Sigurd Konrad Warnberg
Sigurd Konrad Warnberg was born on October 22, 1893, in Persberg, Sweden. He was the oldest of six children born to Eric Gustav and Sophia Rodberg Warnberg.
He spent his early life in Sweden and dreamt from the time he was very young was to come to America.
In 1913 this dream came true as he and a friend, Otto Larsen arrived by boat in this country and settled near Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Sig told of the time he first arrived in Boston then boarded the train for South Dakota. When the train stopped in Chicago he got off the train and went in the station. His train left while he was off taking all the luggage he had with it. Sig had no way of communicating with the people to explain his problem. After much confusion and alarm, he found a policeman in the city that could speak his language. After helping Sig to solve his problem, the policeman put him on the next train and told him not to move or leave one step off that train until he reached his destination.
Sig worked on a farm in South Dakota which turned out to be quite a disappointment to him. After dreaming for years of coming to a land of milk and honey, and he ended up working from daylight until dark and receiving less pay than he did in the mines in Sweden. He finally decided to travel on to Utah to see his Uncle, Julius Rodberg, and then returned back to Sweden if things didn’t work out. His friends told him he sure wouldn’t want to go to Utah. That was where all the Mormons were. Sig told them that the Mormons couldn’t be any worse than the half-Norwegian half-Swedes that lived in South Dakota.
He then traveled on to Heber City, Utah and decided to stay with his Uncle Julius. He worked with his Uncle painting school houses and church houses and other carpenter work.
Both Sig and his Uncle owned motorcycles. When his Uncle decided to leave Utah and move up into Idaho to homestead, he had to promise to buy Sig a new front tire for his motorcycle to get him to come along. Julius moved east of Chester and began to homestead. He bought a team of horses from Alec McFarland. It was at this time that Sig began working for Mr. McFarland. While working here he met his future bride, Eva Henricksen.
Sig joined the Army during World War I and served overseas where he fought in the battle of Argonne with the 112th Infantry Division in 1917. He received his naturalization papers the day he was discharged, July 25, 1918, from the service at Camp Kearny, California.
On October 13, 1921 he married Eva Henricksen at St. Anthony, Idaho.
Sig seemed to be the happiest when he was working. He often told of how someone was always getting after him for whistling while he was working in the coal mines. Some of the places he worked after he was married was at the dam in Mackay, at the sawmill for Clark Jackson. He ran several spud sorting crews working for Lew Davis, Tibbetts, Remington’s and others. He worked on a housing project in Pocatello during World War II. He worked up at Victor, Idaho, farmed at Wilford for 14 years, worked for the State of Idaho Highway Department for 10 years until his retirement in 1960. He received several safety awards while working for the highway department. After his retirement he continued working in the spuds, helping farmers get their crops in and hauling hay. He enjoyed milking his cows especially in his later years. His wife always said that he would milk cows until he died, but he finally sold his cows in 1968 shortly after she passed away.
Everyone that ever knew or dealt with Sig will always remember him for his honesty. His friends and loved ones also knew that if he kidded them and gave them a hard time it meant that he liked them. Looking over this congregation today we could almost imagine Sig saying, “You damned old fools. What do you think you’re doing here.” Which would just be his special and unique way of saying “Thank you for coming and paying your last respects to me.”
Sig had a determination about him that even though it caused him trouble on occasion, it also brought him through his hardships. In 1967 while working for Melvin Rudd on a spud piler he broke both hands. The doctors told him he would never be able to milk another cow. Soon after the casts were removed, he was out milking cows in spite of the pain he would have had to endure as he told us it felt like he was tearing the bones right out of his fingers. He continued milking from that time on without further complications.
Sig always loved to romp and play with his grandchildren and every one of them from the small baby to the married grandchild will cherish the wonderful memories they had and the fun times they spent with their Grandpa.
Sig’s loved ones never realized how much he loved and depended upon his wife until her death in 1968. From that time on there was a sadness and loneliness about him that could not be changed. Whenever her name was mentioned, tears would fill his eyes.
Anyone showing him a kindness during these two years was more than repaid by his gratitude.
When my husband and I came to his home on Christmas Eve he would have to show us the many gifts and food people brought and he was as grateful for the little sack of candy given by some children in this ward as he was by the most elaborate gift. He appreciated anything and everything that was ever done for him.
He enjoyed visiting with his friends and it was at the home of one of his closest friends, Wes Dailey at about 1:00 pm on July 25 that he became suddenly ill and was rushed by ambulance to the Madison Memorial Hospital.
Sigurd Konrad Warnberg passed away on July 26, 1970 at 9:00 am. He is survived by two daughters and three sons: Mrs. Phyllis Davis, Victor; Mrs. Arlin (Ruth) Fell, Rigby; Robert Gene Warnberg, Pocatello; Keith Warnberg, St. Anthony; and Ray Warnberg, Parker; nineteen grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and two brothers and one sister living in Sweden.