COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Boone County honored its "favorite son" Roger Wilson on Thursday, renaming its government center for the man who rose to the Missouri governor's office amid tragedy.
Wilson, 52, was visibly moved as speaker after speaker told of his family's generational involvement in county government and politics, and of his steady but sympathetic handling of the sudden transition when Gov. Mel Carnahan died in a plane crash last fall.
"He became governor of this state under tragic circumstances," said former U.S. Sen. Tom Eagleton, D-Mo., but "all of us will remember" Wilson's "grace and dignity" in succeeding Carnahan.
The ceremony was on an outdoor stage in front of the Roger B. Wilson Boone County Government Center. The center includes offices of the county collector, the job held by Wilson's late father, Roger Woodrow Wilson, and the son's springboard into politics when he succeeded his father in 1976.