November 21, 1916: The death of Chester Adgate Congdon

On this day in 1916, Chester Adgate Congdon died of heart failure in St. Paul. In the following days, the Duluth News Tribune contained many tributes to Congdon. Here are some excerpts from the newspaper’s own remembrance: “Death chose indeed a shining mark. It does not seem possible, and it will take Duluth months to realize the loss of its strongest, most dominant business character, the man who whether devotedly followed, or secretly resented, had the largest measure of influence in [Duluth’s] business and public affairs…. In spite of enormous and varied personal business demands, he was quick to respond to any public good or any public service. His benefactions were many; his helpfulness was generous, but he jealously guarded against publicity. If he had one dominant trait, it was his intense Americanism, his jealous love of country, his zeal to do and sacrifice for what he believed was his country’s good…. Physically he seemed a man of iron…but beneath the outer appearance was much of a sensitiveness and he gave more than even himself knew….He was misjudged for his greatness. But now that he is gone he will be granted by those who knew but failed injustice, the rank to which his tremendous energy, will power, and force of character and public service entitled him when living. Read much more about Chester Congdon here; about Glensheen, his grand estate, here; and how he made the fortune that built Glensheen here.

Chester Adgate Congdon. (Image: University of Minnesota Duluth Kathryn A. Martin Library Archives and Special Collections)

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