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Posted By: Debbie Clough Gerischer (email)
Date: 7/2/2005 at 19:07:53


In the list of Greene county's active, successful and well liked citizens, Ernest B. McGlothlen occupied a prominent place. His record as a public official has been a most commendable one, being marked by strict fidelity to duty and notable ability in directing the affairs of the offices which he has filled. Exactness and thoroughness have characterized all his work and he has well merited the high place which he holds in public confidence and esteem.

Mr. McGlothlen was born in Des Moines, Iowa, on the 10th of June, 1895, and is a son of Thomas Benton and Susan E. (West) McGlothlen, the father born near Ottumwa, Iowa, and the mother a native of Ohio. In the paternal line, Mr. McGlothlen is descended from sterling old Scotch-Irish stock and has shown in his own career the sturdy qualities of that race. His parents moved from Ohio to Des Moines, Iowa, where the father engaged in the grading contracting business, in which he was eminently successful, as at that time there was much road and railroad grading being done. He gained a splendid reputation as a competent and reliable business man, performing his contracts to the satisfaction of all concerned. He began his business in the days of the wheelbarrow, pick and shovel, but was good manager of men and was a popular employer. He became the leading contractor in his line in Des Moines, operating independently under his own name, and followed that line of business during his entire active career. His death occurred in 1918, when about seventy years of age, and he was survived a number of years by his widow, who passed away in 1926.

Ernest B. McGlothlen received his education in the Des Moines public schools, and it was the desire of his father that he should go to college. However, the young man decided that he had sufficient education and applied to his father for a job, expecting to be made a foreman on the construction work. Instead, he was put to work driving a team to a slip scraper, which work he followed about a year. He then left his father's employ and took a position in the office of the Des Moines City Railway Company as a clerk. Here he proved an efficient employe and was later transferred to the accounting department. About this time he realized that his education was not as complete as it should have been and he attended night school at the West high school for some time, devoting himself closely to his studies, in which he made good progress. Then, leaving the street railway company, he went into the policy department of the Bankers Life Insurance Company of Des Moines, remaining with that company three or four years, during which time he was advanced to the head of the abstract department, with supervision over fifteen clerks. However, his health failed and, on the advice of his physician, he gave up office work and came to Jefferson, where he became associated with his father-in-law, R. B. Morden, in the title hauling contracting business. Subsequently he sold his interest in that business and was appointed to an unexpired term as city clerk. Some months later he was appointed superintendent of the city waterworks, filling the two offices for some six years, with eminent success. His ability and faithfulness attracted public attention and on November, 9, 1924, he was elected to the office of county auditor, taking office on the 1st of the following January. In this position he has abundantly vindicated the judgment of those who elected him, for he has shown himself a capable and efficient official, handling the affairs of his office in an entirely satisfactory manner.

In 1917 Mr. McGlothlen was united in marriage to Miss Leila V. Morden and to them have been born three children, Robert Benton, John Edwin and Shirley Ann. Mr. McGlothlen is a member of Morning Star Lodge, No. 159, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, and Cornerstone Chapter, No. 64, Royal Arch Masons, of which he is high priest; and he and his wife are members of Evening Star Chapter, No. 107, Order of the Eastern Star, of which he is worthy patron. They are also members of the First Methodist Episcopal church. Mr. McGlothlen is a man of sterling qualities, possesses a pleasing personality and is courteous and friendly in his social relations. Because of his fine official record and his interest in the welfare of his community, he stands high in the respect and esteem of all.

-transcribed by Debbie Gerischer

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Greene Biographies maintained by Lynn Diemer-Mathews.
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