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1912 - 2006
Carl Elsworth Olson was born in 1912 on a homestead in the area of Irvine in South East Alberta. His parents had came from North Dakota to Alberta with their two daughters in 1909.
His father died in 1920 & the family mover to nearby city of Medicine Hat where he had some schooling & then began working on farms & ranches in the area.
His mother remarried in 1927. The new couple along with Carl & a younger brother returned to the States. Living for a short time in Great Falls MT then moving to a sheep ranch near Belle Forche SD. Carl worked on his step fathers ranch & other ranches in the area. He mentioned spending some time on a ranch at Miles City MT.
He was injured in a riding accident & was not able to work for a while so he returned to Belle Fourche. He told me that he had nothing to do so got to hanging around the local saddlry until the owner gave him a job. This would have been about 1934. In 1937 when he registered for social Security he was working For Shippley's in Kansas City MO. He met Bea Wilson there & they were married in 1938.
About 1940 or 41 the moved to Seattle. He had secured a job there making saddles for your army & also the Russian army. He wanted to learn how to make military type saddles. When you people got into the war the contract was cancelled. During the war years he worked for a company making large tents to house aircraft during the war in the Pacific.
For some time after the war he worked as an upholster. He also did leather work such as belts, wallets ect. from his home. He also had a contract with a company to do the leather tooling on the upper part of western boots. I remember him getting boxes of the boot tops but can't remember from where.
Later on in in the 1950's they bought a house in Belleview & opened up his saddle shop in the basement. He & Bea ran the shop until he retired about 1977. They bought an acerage in Sequim in Callem County built a house and shop. For a while he did some saddle & leather work. He also did a lot of fishing which he loved and raised a few sheep and the odd steer. He died at Sequim 19 February 2006 and his wife Bea died five days later
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