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Charles J Anderson Family


Posted By: Tina Keister (email)
Date: 3/18/2012 at 00:30:37

Charles was the son of Anderson Carlson and, in the Swedish tradition, became Anders’s son.
Anders Carlson, with his second wife and other children, arrived in 1852 after their long voyage from Sweden. The daughter’s were Christina (later, Mrs Swen Dalander), Anna (Mrs John Dalander), Hedda (Mrs Eric Sutherland), and Matilda (Mrs John Martinson). Another son, Eric, was born in this community. All were charter members of St John’s Lutheran Church. It is understood that the homestead was on the property now owned by Roy Olson, adjoining his home place on the south. Charles secured the 40 acres just south of that. Some of this farm, now owned by Isaac Anderson heirs, was fist purchased in 1853.
Charles J enlisted in the Union Army in 1864, and served with the Infantry Co D, 32. It was said that he was a cook and used his musket to hunt game for the kettle. Legend has it that, during the winter, when the Army was “holed up” in Tuskegie, Alabama, he taught an elderly negro to read. Asked why so old a man would want to do this, the man replied, “So I’ll have a good start in the next world.” Like so many of these veterans, Charles returned with broken health.
Charles J married Katherine Jacobson, daughter of Abraham and Katherine J, who lived east of Madrid, on the land now owned by Ivert Swanson and a portion by the local elevator. With her parents and the other children, Abraham, Charles, Jacob, John, Nels, Margaret and May, Katherine had come from far northern Sweden in 1865. They sailed on the “Basil Rathbone,” a former slave trading ship. The voyage took seven weeks and they landed at Castle Gardens, NY. They came to Nevada, Iowa, by rail, by stage to Des Moines, and then on to Swede Point. After living in Polk county for six years, they moved to the farm east of Madrid. Another brother, Isaac, was born here.
Charles J and Katherine settled on the farm a mile west and a quarter mile north of town. Here, they lived and reared their family: Anna, Andrew (who died in Dakota as a young man), Carl, Isaac, Edward, Joseph, and George (who drowned at age 16). There were unusually visitors in the small home, for years one main room, a lean to kitchen, and a loft. Space was at a premium, and the boys were said to have a certain place to sit on the walnut trundle bed and would say, “Oh, Oh, you’re past your mark.”
Grandmother Katherine, who married a Civil War Veteran, 20 years older and never well, was the mainstay of this household. She and the oldest child, Anna must have worked very hard to feed and clothe the little boys until they were big enough to help. They had a spinning wheel, loom and one of the first sewing machines of the neighborhood. It is said that many women came to use this- what a modern convenience! Grandmother Kate had not been able to get an education beyond the required Swedish catechism. She had difficulty even signing her name, but was the picture of industry, and was raking and burning trash when her long skirt caught fire and caused her death in 1934, at the age of 80.
All the children attended the Elk Rapids School, and St John’s Lutheran Church, where their father was Sunday School Superintendent for years.
Anna studied the dressmaking trade, but mostly helped with the big family, and, in later, years, kept house for her mother and brother, Joe. At one time, they operated a home hatchery on their farm half a mile east and half a mile north of town. This road and building site have long since become fields by new owners. After losing this place in the Depression of the 30’s, Joe and Anna moved north of Boone, in Dodge Township, where Joe raised sheep and kept bees. When health failed, Anna spent some time in her childhood home, with her sister in law, Nellie, and, later, in the Lutheran Home, until her death. Joe returned to his boyhood home in his later years, and helped care for his sister in law, Nellie. Both passed on in 1964.
Edward helped o the home farm with his brothers and, for a time, he and Joe were buying a stock farm in the Stratford area. These were the World War 1 years, of big dreams, and many over investments, and this venture failed. Edward went west, and worked as a ranch hand for many ears. During World War 2, and until his retirement, he followed the construction trade from California to northern Alaska. He spent his last years in Denver.
Carl married Hilma Swanson, daughter of John A and Anna Swanson, south of Madrid. They first lived on a farm that bordered the busy mining town of Zookspur on the southwest. They had three sons: Ralph (who died in infancy), Sylvan, and Herman. An interesting experience when the boys were small was spending some time on the family homestead in South Dakota, near the Rosebud Indian Reservation. Times were hard, but the little boys hound a ‘gold mine’ trapping gophers for the bounty of 10 cents each. They recall having quite a string of these hanging on the back porch, and coming out just in time to see the end disappearing down a large wolfhound.
Carl and his family also lived on part of the Swanson farm, near the White Hall School, which Hilma had attended as a girl. At one time, they had a small commercial orchard. Later, they farmed near Kelley. They then moved to Slater, where the boys graduated from high school. After Carl was gone, Hilma made her home with Herman and his wife, in Des Moines.
Sylvan took up truck gardening and trucking. He hauled ag-lime to farmers for many years, and also did local and interstate trucking and later worked as a longshoreman in New Orleans. He is married to Ione Wilson, of Des Moines, and they have three sons: Donald (wife, Charlette, and two daughters, Lori and Jody, the family lies in Des Moines, where Donald is a postal worker), Ray G (wife, Hazel, and children Andreas and Rachel Mae, the family lives in New Orleans, where Ray is a postal worker), and Lawrence (wife Dorit, and children, Stephen and Patricia, the family ,lives in Vicksburg, Mississippi, where Lawrence is a mechanical engineer helping build a nuclear power plant). Lawrence, or Larry, is an Iowa State University graduate.
Isaac Anderson attended the Elk Rapids school, early Madrid High School, and graduated as an Electrical Engineer from Iowa State College in 1904. He worked in the harvest fields of the Dakotas and Canada to put himself through school. He recalled sleeping on the frosty ground of Calgary, near the steam thresher that he had to fire up early in the mornings. After graduation, Isaac turned to the western states for employment. There, the mountain streams were being harnessed for a new source of energy- water power. Isaac had worked in the harvest fields of the Big Bend Country, and dreamed of the day when the Columbia could be put to use. He rejoiced when the Grand Coulee Dam came into being, though he was back in Iowa at that time. He settled in Spokane, Washington, and there married Nellie Peterson in 1910. They built a new home, and Lloyd was born. Crippling arthritis overtook Isaac, and they were forced to return to the family farm at Madrid. For a time, Isaac worked as a bookkeeper for the Krantz Garage. Isaac then bought the little farm west of Madrid from his mother, and the other heirs, here, daughters Bernice and May were born, and Isaac and Nellie lived the rest of their lives. The children all attended Elk Rapids, Madrid High and the girls, Drake University.
Lloyd was a trucker, locally when the mines were operating, hauling coal and mine props, and also much gravel throughout Iowa. Later, he and Nels Sabo, of Slater, bought a “semi” and carried on interstate trucking across the midwest and to the Atlantic seaboard. Lloyd was later employed as a mechanic at Ness, Sarvers, and Nash’s garage and implement companies, and last in Mabes’ in Boone. Lloyd’s health failed early, and he passed away in 1980. His wife, Velma (Woods) and daughter, Judith, reside in Madrid.
Isaac’s daughter, Bernice, taught rural school a number of years, and Junior High English in Madrid the year before her marriage to Lawrence Wolf, of Ogden. Though they were presently retired, they still live on their farm and are active in the Swede Valley Lutheran Church and community affairs.
Isaac’s daughter May taught rural school a few years, and since 1952 has been employed at the Lutheran Madrid Home for the Ageing. She continued to live on the family farm, after her mother and Uncle Joe were gone, until Dec 1976. Now, she lives across the street from the Madrid Home, but she still works and watches operations on the ancestral acres as a “Conservation Buff”.

Madrid, Iowa 1883 to 1983 History Book


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