Mary Ann Erickson

Charles Owen Sowder was born in Sweden and came to the United States when he was 11 years old. His family lived in Washburn, Wisconsin and there he met and married Alma Johnson. CO wanted to move West and in 1909 traveled looking at jobs. He was very good in math and had a reputation for honesty and could have worked in the gold fields but he liked Coeur d’Alene as it reminded him of Sweden and he could hike and fish in the mountains. The city was growing with the mining and lumber industries. He took a job as Kootenai County Auditor. Alma was pregnant and waited until Chuck was born and then she and Clarence, Art, Ellsworth, Dorothy, and Chuck traveled West on a train accompanied by CO’s brother. They had to walk a few miles when they arrived from the train to their house. CO’s mother lived in CDA too at some point but she spoke only Swedish and did not remain long. Two more boys were born in CDA. They lived first on the East side and their second home was at Fifth and Garden. There were 6 brothers and one girl. Another girl, Lillian, died as a child.

Clarence died of the flu in 1919 at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, DC. Art graduated from the U of Idaho in Forestry and worked in Washington, DC in the Dept of Forestry. He married Rose Prust and they had 3 children. His children still own a home on Hayden Lake. Ellsworth worked for JC Penney in Newport and he and his wife Idaho had two children. Dorothy completed two years at the U of Idaho and then married Robert Henry who practiced Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat in Colfax, WA They had 4 children In 1946 along with several other relatives and friends the Henrys bought Henry Point on Hayden Lake and their descendents still spend summers there. Kenneth worked and lived in CDA. Chuck worked for the CDA Press and was City Editor at one point. He married Liz Peters and they built a home on Hayden Lake. Ray worked for JC Penney in several locations and he and Bertha had two children.

Patricia Henry Norris

Alma and Charles O Sowder
Alma Johnson Sowder - 1918
Kenneth, Charles G., Dorothy & Raymond Sowder (left to right)
Alma and Charles O. with the four youngest boys
Charles O. and Alma Sowder
Complete Family photo - Clarence (far right) died at 19 in WWI
Alma Johnson Sowder at Hayden Lake - 1934
They lived on the west edge of Coeur d'Alene for the first few years
Charles O. Sowder's office - downtown Coeur d'Alene
Sowder Family around 1920 in Coeur d'Alene
Charles O., Alma and Charles G. Sowder
Charles G. & wife Elizabeth Peters Sowder
Another one of the picture holiday cards which Chuck would take with a timer on a tripod
One of their first Christmas photo cards - the home pictured still stands at the east end of Honeysuckle across from the park/beach