Buena Vista County, IA
USGenWeb Project

Extracted from:  Wegerslev, C. H. and Thomas Walpole. 
 Past and Present of Buena Vista County, Iowa
Chicago:  S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1909, p. 555-56.

Transcribed by Mary Alice Schwanke and Cyndi Vertrees

Biography of  Carl A. Eckman

Carl A. Johannesen, known as Carl A. Eckman, was born in Sweden, August 26, 1846, and is now an enterprising resident of Albert City. He spent the first twenty-two years of his life in the land of his nativity and then heard and heeded the call of the new world. It was in 1868 that he bade adieu to friends and native country, preparatory to coming to the United States with the hope that its more aggressive business methods and wider business opportunities would afford him a chance to work his way upward. He first located at Rockford, Illinois, where he engaged in chopping wood for four months, for he was empty-handed and faced the necessity of providing for his own support. It was while he was residing in Rockford that he changed his name, assuming the name of a Swedish town, from the fact that there were so many Johannesen at Rockford that he had difficulty in getting his mail. He regarded it as very important that his letters should reach him, for he was then corresponding with his sweetheart in the old country, therefore the change of name, since which time he has been known as Carl. a. Eckman. After four months spent at chopping wood he worked on the railroad, and in 1869 came to Iowa where he has since made his home.

The northwestern section of the state was then but sparsely settled and much of the land was still in possession of the government. Mr. Eckman therefore embraced his opportunity of securing a farm at a low figure, taking up a homestead claim in Buena Vista county, upon which he still resides. It was a tract of land of one hundred and sixty acres which he purchased of the original claimant, although not a furrow had been turned nor an improvement made upon it. With characteristic energy he began the development of the farm and was one of the first settlers in Fairfield township. His place lies on sections 11 and 12 and is a finely improved property, equipped with all of the accessories and conveniences of a model farm of the twentieth century. At the years passed by he prospered in his undertaking and in the course of time added to his property until he was the owner of six hundred and forty acres, but he has since greatly reduced his holdings by giving a tract of eighty acres to each of his children. His own place is a productive and valuable one and he derives therefrom a gratifying annual income.

In 1871 Mr. Eckman was married at Fort Dodge to Miss Charlotte Israel, who was born in Sweden, February 19, 1841, and came to this country as the fiancée of Mr. Johannesen to whom she soon gave her hand in marriage. They became the parents of seven children: Hulda, the wife of Louis E. Larson; Emily, the wife of Gust Holmen; Olivia, who died at the age of six months; August, at home; Mrs. Sophia Dolbeck; J. Pitrus, who follows farming in Buena Vista county; and Emma, who is yet under the parental roof.

Mr. Eckman assisted in organizing the German Lutheran church and was a member of the building committee and church treasurer when both the old and new houses of worship were erected. In his political views Mr. Eckman has always been a stanch republican since taking out his naturalization papers and studies the questions and issues of the day. He served for several years as a school director and the cause of education finds in him a warm friend. He withholds his support from no measure that is for the public good, and since becoming one of the first settlers of the township he has been active and influential in promoting its interests along lines of material development and improvement.