Memorable Manitobans: Árni Eggertsson [Eggertson] (1873-1942)
Born at Frodhus, Iceland on 8 May 1873, son of Eggert Jonsson and Sigridur Jonsdottir, he came to Winnipeg as a boy, in 1887. He was educated at public schools and put himself through business college by working as a bellboy in the Queen’s Hotel. He then became a bookkeeper for the Wilson Furniture Company. He later worked as an accountant for the Robert Leckie Company and the De Laval Separator.
In 1902, he started a real estate and insurance business and, through the years, partnered at various times with W. H. Paulson and Jon Jonsson Bildfell. He was Vice-President of the National Security Company, and a Director of the Winnipeg Fire Insurance Company and the Icelandic Steamship Company. A staunch supporter of progress in his homeland, he played at pivitol role in the founding and management of the Steamship Company of Iceland (Eimskipafélag Íslands).
He served as a Winnipeg City Alderman (1907-1908), a member of the Parks Board (1908), Exhibition Board (1908), and Winnipeg General Hospital board (1907). He was President of the Icelandic Liberal Association, general executive of the Liberal Association (1910), and Chairman of the City Power Committee (1908). He was a candidate in the May 1913 provincial by-election and 1922 provincial general election.
On 5 April 1895, he married Oddny Jonina Jacobsdottir (1874-1918) of Winnipeg and they had six children: Arni Gudni Eggertson, Sigurbjorg Thelma Eggertson (1901-?, wife of Arthur Nelson Marlatt), Egert Grettir Eggertson (1903-?), Ragnar Eggertson (1906-?), Sigurdur Hjalti Eggertson (1907-?), and Sigridur Eggertson (1910-?). On 8 August 1924, he married Thorey Sigurdaardottir Jonasson (?-?) and they had three children: Erlingur Kari Eggertson (1929-1995), Gunnar Eggertson, and Asta Eggertson. In 1934, the family lived at 120 Emily Street and, at the time of his death, at 766 Victor Street. He enjoyed gymnastic sports and was a member of the Canadian Club of Winnipeg, Liberal party, and Lutheran church.
He died at the Winnipeg General Hospital on 12 February 1942 and was buried in the Brookside Cemetery.
Some of his construction works in Manitoba included:
Birth registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
1901 and 1911 Canada censuses, Automated Genealogy.
Who’s Who in Western Canada: A Biographical Dictionary of Notable Living Men and Women of Western Canada, Volume 1, edited by C. W. Parker, Vancouver: Canadian Press Association, 1911.
“Men of Winnipeg in Diamond Jubilee Sketches,” Winnipeg Free Press, December 1934. [Winnipeg Elite Study, G. Friesen Fonds, Mss 154, Box 15, File 8, University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections]
“Prominent figure in Icelandic community, Arni Eggertson, dies,” Winnipeg Tribune, 13 February 1942, page 3. [Manitoba Legislative Library, Biographical Scrapbook B9, page 109]
Obituary, Winnipeg Tribune, 13 February 1942, page 21.
“Early Icelandic builders in Winnipeg” by S. Aleck Thorarinson, Logberg Heimskringla, 30 March 1967, page 7.
Obituary [Erlingur Kari Eggertson], Winnipeg Free Press, 29 December 1995, page 35.
The Story of Manitoba by F. H. Schofield, Winnipeg: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1913.
We thank Nelson Gerrard for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 20 December 2022