Biography of Charles G. Carlson
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Charles G. Carlson. While the earlier activities of this old Topeka resident from the time he identified himself with the State of Kansas in 1886 may not be widely known, his membership in the firm of Lundgren & Carlson, contractors and builders, has been productive of work of the highest class and exemplified, particularly along the lines of the Santa Fe Railway, in several states.
The partnership of Lundgren & Carlson was formed in 1901, the senior member being Mr. A. J. Lundgren. As builders their ability is now known far and wide throughout the State of Kansas. Their first important work in Topeka was done for J. W. Gleed and they built the Devon flats and also the flat at the northeast corner of Sixth and Topeka Avenue. This firm also erected the Lafayette and McKinley schools of Topeka. For several years they were almost exclusively employed by the Santa Fe Railroad Company in constructing depots, roundhouses, hotels and stations. They put up buildings at Peabody, Mulvane, Norman, Oklahoma, Stillwater, Oklahoma, Perry, Oklahoma, and did remodeling of Harvey eating houses to the value of $85,000. They built the depot at Lexington Junction in Missouri, the station at Richmond, Missouri, and, to mention one of their most recent contracts, they put up in 1916 a large freight office at Raton, New Mexico. They also have in process of construction a station at Chillicothe, Illinois, and one at Carrollton, Missouri. The large addition to the Topeka High School in 1915 was made by Lundgren & Carlson. The firm operates in Topeka one of the city’s largest planing mills. Their mill is equipped for all kinds of mill work, and a large part of its output is bank fixtures, special design work, and they fulfill all classes of contracts for plate glass work.
Charles G. Carlson was born in Warmeland, Sweden, in 1867, and was about nineteen years of age when he came to Kansas. His father N. N. Carlson, who spent his life in Sweden, was a man of considerable distinction as a landscape gardener and a special authority on various branches of agriculture. For a number of years he had charge of the grounds of several large estates, but in the later years of his life he followed farming as a regular occupation, and lived on a farm until he came to America in 1907. He and his wife were the parents of seven children, five of whom are still living. Their names were Christine, Charlotte, Fred, Charles G., Emil, Sophia and Axel.
Mr. Carlson had more than an ordinary training before he left his native land and came to America. Besides the public schools of his native province he was for one year in a preparatory school. At the age of seventeen he found work as a fireman or stoker on board ocean going vessels and it was after some experience and several voyages in that line that he became an American resident and arrived in Topeka.
His first employment in this city was with the bridge and building department of the Santa Fe Railway Company. After one year he took up regular work in the trade of carpenter and was in the employ of some of the well known Topeka contractors, including Mr. Council and Mr. Fellows, and he was also with the Frampton Planing Mill and the Horne Planing Mill. For two years he was a pattern maker for the Capital Iron Works and then joined Mr. Lundgren in the partnership which has now been in successful and prosperous existence for fifteen years.
On August 15, 1890, Mr. Carlson married Miss Matilda Johnson. She was also born in Warmeland, Sweden, a daughter of Jonas Johnson, who came to America in 1885, but in 1898 returned to his old home in Sweden and died there April 26, 1912. He was the father of seven children, all of whom came to Kansas, their names being Hadda, Adolph, Fred, Matilda, Alfred, Ida and Sophia.