Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Duncan and Susan McArthur ~ Pioneers of the Month ~ December 2010

Duncan McArthur was born May 22, 1796 in Thornton, Grafton County, New Hampshire.  He was the eleventh of twelve children born to John McArthur and Margaret Aiken.

Duncan's parents settled in Thornton, New  Hampshire.  Here his father was one of the "town fathers".  The township grant being made in 1763 to Matthew, James, and Andrew Thornton.  It was incorporated in 1781.  John McArthur was instrumental in helping establish the Scotch Presbyterian Church, and helped in establishing roads and the school.  Many of the early settlers came from Londonderry New Hampshire.  They were Scotch Irish descent and immigrated to the United States about the same time as Margaret Aiken's ancestors.  Perhaps this was a reason they chose to live in Thornton.

Here John and Margaret's family of twelve children were born and John had their births recorded in the town records.  Duncan's brothers and sisters were named:  Catherine - 1775, James - 1778, John and Mary (twins) - 1781, Andrew - 1783, Samuel - 1785, Margaret -1787, Sally  - 1789, Jannett - 1791, Moses  Little - 1794, Duncan - 1796, and Roxanne - 1798.

For twenty-seven years they lived in Thornton.  In 1802 they moved to Chelsea, Vermont. Perhaps going to follow their minister, Noah Worcester with whom records show they had land dealings.  Noa Worcester seemed to have been embroiled in a controversy over church doctrine at this time and another minister was appointed in Thornton.

John McArthur was a farmer.  We do not know more about his life but he left a will.  It it he gave his belongings to his dear wife Margaret.  soon after his father's death in 1816, Duncan must have left Chelsea to be with his brothers, John and Moses Little.  They lived in Holland, Erie County, New York.  His mother, Margaret and young sister Roxanne, moved to Vershire with sister Margaret Keyes, who was now a widow with considerable means.  Both were buried in Vershire.  The other brothers and sisters were already established in their lives and had families.

Duncan married Susan McKeen in Holand January 1, 1818.  Her parents were Daniel and Sarah Libby.  Daniel McKeen also descended from the Scotch Irish group who settled Londonderry, New Hampshire and later moved to Corinth Vermont.  From Corinth, the family moved to New York with a group who bought land from the Holland Land Company.  Daniel McKeen was one of the earliest settlers of Holland or Wales, Erie County, New York.  His wife was Sarah Libby.  Her ancestry came from Kittery, Maine.  Daughter Susan was born in Corinth in 1801, and was taken as a child to Holland when her parents moved there, possibly in 1809 (before 1812). 

Duncan and Susan seemed to have a close relationship with Susan's family.  They moved with them to Scrubgrass, Pennsylvania in 1821, then back to Holland in 1826. 

Eventually their family would consist of fourteen children.  They are listed according to birth year.  Silas - 1818, Daniel Duncan - 1820, Orange Niles 0 1822, Washington Perry - 1824, Sarah Libby -1827, Henry Morrow - 1829, Ira James - 1830, Emeline Janette - 1832, Mary Jane - 1834, Annie Mariah - 1836, Margarette Roxanne - 1839, Emma Lodeska - 1841, Susan Amanda - 1843, Joseph Smith - 1846.

All of the children except Orange Niles and Washington Perry who were born in Scrubgrass, were born in Holland down to Annie Mariah who was born in Kirtland, Ohio.  Margarette, Emma, and Susan were born in Nauvoo, Illinois, and Joseph Smith in Garden Grove, Iowa.

After their stay at Scrubgrass (1821 - 1826) Duncan moved his family  back to Holland, purchased a farm and believed he was settled for life.  His farm prospered, and his family was growing.  However, in 1829 he was stricken with rheumatism which caused his right hip to be drawn out of the joint and confined him to his bed the remainder of the winter.  In the spring he got so he could rise from his bed but he was obliged to use crutches to get around.  He was not able to do much work for two years.  There was a continual doctor bill accumulating, causing him to have to sell his farm to pay off his debts.

He then moved his family up on Vermont Hill to a rented place for one year, this being 1831.  The next winter he bought another small farm and moved again.  This being only one-half mile away.  He resided there until 1833, with all things prospering.  At that time he had a chance to buy a larger farm two miles away on Hunter Creek.  Here he again commenced to settle down for life.  This new place was in rough condition.  He went to work clearing the land, making fences and building a nice farm to live on.

He planted an orchard covering five acres of land.  On it he planted the choice fruit trees, which he had reserved in a nursery from trees he had planted on the first farm when he owned after returning from Pennsylvania.  It was recorded that he grew choice blue and yellow Damson plums, reaches and currants.  Along with the orchard he fenced a one acre garden spot.

We are uncertain when Duncan and Susan first heard the Mormon missionaries.  His son, Daniel D.  says in his diary that Daniel first saw the Prophet Joseph Smith in the woods when he was twelve years old.  This would possibly have been in the later part of January 1831, as Joseph and Emma were on their way from Fayette, Seneca County, Ne York to Kirtland Ohio.  They arrived there the middle of February.  He was accompanied on this trip by Sidney Rigdon, Edward Partridge, and Ezra Thayer.  Some records say that the McArthur family joined the church in 1833 (Jenson, Early Church History-some family members also.)

Whatever the circumstances of the McArthur families conversion to Mormonism, we do know that Duncan was baptized March 22, 1835, by Elder Daniel Hicks.  (Dates are verified in the Nauvoo 5th Ward High Priests Record Book in the LDS Historical Library.)  He was ordained a deacon by Andrew G. Squires and others April 6, 1835.  He was ordained an Elder under the hands of Alman Babbit and others and was called to preside over the branch at Holland July 1835.  He may have been directing the Mormon effort earlier.

After they joined the Mormon Church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) they felt as "castaways" by their neighbors and friends, except those few who joined the Church with them.  At the Freedom Conference of the Church, May 22, 1835, a report was taken of the branches of the Church in the area.  There being branches in Freedom, Rushford, Portage, Grove, Buins, Genesse, Avon, Java, Holland, Aurora, Greenwood and Niagara.  Seven Apostles of the Church were present at the conference.  Parley P. Pratt reported that there were 15 members in Holland and that the branch had  "suffered much from false teachings of hypocrites and knaves". (Manuscript, History of the Church in N.Y. ms4029, Reel 3 box 6, Folders 5, LDS Historical Library).

We know very little about the branch as church records are scant concerning this time period.  We are told in Saniel D. McArthur's diary that Duncan continued to teach and baptized members into the branch until he left to join the Saints in Kirtland, Ohio in 1836.

In September, 1836, Duncan moved his family to Kirtland, where the church had commenced to gather as early as 1830.  It must have been hard to leave Holland, New York.  Both Duncan and Susan had family there.  Their oldest son, Silas, had drowned in Lake Erie July 4th of that year and they had buried a three year old son in 1833; (Ira James).  They had small children and Susan was expecting another child.  Annice Mariah was born Nov. 21, 1836 in Kirtland.  Daniel D.,, then their oldest, was sixteen when they moved to Kirtland.  Their farm was prospering at last.  This area of New  York has beautiful farm land and timber.  (Holland New York)

The Kirtland Temple was dedicated March 27, 1836.  Great sacrifices were made in its construction.  There were spiritual manifestations and the spirit of the Lord was strong among the Saints, but there was also turmoil.  Persecution prevailed in Kirtland and some of the saints began to move farther west of Missouri.  Duncan was ordained to the 2nd Quorum of the Seventies by President Joseph Young and others.

Duncan resided in Kirtland with his family until 1838, when, because of persecution, the Prophet Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon, and Brigham Young, found it necessary to leave Kirtland quietly for Far West, Missouri.  After their departure, the desire to immigrate became general among those who kept the faith.  On the 6th of March 1838, the Seventies assembled in the temple for the purpose of devising means for moving to Missouri.  On the 10th of March it was manifest by vision and prophecy that they should go to Missouri in a camp, pitching their tents along the way.  On the 13th they voted on a constitution which was signed by 175 brethren, Duncan being one of them.  James Foster, Zera Pulsipher, Joseph Young, Henry Herriman, Josiah Butterfield, Benjamin Wilkes and Elias Smith were appointed to act as commissioners to lead the camps.  Duncan was appointed as one of the three assistants to these leaders to act as judge and to help as needed.

On Saturday, July 16, 1838, they began their move south.  The camp consisted of 515 souls, namely 249 males, 266 females, 69 cows and one bull.  Jonathan Dunham was the engineer.  On the way however, they were met by a mob who told them they would not be permitted to stay long in Missouri.  Still they prayed they would get through safely and they pressed westward.  The camp record states on August 20 there was an illness in the camp and a child was seized with an evil spirit.  Elder Jeremaiah Willey had administered to him and the spirit left the child and entered Bro. Willey.  When the Elders entered the wagon to assist him he jumped forward yelling, "Yow, yow, yow," gnashing his teeth and camping horridly.  Elder Duncan McArthur laid hands on him and began to rebuke the spirit.  At the same instant he groaned, yelled and screamed out as it were, all in a whistling sound, and he began to talk like a man.  As Elder McArthur was done, he lay down and went to sleep and remained well.

In the morning of Wednesday, the 26th of July, Elder James Foster, one of the counselors, proposed to council to stop and break up the camp.  There was so  much excitement in Missouri at the time, because of so many Saints moving west.  It was therefore thought wise for the brethren of the camp to go to work and provide for their families until the difficulties should be settled, or until they heard from Far West.  A silence prevailed in the council, and shortly, writes the historian, "It was made manifest that it was the desire of the camp, collectively, to go forward, notwithstanding their deference always to the will of the Lord through the council.  Elder McArthur said, in a low tone, that it was his impression that we might go up in righteousness, keeping the commandments, and not be molested.  Some  others manifested the same, in concurrence with his feelings.  There was silence again.  Here our faith was tried, and here the Lord looked down and beheld us.  Then, lo, a gentleman who was directly from Far West, and returning to the East where he belonged, left his carriage and  came among us, although we were a distance from the road, and he told us there was no trouble in Far West and Adam-ondi-ahman, but that we might go right along without danger.  A vote was called whether to proceed or not and all hands raised toward heaven in favor to going on."  The camp then passed on towards Far West.  Joseph the Prophet in company with Sidney Rigdon, Hyrum Smith, Isaac Morley and George W. Robinson, met them some miles out and escorted them into the city, where they camped on the public square.  On Thursday, August 4th, the Camp arrived in Adam-ondi-Ahman, Davis County,  "This is a day", writes the Prophet Joseph, "long to be remembered by that part of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints called "The Camp", or Kirtland Camp No. 1."

When they arrived at Adam-ondi-Ahman, they commenced  to build a city.  Some cut house logs, others hauled them to the spot and others put them up.  By doing so a city sprang up in a very short time.  While they were busy building and providing for winter, the mob was busily engaged in preparing to come against them and kill and drive them from the state.  They came around their cornfields, that is the corn as it stood in the fields and take the Saints' horses, oxen, cows and wagons in exchange.  The Saints were pleased to dispose of many of their teams and property in this way, not thinking of the desires of the Missourians. As quick as the mob got all they could from the Saints, they packed their duds and commenced moving off into other counties to consolidate themselves into an armed body in order to come against  the Saints and drive them off their possessions and not only get their property back again, which they had sold to the Saints, but everything else the Saints possessed if possible.

Word came to Adam-ondi-Ahman that an armed mob was collecting to drive them out of the state, but knowing they were engaged in the work of God, they relied on Him for protection.  Following difficulties with the mob of Davies county, the Saints moved to Far West.  Duncan put up a log house on Log Creek.  He stayed until 1839.  Here, Annice Mariah was burned to death in a little playhouse which she and three little friends had built under a large white oak tree.  They started a fire which got out of control.  She was a little over four years old.  Also, in 1839, while living in Caldwell County, another little girl, Margarette Roxanna, was added to their family on February 7th.

Governor Biggs  appeared anxious about having his orders for the Saints to remove from the state carried out.  There were many poor among the Saints.  The published History of the Church Vol. III, p. 261, tells that D. McArthur along with several others needed assistance.  In the same volume the following resolution was recorded dated 29 January 1839; "Resolved:  That we this day enter into a covenant to stand by and assist each other, to the utmost of our abilities.  In removing from this State, and that we will never desert the poor who are worthy, till they shall be out of reach of the general exterminating order of General Clark, acting for and in the name of the State."

The following document,  or covenant,  was also drawn up and signed  by the faithful brethren:  "Far West, Missouri, January 29, 1839:  We, whose names are here underwritten do each for ourselves individual hereby covenant to stand by and assist each other, to the utmost of our abilities, in removing from this state, in compliance with the authority of the State, and we do hereby acknowledge ourselves firmly bound to the extent of all our available property to be disposed of by a committee who shall be appointed for that purpose, for providing means for the removing of the poor and destitute, who shall not one be left who desires to remove from the State:  with this provision what no individual shall be deprived of the right  of the disposal of his own property for the above purpose, or having control of it, or so much of it, as shall be necessary for the removing of his own family, and be entitled to the over plus after the work as effectuated: and furthermore, said committee shall give receipts for all property, and an account of the expenditure of the same."  Both Duncan McArthur and Daniel McArthur, his son, signed along with many others.

It was the month of March, 1839 when Duncan McArthur and his family left the state of Missouri.  They landed in Quincy Illinois the first of April.  Soon after, he moved his family to a farm thirteen miles east of Quincy, near Payson, Adams County.  Duncan was ordained a High Priest by Hyram Smith and Alman Babbit in June 1839.  The Freedom Stake was organized with Henry W. Miller as President and Duncan McArthur and William Teney as counselors.  (Oct. 27, 1840)

Quickly thereafter, Duncan was called on a mission to the Eastern States.  He reportedly baptized 20 people into the church while on this mission to New York, Vermont, Main and Massachusetts.  His companion was Perregine Sessions.  Elder Sessions kept the journal for the mission and it is in the LDS Historical Library.  The "Times and Seasons" publication of the church, page 108, also has a report from this mission.  It is thought to have been written in 1840 and said the extract published was sent from Bethel, Oxford Co., Maine.  In it he mentions leaving Vershire, Vermont September 10, 1840.  This is where his mother and sister Roxanne were living.  One can only imagine his heartache as none of his family accepted his message.  Surely he would have taught them.

The Historical Record, Church Encyclopedia by Andrew Jensen relates the following about one of his converts while on his mission:  "Olive Grey Frost, daughter of Aaron and Susan  Frost, was born in the town of Bethel, Oxford Co.,  Maine, July 24, 1816.  She possessed a happy and genial disposition.  She gained many friends whose friendships grew stronger as time advanced and they learned to appreciate her good qualities.  When quite young, she was inclined, and would often go to some private place, with a chosen companion to pray out her soul in sincere prayer to that being who rewards openly, and frequently she incurred ridicule thereby from those who were less sober minded.  When about eighteen years of age she and her particular friend, Miss Louisa Foster learned the tailors trade, and they went together from place to place, among their acquaintances to work at this business thereby being able to lighten the labor of busy housewives.  While engaged at this work in the neighboring town of Dixfield, Elder Duncan McArthur visited the place and preached the Gospel.  Following earnest prayer she soon comprehended its vast importance.  She received it joyfully.  She was baptized by Elder McArthur and always looked upon him with reverence as her father in the Gospel.  She was sister-in-law to Parley P. Pratt.  She and another sister were the first lady missionaries to go across the sea to a foreign mission.  She married Joseph Smith as a plural wife and was sealed to Brigham Young for time.  She died in Nauvoo October 6, 1846."

Daniel took care of the farm in his father's absence.  He said, "While my father was gone, we prospered in everything we set our hands to do.  When father left, we had two cows, and when he returned we had two yoke of oxen, three cows, and a herd of young stock.  Instead of having grain to buy as we had when he left, we had 75 bushels of wheat, 500 bushels of corn on hand and nine hogs, with plenty of clothing to do us for the present.  We numbered ten in the family.  I continued to reside at home until June 24, 1841."

In the spring of 1842, Duncan and his family moved from Adams County to Nauvoo where they could enjoy the society of those whom they loved.  In Nauvoo, he built a home and a cheese factory, he owned lot 3, block 71, lot 20 in block 70, lot 3 in block 105 in Nauvoo.  Duncan applied for membership in the masonic lodge in Nauvoo on March 17.  The day the Relief Society was organized.  He was accepted into the lodge on April 7, 1842.  Duncan acted as a guard for the Prophet and other church leaders during the days of persecution in Nauvoo.  His presence and vote is often recorded in the Nauvoo 5th Ward High Priest Quorum meetings.  Frequently, it is recorded that he was called upon to pray.  He worked as a carpenter on the temple.  Duncan is recorded as performing the marriages of James Hale and Lucy Clements, November 14, 1844 and David Pratt and Ester S. Tyler, March 2, 1843.  We do not know if he was a Justice of the Peace, or if the marriages were performed through his church position and with the authority of a High Priest.

He was a clerk in Nauvoo and dated some membership records for the Wilcox family.  Among his close neighbors in Nauvoo we find Howard Cory, who was the scribe for the inspired version of the Bible, James Bird, Erastus Derby, and Horace Alexander.  The McArthur home was of brick and was located on Block 78, lot 2.

In February 1846, once again, Duncan had to leave his home in Nauvoo because of the persecutions.  They crossed the Mississippi River and took up the march West.  They had buried five little girls including Annice Marian who was burned to death in Far West.  Emma Lodoeske lived two months, she died in 1842.  Jennette Emerline who would have been eleven when she died in July of 1844, and Mary Jane would have been six years old in April of 1845.  Susan was pregnant again, when they left for the West.  The baby was born and died at Garden City, Iowa, 12 September 1846.  He was named Joseph Smith McArthur.  Their trials were many but their faith strong.  They endured much sorrow and want.  They camped one hundred and fifty miles from Nauvoo on the Grand River at Garden Grove.  There was a large  plot of ground that they fenced like a farm.  It contained 500 acres and was a good stopping place for the others who would come to share the crops that were planted.  Those that were too poor and in too bad of circumstances to go on west would stop here to make more preparation.  Daniel went on but his father stayed.  Henry Morrow was called to go with the Mormon Battalion.  Duncan stayed here until he could get better equipment to go on to Winter Quarters.  The next year when he arrived at Winter Quarters, he found his son Daniel very sick.
He laid his hands on his head and gave him a blessing that saved his life.  Sons, Washington Perry and Orange Niles, left to return to Illinois.  The diary of Daniel Duncan says of this time that they buried Jennette on the banks of the Platt River.  But the date he gives would indicate it took place in Nauvoo.  This has not been  verified.  Only five out of Duncan's fourteen children came west; others died en route.  I know Duncan did not come to the Great Salt Lake Valley in 1848 when Daniel did, but he was in Pleasant Grove by 1850.  He lived between Pleasant Grove and American Fork, Utah.  The ditch by his property is still called the "McArthur Ditch".  The town of American Fork was called "McArthurville" in the Journal History of the Church, 18 March 1851.  He was in an early bishopric and an Alderman in Pleasant Grove.

In 1859 Duncan was called to move his family to help settle Mt. Pleasant.  He took with him Sarah Libby, Henry Morrow, Washington Perry, and his wife, Susan.

He planted trees and berries he brought from Pleasant Grove, and also brought the first bees to the area.  He must have been an excellent agriculturist.  The family was highly respected.  Sarah Libby, Henry and Washington Perry were known as the town doctors. 

In 1862, at the towns first big celebration, Duncn was called on to give the oration.  It is given as recorded in the town history.  The following is a part of a sermon delivered by Duncan  McArthur on July 24, 1862 in Mt. Pleasant.  It was recorded in the journal of Andrew Madsen:
"Brothers and Sisters,  It seems to have fallen my lot to address you today, and although I am always willingly to do my part when called upon by those in authority over me.  I am glad of having the privilege of meeting with the Saints on this Thirteenth Anniversary Day when the Apostles and Prophets landed in Utah, led by inspiration, leaving their temporary home in Iowa and by direction of God came to these valleys in the mountains.

I compare this congregation with the one assembled in Kirtland, when they started the temple which stands as monument today.  The persecution and driving of the Saints from that county and from state to state and at last from their beautiful city Nauvoo, where they had been persecuted by the enemy and their Prophet and leader, Joseph Smith and his brother, Hyrum were killed -  by the hand of God, the saints were then led to these valleys.  We are now permitted to assemble in peace and safety and enjoy the blessings that God has extended to us.

Many of us have now been in these valleys thirteen years, all this time have we not lived in the enjoyment of peace and great fortune?  During this time, it is true, Uncle Sam, through false rumors and false representations of judges and others, placed here by the government, accusing Brigham Young and the Saints of destroying public records and with the purpose of destroying us, sent an army.  But did they do it?  No.  Here is wisdom of God, moved upon thee and instead of their efforts to injure us, they did us good.  We furnished the soldiers with supplies. assisted them in building Camp Floyd, and received clothing and gold and silver which was distributed among us for our services and supplies.  They were a blessing, giving those who wished to leave us a chance and thus ridding the Church of a number of dead branches.  This, with the thousand other difficulties the Saints have passed through, no wonder that we have been tried and prepared that in the future day we might rejoice in the fullness of all glory.

Hail to the Land  of Columbia, may the time soon come when righteous principles may again be established and the lion of the Lord roar from East to West."

Duncan McArthur,  after he came to Mt. Pleasant, is said to be a man about six feet tall and weighed 165 pounds.  He had dark burly hair and a very high forehead.

During the later years of Duncan's life he and a close friend, Lucas Nelson Scoville, both being around 63 years of age decided to take as second wives each other's daughters.  Duncan received Eliza Rebecca Scoville who was still in her teens.  Rebecca was in love with a young man by the name of George Haws.  George was to claim her as his  wife some twenty years later.  Through the union of Duncan and Eliza Rebecca Scoville the following children were born:
Celeste Eliza            born 10 February 1860
Lury                        born 30 October 1861
Alice                       born 10 March 1863
Annie Ermina           born 1 February 1865

Duncan passed away in his 69th year leaving a large family, the last four being very young.  Washington Perry, feeling an obligation towards his father, honored his request to care for Rebecca and her young children.  He married Eliza Rebecca on the 15th of November, 1867 and assumed the responsibility for her four children.  Then he and Rebecca had six of their own.

Sarah Libby McArthur drove a team  and wagon from Missouri River alone.  She was the doctor in Mt. Pleasant for years.  She was the daughter who was married to Lucas Nelson Scoville. 

Susan McKeen, the first wife, died July 4th, 1866 at Mt. Pleasant.

(The material in this has come from Daniel Duncan's diary, "Our Progenitors", by K. Glen McArthur; History of the Church by B.H. Roberts, and Historical Record by Andrew Jensen, published in Salt Lake City in 1888, Volume 3, 4, 6 and 7.  Research at the Church Historical Library done by Margery Peterson.  Also historical accounts by Suzanne McArthur and Annie  Jennings.)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Chreston (Christian) Sorensen Family ~~~ Pioneers of the Month November 2010

the following history is taken from the book "They Followed Their Faith" (Christian Sorensen Family History)  with Helen Read, Editor and Owen Stewart, Publisher

Chreston was born in the neighborhood of Frederikshaven, the most northern harbor in Denmark in Arling Sogn.  He was the youngest child in a family of 14 children.  His parents died early in the life of the boy, his father when he was 3 and his mother when he was about 10 years old.

This misfortune put Chreston in the hands of his aunt, who did the lad the best she could.  They lived in a rural district where company for the boy was scarce.  He helped his aunt care for a few geese (domesticated) kept on the bit of ground which they called their "Gaard".  From the reports of Chreston in  later years as  told to his own children, the goose herding was no snap for a child, and he was none too successful as a herder.

Schools were primitive and far apart in the Northern part of the little kingdom of Denmark in that early day. He read the Danish well, but did not write.  Early in his teens circumstances forced him to leave adopted aunt's home and seek employment, such as he could do , wherever an opportunity was afforded, usually on a large farm or "Horgaar", where nearly all ages could find something to do. 

This was a  rough life and a tough one, especially for a child.  He showed the effects of rough treatment more or less all his life.

At a large ranch called "Rordal" he approached manhood.  He spoke well of the ranch and the people who worked there.  That he did his job or jobs well was evidenced throughout his life, in the fact that whatever he undertook to do for himself or others, regardless of pay or re numeration, he did masterfully and well.  When he finished a job, whether about the home or on the farm, whether for himself or others, he did it well and would not leave the job until well done. 

It was in Rordal that he met a modest and delightful young lady, also employed on said farm.  An affinity grew between them which became stronger with the passing years.  They became lovers, which in due time resulted in marriage.  This maiden which he wooed and wed, came from the north of the peninsula of Denmark. 

In that section, a new religion emanating from the United States, was being preached by missionaries who had been sent there, among other places.

There was something fascinating about this religion as well as the ministers who taught it.  This new cult won not a few followers, and in a short time much enthusiasm prevailed.  Church branches were organized and many new converts joined, among which were the parents of the girl who later wedded the young man,  Chreston Sorensen.  Whether Chreston as aware of this fact does not appear, but his wife had been baptized and was a member before she knew Chreston Sorensen.  Whether Chresten's conversion occurred earlier or later when the young couple was married and and frequented the gathering of the new Church is not known.  With these gatherings, some opposition arose, and the greater the number of new converts, the greater the notoriety of the new cult and the greater the opposition on the part of the general public, until the opposition became strong and turned into persecutions.

It became quite unpopular to be seen in the company and association of the new Church.  In fact, the large farm where they both worked had many employees, all of whom shunned and belittled this young couple. The result of which persuaded them to leave the ranch, but then what?

The missionaries from the United States persuaded the new Saints that in America were opportunities galore, a vast country with plenty of vacant ground, open to settlement and homemaking by anyone who cared to make the venture emigrating.

It should be noted that the parents of Christena Jensen, Jens  Jensen and his wife Marianne Jensen, and two sons, Carl and Albinus Jensen were among the first converts in Northern Denmark to the new LDS Church.  Two younger daughters, Johanna and Villirene (also recorded  as Willerena) were later baptized when old enough.

So the entire Jensen family became members.  All came too America except the father Jensen who became sick and gave up the thought of leaving his native country due to the state of his health.

Chreston and Christena decided to emigrate as soon as they could raise the necessary funds to pay their transportation.

For some years after the Mormon Saints located in Utah, local government of the New  Territory was left to them.  Accordingly, Brigham Young was elected the first Governor and continued such for a time, but opposition to this status arose, and under the guise that the Saints were practicing polygamy and advocating this practice, laws were passed by the Congress against this practice, and provided further that the Governor of Utah should be appointed by the President of the United States.  It was further alleged that the Saints were disloyal to their country and were actually in rebellion and working against the United States.  This in time resulted in organizing a body of Armed Forces for the purpose of sending them to Utah to quell the rebellion and subdue the uprising.

This body of U.S. Soldiers was known as Johnston's Army. It was alleged that Mormons refused obedience to Gentile law, that Federal officials had been virtually driven out of  Utah and others threatened with violence. With the advice of his Cabinet, President Buchanan determined that Brigham Young should be superseded as Governor and that an Armed Force should be sent to the Territory to set things right and compel the Saints to maintain law and order.

As a result of of this trouble,  all the Elders in the Mission fields were called home to Utah and all emigrations stopped.  This gave Chreston Sorensen and wife a chance to breathe and as much as possible prepare for their financial needs for  emigration.  If and when such an opportunity should come.

In January 1859, the Mission President of Scandinavia, returning from a visit to England, announced with great joy that a communication had been received from Brigham Young announcing that emigration to Utah, which had been stopped due to the Johnston Army war trouble, would be resumed, and that the Saints would have the privilege of crossing the Plains in the United States, either with ox teams or handcarts.  Accordingly, President Carl Windeborg and co-laborers went to work at once preparing for the emigration of a large company of Saints the following spring ~~ 1859, and through the generosity of some  o more well-to-do Saints, opportunity was given many of the poorer Saints also.  The cost, as announced in the Scandinavian Stjerne (Stjerne means Star ~~ a Scandinavian newspaper for members of the LDS Chuch) of January 1, 1859, would be, for those who would cross the Plains with the handcarts,$75.00 for each individual.  For those who expected to cross the Plains with oxen and wagons it would be $100.00.  Eight persons would be assigned to each wagon,  and about 3 or 4 with each handcart.  Those intending to go were asked to send their money and number of names in each family or group.  Money  was to be sent in advance to America to pay the necessary expenses to cross the Plains.  This was joyful news to the Sorensens.  The family now consisted of father, mother and baby, Patrena, less than 6 months old.

On Friday, April 1, 1859, a company of Scandinavian Saints, consisting of 355 souls, including 224 Danes, 113 Swedes, and 18 Norwegians, sailed from Copenhagen Denmark, on the steamer, :"L.N. Hvidt", in the charge of Carl Wederborg  and Niels Wilhelmsen.

After a rather stormy voyage over the North Sea, the company reached Grimsby, the emigrants continued the journey by rail the same day to Liverpool.  On April 7 they went on board the ship "William Tapscott".  Captain Bell was in charge.  Here they were joined  by British and Swiss emigrants.  Elder Robert F. Neslen was appointed president of the company with Henry H. Harris and George Rolayar, counselors, and a number of other assistants.

On Monday, April 11, 1859, the ship lifted anchor and was tugged out the "Messey" into the open sea with its precious cargo of 726 souls.  Songs of joy resounded from all parts of the ship as it was pulled out into the sea.  But these were subsequently succeeded as usual, by a different chorus, as those well know who make their first voyage on a restless and turbulent ocean.  As a rule, each and all make their contribution to the delight of the teaming fish looking for such generous contributions. 

It has been reported that the company was blessed with good weather and a pleasant trip, but the writer, who is the oldest son of Chreston and Christena Sorensen, was told by his Mother Christena that they had a dangerous trip, that at one point hundreds of monstrous glaciers or mountains of floating icebergs, drifting southward across the path or course taken by the ship, and it was deemed wise to steer southward a thousand miles or more to be safely clear of the dangerous icebergs.

The voyage lasted 31 days.  The health of the passengers was good, and only one death occurred on board.  There were 2 births and 19 marriages.  It is worthy of note that every day on the voyage the people were called together for prayer, morning and night  at 8 o'clock.  On Sundays three meetings were usually held on deck, and fellowship meetings were held in each ward two nights a week.

The monotony of the voyage was also relieved with singing, instrumental music, dancing, games, etc., in which, of course, the young people took a leading part.  The elderly were naturally interested spectators.  There were 9 different languages spoken in this group and also a great variety of manners, costumes and peculiarities.  Yet the voyage was agreeable and successful.

Upon the arrival of the Company in New York, it was pronounced by the Declair and Govt. officers to be the best disciplined and most agreeable company that had arrived at that port.  Arriving safely in New York Harbor, the emigrants landed in Castle Gardens on Saturday, May 14, 1859.  On the same day in the evening, most of them continued the journey by steamboat up the Hudson River for Albany, whence they traveled by rail  via Niagara Windsor in Canada, Detroit in Michigan, and Quincey, Illinois, to St. Joseph, Missouri, where they arrived on the 21st of April.

On the afternoon of that day they boarded the steamship "St. Mary", which brought them up the Missouri River to Florence, Nebraska, where they arrived on the 25th in the morning.  The whole route through the States was one which no former company of emigrating Saints had ever taken.  Bro. Geo I. Cannon, and those who assisted him in the emigration business that year, were quite successful in making arrangements for transportation by direct rail to St. Joseph, instead of, as at first contemplated, shipping them to Iowa City.

On their arrival at Florence, the Saints were organized into temporary districts and branches with presiding officers over each, whose duty it was to look after the comfort and welfare of the group which encamped at the place.  Prayer meetings were held twice a week in most of the branches.

winter facing them.  When the crops were gathered their employment ceased, and while the proverbial hungry wolf oft passed their submerged home, and whose howl could often be heard in the distance, they and their food supply were safe against their hunger depredations.

Of course, the home was crowded. of course, the inconvenience was great, but the true honored and cheerful Danish  adage which says, "Where there is heart room there is home room".  proved here to be a veritable fact.  So winter dragged its weary length along, and the two families managed to get by, nor suffered from either cold nor hunger, nor want of company and friends.

When Spring work began, the Sorensens were ready to  meet the challenge  and would accept work of any kind or nature, they never debated the wage nor the kind of pay with their employers.  They could do any kind of work incident to farming life at that time, from milking of a cow, driving  a team, hauling hay, harvesting grain or even hauling muck from corrals.  Thus went the summer, galloping by, and the autumn found them with food supply ample for the winter and some to spare, should circumstances require. 

Willerena Jensen Sorensen 

The meeting of the sisters was a tender one, having been separated for ten years, and now meeting again so far from home made it even more genuine and touching.

Plurality of wives was in flower, and the older men were taking unto themselves a second wife.  Christena no doubt anticipated her husband would seek another wife to fulfill the higher order of marriage.  She no doubt thought about it , discussing it with her husband ~~ why should he not take Willerena as his second wife ~~ they would be able to live in greater happiness and compatibility than if he were to marry someone else.

Christian and Christena were married September 12, 1870.  Willerena was nearly 16 years old when she married Christian Sorensen, who was thirty five years of age.  The difference in age at that time did not seem so outstanding then as it might today.  Girls married younger then than they do today. 

For the next eighteen years Willerena was a good wife, helping in the fields, helping Christena at home with the household chores of washing wool, spinning, cording, making clothes, soap and candles, preparing meat for the winter and a thousand and one things there were to do to keep two households  stocked and provisioned for the hard winters and a lot of little hungry mouths to feed, as well as to bare children and take care of those they already had.

Everyone had to work in the fields or at home.  The time was valuable in the summer for farming and wrestling from the soil those foods needed to feed the family, while the wintertime was when indoor work could be done.  Every girl had a job and was expected to work according to her ability, while the boys could haul wood by the loads for the hungry fireplaces, logs for barns and fences, and timber for the barns, homes and sheds. 

Two years after Willerena and Christian were married, they sent to Denmark for her mother and father, but the father would not leave his homeland.  He was old and wanted to stay there and die there, which he did two years later, in the year 1874.  The mother, Mary Ann (Larsen) Jensen, desired above all things to come to Zion and to see her two daughters and their families.  She made the journey as her daughters had done.  She arrived here in 1872 and lived with her two families for five years, when she passed away on September 8, 1877.

When Willerena had five children and life just seemed to be smiling on the family, all hell was turned loose, and Satan did his best to perpetuate it on each, as if these poor souls had not had enough to endure in fighting the wilderness, the elements and the Indians.  Persecution by a government that claims any man can worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience seemed unfair.  These noble people believed the Lord when he said the new and everlasting covenant was plurality of wives and were practicing and believing only that which their prophets had done and preached.  These men married their wives, acknowledged their children, cared for them and raised them to become good citizens.

In the spring of 1888 the U.S. Marshal posted guards around the house of Willerena Sorensen, and then forced the door open.  Only the frightened children were there; to their dismay.  They questioned the children all they could.  Caroline was questioned as well as Elsie and George.  such questions as "Where is your mother?"  "Where is your father?"  "Does he come to the house often?"  etc. etc.  They gave as few answers as they could, because they knew the results if they were to talk too much. 

After frightening the children nearly to death, the brave Marshal and his posse of deputies deployed themselves around Christin's house, and there the husband was found.  He was forced to get out of bed and go through a grilling, which lasted for some hours.  He then was arrested and most of the children of the two families were subpoenaed to appear in court.  They traveled the rest of the night to get to court in Spring City by nine o'clock the next morning.  The court was held, and Christian Sorensen was bound over to the court in Salt Lake City. 

Sometime later he appeared in Salt Lake City and was sentenced to 90 days in jail and a fine of $90.  He was sent to prison but was released early because of good behavior.  The $90. was hard for the family to raise.

When Christian got home from prison, just a few days before Christmas, a happy party was given in his honor.  The family felt to rejoice and he felt happy to be home and to greet all his friends and neighbors, but he showed uneasiness all evening, which made his family wonder why.

He knew the marshal was watching him, and if he so much as showed any fidelity toward his second wife, he'd be sent back to prison for a much longer time.

In the blackness of night, a wagon slipped out of the corral with provisions and blankets, carrying three people headed northward.  A man was escaping with his wife and fifteen year old daughter from the ever watchful eyes of the law.  He must dispose of his wife until the persecution had died down, and that was the only way to do it.  From Mt. Pleasant to Evanston, Wyoming was a long hard trip on the father and daughter, but more so for the wife, who was carrying her seventh child.  The miles traveled each day were few and the road rough. (Note: Willerena had a daughter, Hannah, born August 24, 1874.  Hannah died August 27, 1874.)

Through the love for her husband she was seeking an exile, seeking a new home in a strange place where she knew on one, and better still, no one knew her, where she had no friends and dared not make any, where she could not have her husband with her in her coming ordeal, where her soul companion, helpmate and consolation would be her young daughter.

At Evanston a shack was rented on the fringe of the town, down by the river.  The shack was run down and a horrible looking place, but with plenty of homemade soap and warm water, mother and daughter got it cleaned up ~~ but one thing they could not wash away was bedbugs.  Willerena said they could not live there with the bugs, but the father could not locate another house in the town or out of it.

One's heart goes out to a harried and frightened individual who must go through all that Willerena went through.  But the story is not ended ~~ it goes on for years and years.  When the baby, whom the mother named Geneva, was born, she was a weak, sickly babe, due to the hardship, worry and privation the mother had gone through.  The baby was near to death's door, when her father clandestinely visited them, and through faith and prayers the child was made well, and lives today as a living testimony of the power of God.

When the baby was six weeks old the mother could stand the separation no more.  she felt she could not be so far away from her family and live under the primitive conditions she had there.  Christian sent her the money to travel from Evanston to Nephi, Utah, on the train.  While on the train she kept her face turned as much as possible or looked out of the window, for fear someone might recognize her and tell  the officers.  She imagined she recognized an officer of the law, which made her so afraid she almost got off the train with her little family, knowing she had no more money to take another train. 

When she arrived in Nephi, Utah, William Sorensen was there to meet her with a wagon.

After the wagon ride of thirty miles they finally got to Mt. Pleasant in the middle of the night.  They had purposely timed it that way so no one would see and recognize her or Elsie.  She slipped into her little home and, with a flickering lamplight, went from one child to another, to gaze upon their faces, as the tears streamed down her cheeks and all the craving of a mothers heart to grab up her little Andrew and cover his little dirty face with kisses.  She wanted to hug her nine year old Josephine and cuddle George to her bosom and tell Caroline what a fine job she was doing as a little mother to the family she was forced to repudiate, because the law had been passed saying a man could not have two families but had to renounce and forsake them or go to jail.

Before morning the trip was started again, only this time Grass Valley in Sevier County was the destination.  They were left there for the summer, where Willerena and Elsie labored in the fields to earn enough to keep body and soul together.  Her nursing babe and the lack of proper food was too much for their strength, so her husband arrived with a wagon and took her to Central Utah, where they were visiting some friends.  While there a man who sold salt in the towns of southern Utah, came  to the door, recognizing Christian and his wife, as he had visited them in their home at Mt.  Pleasant.  With fear the "Salt Man" might begin talking, the couple slipped out of town that night and sped in hast to Manti.

In Manti a shack was rented in the eastern part of town, just south of the present temple site.  For two years this became home for Willerena and her two daughters, Elsie and Geneva.  Elsie was growing into young womanhood, and  in Manti she had many friends among the  young folks and was popular with the young men of the ward.

Years later she spoke of those days and the many friends she left there.  Willerena was called "Wash-woman Jensen" because that was the way she earned her meager living for her two children and herself.  She had to use the name Jensen so no relationship to the Sorensens would be suspected by anyone. 

Willerena must have been a wonderful person, and very likable, because at Evanston she made so many friends that Elsie in later years said they could not have lived there had it not been for the help  of the friends God had raised up  for them. 

In 1890 the Church issued its Manifesto, declaring to the world it was forsaking the practice of plurality of wives because the laws of the land had been made forbidding it, not because it was not still a divine commandment of God, not because the Church repudiated the doctrine, but because God had said we must obey the laws of the land, and the condemnation would be upon the heads of these who prevented the fulfillment of the commandments.  Perhaps it served its purpose in helping to populate the desert, to build up a strong church to test the faith of the faithful, and to build up physical empire in the wilderness. 

Willerena lived to see most of her children grown up and some of them married.  She saw some  of her grandchildren born, and life tasted sweet to her now, having tasted the bitter.  On September 12, 1902 she passed away having contracted consumption due to her starvation, privation and overwork which weakened her body's resistance.  Life had been hard and cruel to her, but she proved faithful to the end.

Christian followed his wife Willerena in death about four years later, on February 17, 1906, and Christena followed her husband seven years later March 2, 1913.

The family reunion must have been one of great rejoicing when all three were able to meet in their beautiful home  beyond the river, with those children of the sister wives, who had  been called earlier  in their lives.  The family unity, love  and solidarity was only begun on this earth.  The Christian Sorensen family  shall continue to grow, and because of their faithfulness shall be a mighty force for good in the Celestial Kingdom of God throughout the eternities to come.

Friday, October 1, 2010

John and Jamima Meyrick ~ Pioneers of the Month ~ October 2010


1848 - 1922

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Lars and Bodil Madsen ~ Pioneers of the Month ~ September 2010

Lars Madsen, the progenitor of this family, was born in Svinninge, Osherred, Denmark, on April 19, 1795.  Until he left Denmark for the United States, he lived in the old family homestead and cultivated the surrounding fields.  His family consisted of his wife Bodil Nielsen and the following children:

Mads Madsen                                                    born July 20, 1830

Niels Peter Madsen                                            born September 17, 1832

Anders (Andrew) Madsen                                    born March 3, 1835

Anne Margrathe Madsen                                     born October 29, 1837

Jocobine Madsen                                               born June 23, 1840

Niels Madsen                                                     born August 29, 1843

Lars Christian Madsen                                        born December 29, 1847

At the time the Mormon Elders visited Denmark, the Madsen family were devout Lutherans.  Each Sunday they walked nearly two miles to attend church in Asmindrup.  Among the missionaries who first called upont the family were Hans Peter Lund, Lars Erickson, and T.D. Falstead.  Since Lars and Bodil always welcomed them, they came frequently to their home and by 1854, the entire family had become members of the Latter Day Saint Church.  Soon a branch was organized in Osherred with Lars Erickson as President.

The next year in 1855, Lars decided  to sell the farm, put some money in the perpetual emigration fund,  and emigrate to the United States to join the Mormons in Utah.  The farm was to be paid for in three yearly payments, so only a part of the family could emigrate each year.  Disposing of his property, he sent five of his children ahead to prepare the way for the rest of the family.  On November 23, 1855, Niels Peter, Andrew,  Margrathe, Jacobine,  and Niels, left from Copenhagen to begin the  long journey to America.  At this time Niels Peter, the oldest of the group, was only 23 years old and Niels, the youngest was but 12.  Lars and  Bodil's courage and faith were unwavering as they watched their young family depart.

Some months later Lars, Bodil and Christian, their youngest child, began their journey to Utah.  They arrived in Philadelphia and then took the train to Iowa City, Iowa, where they remained for six weeks, making preparations to cross the plains.  In july they joined a large ox-team company, under the command of Captain William B. Hodgett, and started on the long arduous trip to the wild and unsettled West, where they were to endure many unforeseen hardships.  No doubt they would have reached their destination much sooner had they not encountered along the way a destitute handcart company led by Captain Martin.  They had camped at a fording place on the Platt River and were ready to cross the river when the handcart company arrived.  Filled with compassion, Captain Hodgett's company took many of them into their wagons, knowing the extra load would be a heavy burden for their own people and exhausted oxen.

Towards the end of October, as they neared the Red Buttes both companies became snowbound.  A relief company sent to rescue them from Salt Lake City also became snowbound near Devil's Gate, Wyoming.  When a small group from the relief party finally succeeded in reaching the emigrant company, they found them suffering from the effects of the bitter cold weather and insufficient food.  The temperature had fallen to eleven degrees below zero; food rations had been reduced to less than one half the amount necessary to sustain life.  Stared and weary, Lars, sixty-one years of age, became ill and a few days later he died.  He was laid away as well as could be under the circumstances by fellow travelers at Devil's Gate, near the head of the Sweetwater River and Martin's Ravine.

Leaving a husband and father and most of their belongings at the Gate, Bodil and Christian, on November 9, boarded one of the relief wagons and continued their journey to Utah.  The two young men driving the wagon in which they rode preferred to go down the Weber river and left the main company.  They had to cross the Weber River many times and at places the ice was broken and the horses could not pull the load up the bank so they were compelled to unload and reload the wagon several times.  Bodil reached East Weber on December 21, 1856, ten days later than the company which had taken a more direct route to the Salt Lake Valley.

Learning of her arrival, Niels Peter, who was living in Kaysville, drove an ox team to Weber to meet his mother and brother.  Bodil returned with him to his home (a dugout and a wagon bed), to recuperate for the winter, before the family moved again, this time south to Sanpete County.  Though she had lost a husband and all of her belongings, she rejoiced at being united with her children once again.  In March, 1857, the oldest son, Mads, who had stayed in Denmark to collect the  final payment on the farm reached Utah.  Crossing the plains during the summer months with Captain Cowley's company, he entered the Salt Lake Valley, September 13, 1857, bringing with him a wagon, a yoke of oxen, and another family.

Mads married Ellen Hansen in Brigham City, Utah.  Ellen was the daughter of Hans and Kristen Nielsen.  Mads and his wife, Ellen and Mads' mother, Bodil left Norhern Utah during  the "Big Move" and headed for Sanpete in 1858.

The above biography is taken from the Madsen Family History.

New Family Search records Bodil's death to be 18 December 1883.  She died and is buried in Mt. Pleasant.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

John and Louisa Thalman Hasler ~ Pioneers of the Month ~ August 2010


I was born on April  17, 1839, at Mamedorf Ct. Zurich situated on the Zurich Lake, one of the most beautiful places in Switzerland, of goodly parents.  My father's name was John Hasler and my mother's, Susana Leyman.

I was brought up in the Protestant Church which was then the dominant church of the State.  My parents were particular that I should attend religious class work until I was seventeen years old before I was permitted to partake of the sacrament and be confirmed a full member of that church.

Being the oldest child of our family, I worked on our little farm which was mostly planted with grapevines.  It needed skillful work from early spring until fall to cultivate and care for them.  In the winter months besides attending school, I spent much time in learning music for which I had a great liking, especially band music.  While I had to study a great deal without a teacher, I learned to play different instruments.  In those days printed music was quite expensive.  I borrowed copies from men that were efficient in the art, and  copied most of my pieces and arranged them for different instruments.  I often spent whole nights in writing and arranging popular music, and when morning dawned, I would steal up to my room and  disarrange my bed to make mother believe I had slept in it.

When I was fifteen years old, I had to recruit in the Military Service.  (Probably the war of Sonderbud).  My talent in playing an instrument well was soon recognized.  I was advanced and before I was 21 years old.  I became the leader of the Military Band, was invited to the Cavalry and earned a Lieutenant grade.  When I was about 25 years old, there was a great revival in our town of the Methodist sect as we called it.  I attended the meetings and soon joined it.  I was never much interested, although I was quite favored by the Minister because I was a help to them with the singing.

Later I got acquainted with a young man of my own age, who had recently joined the Mormons.  He was getting ready with his young family to go to Utah.  Having had some business transactions with him I knew him well and favorably.  Since he was situated and had good prospects for the future, I was forcefully impressed.  I wanted to know what could induce him to leave his comfortable and beautiful home, parents and relatives, and to to an unknown place.  He then  took me to his private room and tried to explain the gospel message to me.  I was impressed by the strength of his faith, and before we parted that night, I asked a favor of him ~ that if he found that he had not been mislead, he  would write to me and tell me all about it and how he was getting along.

This young man was Ulrich Winkler from Zell Ct., Zurich.  He later became my  brother-in-law.  I did not hear from him for two years.  I had met his wife's sister that evening before his departure when he explained the gospel to me.  I came in the autumn of 1866 on business to the place where she lived and called on her, to inquire about her folks in Utah.  She gave me a favorable report of them.  I then asked for Mr. Winkler's address.  I wrote a letter to him and reminded him of his promise to me.  He wrote me a long letter back and told me he was not disappointed.  His religion was dearer to him than ever, and he again bore a strong testimony to me of the truthfulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, but in the blunt and out-spoken way he told me that only those that would humble themselves and would ask the Lord in sincerity for a testimony, would find happiness and satisfaction there.  I read this letter over and over again.

I wanted to know more about it.  I obtained an address of a man that was a member of the Mormon Church who lived in the City of Zurich.  I found him with some difficulty.  I had been told that he was a teacher and I expected to find a man of that profession, I was disappointed to find him working in a mechanic shop, a factory employee.  I asked him if he was a teacher.  He looked at me amused, but hesitated.  He then said he held that office in his church where he belonged and was proud of it.

Seeing that I wanted to find out more about his belief, he invited me to his home.  There I found that he was a teacher after the order of our Lord Jesus Christ.  He bore his testimony to me and invited me to come to their meetings which I attended.  I received a testimony.  I applied for baptism and received that ordinance on the 6th of December, 1968, at the age of 29, by Ferdinand Bruppacher.  I was confirmed on the 13th of December by Karl G. Maeser.  I was ordained a priest the same month.  I started to do missionary work with my former associates, the Methodists, but found a cold shoulder.  The Minister warned his flock to beware of me.  I had fallen from grace.

After I received that letter from Brother Winkler, I visited his wife's sister several times.  We became better acquainted, so I invited her to my home to spend a few days at grape harvesting time which was always great sport with young people.  Our acquaintance ripened into friendship.  This was, however, before I joined the church, and  Miss Thalman had not yet taken that step.  I offered my hand and heart to her, but she told me she could not accept my offer as she intended to become a Mormon and go to Utah.  That answer usually settled any of her suitors, but this time it did not work with me.  By this time I had received the letter to my inquiry from her brother-in-law.

I followed his instructions  and was baptized in the Church before she was.  However, she was afraid my conversion might not be sincere.  So she put me on probation for a time until she was sure I had received a testimony.

I was sent out a lot to attend meetings with Elders to different branches where I took part in speaking and singing.  On the 25th of December the same year, Miss Thalman came to Zurich to be baptized.  There was no other branch near her home.  We went out on the Zurich Lake at midnight as we were watched by a mob which wanted to make trouble.  We wandered out away from the city and she and another sister were baptized undisturbed by the Branch President, Benjamin Bruppacher.  When we came back, Brother Karl G. Maeser confirmed and blessed her, and we continued our Christmas Festivities.

A testimony was given Miss Thalman at the same time.  She had been suffering with neuralgia in her head for about two months previous so that she had scarcely slept at night during that length of time.  She had not told anybody of her ailment because she was a stranger there.  But when Brother Maeser confirmed her, he told her that she would be blessed with health and her ailments should leave her.  She wondered how he could know that she was afflicted because she had told no one.  After she went home with a young  couple who invited her,  she told the lady as she was shown to her room that she could not retire because she expected to sit up as usual with her pains.  The sister told her not to mind that.  "We are all tired."  She lay down as she was told and  in a few minutes she was asleep and her ailment never bothered her after that night.

Some time latter we were engaged to be married on the 14th day of May, 1869.  As we intended to emigrate the same year, we did not go to housekeeping.  My wife and her mother came to my parent's home to live until we were ready to start.  Before this time we had tried to dispose of our little farm, but could not find a buyer.  As soon as we took the initial step into the Church this obstacle was overcome, although we had to sell at a great sacrifice.

On the 13th of August, we received from Brother Maeser the notice to be ready to start on our journey on the 15th of August.  Our trunks were packed ready to be taken to Zurich when we received another telegram from Brother Maeser, asking if we could take a little boy of a poor sister, three and on-half years old, and care for him until his mother could come in another year.  Another family took his little sister, a year older.  We telegraphed the money, and the mother brought her children the next morning to the depot.  I felt bad for the mother who had given up her children in our hands, but she was thankful for the way to open and for the prospect of her to follow.  We took an affectionate farewell from my parents, brothers, and  sisters, who had opposed our leaving our home so much because they could not see.  I told them I had to go to pave the way for them to follow as soon as they could understand the truth, which saying proved to be prophetic.  When I came back ten years after on a mission, I was able to baptize my father, a brother and a sister.  My mother, one brother and one sister had died before I came back.

Our journey was a pleasant one.  We sailed from Liverpool to New York in thirteen days.  We were in the first emigration train that took us right through Ogden, Utah.  We were met in Salt Lake City by our brother-in-law, Ulrich Winkler.  We bought a yoke of oxen, a wagon and some farming tools, and so because my wife's family was united again, the mother and her two daughters.

Brother Winkler had been driven from Richfield the year before on account of Indian Trouble, and he had only been able to put up one room and part of another when we came.  We went to work and put a dirt roof on the other room which we occupied that winter.  In the spring of 1870, I took up some city lots, made a willow fence around two lots more in basket fashion.  Then I started to build a cellar.  Not being able to have any more done, I put a roof on the cellar which had two rooms.  For one room we were able to obtain some lumber to put in a floor.  It was made so far habitable that we were able to move in to it at Christmas Eve.  No prince or princess was happier to move into a palace than we were that Christmas eve.  We fell in each other's arms and on our knees we thanked our Father in Heaven that we had so far succeeded to have a home of our own; but with gratitude and thankfulness, be it said right here, that we were made more than welcome with Brother Winkler and family.  By this time both families were expecting an increase and we got pressed for room.

I was only a week in Mt. Pleasant when Sanpete County received a notice from the Governor that a Military Drill would be held in the fields between Ephraim and Manti, and they wanted it to be lead by a Military Band.  I was asked to lead that band.

I got busy.  I had brought with me a trunk full of musical instruments.  A big drum with sticks were a town property.  Everybody knew when it was beaten to bring all men together to guard against Indians.  I divided my instruments and drilled almost day and night, our young men.  In three weeks at the appointed time, they were able to play a number of national hymns.  My skill in writing notes came in handy.  I had to write every part of the band.  It is needless to say we won the prize because there was no other band to compete with us, although the ever faithful drum and fife were there.

In 1870, on the 14th of June, our first son was born.  We named him Henry Hasler.  He brought great joy into our home.  At this time, I got ten acres of land in the field which I cleared, plowed, and planted in wheat which brought us a fair crop even in the first year.

In 1872 another son had come to bless our home, but we did not have him very long.  He lived only three months.  The same year we went to Salt Lake City with ox team to get our endowments and  were sealed to each other for time and eternity by Joseph P. Smith.

In the fall of 1872 a severe trial overtook us.  I was suddenly taken down with typhoid fever, which later developed into rheumatic fever.  I was laid low all winter.  My life hung on a thread for months.  My body was reduced to a skeleton.  The cords of my limbs were drawn together.  In those days there was no medical help obtainable.  We had to depend entirely on the Lord, much faith being exercised by my family and the brethren of the Holy Priesthood.  I was for months delirious.

In the  first days of my illness I told my wife of a dream I had.  I dreamed I was working in the field when a personage dressed in a military suit came to me and wanted me to follow him.  He promised me work that would be to my liking in music and band.  I could be a great leader.  This was very tempting to me, but I thought then of my wife and family who so much depended on me.  I pleaded with him to let me then go to town to consider it.  I was thinking of gaining time and that I could get help of the Priesthood.  I told my wife if I would get delirious again to get my brethren to help me for fear this man would come back and overpower me.  I did not want to go with him.

My wife told the dream to those who came to administer to me mostly every day.  Some of them got weak in the faith and felt that it was almost a greater blessing to pray to our Father in Heaven to take me and release me from the misery for I suffered much.  Many of them, however, were faithful and fasted and prayed for my recovery.  I was not able to help myself in the least for months.  My wife carried me from one room to another so she could be near me and help me while doing her household duties.  My little son, Henry, also took the typhoid fever and hovered between life and death, but his grandma was able to care for him a great deal.

I was not able to help myself in the least.  I had to be fed like a child.  On the 25th of March, mother was confined to her bed and in this sorrowful and trying condition she was delivered.  We were made happy to receive a little daughter that had been sent to come to bless and  comfort us in this trying time.  It nearly cost the life of our mother who had become so worn out of strength through this long siege of sickness.  After the excitement was over, she became unconscious.  Her mother and sister tried every means  to bring her out of her stupor, but to no avail.  Then her sister ran for blocks to get some elders to administer to her.  While she was gone, in the agony of the situation I managed to get out of my bed and over to her.  As I said before, I had not been able to lift up my body in a sitting position without being helped.  I laid my hands upon her,l and in the anguish of my soul I cried to the Lord to spare her life.  I think it was more than an hour before she gained consciousness.  Her sister brought another elder and again we pleaded with the Lord for her recovery when she was able to recognize us.  Her recovery was speedy and in a short time she was able to care for us again.  We named our little daughter Lydia Hasler.

On the first of May, I was carried in a chair out of the cellar to fresh air for a little while.  My recovery was slow.  After the warm weather came, however, I was able to help myself around with crutches.  While I was in this weak condition I started to write music for brass band, which was a great help and blessing to us.  I received wheat and provisions for my work.

In 1875, on the 31st of January, another son came to bless our home.  We gave him the name of Walter Hasler.  In that fall we had started to build our house over the cellar.  We hired the adobes mostly made, but I was not able to do much.  I had finally thrown away my crutches.

In that year the United Order was organized.  We joined.   My oxen and wagon were not of any use to us, so all was given up to the order.  I was to teach music, and those that could do masonry and carpenter work had to do the building.  The mason did not get to the top when he drew out of the Order.  The carpenters did the same.  On account of inefficient leadership the Order lasted about two years when it was dissolved again.  I then started to do the carpenter work myself.  I had a few tools to work with.  I got it so far along that we could move in two rooms before the hard winter set in.  We had lived in the cellar for five years.

In the year 1877 on the 15th of July, another sweet little girl was born to us.  She, too, was not permitted to stay long.  She took scarlet fever.  Those were hard trials, but we had to submit to the will of the Lord.  She lived only about seven months.

On the 22nd of December, 1878, Emil Hasler was born.  At that time our grandma Thalman took sick, and on the 5th of April, 1879, died at the age of 76 years.  She had never been able to learn the English language, but she had always rejoiced in the gospel.

In 1880 another son was born.  We named him Edward Hasler.  He lived only a short time.

At the April Conference my name was called to go on a mission to Switzerland.  On the 14th of April, I left my home and family and arrived in my field of labor, Bern, then the Mission Headquarters.

I was called to work in the office for about six months to arrange the music to the songs of the German Hymnbook.  One thousand copies were edited in the German Language.

After this work was finished I was sent to the northeastern part of Switzerland which was at that time a far-scattered field.  Besides my missionary work, I organized a choir in every branch and held singing practice almost every evening.  Many young people that loved music and ones that were not even members came to our practices, and became interested.  Some would become investigators in the gospel.

In the Autumn of 1882, I was released and had charge of an emigration of 72 saints, thus fulfilling a prophesy pronounced upon my head by a patriarch, that I should go on a mission to my native land, and bring some sheep home with me.  I had a chance to preach the gospel to my schoolmates, although with little result.

When I was at home, I did Sunday School class work and conducted the singing.  I was choir leader for over twenty years, free of charge.  In the first years, I wrote the music to our hymns up to the time the Psalmody was printed.  My wife wrote the words to the music in the copies.

In 1883 we welcomed another baby girl who was given the name of Mina Ottillia Hasler.

 In about 1890 I started to travel through Sanpete County and Sevier County selling musical instruments, teaching music in the homes, organizing choirs, and helping the people to have advanced students play in their meetings and Sunday Schools.

On the 12th of August, 1894, I was ordained a High Priest by the hand of John B. Maiben.  I then served in that quorum as secretary and as leader of the singing.

I was successful in starting and leading a number of my students who are now taking prominent parts in their art in our Church.  Among them are Professors McLellan, Anton Lund, and Clair Reid.

I had been successful in obtaining a genealogy of my ancestors comprising over 300 names for whom most all the baptisms had been attended to and some endowment work done.  The rest I have to leave to my children.

I was able to give my children liberal educations.  The main reason I started to travel and be away from home was that our little farm did not support the family.  The children had grown older.  The boys in connection with their schoolwork were able to take care of the farm work.  Other boys had to leave home and seek work somewhere herding sheep or hire out in mines at the tender age when they need home influence the most.  They might get in an environment where bad habits are easily formed.  I felt that I could better stand hardship than they could temptation, so that they could have the advantage of schools and learning.

I tried to keep my children under Church influence.  I was strict with them to attend Sunday Schools and meetings, and went with them to attend these functions until the habit was formed.  I had the pleasure of seeing two of my sons take missions.  My daughters, teaching schools, were also useful in church organizations.  I give my Father in Heaven my thanks and the gratitude of my heart that he has blessed me, not withstanding many failings, had kept me in the faith of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

John Hasler died January 10, 1914 at the age of 75 in Mt. Pleasant, Utah