2001: Jack L Albertson was born in rural Miller County, near Tuscumbia, Missouri in 1942. He met his future wife Ann at Eldon and they were married on December 5, 1959. They have three children - Marlan, Jackie and Jana. He came to California in May 1965 to work for Ralston Purina as a Production Supervisor and then became Business Manager. In 1976 he became General Manager after Cargill took ownership of the plant. Jack served on the city council five years prior to becoming mayor in 1995. He was president of the Chamber of Commerce in 1970 and again in 1990. He is a longtime Kiwanis member.
2001-present: Norris G Gerhart was born April 29, 1958 in California Missouri where he has lived his entire life except when attending Central Missouri State. Norris and his wife Lesley were married August 1, 1992. He has two stepchildren and two children from his marriage to Lesley. Norris has a work resume going way back to childhood. Before sacking groceries at age 15, he had a newspaper route and sold Christmas cards door to door. He has owned his own business, Mr G's for 30 years [as of 2009]. Norris has been active in many civic endeavors to include school activities and Chamber of Commerce. Norris was the 2004 Citizen of the Year.
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