MARTIN A. CARLSON
††††† The life story of Martin A. Carlson, the capable and popular mill boss for the Clover Valley Lumber Company at Loyalton, contains little of the exciting, but is an interesting record of a manís persistent and determined efforts along right lines, of loyal and efficient work, the result of which was repeated promotions with the various concerns by which he was employed, until today he holds one of the most responsible positions in the lumber business.† He was born at Herrljunga, West Gotland, eight miles from Gottenburg, Sweden, on the 12th of April, 1879, and is a son of Carl and Christine Carlson, who were prosperous farming people, owning two farms of twenty acres each, a large holding for that country.† He is the fifth in order of birth of the nine children born to his parents.† He was reared in the Lutheran Church, the state church of Sweden, and received a good common school education.
††††† After the death of his parents he took over the home place, which he carried on until twenty-nine years of age, when he determined to come to America because of the superior opportunities that existed here for individual advancement.† He sailed from Gottenburg about the middle of April, 1909, and, after a stormy voyage of eight days, landed at Boston, Massachusetts.† Losing no time, he came by railroad direct to California, and at Fresno was met by his fellow countryman and friend, A. P. Anderson, who was then a farmer at Easton, Fresno County.† Mr. Carlson went to work on the great flume which was being built from a distance of sixty-seven miles from Centerville, California to Sanger, Fresno County, for the purpose of bringing down water to float lumber from the sawmill in the mountains to Sanger by the Haven & Bennett Lumber Company.† This is the longest lumber floating flume in the world.† The flume superintendent at first objected to hiring Mr. Carlson because he could not speak or understand English, but he proved quick to learn and made good from the start.† He had done carpenter work in his native country and was employed at that work here.† He held his first job for two years, during which he proved a good carpenter and also acquired a good working knowledge of the English language.† So well satisfied was the superintendent with him that at the end of two years he was promoted to the trestle gang, and still later to the framing gang.† In 1917, when the old mill was destroyed by fire, he went to work for Frank Harrell as a millwright and built a small circular sawmill.† In 1919 he went to the Madera Sugar Pine Company, at Madera, California, where he worked as a millwright in the construction of the Madera mill, being at that time associated with Bill Spring, the well known mill boss and lumberman, for three years.† In 1924 Mr. Carlson went to Fresno and from there to the Center camp of the Fresno Sugar Pine Lumber Company, where he built the trestles for the logging railroad to the mountains.† In the spring of 1926 he came to Loyalton and worked for the Clover Valley Lumber Company as a millwright until about one and a half years ago, when Frank Harald, the mill boss, having left that company, he was promoted to that responsible position, which he is now holding.† He is farsighted, a man of sound judgment, possesses the ability to handle men successfully, and is a genius in regard to mechanical problems, so that he has measured up fully to the demands of his position and commands the confidence of his superiors and the respect of the men under him.
††††††††††† Mr. Carlson was naturalized at Fresno, June 17, 1917, and has since given his political support to the Democratic Party.† In 1915 he made a visit to his old home in Sweden and greatly enjoyed the reunion with his family and friends.† He is an important factor in the successful operation of the great mill at Loyalton and is very popular throughout the community.
Transcribed by Gerald Iaquinta.
Source: Wooldridge, J.W.Major History of Sacramento Valley California, Vol. 3 Pages 197-198. Pioneer Historical Publishing Co. Chicago 1931.
© 2010 Gerald Iaquinta.