William Fredrick Andra Autobiography

Andra Boys: William, Donald, Larry, Bill, Golden, Dale, Ross

Andra Boys: William, Donald, Larry, Bill, Golden, Dale, Ross

A copy of this autobiography of my Great Grandfather was given to me years ago.  I wanted to make it more widely available.  I will insert clarification or other information in brackets [].

The Life Story of William Fredrick Andra Sr
I was born on February 11, 1898 in Meissen, Saxony, Germany to Wilhimina [Wilhelmina Christiana Knauke] and Theodor F. [Fredrick] Andra.  My father died when I was about four years old [23 November 1902].
I was baptized in the Elbe River in [16] April 1909; came to the United States in the following month of May.  I left at the age of eleven, one year ahead of the same boat, but were for some reason delayed a month.  The boat that they had intended to take sank in mid-ocean.  “The Lord moves in mysterious ways, his wonders to perform!”
Upon arriving here, I went to Fairview, Utah to work out my board and room from John R. Anderson, who was a former missionary in Germany.  After being in Fairview for one year, I went back to Salt Lake to meet the rest of the family when they arrived.  We had quite a struggle at first, but we made out when the rest had learned the language.
At the age of fourteen, my Mother took me to Preston, Idaho to the home of a former missionary [George Wanner] who had helped convert my mother in Germany.  I thinned, hoed and topped beets; worked in the potatoes; and did many other things around the farm.  There were about 24 head of cows to be milked.  For my work, I got $18.00 a month.  The next summer I got $25.00 and then $30.00 per month.  In the winter I went back to Salt Lake City because there wasn’t any work left on the farm.
I worked in the Apex Mine in Bingham at the same time Jack Dempsey was a diamond drill sharpener.
The next winter, I worked in the coal mine at Wattis in Carbon County during the flu epidemic in 1918.  My future father-in-law [George Wanner] took the flu and was in the hospital in Salt Lake City.  Shortly after, his boy, Golden also caught the flu and died.  I took the body home to Whitney, Idaho on the train.
I did the chores for the family because they all had the flu.  After working for George Wanner for seven years on and off, I married at the age of 22 his daughter, Mary Louise Wanner, in the Salt Lake Temple on March 10,1920.
At a time when things were tough, I worked on the farm for James R. Bodily and in the winter I did janitor work at the Whitney School and meeting house for $30.00 a month.  Then our son, William Junior was born.  During this time, I helped build the sugar factory in Whitney.
In 1922, we moved to Salt Lake City and I worked for the Royal Bakery for one year and then we moved back to Preston and went into the café business with my brother Walter.  We stayed in the café business until the end of 1925.  We then bought the Wanner farm in Preston during depression times.
I used to dig basements, haul gravel and sand and haul sugar beets from the beet piles to the sugar factory for $4.00 a ton.  It was hard making this $1000.00 principal and $500.00 interest, but with the Lord’s help and a good wife and children, we paid for the farm.  In 1937 we bought nine more acres on the east side of our farm, making forty-four acres.
In 1937 I was made a High Priest.  I have been a ward teacher for thirty-six years, ward teaching supervisor for seven years, and a group leader for the High Priests Quorum for twelve years.  I am at present a director of the Mink Creek-Riverdale Canal Company.
Our main crops on this farm have been sugar beets and potatoes.  We have raised peas and corn for many years.  Our present family consists of twelve children; eight boys and four girls (of which two of the boys have passed on).
In 1947 I had a back fusion operation.  It was very successful.
Seven of our children are married and we have twenty-eight grandchildren and two great grandchildren.  One of the boys is in the Western States Mission now.  We have had two on missions previously.
I would like to pass this biography on to my son.
Prepared and arranged November 28, 1961 by William F. Andra, Sr.  (Age sixty-three)

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One thought on “William Fredrick Andra Autobiography

  1. Pingback: William Fredrick Andra Jr – Sagacity

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