Daniel David Mikesell

Daniel David Mikesell was born on March 22, 1910 in Shawnee, Oklahoma, son of Carl C. and Myrtle (Hayes) Mikesell. In 1918 the family moved to Needles, where Dan’s father, an engineer with the Santa Fe Railroad, established their home and where Dan attended grade and high schools, graduating in 1928. He then attended UCLA, where he majored in political science.
Mikesell worked in the lumber and construction field in Redlands in and later in Pomona as a sales manager. During World War II he was employed at the Douglas Aircraft Company in Long Beach as a supervisor in the wage administration department and was later in charge of the development department for the B-26 Light Bomber.
In 1945 Mr. Mikesell returned to the construction field, representing a wholesale materials firm. In 1948 he jointed the Celotex Corporation, producers of building and industrial materials, as the technical sales representative in charge of developing new product uses and merchandizing techniques. He was transferred to the Ontario office in 1950. An active and avid sportsman and conservationist, Mikesell became president of the West End Fish and Game Club for two years and was president of the Inland Council Conservation Clubs of Riverside and San Bernardino Counties. He helped organize the California Wildlife Federation and was its first vice-president. He also served on the board of directors of the California Game Improvement Association and the Ocean Fish Protective Association. He organized the Junior Sportsman Club in 1952 and was involved in Boy Scout activities. On March 4, 1954, Mr. Mikesell announced his candidacy as Second District Supervisor. He won the election and served from December 6, 1954 to December 3, 1958, at which time he ran against the incumbent Eugene G. Nisbet, for the Republican seat in the State Assembly. Unsuccessful in this attempt, he was elected to the Ontario City Council and served as mayor of Ontario from 1960 to 1962. During this period he helped to organize the Friends of the Ontario Airport, and was the charter vice-president of that organization.
Mr. Mikesell was elected to a second term on the board of supervisors in 1962 and three consecutive terms thereafter. He served as chairman of the board from 1966 to 1968. During his tenure he distinguished himself in numerous capacities at the federal state and county levels. He served as president of the Southern California Association of Governments and as a director of the County Supervisors Association of California. While with the Supervisors Association, he served as the chairman of the public works committee for six years and was a member of the Fish and Game Commission, Finance Committee, Retirement Board, Water Resources Committee, Tax Study Committee, and others. Recognized as an authority in the fields of aviation and transportation, Mikesell was appointed to an unprecedented fourth term as the chairman of the Transportation Steering Committee for the National Association of Counties and earlier chaired that organization’s subcommittee on aviation. He was the chairman of the Advisory Committee on Noise Standards at the State Aeronautics Board and the chairman of the Advisory Committee on Flexible Transportation Systems. He was the chairman of the Advisory Committee on Flexible Transportation Systems for the State Department of Transportation. He was a member of the United States Department of Transportation’s Policy Advisory on a National Transportation Planning Study and was a member of the Federal Aviation Agency’s Airspace Utilization Committee. He was a member of the State Council on Intergovernmental Relations, a director of the California Water Resources Association, and was appointed to the Governor’s Earthquake Advisory Council.
Mikesell was chairman of the Chino Basin Water District Committee, founder and chairman of the I-15 Association, a member of the West Valley Transit Service Authority, organizer of the West Valley Planning Agency (which evolved into what is now San Bernardino Associated Governments – SANBAG, the county’s transportation agency), a member of several committees on aviation and president of the San Bernardino Chapter of the Air Force Association. He was a member of the Death Valley 49ers, a member of E Clampus Vitus, on the board of governors of the National Orange Show, and was the charter president of the Chaffey Booster’s Club and was active in several other organizations. He is a charter member of the Feather River Project Committee which helped to promote the routing of Northern California water to and through San Bernardino County. He was a member of Southern California’s Ten County Plan and he organized the 5-County Plan on the uniform design and construction of public thoroughfares in San Bernardino, Riverside, Los Angeles, Orange and Ventura counties. This was so successful that the Metropolitan Engineering Board gave that effort credit for having saved about 200-man-years of work and costs. Mikesell was appointed by President Richard Nixon to a National Committee on Uniform Traffic Laws.
On September 8, 1976, failing health necessitated Dan Mikesell’s resignation from the board of supervisors after some eighteen years of service. Following his retirement, he served on the County Aviation Commission and the Economic Development Commission. The I-15/I-10 Devore Cutoff Interchange was named the “Daniel D. Mikesell Interchange” in recognition of his 20-plus years of effort to have the interchange constructed as a time-saver for traffic to Las Vegas and the desert areas.
Mr. and Mrs. Mikeell resided in Ontario. Mrs. Mikesell was the former Gabrielle Lucas, daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Vincent Lucas of Cucamonga. They were married for over 65 years. Their son, Daniel D. Jr. was the principal county counsel for Los Angeles County. Into the Third Millenium, Dan Mikesell continued to provide consulting services and enjoyed fishing and occasional golf as recreation.
He died on November 13, 2007 at the age 97.

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