ELKHART — John Letherman, Elkhart County councilman and partner at FM Stone Commercial, has been named a Sagamore of the Wabash, the highest distinction that can be given by the state.
Through the award, Gov. Eric Holcomb acknowledged Letherman’s 50 years of service to Elkhart County and the state.
“Few Hoosiers have given as much back to our state as John Letherman. From his military service to his success in business and his community leadership, John has continually found ways to make, not just Elkhart, but our entire state better. He’s certainly worthy of this distinction and I was honored to name him a Sagamore of the Wabash.”
Letherman received the award in a surprise presentation by state Rep. Doug Miller at the Elcona Country Club. State Rep. Timothy Wesco also joined family and friends in celebrating Letherman.
“I sincerely thank Governor Holcomb for this honor,” Letherman said. “I have always considered Governor Holcomb to be one of the best political leaders of our time. His calm and thoughtful management, his professional demeanor and his outstanding leadership have inspired confidence and pride throughout the state.”
Letherman also took the opportunity to praise the county.
“I have always told everyone that we are really lucky to live in Elkhart County, Indiana,” he said. “People here are generally good to each other, business is appreciated by both government and the average citizen, the county is beautiful and the standard of living exceeds most other places in the U.S. It has been a real privilege to be of service to the county and state like this”
“Sagamore” was a term used by the Algonquin tribe to describe a great man among the tribe whom the chief consulted for wisdom and advice. “The Wabash” refers to Indiana’s official state river. The award was created during the term of Gov. Ralph Gates, who served from 1945 to 1949.
Letherman is a lifelong resident of Elkhart County. In 1988, he was elected to the Elkhart County Council. He was elected Council President in 2001 and he continues to serve as council president.
He has been involved in many community and professional activities over the years, including the Elkhart County/City Planning Advisory Committee, the Economic Development Corporation of Elkhart County, the Michiana Area Council of Governments, the Home Builders Association of Elkhart County, the Elkhart County Symphony Society and the 2010 Coalition. He has also been president of the U.S. 31 Coalition and he is the governor’s appointee to the Indiana Toll Road Oversight Board.
Letherman’s wife of 54 years, Dianne, and his six children and their families said they couldn’t be prouder of him and his lifetime of service to Elkhart County and the state.