Herbert C. Casteel, Jr., son of Herbert C. Casteel, Sr. and Corah Alice (Brantley) Casteel, one of 10 children, was born in Princeton, Missouri on May 31, 1922. After graduating Princeton High School, Mr. Casteel attended the University of Missouri, however his studies were interrupted by the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. He served in the U. S. Army during WWII from 1943 to 1946, reaching the rank of 2nd Lieutenant. After receiving his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Missouri in 1948, Herb moved to Carthage, opening a law office with Richard Webster, Sr. He married Virginia Jeanne Oltman in 1949 and they were the parents of three children, Jane, Jordan, and Nancy.
Mr. Casteel practiced law for 15 years and served as a trial judge for 26 years. He was elected circuit judge for Division I of Jasper County in 1976, and later presiding judge for the circuit, serving in that role until his retirement in 1989. He was active on many Carthage boards including Leggett & Platt, Big Smith, and Tapjac. He also served on the Board of Trustees for Ozark Christian College for 37 years; the Casteel Administration Building is named in recognition of his leadership and commitment to the College. Herb served as Mayor of Carthage from 1990 to 1994. His time as Mayor was one of heightened economic development and tourism promotion for Carthage, and he was privileged to dedicate the Battle of Carthage State Park, the Civil War Museum, and the new City Hall Building during his term. In 1994, Herb was honored as the 1993 Richard M. Webster Citizen of the Year Award at the annual Carthage Chamber of Commerce Banquet.
Herb was an active member of Fairview Christian Church, serving as an elder and long-time Sunday School teacher. His faith and integrity were of utmost importance to him, and he is remembered by community members as a “true gentleman.” After his retirement from the bench, he authored two books, Drums of Moloch and Beyond a Reasonable Doubt. Herb and Jeanne were married 52 years, and enjoyed spending time with their children and grandchildren, as well as close friends for monthly supper clubs. Mr. Casteel passed away on January 10, 2017 and is interred at Park Cemetery, Carthage.