Obituary of Grant Irvin - Mt. Vernon Register News January 1940

Grant Irvin Dies of Heart Attack Monday

Funeral 2 P.M. Wednesday For Prominent Retired Mt. Vernon Peace Officer.

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 noon.

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 teachers.

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.

Elected Sheriff

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.

Submitted by Mary Jane Ohms

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