Councilman John Bartling was born in 1962 in Lodgepole Nebraska and was raised on the family farm as one of seven children, including his three brothers: Matthew, Mark, and Luke. As a child, he attended Rush Creek School, a one room school just north of Lodgepole, where he was the only student in his class for nine years. After elementary school, he attended Lodgepole High School and enjoyed every sport and all music classes. He also enjoyed working on his family’s farm and as a gas station attendant all through high school.
Upon graduation in 1981, John received a vocal music scholarship to Kearney State University and attended college there. In 1983, John married Kathleen “Katie” Thomas. They made their home in Kearney and were blessed with three sons and one daughter. While in Kearney, John and Katie owned and operated their own businesses, including two gas stations, an automotive repair shop, a towing company, and a snow removal business, all at the same time. After selling these businesses in 2006, John took a job with the Union Pacific Railroad, which, lucky for us, brought him to Douglas.
While with the UP, John endured multiple furloughs, during one of which he took a job with the City of Douglas as a 9-1-1 Dispatcher. He later returned to the railroad but was furloughed again. So in 2012, he took a job as Director of Transportation with Converse County School District #1. He very much enjoys his current position with the school, and he and Katie love living in the Douglas community.
John feels that this is one of the greatest places on earth to raise a family as it is free from many of the risks that children face in other communities. John and Katie’s two youngest children both graduated from Douglas High School and both are currently students at University of Wyoming. In 2014, John was elected to City Council as a write-in candidate, and with the full support of his employer, he took the job the community elected him for. John says, In 2018, John was elected for a second term on City Council, and the City is very happy that he decided to continue his service to this community by serving on Council!