Board of Directors
Front row: left to right
Jovita Klott, Phyllis Gross, Lois Puchta, Iris Stovall, Maribeth Dann
Second Row: left to right
Bruce Michel, Doug Schenck, Ed Bossaller, Gordon Jost, Eugene Ridder, Don Kruse, Jim Wyman
Missing From Photo: Jeanie Warden and Kay Schwinke
Board Member Biographies:
Ed Bossaller - Ed grew up and lives on the Gasconade River at Mt. Sterling. He attended first and second grades at the one room schoolhouse on Mt. Sterling Road. It closed in 1964 and students were bussed to Owensville. He graduated in 1973. Ed then took the two year Auto Mechanics course at Linn Technical College. He started working at Schaeperkoetter Sales and Service in Mt. Sterling while still in school, first in the parts department and then in the shop full time after graduation working on International Harvester trucks and tractors. Ed married Cindy Stephan in 1979 and has three children and four grandchildren. He is still working at Schaeperkoetter’s on Case International, McCormick, and Kubota tractors and farm equipment. Ed is a firefighter for the Owensville Volunteer Fire Department Station 2 at Mt. Sterling since 1985. He has several hobbies which include hunting and fishing, but also a new found appreciation and fascination of steamboats and Gasconade River history.
Maribeth Dann - Maribeth is a resident of Rhineland, MO. She attended elementary and secondary school in the Hermann schools. This is her 24th year teaching in the Gasconade County R1 School District in the elementary and middle schools. She is currently a reading and gifted teacher at Hermann Middle School. She attended ECC and UMC. She holds certification in elementary education, gifted education, and middle school language arts. She has been married to Karl Dann for 22 years. She likes to stay busy with reading, knitting or traveling.
Phyllis Gross - Phyllis grew up south of Owensville, in Bem, MO, married and moved north of Owensville to Drake, Mo. Besides spending her whole life here, her family has deep roots in Gasconade County. Before retiring in 2003, Phyllis worked as office manager for Drake Beemont Mutual Insurance Co. She and her husband, Charles, own and operate Gross Auction, along with Charles' brother and his wife. Phyllis and Charles live on the Gross family farm where they keep a few head of cattle and a small flock of chickens. Phyllis is active with the Gasconade Co. Fair Board and the Bay American Legion Auxiliary. She serves on the Gasconade Manor Nursing Home District Board and attends Rosebud United Methodist Church, where she serves as a Lay Speaker when needed.
Gordon Jost - Gordon was raised in Webster Groves, Mo. and attended Webster Groves High School. Both of his grandparents had farms near Gerald at which he spent many summer vacations. After graduation from high school, Gordon attended the University of Missouri at Columbia, graduating with a BS degree in agriculture. He also went through the ROTC program at Mizzou and was commissioned a 2LT in the field artillery. Gordon completed a 2 year tour in Germany and then a 1 year tour in Vietnam as a battery commander of a 175 mm gun battery on the DMZ. After he was discharged he worked for General Motors and then as a production manager for a fractional horse power gear motor manufacturer from which he retired. Gordon's hobbies include gardening, cabinet making, fishing and hunting. He is very interested in genealogy and has done extensive work on his family trees. Gordon is currently writing a book on one of his family tree lines and although most of his relatives lived around the Gerald area he has great grandfathers and other relatives that lived in Gasconade County. Gordon has relatives that are buried in Bay, Charlotte, Oakhill, and Owensville.
Jovita Klott - Jovita grew up in southeast Missouri and always heard about the Hermann area from her father’s family since her grandfather grew up in the Starkenburg, Mo area. When she married Vincent Klott she moved to Hermann. She received her B. S. in Education at SEMO and her masters and Specialize degree in reading at UMC. The schools she taught were at Newburg, MO and St. George in Hermann. She became interested in the Gasconade Archives when her fourth grade classes toured it for Missouri History. Since she has retired she volunteers and serves on the Archives steering committee.
Don Kruse -- Don has been in journalism for nearly 47 years, the first 25 years as a sports writer, editor and sports feature writer for daily newspapers in Illinois and Iowa. As the college basketball beat writer (18 years) for the Waterloo (Iowa) Courier, he covered 15 consecutive Final Fours, and his summer beat was covering minor league baseball. In 1991 he decided to return to his hometown to become editor of the Hermann Advertiser-Courier. Growing up in Hermann he peddled and walked his daily newspaper route, and was a pin setter at the local bowling alley. Since Hermann did not have a swimming pool during that time, he would take dips in Gasconade County creeks to cool off in the hot summer months. He also spent his summers trading baseball cards, which he still has and cherishes. As a teenager catcher with the Hermann town baseball team, he played in old ball yards at Bay and Rosebud. He is past president of Show-Me Press Association, past president of Missouri Outdoor Communicators and currently MOC board member. He continues to study and write about historic buildings, places and things we all remember from long ago. He is close to his five grown children (four live out-of-state). His wife, Joan (St. Louis girl) passed away in July 2012.
Lois Puchta - Lois is the Volunteer Director of the GCHS Archives & Records Center. She served the Gasconade County R-1 School district for 27 years as an elementary teacher and principal of Hermann Elementary School before retiring in 1996. She is a native of Gasconade County and was married for ten years to Judge Randolph Puchta, now deceased. She is long-time president of The Brush & Palette Club, a local preservation group, and treasurer of the Friends Group for Deutschheim State Historic Site in Hermann. She has been organist at St. Paul UCC for nearly 35 years and also plays piano and French horn. When not volunteering for 501(c)(3) organizations, Lois enjoys pursuing her own family history and organizing her collected materials.
Eugene Ridder – Born and raised on a farm at Gerald, Missouri. Graduated from Owensville High School, drafted into the U.S. Army at the beginning of the Vietnam conflict, serving as an MP. Married Gloria Schmidt after the military tour, and received a B.S. in Business Administration from Central Missouri University. We spent the next 35 years in St. Charles County, MO raising our family of 3 children and completing our careers. My primary career was with the U.S. Treasury Department as a team coordinator, examining large corporations for IRS. We retired to Gasconade in 2006 on Gloria’s family (century) farm, Schmidt Third Creek Farm. Our family includes the 5th and 6th generations of “Schmidt’s” to operate this farm. We currently have 7 grandchildren. Our historical interests include preserving not only this century farm for another generation to enjoy, but history of the county as well. Three of my four grandparents were born and raised in Gasconade County, with roots established in the Drake and Second Creek communities. Gloria’s grandparents also have Gasconade County roots in the Woollam and Third Creek communities. We have great-grandparents buried at: Bay, Drake, Woollam and Third Creek. We enjoy specifically Gasconade County, and traveling and absorbing historical facts of various locations around the country.
Kay Schwinke - Kay grew up in Morrison where her parents owned and operated a grocery store for many years. Her father's family were all from the Bland area of Gasconade County. She and her husband, Arlen, live on a farm south of Morrison near Fredricksburg. They have four children, Nelda, Carl, Keith and Ann and six grandchildren. Kay is the Group Tour and Wedding Coordinator for Stone Hill Winery in Hermann. She is a Certified Tour Industry Specialist, having completed that course work in 2002. She is involved in various activities and organizations promoting tourism throughout the State. Kay is the organist for the St. James UCC and enjoys antiquing, music and history. She has recently served as president of the Gasconade County Historical Society and is presently Chairperson of our Long Range Planning Committee.
Iris Stovall - Iris graduated with a B.A. from Southern Illinois Edwardsville in 1972 and graduated with a Ph.D. in Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1978. She spent nineteen years teaching chemistry at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and thirteen years in University administration in the area of online learning. She consulted off and on for twelve years for UNESCO in the Middle East, and retired to Hermann, Missouri, in 2012.
Jeannie Warden - was born and raised in Gasconade County as both her paternal and maternal ancestors settled here. On the paternal side her great grandparents Koepke came from Prussia and settled in the New Woollam area. On the maternal side her great grandparents Mertle came from the Prague area in Czechoslovakia and settled in the Tea area. She has an interest in the history not only of her families but also of Gasconade County. She and her husband, Don Warden, live in Owensville and have been married since Nov. 1958. They have three children and six grandchildren. They are retired owners of Warden Publishing Company. Jeannie is a graduate of Owensville High School. She has taught private piano in her home for about 46 years; has been active in her church and has played the organ at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church for 45 years; has served on the Steering Committee for the Owensville Museum and worked as a volunteer for many years; she was instrumental in organizing the Cemetery Walk at Methodist Red Oak Cemetery; she volunteers and enjoys visiting the nursing homes in Owensville. Her hobbies include her flower beds, playing the piano, reading, and traveling.
James (Jim) Wyman - Jim married Lois Jean Boettcher in 1962. They have three children, four grand children and one great grand child. He was born and raised in Suffern, NY. Jim graduated from the University of Michigan (BS Aero. Eng. ’61) and from Troy State University (MS Counseling & Guidance ’76). He completed over 26 years of active duty as a USAF fighter pilot, squadron commander and operational test director, retiring with the rank of Colonel in 1988 . Shortly thereafter he joined McDonnell Douglas, now Boeing, where he led and managed several engineering teams supporting the development and testing of the US Navy’s newest fighter, the F/A -18E/F Super Hornet. Since retiring form Boeing in 1999, Jim and his wife Lois enjoy restoring an 1879 vintage farm house built by Lois’ great-grandparents, Frederick and Marie Strehlmann, in the New Woollam township. This home, affectionately nicknamed "Strehlmannhoff", is located at the intersection of Boettcher Road and Highway Y, and has been officially designated GCHS Century Home #1. Jim manages our web site, our web store and The Gasconade County Historical Society's PayPal account. He also helps with strategic planning as a member of our Long Range Planning Committee (LRPC)