Horn: Display of mayors marks history
Sedalia history is being captured and displayed at City Hall. This display began with a conversation between City Clerk Arlene Silvey and City Administrator Gary Edwards several months ago. Arlene had mentioned that her office was compiling a list of past Sedalia mayors, department heads, boards and commission members. Edwards asked if Silvey had any pictures of the mayors. This spurred the formation of a photo display composed of 38 of the 48 mayors who have served Sedalia over its 150-year lifetime.
Along with thanking Silvey for her many hours dedicated to research and communications around the country, I would also like to thank Community Development Director John Simmons for helping with the creation of the display and members of the Building Maintenance staff who assisted in the careful placement of the photos. I am happy to say that all the materials Garnetta Sullivan used for the display are made in America.
We were honored to also have members of the community assist Silvey in creating the wall of mayors. I would like to thank Becky Imhauser, Bill Claycomb, Rhonda Chalfant, Millicent “Mimi” Hale, Garnetta Sullivan and Mary Schumaker.
Imhauser provided many of the photos due to her past involvement in historical research for her books. Hale took the time to do a lot of research and she would call Silvey with information and from then on Silvey would do in-depth online research that would involve looking through archived newspapers, Civil War websites, Masonic websites, visiting genealogy websites and leaving messages explaining the project and leaving contact information if anyone had any leads. One day, Silvey just searched for “Henry Suess” and there was his photo as well as biography. What a find!
Schumaker at the Sedalia Public Library was good at providing copies of obituaries after the date of deaths were established and Federal Census information that provided more leads to follow. Silvey wrote letters and called various individuals whom she thought could be related and received several pictures that way.
Photos we are still pursuing:
• John A. Collins (1906 to 1908): Silvey has called and spoken with a descendant in Chicago who says she believes she has a photo, but it is in her basement and it will be a while until she locates it.
• Bacon Montgomery (1868 to 1869): Montgomery was part of a “Ten Generals” exhibit in Columbia, Miss. Silvey contacted a gentleman who worked at the historical society in Mississippi and there was no picture with the display, but he thought he has seen it somewhere. Montgomery was a brigadier general of the state militia during the Civil War and I am certain his photo will show up.
• James G. Tesch (1864 to 1865); F.L. Parker (1865 to 1866); William P. Jackson (1870 to 1871); Thomas J. Montgomery (1871 to 1872); William H.H. Hill (1874 to 1875); David Blocher (1876 to 1877); Frank Craycroft (1881 to 1882); and Albert Baumgartner (1918 to 1920).
Silvey had to smile when they found the photo of George Faulhaber several weeks ago. She was so excited that she e-mailed Imhauser to let her know of our find; Imhauser’s response was, “Just in time to join his other friends.”
Silvey has worked diligently on this project. She said that “finding a missing photo or information on a mayor is like finding a hidden treasure and I am honored to be a part of this wonderful historical project.”
The project is ongoing. There are still 10 mayors to find and there will always be future mayors. Plus, Silvey is still collecting historical information about each of our mayors and some day we can use this information as part of the display. When you enter the City Council chambers, Mayor Gen. George Smith is on the right, and the current mayor is on the left.
I would like to encourage everyone to stop by City Hall and take time to see the historical display of Sedalia’s leaders.?
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