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City dedicates streets to Barney Keller, Clara Jefferson

STAFF WRITER

BARSTOW • Two of the most influential people in Barstow’s history are having streets dedicated in their honor.

The City Council voted Tuesday, unanimously approving proposals to dedicate streets to the memories of former mayor Barney Keller and community activist Clara Jefferson.

Keller was Barstow’s first elected mayor, being voted in to the position in April 1978. He began his career as a public servant when he was elected to the City Council in 1968.

Known as “Mr. Barstow” throughout the city and state, Keller was one of the city’s most respected local figures, and was awarded the title of Mayor Emeritus of the City of Barstow in 1988. Keller served the city as a public official for more than two decades.

The proposal the City Council approved will change the name of Portales Court to Mayor Barney Keller Court. The street is located off E. Buena Vista Street, between Barstow Road and 2nd Avenue.

Mayor Julie Hackbarth-McIntyre said the honor was long overdue for Keller, who passed away in 1997.

Jefferson established numerous events in the city.

“She was a longtime community activist,” City Manager Curt Mitchell said. “She was a member of the Arts and Industrial Women’s Club, and was reposnible fo establishing the Martin Luther King Jr. Peace March and Breakfast, as well as the Juneteenth celebration, and those are annual events in our community. 

“She had many dreams for Barstow, which still live on through the many lives that she touched.”

The City Council approved a proposal to dedicate Mesa Drive in memory of Clara Jefferson. The street will still be called Mesa Drive, but a memorial plaque will be installed under the street sign.


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