Carl Harstrom

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Carl Axel Harstrom
16th Mayor of Norwalk, Connecticut
In office
October 13, 1915[1] – 1917
Preceded by Francis Irwin Burnell
Succeeded by Jeremiah Donovan
Personal details
Born (1863-12-20)December 20, 1863[2]
Västerås, Sweden[2]
Died January 24, 1926(1926-01-24) (aged 62)[3]
Norwalk, Connecticut[3]
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Lee Selden Partridge[2](d . August 27, 1926)[3]
Children Frances (b. 1890), Carl Eric (b. 1892)[2]
Residence Norwalk, Connecticut
Alma mater Peekskill Military Academy (1880)
Hobart College (A.B., 1886; M.A., 1889)[4]
Yale College (1899, PhD.)[2]
Occupation educator
Religion Episcopalian[2][5]

Carl Axel Harstrom (December 20, 1863 – January 24, 1926) was an American educator, and one term Republican mayor of Norwalk, Connecticut from 1915 to 1917.

Early life and family[edit]

Harstrom was born in Västerås, Sweden.[2] He was the son of Carl Gustaf and Amelia Adolphina Fosberg Harstrom.[2][5] His father was a manufacturer in Sweden who brought his family to America in 1872, when Carl Axel was nine years of age.[2] He attended the Peekskill Military Academy, and graduated in 1880.[2] He taught school for two years before entering Hobart College.[2] He graduated as valadictory orator[4] and with magna cum laude honors.[2] He earned an A.B in 1886, and an M.A. in 1889.[2][5] He served as headmaster at the Peekskill Academy for three years, and principle of Vienland Preparatory School for four years.[2] On June 20, 1888, Professor Harstrom married Lee Selden Partridge of Phelps, New York.[2][5]

Life in Norwalk[edit]

He moved to Norwalk in 1891 to take a position as headmaster of the Norwalk Military Academy.[2] He started his own private preparatory school for boys in Norwalk in 1893.[2]

While teaching and serving as headmaster, he also pursued his own education at Yale University in classical Philology from 1896 to 1899. He earned his PhD. in 1899.[2][5] He was a member of Theta Delta Chi, and served as its national president for five consecutive terms.[2]

Political career[edit]

In Norwalk, he served as a member of the Board of Estimate.[5] In 1915, Harstrom was elected mayor of Norwalk and served a two-year term. During his term of office he reconstructed the financial system, with the result of making it more transparent to the public.[5] He is credited with introducing voting machines to Norwalk.[5] He is also credited for the many miles of hard pavement laid during his term.[5]

During the World War he was chairman of the local draft board.[5] He was a founding board member of the Norwalk Savings Bank and of the Fairfield County Savings Bank.[5]




Preceded by
Francis Irwin Burnell
Mayor of Norwalk, Connecticut
Succeeded by
Jeremiah Donovan