Opinion

Bob Mitchell: Cassville mayors taking care of business

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Are you wondering where 2021 might have gone? I am.

The fact of the matter is this year will soon be half gone, and there are still some things, if you are like me, that you had plans to accomplish this year.

But if you are getting to the age level that I am, and if you don’t get those planned projects done this year, then they will wait until another year (God willing) or they just quite frankly, won’t get done!

Thoughts of Cassville mayors

With little to do these days, thoughts have often turned to former mayors of Cassville and some of the accomplishments they brought to town, sometimes over the objections of some segments of the population.

First, I will begin with Justin Goostree, who came to this town as owner of the old Manley Courts, which was located where the Sonic, McDonald’s and those developments are now located.

Goostree was a progressive type, who had a long-standing desire for Cassville to have a swimming pool. He was determined to solve this problem, but was not getting much support around the square. In those days, programs for youths didn’t fall on many approving ears.

Only weeks into his tenure as mayor, he finally got enough support in the city council to get an election called. To shorten this part of the column, the issue barely got a favorable majority. Further problems came with the location, which can be another issue.

Goostree later instigated a new water tower, replacing two antiquated, leaking ones and got that done. Later, he was accused by some of his opponents of taking a kickback on the project. This was too much for him, he sold out and went to California and got into the banking business.

One fondly called Rooster

Years later, it surprised most folks when Rolland Meador announced he would be a candidate for the mayor’s position in Cassville. He hadn’t been much involved in city business in the past and some were wondering what he had in mind.

It didn’t take too long to discover his agenda, as he was to be the mayor and his ideas were to benefit Cassville. His intentions were displayed in some council sessions when an alderman would make an insertion against him that a challenge would be quickly forthcoming.

Meador became concerned at one time about UDAG funds intended for Industrial Development being suggested for other use. He came to my office one day wondering if some prospect land would be a good use. He had in mind using some of the funds for industrial park land. Knowing Don Carr and I were friends, he wanted me to ask the property owner at that time if he would sell land at the northeast of his place.

I asked Don one evening if that was possible, his thoughts were in the affirmative, so I suggested he contact Meador, keeping me out of the deal. Rolland later told me, after completing the deal, that his concern had been the funds would have been squandered by the council had the purchase not been made.

The name Rooster was accorded him in Cassville Blues baseball eras when he would use Marion Wooten’s White Horse lotion on his shoulder between innings. His lotion’s odor easily reached from the dugout to the bleachers. When asked once what that was, Rolland replied “rooster pee.” That’s not exactly correct, but it will get past the editor.

A couple of long tenures

Cassville has created a couple of tenure positions that probably will stand for some time.

Evan Shore and Bill LeCompte both put terms together to last into giving them each 20 years of service to the City of Seven Valleys. Each had periods of success on projects, for the most part instigated by members of their councils or members of the community.

Shore was a one-time Democrat sheriff of Barry County. One of Shore’s favorite photos to display in those days was one of a whisky still he had discovered and destroyed, bringing it to Cassville for display on the square.

Crediting the latter, most of Cassville’s “industrial revolution” came in the 1970s with contributions by others, including Dr. G.A. Purves, undoubtedly paving the way for this community being in a position of attracting a manufacturer to make an inquiry about locating here.

Availability of interested laborers, sites pleasing to industry people, and people providing funds to purchase these sites coming from sources throughout the community all went together to make it possible for the community to prosper in those days.

Behind on fishing dates

Here are the important fishing dates for the month, sorry for the delay, I just forgot them last week.

Best fishing, according to the Almanac is: May 21st and 26th. Good days (I always thought they were all good) are: 11th, 12th, 20th, 24th and 25th.

Periods of unsettled weather is possible for the rest of this month, which can be followed by dry spells, possibly giving hay bailers an opportunity to get their bales out of the field.

Bob Mitchell is the former editor and publisher of the Cassville Democrat. He is a 2017 inductee to both the Missouri Press Association Hall of Fame and Missouri Southern State University’s Regional Media Hall of Fame.