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Mr and Mrs Carl Walter Anderson


Posted By: Tina Keister (email)
Date: 3/18/2012 at 00:24:22

(Carl) Walter Anderson (Jan 11, 1901) and Elsie (Elizabeth) Shaffer (July 6, 1902) were married at the Methodist parsonage in Greenfield, Iowa, by the Rev C A Carlson on June 5, 1929.
They left immediately in a 4-cyclinder Whippet for a grand tour of the east coast, returning to Madrid where Walter began his job as assistant cashier at the Farmers Savings Bank, in Madrid on July 1.
Walter‘s father, Charles (Oscar) Anderson (Dec 3, 1869 – Jan 29, 1909) was born in Karlskrona, Sweden, and served in the Swedish navy. His mother, Amanda Teresa Johnson (Sept 25, 1874) was born on the Danstrop area of Smoland, Sweden, coming to America at the age of 13. She married Charles on the return trip to Sweden to visit her family, and they made their first home in Chicago. Walter recalls horse-drawn fire engines, and street cars, the Lincoln Park Zoo, the organ grinder with a monkey, Christmas decorations and the pancake wagon. His sister, Ebba (July 24, 1899) and he were born in Chicago.
The family moved to Rockford, Illinois, then to a farm near Pilot Mound, Iowa, where Charles did blacksmithing. Charles died, and the family moved into town. Walter’s responsibilities included hoeing the large family garden, bringing in the coal and wood, walking to the country for a bucket of mile (5 cents for a quart-plus syrup can), and delivering laundered clothes. He always hurried to finish his lessons at school, so he could draw. His drawings earned him the nickname “Ding”, after the family Des Moines, cartoonist J N “Ding” Darling. The local barber often exhibited Walter’s “works”.
Later, Walter got work on the railroad as a section hand for three summers, and went to business college at Mankato during the school year. In 1920, he graduated and was hired as bookkeeper in the Pilot Mound Savings Bank. When his mentor, Dave Christensen, moved to take charge of the Farmers Savings Bank at Madrid, he found a place for him there, and on Dec 1, 1923, Walter became a bookkeeper and teller in Madrid. Walter, Earl Brown, and Clarence Friday drove to Des Moines nights to take additional courses at the American Institute of Banking. He finished the course by attending two nights a week the first year of their marriage.
Elsie’s mother Christina (Marie) Anderson (July 20, 1874) and youngest brother, Francis Albin (June 3, 1872) were the only children of Carl Anderson (March 28, 1820 – 1894) and Stina Lisa Johnson ( Aug 11, 1832 – Sept 9, 1908) born in Jasper County, Iowa. Married June 18, 1850, Carl and Stina Lisa faced poverty in Smoland, Swede, where their first child, Annus Mangus Alfred, died at the age of two. In 1866, Carl and their two oldest sons decided to seek a better life in America, and to send for Stina and the five smaller children later.
In the spring of 1868, word came for Stina to start out. Two of the little ones, Gustaf and Albin, died in quarantine, of measles, in Liverpool. Ander, Anna Marie Evalina, was ill during the entire journey, and died shortly after reaching Jasper County. Stina was always grateful that her daughter had not had to be buried at sea. The remaining two, Alfred Annus and Carl Mangus, helped their mother by carrying the wooden trunk laden with food and the family belongings, while they made their long journey to their new home.
In the fall of 1868, while the family was digging potatoes at their new home, the house burned down. The only item saved was Stina’s spinning wheel, at the bottom of her trunk which had come from Sweden. By working shares with neighbors, Stina was able to shear sheep, spin yarn, and make each of her five “men” a suit by Christmas.
In 1877, the family moved to Dallas County, Alfred, Carl and J P A married. In 1895, J P A’s wife, Maggie, died, leaving two year old Orville. Christine who was then living in Madrid took the small child, and Stina Lisa moved in to help.
In 1901, Christine Marie Anderson married George W Shaffer. They moved into a small three-room house, at the north edge of Madrid.
George was the youngest Shaffer. His father was Frederick Shaffer (March 15, 1816), and he married Ann Rinker (July 26, 1817) on June 28, 1838, in Indiana. They moved to Swede Point in 1851.
On June 22, 1854, Frederick purchased Lot 3, Block 15, in Swede Point, from Anna Dalander for the sum of $8.00. Frederick and Ann’s children were: Mary Magdaline, Joseph M, Nancy Jan (Otto), Barbara Ellen, Malinda Catherine, Sarah H, Lydia M and George Washington. George lived in t a two-room, unpainted, rough board house from his birth on March 16, 1855 until 1899, when he bought the house where he and Christine Marie made their home.
George worked for the Hopkins family, and thought Elsie Hopkins (Nance) such a wonderful person, that he named their daughter, Elsie Elizabeth, after her. George also worked in Uncle Billy Johnson’s store for a time.
There were many Swedes moving into the area in those years, and though George was 100 % German, he spoke Swedish well. He would ask a newcomer, “What part of Sweden did you come from?” After listening to their reply and when they would ask him, he would solemnly reply, “I broke out of the penitentiary.” He loved to joke and surprise, although he was unschooled, and could neither read nor write.
George became ill of an unknown cause, and died Sept 3, 1903, leaving the small child, Elsie, at the age of six weeks.
In 1899, Elsie’s Uncle Francis bought the old Christian Church, which with a few partitions, became the family home for her Grandma Anderson, Cousin Orville, Uncle Francis, Uncle Claus, Elsie, and her mother.
Elsie remembers that her Uncle J P A organized the local telephone office about 1895, with eight subscribers. Sometimes Francis and Claus helped as operators. The two Emma’s, Emma Hull and Emma Walroth, were the daytime operators. Later years brought Helen (Thompson)Swanson—how she kept track of all of us! Francis became rural mail carrier for 14 yrs, beginning in 1903. He old team began so slowly, going west, that everyone wondered if the mail would “go through”, but at 4 o’clock, as the stopped at the last mail box coming home for the north, people thought they were run-aways.
When cousin Orville, was eight, J P A married a lady named Margaret. She had a surrey with fringe on top, a horse the family named “Dan Patch, “ and Elsie remembers her and Mrs Sturgeon and Mrs J S Kenison out for a afternoon call in their moire taffeta dresses, with big hats and gloves.
She also remembers Zylph Hutton’s Sunday School, the fascinating way C L Luca’s beard bobbed up and down when the minister called on him to pray, looking through open doors at the big wheels and belts of Madrid’s electric light plant (run by Richard Westerberg—where the present fire station is located), the fountain for people and horses, across north from the Larson Agency, and Uncle Claus’s big car which was one of Madrid’s firsts. She remembers her first school teacher, Kathryn Campbell, who roomed at the neighbors, the VanZandts’ and how interested the children were when Edwin Sundberg began courting her. She remembers the heart-warming laugh of Mrs M Jones, the auctioneer’s wife, and the gold-headed canes of the men members of the birthday club.
Other memories include Emma Dalander, who clerked in the Johnson and Jonson store, Marie Dalander and Addie Pettit, who gave piano lessons at 35 cents per lesson ( Mrs Pettit also helped customers choose from the wonderful confections at Petti’s Confectionary, her husband’s store), the first strawberry sundaes, at Granddaddy Hughes’ Bakery, after he put in two ice cream table and chair sets—one for adults and one for children, the row of horse collars hanging at Gus Peterson’s, ostrich feathers for sale at the Fair Store, where Mrs Toubnes was the saleslady, the tailor, who sat sewing at the window of Berg’s tailor shop, getting a picture taken at Peelstroms, greeting “Big Ole Olson,” the policeman, stacks of newspapers in Mr Feheilsen’s lumber office, and the BeeHive.
Elsie’s mother did cleaning and laundry. Uncle Claus moved to Dakota to “prove up” on a claim, in 1907. On May 30, 1909, Uncle Francis married, and Christine and Elsie moved back to their three-room home in the north part of town. Elsie’s class in 1916 was the first to enter the new building at the beginning of a school year. On Oct 21,, Christine married her bachelor neighbor, Albert Peterson (Sept 24, 1870). They moved into his home, a block north, which had running water, a furnace, electricity, and a room for Elsie. A daughter, Cleone, was born Jan 31, 1918.
Claribel Woodroff brought Camp Fire to Madrid that year, and many lasting friendships, were begun. The girls camped in the Bolle family pasture, where they built dams and swam. Elsie graduated in 1920, in a class of 15 girls and 3 boys. There were more boys who entered school in 1916, but the military service took its toll.
In mid- Aug, Elsie went to college in Iowa City, accompanied with classmates Glenn Blome and Laura Bolle (who later married). These were the days of Marcel waves, oxford shoes, floppy golashes, and bare heads. The well-to-do students had raccoon coats. After taking a year off to teach in Gray, Iowa, Elsie graduated from Iowa City with a BA< in Aug 1924. She began teaching in Mediapolis on Aug 24, which usually planned for and had one week of “mud Vacation” each school year. No paving yet.
IN the fall of 1926, Elsie returned to Madrid to teach. The new teacher, Donavan Carlson, introduced her to Walter, and they were married in 1929.
1929 wasn’t the best time to get married, thought eh financial downturn didn’t’ hit Madrid until 1931-32. The Madrid State Bank had gone into receivership, and times were jittery. Mr Carlson, Walter’s boss, died, and Walter was promoted to head the bank. When Roosevelt closed all the banks on that March day in 1933, everyone was numb.
Walter had become active in Epworth League while living in Pilot Mound, and attended summer institutes in Indianola, and was a national delegate in Chicago, in 1924. He served as district president of Epworth League for four years, helped organize the Methodist Men in Madrid, served as district Lay Leader for three years, and as conference Lay Leader form 1963-67. In 1966, he was appointed by Bishop Thomas to the World Methodist conference in London. He also served as chairman of Madrid’s Mid-Summer celebrations(discontinued because of World War 2, in 1941) for five years, is a 50-year Mason, and was mater in 1932, served as Madrid School District secretary for 21 years a was chairman of the Sixth Banking District, and therefore, a member of the State Banking Council.
Banking with L M Lanning at the City State Bank was full-time and rewarding work. Once, a couple of fellows were overheard summarizing who was the “real boss” at the City State Bank. The other spoke up, “Well, I don’t now, but if one of them tells you something, the other backs it up!” When Larry and Walter heard it, they laughed, and said, “That’s just the way we want it.”
On March 24, 1934, Barbara Ellen was born, and on Sept 24, 1935, Mary Sue joined the family. Sewing, teaching Sunday School, serving as Bluebird, Camp Fire, Horizon Club leader, belonging to church circles and being a charter member of Chapter ID, PEO kept Elsie busy. During the years, she has served as substitute teacher, and a member of the Madrid Library Board.
Daughter Barbara graduated from Madrid High School in 1952, attended Simpson College for three years, and married Alvin D Lund on Dec 18, 1955. Their children are Ken D (1957), Kristine K (1960), and Nancy Eileen (1962). Ken married Rosalie Reinhart April 16, 1977.
Daughter Mary Sue graduated from Madrid High School in 1953, from Methodist Hospital as an RN< in 1956, and from Simpson College, with a BA, in 1972, and a MS from the University of Illinois, in 1978. She married William W Garton June 2, 1956, and they are the parents of Steven (1957), Scott (1959), Kevin (1961-Sept 29, 1978), and Jeff (1965). Steven Garton married Toni Gonzalez Aug 16, 1977.
Walter and Elsie are retired now, and live inn Boone. They spend their winters in Tucson, where they are active with golf, church, Lions, and Hi-12. Their good friends, Glenn and Laura Blome, occasionally travel with the Anderson, having gone together to Sweden, Denmark, and Alaska. They also neighbor in Arizona, where they are able to reminisce about their early days shared in Madrid.

Madrid, Iowa 1883 to 1983 History Book


Boone Biographies maintained by Lynn Diemer-Mathews.
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