Wellers to celebrate 60th
Dean and Delores Weller will celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary Oct. 8 at their De Soto home with family.
Several generations of the Wellers' ancestors are from Mountain View, Mo.
Dean spent some time in the Merchant Marines. While on leave, the Wellers met. They later married in West Plains, Mo., at a young age.
The couple built their first house on three acres in Mountain View. Their first daughter Shirley was born there.
Dean worked with his father in construction, learning the trade.
In 1948, the Wellers spent the summer in Colorado where they built a building for Dean's aunt and uncle.
Their second daughter Janet was born while they were in Eads, Colo.
In the fall of 1948, the family moved to Oregon with a job, a place to live and $100. In Mountain View, the pay was $1 an hour, but in Oregon, it was $2 an hour. Dean also took on a night job so the family could build a home in Oregon.
In March 1951, the homesick couple sold their house and went back to Mountain View. It was then they came to De Soto to visit Delores' family who had moved there in 1949 to work at the Sunflower plant, which was then going full force.
The Wellers saw the need for housing, places to buy and to rent. They made the decision to stay and make De Soto their home and started building.
They bought a cornfield on what is now Lexington Avenue. Dean had dreamed of one day owning a motel. Even though it was small, the El Rancho Motel was designed and built by him. At the time, the Wellers were 21 and 25 years old. It was just before the flood and they learned they were going to have a new addition to their family. Their daughter Deana was born later.
The motel was finished in 1953. Many young couples in De Soto spent months and years in the apartments before moving into houses -- some of which Dean built.
The Wellers operated the motel for nine years before buying a house and moving from the property. They kept the motel and managed it for the next 20 years.
The motel was sold to Ronnie and Judy Weese in 1980.
The Wellers have fond memories with friends as well as a lot of hard work and caring for three girls together.
In the late 1970s, the Wellers purchased the old Ford garage, which Dean later used for a hobby and workshop for his car collection and restorations. He retired at age 52.
The Wellers built their home in De Soto 41 years ago and have enjoyed life in a small town since.