The first meeting to discuss formation of a soil and water conservation district in Webster County was held in Seymour on Nov. 16, 1966. There were 12 people present. Another meeting was held at Cave Springs soon after. A county-wide meeting, with 52 people attending, was held in Marshfield on Dec. 8, 1966. Harold Owens, Executive Secretary of the Missouri Soil and Water Districts Commission, along with Jack Dunn, Area Conservationist of the Soil Conservation Service (Natural Resources Conservation Service), explained how a district could be established.
Cecil Kenneth Davis of Marshfield was elected organizational chairman. Petitions were given to about 20 people, who agreed to secure signatures of landowners. The target date set for completion of the petitions was Feb. 15, 1967. The necessary signatures were obtained from each township by that date.
A public hearing was granted for March 7, 1967, which Mr. Owens conducted. Discussions, both pro and con, were recorded by Herman Childress, temporary secretary. After testimony, a show of hands indicated a majority present was in favor of forming a district. About 40 were present for the hearing.
Four areas were agreed upon and then members from each area met, nominated candidates for supervisors and selected polling places. The date for the vote was set for April 1, 1967.
Area I included the townships of Jackson, Washington and Union. Fern Atteberry was elected supervisor. The vote was 71 to 3 in favor of district organization.
Area II included the townships of Grant, Ozark and Niangua. Cecil Davis was elected supervisor. The vote was 75 to 0 in favor.
Area III included High Prairie, Hazelwood and Finely townships. Herman Childress was elected supervisor. The vote was 75 to 0 in favor.
Area IV included East and West Dallas, and East and West Benton townships. Dale Short was elected supervisor. The vote was 33 to 0 in favor.
Organization of the board of supervisors was held in the County Extension Center, on May 3, 1967. Cecil Davis was elected Chairman, Fern Atteberry, 1st Vice-Chairman, Dale Short, 2nd Vice-Chairman, Herman Childress, Treasurer, and Claude Lewis, Secretary.