|Franklin K. McElheny|
Franklin K. McElheny was auditor of Miami County from January 1, 1911, to January 1, 1919, and has been a resident and citizen of Peru forty-five years, since early boyhood. Mr. McElheny has had a varied experience with the work of the world and with men and affairs, and before entering the auditor's office was one of the editors and publishers of the Miami County Sentinel. He is a veteran printer, having learned the trade forty years ago. |
He was born at Mount Pleasant in Henry County, Iowa, November 2, 1861, during a temporary residence of his parents in that state. He is a son of Thomas K. and Melvina (Woods) McElheny, his father a native of Montgomery County, Ohio, and his mother of Starke County, Ohio. Thomas K. McElheny was taken by his parents to Carroll County, Indiana, when one year old, but grew to manhood in Cass County. He was educated in the common schools, and bv the time he reached his majority was doing skillful work as a carpenter. He worked at his trade at Delphi in Carroll County, married there, helped build the county court house, and then for a year or so was employed in the erection of buildings of the State Insane Asylum of Iowa at Mount Pleasant. In 1862 he returned with his family to Delphi, Indiana, continued his business as contractor and builder there, was at Rochester, Indiana, from 1869 until 1873, and then established his home at Peru. Much of the important building work in and around Peru during the next twenty or thirty years was handled through the organization as a contractor. He died January 25, 1909, survived bv his wife and three of their six children. He was always a loyal democrat, served six years as township trustee of Peru Township, and for a number of years was treasurer of his lodge of the Odd Fellows. He was not a formal member of any church, though a Presbyterian by training.
Franklin K. McElheny acquired his early training in the public schools of Delphi and Rochester and was twelve years old when brought to Peru. He continued his schooling in that city several years, and at the age of fifteen began working in the factory of the old Howe Sewing Machine Company. He also worked in other factories and shops, but in 1878, at the age of seventeen, began an apprenticeship to learn the trade of printer in the office of the Peru Republican. He continued steadily at the printer's trade, both in newspaper and job work, until 1899, when he acquired an interest in the Miami County Sentinel. After that he divided his time between the editorial office and the printing rooms, and introduced a vigorous policy of politics which was reflected in increased circulation and increased influence of the paper as the leading democratic organ of Miami County.
In 1910 Mr. McElheny accepted the democratic nomination for the office of county auditor, was elected in November of that year, and was re-elected for a second term in 1914. He was one of the most popular men in the Court House and made his office administration as efficient as it was cordial in its atmosphere to all who transacted business there. Mr. McElheny is affiliated with the Masonic fraternity and the Knights of Pythias.
January 31, 1894, he married Miss Margaret A. McLaughlin. Mrs. McElheny was born in Decatur County, Indiana, July 19, 1867, daughter of Thomas and Ann (Cuff) McLaughlin, natives of Ireland. Mrs. McElheny was educated in the common schools and has been a splendid home maker and a source of inspiration to her husband in his career. They have four children : Louise, Robert, Anna, and Richard, all of whom have received the advantages of the grammar and high schools of Peru.
Jacob Piatt Dunn and G. W. H. Kemper, American Historical Society, New York and Chicago, 1919.