Wall of Fame
Each year, council members nominate individuals for the honor of being placed on the City’s “Wall of Fame” located at the Porterville Heritage Community Center. These individuals are recognized for their service to the heritage of the community. The following is a list of those recognized on the 'Wall of Fame' under the year they were inducted.
Lester James Hamilton was born in Murray, Nebraska in 1909, but always considered Porterville his hometown. His family migrated here when he was young and he worked on many farms while growing up to help his family.
After graduating from Porterville High, Hamilton relocated to San Pedro, California and began his life-long career with Union Oil. In 1929 he married his high school sweetheart Pauline Arnold. Hamilton moved his family back to Porterville in 1940 where he and Pauline became Union Oil Independent Distributors. After World War II, he opened the Nash Car Agency and later acquired and operated the Union gas station on Main Street and Olive Avenue.
Hamilton attended the First Congregational Church and had a great belief in God. He was also an extraordinarily civic-minded individual belonging to the Elks, Lions Club, Masons, Shriners, American Red Cross, Salvation Army, YMCA, Chamber of Commerce, Boy Scouts, Sportsman Association and Porterville Civic Association. He served several years on the Porterville Elementary School Board and City Council. He was a member of the Republican State Central Committee and invited to President Nixon’s inaugural ball.
William B. “Bill” Horst was born on the family farm 10 miles southwest of Porterville. He married Alma Meek in 1954 and began a drafting and design service. One of Horst’s volunteer projects was the design for the first building for the Porterville Sheltered Workshop on North ‘E’ Street.
Horst became an N.R.A. certified Hunter Safety instructor and founded a Hunter Safety program in Porterville which he ran for 25 years. He was also a member of the Burton School board and was involved in considerable expansion of the district during his 10 year tenure.
Horst always had a great interest in history and became the local expert for archeologists, writers, teachers and movie makers. Horst volunteered his time to provide history programs for local schools for over 40 years. He also did survival skills and M. Man history demonstrations for the local Boy Scouts. Horst’s expertise was called on to help arrange the town’s Centennial celebration in 1961 the Bicentennial celebration in 1976.
Horst was involved with the Porterville Historical Museum, the Tulare County Museum Board and is a life member of the Tulare County Historical Society. He also held the title of the ‘Clamp-historian’ for the Dr. Samuel Gregg George Chapter 1855 of E Clampus Vitus.
Guy Huffaker was born in San Bernardino California and graduated from San Diego State College in 1965. He married Joan McCarl that same year and they had two daughters, Dana and Erin, and five grandchildren.
Huffaker served as City Manager for Porterville from 1977 to 2002. During his 25 years of service the city grew from 15,000 to 42,000 in population, 23 new industries were recruited, 4 new shopping centers were constructed and millions of dollars were invested in infrastructure and city facilities.
Huffaker served on numerous boards and committees including the League of California Cities committees on Economic Development, Employee Relations and Administrative Services, the California Association of Local Economic Development and the California City Management Foundation. He is the former President of the South San Joaquin City Managers Association and the Tulare County City Managers Group.
Huffaker was also involved in the formation of the Tulare County Economic Development Corporation. In 2001, the Porterville Chamber of Commerce honored his economic development contributions to the community by naming him the recipient of the Allan R. Coats award.
Marlene Marquez was born in 1936 in Porterville. She met and married Antonio Marquez in 1927 and, together, they had six children. She learned the customs and traditions of both the Filipino and Hispanic cultures and dedication to community service from her emigrant parents.
Marquez served in various offices for the Parent Teachers Association. She also worked and served as a secretary of Tulare County Compensatory Education, a school site council member at John J. Doyle Elementary School and as a board member for the Porterville School District. She helped in the creation of the Porterville College Child Care Center and the Porterville Head Start Program. She worked with Project Call of Porterville College, Big Brothers/ Big Sisters, Leadership Porterville, Porterville Chamber of Commerce, Comision Honorifica Mexicana Americana, Catholic Daughters of America, the Indian Pow Wow, the Pastoral Council of St. Anne’s Catholic Church and the Tulare County Drug and Alcohol Program. She also helped with the Porterville Women’s Conference and the Rebozo Festival. She served as a board member for the Foster Grandparent Program at the Porterville Developmental Center and worked to establish a local support group for those who have lost a spouse.
Monte Moore was a native of Hollis, Oklahoma and graduate of University of Oklahoma. Following a 30 year career as a Major League baseball broadcaster for the Oakland A’s and NBC-TV, which included three World Series national broadcasts, he moved his wife Deonne and three children, Bruce, Deonna, and Donnie, to Porterville. He purchased radio stations KTIP/KIOO and operated them as the locally concentrated news and sports service.
During his time in Porterville, Moore was recipient of numerous awards, including Chamber of Commerce “Man of the Year” and the Alan Coates award, ‘Friend of Education’, the Lifetime Achievement Award from CIF, Community College Media Pro Award, Golden M award from Monache, Porterville College Kathy Gifford Athletics/ Academics award and several other proclamations recognizing community service. The Porterville Little League also celebrated a special commemorative bobble head day in his honor.
Moore created and conducted an annual Big League Golf-a-Rama for 25 years which brought in major-league stars and raised in excess of $850,000 for local school athletic teams and the Porterville Youth Center. He also served on the Porterville College Foundation Board, Parks and Leisure Commission and as an elder of the Church of Christ.
After meeting her husband at UCLA and living in Washington, D.C., Mary Hamner Baker moved to Porterville in 1942. Concerned about the homeless population in the area, Baker and a group of local citizens established the Porterville Mission Project. As the Mission Project increased services to families suffering from domestic violence, it developed into what is known today as the Family Crisis Center.
In addition to spending three years as president of the Mission project, Baker was highly involved in the community. She was a member of PEO Chapter UA and active on PTA boards, receiving an honorary life membership for service. She was leader and director for Camp Fire Girls and supportive of American Field Service. Active in church affairs for over 30 years, she was a member of the First Congregational Church and served as a Sunday school teacher and deaconess. Her efforts in founding the Mission and countless other community endeavors earned Baker the Porterville Chamber of Commerce “Woman of the Year” honor in 1978.
Robert Decker Christenson attended local schools and graduated from Porterville High School in 1968. He went on to BYU and BYU Law School, graduating with a Juris Doctorate Degree in 1977. Two days before graduation Christenson married LaDawn Barfuss. Together they settled in Porterville where he joined the law firm known today as the Christenson Law firm. He loved working as an attorney with his father and later his brothers and brother-in-law.
Christenson was a charter member of the Porterville Optimist Club and spent several years as Scout Master for troops 114 and 134. He served as president of the Tulare County Bar Association, officer of the Porterville High School Alumni Association, and member of the Porterville College Foundation and Sequoia Dutch Oven Society. He was very active with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, serving 20 years as a seminary teacher for the youth. Christenson was a lifetime fan of local sporting events and passionate about history which led him to work with the Porterville Sesquicentennial committee.
Cyrille O. Faure was a Porterville High School student body president who attended Porterville College until he joined the military during World War II. He became a Purple Heart recipient and one of the first parachuting Marine Medics to ever set foot on foreign soil. Faure returned to the community to become a successful rancher and local leader. He was involved in 4-H leader for over 25 years and served on several livestock and agriculture committees, including the California Farm Bureau Board and President of the Tulare County Cattlemen’s Association.
Faure was on the original Memorial Auditorium Board, helping construct the Buck Schaeffer Memorial Auditorium, and also helped establish the Porterville Fair. A very notable achievement was being named America’s “Four Outstanding Young Farmers of 1957” winning out over more than 10,000 nominations submitted by Junior Chamber locals from throughout the nation. There was no greater source of pride for Faure than as a father and grandfather representing six generations that lived, worked, and played in the Porterville community.
Vivian Josten Lucey and her husband Jack moved to California in 1953 and made a home in Porterville. They became known as community supporters and together owned several local businesses, including two service stations, two tire shops, The Palace Hotel Dining Room, a local Pizza Hut, the Airport Restaurant, and Jack’s Junkyard Dogs.
Lucey was always very active and civic minded, named Porterville’s Woman of the Year during the 70’s. She devoted hard work to the Porterville Centennial celebrations, served as the President of the Garden Club, Women’s Club and Zonta Club, and was the first woman president of the Porterville Chamber of Commerce. Lucey was also active in SETCO Republican woman and held a lifetime status as a Sierra View District Hospital ‘Pink Lady’. Her love of reading and education were passed on to her children and grandchildren. Lucey was also a faithful charter member of the Trinity Lutheran Church and known as a loyal friend, devoted wife and mother, and energetic supporter.
Emogene “Emma” McCullar was born in Salisaw Oklahoma and moved to California in 1947. After graduating from McFarland High School she took a job as a telephone switchboard operator before marring Leroy McCullar. In 1972, they purchased a restaurant in Porterville called the Pig Pen. Due to her husband’s unexpected passing McCullar and her two children were left to manage the business. Ever determined, McCullar carried on and sold the Pig Pen in 1974 to buy a larger restaurant on Main Street called The Cellar.
McCullar became known in the community as a hard working businesswoman that was a loyal supporter of city events and champion of downtown Porterville. Being a mother to all, Emma loved to serve her customers and took great joy in making sure nobody left her place hungry. Customers were usually greeted with kind words and a smile and she came to think of her countless friends as her “extended family. Her greatest joy, however, was always her family and especially her grandchildren.
George H. Overcash is remembered for his love a challenge and many projects. He grew up in Porterville and, at the age of five, brought back and planted some cottonseeds picked up from a trip to North Carolina that resulted in the first planted and harvested in the Porterville area. His hard work in the community continued throughout his adolescence and into his adult life.
After success in a variety of jobs, he joined the Porterville Police department in 1933. He then started Porterville Farm Implement Company, which he ran for 30 years until his retirement. He was a charter member of the Porterville Kiwanas and also a member of the Porterville Masonic Lodge and high priest of the Royal Arch Masons. Of all his accomplishments in business, Overcash was most proud of his efforts to bring a new hospital to the area. As President of the Porterville Chamber of Commerce in 1947, Overcash helped circulate petitions to gather support for the project. In 1952 the Sierra View District Hospital was built, fulfilling a life long dream.
Cattle rancher, Republican strategist, campaigner, community activist, mother, and grandmother. Those are just a few descriptions from Clara Rutheford’s extensive resume. Born in 1912 just east of Porterville, Rutherford attended local schools and held a variety of jobs through the 40’s. She retired to join her husband in running the family ranch and pursue her own interests, which led to a 1995 SETCO honor for her many contributions to the community and Republican Party.
She started work with the Porterville chapter of the California Republican Assembly and became a full member of the Republican State Central Committee and then co-chairwoman of the Tulare County Reagan for President Committee. She served in several state offices including the California Cowbells and California Beef Council. She was appointed by Tulare County Supervisors to help the Foothill Growth Management Plan and, together with her husband, received the first joint recipient of the Cattlemen of the Year award. Despite her political contributions and leadership skills, Rutherford was certain that her successful marriage, children, and grandchildren were her greatest accomplishment.
Bill was in the first class of students that started as freshmen at PHS to graduate in 1928. He gradated from Porterville College in 1931 and went on to graduate from Kansas University in 1936. Bill was the Publisher and Owner of the Farm Tribune Newspaper from 1948-’75.
Bill was the Man of the Year in 1948 by the Porterville Chamber of Commerce. He served on the Porterville Fair Board for 35 years. He was a 30 year member of the Elks and also served as President of the Rotary Club. He was Chairman of the Republican Central Committee and a member of the California Republican State Committee. Bill was a City Council Member from 1959-’63 and the Mayor from 1963-’67. He helped launch the Porterville Centennial Celebration and the Jackass Mail Run. Bill co-produced with Buck Shaffer the City of Hope Spectacular. Bill was married to Katherine Goode Rodgers and had two daughters, Susan and Mary Kay.
Estha was one of the best known of all the Porterville College Alumni as she stayed very active in college activities well after her graduation in 1930. She was a member of the first graduating class of PC. She was the honored guest at the college’s 75th Anniversary celebration. She met her husband, Carl, on a bus while on her way to PC. They were married for almost 60 years.
For 13 years she was on the staff of the Porterville Recorder as Society Editor. She also wrote about music events, Barn Theatre productions and obituaries. Long after her retirement she still attended all school concerts and plays. She wrote memorials for Eastern Star and was a 50 year member of the Palm Leaf Chapter Order of the Eastern Star. She received a Community Service Award at the age of 90. Estha Mae also served as Clerk for 20 years at the First Congregational Church. Her love of country, pride and diligence in her community and activities held no bounds, never missing a Flag Day Ceremony or a September 17 Bell Ringing Ceremony.
Helen Louise Shires grew up in Nebraska and graduated from the University of Nebraska majoring in Home Economics. She volunteer taught English as a second language for many years to Hmong families. She was involved in Alta Mira Chapter of DAR, serving in several positions including Regent, and conducted significant genealogy research. She was a 4-H Leader, Girl Scout Leader, active in PTA, and taught elementary school for 20 years. She and Orlin were very active in the Porterville Centennial events in 1961 and Helen sewed replica 1860s costumes for the entire family. She supported the Porterville Museum and donated her table from Porterville founder Porter Putnam. Orlin and Helen had been married for 64 years.
Dr. Orlin Shires was the longest reining President of Porterville College, serving in that position for 23 years. His list of services to the local community is long, including American Red Cross, Chamber of Commerce, Lions Club, Centennial Committee, Porterville Museum, Boy Scouts, YMCA, Rotary Club, Big Brother Committee, American Legion, AAU Track and Field, Barn Theater Board of Directors, and the Evangelical Free Church. He was a tremendous athlete lettering in football and track in college. He was a proud Veteran of World War II and very patriotic. He served in the Navy reserves for 15 years.
Teresa Jackson tirelessly worked for the betterment of the Porterville Community. She helped start the Iris Festival and served as the event chair for 10 years. She served on the Porterville Sheltered Workshop Board of Directors for 24 years, serving as President in 1989. Teresa was actively involved in the Leadership Porterville Program, serving as the Steering Committee Chair in 1997, annual program presenter/instructor; and retreat facilitator. Each year she would get the LP Class off to a great start at the Retreat leading the group in various teambuilding sessions.
She was named Woman of the Year in 2002 by the Chamber of Commerce. Teresa was involved in the Porterville Employer Advisory Council. She actively supported numerous other local organizations and community events including: American Cancer Society and Relay for Life; American Heart Association; Porterville Adult School; Porterville College; Butterfield Stage Days and the Sierra Music Fest. She Chaired the Chamber of Commerce Board in 2000.
Wallie co-owned and managed The Juven-Aire and Teen-Aire specialty shops on Main Street for 40 years. Throughout this long career, Mrs. Wilson served the business community and especially the downtown central business district on a vast variety of boards, committees, and commissions. She also served the City on the business license review, and strategic planning committees. She played a vital role in the formation of the formation of the Parking District downtown in 1968.
Waltraut is the only woman to twice be given the Woman of The Year (1963 & 1968) by the Porterville Chamber of Commerce because of her dedicated service to the local, state, and even international community. Wallie was a member of the Zonta Club of Porterville for over 50 years where she twice served as President. She then went on to serve as Area Director, Lt. Governor and in the prestigious position of Governor of District IX of Zonta International. One of the most enduring legacies of her Zonta membership was the establishment of Z Clubs at Porterville, Monache, and Strathmore High Schools. Wallie loved this community and she gave all that she had to make it a better place, both for businesses and for families.
Forrest "Doc" Mock
Cpl. Brett W. Land
Land grew up in Porterville and was known for his wrestling winning several national titles and twice placing in the top five in his weight class in the state during high school. He played a big role in helping Bakersfield High School win the state wrestling title in 2004. He was extremely active in the Burton School District where he wrestled, played basketball and baseball, was in the jazz and marching school bands, was involved with the school’s Spelling Bee competition and history reenactments, and was a member of the school’s drama club.
Land’s Army awards and decorations include: National Defense Service Medal; Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and Airborne Tab.
Mona enlisted in the Armed Forces in 1942. She was assigned to Wright Field in Ohio and spent most of her three years there participating in various research programs.
She came to Porterville in 1973 when she and her husband ran the family ranch where they grew oranges, avocados and kiwis. She then indulged in two of her loves: travel and volunteering. Mona joined Zonta International in 1979 under the classification of Citrus Manager. She served as President from 1983-’85. She wrote small grants to give additional funding for the Central California Crisis Center (CCFCC) and the Porterville Adult Services. Mona also wrote and received a grant that allowed Zonta to partner with the PHS drama department which resulted in a video named “Remember Jan.” She served on the CCFCC Board for many years. For ten years she ran a home care facility for abused and neglected children. That home eventually was incorporated with the Pioneer Home Outreach.
Mona was a faithful member of the Porterville Garden Club spending countless hours at the Zalud House, beautifying downtown, and working on other projects. She also was involved with Habitat for Humanity. She brought beauty into the world through her gardening and through her devotion and undaunting spirit to her community.
Alice Overstreet Seal
In August 1995, she started working on her genealogy and in February ’96 her membership number had been assigned in Washington, DC. Also, in May 1996, she was elected Vice Regent of Alta Mira Chapter.
Part of the Zonta code reads, “Honor my work and consider it an opportunity for service. To increase the measure of that service by consistent self-improvement.” Nothing could define Alice’s life more.
Edward B. "Ted" Cornell
Frank "Buck" Shaffer
Carmen Martinez Eoff