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
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 noon.
Mr. Irvin was widely known and respected throughout southern
Illinois as an honest, fearless peace officer, and for his military
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
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
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