Arthur L. Selland

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Arthur L. Selland
15th Mayor of Fresno
In office
April 21, 1958 – December 5, 1963
Preceded byC. Cal Evans
Succeeded byWallace Henderson
Personal details
Born
Arthur Leonard Selland

(1905-12-31)December 31, 1905
Flaxton, North Dakota, U.S.
DiedDecember 5, 1963(1963-12-05) (aged 57)
Fresno, California, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Cecelia Victoria Hagedorn (m. 1927-1963)
Children
  • Marie
  • Donald
  • Judith
  • Anne

Arthur L. Selland (December 31, 1905 – December 5, 1963) was an American politician, and mayor of Fresno, California from 1958 to 1963. Selland was born on December 31, 1905 to Henrik "Henry" Augustin Alfsen Selland and Helga Marie Christine Anderson in Flaxton, North Dakota the eldest son and second of eleven children. Both parents immigrated with their families from Norway and settled in the area of the Canada–United States border in North Dakota and Minnesota. Arthur and his family moved to California around 1910 originally settling in Shasta County. On October 1, 1927, Selland married Ceclia Victoria in Jackson County, Oregon. By 1935, the Sellands moved to Fresno where Arthur worked for Bank of America in the Bank of Italy Regional Office. He would go into stock trading and become a wealthy stockbroker during the later years of the Great Depression. Selland was also involved with E Clampus Vitus as a charter member of the Jim Savage Chapter[1]

Civic Career[edit]

Selland became involved with community affairs when he joined the Fresno City Schools as a board of trustee and eventually board president.[2] On April 8, 1958, Selland beat out incumbent Mayor C. Cal Evans and former mayor Gordon Dunn with 40% of the vote out of nine candidates.

In 1962, Selland ran a unsuccessful Congressional run losing to B. F. Sisk.

Mayoral Term[edit]

Selland was the genesis of Downtown Fresno redevelopment by backing and pushing through the Victor Gruen designed Fulton Mall (Fresno) which would turn a six-block portion of the city's main business center into a walkable pedestrian mall. Selland also pushed for the construction of the Fresno Convention Center in an effort to grow business and advance Fresno as a mid-size city. Advocating for business growth and city redevelopment attracted the attention of President Kennedy which resulted in Selland being asked to be one of 16 mayors nationwide to join Kennedy in his West Berlin Tour in June 1963. Selland was elected president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors in 1963 and was in the process of gaining support for the Civil Rights Act of 1964 amongst mayors when he was killed in an automobile accident on December 5, 1963.

Death[edit]

The accident was a result of driver negligence of missing a stop sign in dense fog. The crash killed Selland and Fresno Chamber of Commerce President Herbert Ferguson while severely injuring Richard Worrel and driver Lloyd Weber just nine days after the Assassination of John F. Kennedy.

Tributes[edit]

Several items in and around the city of Fresno are named in his honor:

  • Selland Arena, completed in 1966, is named for him.
  • Selland Avenue, which runs in a north–south direction however not continuous between Herndon Avenue and Weldon Avenue.
  • The Arthur L. Selland Memorial Scholarship is an annual award to full-time undergraduate or graduate students of California State University, Fresno.[3]

References[edit]

  • "Mayors of U.S. Cities A - L". WorldStatesmen.org. 11 August 2010. Archived from the original on 21 August 2010. Retrieved 12 August 2010.
  • "Organizational Leaders: Past Presidents". United States Conference of Mayors. 2010. Archived from the original on 14 August 2010. Retrieved 12 August 2010.
  • Fresno Bee, The. George Hostetter. "'He Gave all He Had'- Selland's Death, Now Largely Forgotten, Shocked Fresno.” Fresno Bee, The (CA), 2013, p. A1. America's News, infoweb-newsbank-com.fr.ezproxy.sjvls.org/apps/news/document-view?p=NewsBank&docref=news/14A7ACB6886D45B8. Accessed 15 July 2020.
Political offices
Preceded by
C. Cal Evans
15th Mayor of Fresno
1958-1963
Succeeded by
Wallace Henderson (acting)