ITS HISTORY AND TRADITION
E. B. McGLOTHLEN
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 gradingcontracting
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 a 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.