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Memorable Manitobans: Sveinn Thorvaldson (1872-1949)

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Sveinn Thorvaldson
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Merchant, municipal official, MLA (1914-1915).

Born in Iceland, he came to Canada in 1887 eventually settling at Riverton, Manitoba in 1897. A pioneer merchant, he was a member of the firm Sigurdson and Thorvaldson Company Limited, general merchants and shippers at Riverton, Arbord, and Hnausa from 1907.

He served as a Councillor of the Rural Municipality of Gimli from 1903 to 1905, Reeve of the RM of Gimli from 1905 to 1906, and Reeve of the Rural Municipality of Bifrost from 1908 to 1914, 1922 to 1926, and 1929 to 1930. He was elected to the Manitoba Legislature for Gimli in the 1914 general election. In December 1934, he was made a member of the civil list of the Order of the British Empire. He became a member of the Order of the Falcon, which was conferred upon him by the Icelandic government in the spring of 1938.

On 13 April 1896, he married Margret Solmundson (1877-1919) at Winnipeg. They had 14 children: Anna Haldora Thorvaldson Arnason (b 1897), M. Albert Thorvaldson (1898-1901), Sveinthor Thorvaldson (1899-1946), Gunnar Solmunder Thorvaldson, Thor Runiberg Thorvaldson (b 1903), Ruby Thorbjorg Thorvaldson Couch (b 1904), Thora Urania Thorvaldson Sigurgeirson (b 1906), Emily Beatrice Gudrun Thorvaldson Murphy (b 1908), Helga Maria Thorvaldson Magnusson (b 1911), Skapti O. Thorvaldson (1915-1985), Mabel Gudridur Thorvaldson McGowan (b ?), Mrs. E. Anderson, Mrs. Martin Best, and Mrs. Myrtle Samis. From the death of his wife during the 1919 flu pandemic, he married Kristen Olson on 30 March 1921. They shared five children: Frederick Thorvaldson, Thorbergur Thorvaldson, Laura Thorvaldson, Violet Thorvaldson, and Irene Thorvaldson.

He died at Winnipeg on 14 July 1949 and was buried in Riverton Cemetery.

Sources:

Birth, marriage and death registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

1901 and 1911 Canada censes, Automated Genealogy.

Western Municipal News, January 1935, page 22.

“Former Legislature member, Sveinn Thorvaldon, 77, dies,” Winnipeg Free Press, 14 July 1949. [Manitoba Legislative Library, Biographical Scrapbook B10, page 118]

We thank Donna Thorvaldson for providing additional information used here.

This profile was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough and Sarah Ramsden.

Page revised: 15 February 2013

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