Edward L.R. Elson

Edward L.R. Elson

Edward L.R. Elson

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The Reverend Edward Lee Roy Elson (December 23, 1906 -August 25, 1993) was a Presbyterian minister andChaplain of the United States Senate.


Edward Lee Roy Elson, the oldest of nine children, was born inMonongahela, Pennsylvania, to Leroy Elson, a locomotive engineer,and his wife, Pearl. Early on he was encouraged to study music andgave concerts in the Pittsburgh area on the cornet with his sisterHazel playing the piano. One of his favorite memories of high schoolwas the time he and his sister gave a concert in the very early daysof radio on KDKA, the pioneer radio station.

Dr. Elson was educated at Asbury College in Wilmore, Kentucky,and then went to University of Southern California for a master'sin theology. He married Frances Sandys, a fellow Asbury Collegestudent in 1929. At about the time of his ordination in 1930, helearned that his young wife had a very serious illness, and owinglargely to this, he chose to go and serve at the La Jolla PresbyterianChurch because of its proximity to theScripps Clinic in La Jolla, California. His wife diedthree years later on his birthday.

Having been invited to join the American Seminar in Europe and Russia,Elson took an eye-opening trip to Europe in the summer of 1936. Shortly after returning from Europe,Elson married Helen Chittick, a member of his church.

After having been in the chaplain reserves for ten years, he resignedhis position with the church and went on active duty with the Army in1941,...
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