January 23, 1919: Edward Congdon is discharged from military service

Edward Congdon c. 1910. (Image: Glensheen)

On this day in Duluth in 1919, Edward C. Congdon, second eldest son of Clara and Chester Congdon, was discharged from military service. According to historian Walter Van Brunt, Edward (known to friends and family as “Ned”), “was commissioned a second lieutenant of infantry on November 6, 1916, in the newly authorized Officers Reserve Corps, but on March 1, 1917, the commission expired by reason of the age limitation for that grade. He then, in May, enlisted at the Officers Training Camp at Fort Snelling, where on August 15, 1917, he was commissioned a captain of infantry and ordered to Camp Dodge for active duty and was there assigned to the command of Company D of the Three Hundred and Fifty-second Infantry Regiment. Shortly afterward Captain Congdon entered upon a long period of sickness and was unable to accompany the regiment overseas. He was finally discharged from the service January 23, 1919, while still on sick leave.” In 1920 he married Dorothy House, the daughter of Duluth and Iron Range Railroad president Frank House and his wife Minnie.The newlyweds moved into a house on Hawthorne Road, and he continued on in the family business as well as the family tradition of civic and charitable leadership. Besides his work overseeing family businesses in Minnesota, he also worked as the director of First and American National Bank until his 1939 retirement. He served on the board of directors for the Duluth Community Fund, as director of the Chamber of Commerce, and on the board of St. Luke’s Hospital, and he actively supported the Duluth Symphony Orchestra. In 1940 Edward died of a heart attack. The Duluth News Tribune wrote, “No city has enough such men. To lose such a man as Edward Congdon…is a hard blow to Duluth, a town he helped in so many ways.”

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