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Leo Elthon

Gov. Leo Elthon

  • November 22, 1954 - January 13, 1955
  • Republican
  • June 8, 1898
  • April 16, 1967
  • Iowa
  • Iowa State Teachers College; Hamilton's University of Business
  • Married Synneva Hjelmeland; four children
  • Succeeded


LEO ELTHON, Iowa’s thirty-second governor, was born in Fertile, Iowa on June 9, 1898. His education was attained at the Augsburg Seminary, at the Iowa State Teachers College, and at the Hamilton’s University of Business. He established a career in education, first as a teacher and then in administration, serving as a principal. Elthon entered politics in 1932, serving as a member of the Iowa State Senate, a position he held until 1953. He also served as the lieutenant governor of Iowa from 1953 to 1957. On November 21, 1954, Governor William Beardsley passed away, and Elthon, who was lieutenant governor at the time, assumed the duties of the governorship. He served in this capacity until January 13, 1955, when the newly elected governor was sworn into office. Elthon went back to his duties in the lieutenant governor’s office. He served as mayor of Fertile from 1958 to 1963, and served again in the Iowa State Senate from 1963 to 1965. Governor Leo Elthon died on April 16, 1967, and was buried at the Brush Point Cemetery in Fertile, Iowa.



2005-2006 Iowa Official Register

The Political Graveyard

Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 2, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.


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