Congressman Elford A. Cederberg Papers Collection   1952, 2006, and undated (bulk dates 1965‑1978)
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History

ELFORD A> CEDERBERG

Mayor of Bay City, Michigan, 1949-1953

U.S. Representative, 1953-1978

Elford A. “Al” Cederberg was born March 6, 1918 in Bay City, Michigan, where he attended public schools and junior college.

He entered the Army in 1941, was commissioned a second lieutenant in 1942, and was assigned to the 83rd Infantry Division, which landed at Normandy and fought across France and Germany. For his service, he was awarded five campaign battle stars and the Bronze Star. In 1945 Cederberg was discharged with the rank of Captain. For years, he held the rank of Major in the U.S. Army Reserves.

Upon his return to civilian life, Cederberg managed the Nelson Manufacturing Company in Bay City, a firm which made trailer-coach accessories from 1946 to 1952.

In February 1942 he married Arlene Munro of Bay City. They had two children, Thomas and Marilyn. Cederberg was a member of the Evangelical Church. He was a member of the Lions Club, Odd Fellows, the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and was a 33rd degree Mason. The Cederbergs retired to Florida.

In 1955 Cederberg and a hotel owner, Louis Scherer, rescued three swimmers caught in an undertow in Daytona Beach, Florida. The rescued included Joseph Jensen, age 37, his daughter, Patricia, age 12, from the state of New York, and Ann Cusic, age 12, from Illinois. The event was reported in the Detroit Free Press.

Political Career: Cederberg began his political career when he was elected Mayor of Bay City in 1949. He was reelected to the position, serving until 1953.

He was elected to the 93rd Congress in 1952 to represent Michigan’s 10th District. His constituents reelected him to twelve succeeding Congresses until he ran unsuccessfully for reelection in 1978. While a Representative, he served on the Committee on Appropriations, 1958-1974. For part of that time he served on the Committee as a ranking Minority Party (Republican) member.

The composition of the 10th District varied during Cederberg’s terms in office. In 1977 the 10th Congressional District included: the counties of Clare, Gladwin, Grand Traverse, Gratiot, Isabella, Kalkaska, Mecosta, Midland, Missaukee, Ogemaw, Osceola, Roscommon, and parts of Antrim, Arenac, Bay, Benzie, Clinton, Crawford, Ingham, Montcalm, Saginaw, Shiawassee, and Wexford counties.

Cederberg was very active regarding Michigan issues, particularly those related to agriculture, such as crops, especially cherries, farmers, and the Michigan PBB disaster. Other Michigan topics he was particularly involved with included: Native Americans, highways, financial projects and grants to Michigan counties, towns, and military bases, the appointments of postmasters, and the building of local post office buildings.

Life After Congress: Following his defeat in 1978, Cederberg worked as a consultant for United Technologies, RCA, and Grumman Aircraft. He lived then in Alexandria, Virginia.

The Cederbergs retired to Florida after 1978. Peg Cederberg died on March 1, 2006 in Lady Lake, Florida. Elford Cederberg died of heart and kidney ailments in The Villages Regional Medical Center, north of Orlando on April 17, 2006. He was survived by his children, Tom Cederberg of Bay City and Marilyn A. Warner of The Villages, a granddaughter, and a great-grandson. Elford Cederberg was remembered as “very much a gentleman” and a man who never bragged about his high-ranking appropriations position by Bill Schuette, a Michigan Court of Appeals judge and former Michigan Congressman from Midland who interned in Cederberg’s office in 1973. (For further information see their obituaries in the Obituaries Folder in Box 1.)