A Ramsey County Commissioner political campaign and my great grandfather

Long ago, my paternal Aunt Dorothy (Stuart) Gustafson told me a story about her mother. My Grandma Olga Carlsen and her sisters helped distribute campaign literature for their father, Chris Carlsen. The girls rode bikes from place to place to help him. His full name was Nels Christian Carlsen, a proud Danish man, who settled in Saint Paul, Ramsey County, Minnesota in 1881. He had seven daughters to help with his campaign. Dorothy had no further information on what year, what office, or the results.

As a new genealogist many years ago, I learned of an index at the then Minneapolis public library to The Minneapolis Journal newspaper. At the library, I checked all my Minnesota surnames in the index cards and didn’t find much. I was not sure if checking for the common name Carlsen or Carlson would yield any good results. Oh, was I wrong and learned a lesson about looking for every doggone name. I did find that Christian Carlsen ran for Ramsey County Commissioner. The newspaper ran the result of various political races. There was his name and the vote totals. He came in last. Last place.

I imagine there was some sadness in the Carlsen home on the east side of Saint Paul but that was nothing compared to sadness the next month. Three days before Christmas of the same year, daughter Clara, age seven, died. Chris, wife Betsy, and the other six daughters lived full lives.

The following are parts of that article from The Minneapolis Journal, 10 November 1906, page 7, column 4, from Chronicling America. https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045366/1906-11-10/ed-1/seq-7/

© 2021, Paula Stuart-Warren. All rights reserved.

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