Volume 9, Number 11 - Spring 1988

By Robert K. Gilmore

Elmo Ingenthron 1911-1988

I didn’t really know Elmo very long, although when I saw him last at a Society meeting, we greeted each other like lifelong friends. I wonder why it’s so easy to like some people?

It was a little less than four years ago that he accepted my invitation to go to lunch so we could talk and get acquainted. When I picked him up at his home on Highway K, he invited me in to see his study. It wasn’t really very impressive. Cluttered and crowded with a jumble of books and papers, it looked exactly like what it was—the working area of a scholar, an educator, an historian. How pleased I am that he trusted me to appreciate this glimpse of his personal environment!

Appreciation. Maybe that sums up better than any other word my feeling for this man, whom I didn’t really know very well, nor for very long.

I appreciate the way he shared with others the fruits of his studies. Four major books, for instance. They were important books, well researched, carefully written. The works of a scholar. Invaluable history, the legacy of a sharing and caring man.

He was the first President of our Society. I appreciate the opportunity he provided for me to be the latest. I valued his support and encouragement.

Living and leaving. Living and leaving. It’s a familiar cycle. One we never really quite come to grips with.

Elmo’s leaving presents a problem for those of us who have come to respond to many questions about the heritage of Taney County with an automatic, "have you talked with Elmo?"

His leaving creates a void in Taney County much larger than his frail body occupied. But soul needs more space than body, and his enormous spirit claimed its full share of his beloved Land.

I’m glad I knew him, even so short a time.


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