He was making state history that crisp winter day as he stood in Jefferson City, his right hand upraised. For the second time he was taking the oath of office as Missouri’s Governor. It had been a long time since his mother had gone to work to raise money so she could buy a potato chip machine to give the family an income. Her son had repeatedly ignored the advice of those who thought he was too young and moving too fast to become the first Missouri Governor to serve two consecutive four-year terms.Warren Hearnes had learned as a growing boy in Southeast Missouri that success comes through hard work and often despite great odds. His father ran into business trouble in the 1930 depression. The hardware store went bankrupt and his mother became an important financial contributor to the Hearnes family. When the general store failed, Mrs. Hearnes went to work selling cakes and pies until she had raised enough to buy a potato chip machine. Then she drove a panel truck around distributing chips, peanuts,candy, cupcakes, and snacks to grocery stores, saloons, and other outlets.

AOWM January 13, 2005