genealogy and family history of the Carlson, Ellingboe, Everson and Johnson families of Minnesota and Wisconsin
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Johan Alfred CARLSON

Johan Alfred CARLSON

Male 1872 - 1952  (80 years)

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  • Name Johan Alfred CARLSON 
    Birth 12 Mar 1872  Berghem, Kånna, Kronobergs län, Sweden Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • His parents were S Carlsson and E Lundberg of Berghem. They had been married ten years.
    Gender Male 
    Confirmation 1886  Kånna, Småland, Kronobergs län, Sweden Find all individuals with events at this location 
    MN Death Cert Checked
    Minnesota Death Certificate 1952-MN-021101 
    Occupation Tailor, Real estate speculator 
    Death 6 Jun 1952  Minneapolis, Hennepin County, Minnesota Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Died in early afternoon according to Cora’s diary. Died at 1:10 PM at Fairview Hospital according to the death certificate.
    Burial 9 Jun 1952  Sunset Memorial Park, Minneapolis, Hennepin County, Minnesota Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • His obit was in the 9 Jun 1952 edition of the Minneapolis Star.
    • Seems to be child #5 according to his birth record, which is incorrect, at least for Salomon’s children. However, Ida Mathilda also seems to be shown as child #5 which is correct.

      According to the Kånna Household Exam, Al left for the U. S. on 25 February 1890, having first left Berghem Westregard -- where he had remained since his mother and siblings emigrated in May of 1881 -- for Kalinstad in September of 1889. A notation in the 1882-1891 Kånna Household Exam (p. 30), in which he and Oscar are listed as Salomonssen, indicates for both men “mother widow Emeli Lundberg in America.”

      A Johan Alfred Carlsson departed Malmö, destination Boston, on 2 Oct 1890. His place of origin in Sweden was Urshult, Kronobergs län.

      Alfred supposedly took the middle initial Z to distinguish himself in the telephone directory. At least through the 1925 Minneapolis City Directory, Al never was listed with a middle initial. However, from the 1932 city directory on, he did use the Z. The notice of his application for a marriage license (to Meta) in the 30 Apr 1933 edition of the Star listed him as Alfred Z. Carlson.

      According to Cora: “Al's mother left him in Sweden at age 3, apprenticed to a tailor, when she emigrated with Fogelquist. Al learned his future trade sitting cross-legged on a table. He emigrated to the US in 1886 at the age of 14. He stayed with a cousin for a year in New York City before taking the train to Winona or Hastings and then walking to Cannon Falls where his mother lived.”

      Al became a citizen before 1916 (when Cora came into the family); he had to send back to Sweden for his birth certificate.

      According to Cora: “Al was about 5' 8" or 5' 9" tall. He got in fist fights and won. He didn't drink or smoke. He liked clothes and dancing, so much so that he went to dances with other women. Al was an extreme male chauvinist. He didn't believe that women should eat with the family. He didn't believe that a husband needed to clothe his wife. He didn't believe that a husband needed to stay with his wife.

      “Al mostly was a real-estate speculator, buying and selling property, but eventually went back to tailoring. He bought an apartment across from Honeywell on 28th (street?). In about 1917, Al bought 10 acres with a big house on the east side of Highway 100 at 63rd Street near the country club. (Maurice didn't buy there because the water was too far down.)” [When Cora related this in the 1970's, she said that now there is probably another row of houses between Hwy 100 and the old house.] [The construction of the Crosstown Highway, Hwy 62, would have obliterated Al’s old place if Cora was correct about the location. It’s exactly at the modern-day intersection of the Crosstown and Normandale Road.]

      Bess and Al had trouble getting to Maurice and Cora's wedding and had to ask directions from a farmer on how to get to La Crosse. They also had trouble negotiating a hill with their car and their radiator overheated. Al complained that Maurice should have married a girl from Minneapolis.

      Cora remembers that Al especially liked Vivian.

      In the 1895 (July 12th) Minnesota state census, Al (as “J.A.”), 23, and Bessie, 17, were living in Wabasha where Al was a tailor. They had been living in Wabasha for 2 months. Al claimed to have been in the state of Minnesota for 6 months but that may mean 6 years.

      At the time of the 1900 census (June 9th), Alfred, 28, Bessie, 22, and Morris E., 4, were living on 28th and Riverside (perhaps #2824) in Minneapolis. Al and Bess had been married for 5 years. Bess had had one child, still living. Al’s occupation is “tailor.” Living with them, as a boarder, was an 18 (born December 1881) year old girl named Annie, born in Sweden, whose occupation is shown as servant. The census-taker did not enter a last name for her, implying that it was also Carlson. Al is shown as having emigrated in 1890, Bess in 1883. They are renting the house that they live in.

      In the 1905 Minnesota state census, the family is living at 520 17th Avenue S. in Minneapolis. They had lived there for 6 months. Al had been in the state for 15 years, Bess for 20. The household consisted of Al, 33, Bessy, 27, Morris, 10, and Mamie Smith, 13. Al was a tailor.

      At the time of the 1910 census (April 27th), Alfred, 38, Bessie, 32, and Morris, 14, were living at 38th and Chicago in a duplex that Al and Bess owned. (The tenants were a family named Jenson.) Al is a tailor of or in an outfitting establishment. Al emigrated in 1883 (?) and Bessie in 1884.

      The 1914 Minneapolis plat map shows two buildings, with a common wall, on the lot that must have been 3805 Chicago Ave. The southeast corner of 38th and Chicago was the northwest corner of a four block subdivision (bounded by 11th Avenue, Chicago Avenue, 38th Street, and 40th Street, known as Chicago Avenue Park.

      On January 5, 1920, the census enumerator found the Carlsons living at 3716 Elliot Avenue South. (Minneapolis enumeration district 127, image 5 of 36.) Al and Bess are living with Morris and Cora as Alfred, age 47, and Bessie, age 42. The dates of immigration and naturalization for Alfred and Bessie are listed but are not legible. Alfred is listed as a tailor employed for wages at a tailor shop.

      At the time of the 1930 census, Al was living with Sandy, 48, and Clara, 38 (who, apparently, weren't married) at 3901 13th Avenue in a house worth $4500. Thus, Al and Bess were divorced by the time of the census. Al has no occupation listed. Al was a naturalized citizen; he emigrated in 1887. Al is shown as widowed. (?) Al was first married at age 23.

      The following is from the Minneapolis city directories:

      In the 1892-1893 directory, there is an Oscar Carlson, laborer, living at 1323 s 2d and an Alfred Carlson, laborer, living at 1311 s 2d.

      In 1896, Alfred is a tailor for Isaac Kurtzman and was living at 435 27th Avenue South in Minneapolis. In the 1897 Minneapolis directory, he is probably the Alfred Carlson living at 2301 Riverside Avenue. In the 1898 directory, Alfred, tailor, is living in the rear of 1417 South 3rd Avenue. This is the address of Daniel Erickson for the two years previous so apparently Al and Bess moved into the Erickson apartment after Daniel and his family moved to the farm in Anoka County.

      In 1899, there is no Alfred listed in the directory but there is the cryptic entry for Alfred Carlson: “moved to West Superior, Wisconsin.” By 1900, Al and Bess are shown at 2824 Riverside as the 1900 census entry also indicates. In 1901, Alfred, tailor, is shown to be living at 514 15th Avenue South. In the 1902, 1903, and 1904 directories, there are no entries for our Alfred. In the 1903, 1904, and 1905 directories, there is apparently another Alfred Carlson, tailor, this one living in North Minneapolis and working for F E Tallant.

      Our Alfred shows up again in the 1905 directory at 520 17th Avenue South. He remains at that address in the 1906 directory. In the 1907 directory, Alfred has opened a tailor shop at 823 Cedar Avenue although he resides at 2120 Riverside Avenue. In the 1908 directory, the only Alfred, tailor, is at 1106 24th Avenue North so that is probably the other Alfred.

      By 1909, our Alfred lives at 3115 Stevens Avenue South and has a tailor shop in the “55 Eastman Block.” In the 1910 directory, consistent with the 1910 census entry, Alfred has a business at 3805 Chicago although he apparently lives at 3113 Stevens. (That part does not agree with the census entry.)

      In the 1911 directory, Alfred is shown as working as a tailor for Webster Tallant and still resides at 3805 Chicago. The 1912 directory does not mention the Webster Tallant affiliation. In 1913, Alfred has a tailor shop at 3411 Chicago although he still resides at 3805 Chicago.

      In 1914, consistent with Cora’s writings, Al now has a hardware store at the 3805 Chicago location and also resides there. Alfred is back to tailoring in 1915 and still lives at 3805 Chicago.

      In the 1916, 1917, and 1918, Alfred is still tailoring but in these three years goes by the name of Albert instead of Alfred. This may simply be a mistake on the part of the person preparing the directory. It may be an attempt by Alfred to distinguish himself from the other Alfred Carlson, tailor. Or it may even be a reaction to the German phobia during the war years: perhaps Albert sounded less Germanic than Alfred. Alfred’s address in 1916 and 1917 remains at 3805 Chicago but by the 1918 directory he is at 3720 Elliot Avenue. (There is an Albert, tailor, living at 3720 Elliot and an Alfred, no occupation, living at 3716 Elliot.)

      The modern-day 3716 Elliott Avenue South is the correct building. In 1914, this was lot 5, with a house already on it, of the 3700 block of Elliott. This was part of the Chicago Avenue and Lyndale Addition subdivision bounded by 37th Street, 38th Street, Chicago Avenue, and the alley between 10th and 11th Avenues.

      That address has become 3716 Elliot at the time of the 1919 directory. He is still a tailor. By 1920, Al and his son have moved to 1535 E. 39th Street. In 1920, Al is a tailor; in 1921, still at that address, Al’s occupation is listed as electrician. (At that point, he may have joined Maurice in the ill-fated Twin City Chandelier Manufacturing Company.)

      Al was the informant for his mother-in-law’s death certificate. At that time, May of 1921, he was living at 4016 11th Avenue S.

      In 1922 and 1923, the only entry for Alfred, tailor, resides at 4016 11th Avenue. This would be either next door to, or within a few houses of, Charles Hendrickson and Martha. The 1922 entry shows Alfred working as a tailor for A J Lofgren & Co. The 1923 entry does not show that affiliation. In 1924 and 1925, Alfred, tailor, is living at 4228 Minnehaha Avenue.

      In the spring of 1931, Alfred Z Carlson was assessed for a lot he owned (east 24 41-100 feet, lot 7, block 17) in the Camden Oaks Addition to Minneapolis.

      DHC’s research of the city directories shows the following for Al:

      1926 Al’s occupation is real estate, his residence is 4228 Minnehaha.
      1927 Still at 4228 but no occupation.
      1928 Still at 4228, tailor.
      1929 No entry for him or Bessie.
      1930 Resides at 3901 13th Ave. S., no entry for Bessie.
      1931 Resides at 4651 15th Ave. S., Bessie at 4228.
      1932 “Alfred Z.” resides at 4651 15th Ave. S., Bessie at 4228.
      1933 “Alfred Z.” still resides ar 4651 15th, now with a wife Maida (Meta L).
      1934 “Alf Z” is a tailor at 4301 Chicago. Wife Meta.
      1935 “Alfred Z.” is still at 4301 Chicago. Bessie is shown at 4230 Minnehaha.
      1936 “Alfred Z.” is still at 4301 Chicago. Bessie is shown at 4228 Minnehaha.
      1937 “Alfred Z.” is still at 4301 Chicago. Bessie is shown at 4228 Minnehaha as the widow of Alfred.

      In the 1940 census, for which the 42 year-old Meta was the informant, Al and Meta live at 4301 Chicago, the same house in which they had lived in 1935. Al had no occupation shown in the main part of the schedule. However, he was one of the two form entries to be asked Supplementary Questions and in that he was shown as having been a tailor in a retail shop. Al had a sixth-grade education, Meta an eighth-grade education. Al did not have a social security number.

      In the 1941 and 1942 city directories, Alf Z Carlson, wife Meta L, resides at 4220 12th Ave S.

      In 1942, when his nephew Fred Jay Smith registered for the World War II draft, Fred gave Al as the “person who would always know your address.” Fred gave Al’s address as 4212 S. 12th Avenue, Minneapolis.

      An article in the 6 Apr 1943 edition of the Minneapolis Star describes a hearing on divorce proceedings filed by Al against Meta. Al is described as a 70 year-old real estate dealer. He and Meta lived at 4220 Twelfth Avenue S. “Both husband and wife charge inhuman treatment. Mrs. Carlson said her husband not only had ordered her to leave the home several times under threat of physical violence but had shown a liking for younger women. ‘He told me plainly he thought a woman over 40 was just too old and that he intended to go out and pick up younger women,’ Mrs. Carlson testified. Carlson said that since the marriage in May, 1933, he had transferred property to his wife and had given her cash because of threats she had made to kill him. ‘It seems like all she was interested in was money,’ Carlson said. ‘A month after we were married she tried to get me to transfer all my real estate to her. One time she told me a fortune teller told her I was going to die shortly. Using that as a plea, she got me to transfer the house to her.’ Al’s niece, Eva Munn, testified at trial that when she and her husband went to taverns with the Carlsons, Carlson did not dance with younger women. The court held Mrs. Munn’s testimony was not material and remarked that if Carlson did dance with younger women, that was to be expected.

      He lived at 3406 E 40th in the 1944 city directory, no wife or occupation listed.

      In the 1948, 1950, and 1952 city directories, he and Emily reside at 3406 E 40th.

      In the 1950 census, he was listed as Alfred Z. Carlson. He and his wife Emily C. lived at 3406 E. 40th Street.

      Al had $28,000 when he died, mostly as real estate.

      His obituary (June 9th Tribune), as well as his death certificate, listed his address as 3406 E. 40th St. Funeral services were through Barney Anderson & Son. His death certificate, according to Dr. Elvin Englund, says that he died from uremia complicated by arteriosclerotic renal disease and arteriosclerotic heart disease. Al had apparently been in the hospital for about 7 days. (Cora’s diary says that he went into the hospital on Sunday, June 1st.)

      His son was the informant for Al’s death certificate. Al had been in the city for 65 years (implying that Maurice believed Al had come to Minneapolis in 1887) and left a widow named Emily. He died of uremia and renal disease.

      DHC recalls that Al didn’t like children and that Vivian was the only kid that he liked. According to DHC, in the mid-to-late 1920s, Al and Bess had a farm cottage on Minnetonka Boulevard, the main road between Excelsior and Lake Minnetonka. That cottage was “mostly before” DHC’s time.

      Al and Bess also had a cottage on Lake Minnetonka next to Maurice and Cora. DHC believes that Al may have brought his girlfriends out to the Lake Minnetonka cottage.
    Person ID I11  Don Carlson's Tree
    Last Modified 12 Feb 2024 

    Father Salomon CARLSSON,   b. 6 Sep 1839, Annerstad, Kronobergs län, Sweden Find all individuals with events at this locationd. 23 Dec 1876, Kånna, Småland, Kronobergs län, Sweden Find all individuals with events at this location (Age 37 years) 
    Mother Emelie/Emmeli Wilhelmina (Emma) LUNDBERG,   b. 20 Oct 1843, Rydö, Torup, Småland, Hallands län, Sweden Find all individuals with events at this locationd. 19 May 1903, Superior, Douglas County, Wisconsin Find all individuals with events at this location (Age 59 years) 
    Marriage 13 Jul 1867  Annerstad, Kronobergs län, Sweden Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F9  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 1 Brita (Bessie) ERICKSON,   b. 12 Sep 1877, Rättvik, Dalarnas län, Sweden Find all individuals with events at this locationd. 22 Feb 1965, Hopkins, Hennepin County, Minnesota Find all individuals with events at this location (Age 87 years) 
    Marriage 31 Mar 1895  Nelson, Buffalo County, Wisconsin Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Wisconsin County Marriages on FS. As J.A. Carlson and Bessie Erickson. Parents S. Carlson, Emma Carlson, Daniel Erickson, Bessie Erickson.
    Divorce Dec 1929  Hennepin County, Minnesota Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • as Bessie Carlson from Alfred Carlson, reported in the 18 Dec 1929 editon of the Star
     1. Maurice Edward CARLSON,   b. 30 Aug 1895, Wabasha, Wabasha County, Minnesota Find all individuals with events at this locationd. 17 Jun 1956, Bloomington, Hennepin County, Minnesota Find all individuals with events at this location (Age 60 years)
    Family ID F8  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart
    Last Modified 3 Sep 2018 

    Family 2 Meta Lenore KORNDER,   b. 30 May 1897, Bloomington, Hennepin County, Minnesota Find all individuals with events at this locationd. Jan 1983, Arapahoe County, Colorado Find all individuals with events at this location (Age 85 years) 
    Marriage 5 May 1933  Hennepin County, Minnesota Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • 03640435
    Divorce Apr 1943  Hennepin County, Minnesota Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • announced in the 13 Apr 1943 edition of the Minneapolis Star as Meata Carlson from Alfred Z. Carlson
    Family ID F352  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart
    Last Modified 12 Feb 2024 

    Family 3 Emily Cecelia HOLT,   b. 31 May 1896, Minnesota Find all individuals with events at this locationd. 19 May 1971, Yakima County, Washington Find all individuals with events at this location (Age 74 years) 
    Marriage 8 Aug 1947  Hennepin County, Minnesota Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • #532 0073 as Alfred Carlson and Emily Harlan. Married by a Justice of the Peace in Robbinsdale.
    Family ID F353  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart
    Last Modified 26 Jul 2011 

  • Photos
    Al Carlson
    Al Carlson
    Perhaps taken shortly before or shortly after he left Sweden.
    Al Carlson, early to mid teens
    Al Carlson, early to mid teens
    Carlson Four Generations
    Carlson Four Generations
    Taken in front of Maurice and Cora's house at 2255 E. Old Shakopee Road, spring of 1950. Al Carlson, 78, holds his great-grandson. Maurice Carlson, 54, stands next to his son.
    Al and Bess Carlson
    Al and Bess Carlson
    May have been taken at the time they got married. If so, then Al is 23 and Bess is 18.
    Al and Bess Carlson
    Al and Bess Carlson
    Probably taken in the first decade of the 20th century when Bess was in her late 20s and Al in his early 30s.
    Al Carlson
    Al Carlson