Alfred Ingvald Naess

Alfred Ingvald Naess

Death 6 Jul 1955 (aged 78)
Burial Unknown
Memorial ID 14502722 · View Source
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Karl Alfred Ingvald Naess (1877-1955) was a Norwegian record holding speedskater who later worked the Vaudeville circuit doing stunt skating. (b. April 26, 1877; Oslo, Norway - d. July 6, 1955; Strasshof an der Nordbahn, Austria)

Karl Alfred Ingvald Naess, better known as Alfred Næss.

He was the son of Yette (1847-?) of Kragerø; and Christian Andersen Naess (1848-?) of Solør or Grue.

He had two siblings: Alvilde Marie Magdalene Naess (1875-1933) who married Thorvald Martin Tandberg (1874-1970); and Albert Naess (1874-?).

He set the men's record for 500 meters lowland skating on February 5, 1893 at 49.4 seconds in Hamar, Norway. He then broke his own record 21 days later on February 26, 1893 at 48.0 seconds also at Hamar, Norway.

1900 Norway Census:
The family was living at Munkedamsveien 41 in Kristiania and they were listed as "Chr. Næss" of Solør working as a "Mekaniker v. mek. værkst." a mechanic and "Jette Næss". Her siblings were listed as: "Albert Næss" a "kunst maler (stipendiat)", or an artist on a stipend; and "Alfred Næss" a "murer", or a mason. Alvilde was already married and living with her husband.

First marriage:
He married Sigrid Ovidia Heide (1889-?) around 1916 and the most likely divorced around 1918. Sigrid appears as his skating partner in 1915. In the newspaper Middagsavisen on December 18, 1915, translated from Norwegian is the following: "Alfred Naess - European champion at speed, and perhaps one of the world's best comedians on skating - performs at the Hippodrome in New York where, together with a compatriot, Miss Sigrid Heide, sister of the actress Signe Heide Steen ...". She latter appears in 1916 as "Sigrid Naess".

Second marriage:
He marries Agnes Mjølstad (1878-?) on 18 September 1919 in Manhattan, New York City.

Third marriage:
He is buried with Marie X (1879-1956).

He died on July 6, 1955 in Strasshof an der Nordbahn, Austria.

The son of an army sergeant, Norwegian born Alfred Naess earned his stripes not as a figure skater but as a speed skater. He won both the Norwegian and European all-around speed skating titles in the 1890's and during his tenure in the sport set three world records and won two five hundred meter races at the World Championships. After retiring from speed skating, he teamed up with an Austrian skater named Freda Maier-Westorgaard and they performed vaudeville style acts as a professional pairs team in Europe. In 1913, he arrived in America. Within a year, he and wife Sigrid were performing as a figure skating pair alongside Will Phillips in "The Elopers", a vaudeville stage production in Chicago. Ice was made in June especially to incorporate the pair's theatre performance. Alfred Naess' particular skill as a figure skater was noted in the St. John Daily Sun on March 10, 1897: "Mr. Naess is beyond all question the finest fancy skater ever seen in this part of the country." The married pair continued performing in shows in America but both returned to her native Austria later in life, where the pair died in almost perfect unison within a year of each other in the fifties. (Source: Ryan Stevens)

Memories about Alfred Naess:
Clifford Milner (1928- ) writes: "later he went on the vaudeville circuit doing ice skate tricks, like jumping over a series of pool tables."

Memories about Alfred Naess:
Sharon Cangelosi writes in 2008: "I ran across a Power of Attorney document that was my grandmother's. In it she is giving a Power of Attorney to Freda Maier-Westorgaard of Frankenberg, 9/12 Vienna IV, Austria to do business in her name. My grandparents sent Alfred a pension/money every month when he was older. I think that he felt indebted to them and gave them his property in Austria. The date of this document is January 18, 1954, which is before his passing. He may have had them on the property deed as someone to take over should he be unable to care for this property. I really am guessing at this point. In the document it mentions that "Freda is to take possession of any and all land, buildings, tenements or other structures or parts thereof comprising the premises located at Blaselgasse 320, Strasshof, A/O Nordbahn, Neider, Austria, that have been or, until this power of attorney is revoked, may be deeded, quitclaimed, sold or otherwise transferred to me, that, while belonging to me may become vacant or unoccupied, or to the possession whereof I may be entitled; and/or." I know that this is where Alfred lived. So maybe it should be Blaselgasse, Neider, Austria or Strasshof, Neider, Austria or Blaselgasse, Strasshof, Neider, Austria? Which of those combinations make better sense? Then the document continues to mention all the duties of a landlord. I remember my grandmother telling me that they ended up giving this land to Freda Maier. It was just too costly to try to be a responsible landowner in Austria while they lived here. Besides, Freda Maier was Alfred's skating partner for years. My brother Tony visited her in the seventies. He learned German just to do so. He really enjoyed this visit and got to know her neighbors. When Freda Maier passed away, a neighbor sent him her obituary. The note is written in German, so my brother translated it for my grandmother. Alland, June 13, 1977; Dear French Family, As Mrs. Maier's neighbor, I would like to notify you that she has died of old age last March. She died as alone and quietly as she lived. I am sending to you a last greeting from her along with a small picture as a remembrance. Although I don't know you, I wish you all the best, Betty Bernat. The obituary states that she died on the 16th of March, 1977. It is in German. Here it is, maybe you can translate it. In tiefer Trauer gebe ich Nachricht, dab Frau Friede Meyer Mittwoch, den 16. Marz 1977, nach langerem, schwerem Leiden, im 89. Lebensjahre heimgegangen ist. Die lieb e Tote wird im Krematorium Wien-Simmering aufgebahrt und Freitag, den 25. Marz 1977, um 930 Uhr, nach feierlicher Einsegnung den Flammen ubergeben. 2534, Alland 11, im Marz 1977. Die tieftrauernden Hinterbliebenen. Wiener Verein, Lebens- und Bestattungsversicherung auf Gegenseitigkeit, 1030 Wien, Ungargasse 41, Tel. 72 16 36."

Researched and written by Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) for Findagrave starting on June 4, 2006. Updated on September 6, 2019 with the biography by Ryan Stevens. Updated on September 21, 2019 with his potentially three marriages.


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  • Created by: Richard Arthur Norton (1958- )
  • Added: 4 Jun 2006
  • Find a Grave Memorial 14502722
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Alfred Ingvald Naess (26 Apr 1877–6 Jul 1955), Find a Grave Memorial no. 14502722, ; Maintained by Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) (contributor 46580804) Unknown.