Senator Leo Elthon View All Years

Compiled Historical Information
Date of Death: 4/16/1967
Birth Place: Fertile, IA
Birth County: Worth
Party Affiliation: Republican
Assemblies Served:
Senate: 45 (1933) - 54 (1951)
60 (1963) - 61 (1965)
Home County: Worth
Leo Elthon
Worth County


MR. PRESIDENT: Your Committee, appointed to prepare a suitable resolution commemorating the life, character and public service of the late Honorable Leo Elthon, begs leave to submit the following memorial:

Leo Elthon was born in Fertile, Iowa, June 9, 1889, elder son of Mr. and Mrs. A. A. Elthon, pioneers of this community. He resided in Fertile during his lifetime.

Following graduation from the Fertile High School in 1917, he attended Augsburg College, Hamilton College, and Iowa State Teachers College. He taught Manual Training and Athletics in Clear Lake, Iowa; later he was Principal of the Fertile High School.

Upon leaving the teaching profession, he became engaged in farming and quarrying until retirement. For many years he was President and Manager of the Fertile Lumber Co.

Early in life, Senator Elthon became actively interested in Civic Affairs, local and statewise. In 1932 he was elected to the Iowa Senate where he served continuously till 1952. He was Lt. Governor from 1953 to 1957 and was Governor a short period after the death of Governor William S. Beardsley.

In 1962 he was re-elected to the Senate, where, as he often said, he found the greatest satisfaction in serving the people of his beloved State of Iowa. But poor health made it impossible for him to attend all the Sessions of this last term; however, he kept close watch of the procedures of the Legislature in Des Moines, Iowa.

On February 28, 1922, Leo Elthon was married to Synneva Hjelmeland, daughter of Rev. and Mrs. R. O. Hjelmeland, of Fertile, Iowa. To this union were born two sons and four daughters.

Senator Elthon was a member of the Fertile Gospel Mission, an organization that was founded for the propagation of the Gospel to many parts of the world. He taught an adult Bible class in the Mission Sunday School for many years.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Synneva, who left this life October 30, 1963, and an infant grandson, John Lemon. A year after his wife’s passing he suffered a severe heart attack. Since that time he had had many and complicated illnesses and longed for the release that came to him on a Sunday evening, April 16, 1967, at 6:45. He was 68 years old.

He is survived by his six children: Mrs. Ed (Dorothy) Davis, David and Alan, Mrs. Les (Ivene) Nelson, Mrs. Wendell (Amy) Mahoney, and Mrs. James (Sylvia) Lemon. Three sisters and one brother: Mabel and Mrs. Lewis (Esther) Varberg, Mrs. Arthur (Ruth) Nyhus, and Thelan. Twenty grandchildren. Many relatives and countless friends.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE SIXTY-SECOND GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF IOWA: That in the passing of the Honorable Leo Elthon, the State of Iowa has lost a valued and honored citizen, and by this resolution attests its respect for and admiration of him and tenders its sincere sympathy to his family.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: That a copy of this resolution be spread upon the Journal of the Senate and the Secretary be directed to send an enrolled copy to the members of his family.

JOHN L. BUREN, Chairman




The resolution was unanimously adopted.