Rosa Nelson Jonas

Christian & Rosa Andersen

This is another chapter of the Jonas history book compiled by Carvel Jonas.  This chapter relates to Rosa Nelson Jonas.  Reviewing this information in FamilySearch shows some changes and updates to some of the information presented.

The following story was written by Rosa and is typed from a hand-written copy in the possession of her daughter, Verla Jonas Andersen Lythgoe.

“The story of Mrs. Rosa Jonas Andersen.  Miss Rosa Nelson Jonas was born in Ellensburg, Kittitas County, Washington, on 5 Sep 1886, the third daughter of Annie Josephine Nelson Jonas and Joseph Jonas on a farm.

“Being Catholic, when about two months old, mother took me to church to be baptized, which was done by mother holding me in her arms, while the priest poured a few drops of water on my forehead.  (St. Andrew church records this date 26 Sep 1886)  In the meantime two persons stood by her side, one on each side of her, a man and a woman, they are called the God mother and father, they are to become your guardian in case anything happens to your parents.
“When I was about four years old, I followed a cousin of mine to school.  Not understanding the rules of school, I would talk out loud and go from one seat to another, so the teacher asked me if I hadn’t better go home, my mother may need me.  I told him oh, no she has got some more kids home.  I said it so loud the whole room began to laugh.  That got me, I was so hurt at being laughed at I never went back.
“The fall of 1895, we went to Yakima to pick hops.  Although only nine years of age, it was a very interesting trip.  People came from all parts of the country.
“One family in particular which attracted my attention was a family traveling in a covered wagon, which had on the outside “Olympia, Washington or bust.”  While picking hops they turned their chickens loose, and every night they would go to roost in the back of the wagon, they had a place fixed just on the outside of the end gate.  They stayed during the hop season, which lasts about a month or six weeks.
“We were paid one dollar a box and it took four, forty gallon barrels or what they called flour barrels to make a box of hops.  The hops were grown in large fields like we grow beets which was one of the prettiest sights I ever seen, to see the way the hops grew.  The rows were far enough apart to cultivate between with a cultivation horse.  Large poles were even so far apart with strong wire over the top to which a strong cord was tied and fastened to a peg driven in the ground, the hop vine would wrap around this string as it grew.  The hops were between six and nine inches long.  The most interesting part of this occasion was the Indians, whose camp was just across from where we made our camp.
“We were afraid to go too close so we stood off at a distance and watched them put up their tents.  The women or squaws as we call them, did all the work.

Rosa Nelson Jonas

“After we had been in camp about a week, while strolling through the bushes we came upon a squaw making a bed for a new baby, she dug a great big place in the ground, put a layer of rocks in it and made a fire on the rocks.  Of course, we didn’t know what she was making but I did know she didn’t want us standing around watching her, and would make motions with her hands for us to go away.  I told Mother and she said for us not to go around there any more, because the poor woman was sick.
“Well, we didn’t but one morning before sun up and the ground was white with frost, my sister and I went down to the river and to our great surprise we saw that same squaw that was sick with a tiny baby.  We watcher her undress her baby and in the cold water she dipped it.  We run home and told mother to come quick that an Indian was drowning her baby.  She laughed and told us she was giving her baby its morning bath.
“Now in the Catholic Church the Sunday School has two classes, one that they call the catechism and the other the Bible.  They are not allowed to go to Communion or partake of what we call the sacrament, until they graduate from the catechism (spelled Katakismn in her story) class.  The day before you go to communion the whole class has to go to confession, which is quite an affair.  I’ll try and describe how it is done.  They is say, a large closet with a partition running through the center making two average sized closets, with dark maroon draperies hanging in each door way.  You go to the right little room, and you’ll find a small bench, to the left, you kneel on it and you find a hole in the partition wall, that comes about to your chin, looking through that you see the Priest sitting in his nice comfortable overstuffed chair waiting to hear you confess your sins, which is done by your saying, “Father forgive me for telling a lie,” or whatever you done that was wrong since you went to confession last.  Your punishment is if you haven’t a rosary to get one.  It has from 25 to 20 beads each having a different design, each bead means a certain prayer.  I had to get one of those beads and say six hail Mary’s every night before retiring and every morning before dressing and two Apostle Creeds so I must have been one of the worst, I thought well, I’ll just show you Priest-I’m not going to freeze my toes saying that while I was kneeling by the bed side, so I’d get up in the center of the bed, cover the quits over my head and bury my face in the pillow and start praying just as fast as I could, sometimes I’d skip a bead and sometimes two, but that did not make any difference because I was covered and no one could see me, and that old Apostle Creed it was too long to say once, say nothing about saying it twice, not me, I didn’t see any sense in learning prayers out of a book when I wanted something because I thought the Lord wouldn’t understand what I wanted.
“Well the next day at Communion all the girls wore white dresses with veils and wreaths on their heads, and boys in black.  Up to the altar or railing covered in white you kneel down, put your hands under this white cover that goes over the railing, close your eyes, put your head back, open your mouth, put out your tongue and the priest will put this Communion on your tongue, don’t let it touch your teeth, close your mouth, bow your head.  When he had given each one in the class a Communion you all arise and go to your seat.  This Communion is about as large as a small sop cracker, I guess that is what it is from what I could see just partly closing my eyes.  I wanted to see what he was going to give me anyway and I did.  He took it out of a goblet with his forefinger and thumb and layed it on my tongue and stood there and drank the wine it was soaked in.
“In the year of 1901 July 3, I came to Utah.  Feb 6, 1902 I was baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, by N[els]. A[ugust]. Nelson who took a pick and broke the ice in the Jordan River in South Jordan, Salt Lake County, and was confirmed the same day by Bishop James P. Jensen.  In the year of 1903 I spent a week in the Salt Lake Temple being baptized for relatives and had my endowments and went through for those I was baptized for and had them sealed.  This made me sixteen years of age when I had my endowments.
In April 1902 I had my patriarchal blessing which (is) a great comfort and help to me because of the wonderful promise of temple work, and of the great relief it would be for those I did work for.  It sure is a great comfort to go and read it and reread it.  The more you read it, the more it means to you.  “So girls, don’t miss getting your Patriarchal Blessing.”
“The following is Rosa’s blessing. 
“A blessing given to Rosa Jonas, daughter of Joseph and Josephine Nelson Jonas born in Ellensburg, Kittitas Co, State of Washington. 
“Sister Jonas in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the power of the priesthood conferred upon me, I confer upon your a patriarchal blessing.  In as much as you desire to know what God requires of you.  If you are faithful you shall never be deceived.  You have a knowledge that God lives and your prayer will be answered in those things that will be for your good.
“You are of Israel and are entitled to the blessings which the gospel imparts, and although young, God will increase your testimony.  If you are humble, your heart will be fully satisfied.  Be careful of the company that you keep.  Be modest and careful in the selection of your companionship or you may be deceived.  There is much for you to do in the Temples of the Lord, and many of your ancestors names will be presented to you and they will bless you for the labor that you performed for them in the flesh.
God will give you judgement to select a man of God for a companion, who will lead you back into the presence of God from whence you came.
Cherish virtue more than your life.  Never allow yourself to step from the paths of truth and virtue for I seal this blessing upon you with all your born blessing and I seal you up unto Eternal Life, promising you that none of these blessings shall fail if humble on your part in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.”
Rosa lived with her Uncle August Nelson and did housework for her room and board.  She wasn’t very tall and some of her children have said she would measure to their arms if their arms were held out horizontal with the ground.  A guess she would be a few inches above five feet tall.  She had thin brown hair and brown eyes.  When she was young she had white hair, until it grew darker as she became a young woman.  All her siblings had white hair when they were children.  Her hair was probably thinned because of the typhoid epidemic which killed her older sister, Mary.  At that time Rosa’s hair fell out by the hand full.  Since Mary died 21 Sep 1899, Rosa would have been 13 years old when she lost her hair.  Rosa was the only left handed sibling.  I am told that Rosa would argue about religious doctrines with her brothers and would hit the stove with a pan to give emphasis to her point of view.  Apparently these siblings would argue and defend their point of view vigorously for a few hours at a time.  However, after their debates they were affectionate with each other and were able to be good friends after any discussions.  They were very loyal to each other.
“A land record in Logan tells us that on the 8 Nov 1905 Rosa and her husband, Christian Andersen, first bought their house in Richmond, Utah.  It was located at 137 East 1st South.  They bought lots 2 and 3 for $500.00.  They lived there until 2 Jun 1920 when they sold their house for $2400.00 and then moved to Thatcher, Idaho.  While they were living in Richmond two of her brothers would live with them from time to time.  William and Joseph would stay at her home when they came back from the Brigham Young College at Logan.  She also lived within about a block of her other brother, John, who had bought a home.  She was very helpful to her brothers by washing their clothes and given them a place to sleep when they came home during the weekends.  Joseph, her youngest brother, often sought her for advise, and often would take the advice of his sister in substitute of the parental advice he missed.  She lived in Thatcher, Idaho, with her two brothers on a far and after a short few years moved back to Richmond, Utah.  Later (about 1922) the family moved to Preston, Idaho at 295 West 4th South, where she died years after.  The following is quoted in the life story of her husband, Christian Andersen, and was written by their daughter, Mabel.
Father met my mother, Rosa Nelson Jonas, about a year before they were married.  One night (Christian) was singing and playing a lively song and mother and Aunt Delia walked into the dance hall and there sat father playing the accordion and singing this song.  Mother took one look at him and said to Aunt Delia, “I should think he would be ashamed of himself.”  She thought him repulsive at first.  But later on in years she rocked his little kids to sleep and he sang these very same songs to us.  Mother did not mind in the least.  Aunt Delia and Grandma Andersen decided that Christian and Rosa were meant for each other, so Aunt Delia gave a party and invited the Andersen boys.  They were a lively bunch and had a good time that night.”
“…Rosa made a nice cream cake with plenty of whipped cream on it.  (Christian) came to see her that evening in his rubber tired buggy so he could eat it, batched by himself…  On the way home father put the cake on the floor of the wagon so it would be safe.  The high spirited horse became frightened and started to run away.  Father pulled back on the lines and raised his foot up and set it down right in the middle of the cream cake!  When he got home he cut around his foot print and ate what he could of the cake.  As a result of these meetings father and mother were married on 29 Jun 1904 in the Salt Lake Temple.”
“Rosa wrote a letter to her oldest sister, Margaret, to apologize for not writing her until after she was married about her marriage.  Joseph Jonas, her father, wrote back and said that Margaret would forgive her because she had died.
Rosa became the mother of Christian’s two children, Pearl and Ivy, who were from Christian’s first marriage.  “Rosa was strict and so was Christian.”
“Rosa and Christian moved into a house in Richmond, Utah.  Christian added one room downstairs and two rooms upstairs and a bath.  He made a stairway and maintained a “well groomed house and yard.”  “We had a shanty or summer kitchen where “Rosa and her daughters” did the canning of fruit and washing.  The shanty was a couple of rods from the backdoor.  We had a cement sidewalk and a big stone rock for a step…”  Their “home had the first running water in it to come out of the wall hot… We had the first electric light in Richmond.”
Rosa and Christian had six children.  The first five were born in Richmond.  The last was born in Lewiston.  They are the following children: Mabel Rosetta, born 23 Oct 1905; Cyrus Christian, born 21 Dec 1907; Cleone Annetta, born 24 Nov 1909; Merlin Jonas, born 19 Sep 1913; Verla Jonas, born 16 Mar 1917; Arvie Jonas, born 31 May 1921.
“I remember moving from the ranch at Thatcher to Lewiston.  Mother was expecting Arvie and she rode in the back of the wagon on some hay.  The meager furniture was loaded into the wagon drawn by Jupiter and a bay horse named Sailor.  Verla was bundled up in blankets and quilts, also Merlin and I (Mabel).  Snow was on the ground, it was cold.  While we were pulling the dugway by Riverdale where it was icy and slick, ol’ Jupiter fell on his right front shoulder.  This turned the front wheels of the wagon causing it to tip.  But quick as a flash Jupiter was on his feet and gave a lunge throwing the wagon the other way.  Sailor pulled his line and up the dugway we went.  I always felt that I owed my life to Jupiter because if the wagon had gone over it would have dumped the stove on top of me…”  Another night during the trip they stayed at a range house and they fixed breakfast for them.  Joseph Nelson Jonas was driving the wagon.
“Rosa and Christian had one of the most beautiful homes.  (They) had a beautiful garden bed of tulips; and beds of gladiolas…(their) lawns were nice and green with no weeds…In Richmond and Preston they used to have large raspberry patches.  We girl used to get up at four in the morning and pick the berries before it would get too hot.  Then again at five in the afternoon when it was cooler we would again go into the patch and pick berries.  (Rosa) sold many of the berries to people living near.”

Rosa & Christian Andersen

“In the winter when the snow was deep a group of people would get together and decide to have a surprise on some member.  The women would open the door and yell SURPRISE!!!  In they would go and take all the furniture out of their room and take up the rug or carpet and start to dance.  Christian would be there with the accordion.  He would take a chair and sit in the corner and play all night.  About midnight they ladies would give the rest of the people lunch.  They  would eat and dance some more.  After the dance was over the men would carry the furniture back into the house again.”
“The following information was taken from the obituary of Rosa Nelson Jonas.  “Preston-Mrs. Rosa Jonas Andersen, 64, died in a Preston hospital at midnight Tuesday.  She served as president of the Young Women’s Mutual Improvement Association in the Preston Sixth Ward, as a Primary teacher, and for eight years was captain of the Hiawatha Camp, Daughters of Utah Pioneers.  Funeral services will be conducted on Saturday noon in the Preston Sixth Ward Chapel by Bishop A.C. Lundgreen.  Friends may call at the family home Friday evening and Sat. until time of the services.  Burial will be in the Ogden Cemetery under the direction of the Webb Mortuary of Preston.”

Jonas History: Nilsson/Bengtsson

This is another chapter of the Jonas history book compiled by Carvel Jonas.  This one is on the Nilsson/Bengtsson line, which was anglicized to Nelson/Benson.  Reviewing this information in FamilySearch shows some changes and updates to some of the information presented.
   “Johannes Nilsson was born 4 Oct 1827 in Tonnersjo, Hallands, Sweden.  His parents were Nils Nilsson and Pernill Larsson.  He was the youngest of a family of four sons.  He married Agneta Bengtsson who was born 9 Dec 1832 in Oringe, Hallands, Sweden.   Her parents were Nils Bengst and Johanna Johansson.  She was the oldest child of eight children, having four sisters and three brothers.  They married 17 Nov 1855.
    “Agneta had two children by an unknown suitor who failed to post the necessary dowry.  They were Matilda, born 31 Dec 1853 and James Peter, born 13 Dec 1855.  Both children were born in Veinge, Hallands, Sweden.  James Peter was born less than a month after Johannes and Agneta were married.
    “In 1862, Elders from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints baptized Agneta’s mother, Johanna Bengtsson, her sister, Ingar, and her two brothers, Nils and John.  They immigrated to America in 1862 and settled in Sanpete County, Ephraim, Utah.  Agneta’s father never came to America and died in Sweden.  After this Agneta was baptized and the Johannes Nilsson family came to America in 1864.  About a month after they got to Logan, Utah, our great grandmother, Annette Josephine Nelson (Jonas) was born.  More details will be given in the following life story which was written by August Nelson, a brother of grandma Annie Jonas.  The author has quoted August’s story and has omitted genealogical family line.  Also, interesting facts have been added to this story to make it more complete.  These facts are included inside the brackets.

L-R: Johanna Benson, Johanna Icabinda Benson, John Irven Benson, Nels Ernst Benson, Mary Ann Angel Works holding Merrill Lamont Benson.

 

    “Nels August Nelson, third child of John and Agnetta Benson Nelson was born in Oringe, Hallands, Sweden, on May 18, 1857.  “My memory of the beautiful country around our home is still vivid even though I was not quite seven when we left.  In 1861 we moved to Tulap, near Marebeck, a Swedish mile from Halmstadt.  We had two wagons loaded with household goods, mother and the four children were on the second wagon which father drove.  I can still see the hayrack.  It had four poles tow in the standard of the wagon, with holes bored and sticks driven in them to keep them apart the width of the wagon.  Then there were holes in each pole on the upper side slanting outward so as to extend over the wheels gradually to about four or five feet high.  Finally the pole crossed the top on both sides and ends to keep it from spreading.  This is the pictures of it as I remember the morning we moved. 
    “Our new home consisted of two long buildings, I should judge considerably neglected because father was continually repairing them between the hours on the farm.  There was a peat bed some distance to the south of the house, a steep slope to the West, a small stream to the east, and cultivated land on the other side.  Father planted trees from the northeast corner of the dwelling due East some distance north and west to the northwest corner of the barn forming a beautiful hollow square.  My recollection is that the trees were birch.  A road ran due east to the nearest neighbors.  On the west a path ran to Marebeck.  A public highway went through our place and led to Halmstadt.  The village near had beautiful homes and churches.  A large bell rang out at twelve and six, possibly other times.  It seemed to say, “Vin Vellen, sure sell, some balhang, slink in”, translated, “Water gruel, sour fish, come gulpdog, tumble in.”
    “At the north end of the farm the stream turned east where the bridge was.  Just south of the bridge the slope was steep and below on the herded the cattle land sheep.  In the three years we lived there father broke up all the land except the meadow.  This was all done by man power.  A man would have a :shere chich” which he pushed with his body.  It cut a sod about two inches thick and eight or ten inches wide.  When the sods dried they were piled up and burned.  The women did most of the piling and burning.
    “We had such a heavy crop of potatoes on this new land that the land burst open along the rows and the potatoes could be seen on top of the ground from the road. 
    “Now a few incidents of child life in Sweden.  The school teacher boarded round at the different homes of the pupils.  I marvel now at the progress they made.  My sister, only ten knew most of the New Testament, and my brother attended only one winter when he learned to read and write. 
    “One of our cows swam the river while we were herding one spring.  When we drove her back she missed the ford and got her horns caught in the roots of the trees and drowned. 
    “Baking day was a big affair because mother baked enough bread to last a month.  It seemed to improve with age.  It took a lot of wood to heat the oven.  On these day sister and brother had to tend baby and I had to herd the cows alone.  One day I rebelled but it did no good.  I was about five years old.  James helped to drive the cows down to the pasture and about all I had to do was watch the path to prevent their return…After I got to Utah one fall a fox bit one of the lambs.  Father must have seen him catch it because he picked it up and brought it home before it died.  Oh how bad we felt.  All the animals on the farm were pets. 
    “One winter there was no snow on the ground but there was ice on the river.  Three of us went down to slide on the ice.  We were forbidden to slide with our shoes on because it wore them out.  At first we slid with our stockings on, then we took them off and slid barefoot.  The ice was so clear and smooth that we had a good time.  Then uncle Lars Benson came and helped put on our shoes and stockings.  I was the smallest so he carried me all the way home.
    “In the spring of 1862 mother went to the old home to bid her mother Johanna Bengtsson, her sister Ingar, and brothers Nels and John, good-bye before they started to America and Utah to live with the Mormons, she brought us all of Uncle John’s toys.  One I remember especially, was a little cuckoo.
    “It must not have been long after when the first Mormon Elders came to see us.  Andrew Peterson of Lehi was one.  Later Uncle Lars came to love the peace that entered our home.  We children would run up the road to look for the Elders.  I was five years old (if mother got baptized the same winter that we left in the spring then I was six) when the elders instructed father to get his family around the table and have family prayers.  I got up from that prayer with the light of the Gospel in my soul.  Everything had changed!  A new light and a new hope had entered my being.  Everything seemed joyous and more beautiful and even the birds sang sweeter.
    “After we joined the Church there were numbers of people young and old who came to visit us.  I remember Andrew Peterson, and the mother of the Lindquists who were undertakers in Ogden and Logan.  When we were getting ready to come to America the sisters would come to help mother sew and get ready.  The songs of Zion that they sang will ring in my ears and soul to the last moments of my life if I continue faithful to the end.  “Heavenly Canaan, Oh Wondrous Canaan, Our Canaan that is Joseph’s land, Come go with us to Canaan!” are some of the words one of the sisters sang.  Ye Elders of Israel and Oh Ye Mountains High were my favorites.  The Swedish Language seemed to give these songs more feeling than the English.  I had a Birdseye view of Zion and I longed to go there.
    “I well remember the morning mother had promised to go to Halmstadt to be baptized.  We all arose early and mother was undecided until father told her to go.  In the evening as father was walking back and carrying the baby, he stopped and said, “Now mother is being baptized,” we looked at the clock and when mother returned she said father was right.  The baptisms had to be done at night and a hole cut in the ice but mother felt not ill effects of the cold. 
    “We had a public auction and sold everything in the line of furniture and clothing that we could not take with us.  I remember two large oak chests and a couple of broadcloth suits and over coats.  One they brought with them and had it made over for me.
    “Father was a steady and prosperous young man, he worked seven years in a distillery and seven as a miller.  We had a small keg of whiskey every Christmas and the children could have what they wanted of it.  We often sopped our bred in it as a substitute for milk.  I never saw father drunk.
    “Now came the time to sell the home and farm.  The ground was all in crops and a rain made everything look good. Father said it was God who made it look so prosperous and we got a good price for it.  James, Matilda, and I with a big part of the baggage were left with friends in Halmstadt while father went back for mother and the younger children.  The morning we were to sail was a busy one.  We all did what we seldom did before, messed the bed.  Mother said, “The Devil cannot stop us,” and we were on deck in time.  It was a beautiful Friday morning, 10 Apr 1864, (They left at 5 p.m.) when the Johanns Nelson family hustled along the rock paved streets of Halmstadt to the docks.  The noise of the horses feet and the rumble of the vehicles drowned all the voices of the little ones who complained of the unceremonious departure.  Then all were safely on board, the gang planks withdrawn, and before we knew it we were out at sea and the men on shore became mere specks. 
    “Later we were all startled by the sound of a shot ringing out and we were ordered below deck.  When we could return to the deck we were told that a pirate crew had shot a hole in our ship just above the water line.  In return our ship shot off their main mast.  As we neared Denmark we saw all the ships in the harbor and could hear (cannon fire) as Denmark and Germany were at war.  We walked around in Copenhagen and saw the fine homes, lawns, statues, in the beautiful city.  This was the first time I had heard the Danish language.  We stopped at so many places that I cannot remember all of them.  Cattle and sheep were loaded on at one place.  We were seasick too, and so many crowded together.  Before we left Liverpool (Thursday April 21) we enjoyed watching the ships being loaded; fishing snacks came in and unloaded their cargo, and big English shire horses acted as switch engines.  There was a large ship about finished in the dry dock.  It must be a stupendous job to build a huge ship.  There seemed to be some leak at the gates because we saw a man with a diving outfit on go down and men were pumping air to him.  He was down for some time.
    “The beautiful green foliage and sward through England has always remained with me.  It passes into the sublime of my soul.
    “The ship which we boarded to come to America was a huge one.  (It was named Monarch of the Sea and there were 973 people on board.)  Before it was loaded it stood so high above the water, and we had to wait some time while the sailors loaded heavy freight into the hold. 

Monarch of the Sea, 1020 LDS passengers on this voyage.

 

    “I have always tried to forget the journey across the Atlantic.  Our rations were raw beef, large hard soda biscuits, water mustard, and salt.  Sometimes we would have to wait most of the day for our turn to cook our meat.  Brother James knew no sickness on the whole journey and was a favorite with the sailors.  On one occasion he was riding the loose timbers, that slid back and forth with the motion of the ship.  One time he went so dangerously near the railing that they sent him below.  The winds and waves were so high sometimes that the flag on the main mast touched the waves as it rolled.  Trunks and boxes had to be tied down.  The vessel had three decks and there were bunks all around the two lower decks.  I had seen several bodies go down the gangway into the deep.  Then came the day that baby Amanda’s little body with a rock tied to her feet was lowered into the water.  A little later it seemed as if it were my turn, I could not eat the crackers.  Mother tried everything, but I got worse.  Then she fed me the raw beef and I began to improve…We did see many varieties of fish.  Sometimes the passengers, men and women, helped bail out water, when it seemed the ship might sink.

Nilsson family on the Monarch of the Sea passenger list

 

    “Finally we reached New York, and the main body of the saints took steamer for Albany, New York.  (They reached New York the morning of Jun 3rd).  We crossed New Jersey by train to the Delaware River.  We had to wait a number of hours for the ferry, and when we got aboard it was so suffocating that sister Matilda succumbed.  Mother laid her out under some tree on a beautiful lawn.  The setting sun, and approaching dusk cast a hallowed gloom over the scene.  We sat silently watching by the side of mother, while father was off looking for a place to bury her.  It was a beautiful, and sad sight to see father and another man carrying her body away from her loved ones to be laid in an unknown grave.  The setting of clear, blue sky, and the twinkling of the stars overhead, shining down through the trees made a variegated carpet where we sat.  It would be impossible to describe mothers feelings as she was the guiding star of the family, and she knew we would meet Matilda again beyond the grave. 
    “We went by train from here, and the first incident of note was the crossing of a very high, and long bridge; large vessels with high masts could pass under it.  The train stopped on the bridge while another train passed us.  A few days later we were informed that the bridge had collapsed.  We saw much of the country that had been desolated by the Civil War.  Then we were joined by the group that went by way of Albany.  They were riding on boards in cattle cars. 
    “(Some time about this time in the story of Johannes Nilsson was baptized.  It was 25 Jun 1864.  He was confirmed the same day and later that year he was ordained an Elder)
    The car we rode in had no cushions on the seats.  Sister Josephine’s cheek began swelling; we thought from the jolting of the car.  Some people recommended a certain poultice which ate the flesh off her cheek.  Next we went aboard a steamer on a river.  It was restful for a few days.  All of us made our beds on the floor, starting in the center of the main mast or flag pole.  Then another circle started at the feel of the first.  Brother James and I slept on a board which formed a shelf on the side of the ship.  The space between each shelf was large enough for a full grown colored gentleman so there was plenty of room for us boys who were small for our ages.  There seemed to be two streams in the river, one quite clear, the other very muddy.  By this time we were getting tired with never any rest or change and the vermin were getting unbearable.  Josephine steadily got worse and mother realized that it was only a matter of time until she would go to join her sisters.  When we reached Omaha Josephine was a corpse.  With the dead child and the luggage to carry father and mother could not help me.  I remember that I crawled and walked alternately, with my parents waiting and encouraging me.  We finally go to the top of a hill where mother laid me on the grass among some shrubs while she and father went for more luggage.  When I became able to walk I went down by the river and watched the people do their washing, and try to get rid of the cooties before we started on the tip over the plains.  Several graves were dug in this place.  (The family reached Omaha in Jul.  They rode the steamer from St. Joseph, Missouri up the Missouri River to Wyoming.  They had taken a train from Albany, New York to St. Joseph Missouri.  LDS teams took them from Wyoming to the Salt Lake Valley)
    “In due time bays and wagons from Utah arrived and everything was loaded for the trip.  There was a stove and tent in each wagon.  Then the luggage and two families were piled in and we were off for Zion. 
    At first there was an abundance of grass.  I liked to watch the donkeys in the train.  Day after day we traveled and the only living thing of any size was an occasional stage coach and the station built along the way.  One day I got out of the wagon and ran ahead until noon.  After that I had to walk most of the way.  One day two young women sat down to rest.  All at once the screamed and jumped up.  Then a man killed a large rattler where they had been.  I have seen families take a corpse out of the wagon, dig a shallow grave and then hurriedly catch up to the train which did not stop.  Then we got a glimpse of the mountains in the distance.  We also saw large herds of buffalo.  While camping one night a herd was coming directly towards us.  Some men rode out and turned them.  To avoid a stampede of our oxen we started out and the teamsters were able to keep them under control.
    “The first Indians I saw was at the stage station.  There must have been several hundred of them and we could see their wigwams in the distance.  We were now getting into great sage brush flats and everybody was warned against starting fires.  One day at noon we joked up in a hurry because someone had let their fire get the best of them. 
    “Now we began to meet companies of soldiers.  They generally led horses with empty saddles.  Next we saw where a fire had burned some wagons in the company in which grandmother crossed in 1862.  The whole country round was black and the grass had not started.  When we crossed rivers they were not too deep, the men and women waded.  Two government wagons were caught in the quick sand near where we forded.  As we got into the hills there was a lot of elk, deer, and antelopes.  One man on a gray horse did the hunting for the group.  Several times the oxen tried to stampede.  On parts of the trail men had to hold the wagons to keep them from tipping over.  The most interesting of all to me was at Echo Canyon where they told how the Mormon scouts had marched round the cliff and made Johnston’s army believe there were a whole lot of them when in fact there were very few.  We found chokecherries along the road but they were too green.  The last hill seemed the longest and steepest and we did not reach the top until late in the evening.  Next morning everyone was happy.  Cherries were riper and so good to eat they failed to choke.  Happy beyond expression we hastened to get a view of Canaan and Joseph’s land, where the Elders of Israel resided and Prophet’s and Apostles to guide the Latter-day Saints.  (They arrived about the 15th of Sep in Salt Lake City)
    “Having seen some of the big cities of the world you may imagine our disappointment when we looked down from Emigration Canyon upon Great Salt Lake City by the Great Salt Lake.  We saw Fort Douglas where some of the soldiers were stationed.  One aged man exclaimed, “why the children cry here as they did at home!”
    “We entered the dear old tithing square and rested for noon.  Now it was for us to decide where we wanted to settle.  We decided to go to Logan and it happened that John, our teamster was going there too.  While in the yard Sister Lindquist who had visited us in Sweden brought us a large watermelon, the first I had seen in my life.  She was a beautiful young woman and I thought was very nice. 
    “We soon headed north with John driving the wagon and mother, father, James and I walking behind the wagon.  As we were nearing the outskirts of the city a good lady sent a little girl out to us with two delicious apples.  How good people were to us.  It would certainly be a pleasure to know these fine people.  It was about sundown when we passed the Hot Springs and we kept going until quite late.  When we got to the canyon above Brigham City we over took a number of wagons and Scandinavian Saints.  When we reached what was called Little Denmark, now Mantua, we were feted by these good saints, and given a new send off.  It seemed such a long trip through the canyons, but interesting as the teamsters had a number of bear stores it tell.  Later we learned that some people had been attacked by bear at this place.  We camped just below Wellsville near the bridge above Cub Creek. The people here gave us some potatoes.  They were boiled and their jackets all cracked open.  This was a treat I shall never forget.  We arrived at the Logan public square about noon.  There was a liberty pole in the center.  On one corner was a lumber shack where all our worldly good were put and the teams drove away.  Father located a short, robust Swede who hauled our wealth into his cow yard and we made ourselves comfortable.  We cooked over the fireplace in the log cabin.  For a few days father did not have work so all four of us went out gleaning.  When threshing began with the fall, father was in his glory and never lacked a job. 
    “The most important thing ahead was to prepare a shelter for the winter which was fast approaching.  Logan was planning to take care of the emigrants and her future by digging a canal north along the East bench.  All newcomers were given a city lot to be paid for by work on this canal.  At the same time the number of acres of farm land was apportioned with the number of cubic yards of dirt to be removed to pay for the land. 
    “The first homes were mostly dugouts in the side of the hill.  That first winter, Father carried willows from the Logan River bottom which was our fuel.  He cut some small green sticks short and buried a few of these in the ashes each night to start the fire with in the morning. 
    “We were just moved into our home when Annetta Josephine (Grandma Annie Jonas) was born on 18 Nov 1864.  She was the first child born in Logan Fifth Ward.  Mother was alone except for James and me.  James was sent to fetch father who was threshing wheat for John Anderson.  When he arrived with a sister, mother had already taken care of herself and the baby.
    “All went well until January when it began to thaw.  Soon our dugout was filling with water.  It was knee-deep when father made a path so we could get over to the neighbor’s cabin.  We carried water out all day, and the rest of the water soon soaked up.  So that by laying a few boards on the floor we were able to go back in the evening. 
    “It was the most severe winter.  The snow was deep and it drifted so that only the tops of the houses could be seen.  Thatcher’s mill, the only on one in town, was frozen up, and we had to get along on bran bread.  Father moved the cow to the side of the house that afforded the most protection from the wind. 
    “As soon as spring started, all hands set to work on the canal.  The men and boys had to pass our place on the way to work.  The boys seemed to delight in calling us “Danishmen.”  James and I carried the water from the old Fourth Ward canal down on the river bottom.  We always took a slide down the hill.  This was alright as long as the snow was on the ground, but as soon as it began to thaw, we got soaking wet, and we usually ended up sick with bad colds.  Poor mother had not time to be sick. 
    “The first Sunday School we attended was in the cabin of John Archibald.  Soon there were so many that we could not get in.  The Superintendent was Sandy Isaac, a fine young man. 
    “The summer was a happy one.  Father bought two ewes, and they each had a lamb.  This, with the cow, made a herd for me to care for.  Most of the town drove their sheep past our place up on the college hill to feed.  While we herded we also picked service berries.  The boys showed us where the best berries were over on Providence flat.  One day mother and two other women went with us…
    “This fall we were much better prepared for winter than we were a year ago.  We had two cows, four sheep and a yoke of steers.  There was a barn for the animals, and we had a log house.  We raised 120 bushels of wheat on six acres, and mother had done considerable gleaning.
    “When mother went gleaning, I had to stay with the baby.  One day I left her on the bed while I went out to play.  She rolled off the bed and got a big lump on her head.  She was still crying when mother came home.  Some days she took both of us with her.  When baby slept then I could help glean.  Mother would carry a two-bushel sack full of heads on her shoulder, and set the baby on top.  It surely looked like a load to carry.  James was with father.  He would rake the hay while father cut it with the scythe and snare.  Father did not like to have mother go gleaning, but the money she got from the wheat was her own, and she liked good clothes and to be dressed well.
    “In the fall the ward organized…The old meetinghouse had a fire place in the east end. and the door in the west.  We held school in the same building…Dances generally kept up until morning…They began around seven o’clock in the evening.  About nine there would be some singing…after singing, we had games of strength, wrestling, and boxing.  In the wee small hours we were ready to go home.  These dances were opened and closed with prayer…
    “I almost forgot one incident that happened in 1866.  Father turned his steers on the range in the spring.  One of these was to be given to the Indians to keep them friendly.  The other one Bill, could not be found.  Father located the first one in the Indians herd.  We went down and told them that this steer was his. “How can you prove it is your steer?”  Father went up to her, took hold of his horn and led him to the Indians.  They laughed and told him to take it.  He led the steer home, a mile away, by holding to the horn.  James hunted every where for Bill.  He searched in almost every cow herd in the valley.  In the anguish of his soul he knelt down and prayed.  As he arose a feeling of satisfaction entered his bosom.  He was soon rewarded by finding the long, lost steer.  He succeeded in driving him home, and all were joyful and recognized the hand of Providence in answering James’ prayer.
    “More and more people moved into the ward.  A great many of them were Scotch.  There was a sixteen year old girl who used to visit with mothers.One day she told mother she thought Mr. Nelson was a lovable man, and that she would like to be his second wife.  Mother was delighted and did everything to get father to accept her, but in vain…
    “(In 1867 they went about 90 miles and were sealed in the Endowment house in Salt Lake City.  The Endowment House records for 4 Oct 1867: Johannes Nilsson and Agneta Bengtsson Nelson received their endowment and were sealed.)
    “Father made a fish trap out of willows like the one mother’s family had in Sweden.  We had fish all of the time.
    “Every other week we herded cattle down in the fork of the Logan and Bear Rivers.  It was seven miles from Logan.  The banks of the river were covered with willows, where lived bars, wolves, snakes, skunks, and other pests.  James herded alone most of the time.  The Indians called him a hero.  I stayed with him one week.  The dog went home, and I was ready to leave.  The wolves looked defiantly at us, and at night the snakes crawled over our faces.  I was glad to stay home and herd the small herd near home, I had my prayers answered in finding sheep when they were lost…
    “On June 14, 1867, mother had a baby boy whom she named Joseph Hyrum.  That fall we moved into the Fourth Ward.  I soon learned to love Bishop Thomas X. Smith…
    “On Christmas and New Year’s Eve, we stayed up on Temple hill all night so we would be ready to serenade early in the morning…
    “Our grain completely taken by grasshoppers in 1867.  The sun was darkened by them they were so thick.  We had to sell our oxen, but got $175.00 for them when the usual price was only $125.00.  We had bought them four years before, and father always kept them butter fat.  We bought a pair of two years old steers for seventy five dollars, and grain with the other seventy five.  Then father worked on the railroad and James and I gleaned corn.  James traded a good pocket knife for corn.  Again we traded corn for shoes.  There wasn’t enough money for us to go to school that year, but father bought a large Bible, and the two of us read through to Chronicles the second time.  Here I gained the fundamental principles of the gospel which helped me throughout the rest of my life, and I always knew where to go for information, God and the Bible. 
    “Father traded his oxen for a team of young mules, very poor, but gentle.  The first time we tried to drive them was to a funeral.  On the way home a dog rushed out at us and the mules were off.  They ran home, and stopped at the corral.  We learned they had run away the first time they had been driven.  As long as we owned them we were in danger of our lives because they could not be handled.  Mother did a better job than any of us in driving them.
    “The year that the grasshoppers took our grain I furnished fish which I caught in the Logan River.  There were chubs and some trout.  The time when the hoppers were so thick I will never forget.  I was fishing down in the river, and an electric storm was over near Clarkston.  There seemed to be an air current in that direction and in a little while I could scarcely find any bait. 
    “I think it was in 1869 that we had a glorious 4th of July celebration.  A whole band of boys dressed as Indians and tried to pick a fight.  Some of us really thought they were Indians.  Then we saw President Brigham Young with mounted men riding along side his carriage.  Quickly we all formed in line along the main street, and as he came along he would bow to us bare foot children.  We really loved these men and rarely missed a chance to go to the Tabernacle to hear them talk.  One time he asked the grown ups to leave while the boys and girls gathered around the stand to hear Martin Harris bear his testimony about seeing the plates from which the Book of Mormon was taken.  We were told to never forget these things and to always tell the boys and girls during our lives this story.  I have sometimes forgotten to do this.  Martin Harris was a school teacher when a young man, and came to the assistance of the Prophet by giving the money necessary to get the Book of Mormon printed.  A short time before he died in Clarkston, he related the whole story of the part he played in the coming forth of the Book of Mormon.
    “This year (1868) we planted two acres of sugar cane on some new land up by college hill.  We hoed and petted that cane until it surpassed any thing around.  We barely took time out to eat our lunch.  Men working near said we were foolish to spend so much time on it.  James was a very good worker and a good leader for me.  In the fall he worked at the molasses mill down town, receiving a half gallon of molasses for twelve hours work.  Father hired a boy to help me hoe the cane at the same price.  He never came to work on time so I sent him home and did the work myself.  From one acres we got 175 gallons, and the other 225 gallons, a small fortune. 
    “The last spring that I herded, father had about 75 sheep and 50 cows.  There was no snow late in the fall and water was scarce.  When I started home at night the cows would almost run to get to Springs where Greenville now is.  Then before I could get them they were in somebodies field.  I usually had a lamb or two to carry and had to run till I was exhausted.  At last a small Swiss boy with only one cow to herd helped me out.  He soon got tired of mixing with me but I did not let him quit.  I have herded in the spring when it snowed so I could hardly see the animals.  All others had gone home, but I had to stay because we did not have fee feed at home.  My clothes would be soaking wet, and when a sharp wind blew, I got mighty cold.  One time two of the ewes got lost.  They had been shorn late so they could not stand the cold and I found their carcasses later.
    “Mother sheared the sheep, washed, carded, spun, and wove the cloth to make our clothes.  It was about 1870 (born 9 Dec 1870 and died the same day.  They were buried 10 Dec, 1870) when mother had the twins, Jacob and Jacobina.  They were very tiny and lived only four hours. 
    “Father was a hard worker.  He cut hay with a scythe and swath.  One time a neighbor was vexed because his five acres had not been cut.  Father went down on Sunday and did not come home until he had cut all of it on Monday.  The man could hardly believe that it could be done. 
    “Mother led the social set in this part of the Ward.  I would listen as she related different incidents told her at these parties.  One pertained to our friend…He married a young woman after his first wife had no children.  But after consenting to the new wife, she gave birth to a son and they very soon after two sweet girls.  Almost the same thing happened to a fine young Danishman who moved into the community….When his wife consented to give him a second wife she had a son herself.
    “In the fall of 1871 father bought ten acres of land planted to hay and right along side the other five.  I was sent out to drive a team making the road bed for the Utah Northern Railroad.  I was fourteen, weighed 75 pounds, and had never driven horses.  I was given a broken handled chain scraper and a balky team.  With these handicaps, and jeers from some of the men, it was a hard moth of two for me.  We had good food, so I gained in weight, strength, and experience.  With the money earned, father was able to bend the bargain on the land, and the fellow he had agreed to sell.
    “About this time we had a new baby sister come to our home.  (She was born 16 Dec 1872).  She was named Charlotte Abigail….to my mind the baby was a jewel.
    “I gave the money I earned herding cows to mother who bought all of her clothing, and always had a dollar or two on hand when it was needed most.  She always looked nice in her clothes, being very tall and slender, with beautiful golden hair.  At one time she weighed only 90 pounds.  She loved her children dearly, but required obedience, that we be neat and clean, and attend our church duties.  One morning before Sunday School she asked me to do some chore before I left.  I said “no” though I really wanted to do it.  Mother grabbed a strap lying on the floor, and hit me a smart rap across my shoulders.  A buckle on the strap cut my back and I yelled with pain and so did mother.  She washed my back quickly, and put a plaster on it, so it would not be seen through the thin shirt, which was all I had on my back.  Many times after in life I have thanked God for that blow.  It was just what I needed to get over being coaxed to do anything.  I also learned to love mother more if that were possible. 
    “Mother furnished the house and bought his tobacco with the butter and egg money.  Father was surely miserable at the end of the week when his weekly supply was gone.  When I was allowed to go to the store to buy tobacco, I would put it in my hands and hold it over my nose so I could get a good smell of it.  Father had quit the habit on the way to Utah, but some foolish men persuaded him to take a bite, and he never could quit again.  He tried one time, and was so sick he had to go to bed and get a doctor to bless him.
    “Brother James was quick to learn, and was especially good at entertaining and on the stage.  A Mr. Crowther from the Salt Lake Theatre gave him a part of a colored boy, and with only two rehearsals and no book, he made good, and people were wondering who the darky was.  Mother was proud of her boy…
    “All the boys in town received military training down on the tabernacle square…
    “About this time we had our last episode with the mules.  They tried to run from the start.  We boys got out of the wagon to fix the chin strap on one of them.  They leaped in the air, and as they came down they broke a line and away they ran.  One by one parts of the wagon were left behind.  Father was thrown out with the bed.  When we finally caught up with them, the tongue, one wheel, and a hub of the front axle was all there was attached to them.  We were grateful that no one was hurt.  We traded them off for a team of horses.  The man who bought them drove along the railroad through sloughs and no roads and beat the train. 
    “Mother made dances for us boys, and served refreshments to all who were present.  We had attended two terms at the dancing school the year we had so much molasses, and mother went with us the one term.  This made us the best dancers in Logan…
    “I found James working on a gravel train, and began working with him.  Two would load a car, each one his half.  George Watson, the boss, told me I could not shovel the gravel fast enough.  I told him I could do anything my brother did.  I almost failed the first few days.  We would load as fast as we could, then jump on the car and ride to Mendon, unload and back again.  When this job was completed James got work on the section at Hampton, and father and I on a railroad spur between Dry Lake, near Brigham City to Corinne.  When we reached Corinne we were treated to all the beer we wanted.  On the way back to Brigham City, the crew and all the workers were feeling the effects of the beer.  Father said, “you act as though you were drunk,”  I retorted, “I have never been drunk in my life.”  A man thirty five years old said, “That isn’t saying much for a boy.  If you can say that as a man of thirty five you will be saying something.”  Right then I made the resolution that I would never get drunk.  Now at sixty nine I can say that I have kept this resolution.
    “This was a prosperous year for our family.  (1873)  We bought a fine team of horses to do our farm work, and we had had work on the railroad.  In October, mother gave birth to a little boy, Moses Nelson.  (born 25 Oct 1873)  She was very sick, and we had a nurse to care for her.  I always felt inferior to James, but one day mother called me to her and said, “August, if I die I want you to care for the children.”  That had always been my job around the house.  Later one evening, mother kissed me and said, “You have been a good boy.  God bless you.”  With a smile she turned her head and breathed her last.  (died 4 Nov 1873)  God alone knows what little children lose when mother is gone.  While sick I had heard her say, “I do not want to leave my little children.”  Little did I know or realize what home would be without her.  She was more than ordinarily ardent and spiritually minded, with high ideals, and a comprehensive knowledge of the gospel.  (buried at Logan Cemetery 9 Nov 1873)
    “After mother was laid away, I was sent up to Richmond to work on the railroad.  The weeks passed in a whirl.  Soon baby Moses died, (died 12 Nov 1873 and buried 14 Nov 1873 in Logan Cemetery) and father came up to work with me.  James was with the children and took care of the things at home.  We soon returned and James started school.  I did all the house work except the starching and ironing.  I was 16, Annette 9, Joseph 5, And Charlotte 2.  The washing was a stupendous job.  The water was hard.  I tried putting the clothes in a sack when I boiled them to keep the hard water from forming on them.  If only some friend had called and told me how to break the water and to put a little soda in the bread when it soured, it would have been a God send.  It would have meant better bread and cleaner clothes for the next three years.  I also had to shear the sheep.  This had been mother’s job.  I managed for the first day, and in time finished in some fashion…
    “Sometime in January Uncles Lars and Nels Bengtsson came and took James with them to Spring City in Sanpete County.  I always loved that brother, the only one left who had come with me from Sweden.  We sometimes quarreled, but we were always together.  Now we had no work from him for over a year. 
    “The baby, Little Abigail, generally asked for milk during the night, but she would not accept it from me.  One night I told father to lie still and I would give it to her.  She refused to take it from me.  I went outside and cut a switch from a current bush.  When she called for milk again I held it out to her.  She refused.  I said to father, “Cover up,” and I struck the covers over him with considerable force.  I sat down and began reading.  Pretty soon she called for milk.  I said “Here it is Lottie,” she drank it and never said “no” to me again in my life.  She grew to be a tall and slender; had light golden hair and had a sensitive disposition with high ideals.  I have seen her swing on our gate most of a Sunday all alone, because she felt her clothes were not good enough to mingle with other children.  Before I left home in 1876, I could pick her up from the floor and dance with her.  She had perfect rhythm and enjoyed going to the dances to watch and oh how her little soul leaped with joy when she could get on the floor and dance.  (Charlotte Abigail died 23 Nov 1902.  She never married.  She missed her 31th birthday by a few weeks.  She is buried with Annette and August in the Crescent Cemetery.)
    “My soul cried out for a mother’s love and care.  I am very fearful that when mother sees me, she will say, “You have done tolerably well but you failed to care for the children.”  In my weak way I am still trying to care for children, everybody’s children, God’s children. 
    “I remember when father married again.  The woman had several children of her own.  It was a sad day for mother’s three little ones when step mother and her children moved into out home…
    “I had my try at tobacco too.  An exbartender from Salt Lake City was smoking a pipe.  I asked him to let me try it, and began puffing away.  Father called me to one side and said in an undertone with so much soul that it penetrated my very being, “Don’t be a slave, be a free man.  You have seen me try to quit the habit, even suffer because I couldn’t.”  His advice, I felt, was too good to discard, and I never took up the habit…
    “It was the 16 Oct 1876 when I and three other fellows started for the smelters in Sandy…  John Benson took his team and wagon and took James and me to Sanpete County.  We went to Ephraim to see grandma Johanson, who left Sweden several years before we did.  She was delighted with her grandsons.  She had told her neighbors what nice people were hers in Sweden, of course they thought she was boasting, but now they could see that it was the truth.  How nice it would be if we always lived to be a credit to our ancestors. 

Back (l-r): Virgil, Lawrence, Fidelia, Moses. Front: Paul, Nels, Fidelia, August

 

    “Uncle Nels had two little girls, one could not walk as the result of a fever.  I began to take part in the talk and general pleasure, and stood well with all.  Uncle lectured every evening on doctrinal subjects…a patriarch came to the home and every one had a blessing.  Uncle Nels, his wife Philinda, and her sister Fedelia, and their blessings John was promised a family; James, a stupendous power over the elements but no family….My blessing has come true as far as I have lived for it….(date of blessings 16 Sep 1890)
    “It is just possible that I shirked my duty and promise to mother to care for the children.  Father offered me my lot, home of the land, and would help build a house if I would take the children.  but I wanted to go and make money.  When I think of mother’s charge to me, and the sad life of the children, my whole soul weeps over my dereliction, but fate drew me to the south…
    “It is difficult to note details by memory, but I have this to record for 1893.  My sister Charlotte Abigail lived with us that summer.  When she went to Logan that fall she had the fever.  Later she went to Washington to visit my sister, Annie, wife of Joseph Jonas.  (Jul 1901)  Annie had been sick for a long time, but none of us knew the nature of her illness until Charlotte brought the whole family to Utah with her.  It turned out to be mental illness.  She kept running away so we finally had to put her in the institution at Provo, where she died a short time after…(She died 23 Dec 1907 and was buried Christmas Day)
    “…When Charlotte brought to Jonas family to us there were five children.  It was sad to see sister in her condition.  I had not seen her since 1873 (28 years).  The last letter I had written her was from Bristol, Nevada.  I suggested to her that she should marry a Mormon boy.  Her reply was that Mormon boys were not as genteel as Gentiles…  Her husband destroyed her letters to us, so we never knew what she was going through…  The Jonas children became ours.  My sister Lottie, worked in Logan until she became so sick and weak she came to our home where she died, 23 Nov 1902.  Father died 20 Nov 1902, and Annie was sent home from Provo a few years later (1907).  From father’s estate I received about $700.00 and the same amount as guardian of my sister’s children.  Mothers last instruction to me keeps running through my mind.  “August, you have been a good boy, God bless you.”  Oh, Father in Heaven, have I at least with all my weakness striven with a desire to do my duty to them and to my mother?” 
    “…I had three of my sister’s boys and two of my own to help (while two of his sons went of missions).  We put up as high 400 tons of hay and had at the ranch nearly two hundred head of cattle, and often over 200 head of hogs, besides the milk cows.  We had 160 acres on the State Road and rested 80 acres from Men Mill for many years.  There were two homes on the farm at that time two on the ranch.  Forty acres on the ranch were cultivated and irrigated, and the 1000 acres was divided into different sized pastures open at the top.
    “The work that my lads did seemed to others beyond their power.  I had some hired help most of the time.  The boys were generally out of school two months of the school year, but never lost a grade…
    “So ends Nels August Nelson’s history of his parents, siblings, aunts, uncle, and grandmother.  The following is an account of the voyage that Johannes Nilsson and Agnetta Bengtsson made.  It is recorded from the History of the Church.  “On 10 April 1864 at 5 pm the Swedish Steamer L. J. Bager sailed from Copenhagen, carrying 250 emigrants from Sweden and Norway and some from Frederica Conference, Denmark, in charge was J.P.R. Johansen.  This company of saints went by steamer to Libeck, then rail to Hamburg, thence by steamer to Hull, and thence by rail to Liverpool, where the emigrants joined the Company from Copenhagen on the 15th of April…”
    “On Thursday 28th of April, the above emigrants sailed from Liverpool, England, in the ship ‘Monarch of the Sea’, with 973 souls on board.  Patriarch John Smith was chosen President of the Company, with Elders John D. Chase, Johan P. R. Johansen, and Parley P. Pratt as counselors.  Elders were also appointed to take charge of the different divisions of the company.  During the voyage there was considerable sickness and several children died.  On the morning of June 3rd, the ship docked at New York where the landing of the passengers at once took place.
    That evening they were sent by steamer to Albany, New York, and from there by rail to St. Joseph, Missouri, thence up the Missouri River to Wyoming, from which place most of the Scandinavian saints were taken to the valley by the church teams of which 170 were sent out that year. 
    “Thus about 400 Scandinavians crossed the plains in Captain William B. Preston’s Company of about fifty church teams that left Florence Nebraska in the beginning of June and arrived in Salt Lake City on 15 September.
    “Agneta Bengtsson had blue eyes and reddish brown hair.  Her son, August, said she had golden hair, so it must have been a lighter shade.  We don’t know what color eyes and hair Johannes had, although he most likely took after the traditional Scandinavian.  After Agneta Bengtsson died Johannes married two different times.  One marriage took place about 1876, and the second sometime after 1884.  The county clerk of Cache County wrote the following when Johannes Nelson died in the death record p. 18, line 112, “Johannes Nelson died Nov 26, 1902 age 75.  He was a farmer, had lived in Cache County 38 years…He was a Caucasian, white male and lived in Logan.  The cause of death was General Debility.”  He is buried at the Logan City Cemetery and was buried Nov 30, 1902.  Johannes had given the church a donation of money which was considered a large sum in those days.  When hard times came Johannes asked for some of the money back.  Since there wasn’t a receipt made he wasn’t given the money, or a part of the money back.  Because of the money not being returned he decided not to pay his tithing to the Church the last years of his life. 

The Story of Anna Elizabeth Reber

I stumbled upon this history written about Anna Elizabeth Reber.  Anna was the third spouse to my John Christoph Nuffer.  He married her 28 September 1893 in the Logan Utah Temple after my 3rd Great Grandmother Eva Katharina Greiner died 26 February 1893 in Mapleton, Franklin, Idaho.  I thought it was interesting to review the life of a later spouse for John Christoph Nuffer.  If you would like to review the pdf with pictures and more, it is attached here:  Reber

The Story of Anna Elizabeth Reber

We would like to acknowledge dedicated genealogists who have preserved for decades the oral histories, journals, and handwritten records used in this story.

Faith and Courage

The Story of Anna Elizabeth Reber

By: Christine A. Quinn and Sterling D. Quinn

Graphic design by: Michelle Quinn, Au.D.

2017

Anna Elizabeth Reber

Early Years in Switzerland

1855-1875

 

Frau Reber felt only gratitude that her new baby was alive and had not died as had her last child.  This little girl, born May 17, 1855, would complete their family of three sons and three daughters. They named the child Anna Elizabeth to distinguish her from her older sisters, Anna and Barbara.  Later in life this child would come to be known simply as “Annie.”

The family was settled on the Reber’s ancestral farm in Schangnau, Bern, Switzerland where they spoke a unique Bern dialect of Swiss German, or Schwyzertutsch (Luck 1985).  It was a small country village dotted with chalets, settled in the forested and fertile Emmental valley along the Emme and Aare rivers. It has been said, “An who have wandered through such magnificent forests as those of …Emmental, will never forget the berries, the mushrooms, the neatly arranged stacks of firewood, the beautifully colored autumn foliage, and the grey low-hanging mists and frost-decorated conifers of early winter”  (Luck, 1985 p. 470). For hundreds of years in this valley the same industrious group of families had raised cattle for milk and cheese, while nurturing vineyards, orchards and crops.

This was a Switzerland just emerging from the hated status of a vassal state to the French Emperor Napoleon, an indignity thrown off seven years prior.  Hope arose as the impoverished and beleaguered people named the central city of Bern to be the capital of the new Swiss Confederation (Luck) 1985).

The child Annie grew nurtured in the love of her family.  Little girls in Switzerland wew taught the virtues of being clean, neat, punctual, thrifty, independent, and hard working.  There were cows to be milked as well as household chores to be done. Annie would have been taught to knit and sew the linen, silk, and cotton fabrics for which the Swiss were famous.  Education was also encouraged.

Tragedy visited the family when Annie’s 21 year old brother, Jacob, died in the fall of 1861.  This loss left an indelible impression on the six year old girl, enough that many years later she ensured saving ordinances were performed on his behalf in a temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS).

 

Marriage and Family

1875-1890

 

How Annie and her future husband, Gottfried Weiermann, met is a mystery,  but Bern did enjoy the reputation of being “more lively and sociable than any other town in Switzerland”.  Men and women came together to amuse themselves with English country dances as well as waltzes (Luck, 1985 p. 255)

The Weiermann family worked the land and raised cattle for many generations in the village of Wynigen, a little over 20 miles northeast of the city of Bern.  Rather than compete with five brothers for farmland, Gottfried decided to try his hand at the ancient profession of stone masonry. At age 23 when he met Annie, he had perhaps finished his apprenticeship and therefore gained some freedom to marry.

The couple were likely wed in the Protestant church in Wynigen on 21 August 1875.  At the time, Annie was only months away from giving birth. The couple affectionately named this child after his father, Gottfried, but he was known as “Fred”.  Although he was a sickly child, Fred would survive to bring his mother much joy and comfort until the end of her life.

Less than two years later the family moved again to Ferenberg where Anne gave birth to twins, Andre and Peter.  They survived only a day, which tragically was not uncommon at that time as one out of every five births in Switzerland ended in death (Luck, 1985).

A year later Gottfried moved his family closer to the city of Bern to Ostermundigen, the largest regional quarry center in Switzerland.  A special train with a cog in the center had been invented six years earlier to haul the thick, soft, and colorful sandstone up from the mines.  Previously this job relied on horse or mule tams. The train made it possible to quarry enough stone for export, while also enabling urban expansion of Bern, which demanded massive amounts of stone for new buildings.  Up to 500 men were working as either quarry men, Steinbrecher, who extracted the stone, or stone masons, Steinhau, who skillfully dressed, shaped, and cut the stone. Of the two, stone masons enjoyed a higher social status.  The stone masons of Bern had an established fraternity in the city since 1321 (Storemyr, 2012). Gottfried, along with other craftsmen, flocked to this bountiful source of work.

Next to the noisy and dusty train yard, families of stone masons resided in multistory slums (Storemyr, 2012).  Laundry hanging between tenements flapped in the wind while the narrow dirty streets teemed with children of all ages.  Families crowded into tiny, tightly packed rooms, sharing limited sanitation facilities. “The wages were exceedingly low and people extremely poor” (Stucki 1888, Nov. 20).  Stomachs were never full. In 1876, Swiss families were spending 60 % of their income on food. “A typical diet for the older children and adults consisted of coffee, black tea, or cocoa water with a little milk, some cheese and bread.  ….The midday meal typically consisted of boiled potatoes, pasta, cheese, and coffee or tea, and wine. The evening meal was usually of cheese and a vegetable soup – the latter being made by boiling together leeks, cabbage, beetroot, potatoes, and pasta” (Luck, 1985, p.p. 249,441).

In the spring of 1878 with the aid of a midwife, 23 year old Annie gave birth to a son, Christian, and in September of the next year to a daughter, Ida.  Like all their neighbors, the family fought for financial survival. Not quite 4 years old, Fred would have been responsible for helping keep his little sister safe and happy as their mother cared for her new infant.  Imagine her efforts in washing cloth diapers and keeping a clean house under those circumstances! Years later Annie’s daughter, Ida, reflected her mother’s standards when she said, “Just because you are poor, you don’t need to be dirty” (Arave, 2017).

The Weiermanns had lived in Ostermundigen at least five years when on 2 August 1883 they welcomed a blonde curly-haired baby boy into their home.  He was named Jacob after his maternal grandfather and deceased uncle.

Two years later Annie was expecting a child for her final time.  Due to unknown circumstances (perhaps poverty or a medical crisis), she traveled an hour to the hospital in Bern on a cold December day in 1885 where she gave birth to a small girl who didn’t survive (Weyerman, G).  They named her Anna.

At this point, the family consisted of Gottfried age 33, Annie age 30, Fred age 10, Christian 7, Ida 6, and Jacob age 2.  Gottfried may have occasionally taken his oldest son to the stone yard to teach him aspects of his craft, because in later years Fred was known as a skilled stone mason (Weyerman G).

Gottfried’s pursued recreation of heavy drinking with the stone mason’s fraternity began to affect the Weiermann family.  Workers bonded over alcohol, and Ostermundigen quarry men became legendary for schnapps consumption (Storemyr, 2012). Unfortunately, Gottfried’s drinking created a fissure in his marriage.  Circumstances only worsened with the death of 10-year-old Christian on 4 June 1887. The cause is unknown; it may have been an accident, or one of the many infectious diseases rampant at that time such as influenza, smallpox, diphtheria, tuberculosis, Typhus fever, or measles (Luck, 1985).

Annie and Gottfried’s marriage soon reached a breaking point and ended in divorce (Weiermann, I. 1955).  Years later in a heart-wrenching remembrance, Fred wrote, “My parents lived financially poor. Conditions brought it about that the family got badly broken up and scattered.  Three of my brothers and one sister was called on the other side. In the year 1887, the rest of my family met the sad experience of the separation of Father and Mother on account of drunkenness” (Weyerman, G).

Desperate to provide for her children, Annie hired out as a seamstress, one of the few professions available to women that would allow her to care for little ones at home (Wheeler, I.).  Wages were notoriously low; a decade later, women making shirts in their homes were earning less than a penny an hour, and often worked more than 12 hours a day (Cadbury, 2011). Bending over and straining to see tiny stitches by the dim light of an oil lamp was exhausting.  “As one of the infamous sweated trades, seamstressing represented the trails of arduous work, miserable working conditions, impossibly long hours, and equally impossibly low wages” (Harris, chap. 2.). The older children most likely helped their mother by doing the chores and mining their siblings; but life soon changed for 11 year old Fred in a way that must have torn at his mother’s heart.

Because of the family’s poverty and her status as a divorced mother, Annie was legally compelled to register with one of the councils in Ostermundigen responsible to care for the poor and orphans.  If it was believed the children could not be provided for this council had the power to break up the poorest families. Despite Annie’s courageous efforts to support her children, the council forced Fred to enter into foster care, there he became known as a “Verdingkinder”, or literally “discarded child” (Foulkes, 2012).

In this sad circumstance, the amiable and music-loving Fred was taken from his mother and given into the custody of a gentleman who lived in Habstetten, about an hour’s walk from his family.  There, Fred attended school and helped with the chores. He longed for his family, and visited his mother whenever he could obtain permission (Weyerman,G).

 

“Oh! But for one short hour!

A respite however brief!

No Blessed leisure for love or hope,

But in their briny bed

My tears must stop, for every drop

Hiders needle and thread!”

 

With fingers weary and worn,

With eyelids heavy and red,

A woman sat in unwomanly rags,

Plying her needle and thread —

-Thomas Hood

“Song of the Shirt”

 

Within a year after these turbulent events, Annie received an invitation from her neighbor to meet with missionaries, or Elders, from LDS church.  Members of this faith were commonly known as Mormons. After meeting several times, Annie began to take her children along to Sunday School and other meetings (Wheeker, I).  Annie almost immediately recognized the simplicity and truthfulness of the long awaited and newly restored church of Jesus Christ. Her countrymen had been searching for this truth through the Protestant Reformation for over 300 years (Luck, 1985).  One can imagine the gospel of Jesus Christ calming her soul and assuaging her fears at a time of life when it was most needed.

Annie, Ida, and Jacob began a formal study of Mormonism with young Elder Alfred Budge, who taught them the first principles of the gospel (Weyerman, G). Annie may have read the tract, Die Froke Botschaft, (Glad Tidings of Great Joy), or Glaubenskekenntniss, (The Articles of Faith) (Reiser).  In time, she received a witness from the Holy Ghost that Christ’s church had been restored to the earth through the young American prophet, Joseph Smith Jr.  Despite some local persecution, she and Ida were soon converted and baptized by Elder Budge in late October 1888. At this time, Jacob had not yet reached the age of 8 years old required for baptism (Wheeler, I).

Arriving at church on Sundays took an hour of walking into downtown Bern, where Annie and her children wound through cobblestone streets lined with ancient stone houses standing side by side like soldiers at attention.  They knew they were getting close to their destination when they heard the Sabbath bells pealing from the gothic tower of the Bern cathedral. Soon they arrived at the mission office where church services were held. The many families who attended the Bern Branch may have eaten a modest lunch as the fellowshipped between morning and evening meetings.  Every week the congregation took the sacrament and listened to preaching by either Mission President Stucki, the local Branch President, or one of the Elders. A volunteer choir provided uplifting music (Stucki, 1837-1918).

Around this time Fred went to live with another foster family in the closer town of Ittigen, which shortened the walk to see his loved ones.  During Fred’s visits, his mother earnestly shared with him the principles of the new religion she was learning. It was her heart’s desire that he would be baptized and join the church.

 

Swiss/German

Missionaries

1880-1890

 

The Mormon missionaries in the region of Bern were led by John Ulrich Stucki.  A native of Switzerland, Stucki had been living in the territory of Utah at the time of his assignment to serve as the Swiss/German Mission President.  This would be the second time he accepted this weighty responsibility.

Not only would Stucki be responsible for the 13 traveling Elders in the mission; he would also publish the monthly LDS newsletter, “Der Stern”, and he would administer from his office in Bern all the branches of the church in Germany and Switzerland.  Added to these weighty responsibilities was overseeing the twice yearly emigration to Utah made by Swiss and German Mormons. These members wishing to join others of their faith in the building up of “Zion” would leave their homes and travel to the Rocky Mountains of the United States of America (Stucki, 1837-1918).

Accompanying Presiden Stucki to the mission field was 19 year old Alfred Budge, the son of Stucki’s good friend, William Budge.  What thoughts and anticipations might have filled the young elder’s mind as he contemplated his father’s earlier mission to Switzerland in 1854, “when opposition to the church was so violent that within three months he was on thirteen occasions placed under arrest and imprisoned for short periods, and finally was obligated to return to England!” (Budge, W).

When President Stucki and Elder Budge arrived in Switzerland on 15 May 1888 Elder Budge did not speak German (Stucki, 1837-1918).  Five months later he was teaching the Weiermann family in Ostermundigan using their native tongue (Wheeler, I).

Working with Elder Budge was the pleasant-mannered Elder Albert Schneider Reiser from Salt Lake City.  His Swiss parents spoke German at home, so he had the advantage of being familiar with the language.

Seventeen old Albert had been forced to grow up fast after his father, along with many faithful LDS men, was incarcerated by the United States government for the common practice of polygamy.  To support his family, Albert took charge of their clock repair business in downtown Salt Lake. He delivered customers’ clocks to the prison, where his father repaired them. Interestingly, Elder Budge’s father was converted to the LDS faith in Scotland, and Elder Reiser’s in Switzerland; yet they both emigrated to America on the same ship and crossed the plains to Utah in the same wagon train 28 years earlier in 1860 (Reiser).

 

Switzerland to United States

Emigration

1890

 

Elder Reiser arrived in Switzerland just a few days after Annie’s baptism, and began helping to teach the Weiermann family (Stucki 1837-1918).  The missionaries had with them some pictures of Utah. For decades, Mormon converts in Europe had been encouraged by church leaders to gather to “Zion” in the American West.  Surely ideas of emigration were planted by visiting Elders and church officials, but when accused of being an emigration agent, Elder Reiser remarked: “It was not my business to persuade people to emigrate, but to bring them the Gospel….there was only one true church….[I] told them how important it was for mankind to investigate Joseph Smith’s message….”(Reiser).

One late summer morning Fred joined his family on their brisk walk to church.  His mother made an astonishing announcement that she had arranged for them to emigrate to Zion!  Because the children had received an inheritance from the death of their father’s Aunt Isali, they could afford to emigrate.  The family would be reunited and travel together to start a new life with the Saints in Utah. (Weyerman, G.)

After the day’s church services, Annie shared with the mission president some of her worries about Fred’s situation.  President Stucki lovingly took hold of her hands and prophesied, “Fear not, for your son Gottfried. He will be the means of bringing many souls into the church” (Weyerman, G).  Within 10 days, Annie and her three children, led by President Stucki and joined by Elder Budge, began their odyssey to Zion.

The miracle of emigration did not take place without Annie’s heroic effort and faith.  President Stucki promised that if the saints paid their tithing, a way would be opened up for them to join the saints in Zion (Stucki, July 31, 1888).  The children’s inheritance from their great aunt had been put into an untouchable trust. With nerve and steely determination, the slight-built Annie faced authorities and requested they give her the funds to use for emigration to America.  When they refused, she threatened to leave without the children and then the state could raise them! After this ultimatum, they relented and granted her the inheritance of 500 Swiss francs (Weiermann, I., 1955).

Annie delivered the money to President Stucki, who hired agents from the Guion shipping line to purchase train and steamer tickets.  These agents arranged transportation, loding, and food, and also oversaw the moving of luggage from Switzerland to England and then on to America.  President Stucki also took care of details such as procuring bedding, tinware, etc. to be forwarded to the steamer for the transatlantic crossing (Stucki, 1937-1918).

In preparation for the voyage, Annie made some traditional hard dry Swiss bread, then fried it in butter to be their principal diet.  The missionaries taught them how to say “hot water” in English, so they could request some to pour over their bread, thus making it edible (Wheeler, F 1948).  Then the family of four packed all their worldly goods into five pieces of luggage (Mormon Migration). They were now ready to travel over 5,000 miles to join the Saints in Utah.

 

May God Bless Them All and Bring

Them Safely into the Bosom of the

Church and Kingdom of God”

 

This was the fourth and final emigration that President Stucki oversaw during this mission.  He and Elder Budge wew being released from their callings to return home to America with the emigrating saints.  Feelings were tender in the Bern branches the day before departure when President Stucki preached his farewell sermon in Sacrament Meeting.  Since his arrival two years earlier, he served the saints daily while surviving fever and smallpox. At the close of the meeting it is likely they sang the Swiss hymn, “May God Bless Them All and Bring Them Safely in the Bosom of the Church and Kingdom of God” (Stucki, 1837-1918).

The next morning, Monday, 1 September 1890, Annie (35), Fred (14), Ida (10), and Jacob (7) began their pilgrimage by boarding the train in Bern.  Who can know the conflicted feelings that must have been in their hearts? These may have involved jow, excitement, and hope of a new life in America among the Saints of God; mixed with the regret of leaving loved ones and the magnificent country of their birth.  Years later when Fred saw a newsreel about the Alps in Switzerland he sat and wept from homesickness for his native land. He commented, “The beauty of that land could not be found anywhere else”. (Weyerman, G).

At 10:30 a.m. the saints were on their way north to the border city of Basel entertaining themselves with singing.  Arriving after noon, the train pulled into Basel to pick up the missionaries as well as 13 members of the faithful Gygi family.  To everyone’s horror Rudolph Gygi, the father, had been stabbed the night before in the face by a mob of hoodlums who thought he was taking his six daughters to be enslaved in polygamy (Gygi).

Through the night and into Tuesday, the travelers continued north by train into Belgium.  It was 2 September, Ida’s 11th birthday. Perhaps she made friends with Anna and Elisa Gygi and helped them watch their younger brothers and sisters.  At the late hour of 11:00 p.m. the weary saints arrived in the port city of Antwerp. The Swiss emigrants were met at the train station by their agent who provided a wagon to transport their luggage and at least seven children under age 10 to a boarding house.  Before retiring, all received refreshment, which could have been soup, meat, vegetables, coffee, and bread (Stucki, J. 1837-1918).

After a night’s rest, the Swiss saints united with about 51 emigrating converts from Germany who spoke German so differently that neither group could understand the other.  Together this made 72 travelers. Once again they loaded their belongings onto a wagon to transport them down to the dock where the shop was moored (Stucki 1937-1918.) There the family had their first glimpse of the vast sea and all the ships and business of the bustling Antwerp harbor.  Searching for words, Ida wrote as an old woman, :The trip across the ocean was quite – I don’t know what you would call it – an experience to us” (Weiermann,I. 1955).

All boarded the steamer, which launched into the North Sea shortly after noon.  Their destination was the port of Hull on England’s eastern shore (Woods & Evans 2002).  For many, this was the first time on the open sea. Spirits were high and the saints passed time with singing hymns of praise, or conversion pleasantly.  President Stucki recorded, “the vessel went steady, sea sickness was therefore very light and confined to but few” (Stucki 1837-1918).

They traveled all night to reach Hull on Thursday at 3:00 in the morning.  The ship could not dock at low tide, so the passengers had to transfer in the dark to a tugboat that took them to shore.  Ida remembered the confusion, “While crossing the North Sea, something went wrong with the ship and we had to change ships.  Somehow we lost a roll of bedding, which we needed very much” (Stucki 1837-1918) (Weiermann, I., 1955). Despite the hassle of getting ashore, the emigrants were met by a kindly agent who examined their luggage to verify it was duty-free.  He also saw that the hungry Saints received something to eat before boarding a train late in the day.

Lulled to sleep by the clicking -clacking rhythm of the steam train’s wheels, the adventures slept most of the six-hour 140 mile journey across England to Liverpool.  They arrived before dawn on Friday morning (Stucki, 1837-1918).

 

September 1890

MON 01    Train: Bern – Basel

TUES 02    Train: Antwerp

WED 03    Boat: Antwerp – Hull

Thurs 04    Train: Hull – Liverpool

FRI 05        Liverpool – Immigration House

SAT 06    Loading of the ship, off at 3pm

SUN 07    Atlantic Crossing Day 1 – Queenstown

MON 08    Atlantic Crossing Day 2 – 294 miles

TUES 09    Atlantic Crossing Day 3 – 300 miles

WED 10    Atlantic Crossing Day 4 – 320 miles

THURS 11    Atlantic Crossing Day 5 – 298 miles

FRI 12     Atlantic Crossing Day 6 – Newfoundland

SAT 13     Atlantic Crossing Day 7 – 314 miles

SUN 14    Atlantic Crossing Day 8 – 320 miles

MON 15    Atlantic Crossing Day 9 – 298 – miles

TUE 16     Atlantic Crossing Day 10 – 308 miles

        Arrival in New York, USA

WED 17    Luggage and Customs

    TRAIN CROSSING TO UTAH & IDAHO

SUN 28    Train: Montpelier, ID

Wagon and Buggy to Paris, ID

Once again, shipping hires by President Stucki greeted the Mormon converts upon their arrival to Liverpool.  This city situated on the western coast of England was considered in the nineteenth century the most active international port of emigration in the world.  It was also home to the British Mission, and served as the administrative headquarters for the LDS church in Europe (Woods & Evans, p.91).

Passengers were not allowed to board their ships until either the day before or the day of departure (Liverpool); thus, the saints were taken to an immigration house to wait, eat, and rest for a day (Stucki, 1837-1918).

Meanwhile, it was LDS church procedure that every emigration company have a Presidency.  They would watch over the saints, conduct Sunday services, and see that everyone reached their destination.  John U. Stucki acted as President, and selected Alfred Budge and C. Meyer as his counselors. The day before departure, they were called and set apart by the British mission president, George Teasdale (Stucki, 1857-1918) (Mormon Migration Database, 1890, Sept. 6).

The sleek 366.2 ft steamer S/S Wisconsin, piloted by Captain Worral, waited patiently at port to receive her passengers (Mormon migration database, 1890, Sept. 6).  She was one of a fleet of 16 ships run by the Liverpool and Great Western Steamship Company,  known commonly as the “Guion Line.”  For 20 years the company’s ships had been launching twice a week to transport passengers and mail from Liverpool to New York.  A typical trip across the Atlantic took a week. At a time when there was no air travel, they were known as “ocean greyhounds” (Guion) (Miller).

All day Saturday September 6 a steady stream of humanity carting trunks, baskets, bags, and bed rolls trudged up the ramp of the stately steamship with its tall dark smokestack.  Seventy-six first staterooms as well as spacious dining rooms. Thy were joined by 100 intermediate passengers.

Then the Weiermann family joined a mass of 800 impoverished voyagers crowded into the notorious “steerage” section below deck (miller).  Annie, Ida, and Jacob were together in the Port Aft Steerage, while Fred was assigned Fore Steerage, perhaps because he was an older single male (Mormon migration Database, 1890, Sep.6).

It was a cacophony of humanity: men women and children from many countries speaking a babble of languages.  Each passenger was assigned a number on a canvas berth. When not in use the berths could be neatly stowed away making space for tables and  seats during the day. The journey would be no luxury cruise for these steerage passengers. Conditions were cramped, food was poor, and the atmosphere often bad; especially during rough weather when access to the upper deck was restricted. (Solem).

By 3:00 PM the ship’s crew drew up anchor.  All passengers went on deck, waving white handkerchiefs and throwing hats as they watched England slowly shrink into the horizon.  With this fanfare, Annie and her family bid farewell to their old life, and looked with hope to a brighter future in America, the land of opportunity.

As the ship glided into the night, the Swiss converts completed the irs six days of their traveling adventure.  When the sun came up it was a beautiful morning and the sea was as smooth as glass. President Stucki would have liked to conduct Sunday services, but the ship was too crowded and there was nowhere they could meet without disturbing someone.

By Late morning they reached the southern seaport of Ireland’s Queenstown harbor, where they remained for an hour or so to pick up more passengers.  Soon after moving out, they were engulfed in a dense blanket of fog. Everyone listened with suspense to a shrill whistle blow in rapid succession waning other floating vessels of their presence.  Soon all was well as they glided out of the fog into weather as fine as before. Although the steamer was quite steady, some began to get sea sick (Stucki, 1837-1918).

By Monday, several of the women and a baby were pretty sick, which kept President Stucki and his counselors busy.  Ida and her brothers were focused on the adventure and didn’t seem to mind the discomforts of travel. She said, “We used to go up on deck all the time.  The sailors would take us skating across it. We really had a good time – us kids did when we wasn’t sick” (Weiermann, I., 1955).

If the passengers weren’t sick on Monday, many became queasy on the next day when a wind made the sea rough and caused the ship to pitch and roll.

An English convert traveling a few years earlier on the same ship described a similar chaotic event:

“….Towards night the wind began to raise rather rough and the captain shouted out from the upper deck, “Look out for a storm.” The sailors began to run from one end of the ship to the other with large chains and ropes….We was then all ordered down below.  Pots, pans, buckets, and everything that was not fast was rolling about. Old people falling down, young ones laughing at the fun but did not last long. A large rope had been placed all along the water closets for protection. During the time we was standing by this rope waiting to get in the closets, our ship gave another sudden roll and we fell over this rope, old and young, head and tail together, vomiting on each other.  Girls screaming, boys laughing, old men and women grumbling, children crying” (Horsley, S., 1877, September 19-29).

The Ship continued to roll heavy with water pouring over the deck clear into Wednesday.  Soon even President Stucki and Elder Budge were sick too (Stucki, 1837-1918.) Years later Ida recalled, “When we were sick we would have to go on deck every day no matter how sick you were.  But we got across” (Weiermann, I. 1955).

On Thursday quite a number of suffering women remained in their berths.  Crowded conditions below deck caused the air to become fetid with disagreeable body odors, strange foods, vomit, waste, and ship oil.  Mercifully, the temperatures were quite cool (Stucki, 1837-1918).

By the sixth day at sea the weather improved, the ship steadied, and everyone felt much more cheerful.  Despite the rather chilly stiff breeze most passengers enjoyed a refreshing interlude basking in the sun on deck.  Some excitedly observed an iceberg silhouetted against the horizon about ten miles to the left (Stucki, 1837-1918).

At last after being a sea for a week, the ship entered cal waters off the coast of Newfoundland.  Some of the sick were beginning to feel better; everyone felt happier and more hopeful. In the afternoon, steerage passengers had to pass a routine health inspection, and if necessary receive vaccinations.  This was in the interest of the shipping company to avoid paying a hefty fee for any unhealthy passengers.

Sunday, President Stucki conducted church services in he saloon, or the first class public area of the ship.  The next few days passed without incident. There was some rain, but much to the passengers. President Stucki notes in his journal, “If it had been as warm all the way as the first two days, there would no doubt have been a good deal of sickness; the Lord is overruling all things for good.” (Stucki, 1837-1918).

On Tuesday afternoon, to everyone’s great joy  and anticipation,their destination was sighted!  All the immigrants strained to see the fabled America.  With gratitude and relief for a safe journey, the travelers watched the New York skyline slowly grow into view.  Their hearts certainly swelled at the first glimpse of the magnificent and newly erected Statue of Liberty. Majestically she  lifted her lamp to greet the “huddled masses yearning to breathe free”. (Lazarus, 1883). They passed Staten or “Quarantine” Island at 5:00 that evening, pulling up to the pier at 7:15 p.m. It was 16 September 1890; the first day of their life in America!

Heavy rain caused some delay the next day, but the baggage was unloaded by Wednesday noon, and an examination made by custom house officers.  Since the Immigration Station on Ellis Island was under construction, new arrivals were taken to the temporary Barge Office located in Castle Clinton at Battery Park on the southern tip of Manhattan Island (Ellis Island Immigration Museum.)  There all steerage passengers had to pass inspection or be sent back. Ida years later remembered the tense time in this way, “When we arrived at Ellis Island (sic), [mother] did not have the necessary amount of money the government required of those coming into this country, so she showed them a letter of proposal of marriage she had received from a convert who was already in the United States, and let them believe she was coming to marry him” (Weiermann, I. 1955) (Wheeler, F., 1948).

When all was cleared and the immigration process finished President Stucki concluded in a letter, “We are very thankful to our Heavenly Father for the many blessings received thus far, and feel to trust in him for our safe arrival in the land of his choice” (Mormon Migration database 6 Sept. 1890-Sept. 1890.).

It isn’t known for sure which railroad route the Weiermann family and their fellow saints took west.  Nevertheless as they crossed the continent, vast flat prairie lands would seem endless to someone from a tiny country encircled by tall mountains.  It was an adventure with pleasures for wide-eyed travelers. Ida thrilled to see wild horses running with the train (Wheeler, I., 1955). Fred with gratitude recorded, “We had good health and lots of pleasure on our journey both on train and ship”. (Weyerman, G).

Most of the European immigrants were destined for the Utah towns of Salt Lake City, Provo, Payson, Logan, and Nephi.  About 21 of the weary saints stayed on the train to travel northwest into the new state of Idaho. They arrived in the frontier town of Montpelier on 28 September 1890.  Continuing on by wagon and buggy, the Weiermann family, returning missionaries, and others rolled 10 miles south to the tiny town of Paris, Idaho. Fred remembered, “Elders Stucki and Budge were also glad to get home and and had all things arranged for hospitality.”  (Weyerman, G) (Stocker, J).

In Paris, the red sandstone of the newly dedicated tabernacle looked down on the little town.  This recently settled country of small farms was very different from the noisy crowded city the Weiermann’s were used to.  However, for Annie it may have triggered happy memories of her youth growing up in rural Switzerland.

 

Life in America

1890-1893

 

One of the great motivations for Mormon emigration was to be able to reach a temple, considered the “Lord’s house,” where they could receive ordinances necessary for their own salvation and perform them by proxy on behalf of their deceased ancestors.  This was a priority which Annie acted on immediately. It is recorded that her 10 year old son, Christian Weiermnn, three years deceased, was baptized by proxy in the Logan, Utah temple on 25 September 1890, suggesting someone took his name to the temple before the family finished their journey to their new home in Idaho. (Proxy baptisms were not required for her twin sons and daughter, since they died as innocent infants).

Many people who came to the United States chose to change or “americanize” the spelling or their names.  Fred’s Posterity most often spell their name Weyerman, while the family of Ida has most often spelled their name Weiermann.  In various family records the name can be seen in old records; Gottfried was known as “Fred”, his brother Jacob sometimes as “Jake”, and their mother, Anna Elizabeth, came to be known as “Annie” (1900 census).

Soon Annie and her young son Jacob moved into a rented log cabin owned by a Mrs. Herzog.  Annie began earning money taking in sewing. Ida had the opportunity to live with and work for the beloved Stucki family, who were also boarding the local school teacher.  Ida reminisces, “My teacher lived at the Stucky (sic) home and was very good to help me with my lessons” (wheeler,I., 1955). Once again, Fred boarded away from his family when he went to work on a farm.

Paris, Idaho had been colonized by the Latter-day Saints 17 years earlier and had two LDS wards.  What a change after attending the small branch in Bern! It was wonderful to dwell without persecution among people who believed and lived as they did; however, life was not without challenges.  Everyone had to work hard on the frontier for the survival of their family. It wasn’t easy learning a new language and adjusting to the ways of America. For example the young Swiss girl, Elisa Gygi, whom Ida certainly made friends with on the journey to Utah, recalls how at school she was told her name was to be the more familiar Alice instead of Elisa.  The children made fun of her because her shoes and clothes were different. Subsequently, Elisa took turns with her sister wearing to school a nice dress and some shoes someone gave them. In their poverty the Gygi family happily received groceries, clothes, and candy for Christmas from the Bishop of their ward (Gygi). It isn’t hard to imagine the Weiermann family relying on friends in a similar way until they were able to earn money to support themselves.

On 29 December 1890, several months after their arrival in Idaho, Fred received the ordinance of baptism into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  Several days later, on New Year’s Day, his younger brother, Jacob, was also baptized. Then, according to the custom at that time for member immigrants arriving in Zion, Annie and her daughter, Idam, were rebaptized.  It was a new year and a new life for the Weiermann family.

Fred traveled 20 miles north to Nounan, Idaho, to work.  There he was also able to procure a log cabin for his mother and brother.  Ida earned money by living in several homes where she helped with chores. Then she said, “Mother got work so I stayed at home the next year.  Then we went back to Paris [Idaho} where mother met Mr Nuffer at a German Conference….” (Wheeler, I. 1955).

 

Family and Marriage

1893-1901

 

A medieval castle overlooks the southern city of [Neuffen], Germany, where 27-year-old Johann Christoph Nuffer married Agnes Barbara Spring early in the year of 1862. Four years later tragedy struck when within 7 months their baby girl and her 26-year -old mother died.  Christoph was now left a widower to raise two sons, John, age 4, and Fred, age 3. (Nuffer, C).

A month later on July 25, 1867, he married Eva Katharina Greiner, who began to raise his sons as her own.  Christoph and Eva were surrounded by their extended family, and were supported by Christopher’s work as a dress goods weaver and a salesman of produce from his vineyard and farm.  Over a span of ten years, they added Regina, Charles, and Adolf to their family. (Nuffer, C).

After listening to the Mormon missionaries, the Nuffer family decided to join The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  They secretly damned a millrace at the rear of the house so the family could be baptized at night, undisturbed by hostile villagers.  To avoid the persecution that immediately followed, they decided to emigrate to Utah as soon as possible. Christoph sold their home and land, and borrowed money from another immigrating family to gather the needed funds.  Notwithstanding all the children catching measles, the family survived the transatlantic crossing in May 1880 on the steamship Wisconsin. (Ironically, the very same ship that in ten years would bring the Weiermann Family to America) (Naef, 1990).

The Nuffers followed many German and Swiss saints who pioneered Providence, Utah, situated just south of Logan.  Like countless others, they started our poor and worked hard to better their circumstances. Thankfully, the older sons Fred and John helped a great deal with the heavy labor.  A year after arriving in Zion, their last child, Mary was born (Naef, 1990).

In the fall of 1883 the oldest son, John, persuaded his father to sell their home and move into southeastern Idaho to homestead.  Two years later they set up another claim. It was a rough life, but his son Charles recalled, “(We) were happy and thanked the Lord for what we had.  Mother would read a chapter from the Bible, we would have prayer an we would go to bed early….We thanked our Heavenly Father for what we had and lived by faith…a I remember we never got discouraged for we felt the Lord was on our side” (Nuffer, C., 1949).

The Nuffer ranch was located northwest of Mapleton, Idaho.  Their farm was cut in half be the main road. On the east side was the land where their homes, stables, and fruit orchards were located.  On the west side of the road was meadow blanketed in lush grass with a creek running through it. This farm from one end to the other was a beautiful place (Naef, 1990).

In the winter of 1893, Eva, Christoph’s wife of 2 years, developed pneumonia and suddenly died within a week.  Her grieving family buried her in the first grave in the new Preston, Idaho cemetery. Christoph could not bear to be alone in the home where he had so happily lived with his wife, so his sons Charles an Adolf ran the farm, “while there father was away most of the summer at Bear Lake and other places” (Nuffer, C).

While away, Christoph, now known as Christopher, met 38 year old Annie Weierman at a German Conference (Wheeler, I., 1955).  These conferences were an opportunity for German speaking LDS converts to socialize using their native language. Through uplifting sermons, singing and dancing the Conferences offered support for immigrants adjusting to their new lives.

By the end of the summer, Christopher and Annie knew they wanted to get married.  They were sealed for Time and Eternity in the Logan temple a few months later on 26 September 1893 (Reber).

The one photograph we have of Annie was likely taken in Logan, “The Temple City”, at this time.  She serenely gazes out of the image, an attractive women with light-colored deep set eyes, high cheekbones, fair smooth skin, and unusually sculpted lips.  Her brown hair is modestly pulled back to the nape of her neck and wrapped into a bun. She is slightly built, probably no taller than her daughter who grew to about 5 feet 2 inches.  Her newly learned English would have been graced with a lilting Swiss accent. She wears a dark tailored dress, which she may have sewn, that has a high collar and mutton sleeves, the height of fashion in 1893.  It could be imagined the jeweled heart brooch pinned to her collar could have been a wedding gift from her husband.

At age 59, Brother Nuffer was considered “ an old widower” by Annie’s children.  (Weyerman, G). Besides love and companionship, he offered their mother a social status and financial security that she had likely never experienced.  Their stone house surrounded by pastures, orchards, and a garden may have reminded her of her rural youth in Switzerland. Because her new husband had lived in the area for many years, she benefited from the reputation he had in the community as a successful farmer.  The Nuffer name was well known in the surrounding towns as Christopher’s oldest son, John, was a trained architect and stone mason. He helped build the Logan temple, and also designed many of the public buildings in Preston, Idaho; including the opera house, bank, and churches. (Nuffer, J).

Annie and Christopher had many things in common, such as firm testimonies that Joseph Smith had indeed been an instrument in the restoration of Christ’s church, and that they were building up Zion in the American west.  They had both followed the same path of conversion, they both spoke German and understood the ways of the “old country”, and they both followed a strikingly similar emigration path. But like many second marriages, there was the potential for tension and competition for loyalty between their children.  As can be imagined, the children and their mother were very close after weathering so many adversities together. Annie’s marriage to Mr. Nuffer may not have been favored by the children. Fred’s feelings were, “Ida and Jacob remained no longer with mother then, but had to look out for themselves, neither I had any place that I could call my home” (Weyerman, G).

During the next year, Fred Weyerman became engaged to a girl named Sally, but this arrangement ended abruptly when Sally eloped with another man.  This seemingly devastating event turned out to be a blessing when Fred met 20 year old Olena Hoth while they were at a party of a mutual friend. Fred and Olena were married by their bishop two weeks later.  “Lena” was raised in a faithful Latter-day Saint family. She was a loving, loyal, and hardworking woman who would have a special role in the life of her mother-in-law. She and Fred loved each other and eventually had a family of 15 children.  (Weyerman, L).

Two months later the newly married Fred and Lena traveled a distance to the Logan temple to be sealed on 26 September 1894 for Time and Eternity.  In preparation for his temple ordinances, Fred Weyerman was ordained an Elder by their beloved Swiss mission president, John U. Stucki. It was a joyful occasion as Lena and Fred received their endowments and were sealed together. (eyerman, G)  Later that same day, Annie must have glowed with happiness as all her children were sealed to her and Christopher Nuffer (Reber, A).

About this same time Annie’s step son, Charles, recorded she made him temple clothes in preparation for his marriage.  He reminisced that, “His new step mother was helpful to us in many ways as we began our married life” (Nuffer, C., 1949).

In 1895 Fred and Lena welcomed a baby and named her Anna Weyerman.  Fred bargained with his stepfather for forty acres of his farmland in Mapleton, so Annie looked forward to seeing her new granddaughter often.  (Weyerman, G).

Near this time, Christopher’s oldest son, John, left to serve in the German/Swiss mission.  Imagine Annie’s feelings of curiosity and nostalgia as she read letters posted from the mission headquarters in Bern, Switzerland.

That winter Ida married David Wheeler.  His father, Calvin Wheeler, was a notable pioneer who settled in the Mapleton area seven years earlier.  David reminisces in his autobiography, “I finally met a girl, Ida Weiermann Nuffer, that I thought just suited me, and finally ask her to marry me.  She wanted me to wait for a while but as I had got a call to go on a mission she finally consented. We married in the Logan Temple on December 4, 1895.  Ida was just a few months past sixteen years of age.” David let six weeks later to serve a mission in the southern states of the USA. Ida supported herself by living with and working for families until he returned two and a half years later (Wheeler, D).

After a year of improving his land, Fred went to make a payment and fix the deeds; however, the sons of “Mr. Christoffer Nuffer would not agree, so [we] had to pull out with empty hands” (Weyerman, G).  It could have been that the sons didn’t know about their father’s deal or agree with it. There was a lot of competition in the area over staking out claims on various parcels of land. Christopher’s sons had also been working the land for years with the hope of ownership.  The emotions raised at that time may have prompted Ida to comment that “We, [Fred, IDa and Jacob], were not welcomed there” (Wheeler, I. 1955).

In the year 1896, Fred and Lena lost a baby named after Fred’s brother, Christian.  In 1898 they also lost a month-old baby girl named Marie Weyerman. That same year Ida’s husband, David, returned from his mission.  Also, Annie’s first husband and father of her children Gottfried Weiermann, died at age 46 in his home town of Wynigen, Switzerland (Wheeler, D.) (Reber,A).

David and Ida moved to the mountains of Western Idaho where David took a contract to cut railroad ties.  On 28 December 1899 Ida gave birth to her first child, Florence, alone in a crude timberland shelter while waiting for a doctor to arrive.  Ida’s only assistance was a blessing from the local missionaries, who afterward sent out into the yard to pray for her (Wheeler, I).

The last years of Annie’s life were marked by marriages, births, harvests, missions, and some deaths.  Mostly it was the day-to-day rhythm of life that generously filled the calendar. After they sold their ranch to the Hull Brothers of Whitney, Christopher and Annie moved to Preston into a two-room frame house near his oldest son, john (Naef, 1990).  The 1900 US Census records the family living in Preston, Idaho, and lists Christopher Nuffer as a farmer, Annie E. as his wife, and Jacob, his single stepson, as a farm laborer. It also notes that Annie can read and write English. Sometime between the 1900 Census and March 1901, Christopher and Annie Nuffer moved to Logan, Utah, which was to be their last home together (Naef, 1990).

By the time, Annie was very ill with “dropsy”, an old term for edema, or fluid retention usually in the feet, ankles and legs (Weyerman, L).  She may have suffered from it for years as it could have been caused by congestive heart failure, diseases of the heart muscle, or some other heart ailment.  As these diseases progress breathing becomes difficult; making walking arduous (Quinn, 2017).

Possibly because Annie needed someone stronger than her aging husband to nurse her, she moved in with her son, Fred.  His wife, Lena, was two months from giving birth. This was a charitable and generous act on Lena’s part, as she was now caring for Annie, a baby and three other children under the age of 5.  (Weyerman, L).

As soon as Annie’s daughter, Ida, recovered enough from the birth of her second child in August 1901, she came to Logan to relieve Lena as her mother’s sole nurse (Wheeler, I. 1955.)    Many Christian virtues were exercised as Lena and Ida worked together to take care of their 6 small children as well as nurse their mother through her last living days. (Weyerman, L).

When November came around, Fred was preparing to leave his seriously ill mother and family of small children to fulfill a call t the German/Swiss mission,  Under what he called “very hard circumstances”, he departed for Switzerland 25 November 1901. This young father knew he would not see his cherished family for over two years.  (Weyerman, G). It was also likely he would never see his beloved mother again. Indeed, she died 1 December 1901, less than a week after his departure for Switzerland. The grieving family buried 4-year-old Annie E. Nuffer in the Logan City Cemetery (Utah Cemetery Inventory).

For an unknown reason, Annie made made the unusual request before she died to have their family’s temple sealing to her second husband, John Christoph Nuffer, cancelled.  She wanted Fred to go to the LDS authorities and arrange for her to be sealed to her first husband, Gottfried Weiermann, and then to have their seven children sealed to them.  This wish was eventually fulfilled in the Logan LDS temple on 8 March 1905, about a year after Fred returned from his mission. (Ida Christensen Arave witnessed the Church temple records at the family history center in SLC) (Wheeler, I., 1955).

Anna Elizabeth Reber’s family was one of 90,000 known Latter-day Saint immigrants who crossed the oceans to America between 1840-1891.  “They had a most unusual success rate; making about 550 voyages, and losing no vessels crossing the Atlantic….These Mormon immigrants were responding to a call to gather with the righteous in a promised land, which they called Zion” (Woods, 2000 p. 74).  Because of courage to act on her faith, a tenacious 3 year old divorced mother of three changed her family’s course into the future. Annie’s decision to join The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and emigrate to the American west where she could help build the Lord’s kingdom on earth has directly influenced hundreds of her progeny.  Her determination not only lifted her family out of poverty, but more importantly pioneered the way toward salvation for untold numbers of future and past generations. For this act of faith, valor, and love we praise and remember her.

 

EPILOGUE

 

John Christoph Nuffer married for the fourth time four months after Annie’s death.  He lived to age 73, dying 12 April 1908 (Naef, 1990).

Fred Weyerman was suddenly killed 9 March 1935 at age 59 when the bike he was riding slipped on ice and hit a bus.  He left nine surviving children and his widow, who would never remarry. His sister Ida and her family kept in touch with “Aunt Lena” and their cousins for many years after his passing.  (Weyerman, G).

Ida Weierman Wheeler bore 10 children and lived to be 80.  She remained a faithful member of the LDS church through a multitude of trials as her she and her husband, David, worked to eke out a living on the frontier of southeastern Idaho.  Her obituary quoted her friends as saying, “She was a bulwark of strength, patience, and loving kindness to all who knew her” (Wheeler, D) (Olsen, L).

Jacob Weiermann didn’t marry until 1908, when he was 25.  His wife died in the 1918 Spanish flu epidemic.  Their two children, Donald and Martha, went to live with their Aunt Ida and Uncle Dave for a time (Arave, I., 2017). Jacob didn’t marry again.  He worked as a miner in Nevada, and died in Utah of tuberculosis 25 January 1945 at age 61 (Weierman, J., 1945).

 

The Church of Jesus Christ of [Latter-day] Saints in Europe

 

President Joseph F. Smith visited

Zurich, Switzerland in 1906, and predicted:

“The time would come when temples to the Most High would be built in various countries of the world.”

The Bern Switzerland Temple was the first temple built where English was not the main local language.  It was dedicated on 11 September 1955 (Petersen, S., 2013).

 

History of the Adolph Neuffer Family

Emma and Adolph Nuffer

Another entry from “We of Johann Christoph Nuffer, also known as: Neuffer, Nufer, Neufer,” The book was published in April 1990 by Dabco Printing and Binding Co in Roy, Utah. I will quote from the book itself.

The title of this entry in the book is “HISTORY OF THE ADOLPH NEUFFER FAMILY.”  I really don’t have much information on this family as can be evidenced by the quality of the photos I have as well.

“Adolph Neuffer was born in Neuffen, Wurtemberg, Germany, on April 14, 1875, a son of Johann Christoph and Eva Catharine Greiner Neuffer.  He came to the United States when he was only 5 years old.  His family settled in the small town of Providence, Utah,  All children 7 years old and younger wore long dresses.  His family moved to many different small town in Idaho.  Adolph was a stone mason by trade although he worked for Borden’s Milk Company for years before moving to Salt Lake City.  He met his future wife in Logan.  She was Emma Margaret Rinderknecht.  He married her on January 8, 1899.  They were endowed on January 14, 1900.  Adolph died September 21, 1955.  He is buried in the Elysian Burial Gardens in Millcreek, Utah.

“He was divorced from Emma after 44 years of marriage.  He married Grace Irene Frasure on August 9, 1943.  Later, they divorced.

“Adolph’s first wife was Emma Margaret Rinderknecht.  She was born in Providence, Utah, on May 15, 1873.  She was a twin.  Her twin brother, Joseph Hyrum, was given away at birth.  He died because the people he was given to didn’t know how to take care of him.  Emma had to work hard to help her widowed mother.  She would take vegetables to Logan to sell.  She also did washing for people.

“She was the mother of nine children.  Edna and Leona were children by her first marriage to James Peterson.

“Adolph and Emma had seven children together.  She died in Ogden on July 8, 1950.  She is buried in the Elysian Burial Gardens.

Ida, Elvin, Melvin, Lyman, Leona, Blanche, Edna, Dolores, Eva Nuffer

“Emma’s oldest daughter was Emma Edna.  She was born in Providence, Utah, on August 16, 1896.  She was married to Robert Early.  They had three daughters; Tacoma, and twins Doris and Dorothy.  Edna had one daughter, LaRue, by a previous marriage.  One twin, Dorothy, died as an infant.  Doris died when she was in her early twenties.  La Rue died in June, 1985.  Edna was divorced and later married Harold Hart.  They lived in Ogden,  Edna died August 26, 1969.

“Leona was born in Providence, Utah, on December 6, 1898.  She was married to William Walker.  They had four sons; Donald, Dale Lawrence (better known as “Bob”).  Then there was Billy who died when he was nine years old, and Dick died when he was about 26 years old.  Leona was divorced and later married Ray Andrus.  They lived in San Jose, California.  Leona died February 28, 1982.

“Lyman Adolph was born January 30, 1901, in Preston, Idaho.  He is married to Elizabeth Johanna Mellegers.  They had two children: Larry, who was drowned while trying to save another fellow; their daughter, LaRene, who lives in West Valley City.

“Eva Katharine was born in Preston, Idaho, on February 28, 1903.  She was married to John Allen Ricks.  They had one son, Jack Ricks.  They were divorced.  She married Earl Hansen; they were divorced.  She married Floyd Lutzai.  She died on November 1, 1973.

“Ida May was born on November 24, 1906, in Preston, Idaho.  She was married to William Henry Harman.  They had two sons, Bill and Bob.  She lives in 29 Palms, California.  Her husband has passed away.

“Blanche Josephine was born on March 12, 1908, in Preston, Idaho.  She married Christian Hansen, they had one daughter, Dorothy.  They were divorced.  Blanche married Neldon Peter Parker, they had one son, Blaine Parker.  He was drowned in the canal near their home.  They lived in Bennion.

“Elvin Joseph Neuffer was born on December 17, 1910, in Preston, Idaho.  He was married to Mildred Terry.  They had four children.  they are Marilyn, Nina, Bonnie, and Danny.  Millie had one son, Lynn, by a previous marriage.  Millie died at the age of 47, on September 3, 1964.  Elvin married Winona Mondragon, later divorced.  He then married Tessie Larsen, they divorced.  He married Joan Wheatly.  They have three children; Margaret, Jennifer and Joseph.  Elvin and his wife and three children live in Murray, Utah.

“Melvin Hyrum Neuffer was born on December 17, 1910, in Preston, Idaho.  H ewas fifteen minutes younger than his twin brother, Elvin.  He married Eveline D. Cornell.  They have six daughters; Shirlene, Kathleen (Kay), Susan, Holly, JuLee and Darla.  Melvin and Eveline have lived in the same house for 46 years, which is in Midvale, Utah.  They have been married for 52 years.

“Anna Dolores was born on May 12, 1913.  She was married to John Leonard Denovellis.  They only had one son, “Bud.”  Dolores and Johnny were both killed as they crossed State Street.  They were together.  They died September 9, 1979.

Written by Melvin H. Neuffer  108 East 7660 S  Midvale, Utah 84047

Ogden Cemetery 2018

We attended the Jonas Reunion near Huntsville, Utah earlier this month.  After playing for a couple of days, we headed home.  My poor family knows no trip is complete without a stop at a cemetery.  Here are some photos for our Ogden City Cemetery stop.

William Scott Donaldson and Mary Elizabeth Donaldson graves; Paul, Hiram, Aliza, and Lillie Ross

The first set of graves in this picture above are of William Scott Donaldson and Mary Elizabeth Williams Donaldson.  I have previously written part of their story.  William Scott Donaldson was born 18 June 1865 in Joyceville, Frontenac, Ontario, Canada and died 12 September 1913 in Ogden of cancer.  Mary Elizabeth Williams was born 7 April 1869 in Ogden and died 29 March 1951 in Ogden.  They married 2 October 1890 in Slaterville, Utah.  Their son, David Delos Donaldson, is my Great Grandfather.

 

David Delos Donaldson and Berendena Donaldson graves; Paul, Lillie, Aliza, and Hiram Ross

The second set of graves in this picture above are of David Delos Donaldson and Berendena “Dena” Van Leeuwen Donaldson.  I have previously written part of their history.  David Delos Donaldson was born 26 March 1894 in Evanston, Uinta, Wyoming and died 24 September 1953 in Salt Lake City of emphysema.  Dena Van Leeuwen was born 28 December 1898 in Ogden and died 5 March 1959 in Ogden.  They married 16 July 1919 in Salt Lake City, Utah.  Their daughter, Gladys Maxine Donaldson, is my Grandmother.

Gerhardus Hendrik Van Leeuwen and Hermina Janzen Van Leeuwen; Paul, Hiram, Aliza, and Lillie Ross

The third set of graves in this picture above are of Gerhardus Hendrik Van Leeuwen and Hermina Janzen Van Leeuwen.  I have previously written part of their account.  Gerhardus Hendrik Van Leeuwen was born 16 October 1856 in Oldenzaal, Overijssel, Netherlands and died 5 January 1932 in Provo, Utah.  Hermina Janzen was born 19 August 1860 in Gorssel, Gelderland, Netherlands and died 9 June 1921 in Ogden.  They married 31 March 1880 in Arnhem, Gelderland, Netherlands.  Their daughter, Berendena Van Leeuwen, is my Great Grandmother.

Elizabeth Cartwright Sharp written by Annie Thompson (27 August 1957)

I came upon this history and thought I would share it.  Elizabeth Cartwright Sharp is the mother of my William Sharp.  She was also the mother of Isabella Sharp Carlisle, Elizabeth Sharp Quayle, and James Sharp.  I don’t know where she got all of her information, hopefully from being passed down.  I will enter some updates in brackets.

LIFE HISTORY: Elizabeth Cartwright Sharp, written by Annie Thompson, (August 27, 1957).

“Elizabeth Cartwright Sharp was the daughter and only child, of George and Ann (Matthews) Cartwright, and was christened at Misson, Nottinghamshire, England, 20 December 1803. She died in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, probably late in the year 1850 [17 February 1851].

Elizabeth grew up a tall young lady, reared in an atmosphere of wealth and refinement. At the age of 17 her father died (burial 27 February 1820, age 46) and three years later, on 4 June 1823, her mother remarried to a widower named George Beighton. Little is known of this marriage except that George Beighton is purported to have gambled away at the races at Doncaster, the money belonging to Elizabeth’s mother.

On 29 December 1823, Elizabeth Cartwright was married at Mission to Thomas Sharp, and they became parents of eight children, four of whom died young in England; the other four, William, Isabella, Elizabeth and James emigrated to this country with their mother:

George Sharp, chr. 11 Nov 1824, Misson, Nottinghamshire, England
Mary Sharp, chr. 27 Nov 1825, “,”,”
William Sharp, born 10 Dec 1826, “,”,”
George Sharp, chr. 13 May 1826, “,”,”
Isabella Sharp, born 22 Dec 1831, “,”,”
Elizabeth Sharp, chr. 11 June 1834, “,”,”
Ann Sharp, chr. 29 July 1838, “,”,”
James Sharp, Born 7 Jan 1840, “,”,”
(Extract from the history of Isabella Sharp Carlisle)

Misson is a little town in the northern part of Nottinghamshire, in what used to be the Sherwood Forest, (made famous by the stories of Robin Hood). As well as having a historical setting, the place, at the time of Elizabeth Cartwright’s birth, was one of beauty, with its green pastures a bloom with cowslips.

Thomas Sharp died in 1841 at the age of 45 (buried 15 Jul 1841, Mission), leaving Elizabeth to care for the children.

Sometime about 1848, the LDS missionaries were preaching in the vicinity of Mission, and Elizabeth Sharp joined the LDS church, together with her eldest son, William, who was baptized 20 Jun 1848.

Elizabeth’s home was opened to the missionaries, and among the elders who stayed there was Elder George Emery.

Elizabeth Sharp decided to emigrate with her family to Utah, but her folks tried hard to discourage her from taking the hazardous trip; they told her if you leave for the west, “A red Indian will eat ye.” But Elizabeth’s determination prevailed, and in 1850 the family, consisting of the mother and her four children, booked passage for America. (The price of the ticket being twenty-five pounds sterling). They set sail from Liverpool, England, bound for New Orléans, Louisiana, USA, on 2 October 1850, on the sailing vessel “James Pennell”, commanded by Captain Fullerton. The voyage was a rough one and it took six weeks to reach their destination.

From New Orléans, they traveled by boat up the Mississippi River to St. Louis, Missouri, a trip that was not a healthy one.

Shortly after the family reached St. Louis, the mother took sick and died, and was buried there. This left the children on their own. They found employment and Elizabeth and James married and stayed in Missouri.

William Sharp married Mrs. Mary Ann Bailey Padley, a young widow who had joined the church in England.

Isabella Sharp was baptized into the church while in St. Louis, and Joseph Carlisle. Elizabeth Sharp married John Quayle, and settled around St. Louis, and had a family of three children.

James, who was about twelve years old when his mother died, made arrangements to come to Salt Lake City, but the company he was to travel with finally turned back. He then found employment with a meat-packing concern in St. Louis (in which he later became a partner), and married Eudora Mann and had a family of five children.

Elizabeth Sharp Quayle and James Sharp never joined the church.

Both William Sharp and Joseph Carlisle were good athletes, and while in St. Louis, they challenged anyone to a wrestling match that cared to accept. They became well-known in this respect and they had few who accepted their challenge.

In 1853, both William Sharp and his family, which now consisted of his wife Mary Ann, his step-son Lorenzo Padley, and daughter Annie. Elizabeth who was born in St. Louis, and Joseph Carlisle and his wife Isabella Sharp Carlisle, started their journey across the plains. They drove a wagon for Williams Jennings, a Salt Lake merchant and freighter, (whether they drove one wagon or two is not known). They came in the Moses Clawson Co., arriving in Salt Lake City about September 15, 1853. (Journal History, Aug 18, 1853, pg. 5-7; Church Emigrations Vol. 2, 2, 1851 to 1863).

Joseph and Isabella Sharp Carlisle settled in Mill Creek, Salt Lake County, Utah; and William and Mary Ann Sharp settled in Plain City, Weber County, Utah.

Annie Thompson
August 27, 1957

My relationship: Elizabeth Cartwright- Thomas Sharp
William Sharp
Milo Riley Sharp
Edward William Sharp
Edward Junior Sharp

Jim & Ko Tateoka

Jim & Ko Tateoka

Scanning photos for a friend, I stumbled upon this photo in a set of pictures that seem to be an Emerson Ward party likely in the early 1980s.  Since I recognized these two, I thought I would share.  Rather than write a history of them, I will share their detailed obituaries.  Jim & Ko lived not too far from me when growing up.  I remember meeting Ko on several occasions at Brucia Crane’s home as a young kid.  Jim sometimes would help move water for the Werners who lived near us.  A couple of times while we swam in canals, he would pull up and visit with us and tell us to be careful.  Later, I come to know their children, and Ted has become a very good friend of mine.  Interesting who comes in and out of our lives.

“Jim Suyetaka Tateoka Hazelton, Idaho

“Jim Suyetaka Tateoka of Hazelton, Idaho was called back to his heavenly home on November 1, 2006, at the age of 83. He died of complications related to Alzheimer’s disease. Jim was born on February 20, 1923, in Garfield, Utah to Tokizo and Natsuko Tateoka. When he was a young child, the family moved to Ogden, Utah. He was fourth in a family of five children. Jim grew up and acquired his love of farming on the small truck farming operation the family ran. Jim graduated from Ogden High School in 1941. He excelled in his studies maintaining excellent marks throughout his formal school years. Jim served in the U.S. Army during World War II. He saw action in Italy. Jim was a member of the highly decorated 442nd Regimental Combat Team. Many of his army buddies were Japanese Americans from Hawaii. They taught him to speak “Pigeon English” and to play the ukulele. He would sing Hawaiian songs to his family. Some of the songs included, “Don’t Say Aloha When I Go,” “Sweet Leilani” and “Hula Oni Oni E.” This provided many hours of enjoyment to his children. Jim was a quiet person and yet he had a quick wit and a “fun” side. After he was discharged from the Army, he and his brother Matt purchased a farm in South Jordan, Utah. On Febrary 11, 1956, Jim married Ko Takeuchi in Salt Lake City, Utah. They recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with all their family in attendance. He continued to farm in South Jordon and with Ko began to raise a family of four sons and one daughter. In 1969, Jim took a “leap of faith” and moved his family to farm in Hazelton, Idaho. The family has received many blessings from this move. He was a member of the LDS Church and served as a home teacher and membership clerk to four bishoprics. Jim and his family were sealed and his marriage solemnized in the Ogden Temple May 25, 1976. He is survived by his wife Ko, and children, Mark (Itsuko), Rancho Palos Verdes, CA, Paul (Nadine), Hazelton, ID, Penny, Portland, OR, Ted (Rebecca), Hazelton, Idaho, Tom (Jami), Waukesha, Wis.; grandchildren, Luke, Charlotte, Joseph, Elise, Benjamin, Claire, Olivia, Sophia, Amelia, Julia, Grace, Mae and Tak; his brother; Tom of Riverton; and sister, Momoko of Salt Lake City. He was preceded in death by his parents and brothers, Sam and Matt. The funeral will be held 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 4, 2006, at the Emerson LDS 1st Ward Church, 127 S. 950 W. in Paul, ID, with Bishop Ted Tateoka officiating. A viewing will be held Friday, November 3, 2006 from 7-9 p.m. at the Hansen Mortuary Burley Chapel, 321 E. Main St. and one hour prior to the service from 10 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. at the church. Interment will be at the Paul Cemetery with military rites. The family would like to express their gratitude and heartfelt thanks to Dr. Richard Sandison for his faithful and tireless service, and to the staff of the Cassia Regional Medical Center and Hospice for the loving care that was extended to Jim and his family during his stay. The family would especially like to thank Barbara West his attending nurse for her kindness and excellent care she gave to Jim.

“Ko Takeuchi Tateoka died peacefully in her home on April 14, 2013. Her loving family surrounded her, as did the soft light of the late afternoon sun, fresh flowers in colorful bunches, and Luna, the new family cat. Ko was 80 years old.
The Tateoka family will receive friends on Friday, April 19, 2013 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in the viewing room at the Morrison Payne Funeral Home on 321 E Main St. Burley, Idaho. Funeral services for Ko will be held on Saturday, April 20, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. at the Emerson 1st Ward LDS Church located at 127 South 950 West, Paul, Idaho. (Bishop Burt Belliston officiating). Prior to the funeral, a viewing will take place in the Relief Society room of the Emerson LDS Church from 10:00 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. Burial services will be held immediately following the funeral at the Paul Cemetery on 550 W 100 N Paul, Idaho.
Ko was born in the Sugar House area of Salt Lake City, Utah on May 25, 1932. Her parents, Seiichi and Tsune Takeuchi had immigrated to the U.S. from the coastal city of Mikawa, Ishikawa, Japan 14 years earlier in 1918. Ko was the third and last of three daughters born to the Takeuchis. Older sisters, Kimi and Fumi were ages 12 and seven at the time of Ko’s birth.
“In 1935, Ko’s family moved from the Sugar House area to a home and small truck farm on 2213 South 4th East in Salt Lake City. Ko entered first grade at Madison School on State Street and 24th South and continued attending the school through the ninth grade. She then attended Granite High School on 3303 South 500 East and graduated in 1949. Ko earned her teaching degree in Business Education in 1954 from the University of Utah. She took a teaching position at Olympus High School where she taught typing and shorthand from 1954-1956. Throughout her life, Ko gave much credit to her father Seiichi who had always stressed the importance of education. Despite the many hardships and barriers of those times and as a result of his influence, Ko and her two sisters received their college educations.
“In February of 1956, Ko married Jim Tateoka, a farmer from Garfield, Utah and moved to South Jordan Utah. Jim and his brothers farmed ground on 10000 South 2700. It was there that four sons and a daughter where born to Ko and Jim. In 1969, they moved their young family to a farm in Southern Idaho’s Magic Valley off of Kasota Road in the Emerson area. Ko was a fulltime homemaker and mom until 1980 when she re entered the teaching ranks. She taught 3rd grade at Eden Elementary School in Eden, Idaho and later took a teaching position in the business department at Minidoka County High School in Rupert, Idaho. Ko retired from teaching in 1993. She found teaching to be a very rewarding and fun profession.
“Ko enjoyed membership in various community organizations including the Kasota Sagehens, the Delta Kappa Gamma Society, The Mini Cassia Retired Teachers Association and the area “Nisei” Club. She was a strong member of the LDS Church, serving in many positions in the Emerson 1st Ward and Paul Stake. Ko enjoyed gardening, traveling, movie going, watching football and visiting with her kids, grandkids, and many friends. She loved the holiday season and the cheer, lights, gifts and joy it always brings.
In her later years, Ko cared faithfully for husband Jim who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease. He passed away in the fall of 2006. In October of 2010, Ko began her extended stay at Parke View Rehabilitation and Care Center in Burley, Idaho. She resided there until returning to her own home on Kasota Rd. in recent weeks.
“Ko is survived by her five children, 13 grandchildren, and three great grandchildren. They are: son Mark and his wife Itsuko of Miliani Hawaii and their two children, Luke, also of Miliani, and Charlotte of Salt Lake City, son Paul and his wife Nadine of Hazelton, Idaho and their three children, Joseph of Chicago, Illinois (wife Alison, son, Parker), Elise Mongillo, from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, (husband, Anthony, sons, Oliver, and Nikolas) and Benjamin of Provo, Utah (wife, Alexa), daughter Penny from Portland, Oregon, and her daughter, Claire from Brooklyn, New York, son Ted and his wife Becca from the Emerson Area, and their four daughters, Olivia Brown of Provo, Utah, (husband, Braeden Brown), Sister Sophia Tateoka ( currently serving in the Honolulu, Hawaii Mission) and Emi and Ju Ju (Emerson Area) and son Tom and his wife Jamie of Waukesha, Wisconsin and their three children, Grace, Mae and Takeuchi. (Ko’s parents and sisters, Kimi and Fumi are deceased.)
“Many many sincere thanks are due the following individuals and groups: The wonderful staff at Parke View Rehabilitation and Care Center, Dr. Glen Page, Deanna, Pam and Amanda of Horizon Hospice, Bishop Burt Belliston, Dustin McCurdy and family, Loa Maxwell and Margaret Merrill, The Emerson 1st Ward Relief Society, Jan Allen, Mildred Whitesides, and Ralph, Ben and Kristie. Thanks also to the many friends who called, stopped by, and brought in meals, sweet eats, cheer, and support during Ko’s time at home. We appreciate you!
“Services are under the direction of Morrison Payne Funeral Home, in Burley.

Brigham Young College 1915 Crimson Yearbook

I am a member of a Cache Valley Group on Facebook.  After some people posted a number of old photos, I asked if anyone knew if Brigham Young College had yearbooks and if someone had one for roughly 1915.  Within a day, Jennifer Johnson, a cousin of mine had found a copy of the Brigham Young College Crimson yearbook and made it available to me.  Here is a copy of the full 1915 Brigham Young College Crimson Annual if you are interested.

Sure enough, there on page 31 is my great-grandfather, Joseph Nelson Jonas (1893 – 1932).

Joseph Nelson Jonas’ Brigham Young College yearbook picture

Here is the full-page.  This is page 31 of the pdf.  The front of the yearbook says Crimson Annual 1915.  Page 4 shows that it includes the classes of 1915, 1916, 1917, and 1918.

Brigham Young College Crimson yearbook, page 31

Here are two copies of his diploma.

Joseph Jonas graduation diploma from Brigham Young College in Logan, Utah

 

I also found Joseph’s 1st cousin, once removed, Paul Ernest Nelson (1888-1970), was one of the teachers at BYC.  An interesting side note is that the page below states he, “Likes his Ensign.”  He and Martha Eunice Ensign were married 19 August 1914 in the Salt Lake Temple.  It also states he “[e]xpects to be a professor in psychology.”  Their first son, Paul Ensign Nelson, was born 26 June 1916 in Berkeley, California while he was attending school.

Brigham Young College yearbook, page 26

Here is a dedication to the Presiding Bishop of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Charles Winder Nibley (1849-1931).

Dedication in 1915 Brigham Young College Crimson Annual to Charles Winder Nibley

Charles W Nibley was the Presiding Bishop from 1907 to 1925.  He was a kind benefactor to Brigham Young College and as Presiding Bishop was involved with the school.  Bishop Nibley was released in 1925 and became a counselor to Heber Jeddy Grant until his death in 1931.  He is one of the few people to serve in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who was not an Apostle.

Charles Winder Nibley (1849-1931)

Brigham Young College was located in Logan, Utah.  It was founded by Brigham Young shortly before his death.  The college was meant for individuals from Northern Utah, Idaho, and Wyoming.  When The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints closed all its academy’s in 1926, except Brigham Young University, it suffered the same fate.  The buildings were sold and became Logan High School.

As records become more and more available, who knows what else we may find of our ancestors.