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Family man, religious man, Duluthian

DCN Correspondent

The assignment began at Park Hill Cemetery. I traveled to the back of the cemetery to find my list of five names, and that is where I found the stone of Edwin William Bergh. His was the first name that I wrote down, so I decided to go after his past.

The first step was to look at both the death certificate index and birth certificate index to verify that the years on the stone were correct, as well as to get the exact dates of his death and birth. I found that he died on Sept. 20, 1994 and that he was born on Dec. 1, 1912. From there I thought I would test my luck by going to Google and seeing if I could find any information about his life and death. After a good hour of searching, it turned out that I would have to dig a little deeper.

I drove to Park Hill Cemetery the next day, where I received his interment record. The record did not tell me as much as I had hoped. However, it did tell me the address at which he was living before he died. At the time of his death, he was 81 and living in West Duluth. The card also told me that his wife’s name was Ellen and that his funeral service was held at the Williams-Lobermeier Funeral Home. At first I did not think that this information was very helpful but then I realized that the funeral home might have information on his death. That led me back to Google, where I searched for Williams-Lobermeier. I went to the funeral home’s Web page and found the email of the part owner, Mary Williams. I knew it was a long shot, but I emailed her asking if she had any information about Edwin Bergh. To my surprise, she replied the next night with the attachment of his obituary, which his family had written.

The obituary told me a lot about Bergh. He was born at St. Mary’s Hospital in Duluth, and was the hospital’s 1,000th birth. He got married at the age of 23 in Glenwood. He spent some of his life farming, part working on a railroad, later to retire in 1976. He was involved in the community through his church, Zion Lutheran, Zion’s Men in Mission, and United Northern Veterans Association. I wanted to know more about what Zion’s Men in Mission do, so I searched on Google to find the group’s goals. Zion’s Men in Mission is basically a prayer group for men that are members of Zion Lutheran Church and it is a nationwide group. They work together to grow in their relationship with Christ and to help others with their relationship with God. From that I concluded that he was probably a very religious man.

Edwin was survived by his wife and four children. Both his parents preceded him in death.

This biographical sketch was written for the Research for Reporters class at the University of Minnesota Duluth. Each student in the class went to a cemetery in Duluth, got a name from a grave marker, and then used a variety of primary and secondary sources to find out as much as possible about the person.