Biography of Charles P. Larson

Born at Philifstad, in the province of Wermland, Sweden, and reared and educated in that country, where he remained until he was twenty-one, learning his trade as a mason there and engaging in a number of useful occupations, in which he acquired a general knowledge of business and habits of fruitful industry, Charles P. Larson, of Garfield county, came to this country in his early manhood well prepared for the duties of the strenuous life in which he was to take part, and since his arrival he has been active and serviceable in developing and building up the sections in which he has lived and labored. At the age of thirteen he started out in life for himself by herding stock, at which he continued until 1865. He then began to learn his trade and worked at that and other pursuits until 1869, when he emigrated to the United States, arriving on June 1st. His first location was at Ishpeming, Marquette county, Michigan, where he devoted his time to contracting and building and also to butchering at intervals. He also engaged in mining and prospecting in that state and Wisconsin, spending some money and time at the business without satisfactory results. On October 15, 1877, he arrived in Colorado and remained at Denver until the following December, then was led by the gold excitement to Leadville. Some little time afterward he moved to Kokomo, and here he again engaged in mining without success. He then once more turned his attention to contracting, working on the Blue river extension of the Rio Grande Railroad. In this enterprise he made good profits. In the summer of 1881 he again moved to Leadville, and worked at hauling timber until the spring of 1882. Then on account of failing health he was obliged to seek a different location and took up his residence on Divide creek, in Garfield county, where he pre-empted one hundred and sixty acres of land, to which he has since added until he now owns and farms six hundred and forty acres in that neighborhood. He has been diligent and enterprising in improving his land and carrying on a vigorous and thriving stock industry and a general ranching business, raising good crops of hay, grain and potatoes. His land is favorably located, the water right is sufficient for its proper irrigation and the tillage he gives it is first class. He also owns a ranch of one hundred and twelve acres at Rifle where he maintains his home for the purpose of securing good school facilities for his children. A considerable portion of this ranch has been laid off in town lots, which sell from time to time at good prices. The rest yields a good revenue from its farm products. Mr. Larson was one of the earliest settlers in this part of the state and one of the original promoters of its improvements and public conveniences. He, Mr. Starkey and Jens J. Clausen, assisted by Mrs. Clausen, built the first road to Fourmile, and he took a prominent and active part in other enterprises of public utility. He is the son of Lars and Anna M. (Bergquist) Larson, natives of Sweden and earnest Lutherans. The father was prosperous as an iron manufacturer in his native land. They had three children, one of whom died in infancy. The other two and the mother survive the father, who died on November 14, 1851. One son, Olof, resides at Templeton, California, and the mother makes her home with the other, Charles P. He was married on December 22, 1881, to Miss Carrie Anderson, a native of Sweden, and eight children have blessed and brightened their household, Charles H., John R., Emma, Swan, Edith, Alfred, Oscar and Otto. Mr. Larson’s success in this state has been of such a character and so pronounced as to make him well pleased with the state as a residence and field for enterprise, and also to have been of great service to the welfare of the commonwealth and its people.

Source: Bowen, A. W. Progressive Men of Western Colorado. Chicago: A. W. Bowen & Co., Publishers. 1905.

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