9-3-2019 — John Letherman, Elkhart County Councilman and Partner at FM Stone Commercial, was presented with the Sagamore of the Wabash Award last Friday, acknowledging his 50 years of service to Elkhart County and the State of Indiana.
The surprise presentation was made by Indiana State Representative Doug Miller at Elcona Country Club in Bristol, Ind. Family and close friends surprised Letherman at a luncheon. Also in attendance was State Representative Timothy Wesco.
Commenting on the award, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb said: “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 only Elkhart, but our entire state better. He is certainly worthy of this distinction and I was honored to name him a Sagamore of the Wabash.”
In comments immediately following the luncheon, Letherman said, “I sincerely thank Governor Holcomb for this honor. I have always told everyone we are all really lucky to live in Elkhart County, Indiana. 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 in a community and state like this!”
The Sagamore of the Wabash is the highest award the Governor of Indiana can bestow to Hoosiers for distinguished service. The term sagamore was used by the American Indian Tribes of the northeastern United States to describe a lesser chief or a great man among the tribe to whom the true chief would look for wisdom and advice. The term wabash refers to Indiana’s official state river. The award was created during the term of Indiana 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 today. 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 US 31 Coalition and he is the Governor’s appointee to the Indiana Toll Road Oversite Board.
Letherman and his wife Dianne have been married for 54 years and have six children.