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Gilbert S. Gilbertson


Posted By: Karon Velau (email)
Date: 3/2/2023 at 23:59:14


Hon. Gilbert S. Gilbertson was for many years a prominent factor in the banking and financial circles of Iowa and also took an active part in framing the political history of the state. His entire record reflected credit and honor upon the people who honored him by placing him three times in the position of state treasurer. Even those opposed to him politically had nothing but good words to speak of his career as a man and as a citizen.
Mr. Gilbertson was born at Spring Grove, Minnesota, October 17, 1863, and was a brother of Tilford S. Gilbertson, whose sketch is given above. After attending the public schools he completed a course in the business college at Janesville, Wisconsin, with the class of 1978 and when a youth of sixteen years he removed to Worth county, Iowa, where for several years he worked on his father's farm. He was later employed as a bookkeeper and salesman in an agricultural implement house until 1885 and then served in a similar capacity in a general merchandise establishment at Forest City. He was acting in that capacity when elected clerk of the district court of Winnebago County, which constituted his initial step in a most honorable political career. He served as district clerk from 1889 until 1897, being reelected in 1890, 1892, 1894 and 1896. He resigned the position, however, in the last named year, following his election as state senator from the forty-first senatorial district. He made a most excellent record as one of the lawmakers of Iowa and after four years' service was nominated for the position of state treasurer on the republican ticket and was elected by a majority of one hundred thousand-a fact indicative of his personal popularity and the confidence reposed in him. So excellent was his record in that position that he was reelected in 1902 and again in 1904 and thus served for six years. He was always a stalwart advocate of republican principles and cast his first presidential vote for James G. Blaine in 1884. He held many local offices, including that of city treasurer of Forest City for ten years and secretary of the board of education for seven years. He was for nine years chairman of the Winnebago county republican central committee.
At the same time he conducted important and extensive business interests. He was for an extended period actively associated with the Iowa Trust & Savings Bank and the Interstate Business Men's Accident Association, as well as with the Northwestern Land & Colonization Company. He had at times been president of these corporations and he was the organizing spirit of several successful insurance and banking business enterprises. In fact he figured very prominently in banking and financial circles, contributing much to the upbuilding of various interests of that character, but some time prior to his demise retired from active. connection therewith.
In 1889 Mr. Gilbertson was married to Miss Belle D. Whitney, who survives her husband, together with their two daughters, Mrs. E. Chase West and Mrs. Earl H. Scripps, both of Des Moines. The death of Mr. Gilbertson occurred on the 25th of November 1917. He had spent the previous year in California for the benefit of his health, but his death occurred in Des Moines. He was spoken of as one of the state's really great men and the press throughout Iowa paid tribute to his worth and his memory.


Worth Biographies maintained by Karon S. Velau.
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