Memorable Manitobans: Thorsteinn Oddson (1864-1934)
Real estate agent, building contractor.
Born at Husavik, Iceland on 6 December 1864, son of Oddur Thordarson and Gudrun Snorradottir, he emigrated to Canada in 1888. He worked as a carpenter at Selkirk and, from 1890 to 1901, as a merchant.
He moved to Winnipeg in 1901 where he was an agent for the Northern Life Insurance Company and, in 1902, he established the real estate firm of Th. Oddson and Sons. He specialized in the construction of apartment blocks, terraces, and homes. His firm also owned and managed such blocks as Haselmere, Komoka, Kelona, Kolbrun, Claremont, Coronado, and St. Paul Terrace. He was also Vice-President of Columbia Press, which published the Icelandic paper Logberg, and Vice-President and Manager of the Revenue Investments Company.
On 23 May 1886, he married Rakel Sigfusdottir (1862-?). They had seven children: Leifur Oddson (1887-1945, husband of Asta Austmann), Olaf Oddson (1888-?), Thoroddur Oddson (1891-?), Laura Oddson (1893-?), Clara Oddson (1896-?), Clara Oddson (?-?), and Rakel Oddson (?-?). He was a member of the Independent Order of Foresters, Independent Order of Good Templars, and Lutheran church. The family lived at 448 Sherbrooke Street, Winnipeg.
He later moved to Los Angeles, California where he died on 24 August 1934.
Some of his construction works in Manitoba included:
1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.
Who’s Who in Western Canada: A Biographical Dictionary of Notable Living Men and Women of Western Canada, Volume 1, edited by C. W. Parker, Vancouver: Canadian Press Association, 1911.
The Story of Manitoba by F. H. Schofield, Winnipeg: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1913.
“Thorstein Oddson dies in south at age of 69 years,” Winnipeg Free Press, 25 August 1934, page 7.
“Early Icelandic builders in Winnipeg” by S. Aleck Thorarinson, Logberg-Heimskringla, 30 March 1967, pages 4-5.
We thank Nathan Kramer for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 28 March 2023