Grant Irvin Dies of Heart Attack Monday
Funeral 2 P.M. Wednesday For Prominent Retired Mt. Vernon Peace
Grant Irvin, former Mt. Vernon police chief, twice Jefferson county sheriff,
and a member of the police force here during the terms of seven
mayors, died suddenly of a heart attack at his home, 312 North 16th street,
Monday morning. He was 71 years, one month and 16 days of age.
Mr. Irvin had swept the snow from his front sidewalk. On going
back into the house he complained of feeling ill and died before the physician
who was summoned arrived.
Funeral services will be held at two o'clock Wednesday afternoon
at Myers Chapel conducted by Rev. C. Peterson, Dr. C.C. Hall and Rev. M.A.
Souers, and burial will follow in Oakwood cemetery.
The body will lie in state at Myers Chapel until nine o'clock
Wednesday morning, then will be taken to the home, where it will remain until
Mr. Irvin was widely known and respected throughout southern
Illinois as an honest, fearless peace officer, and for his military career.
He was born November 15, 1868 on a farm in Moores Prairie
township, the son of George and Sarah Irvin. He received his early education at
a district school and Rev. J. D. Hooker and John P. Stelle were among his
He began his public career many years ago when he became a
policeman before the Spanish-American war when he was appointed to a vacancy on
the force after his older brother, Runyon died.
On June 28, 1898 he enlisted as a soldier in the Spanish-American
War, Co.K, 9th Ill. Regiment, and went to Cuba where he was commissioned as
second lieutenant and remained until the company was mustered out a year later.
He reenlisted in the army, Co. M, 42nd Regiment, and was sent to the Philippine
Islands where he served almost two years.
When he returned to his Mt. Vernon home he again took up his
duties as a police officer.
In 1906 he was elected sheriff and when his term expired he was
appointed a captain at the Chester penitentiary. He returned to Mt. Vernon two
years later to accept a position at the Appellate court house where he remained
six years. During that time he was elected township supervisor, in which
capacity he served capably for two years.
In 1919 he again became sheriff of Jefferson county and served the
public well until the end of his second term as the high officer of the county.
His last work on the Mt. Vernon police department was when he
served two terms as chief under Mayor John A. Koons, 1923 to 1927.
In 1927 he was appointed to special agent for the railroad at
Bluford. In 1929 he was again appointed as a guard at the Chester penitentiary
and in May 1913, he resigned his position there to retire from public life.
He was united in marriage with Julia E. Hungate May 1, 1907.
He was a member of the Eben Swift Camp, Spanish-American War
Veterans, and the high esteem in which he was held by his comrades is shown in
the fact that the entire membership of the organization will attend the funeral
in a group.
Dr. Andy Hall, a comrade during the Spanish-American War and a
close friend of Mr. Irvin, will make a short talk at the funeral.
Mr. Irvin was a prominent Republician and served his party even
after retirement from public life in 1933. He was one of three Republicians to
ever serve as sheriff in this county.
A man of unimpeachable character he lived an honest, honorable and
upright life. He never used intoxicating liquors or tobacco in any form. He was
quiet spoken, even-tempered, efficient and respected.
He was a member of the First Methodist church here and had been
for many years.
He is survived by his widow Julia; one son, Dr. Runyon Irvin and
one sister, Mrs. May Marsh of McLeansboro. An infant daughter, a brother,
Runyon, and one sister, Dora Irvin, preceded him in death.
Source: Mt. Vernon Register News
Date: January 1940
Submitted by Mary Jane Ohms