Edward Verner Dales came to Riverside in 1915. He started out in business with Clarence Gregg, forming the Dales & Gregg fumigation company, but by 1921 he had formed his own company. In 1926, his son Verner joined the firm.
Dales began his political career as a Riverside City Council member in 1935. In 1952, the voters of Riverside approved a new city charter and in the same election, voted Dales in as mayor. The change of charter meant he had to run again a few months later. He was re-elected and served three terms until 1965, when he was succeeded by Ben Lewis.
Dales had a low-key style and stuck to the political duties outlined by the charter. When he left office, Riverside’s mayor had no paid assistant, used his own car, and earned only $5,400 per year. His favorite official duty was crowning beauty queens.
The Dales Senior Center in White Park (dedicated in 1958) was named for Edward V. Dales, 12th Mayor of Riverside (1953-1965). His grandson, Craig Dales, remembers that Mayor Dales had a pocketful of change, and that as they walked downtown he would put coins in parking meters that had, or were about to, expire. “He said he was just giving a little help to make someone’s day better.” When he passed away he was 99 years old.