Thorwald Irgens obituary

Research Notes: 
also known as Thomas Irgens, brother of John Irgens
Article Type: 
Publication Date: 
Thursday, March 5, 1903
Publication Date Is Approx: 

Thorwald Irgens

Fifty seven years ago there was born, in the little town of Bergen, in Norway, one of the few who fit the statement, and he finally became one of our best citizens. He fled from Norway in his early manhood on account of political troubles with which his family was threatened and located in the southern part of Minnesota. He never boasted or even, talked, except under pressure, about himself or his family but he told enough unconsciously to show that he was not only a gentleman by birth according to the classes of that country, but was a thorough gentleman by instinct, and he never forgot to act up to his birth and instincts.

He first went into business in southern Minnesota, but became surrounded by difficulties and removed to South Dakota and from here he came here in 1890, locating first at LaPrairie, whence he came, in 1891, to Grand Rapids; and since that time he has engaged in various kinds of business, including the buying and selling of timber, in which business he was working when death overtook him.

He never, here or elsewhere, lost a friend when once he made one. He was staunch in his friendship, and would hesitate at nothing which could by any means advance the interests of his friends, and kept himself poor for them. He was well known through almost the entire county, and there is no one to say that he was not always a thorough gentleman, progressive, refined and highly educated in all but the crooked paths of this life. He was too honest to be wealthy in a business in which there is abundance of opportunity to favor himself at the expense of those who trusted him. He was loved by men, women and children for all the good qualities that were so apparent and which he so consistently exercised. Latterly he has been living in the house formerly owned by Judge Stilson, where he earned for himself the reputation of a royal entertainer from the frequent banquets and musical entertainments he gave there; he was a good musician and loved to give others the benefit of his musical talent and the musical instruments with which he surrounded himself. To show them how he loved them and to give them a treat they could not otherwise well obtain, he used frequently to take his phonograph out in the woods where there were children and give them an entertainment, and there is no wonder that the children lived him as he loved them. Although suffering great agony by reason of his impaired health of late, he has steadily maintained his acts of kindness, and he suffered the result that must inevitably follow.

He contracted appendicitis, which compelled an operation from the effects of which he never rallied, and died on Monday last at St. Mary's hospital in Duluth. His only brother died about a year ago in Dakota, and no other relatives are known except a nephew and niece of whom the former has been living here with him for more than a year past.

A good man is gone to the reward that such man deserves and it will be long before his long place is filled. He was a member of the masonic fraternity of this village and he was buried under their rites on Wednesday, when as large a number of his friends as could be present followed him to his last resting place.