The Hotvedt family home in Eau Claire as illustrated by Clarence on the family tree.
Editor's Note: Minor liberties have been taken in presenting his writings. Some editing was done to keep events in a more chronological order as he occasionally drifted off topic. Readers will notice he wasn’t much concerned with punctuation. This was left ‘as is’ to maintain the integrity of his writings.
Clarence's Story Begins Here In His Own Words
In writing this account, it is the intent, besides just telling of my life, to also bring out through my experiences and observations, the vast changes that have taken place in the mode of living that have taken place in my lifetime to date, from the horse and buggy days to the placing of man on the moon.
I will tell of many experiences in my life, sad or joyous as the case may be; where I failed and where I succeeded; where I used good judgment and where I used poor judgment. Who knows, maybe you who read this may derive a lesson or two that you just might profit by.
On April 16, 1900, very near the start of the eventful 20th century the air was rent with the squalls of a new-born babe who was to become the hero of this story; one Clarence Hotvedt. The scene was an old eight-room house on East Grand Avenue in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.
I was born the seventh of ten children. My mother Maren Johanna Wenaas was born in the year 1865 in Ridgway County, Wisconsin, the daughter of Norwegian parents, both born in Norway. My father, Charles Narve Hotvedt, was born in Kongsberg, Norway in 1858 and moved to America in 1875 at the age of seventeen along with the great immigration waves from Europe which occurred in those days.
His childhood home in Eau Claire.
Family photo of parents and siblings and a sketch of that picture drawn by Clarence.
I graduated from high school in 1919 and immediately got a job with the Wisconsin Bell Telephone Co. I felt mighty proud when I walked up to the railroad ticket agent and bought my ticket to Hudson, Wis., where I was to start working. I started as a groundman or “grunt” as we were called. Worked all over our Wisconsin territory – Merrill, Merillan, Menominee, Chippewa Falls, Elk Mound, Sheboygan, Kewaunee, Wisconsin Rapids, Black River Falls and elsewhere. The most I ever made was $100 per month plus expenses as a lineman.
Clarence's telephone gang. He's front row, fourth from the left (with straw hat). His brother Chris is front row,
third from the right. It's not known if Chris worked on the crew or if he just posed in the picture.
So, after my boyhood jobs, caddying, and working at the telephone co., I had saved up about $600 to go to the University on which I think was pretty good in those days.
Editor's note: Clarence began drawing and painting at an early age. Below are a few items
provided by relatives and sketches from his senior high school year book.
Two watercolors he did at age 15.
A sketch of his childhood home and its living room drawn at age 16.
Right: A few examples of the sketches he did in the high school yearbook.
Below: His cover drawing for the 1918 "Kodak," his high school's