The organization of the Jefferson County Amateur Radio Club as we know it today began in 1936 resulting from the efforts of four Jefferson County men and their interest in amateur radio. Charles Herbert, W9CJB, President, Emanuel Roth, W9VLP, Secretary-Treasurer, Walter Hample, W9UYD, and Tyndle Polk, W9VLP, became the charter members of the Jefferson County Radio Club. The new organization held regular monthly meetings on the first Sunday of each month at the host member’s home. Refreshments were at the discretion of the host member. There was not a lot of business conducted at these meetings in the beginning. The meetings were more of a social hour with friends. However, Emanuel Roth says, A good game of cards was a sure thing!
New members joining the club who were not already qualified as operators were allowed one year in which to qualify for and receive their operator’s license. At this time they became senior members of the club.
The club continued to expand boasting a membership of eighteen with members coming from other counties around the area. In 1938, it was decided to change the name to the Ozark Amateur Radio Club representing Jefferson, Ste. Genevieve, Perry, and St. Francois counties. This new name remained until the start of W.W.II when the government ordered all amateurs off the air for security purposes. Some of the members went on to serve in the Armed Forces. Lou Gehrs, WøSCB, spent two years as a spy trying to decode enemy radio transmissions. Others were engaged in vital civilian electronic research, development, and manufacturing. They also organized and manned the communications section of the Office of Civilian Defense. It should be noted after W.W.II, all call signs in Missouri that were W9 became Wø when the government assigned a new district west of the Mississippi.
Amateur radio operators, once thought of as a nuisance on the radio waves, are now famous for the public-service communications they provide especially in times of emergency. The “Hams” seems to develop a lore, a spirit, a service, and an outlook all their own. Our club members have a notable record for service and emergency duty. Emanuel Roth loaned his radio to KMOX to aid the Red Cross in its relief work in the 1937 flood. In the spring of 1948, a severe tornado hit the area of Bonne Terre, Missouri. Four club members handled 150 emergency messages. They were Clyde Roth, WØUUB, Emanuel Roth, WØVMI, Lou Gehrs, WØSCB, and Charlie White, WØKSR. Another tornado hit Poplar Bluff in 1949 and Jefferson County hams helped out by carrying messages to and from persons in the area. October 10, 1981 would commemorate the new center of population of the United States. It was located at Koch Park in De Soto, Missouri. The J.C.A.R.C. was there with a Special Events Station celebrating the first time the center of population has been located west of the Mississippi.
An earthquake struck the central portion of Mexico City in the fall of 1985. Cliff Stewart, WBØFDA, and Clovis LaPlant, KØQPL, worked long and hard to pull information out of confusion.
In 1986 Fred Bauman, KGØJ, was appointed as a volunteer coordinator of the county’s emergency management office. In 1988 the job became a full time position that he held for the next six years. It was Fred who first warned county officials of the impending flood on July 2, 1993.
The club reorganized in the 70’s and that is when it took the name of The Jefferson County Amateur Radio Club. The club had its first repeater, the 147.090 which was originally located in House Springs on the Ben Franklin Dime Store building. Later it was moved to the top of the Hillsboro courthouse, then finally came to rest on Sandridge in Hillsboro. In 1985 we had to get a new repeater frequency,147.075. Our club now has two 2 meter repeaters. The 147.075 repeater is located on Tower Road about three miles north of Hillsboro, Missouri. The ground elevation is 1000 feet, with 7/8 hard-line up 245 feet, and using an omni-directional antenna. The output power is 18 watts. The 147.105 repeater is located in Antonia, Missouri. The ground elevation is 1000 feet with 1/2 hard-line up 285 feet, and using a Diamond DX 200 antenna. The output power is 12 watts.
Our club call is KBØTLL. The meetings are the first Saturday of each month at 9:00A.M. at Windsor Library in Barnhart. The Library is located on Metropolitan Blvd. between HWY M and Z behind the weight scales on I-55. The weekly JCARC net is held on 147.075 on Monday evening at 8:00 p.m. followed by a swap net