Clara May Speck Carlson

Honored by:Jane Carlson Arends
Brick location:C:29  map

Clara Carlson is a very special person in the lives of many people within her community, county, church, and family. She came to the Stanhope Marion Township Hamilton County, Iowa area as the bride of Chester Carlson. They will begin their 64th year together August 1995, living on the same farm for 62 years.

During Clara's youth she lived north of Ames, where North Grand Mall and Stephenson's Funeral Home are now located. Many happy days were spent with her sisters and brothers in the timber, which now is Inis Grove Park. Her father began working with Walter Groves after they moved from Iola, Kansas in 1912. Clara attended country school before graduating from Ames High School in 1926. Driving a horse and buggy or the family car, which she left at Mr. Groves' barn, she rode the trolley to her college classes. Clara's parents, Ed and Maude Speck, supported her as she ironed, cleaned, and prepared meals for college professors to finance her education. In May 1931 Clara May Speck graduated with a degree in Home Economics.

With her special warmth and organizational abilities, Clara was involved in the Stanhope community and church. Quietly and faithfully she was an active member and leader in the children and women's groups of the church, Farm Bureau Women, and Federated Women's Clubs at the local and district levels, Hamilton County Historical Society, the Hamilton County Mental Health Association, Extension Home Economics Board, and Marion Merry Maidens 4-H Club besides supporting the local school and public library. Her friends and co-workers could depend upon her to always give her best.

The center of her life has been her family; Chester, her husband, and their six children, Varlen, Joann Carlson Johnston, Richard, Jane Carlson Arends, Karen(deceased), and Chris; 19 grandchildren; and 17 great-grandchildren. These children surround her with their love, and many are also Iowa State graduates.

Special interests have included quilting, bird watching, and her flower garden. Travel in the States, Canada, and Europe, picnics, and visits with family and friends continue to provide many highlights to her life. Clara's home was always open to family, friends, and special visitors from Sweden, India, and Chicago. A circle of love continues to surround her; just as her love and kindness enclosed her family, friends, and community.

Clara May Speck Carlson, October 13, 1908.

Honored by her children: (Margaret) Jane Carlson Arends, (Clara) Joann Carlson Johnston, Richard Chester Carlson, Varlen Dean Carlson, and Chris James Carlson