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Carl William Julius Pehrson

by Ruth Pehrson Anderson

Carl W. Pehrson was born in Halmstead Halland, Sweden on February 21, 1881, of Swedish ancestry. His father was John Solomon Pehrson, born in Wroe Kronoberg, Sweden, on December 3, 1842. His mother was Christina Nielson, born in Wroe Kronoberg, Sweden, on March 16, 1845.

His father and mother were of the Lutheran faith, but when they heard of Mormonism, they embraced it, and brought their family to Logan, Utah, and built up a floral business there, and also sold vegetables. Father was eight years of age when he crossed the Atlantic with his parents. He learned to speak both Swedish and English, but switched entirely to English, losing all signs of an accent. We children loved to encourage him to name different items in Swedish, and always remember his “Smear for ‘butter’.”

Sweden must have been a beautiful green land as Dad always spoke with affection of it, and told we children of the beauties of the country side, and always mentioned that through all the years, Sweden always managed to stay out of war.

He lived with his folks at their home located on Canyon Road until he was a young man. He attended the district school, and took a two year electrical course at the Utah State Agricultural College; and with this background, became an electrician by profession. He enjoyed this work, and was always such a hard worker, very rarely taking a day off. When he was later able to hire other men to work for him, he always worked right along with them, always doing a little more than his share.

Dad’s favorite pastime was fishing and hunting ducks. He loved to go up Logan canyon from the time of his early youth, and fish for trout. He knew where the best fishing holes were, and usually brought home a nice mess of fish. On trips to Bear Lake for outings, he would point out the best fishing spots and show us where he had slept under rocks on rocky cliffs near the water’s edge, and other places that he knew so well. Many were the times that he brought home ducks after a hunting trip, and we children would crowd around, admiring the ducks and their beautiful feathers.

While employed on a power line through Mendon, Utah, he stayed at a large home owned by the Foster’s and operated as a hotel. While on his hours off, he got acquainted with Elizabeth Larsen, and her family who were living there. This acquaintance grew into courtship, and resulted in their marriage. They were married on June 24, 1912, in Salt Lake City, Utah, and moved to the old Bott home (50 North 5th East, Logan, Utah, which was later bought by the Axel Anderson family, my in-laws). They lived there while waiting for their own new little home to be built, which was located at 485 East 1st North, Logan, Utah. They moved into this home in 1912 or 1913, and there their first child, Phyllis, was born. They rejoiced greatly in her arrival, and Mother’s mother, Eleanor, helped to take care of Mother at the time. Thirteen months later, one month prematurely, twin daughters (Ruth and Ruby) arrived, increasing their family to three daughters. They soon decided to build another home on the adjoining corner lot, and to this one, they added an upstairs floor, allowing plenty of room for expansion. Two years later they were blessed with another daughter, Erma and she was born in this new home. Two more children were born in this home–two years later, a son, Carl Julius, who contracted pneumonia in his third week, and died; and about eight years later, another son, Calvin L. was born, who was a great joy to his parents, and a namesake for the family.

During the early years of Dad’s marriage, he worked for the Utah Power and Light Company, the Delco Power Company, Gunter Electrical Company, and then he established a business of his own, the Pehrson Electric Company, which he owned and operated for many years. He contracted for the electrical work on many large projects, homes, church houses, schools, did renovating electrical work on the Logan LDS Temple, and contributed all the electrical work on the Logan Seventh Ward Recreational Hall, and repair work on the Chapel before it was dedicated by Elder David O. McKay. He had an electrical shop in several locations in Logan before his last large, elaborate one located on the corner of Main and Center Street. His first one was on West Center Street; he used half the store, and Mr. Wimmer, a White Sewing Machine representative, used the other side. He then had a small shop of his own located on Federal Avenue, then moved to two different locations on First North and Main Street. He operated these stores successfully; and in later life, had a small shop at the rear of his home, 495 East First North, where he continued to do business. During this time, he spent much time doing work in Ogden, Utah, where there was much building going on due to government installations moving in, and more housing being necessary.

Dad was a man of average build, measuring five feet, nine inches tall, and weighing around one hundred and ninety pounds in his later life. He was nice looking, with penetrating blue eyes, dark brown hair, a strong voice, and an active body. He was very hard working, frugal, a good manager, and was always up early, keeping busy all the time. He was always interested in the news, and loved to hear the news broadcasts over the radio. He was a staunch Republican–always making sure that he voted–and was interested in civic affairs. He was a member of the Seventh Ward Elders Quorum for many years; and in later years, a member of the High Priests Quorum. He loved to take his daughter, Erma, to the different wards to play her violin on programs and sacrament meetings, and would sometimes take her to three church houses during one Sunday evening. He took great pride in all his children’s musical accomplishments and other activities, and loved to see them participate in their church activities, and was proud of their scholastic achievements.

Dad was very close to his sister, Hilda. After the death of their parents, she continued to live at the old homestead, and Dad would visit her often, assist her with small chores and repairs, and take her to town to buy her groceries. Aunt Hilda was missed a great deal by him after her death. She was often invited along on little outings with the family. As she was quite nervous when riding in a car, Dad would tease her a little by going up steep hills just to hear her say, “Now, Carl, be careful!”

In 1935, the local merchants issued tickets on purchases that were made in Logan for a period of about three months, the tickets to be used for a big drawing with the person holding the lucky ticket winning a new 1935 model Chevrolet car. On the specified day, a large booth was set up on the Tabernacle Square, the drawing was called, and to Dad’s great surprise and joy, he was the one holding the winning ticket. He was somewhat swept off his feet with surprise, but mighty pleased with the car, and he gladly took us all for a ride in it.

Dad was always a good provider for his family, always seeing to it that the fruit for canning was purchased, that the coal houses were full, and was the first in the neighborhood to have a furnace installed. He loved cars and always liked to talk about them.

When Mother became ill and died at the age of fifty-one, it was a great shock to him and very heartbreaking for him to get along without her. We girls tried to help out as much as we could, and helped to see that Calvin finished his high school. On October, 1942, he married Emma Layne and spent his remaining years (8) with her. She nursed him during his last illness and was kind and good to him. During the last few weeks, Phyllis, being a nurse, gave him specialized care and he was so grateful for her help. On July 6, 1951, he passed away, being survived by Emma, we girls and Calvin, and seven grandchildren. He was buried at Mother’s side in the Logan Cemetery, a long way from his birthplace, but in the place he loved so well.