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Charles Leroy Enwall
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Birth: May 2, 1875
Marion County
Iowa, USA
Death: Oct. 14, 1951
Denver County
Colorado, USA

***My Beloved Grandfather***

Charles was the son of LOUIS (or LEWIS), and CAROLINE ENWALL. Both of his parents immigrated to this country from Sweden abt. 1850. He was born 02 May, 1875, in Columbia, Marion County, Iowa. Charles, also known as "Pike" to many of his friends, recollected some of his early life in Nebraska to his daughter-in-law some years later.

Here is an excerpt of his writings ranging from 1878 to 1922:

"Strange as it may seem, I recall when I was only 3 years old that one day I found a common pin in the yard and rushed to the house to give it to my mother and my knock on the door brought her, and when I held it up for her to see, she just said "O Pit" which was a word she used when she wasn't pleased with anything. That was when we lived on a farm 2 miles east of Clay Center, Nebraska, in 1878. Then for a couple or 3 years things were a blank. About 1881, when we moved onto another farm 3 miles north west of Edgar, Nebraska, we had a terrible blizzard that lasted for three days and cast drifts of snow 10 feet high. Our only articles of food was milk and bread as the storm struck the day mother was to go to town for groceries. The farm was 160 acres of prairie and a dug out was built. A dug out I might say was partly dug out on the side of a hill and the rest was sod. The rear end lacked only about 3 feet of being above ground and a small window was in that end. Only one large room was about 16 x 30 feet and 2 bedrooms were made by hanging plain carpet for the partitions. The mattresses on the beds filled with straw, which when new were not bad but later were not so comfortable when the straw broke up in small pieces. New straw was put in each year after threshing the wheat. My bed was what we called a trundle bed and slid under the regular bed. Our small oil lamp was our lighting system and a small 4 lidded cook stove was our heat. My job in winter was to carry in corn stalks and pile in one corner and then to break them up and feed the stove which was an almost continuous job each evening. Although we had eggs we seldom ate any only on Easter morning when mother would let us eat all we wanted. I ate 13 for breakfast once and never cared much for eggs after that. When 6 years of age in 1881, I started to county school and walked 2 1/2 miles to and from each day and my main lunch was bread and butter. This went on for about 5 years and I managed to be able to add a little and was in the second reader when we moved to Fairfield in 1886. Despite my young years I did a lot of hard work such as husking corn as well as milking 2 cows and herding them in the corn fields after the corn was husked in the fall. I only went to school in the spring and one month in the fall and all because I had no shoes and went barefoot. I got one pair of buckle shoes late each fall. We had no cars in those days but we kids rode to town about twice or three times a year sitting in the bottom of a wagon box which jolted us some. My 4th of July allowance was 5 cents which I either spent for peanuts or a package of fire crackers. For Christmas, the same, and candy is what I bought. We had no coal but burned corn stalks the year round and each fall the older boys would hitch a horse to each end of a 32 ft. railroad rail & break down the stalks and my job was to pick them up and put them in piles. At home we would have five or six rows of these stalks piled to 6 ft. high & 5 ft. long for our years fuel supply. It so happened that one Christmas I was rich. After picking corn was over I went in to the field and occasionally found a nubbin of corn & did get about 100 lbs. in a weeks work. This corn brought 30 cents at a feed store in Edgar. This 160 acre farm father bought for $1000 and paid $500 down but after seven years all he could pay was the interest so he sold it for $1000 and paid the mortgage & bought a house in Farifield for the other $500 & we moved there in 1886.
My first days in a town school were exciting as the boys of my age called me a "country John" and tried to get me to fight them. I did fairly well with my lessons but one boy seemed to get all the examples in arithmetic and I finally discovered he took his books home & his dad was an ex-school teacher so no wonder. Well I started taking my books home and I did much better. In 1887 I saw my first big circus-Barnums and rode the first train to Hastings. In 1888 I started learning the printers trade and set type by hand and after a year at that I still got $1.00 a week. In 1889 my break came. I got a job in the depot carrying Western Union messages & mail to & from the P.O. to the depot. For this I got $13 a month, 30 days a month & from 6:30 am till 8 pm. I learned telegraphy well enough that I sent several messages for the regular operator. The Supt. of the K.C.&O had his office in the depot and he being a bachelor and a hard drinker he always had a case of beer on hand and I got my first drink of beer from him & he also got me to smoking cigars and chewing tobacco.
He took a liking to me and would give me a $1.00 tip now and then to run an errand for him & he took me on several trips on the railroad with him and one night I'll always remember. A big political meeting was held in Grand Island and they ran a special train Fairfield to Grand Island and of course he took me along. The train arrived OK and he took me and the train crew down to a saloon & did we all get drunk. Plenty to eat too. The Engineer an old Irishman got so bad they held the train up from 11:30 p.m. the time scheduled to start back, till 4 a.m. when the Engineer was fit to run the engine. Nothing eventful happened for a year till 1892 when the Supt. persuaded me to go to Lincoln to learn lithographing in the Nebraska State Journal office but as they would only give me $2.00 a week I couldn't live on that but I got a job in the biggest hotel in Lincoln running the elevator at $10.00 a month & board. I stayed with the job for a week and went to work in another hotel as call boy. A big opera company put up there & myself and a girl each got tickets free so we went & I saw my first opera.
Then I got homesick & went back to Fairfield with a little big town experience. Then I started to learn the barber trade with a barber who had a full beard-think of that. After about 9 months he got drunk one night and walked out the back door with the shop full of customers. I cut a couple of hair cuts & shaved the rest. The next year I went to work in a cigar factory & worked about a year at that & got good enough making cigars I went to Hastings & worked one winter. Got $4.50 per week. In 1897 I got a job painting for the St. J & G railroad & I worked on crossing signs & depots from Hastings to St. Jo Missouri. The next year I went to Shickley Nebraska and painted & hung paper and in the fall of 1899 went to Hastings & got a job as night clerk in a hotel for two months & then went to Lincoln & worked in a dairy for a week & then went north about 20 miles & shucked corn & then back to Fairfield. In 1900 I went to Hastings and started work for Haynes Bros painting and worked for them more or less till 1911 when we moved to Mason City Nebraska. Mom and I were married in 1904 & Hazel was born in 1905. I was then working in the Old Trusty Incubator factory at Clay Center and about 8 o'clock one morning I got a phone call from Mom's dad at Blue Hill and all he said was "It's a girl-come at once." I hired a livery rig & drove to Fairfield & hired another there for Blue Hill. Arrived at about 4:30 p.m. Made the 39 miles in about 8 hours. Total cost $3.00. Not many cars in those days. Moved to Orleans from Hastings in 1906 and Osa was born next year. Then in 1909 I was doing some sign work in Blue Hill for a brewery firm and got a phone call at 8 p.m. to come to Hastings at once. Well I hired an old Oldsmobile and the fellow who took me to Hastings stepped on the gas all the way and we made the trip - 21 miles in one hour and 20 minutes. Not bad. Frank was born the next morning. In 1911 after Ivan was born we moved to Mason City Nebraska where we lived until 1917. Edson, Lester and Louis were born there. But I was somewhat in the spotlight in Mason City as I sang solos in the movie theater and also sung in the church choir with the best singers in town & sang several solos there too. Ahem!
In 1918 we moved back to Hastings & I worked a year for Haynes Bros again. Then I started a sign shop of my own and made some good money at times. The next year I started work in the Empress Movie theater painting signs and made $130 a month for about 3 hours work each day. Then I worked about a year in another movie house at the same job. However in between these jobs I worked in the Kerr Opera house on the stage and my job was to help the actresses dress. Don't laugh. They had special made clothes & my job was to button their dresses in the back. Mom never knew this however. In 1919 and 1920 we lived on an 8 acre tract in South Hastings. Had two cows, sold milk. Had two hogs and I did quite a bit of gardening. Raised about a 1/2 acre of radishes & lettuce & sold a lot of them in town. Then I had one acre of seed onions and raised about 160 bushels of them. Sold some for $4.00 per bushel and also raised about 1/4 acre of pop corn. Sold it for 5c a pound. In 1922 we went to the beet fields at McGrew for one year and then back to Juniata and Fairfield."

Charles worked at many trades, but his vocation was that of a painter and decorator.

On October 31, 1904, he was married to HARRIET (HATTIE) MAE MAGNER, in Hastings, Nebraska. To this union, 11 children were born: HAZEL FAYE, OSA MAE (Gwen Lockwood's mother), FRANKLIN LEROY, IVAN EDWARD, LOUIS EMERSON, EDSON WOODROW, LESTER LLOYD, CHARLES, GILBERT DALE, BETTY MARIE, and, SHIRLEY LEE.
In 1928, he and his family moved to Ovid, Colorado, where he was employed by the Great Western Sugar Company for approximately ten years, when ill health forced him to retire. The family then moved to Denver where they remained for about a year and a half; then returned to Ovid. In 1939, they moved to Littleton, Colorado, where he resided until his death. In late years, he had throat cancer and had his larynx box removed and could not talk except through a hole that had been made which he kept covered when not speaking. He kept busy by carrying on extensive correspondence, writing letters and poems to the Denver Post, and tinkering with old clocks. He would take them apart and put them in good working order before presenting them to friends.

He is found on the 1900 census in Hastings, Adams County, NE, found on the census under the name of Charles L. ENWALD, not ENWALL, born in May of 1875 in Iowa, age 25, both parents from Sweden, married to JENNIE, age 20. She was born in New York, parents were from Wales. Number of years married, zero. Charles' occupation is a painter.

Their marriage license states that Jennie's maiden name was ROBERTS. Charles and Jennie were married 2 May, 1900. Their divorce was granted 25 July 1903. There was one child: MILDRED F. ENWALL. Jennie was granted custody of Mildred and her maiden name JENNIE ROBERTS was restored.

Note: It is believed that no one in the family of Charles and Hattie knew about a prior marriage or of the child of Charles and Jennie.

The next census, in 1910, he is found again in Hastings, Adams County, NE, still found under the last name ENWALD, married to HARRIET (HATTIE) MAE MAGNER, with 3 children, HAZEL, OSA, and FRANK. The census shows that he was married twice. Charles and Harriet were married on 31 Octorber, 1904, in Hastings, Adams County, NE. No occupation required on this census.

They are found in the 1920 census, still in Hastings, but now under the name of ENWALL, with 4 more children, IVAN, EDSON, LESTER, and CHARLES. The elder Charles' occupation is a sign painter.

They are found in the 1930 census in Ovid, Sedgwick County, CO, still under the name of ENWALL, with 3 more children, GILBERT, BETTY, and SHIRLEY. Charles' occupation is a house painter.

There were 11 children. Nine reached adulthood. Louis Emerson died before he was 2, and Gilbert Dale died when he was 16.

It is not known why there were two spellings of the last name in 1900 and 1910 census.

The top photo is of Charles Leroy Enwall. Click on the family photo for names. There is another photo of Charles not showing so click to view all images and then click on it to read the caption.

Please refer to Charles' spouse Harriet Mae Magner Enwall's link on this page to see a photo of the six Enwall boys on her page.

-From the Gwen Lockwood Family History Collection
Family links: 
  Louis Enwall (1827 - 1910)
  Karolina Johnson Enwall (1835 - 1909)
  Harriet Mae Magner Enwall (1884 - 1954)*
  Hazel Faye Enwall Roberts (1905 - 1968)*
  Osa Mae Enwall Lockwood (1907 - 1993)*
  Franklin Leroy Enwall (1909 - 1972)*
  Ivan Edward Enwall (1911 - 1987)*
  Louis Emerson Enwall (1912 - 1914)*
  Edson Woodrow Enwall (1915 - 1993)*
  Lester Lloyd Enwall (1917 - 1964)*
  Charles Leroy Enwall (1919 - 1971)*
  Gilbert Dale Enwall (1921 - 1937)*
  Betty Marie Enwall Emerson (1924 - 2004)*
  Shirley Lee Enwall Adcock (1926 - 1996)*
  Mary Janette Enwall (1855 - 1857)*
  Charlotte Josephine Enwall (1857 - 1876)*
  Emily Clarissa Enwall Vladyka (1859 - 1947)*
  Louis Elmer Enwall (1862 - 1915)*
  John Arnold Enwall (1864 - 1866)*
  Frank Renholt Enwall (1866 - 1899)*
  Harry Edward Enwall (1869 - 1956)*
  Selma Amelia Enwall Carroll (1871 - 1963)*
  Charles Leroy Enwall (1875 - 1951)
  Letah Delphine Enwall Kalasek (1879 - 1927)*
*Calculated relationship
Ovid Cemetery
Sedgwick County
Colorado, USA
Created by: Gwen Lockwood
Record added: Apr 17, 2004
Find A Grave Memorial# 8647723
Charles Leroy Enwall
Added by: Gwen Lockwood
Charles Leroy Enwall
Added by: Patty Gessley Ament
Charles Leroy Enwall
Added by: Gwen Lockwood
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- Angel of Flowers
 Added: Jun. 2, 2017

- Linda & Tom Jackson
 Added: Mar. 10, 2017
WOW> Every kid in America should have to read this obituary. Thank you for sharing this story with us. RIP. Yours is a true story of immigrants making a better life in America. God bless and keep your descendants. Love the pictures.
- Nora Garner
 Added: Nov. 29, 2016
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