Oscar E. Kilstrom

Page 641-642-643 - Oscar E. Kilstrom, who is engaged in business as one of the representative morticians and funeral directors in his native city of Grand Rapids, with a well ordered establishment of the best modern facilities and service, at 511 Union avenue, southeast, is also one of the city’s loyal, progressive and popular municipal officers, he being city commissioner from the Third ward. Mr. Kilstrom was born in Grand Rapids, March 26, 1874, and is a son of Emil and Christine (Johnson) Kilstrom, both of whom were born and reared in Sweden, whence the former came to the United States in 1868 and the latter in 1870. Emil Kilstrom in the earlier period of his residence in Grand Rapids was in the employ of the Berkey & Gay Furniture Company, and from 1884 until his death, January 19, 1912, he was engaged in the coal and wood business. His widow died the following December 25, 1912, the subject of this review being the only son in a family of six children, and the daughters being Mrs. Ellen S. Hansen, of Grand Rapids; Mrs. Anna M. Titus, of Yreka, California; Mrs. Jennie A. Hice, of Indianapolis, Indiana; and Mrs. Amanda M. Ford, of Kansas City, Missouri. After completing his studies in high school Oscar E. Kilstrom took a course in the Grand Rapids Business University, in which he was graduated in the year 1891. Within a short time thereafter he assumed a position in the city tax office, with the affairs of which department he continued his association five years. He has been retained in public service in his native city during the intervening period and his official record covers an interval of fully twenty years. After his service in the Spanish-American war he was, in 1899, appointed deputy city treasurer, under Marcus A. Frost. In 1903 he was elected city treasurer, this having been the first election held in Grand Rapids after the adoption of the primary election law. His able and loyal administration of the fiscal affairs of the city continued eight years, and since his retirement from the office he has been successfully engaged in business as a mortician and funeral director. Her is serving in 1925, his second term as city commissioner of the Third ward. From a recent newspaper article is taken the following pertinent extract "Commissioner Kilstrom has continued to demonstrate his fitness for office, based upon twenty years of active public service. His knowledge of the city and its needs makes him a most valuable member of the commission." Mr. Kilstrom was member of the commission that framed the present city charter, was for six years a member of the board of managers of the Michigan Soldiers’ Home at Grand Rapids, and in the World war period he served as a member of the governmental board of appeals for Kent county. He enlisted October 5, 1891, in Company I, Second Infantry, M. S. T., which was the famous Custer Guard, known as one of the best-drilled organizations in the United States. In the Spanish-American war, this company became Company E, Thirty-second Michigan Volunteer Infantry, and after the war Company H, Thirty-second Michigan Infantry. During the Spanish-American war, Mr. Kilstrom was a sergeant of Company E, Thirty-second Michigan Volunteer Infantry, with which command he served until the close of the conflict. After the war he was promoted to first lieutenant and served seven years as such, and he later won advancement to the rank of captain, from which he was eventually promoted major of the staff of Brigadier General Perley L. Abbey. He retired from the National Guard in 1914, after twenty-two and one-half years of military service. He was commander of the Department of Michigan of the United Spanish War Veterans in 1914, and in 1917 he had the distinction of serving as junior vice-commander-in-chief of the national organization of veterans of the Spanish-American war. He was a charter member, and helped to institute Guy V. Henry Camp No. 3, United War Veterans. He is past chancellor of Grand Rapids Lodge No. 2, Knights of Pythias, is a Knight Templar and a Shriner, his basic Masonic affiliation being with Doric Lodge No.342, F. & A. M., and he is affiliated also with the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, the Knights of the Maccabees, and the Modern Woodmen of America. Mr. Kilstrom is a Republican in politics, and is a communicant of Bethlehem Lutheran Church in which he has served as both trustee and treasurer. He is a member of the local Kiwanis Club, the Masonic Country Club, and the Cascade Country Club. In 1899 was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Kilstrom to Miss Annie P. L. Hatch, and the gracious companionship was severed when Mrs. Kilstrom passed to the life eternal, October 23, 1924. Mrs. Kilstrom was born and reared in Grand Rapids, as were also her parents, Ira C. and Addie Portia (Warrell) Hatch, representatives of honored pioneer families of this city. Of the two children of Mr. and Mrs. Kilstrom the elder is Adelaide P., who is, in 1924, a student in the University of Wisconsin, at Madison, and the younger is Frances C., who is a student in the Michigan State Normal College, at Ypsilanti.

Transcriber: Nancy Myers
Created: 7 January 2004
URL: http://kent.migenweb.net/white1924/personal/kilstromoe.html