LINDSETH, ELMER L. (12 Feb. 1902 - 26 Jan. 1999), chairman of the CLEVELAND ELECTRIC ILLUMINATING COMPANY, directed advertising campaigns that promoted his company and boosted the image of the city. Lindesth was born in Chicago to Swedish born parents, Lena (Anderson) and Andrew Lindseth. His father worked as a New York Central Railroad blacksmith and moved the family to Cleveland while Lindseth was a child. After graduating from Glenville High School, Lindseth won a two year scholarship to the Case School of Applied Science (See CASE WESTERN RESERVE UNIVERSITY). He studied another two years at Miami University of Ohio and received a bachelor's degree in 1923. He then returned to Case and received an additional bachelors degree in mechanical engineering in 1925. In 1926, he earned a master's degree in mechanical engineering from Yale University. Subsequently he would receive honorary degrees from Case, Miami and Fenn College. Lindseth first worked with the Illuminating Co. in 1924 as a summer intern and test helper. In 1926, he began full time employment as a junior tester. A year later he became a production engineer, beginning a long string of promotions. He became CEI president in 1945 and board chairman in 1960. He was chairman of the executive committee from 1967 until retiring in 1974.
Lindseth lauded Cleveland as the "best location in the nation," generating enthusiasm for his vision of a bright future for the city. He sparked a spirit of cooperation among officials and businessmen, convincing them to work together to promote Cleveland as an excellent site for new industry as well as the expansion of existing industries. He was instrumental in attracting new Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Corp. operations to Greater Cleveland. In 1962, Lindseth was named Salesman of the Year by the Sales and Marketing Executives of Cleveland. Lindseth was past president of the Cleveland Chamber of Commerce and past chairman of the Committee for Economic Development. He was a trustee of Case Western Reserve University and held leadership positions in the CLEVELAND FOUNDATION, the Greater Cleveland Associated Foundation, and University Circle Inc. He also served as a director of the Atomic Industrial Forum Inc. and was a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. The Cleveland Engineering Society named him the Construction Man of the Year. Lindseth was the past chirman of an intercultural program between Cleveland and Sweden and as a result of his efforts was made a commander in the Order of Vasa, one of the highest awards given by the King of Sweden.
Lindseth married Anne F. Fluckey on October 16, 1930. They had three children, Marta L. Jack, Jo L. Busser, and Jon A. Lindseth died in his residence at Judson Park, Cleveland Heights. Upon his request, his body was donated to medical science.