Home History Townships & Maps Birth, Marriage & Death Biographies Census Military Churches Schools

C. J. Cleven

Photo page.pdf">Image Page 365

Mr. and Mrs. C. J. Cleven came to live in Madrid during the 1920s, having formerly lived in Wahoo, Nebraska, Chicago, and Oregon, Illinois. He came as a worker at the Lutheran Home for the Aging, and, with his knowledge of the various types of work needed at such a place, was made manager when a vacancy occured. He held that position until 1942, when the Clevens moved to their own residence.

Mrs. Cleven was an inspiration to the guests of the Home, making them happy with her cheerful dispostion, bringing them plants, flowers, pillows to make their chairs more comfortable, and hosting coffees. Mr. Cleven had had experience in a bakery and restaurant business, a laundry, and had cooked for students at two Lutheran colleges, and had done some farming. He loved to make things pleasant for the residents, so they planned a lovely park northeast of the building, with a fish pond and a stone foundation, where many entertainments were held. They obtained an old car, and it was "horsedrawn," so it was named "The Horsemobile." Many of the helpers and residents enjoyed picnics and outings in this lovely park, and enjoyed riding in the "Horsemobile."

Mr. Cleven also conducted the devotionals every day at breakfast and suppertime. He invited many musically talented individuals, music groups and speakers to entertain the Home folks.

Mr. Cleven also conducted the devotionals every day at breakfast and suppertime. He invited many musically talented individuals, music groups and speakers to entertain the Home folks.

Both Mr. and Mrs. Cleven were born in Vastergolland, Sweden, he in 1870, and she in 1865. They were married in 1894, and two sons were born to them while they were still living in Sweden: Jonas, in 1895, and Carl in 1896. The Clevens moved to Chicago, Illinois, where two more children were born to them: Bertil in 1901, and Karin in 1902. Jonas came to Madrid in 1930, and was married to Mabel Danks Jenkins, and they made their home here. Jonas sold bottle gas, operated a dairy route, and, later, operated a small grocery store.

Carl settled in Detroit, Michigan, and Bertil became a plasterer by trade, and made his home in Nebraska. Karin came to Madrid to teach school in the fall of 1928, and continued in the Madrid school system until her retirement in 1967, thus spending 39 years here. Karin had taught six years in Nebraska before coming to Iowa. She attended Luther College, in Wahoo, Nebraska, Midland College at Fremont, Nebraska, and the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. Later, she got her B.A. in Education at Drake University in Des Moines.

Karin was active in the organizations of St. John's Lutheran Church, being the organist for 25 years. In her retirement years, she has been a volunteer at the Madrid Home for the Aging, and has done considerable translation of letters and church minutes from Swedish to English, as well as helping to compile family histories and record historical events that have been taken place in Iowa.

The Clevens belonged to St. John's Lutheran Church. Mr. Cleven was a faithful member of the choir for many years, and was also a member of the Norden singers, a group which sang many concerts over the state. Mrs. Cleven passed away in 1946, and Mr. Cleven in 1958.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]