|Birth: ||Feb. 28, 1894|
|Death: ||Aug. 18, 1987|
[This biography was compiled by Kim Schvaneveldt using excerpts from the book Nephi James Brown--His Kindred and His Friends written by Nephi James Brown and published in 1963.]
Olga Marie Carlson Brown was the 5th child and 3rd daughter of John A. Carlson and Anna Lundstrom Carlson born at Logan, Cache, Utah, February 28, 1894. Olga was blessed and given her name April 5, 1894 by Bro. T.H. Thoresen.
When she was six years old, her parents moved to Smithfield. Her father took her to the little one-room school house for her first day of school; that evening she told him and her mother that when she grew up she was going to be a school teacher. All through her young life, Olga got children around her and played school, but if anyone else wanted to be the teacher she wouldn't play. She has always been a natural born leader--unafraid to act.
Olga was baptized March 11, 1902 by Bro. Peter Hansen and was confirmed a member of the Church that same day by Bro. Thomas Morgan.
Commencing when she was nine years old, she put in many long hard days thinning sugar beets for farmers and worked right along with many others who were older than she. The rows were long and the weather was warm; they had to crawl on their hands and knees; they were urged to work fast and the pay was very meager, but the discipline of such work strengthened their character. Olga was one of the champion beet-thinners in Smithfield; she also picked raspberries and other fruit and did a lot of weeding in the garden during her summer vacation-time. In spare time she loved to hike, and with her pals she roamed all over the hills east of Smithfield; she entered whole-heartedly into the games of youth; she was a fast runner, won lots of races, was an expert rope jumper, she played on a boy's baseball team, but she also did her share of the housework.
Olga liked Primary and Sunday School very much, and she started M.I.A. at the age of 12; she also helped teach Primary at that age. She loved school, and during most of her school years she had a perfect record of attendance. She graduated from the eighth grade in 1908 and was valedictorian of her class at the commencement exercises. She had one year of high school in Smithfield.
The Carlson family moved to Logan in 1909 when Olga was 15. She graduated from high school at the Brigham Young College in Logan in 1912 at the age of 18, having completed the regular normal courses. Olga then taught school in Logan for five years at the Woodruff Elementary school starting with the handsome salary of $40.00 a month and getting only a $5.00 a month increase each year. During these years she went to summer school at the Utah State Agricultural College. While in Logan she was a member of the Cache Stake Primary Board for seven years, and she was also a teacher in the Sunday School as well as a teacher in the Y.L.M.I.A.
In the summer of 1917, she went to summer school at the University of Utah and was there inspired and encouraged to return to school and work for a college degree at the U of U. In Salt Lake City she stayed with her mother's cousin Ellen Anderson, who let her have board and lodging for only $10.00 a month.
Olga graduated from the University of Utah with a Bachelor's degree in Education in June 1919. This she accomplished in only two years' actual attendance at the University. During that time she had taken 28 credit hours in each semester, 18 were ordinarily taken, and considered a full course. That was a great day for her when she got her diploma.
Olga worked during the summer of 1919 for Logan's Recreational Department on their play-grounds.
Olga was given a position as teacher in the Physical Education department at the Utah State Agricultural College at Logan; she remained in that position for three years and succeeded exceptionally well in that work. Dr. Elmer G. Peterson was President of the College at that time.
She was offered a better position as the supervisor of Physical Education in the Ogden City public schools; this she accepted. She had to visit and give instruction in all of the schools in Ogden, including the Ogden High School and four junior high schools; she held this position for three years and made a great many friends in Ogden.
During the summer of 1924, the Ogden Girl Scout Council asked her to direct their Summer Camp at Red Cliff in South Fork Canyon. It was there that Olga first met Miss Elsa Becker of New York, a member of the National Staff of Girl Scouts, who was giving a course of instruction on scouting at the University of Utah, and she brought 30 students to visit the Redcliff Camp. Miss Becker went on to California and to Hawaii; she returned to Ogden in the spring of 1925 and gave a course which Olga took. Miss Becker persuaded her to leave school teaching and take up Girl Scout work as a professional career. In June 1925, Olga went to New York and took a three weeks' course and the National camp. The National Director, Mrs. Jane Deeter Rippin, asked her to stay the remainder of the summer as a counselor at the National Girls Camp. In September Mrs. Rippin asked Olga to remain in New York and take training at the National Girl Scout Office; this she did for five months; it was an intensive study.
In February 1926, Olga accepted a position as Executive Director of the Salt Lake Council of Girl Scouts with headquarters at Salt Lake City, which position she held with marked success for four and a half years.
Pinar Camp was established on the Forest Reserve in Big Cottonwood Canyon. This camp was very primitive; no buildings; all tents, the dining room, kitchen, etc. were of course large tents, and most of the tents had board floors. Good spring water was piped into the camp. The food was prepared by a trained cook with the girls helping as much as they could. The encampment each summer was for a duration of from four to six weeks, with about 60-85 girl scouts in the camp at a time, with a new group of girls arriving and leaving each week.
Ever since the Pinar Camp days, Olga with a certain group of leaders and scouts that were in that camp, calling themselves Pinarites, have met at least once a year over a period of 30 years in some memorable get-togethers; laughing, reminiscing, and singing.
During May 1930, the Chairman of the National Field Division offered Olga a position on the National Staff of the Girl Scouts of America. She naturally accepted it; it was a real opportunity and promotion. She began her work by attending the National Training Camp, Edith Macy, at Pleasantville, New York. Thereafter, she was sent to various parts of the United States to promote girl scout work and to give training courses to leaders. She went to all parts of the United States giving these training courses; she organized Scout Councils and Committees, she spoke at high school girls' assemblies, gave courses in colleges to students who were prospective teachers, gave talks at men's service clubs, at women's clubs, and she took an active part in training at various summer camps in many states.
Five years on the National Staff of Girl Scouts slipped by crammed full of exciting, purposeful and highly beneficial experiences for her and for those with whom she associated. Then Olga obtained a thirteen months' leave of absence from the National Office for the purpose of making a trip around the world. She had an abundance of confidence and self reliance, for she planned to go on this world tour alone, paying her own way. The principal mode of travel was to be by ocean liners.
Olga's Trip Around the World
After making the necessary travel arrangements, on June 9, 1935 she sailed from New York on the big new French luxury liner, the Normandie, making its record-breaking maiden voyage, arriving at Le Havre, France five days later. The whirl of gaiety and sight-seeing in Paris attracted her attention for several days. Then to Stockholm; she wanted to be there to attend the great Swedish Mid-Summer Day Celebration on June 24th. She visited the Girl Scout camp in Sweden, then rode across Sweden on the Gota Caslan. Then to Oslo, Bergen, etc., in Norway. She sailed through the magnificent fjords of Norway, with their breath-taking scenery. She went to Lapland, first to Kiruna, then to Narvik; both in the land of the midnight sun. Then she sailed to North Ireland to the International Girl Scout and Girl Guide camp being held near Belfast.
Olga next traveled to the National Girl Scout camp in Romania. Then she went to Budapest in Hungary, the Prague in Czechoslovakia, to Vienna in Austria, to Bern, Interlaken, Zurich, etc., in Switzerland, to Berlin, Munich, Nuremburg, Hamburg, and Rothenberg in Germany, to Brussels in Belgium, to Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and the Hague in Holland, and to London and Liverpool.
In September, she returned to Sweden to settle down and visit in the land of her progenitors until after Christmas.
After Christmas, she crossed the North Sea--it was very rough. She visited in London a few days and then spent three weeks at Fox Lease, the National Training School for Girl Guides, located in a beautiful forest near London. Then to Belgium, Holland, France, and Germany enroute to Italy where she visited many historic points of interest in Rome, Florence, Genoa, Naples, etc., during a stay of two weeks. At Marseilles, France she boarded a French liner and sailed across the Mediterranean to Alexandria in Egypt, thence to Cairo.
From Cairo, Olga went to the El Giza pyramids. Olga rode on a camel around the pyramids, and she also saw the colossal silent Sphinx.
She traveled to Port Said where she saw a ship-load of Italian soldiers enroute to war with Ethiopia. She went across the Suez Canal and on to Palestine. It was a wonderful experience to visit the Holy Land.
By bus Olga went to Nazareth, Jericho, Cana, Tiberius, Nablus, Zebulon, Jaffa, along the shores of the Sea of Galilee, along the banks of the Jordan River to the spot claimed to be the place where John the Baptist baptized the Savior, and she saw the mountains of Gilead. She took a dip in the Dead Sea, then went to Haifa and the rapidly growing city of Tel Aviv.
She sailed from Tel Aviv to Port Said where she boarded a large ship and sailed through the Suez Canal and out into the open waters of the Red Sea, said to be the hottest body of water on earth. They anchored at Djibouti in French Somaliland in East Africa, then sailed through the Gulf of Aden and across the Arabian Sea to a part of the Indian Ocean to the Island of Ceylon, where she took a six-day bus trip with 40 Ceylonese-Indian girls and women around the island. Olga visited Colombo, the capitol, and Panadura, Kirinda, Kandy, Polonnaruwa, Kelaniya, Hambantota, and Anuradhapura in Ceylon, then she went to the city of Madura in India.
She arrived in Madura by train at 1:00 am and was astounded as she stepped off the train to see hundreds of people stretched out on straw mats on the station platform all sound asleep. The principal point of interest is the great Hindu Temple.
Olga embarked at Colombo to continue her long trip. They sailed out into the Indian Ocean. They skirted Sumatra and Malaya, then disembarked at Singapore for about three days. Then they sailed past Borneo and up into the South China Sea, stopping at Saigon in Vietnam for two or three days. Next their ship docked at Hong Kong for several days. She sailed past the island of Formosa and up into the East China Sea to the great city of Shanghai, the largest city in China. After about a week's stay, Olga left Shanghai by train to travel inland to Peiping, the capitol of China. Right soon the train was going along the banks of the mighty Yangtze. After doing considerable shopping in Peiping at unheard of low prices, Olga went to Mukden in Manchuria, and from there to Seoul and Keidjo in Korea.
From Korea, she went to Japan. Olga visited the busy city of Osaka, and she stayed in Kobe. Among Olga's memorable experiences was a trip to Nikko, a hundred miles out of Tokyo; it is indeed one of the beauty spots of the entire Orient with the wondrous beauty of its gorgeous shrines and temples, superb natural surroundings, towering mountains, deep gorges, waterfalls and mountain lakes.
Olga sailed from Yokohama on the steamship President Cleveland bound for the Hawaiian Islands, the "Paradise of the Pacific," and landed in Honolulu nine days later. She had a very pleasant stay on the island of Oahu and visited many of the places of interest shown to tourists in those days.
She left Honolulu on the SS President Coolidge, and after six days sailing she arrived at San Francisco, thirteen months after she had started from New York City on her trip around the world. During her trip, Olga spent a total of 55 days on the water.
She went to Logan where she had a joyous reunion with her relatives and friends. She of course had written them real often all along the way while on her long journey. She only had time to give a brief account of her world travels to her folks, then she hurried on to New York City to again take up her duties on the National Staff on the Girl Scouts of America. This was toward the latter part of July 1936.
Sixteen months of intensive, highly purposeful work among a great many scout leaders in many Eastern cities followed her trip abroad.
Then came that never-to-be-forgotten day, December 7, 1937, the day Olga Carlson met Nephi James Brown in a travelogue lecture of her world tour she gave at the Special Interest class of the M.I.A at the Ogden Fifth Ward. A party after the lecture had been pre-arranged by their good friends Lamont and Alma J. Knapp primarily for Nephi to become better acquainted with Olga.
After a brief courtship with many automobile rides, a few dances, and many dinners out, and a long-distance relationship while Olga was still working in New York, they were married June 16, 1938 in the Salt Lake Temple for time and for all eternity by Bro. Stephen L. Chipman, the President of the Temple. After a nearby brief honeymoon, Nephi and Olga moved into Nephi's home at 2550 Monroe Blvd, Ogden, Utah. Nephi's daughters Florence and Evelyn lived with them.
After Olga married Nephi, she worked for the Ogden Council of Girl Scouts for a year. She worked as Field Director for the Salt Lake City Girl Scout Council for one year. She taught school in the grade schools in Salt Lake City for nine years at the following schools: the Wasatch, the Ensign and the Washington, and at the East High School she taught the subject of physiology for one year.
Olga was a member of the Primary General Board for 22½ years.
Nephi's Tribute to Olga
She spent a lot of time helping with our family reunions and holiday festivities.
Each year at Christmas time for 35 years Olga has, with the exception of 1960, the year she met with a terrible auto accident, made an average of from 60 to 75 pounds of delicious home-made chocolates and gave them all away to relatives and friends except just a few she saved for home use.
Olga was also a good "farmerette" and over the years has done a lot of outdoor work in and around the yard, garden and orchard. Over the years, Olga gave away a great amount of fruit, berries, and vegetables from the family orchard and garden to friends and relatives.
Olga always had the outstanding ability to make and to keep friends. She thought more of their interests than of her own; she was never too busy to please someone else, or to do something for them; she went out of her way and rearranged her own affairs to find time to do a favor for someone. She was thoroughly unselfish and delighted in making others happy. She spent time visiting the sick and elderly. Olga was highly efficient, capable, forceful, enthusiastic, and thoroughly likeable in every way; absolutely dependable; always on time for appointments; with her a promise is a sacred honor.
Over the years, Olga had a tremendous capacity for work, and was blessed with a marvelous degree of confidence and self reliance. She could concentrate on a given subject and master it. Olga was friendly, courteous and kind, and she had a subdued little ripple of laughter that was fascinating. Her conversation was always refreshing and helpful; she extolled the virtues of others. She was a good listener and kept her own accomplishments in the background. She was a good judge of human nature and could readily appraise the abilities and character of young people, and older ones for that matter.
Nephi James Brown died January 9, 1965. Nephi and Olga had been married 26½ years.
After Nephi passed away, Olga and Mayme took several trips together--one notable trip they took together was to Bryce and Zion National Parks. Another time Olga was spending the winter in Scottsdale, Arizona, and had rented an apartment there. She called Mayme and invited her to come down and spend a week or so with her. They had a wonderful time together, free as two birds to explore and enjoy the wonders of sunny Arizona in the wintertime.
It is vividly apparent that Olga and Mayme were very close, and important to each other throughout their lives. Olga and Mayme were constantly visiting each other--either in Logan or in Olga's big apartment on First Avenue and State Street in Salt Lake. On these occasions they always played Aggravation at least once a day. Mayme always got any of the family who visited into this game. It was a favorite with them to take little car trips to Smithfield, Logan Canyon, or the cemetery to visit Dale's and other's graves. They always sang together on these trips--in fact on one occasion they got so engrossed in their singing in the cemetery, they lost track of time and found themselves locked in. It took a little time and effort to be rescued, but they never ceased to have a good laugh as they looked back on it.
Olga and Mayme began to be a health food advocates. At one time Olga and Mayme went together to a Health Ranch in California where they learned a lot about the subject.
Olga never had children; but she understood children very well as evidenced by her teaching and Girl Scouting careers. She had a great influence on many children throughout the country. Moreover, the Carlson cousins, including the Allreds, Schvaneveldts, Tuellers, Garns, and Tidwells, would tell that Aunt Olga had an important impact on their lives.
Olga died August 18, 1987 at the age of 93.
John August Carlson (1859 - 1944)
Anna Britta Lundstrom Carlson (1866 - 1947)
Nephi James Brown (1887 - 1965)*
Hilda Amelia Carlson Allred (1887 - 1969)*
Anna Elvera Carlson (1889 - 1973)*
John Wilford Carlson (1892 - 1977)*
Carl Hyrum Carlson (1892 - 1935)*
Olga Marie Carlson Brown (1894 - 1987)
Mamie Eveleen Carlson Schvaneveldt (1897 - 1987)*
Elva Geneva Carlson Tueller (1900 - 1984)*
Ada Lorraine Carlson Garn (1904 - 1994)*
Alvin Gustav Carlson (1907 - 1958)*
Venice Lucille Carlson Tidwell (1911 - 1984)*
Ben Lomond Cemetery
Created by: Mawahlquist
Record added: May 29, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 52984897