The following information was taken from an anonymous memoir written in 1939.
Carl Otto Erickson married Catherine on July 19, 1884, in Stillwater, Minnesota. Catherine was born on November 26, 1983, at Grasmark, Vermland, Sweden. Catherine had come to the United States in the spring of 1882 and went directly to Stillwater. After they married they lived in Stillwater for about 12 years.
After living in Minneapolis for a short time, they moved to St. Louis Park in 1896. They purchased 40 acres and established a dairy farm. The memoir says that the original farm stretched from present-day Louisiana Ave. to Texas, and from Minnetonka Blvd. south to 33rd Street.
From the memoir:
At the time Mr. and Mrs. Erickson settled here, St. Louis Park was a virtual wilderness. Minnetonka Blvd. was a narrow bicycle path, and Louisiana Ave. was almost impassable for a team and lumber wagon.
The children attended Eliot School. The present school is the third school building on the present site. The first school house was a frame structure and after a number of years’ service, it was sold and the building removed. A second frame structure was built on the same location and this building was destroyed by fire the evening before the great tornado, which struck St. Louis Park on the evening of June 2, 1925, at 7:24 pm.
The Erickson family are of the Lutheran faith and as there was no Lutheran Church in St. Louis Park, they attended church in Minneapolis or Hopkins. The children attended Sunday School in Minneapolis and were confirmed there. In the old days the children thought nothing of walking the seven miles into Minneapolis every Sunday morning.
The first settlers were very friendly and neighborhly and at least once a week they gathered at one of the homes, the womenfolks bringing lunch with them. Then they danced and ate until late. And everybody had a good time. The Goodrichs, Falveys, Jensens were a few of the families which attended these home gatherings. And when the children were sick, these same neighbors came to the Erickson home and helped care for them, sometimes staying all night.
Mrs. Erickson remembers that when she first came to Minneapolis there was one streetcar line. Its route was from 18th Ave. No and Washington, along Washington Ave. to Cedar Ave., out Cedar Ave., to Lake St. and Layman’s Cemetery. The streetcars were drawn by mules. She worked for a short while at 13th and Hennepin and she spent her off time in what is now Loring Park, then called Central park, also Harmon Park. Mrs. Erickson can remember the first streetcar to St. Louis Park. It was electric driven and they could hear the trolley car every morning at 5:45 am when it arrived from Minneapolis.
Carl and Catherine had nine children:
- Mary Catherine was born on December 30, 1885. She married Albert Mellon on October 10, 1910. Mary died on September 17, 1920.
- Henry Mellon was born on August 20, 1911
- Elvira Mellon was born on June 26, 1915
- Carl was born on May 20, 1890. He married Anna Billing in 1917.
- Eva Erickson was born in October 1921
- Ethel V. was born on December 29, 1891. She married John Williamson of Lansing, Michigan, in 1914. Their family was raised in Lansing.
- Paul was born on August 29, 1894. He married Anna Anderson in 1919.
- Bennie O. was born on November 9, 1896. He married Selma Knutson of Bronson, Minnesota, in 1920.
- Harry Erickson was born on August 10, 1921
- Grace Erickson was born on February 8, 1924
- Mabel Erickson was born on September 13, 1926
- Alice Erickson was born on August 1, 1928
- Gertie was born in 1899 and died in 1901, one day short of two years old.
- Another baby died at 8 months.
- Vernon was born July 19, 1903. He married Judith Anderson on July 19, 1927.
- Eleanor Erickson was born on May 8, 1928
- Lorraine Erickson was born on September 23, 1929
- Richard Erickson was born on September 12, 1932
- Donald Erickson was born on October 29, 1936
- Walter was born on August 9, 1905. He had not married by 1939.
Carl Erickson died on June 15, 1916.
Catherine died after 1939.