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Carl and Flora Bengtson.
wntmg at regular intervals to his mother and sister. Later, when sailing from Liverpool to South Africa, Carl and his shipmate found food and living conditions in tolerable, so they decided to skip ships as soon as they reached port. Because it was impossible to get work on any other ship in that port, they set out to walk to another port up the coast and wait there for a chance of work on another boat. Upon arriving there, they found no boat available so had to seek other employment till a ship was available. Finding a contractor, who was hiring, they applied for work. Learning that they did not speak Swahili or any of the other African tongues, the con tractor asked if they could swear in English. This, of course, was no problem and apparently was the only requirement, for they got the job of foremen on a construction project. Their job was to sit on a platform, with a whip in hand, and once in awhile yell at the crew. Carl often marveled at the ability of those natives being able to build a straight wall without benefit of square or plumb-line to guide them.
Eventually, Carl and his friend were able to get passage on a boat going to the United States. Upon arrival in the States, Carl decided to go to Canada where he knew some of his kinfolk had already gone. Arriving in Scandinavia, Manitoba in the late 1800's, Carl made his home with Mr. and Mrs. Hak.
Lumber being a needed commodity in a new set tlement, Carl began operating a sawmill - an operation he carried on most of his life, later adding a planer to his equipment. These, he moved from place to place as the need arose.
Carl took up a homestead on N.E. 30-17-18W near Erickson where he farmed for many years. On this homestead, he erected a small house consisting of one large room, an upstairs and a leanto for a kitchen.
The story goes, that when he had completed this house, he had a dance which caused problems to many who attended. Not being wise to the difference in raw and boiled linseed oil, Carl used raw linseed oil to mix his paint, only to find it took many, many weeks to dry. The guests, who sat on the stairs that evening, bore marks of Yellow Ochre stains on their clothes when they left the dance.
Carl also owned and operated a threshing outfit which was to harvest his own crops and that of his neighbours.
On November 22, 1907, he married Flora Ann Tales in Minnedosa. This union was blessed with four children.
Flora, after being ill for some time, died at the home of her parents in Clanwilliam, July 31, 1913.
Carl was a member of the Augustana Lutheran church in Scandinavia. He also took part in the Foresters Lodge, the Fox Farm, the Scandia Hall Association, etc.
Carl had the McLaughlin Buick agency for a number of years. He finally sold his farm to his son, John O. Carlson. Then he bought a house in Erickson. He built a garage and Elmer Johnson was mechanic there until he moved to Merced, California because of ill health.
Through the years Carl held the agency for Massey Harris Machinery, Five Roses Flour, Beach Stoves, Easy Washers, Renfrew Cream Separators, etc.
During the depression, Carl employed many of the men sent out from Winnipeg, under government regulations.
Carl continued to operate his sawmill and planer as well as the lumber yard. He bought lumber from many of the people around Erickson who were able to take out a few logs thus giving them an extra income. After Carl's death on March 25, 1940, the yard was sold to Olov Olson.
I was born on the Tales farm but after the death of my mother, I went to make my home in Clanwilliam with my grandparents for ten years before returning to live with my dad in Erickson. I attended school in Erickson and took part in the activities of the Augustana Lutheran Church, the Relief Society, the Erickson W.1. and the 4- H.
In December, 1927, I married Enoch Ehlin. (refer to Enoch Ehlin).
I shall pass through this life but once. If therefore, there is any kindness
I can show,
Or any good I can do any fellow being, Let me do it now!
Let me not deter or neglect it,
For I shall not pass this way again.