A three-generation family that operated a gas station for seven decades, a husband and wife who welcomed guests into their tourist home for 40 years, and the community leaders who in 1922 successfully campaigned for the future Route 66 to be routed through Lebanon are the newest members of the Laclede County Route 66 Wall of Fame, a project of the Lebanon-Laclede County Route 66 Society.
The Bacon-Speaker Family, William and Ethel Lenz and the Direct Route Delegates of 1922 will be inducted at the Route 66 Society’s annual membership meeting Saturday, Jan. 28, at the Cowan Civic Center in Lebanon.
A social hour, starting at noon, will include a free chili and soup lunch and music by Mitch Shields. The program starts at 1 p.m. Everyone who supports the Route 66 Society’s mission “to educate, preserve, promote and develop Route 66 in Laclede County” is welcome to attend.
The 11 founding board members of the Lebanon-Laclede County Route 66 Society also will be recognized as the organization celebrates its 20th anniversary this month. They were the late Bill Wheeler, Gary Sosniecki, Ramona Lehman, Mike Edwards, Dan True, Rod Reid, the late David Troutman, David Wheeler, Gail Bryant, Kenny Capps and Kirk Pearce.
The meeting will include reports on Lebanon tourism, the Lebanon-Laclede County Route 66 Museum and the Lebanon Route 66 Festival, scheduled for June 3 at Boswell Park. Major sponsors of this year’s festival will be recognized. And members will elect four board members and officers.
The Wall of Fame honors “those who made exceptional contributions to the development or promotion of Route 66 or who operated legendary businesses on Route 66 in Laclede County, Missouri.” The Wall of Fame plaques are displayed at the entrance to the Route 66 Museum at the Lebanon-Laclede County Library. A plaque also will be presented to each inductee or a family member. The Lebanon High School Band also will receive a plaque for its role in ensuring that Route 66 came to Lebanon.
This is the second class of Wall of Fame members. Five were selected to the inaugural class a year ago. In creating the Wall of Fame, the Route 66 Society intended the first class to be the biggest.
The 2023 honorees were selected by an eight-person committee with knowledge of local Route 66 history. Additions to the Wall of Fame will be made annually.