Merrill E. Chesebrough, 81

Published 8:57 am Thursday, November 18, 2010

Merrill E. Chesebrough, son of Earl Chesebrough and Birdie Somerville, was born in LeRoy March 27, 1919.

He was an only child.

Merrill attended public school in LeRoy, graduating in 1936. Due to his father’s illness, he worked with his mother publishing the LeRoy Independent, immediately after graduation from high school.

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In May 1942, he was enlisted in the U.S. Army Signal Corps serving during World War II until July, 1946. His service included two years in Europe, during Oct., 1950; he was recalled to active duty during the Korean War, serving until March, 1952. He was discharged with the rank of Captain.

Chesebrough was elected Mayor or LeRoy in the fall of 1949, serving from Jan. 1,1950, until his recalling to active military service. Following his return from military service, he again became Mayor and continued in that office for 12 years. In 1970, he was appointed clerk-treasurer of the city of LeRoy, serving in office for 14 years; he retired Dec. 31, 1984.

When a teenager, Chesebrough united with the First Baptist Church of LeRoy, later joining the First Presbyterian Church of LeRoy. He was also a member of the LeRoy Masonic Lodge and other Masonic organizations, including: Osman Shrine Temple St.Paul, LeRoy Commercial Club, LeRoy Rod and Gun Club and the LeRoy American Legion Post No. 161.

He was associated with his mother, Mrs. Birdie Hanks, in publication of the LeRoy Independent from 1936 until the fall of 1968, when the paper was sold to Carl Cassidy of Lima Springs, Iowa.

Chesebrough was active in community affairs. In addition to 26 years as Mayor/Clerk-Treasure of LeRoy, he served as a member of the Mower County Fair Board, Mower County Mental Health Clinic, Mower County Selective Service Board, Mower County Housing and Redevelopment Authority, Southeaster Minnesota Regional Development Commission (Region 10), Mower County Planning Commission and was Director of the First National Bank of LeRoy for 25 years.

He is survived by six step-brothers and sisters: Fred J. (Donna) Hanks, LeRoy; Rev. Bruce Hanks, Marble Falls, Texas; Mrs. Wayne (Marilyn) Wells, LeSueur; Mrs. Robert (Lorraine) Westfall, Dexter; Mrs. Herschel ( Hildreth ) Wilson, Springfield, Ohio; John Hanks, Chillicothe, Mo.; numerous cousins, step-nephews, step-nieces and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Earl Chesebrough and Birdie Hanks; step-fathers: G. Selbin Ecklund and Howard Hanks; several aunts and uncles.

Funeral services for Merrill will be held 11a.m. Saturday Nov. 20, 2010, at the First Presbyterian Church in LeRoy with Rev Neal Solomonson officiating. Visitation will be held 10 a.m. until time of service at the church. Burial will be at the LeRoy cemetery.

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