Our story is of immigrants coming to a new land and over generations become a part of the melting pot - which is the American experience. As you will read below, the family began in America as Swedish immigrants. By the fourth generation, the family included: Swedish; Danish; Finnish; Dutch; French; Irish; British; and Spanish in it's ancestral heritage. Now as the fifth generation are in ownership, the family includes: British; Swedish; Italian; Dutch; Norwegian; French; Danish; Spanish; Irish; Finnish; Romanian; Persian; and Georgian in it's ancestral heritage.
Our story begins in 1863, with the birth of August Gustav Carlsson in Bareberg, Sweden. At an early age he decided that he wanted to immigrate to America. While working on a great estate in Germany, in order to save the funds needed to travel to America, August Gustav Carlsson met Nata Charlotta Andersdotter. She was working in Germany to make the same move. In 1884, they were married in Denmark. August and Charlotta with their young family were finally able to save the necessary funds nine years later for their voyage on the SS Bohemia of the Scandia Line.
March 6, 1893, marks the arrival of the Carlson family to America.
Harry F Carlson was born in the Swedish enclave of Rockford Illinois' southeast side on February 7, 1903. The ninth child of ten siblings, he was soon busy with school, household chores, attending 1st Covenant Church, and helping his father as a janitor at the Superior Furniture Company.
Harry F Carlson met Selma Nyquist in the 1920's through the friendship with Harry's younger sister, Myrtle. Selma worked as a maid at a large home on National Avenue, at the same time Myrtle worked as a maid in a home next door. The girls became fast friends. Upon learning that each one had a brother in need of a mate, they decided to plan a double blind date. The rest is history, Harry married Selma and Myrtle married Martin.
Harry F Carlson was a man who devoted himself to his God and his family. He was by all accounts an exceptional service provider, contracting his services in cleaning, cooking, and as a handy man at an early age. Harry was also a farmer, and the manager of General Stores at the JL Case Company.
Harry F Carlson was a man of faith, he was very involved in sharing his belief in Jesus Christ. This heartfelt belief led him to speak to individuals and groups at any opportunity about his Savior. Harry was a charter member of Rockford First Assembly of God Church and active in the Salvation Army as well as many other Christian groups throughout the area.
Harry F Carlson loved his wife, Selma, and he cherished their four boys: Rodney, Marvin, Wayne, and Gerald. As a devoted family man, he enjoyed connecting with the extended Swedish relatives at get-togethers throughout the area, including the yearly Carlson reunion in Belvidere. As a lifelong resident of Rockford, Illinois, he loved meeting with friends at church or at the meet & eats held at different locations.
Harry F Carlson was the inspiration and the support for three sons and a grandson owning and operating service companies in Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Tennessee, and Wisconsin.
The Harry F Carlson Company dates it's roots back to 1924 with Harry contracting out his services and Selma working as a maid. Over the years, a variety of companies and organizations have been the keepers of the flame - the family service business. Gerald, the youngest, was the first to formally own and operate an incorporated service company in 1956 which was named Sani-Clean of Rockford. During the 1960's and 1970's, until his timely death at the age of 38, Sani-Clean of Rockford was the premier service company in the Rockford area. Marvin joined the 'family business' in 1961 by owning and operating what became MC Office Cleaning Services. MC became the premier service company in Winnebago county during the late 1970's and 1980's. Wayne, with his wife Joy, became a part of the 'family business' in the 1980's and 1990's while living in Florida.
Since its establishment, the various Carlson Companies, owned and operated by different branches of the Carlson family, have had offices in Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Tennessee, and Wisconsin, under the names of Sani-Clean of Rockford Inc, MC Office Cleaning Services, Carlson Industries Inc, and JP Clark Services Inc.
Today, the Harry F Carlson Company LLC is owned and operated by the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of Harry & Selma Carlson. The present Carlson ownership have been in the service business for over 40 years.
CARLSON HISTORY...FIRST AMERICAN GENERATION.
Marvin Carlson with a star empolyee.
Jerry Carlson with a new carpet shampooing system.
Selma Carlson with the Carlson Maids.
Harry F Carlson with the first 'company' car.
Research into the family trees of the 5th generation Carlson family owners, which included DNA testing, has revealed that the Carlson family ancestors were Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, and Finnish. As our research and testing shows: the first generation of Carlson immigrants were 100% Swedish; the 2nd generation Carlson's were 100% Swedish; the 3rd generation Carlson's were 100% Swedish; the 4th generation Carlson's were 50% Swedish, 7% Danish, and .5% Finnish; the 5th generation Carlson's are 25% Swedish, 5.5% Norwegian, 3.5% Danish, and .75% Finnish.
CARLSON...the friendliest, most trustworthy service company in the stateline area...period!
CARLSON. BEST SERVICE. BEST PRICE. Of course, it's our Scandinavian Heritage!