John A. Cassell
Founder (1916 – 2003)
John was born on a family farm near Jerico Springs, Missouri, and attended Stockton High School, graduating as the salutatorian of his class. He attended the University of Missouri, graduating with a B.S. in agronomy. While at Mizzou, he joined Alpha Gamma Sigma; the men of Ag Sig were his lifelong brothers.
After graduating from the University of Missouri, John was drafted into the U.S. Army and served in World War II. He returned home to Missouri and worked as a county agent (now extension agent) for the University of Missouri. Later, he settled on the Cassell family farm in Cedar County and launched a construction company, Cassell-Switzer Construction Co. Entering the real estate business was a natural progression for John. Over the years, he served as president of the Five County Board of REALTORS® and as an area vice president and director of the Missouri Real Estate Association (now the Missouri Association of REALTORS®).
John’s business interests outside of real estate were diverse. His construction company built everything from custom homes to Grade A dairy barns to commercial buildings. He owned a successful insurance agency; a popular café, Cassell’s Café; and, later, a service station, Stop ‘n Shop. John’s real estate investments were varied. He was founder and president of Stockton Hills Water Company and operated a successful farm, with hogs, dairy and beef cattle, and a small fruit orchard.
He was a member and officer of American Legion Post 230 Trent Sallee, Stockton Lodge No. 283 (A.F. & A.M.), Stockton Lions Club, and Stockton Optimist Club. He served as the Cedar County chairman of the University of Missouri Alumni Association. He served as a trustee and a member of the building committee of his church, the Stockton United Methodist Church.
John was a civic minded individual. He served on the board of directors at the formation of the Stockton Area Chamber of Commerce; was the president of the Industrial Development Association of Stockton and a member of the board of the Stockton Industrial Development Corporation; was one of the community leaders who founded Lakeland Low Rent Housing, Inc., a non-profit devoted to offering affordable housing to senior citizens in Cedar County; was elected as the treasurer of the Stockton Special Road District for many years; and served on the building committee for the Korth Senior Center.
John often worked behind the scenes to improve Stockton, the Stockton Lake area, and Cedar County. His dedication to the community was recognized by the Cedar County Commission when the commissioners renamed the road that connects Orleans Trail to Stockton (South 1521 Road) as John A. Cassell Memorial Drive.
John enjoyed traveling around the U.S., taking spur-of-the-moment road trips across the country. He was passionate about genealogy, and hosted an annual family reunion with hundreds of attendees.
John departed from this life on May 4, 2003 when Stockton was hit by a tornado, but his passion for the area continues on in the Cassell Real Estate mission to this day.