Monday, February 1, 2010

Andrew Jensen Syndergaard, Pioneer of the Month ---February 2010

Andrew Jensen Syndergaard was born on May 11, 1851 in Sundby, Denmark and died on  May 19, 1912 in Mt. Pleasant, Utah.  Andrew was the son of Jens Christian Syndergaard and Ane Kirstine Larsen, (Annie Catrine Laursen).  His father died when he was seven, and his mother, with two sons (Peter and Andrew) and two daughters, (Ingaborg and Elsie Marie) came to Utah, crossing the plains in an ox-train under Captain Madsen.  They arrived in Mt. Pleasant in October 1962.  Later another sister, Ane Marie, came to Mt. Pleasant.  Here his mother bought a farm, which the boys worked.

At the age of 14, Andrew stood guard at the temple site in Manti.  The Indians were very hostile at that time.  A large Indian that jumped out from a pile of logs was shot to death almost within arms reach of him, an experience that tormented him for years.

During those early years, no one paerson went out of the city limits alone.  They went in companies when they cut hay in the meadows and if a member of the party got very far from the rest, the whole company, the whole company stopped until he could catch up.

In his early life, he did freighting to Pioche, Nevada.  He was one of the men commisssioned by President Brigham Young to haul the oxen for the St. George Temple from Salt Lake to St. George, which was a difficult task over the roads which were then not better than a cow trail.

In 1868, he went east in Bishop William S. Seely's Company.  He was about 17 years old then.  This was to bring immigrants to Utah.

He married Marie Johansen, daughter of Niels and Christiana Johansen on October 18, 1869 at the Endowment House, Salt Lake City, Utah.  At this time he was 18 years old and built a house for his new bride at 389 West Main Street, in Mt. Pleasant.

Andrew was a Black HawkWar Veteren.
He was always active in civic affairs.  He was one of the first town marshals.  He served on the City Council.
Insert from the Mt. Pleasant Book - page 167
"The December 4, 1889 city record shows that Councilman Syndergaard moved that coal oil lamps be placed as follows.  One at Hans Nielsen's corner, one at N.S. Nielsen's corner, one at Peel's corner, one at the Co-op corner, and one at Church Square.  The five coal oil coal oil lamps, which were said to add a dignified appearance to the city."

Andrew also worked on the Sanpete Valley Railroad,  He delivered ties from Pleasant Creek Canyon to near Freedom.  He was also active on all frontier projects, building roads, exploring forest, cutting timber, etc.  He and his brother, Peter, joined John Hasler's Brass Band which was  organized in 1870.

One of his outstanding accomplishments was befriending the Indians.  They always camped in the yard, fed their horses from the hay stacks and ate their meals at the table, made their beds on the floors when the weather was cold.  The Indians often counseled with him about many things.  These were the indians that lived in Thistle Valley.  Their Bishop finally forbid them, imposing in that manner, so they camped at the Tithing Yard but they, the Indians, came to the house to visit and often sneaked their outfits into the yard, inspite of their Bishop's request not to do so.  One old Indian spoke of him as "Heap Big Man - Heap Good Man".  Andrew always said the easiest way to get along with the Indians was to keep their friendship.

Andrew and Marie had 13 children.  Andrew, Gertrude, Kate, Annie M., Hyrum, Anthony, James, Olive, Parley, and  Hortense.  Lars, Anna and Joseph died at early ages.

compiled by Della Fern Barentsen Standlee (Great-great granddaughter of Andrew)
Inserts taken from the"Mt. Pleasant Book" 1859-1939; "History of Sanpete County",
parts of the history written by Annie Elizabeth Jensen, (wife of Neil Anthony Syndergaard, 9th son of Andrew)

Andrew's wife, Marie Johansen Syndergaard Biography will be posted tomorrow.