Charles L. Locke's life began on 12 March 1858 at Lynn, Randolph, Indiana. His parents were William F. Locke and his wife, Mary Jane Robbins. He was the fifth child in a family of eight children. He is listed on the census records for 1860 and 1870 with his parents, at Washington, Randolph, Indiana. Randolph County is located on the east border of the state next to Ohio.
Ellendale, founded in 1882, was the county seat for the new Dickey county that was organized in 1881 in the Dakota Territory. On 15 April 1883, Charles L. Locke married Mittie Duffy at Ellendale. Their marriage certificate lists his name as Carl L. Locke of Ellendale; hers, Miss Mittie A. B. Duffy of Ellendale. Dakota Territory was at the end of the "Dakota Boom" of the 1870's. Much of this growth was due to the expansion of railroads, especially the Northern Pacific Railroad whose main offices were in Minnesota. Wheat was the main crop in the Dakota Territory. During the 1880's as the price of wheat dropped and the area experienced a drought, the economy declined. It is possible that C. L. and Mittie thought to re-locate and then changed their minds and returned to Minneapolis.
Their children were John Henry, born 6 January 1884 and Joel Shirley, born on 4 November 1886; both at Minneapolis, Hennepin, Minnesota. Their next child, a girl named Jessie Alice, was born on 11 November 1888, and died on 9 December 1889 at Minneapolis. A newspaper article of the time said,
"The youngest and only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. C. L. Locke passed away on Monday evening, December 9, 1889, after a short illness. This being the first death in the family, it comes doubly hard and they have the sympathy of their many friends in this hour of trial. The link is severed and the chain is broken but God's will be done. Dec. 18th." (Corinna Cream)In Minneapolis City Directories, C. L. Locke first appeared in 1880/1881, "Carl Locke, painter, b 1212 6th Ave N." It was the same for 1881/1882. In 1882/1883, he was listed as, "Carl L. Locke, letter carrier, b 629 N 13th." In 1883/1884, "Carl Lock, laborer, b Jackson N 3rd Ave NE." There was no entry for 1884/1885. In 1885/1886, 'C. L. Locke, millwright, r 3200 Hennepin Ave." In 1886-1887, "Carl L. Locke, clk PO, r 3200 Hennepin Ave." In 1888/1889, "C. L. Locke, health inspector eighth ward, r 3207 Holmes Ave." There were no entries after 1890. It appears that he did a little bit of everything, but was always employed during those years.
C. L. Locke was a Mason. "Brother Charles L. Locke petitioned Khurum Lodge No. 112 A. F. & A. M. for membership and was elected to receive his Degrees in Masonry. This he did, being Initiated an Entered Apprentice on April 13, 1888, Passed to the Fellow Craft Degree on May 4th, 1888; and Raised to the Degree of a Master Mason on May 18, 1888. On the date of his Master Mason Degree he made the following entry in our Lodge Register- C. L. Locke (his signature), age 30 year, born at Millwright, Indiana, Present residence, Minneapolis, Minnesota."
On 10 January 1891, C. L. and Mittie had a third son, Marion Damon, born at Annandale, Wright, Minnesota. Wright County was the home of Mittie's sister, Gert, who had her first child there just four months before Mittie gave birth to Marion. Annandale is about sixty miles NW of Minneapolis.
On 10 November 1894, C. L. received a letter from the Republican Campaign Committee, "In behalf of the Republican Campaign Committee I wish to thank you for the effective speeches which you made at various Republican Meetings, held in this City and County, during the past Campaign, and for your unselfish efforts in behalf of the success of our Party." From this little letter we know that he was a Republican and that he actively supported his political party.
Tragedy struck the family on 27 September 1899, when Mittie died of pulmonary tuberculosis at the young age of 36. She died at home at 811 West 31st Street. She had been sick for about four months, and had lived in Minneapolis all of her life. She was buried at Oak Hill Cemetery, Richfield, Hennepin, Minnesota. In the Minneapolis Tribune on 28 September 1899, page 11,
"LOCKE--In this city, September 27, 1899, Mrs. Charles L. Locke, aged 36 years. Funeral Friday at 2 p.m. from residence, 411 Thirty-first Street West."C. L. was still living in Minneapolis on the 1900 census--
Chas. L. Locke, lodger, W, M, born Mar 1858, age 42, widow, born in Indiana, father born in North Carolina, mother born in New Jersey, contractor & builder.John, his oldest son, age 16, was living with Gertie and her husband, Henry Scheyer at Corinna, Wright, Minnesota. John was handicapped, and spent a good part of his life living with Gertie. Joel, age 12 and our ancestor, was at the Minnesota State Training School at Goodhue, Red Wing, Minnesota, about 54 miles SE of Minneapolis. We can assume that Marion, the youngest, was also living with family elsewhere. It had to be a difficult time for the family, being split up like they were. In all his later years, he never remarried.
By 1910, C. L. had made the move to the west coast. He was living in West Roseburg, Douglas, Oregon, and working as a painter. In 1920, he was living with his son, Joel, in Portland, Multnomah, Oregon. He is pictured with Joel's two young sons, our ancestor Ray, and baby David. On the 1930 U. S. Census, he was living next door to another son, Marion, at Eugene, Lane, Oregon.
Charles L. Locke died at Eugene, on 28 April 1941. He was 83 years old. His usual occupation on the death certificate was listed as sign painter and paper hanger. The information was taken from the Lane county public welfare records. He was buried at Mt. Calvary Cemetery. "Funeral services for Charles L. Locke will be held from the St. Mary's Catholic Church Friday at 8 a.m. with interment in the Mt. Calvary Cemetery. The Veatch Chapel is in charge."