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Biographical Dictionary - Coorow, Carnamah, Three Springs


Surname

"Charlie" / "Swogger" Carl OLSON

Born 17 January 1865 in Visby, Island of Gotland, Sweden [5: 25-Jan-1935] [30: item 1299]
Before coming to Australia he worked as a seaman on large sailing ships called windjammers [P399]
Arrived in Adelaide, South Australia in 1893 and after seven years in South Australia he shifted to Western Australia [30: item 1299]
In 1904 he was living at 202 Roe Street in Perth [30: item 1299]
He applied for naturalisation on 2 June 1904 and received his Certificate of Naturalisation No. 826 on 11 July 1904 [30: item 1299]
Miner in Sir Samuel in 1906 [50]
Wheat Lumping Contractor in Nugadong, East Gunyidi in 1911 and 1912 [12: 5-Apr-1946] [19] [50]
Fencing Contractor in Carnamah in 1912 [34]
     Said to have been one of the earliest contractors to work in Carnamah [P399]
     He was employed by the Midland Railway Company to erect fences on their Ready-Made Farms in Carnamah [34]
     In November 1912 he was working on erecting the boundary fence around Lot M936 in Carnamah [34]
     He and his team of men erected over 80 miles of fencing for the company in Coorow and Carnamah [5: 5-Apr-1946]
Contractor in Carnamah 1913-1917 [6] [50]
     He was employed in Carnamah by the Midland Railway Company in connection with their unsold farms in September 1914 [34]
     Received from Midland Railway Company wages of £7/16/- on 7 September 1914 and again on 23 September 1914 [34]
     In October 1914, along with William S. MITCHELL, put down a well for the Midland Railway Co on Lot M940 in Carnamah [34]
     He and "Billy" William S. MITCHELL are said to have worked together fencing and sinking wells for many years [P399]
     In February 1915 was paid £15/4/8 by the Company for boring for water on Lot M940 and on M952 (or M955) [34]
Farmhand for Samuel B. RUDDUCK on Koobabbie Farm in Waddy Forest for a number of years [5: 5-Apr-1946]
Well Sinker and Water Borer in Coorow in 1923 [168]
Farmer in Coorow in partnership with William S. MITCHELL 1923-1929 - traded as "Mitchell & Olsen" [27] [44]
     He and Billy had taken out a contract to purchase 920 acres of virgin land in Coorow on 23 June 1923 [27]
     The 920 acres was Lot M1276 of Victoria Location 2023 and was purchased from the Midland Railway Company for £795 [27]
     In 1927 they secured 2,700 bags of wheat and 80 tonnes of hay from 450 acres of crop [9: 27-Jan-1928]
     Mitchell & Olsen owned a Chev truck with number-plate CA-178 registered with the Carnamah District Road Board in 1927-28 [325]
     They dissolved their partnership on 17 January 1929 with Billy continuing with the farm [27] [39: 16-Feb-1929]
Farmer at Billeroo, East Winchester in the Carnamah district from 1929 until 1944 [3] [4: 6-Apr-1929] [12: 5-Apr-1946]
     In about February of 1929 he purchased an 838 acre farm in Winchester from Arthur WHITE for £3/10/- per acre [86: 2-Mar-1929]
     The 838 acre farm was Lot M1085 of Victoria Location 1938 and had originally been taken up by Basil V. CHAPMAN [3] [27] [44]
He had two thumbs on his right hand and as such was known as "Three Thumb Charlie" but he pronounced it "tree tumb Charlie" [P399]
Struck a good supply of water when he sunk a well in Three Springs for Patrick M. DURACK in March 1928 [4: 17-Mar-1928]
He was among the 400 people who attended the Matrons and Benedicts Ball held in Three Springs on 31 August 1928 [4: 8-Sep-1928]
He was one of 98 people from the Coorow district who signed a petition in 1929 for a local hotel license to be granted [39: 6-Feb-1929]
In April 1929 purchased a Massey Wallis tractor from Carnamah agent Rupert LAFFAN [4: 6-Apr-1929]
He fell off the back of a truck as it rounded a corner in the Three Springs townsite on Sunday 16 November 1930 [4: 22-Nov-1930]
     He was admitted to the North Midlands District Hospital in Three Springs, where he was treated for severe cuts on his head [4]
Member of the Inering Cricket Club in 1930-31 [4: 22-Nov-1930]
Assisted the Carnamah Golf Club with the creation of their new golf course at Centenary Park in Carnamah in 1933 [5: 28-Jul-1933]
He was treated for a severe attack of pneumonia at the Carnamah Private Hospital in August 1933 [5: 4-Aug-1933]
On 13 and 14 January 1934 he shifted, by contract, the Central Hall near Morawa six miles to the Merkanooka recreation ground [5]
     The 40 ton hall was in one piece put on low trolleys of 12 gallon cement filled drums and hauled by four Holt tractors [5: 26-Jan-1934]
Departed Carnamah by train on Monday 12 March 1934 for a short holiday in Perth[5: 16-Mar-1934]
By contract he shifted the National Bank premises in Three Springs to the other side of the railway on Sunday 25 March 1934 [5]
     The premises were lifted onto rollers and then hauled with a tractor to their new location on the east side of the railway [5: 30-Mar-1934]
In April 1934 purchased a Sunshine seed box to be attached and transform his 10 disc Sundercut into a Sunderseeder [5: 20-Apr-1934]
He was thrown a surprise 70th birthday party at Louis JOHANSEN's farm in Carnamah on Thursday 17 January 1935 [5: 25-Jan-1935]
     His party consisted of songs, stories, supper, talking and smoking pipes, and among those present were:- himself, [5]
     Lou JOHANSEN, Stuart FORD, Harry PARKIN, Chitter BROWN, Tom BERRIGAN, Doug WALDBY, Charlie METTAM, [5]
     Harry SMITH, Mick BAKER, Frank LIVESLEY, G. SLATER, Charlie NINEHAM, Clarrie RYAN and George BRADSHAW [5]
     The evening concluded with his friends joining hands around him and singing Auld Lang Syne [5: 25-Jan-1935]
Sold 44 suckers for 18/4 per head through Dalgety & Co Ltd at the Midland Market on Wednesday 14 August 1935 [5: 16-Aug-1935]
     Two weeks later, on Wednesday 28 August 1935, sold another 45 suckers for 17/10 per head at the Midland Market [5: 30-Aug-1935]
     Sold 40 suckers for 17/10 per head  and one ewe for 12/- through Dalgety & Co Ltd on 25 September 1935 [5: 27-Sep-1935]
     Sold 41 lambs at 9/8 per head through Dalgety & Co Ltd at the Midland Market on Wednesday 30 October 1935 [5: 1-Nov-1935]
Sold four bales of wool at 15d. per pound through Dalgety & Co Ltd at the Wool Sale in Perth on 7 October 1935 [5: 11-Oct-1935]
Publicly apologised to local agent William B. SHERIDAN via a notice in The North Midland Times newspaper on 18 October 1935 [5]
     In the notice he apologised that statements made by him about SHERIDAN "were untrue" and "without foundation" [5: 18-Oct-1935]
Transported the Carnamah Reds cricket team to a match in Coorow on the back of his truck on Sunday 9 February 1936 [5] [88]
     An accident occurred at 6:30 p.m. about four miles north of Coorow near the farm gate of Reginald CROMMELIN [5: 14-Feb-1936]
     He sharply swung the truck to avoid hitting the bank on the road-side, however the truck skidded through sand across the road [5]
     The truck hit the side bank on the other side of the road, lost its front right rim and tyre and tipped onto its side [5]
     Ten cricketers on the back of the truck were thrown off, however the truck then righted itself and careered back across the road [5]
     The truck went through some scrub before returning to the road, where they put the rim and wheel back on and carried on home [5]
     Fortunately only one of the ten men was slightly injured, and was conveyed to the Carnamah Private Hospital for treatment [5]
     Reported the accident to police constable Alan O. FIEBIG of the Carnamah Police Station at 10:15 p.m. on 9 February 1936 [5] [88]
Sold 25 lambs at 12/5 per head through Dalgety & Co Ltd at the Midland Market on Wednesday 8 April 1936 [5: 10-Apr-1936]
Attended the 1936 Massey Harris 25-40 tractor demonstration at Inverbeg Farm in Three Springs on 22 August 1936 [5: 4-Sep-1936]
Signatory of a petition to the Carnamah District Road Board in September 1936 requesting the extension of a road [5: 25-Sep-1936]
     They wanted the road between Lots M1090 and M1091 extended between M1084 and M1085, and M1086 and M1087 [3] [5]
     If extended the road would then have intersected with the Carnamah East Road (now known as the Carnamah-Bunjil Road) [5]
     The Road Board requested a deputation which comprised of himself and five others who met with the Board on 28 October [5]
     They stated that the road would provide access to his property and make it easier for neighbours to travel to see one another [5]
     The road wasn't made as the Board considered the road unnecessary and unfavourable as it would go through a farm [5: 6-Nov-1936]
Sold six bales of wool at 14¼d. per pound through Dalgety & Co Ltd at the Perth Wool Sale on Monday 5 October 1936 [5: 16-Oct-1936]
Sold 42 sheep suckers at 15/10 per head through Dalgety & Co Ltd at the Midland Market on Wednesday 7 October 1936 [5: 9-Oct-1936]
He travelled to Perth on Monday 12 October 1936, and returned to Carnamah on the following weekend [5: 16 & 23-Oct-1936]
In 1936 he applied for a reduction on the rateable valuation of his farm in Carnamah [5: 24-Dec-1936]
Sold 75 lambs (42 at 22/4, 33 at 14/-) and 10 wethers at 18/4 through Dalgety & Co Ltd in February and July 1937 [5: 26-Feb-1937, 16-Jul-1937]
He was a patient at the Carnamah Private Hospital at 14 Robertson Street, Carnamah over the first week of August 1937 [5: 6-Aug-1937]
Financial Member of the Carnamah District Agricultural Society 1937-1941 [13]
Won 2nd prize for Rhode Island Red hen in the Poultry section of the Carnamah Agricultural Show in 1937 [5: 17-Sep-1937]
Vice President of the Billeroo Cricket Club in 1938 [0: image 03778]
Obtained the telephone in 1939 - was telephone number Carnamah-12U [60]
Vice President of the Carnamah Football Club in 1941 [0: image 04007]
Had an account with Carnamah blacksmith, wheelwright and general repairers Henry Parkin & Son in 1942 [53]
Arrested on 10:20 p.m. on 9 January 1943 for driving in Macpherson Street, Carnamah under the influence of alcohol [22]
     Two days later on 11 January 1943 he went before the Carnamah Police Court over the drink driving offence and was fined £5 [22]
He was like a father to "Jim" James Richard Diggery WEST [P6]
In February 1944 was unwell resulting in him being an inmate of the North Midlands District Hospital in Three Springs [5: 11-Feb-1944]
In early 1944 leased his farm to Cyril J. T. MARTYN and on 17 March 1944 held a clearing sale on his farm [0: image 04562] [60]
Sheep sold at the clearing sale were 369 Corriedale Cross ewes, 115 weaners and summer lambs and five Corriedale rams [0: image 04562]
Plant & Machinery sold at the sale included a 1937 model Oldsmobile 30cwt. truck, McCormick-Deering W30 tractor, [0: image 04562]
     10 foot Sunshine A.L. harvester, 12 disc Sungeneral plough, 16 run Massy Harris combine & 10 disc Sundercut plough [0: image 04562]
Other items sold at the clearing sale were a 200 gallon square tank, 100 gallon round tank, anvil, vyce, tools, [0: image 04562]
     two new steel wheels with lugs to fit a W30 tractor, medium sized Electrolux refrigerator & 30 Rhode Island Red fowls [0: image 04562]
After a period spent at the North Midlands District Hospital in Three Springs, he was back in Carnamah in August 1944 [12: 25-Aug-1944]
In his younger years as a seaman he'd lived a hard life and drank heavily, had arthritis and his life became a misery [P399]
     He was said to have been in a terrible way and was an inmate of the North Midlands District Hospital in Three Springs [P9]
     He left the hospital in his truck, [P9] otherwise said to have been his little Singer car, and called at the hotel for a drink [P399]
     After driving towards Carnamah he stopped near Prowaka and went and laid down on the railway line [P399]
     He was subsequently run over by a train and his body was found some time later, alongside a whisky bottle [P9]
     It was said that he left a note in his car that there was a drink left in the brandy bottle for whoever found him [P399]
     The train made a real mess of him and he was apparently identified by his right hand which had two thumbs [P399]
Died 20 March 1946 in Three Springs; buried at the Winchester Cemetery in Carnamah, Western Australia (Row D, Plot 5) [1]
Rev. ROSS officiated at his funeral, which was undertaken by Henry Parkin & Son of Carnamah at a cost of £35/19/- [1] [53]
He had promised to leave his farm to James R. D. WEST and it was chronicled in his will [P399] and owned by WEST by 1948 [3]


From The North Midland Times newspaper, Friday 22 March 1946:
Tragic Death at Carnamah
"The death occurred under tragic circumstances on Wednesday last of an old resident, of the Carnamah Road Board district, Carl Olson. Whilst on his way to Three Springs on Wednesday morning, Length-runner, J. Thompson, came across the mutilated remains of a human body on the railway line, approximately eight miles north of Carnamah. He immediately notified the station master at Three Springs who reported it to the police. Const. J. Mallet of Three Springs and J. Jenkinson of Carnamah immediately hastened to the scene of the tragedy. Their enquires elicited the fact that the remains were those of Carl Olsen, better known as Charlie Olsen. Deceased, who was a Swede, was 81 years of age, had been an inmate of the Three Springs District Hospital for some considerable time. The funeral took place at Winchester on Thursday, March 21, the Rev. Ross officiating at the graveside. The pall bearers were Messrs. W. S. Mitchell, F. R. Bryant, D. McDonald, B. Lampard, H. Fowler, H. Nineham."


From The West Australian newspaper, Wednesday 3 April 1936:
Deaths
"OLSON – A tribute to the memory of Carl, who died at Carnamah on March 27, 1946, esteemed employer and friend of Jim West."


From The Midlands Advocate newspaper, Friday 5 April 1946:
A Colourful Personality - Vale Carl Olson
    "Wander Writes: The death under tragic circumstances, on 20th March removes from the Carnamah district a colourful personality in the person of the late Carl, or he was better known, Charlie Olson, aged 80 years. The deceased gentleman had not enjoyed good health for some years past, but the nature of his death nevertheless came as a deep shock to those who had known him best.
     Born in the largest city of Gottland, a small island off the coast of Sweden, he was generally recognised as a native of Sweden. In my many interesting talks with Carl Olson he often referred to his home town which was surrounded on three sides by a great wal and on the fourth side by the sea. Like his Viking forefathers Carl took to the sea in his youth and had many varied and exciting experiences in the day of the old windjammers. He was at one stage a ship's carpenter, and the experience he grained in this direction stood him in good stead in later years when he was able to do all his own building.
     Leaving his ship in an Eastern States port, he, in his own words 'humped his bluey' to Ballarat, where he tried his luck at gold mining. Soon tired of chasing the elusive weight, he made his way to W.A., where he put his magnificent physique to good purpose on the wharf at Fremantle. Carl Olson was an old man when I first met him, but I have often thought what a wonderful physical specimen he must have been in his heyday. At an age when most men are considered to be well past their prime he took on wheat lumping contracts on the Wongan Hills line, and fro there migrated to the Coorow and Carnamah districts. With a gang of men under him he accepted large fencing contracts from the Midland Railway Company and altogether erected over 80 miles of fencing for that company.
     For a number of years he worked for Mr S. Rudduck, Snr., at Waddy Forest, before deciding to embark on farming operations on his own account, entering into a partnership with Mr W. S. Mitchell, they selected land at Waddy Forect, but this partnership was later dissolved when Mr Mitchell married. Moving to Carnamah he then took up a comparatively small but select holding at Billeroo, which he successfully farmed until about two years ago. Failing health and advancing years compelled him to leave his Billeroo property and since then he has spent practically all of his time as an inmate at the North Midlands District Hospital at Three Springs.
     A bachelor he had no relatives in Australia to my knowledge but had become very attached to Jim West, a  young man who had worked for him for a number of years. With the enlistment of Jim into the army, Carl Olson noticeably declined in health, and it was then that he decided to give up active farming and enter hospital. Affectionately termed 'Swogger' (the Swedish equivalent for brother) by his close friends, there are many who will mourn his passing. It is vale Carl Olson, and may his soul rest peacefully in the Valhalla which his Viking forefathers strived so hard to reach."


Reference:  Carnamah Historical Society & Museum and North Midlands Project, 'Carl Olson' in Biographical Dictionary of Coorow, Carnamah and Three Springs, retrieved 23 March 2019 from www.carnamah.com.au  [ sources ]




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