Mary Kesler Wilcox

Honored by:Pat Kesler and Ted Kesler
Brick location:B:25  map

Mary Louise Strasser was born in Des Moines, Iowa, on September 17, 1916. She was raised and educated in Des Moines. On October 12, 1942, she married Frederick Layne Kesler and they farmed south of Webster City, Iowa, in the heart of Hamilton County. In 1960, Mary ran for the elected office of Hamilton County Auditor. She won that election and continued to serve in that position until her retirement in December of 1980. After her husband Fred died in 1965, Mary continued to direct the family farm operation, continued to work as county auditor, and saw that her four teenage children all received a college education. Thomas Layne Kesler graduated from Iowa State University in farm operations in 1969, Ted Garfield Kesler from Drake University in business in 1970, Patricia A. Kesler from Iowa State University in elementary education in 1971, and Joseph Frederick Kesler from Iowa State University in agricultural education in 1974. Not only has she managed to raise a family on her own after her husband's death, she has also survived the deaths of two of her sons, Thomas & Joseph. In September 1980, Mary Kesler married Wesley D. Wilcox and they continue their retirement in Webster City.

Mary Kesler Wilcox has been active in politics all of her adult life. Her career as a public servant and her commitment to her family are two reasons for which we wish to honor her in the Carrie Chapman Catt Plaza of Heroines.