Bruce Owen, Michael Boggs

Bruce Owen, left, new president of the Lebanon-Laclede County Route 66 Society, speaks at Saturday's meeting with Michael Boggs, a board member of the Route 66 Association of Missouri.

Bruce Owen, a descendant of two famous families in Lebanon’s Route 66 history, was elected president of the Lebanon-Laclede County Route 66 Society at Saturday’s annual membership meeting.

Owen is the great-nephew of W.H. Owen, who was prominent in the campaign to bring Route 66 through Lebanon in the 1920s, and the great-grandson of Arthur Nelson, who donated land for Route 66 to come through Lebanon and developed such historic businesses as the Nelson Tavern and Nelson’s Dream Village.

He succeeds Bill Jones, who stepped down after four years as president. The Route 66 Society presented Jones with a plaque for his service. Jones remains on the board.

Leland Townsend, who has served two terms on the board of directors, was elected vice president, a position that had been vacant since Gary Sosniecki’s resignation last June.

All four board members whose terms expired at the end of 2019 were re-elected to new three-year terms: Jones, Townsend, Cathy Dame and Ramona Lehman. Dame serves as secretary. Cliff Claxton is treasurer.

Other board members are Nicole McGinnis, Bobby Jones, John Stowe, Chuck Jordan and Sosniecki.

“Movin’ Mark” Norman, a Route 66 enthusiast from Louisville, Ky., was featured speaker at Saturday’s meeting. He told how he rediscovered Route 66 during a period of poor health, spoke of personalities he has met while traveling Route 66 and showed a video about the ongoing restoration of the iconic Painted Desert Trading Post in eastern Arizona.

Sosniecki gave a presentation on the history of the Route 66 Society, and curator Mark Spangler spoke about new exhibits planned for the Lebanon Route 66 Museum.

Thirty five attended the meeting, which was held at the Lebanon-Laclede County Library.

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