Wilbur D. Mills, deceased, was born in Searcy, Arkansas. Mills was a staunch supporter of the navigation system as a representative from the Second Congressional District in Arkansas. The waterway flowed through his district. He regarded the nation's inland waterway system, covering some 25,000 miles of commercially navigable channels, as one of the most valuable natural resources. He was a member of Congress from 1939 to 1977, and was chairman of the Ways and Means Committee from 1958 to 1975. He made certain that bills pertaining to the navigation system received his committee's approval. Mills said the hidden wealth of the hitherto by-passed areas of the country, such as inland Arkansas and Oklahoma--which had long awaited cheap transportation--would be unleashed when the navigation system was completed.
R. S. Delamater, is from Wichita, Kansas. He has attended Arkansas Basin Development Association meetings since the 1940's He has been a strong supporter of the Arkansas River Navigation project, and helped gain active support for the system and necessary legislation from the Wichita City Commission and Chamber of Commerce. His engineering practice specializes in bridge and highway design, stream maintenance, protection works, and related water resource projects. He knows the Arkansas River well, having designed 13 bridges and two darns on the system. He is a long time member of the Arkansas River Historical Society, and is currently the vice-president for Kansas.
Charles B. Gannaway. Jr., deceased, Tulsa, OK. Born in Chickasha, OK, Gannaway, who retired as executive vice-president and general manager of Flint Steel Corporation, was a longtime supporter of waterway projects and past president of the Arkansas Basin Development Association. As a civic leader in Tulsa, he served as president of the Metropolitan Tulsa Chamber of Commerce, was former president of the Oklahoma Society of Professional Engineers, Engineers Club of Tulsa, and Tulsa Manufacturers Club. He was also a member and chief fund raiser for the Arkansas River Historical Society, and its museum at the Tulsa Port of Catoosa. During a period of about 40 years, Mr. Gannaway collected ancient stone tools from riverbeds throughout Northeastern Oklahoma. He donated a portion of that collection to the historical society museum. Today it forms the core of the Native American Tools display.
Montez Tjaden, deceased, Clearwater, Kansas. Montez is the first woman named to the Arkansas River Hall of Fame. She was one of the founding members of the Arkansas River Historical Society, and served as president and chairman of the board. Montez was vice president of Advertising Incorporated (Ad Inc.). At Ad Inc. she founded the public relations department, and managed the Tulsa Port of Catoosa account. She coordinated the 4-state dedication of the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System for the Admiral's Committee of 500, appointed by Governor Dewey Bartlett, in 1971. After retiring from Ad Inc., she almost single-handed kept the society museum open and operating as chairman of the accessions committee. Her communications career spanned more than 45 years, with experience in theater, radio, television, newspaper, public relations, and work for the U. S. Navy.
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