PARENTS & SIBLINGS OF JAMES N. CHRISTENSEN

                                       CHRISTIAN JENSEN CHRISTENSEN

1 August 1818 to 3 April 1890 ANNA KIRSTINE NEILSEN PETERSEN 17 October 1822 to 31 August 1895

James Neils Christensen's father, Christian, was born in Lille Karlsminde, Denmark. His mother, Anna Kirstine was born in Liseleje, Denmark. On 29 January 1842, they were married in Liseleje. Christian was not quite 23 years old and Anna Kirstine was a few months past her 19th birthday. During the first 11 years of their marriage, there is no record of any children born to them. Beginning in 1853, they had six children, four boys and two girls, all born in Lille Karlsminde, Denmark.

Christian was a fisherman by trade, following in the footsteps of his own father. He also did a little trading. When he was baptized a member of the LDS Church on 5 June 1871, his life changed. He and Anna Kirstine, together with their six children, all became emigrants and traveled to the United States, then on to Utah. They settled in Brigham City, Box Elder County and many of their descendants live there to this day. Christian could no longer practice the trade of a fisherman, so he became a tailor.

Christian lived almost 72 years. He died in Brigham City and is buried there. Anna Kirstine lived five years longer than her husband and died at age 73. She is buried beside him.

 

 

 

CHILDREN OF CHRISTIAN AND ANNA KIRSTINE

KIRSTIN CHRISTINA CHRISTENSEN

11 September 1855 to 28 October 1932

 

Christina's father was a fisherman and plied his trade on the North Sea. The little hamlet was located on the border of the sea, so Christina had always before her the vision of a shore swept by the mighty waves of the ocean. As a child, she stood and gazed over vast stretches of water to the distant shores of islands. The faraway shores of Sweden could dimly be seen on clear days. Amid these surroundings, Christina grew into girlhood. Christina's parents were fairly well to do as wealth was counted there. They owned their own

home and a small plot of land. She was favored with a good country education having passed the eighth grade and spent a year in the Priest's School, or what is termed a high school in America.

As her parents were of the strong religious trend so common with folks in the old country, Christina received the training common to the Lutheran faith. While she was still young, her parents came in contact with the Elders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter­


day Saints. Several of her father's kin joined the church and left their native land for the new Zion in America.

Christina's mother was the first of her family to join the church and, to her last breath, was true to her first vow. Before long, the spirit of the gathering took hold of the family and their attentions turned to arranging their affairs to that end.

On 5 June 1871, Christina was baptized and confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by Elder Peter F. Madsen, a missionary from Brigham City, Utah. She was then 15 years old, almost 16. Shortly after, the family sold their home and cattle and, with faces turned towards the west, they began the journey to Zion.

After landing in New York, the Christensen family continued their journey by rail across the continent. When they arrived in Ogden, Utah, they were happy to be met by two of Christina's uncles who came with ox teams to take them to their new home in Brigham City. Brigham City was to be the scene of the future years of the family and it was not long before they were settled into their new home at 59 North Second West. Years later, after the death of her parents, Christina resided in this home.

For a few years, Christina worked out among families in the town, including the families of Judge Jonathan Wright and Bishop Alvin Nichols. She spent several months at the Hansen Dairy in Collinston, Box Elder County, where she milked cows and assisted with other work. She received 50 cents a week for her wages-and it meant a full day's work every day. Most of her meager wages went to assist her parents.

As Christina had formerly lived beside the ocean, it was no wonder that when a man who had spent over 20 years sailing all the seas of the earth came to court her, she yielded to the love that was offered her. Three months before her 20th birthday, on 10 May 1875,

she was married to Alexander Baird, a native of Bonnie Scotland. The marriage took place in the old Endowment House in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Christina entered into the highest form of marriage on her wedding day, for her husband also married Margret Crompton. Faith in her God and in her religion gave her courage to accept the principle of plural marriage with all its sacrifices and trials.

During the first year of Christina's married life, she lived in Brigham City in various parts of the town. Alexander Baird was a contractor for various works and also very active as an actor in the old days of church drama.

In 1880, her husband took a contract with the railroad to work in Idaho. He took his family with him to what is now the Snake River Valley. The family lived in railroad cars and in railroad houses amid the wild and dangerous life incident to those times. The little family had their share of trials with Indians, floods and animals.

The family returned to Brigham City where they lived for a short while and then again

plunged into the wilds of southern Idaho, this time in a canyon about 60 miles from Franklin, Idaho. Christina's husband was engaged in getting out ties for the railroad. The family, which now consisted of Christina and three children, was housed in a one-room log house with dirt roof and floor.

Bears were common. One day, when only the women and children were at home, the terrified inhabitants saw eight bears only a short distance away. Snakes were frequently found inside the house and nights were made hideous by the howls of wolves.


Again the family pulled up stakes and this time moved to Oxford, Idaho. Here Alexander carried the mail to the Gentile Valley. At this time, the government crusade against polygamy was raging and Alexander was forced to flee for safety, leaving his little fami Iy alone.

One bright day, a covered wagon drove into the yard. It was Oluf, Christina's brother, who had come to take them home to Brigham City, Utah. How sweet the flowers of the spring day seemed to her four little children, now including baby Hannah, as blossom-decked Brigham City came into view! The tired, homesick little woman wept for joy as their safe haven came into sight. She would never be required to move again from the city she loved so well.

Christina and her family lived in the Third Ward and the children began their schooling there in the schoolhouse. In 1888, the family moved to the Fourth Ward and then again moved just north to President Snow's farm. The family had increased for now there were five children.

During this time, men practicing plural marriage were in danger of arrest and prosecution. One day, the U.S. Marshal came and that meant Alexander had to go to trial in Ogden, Utah before Judge Hender. He was sentenced to six months in the Utah State Penitentiary. The law of the land and the law of God conflicted.

Just before leaving to serve his sentence, Alexander moved his family south of town. He was torn away from his family and they were left to struggle as best they could without even a sack of flour in the house. The sun seemed dark and friends few.

Winter was coming on and no provisions were in the house. The boys went into the fields and caught frogs to sell to buy some necessary things. The little mother felt that she wanted her children to have the things other children had, but for a time it seemed that they must struggle alone. It was dark but became the best of days for in that hour was faith in God and self-reliance born in the children. 'Tis not the rosy path that brings strength and faith, but the path in the darkness when even the stars seem blotted. With never a complaint nor a request for help, the struggle was made. And, on Christmas Day, God sent a real Santa Claus to that home for, on that day, their daddy came home.

Better days now came, for Alexander was made an officer of the court and moved his family to the jailor's home where they spent about nine years, from 1889 to 1898. During this time, Christina cooked for prisoners and assisted materially in the rearing of her children and helping them to receive an education.

During this period, death first entered her home. Rilla, a black-eyed child of eight years, was stricken and died. Two other sons were born; one lived for a day and then returned to the Lord who had sent him.

The children were growing older and at the same time Alexander was aging for he was 24 years older than Christina. When her parents passed away, Christina, together with her husband and her living children, returned to her parents' home in the Third Ward where she lived until the end of her life.

When her husband was too old to assist materially, Christina was blessed with enough worldly goods to enable her to send all her four sons on missions in the world for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.


Her husband, Alexander, died in 1914 and by 1925, all her siblings were gone and she was the last living member of her father's family.

While Christina's life was not of a public nature, she always labored. Much of her children's work is a reflected light of the mother, who was always an inspiration to them. Life was not always pleasant, for many sad and lonely trials, trials you must suffer alone, were her portion but her hope and faith never dimmed.

In her later years, Christina was active as a Relief Society teacher and, in her humble way, sought to do her duty. A splendid genealogy was gathered of her ancestors and much work was done in the Holy Temple. With undimmed vision of the great future, which God promised his faithful children, Christina faced life. Her only desire was to do good and inspire her children and all others to do likewise.

Suddenly, like a shaft from heaven, her firstborn, Felix, was taken in death. Her old time courage failed not. When the twilight gleamed amid the years, and the body bent before the decree of time, peace attended this little woman who had passed through many a stormy day. While she was not a pioneer in the sense of coming here before the railroad, yet she pioneered in no less degree.

Christina fell and broke her hip on 12 October 1932. Two weeks later, on 28 October, she passed away. She was buried on 30 October in the Brigham City Cemetery at the side of her beloved husband. She had lived for 77 years.

 

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HANNA K. CHRISTENSEN 13 April 1858 to September 1858

Hanna (Hannah) K. Christensen lived a very short life and there is very little information available concerning her. She was baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on 15 June 1871 when she was 13 years old.

Every indication was that Hanna, now living in Brigham City with her parents, would have a good life. However, with little or no warming, she died suddenly when she was just 20 years old. She is believed to have suffered a sudden heart attack, undoubtedly due to complications of the LQTS64 that runs so strongly through the extended Christensen family.

She was the first of the Christensen Family to die in the United States, although many other relatives would later die from the same L-QT Syndrome. There is a tombstone with her name in the Brigham City Cemetery as well as sexton records showing she was buried there.

Her oldest brother, James Neils Christensen, named his second daughter after his

sister, Hanna.          By an unhappy turn of providence, that niece, Hannah Adeline, also died

because of LQTS.

 

 

 

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LARS PETER CHRISTENSEN 19 September 1860 to 21 June 1924

My father's trunk stood in the attic of our home for years and years. As we children were growing up, we were cautioned that we were not to open Papa's trunk when we played in the attic on cool days. As children, we were curious as to what might be locked in that wooden box, hoping that it provided a hiding place for bags of money or other treasures. Once I found it unlocked and took the opportunity to lift the lid. What I saw was a bundle of the clothes torn and blood-stained, which had been worn by my brother, Alma, on 26 September 1903. He had been struck by

the engine of a train and killed as he was driving cows home from the pasture. He was just eight years old at the time. The sight of those clothes shocked me enough so that I had no further curiosity about the trunk in the attic. But in later years the contents of the trunk have given our family a record of the activities and interests of a dignified, reserved man who was our father.

There is no written record of his early life in Denmark, the country that he left when he was 10 years old, in company with his father and mother and his two sisters and three brothers. His home in Denmark was a white building, in one end of which the family lived; in the other end the cows were housed, really a cozy arrangement! Some farm land extended east of the house where rye, wheat, potatoes, gooseberries, red currants, and other crops were raised. Nearby was the water of the Kattegut where his father and his older brother, Jim (James Neils), sailed their fishing boat as his grandfathers and uncles had done before them.

Surely the trip to a new home in a foreign land must have been an exciting adventure, not too full of hardship. The Christensen family joined the immigrant company under the leadership of Elder W. W. Cluff. They sailed from Copenhagen on 23 June 1871 for Liverpool, England, and then sailed from Liverpool on the Steamship Minnesota and landed in New York.

They traveled to Utah on the two-year-old transcontinental railroad, so they were spared the hardships of crossing the plains. When they arrived in Ogden, Utah, they were met by two of their mother's brothers and traveled by oxen-drawn wagons to Brigham City. The trip ended on 21 July 1871.

Their first home was on Main Street and First East but they soon moved to a small house on Second West. All the children of the family busied themselves with whatever work was available. A co-operative institution had been organized in Brigham City and papa worked for the co-op herding cows, hoeing cotton, grubbing willows and such activities. He was paid

in scrip, which could be used for shopping in the Co-op store. Papa was not very enthusiastic about this pay as he said the stock of goods in the store was quite limited.

The old trunk offers evidence of his interests in acquiring an education. A well-used copy of Ray's Intellectual Arithmetic by Induction and Analysis and a Penmanship Copy Book with all drills completed, bore evidence to his interest in intellectual growth. Throughout his life, he read newspapers, magazines, and church works but considered reading fiction a waste


of time, with the exception of Jack London's Call of the Wild, which for some reason appealed to him.

As for social life, there are a number of invitations to social functions in his files­"Young Folks' Special Picnic Party to be held in the Third Ward Meeting House," signed by A. A. Jensen and Joseph H. Tippets--IIA Grand Picnic Party to be given on Saturday, 31 December 1887, with music by the Christensen full band, dance to begin with a Grand March at 7 o'clock sharp." The church seemed to provide recreation for young people even in the 1880's. Among his treasures is an invitation, signed by John Taylor, admitting the bearer to the dedicatory service of the Logan Temple in May 1884.

Catalogs, invoices, circulars, peddler's licenses, and account books indicate that in the later 1880's, he began a career as a peddler. At first, he handled notions and dry goods as well as fruit but after a few years, he peddled only fruit. He made weekly trips into Idaho terminating at Soda Springs with his covered wagon drawn by three horses. His trips were as regular as clockwork. On Monday and Tuesday, he gathered his load of fruit--berries, at the beginning of the season and ending the season with peaches and grapes.

He was always a methodical man and followed the same procedure year after year. His grub-box was packed with his favorite foods. He left home late on Tuesday afternoon and returned the following Sunday afternoon or evening. He raised much of the fruit, which he sold and also bought berries and other produce from various widows and other small producers in Brigham City. His account books prove that his peddling was a profitable endeavor. The covered wagon was replaced by the truck about 1914 or 1915. After the advent of automobiles, so many fruit peddlers got into the business that it was no longer the profitable monopoly that it had been for so many years.

A most intriguing confidential letter offered Papa an opportunity to become an agent to dispose of counterfeit money. For $400, he could buy $4,000 worth of "green backs just as good as genuine." A $1000 investment would buy $25,000 worth. He was cautioned not to write any letters, only telegrams. He apparently resisted the temptation to become rich quickly and went on with his peddling.

In one notebook, he kept a partial account of his business transactions during the 1880's. Under the heading of "Colts and Horses," he lists that in 1880, he paid $25 for Fannie and $27.50 for Lotty. In 1881, Doll and Boten cost him $100. In 1882, Young Doll cost $85 and in 1885, Solomon cost only $21.10. Bolley in 1886 cost $75. Colts varied in price from $2 to $8.

Apparently, as soon as father began making money, he paid his tithing and kept a record of it. He had been baptized after coming to Brigham City, on 8 August 1871, and tried to live by the precepts of the church. From 1882 until 1890, he paid tithing each year in amounts from $20 to $54.15. He always believed in the law of tithing and practiced it. In his church activities, he was ordained as an Elder on 14 March 1886 and was later ordained as a Seventy and later still as a High Priest. He served many years as a Ward Teacher and made substantial contributions to the church, not only in tithing, but also for the building fund for the LDS Third Ward. At one time, after he was married, he received a call to go on a mission, but he was unable to accept because of his growing family and the poor health of his wife. He attended church regularly and sustained all authorities, both by word and action. Although he himself did not fulfill a mission, he sent two of his daughters into the mission


field. The younger boys undoubtedly would have fulfilled missions had it not been for father's early death.

Although he held no offices in the church organizations, he brought up his family to attend church. He instituted family prayer and observed the practice religiously even after his wife died. Every morning before breakfast, we knelt down and had prayer together. His prayer was quite long and if we were hungry and in a hurry to get to school, it seemed especially long. When he came to the part where he asked a blessing for those who were set in places of authority in his church and in the country, his prayer seemed more fervent, and his voice grew stronger as if to emphasize that these men needed a great deal of help in "guiding us in the paths of truth and righteousness."

His father, Christian Jensen Christensen, died on 3 April 1890 at 8:30 p.m. The account book shows: "Funeral expenses in all, $23.60. Coffin $14, grave and place $4.50, clothes $3.70, shaving $1.00, camphor $.35. L. P. Christensen paid $3.00 and $2.00 for the grave. John P. Christensen paid $3.20."

The prettiest thing in the whole trunk was a tiny thumbnail-sized picture of the one and only sweetheart of my father, Kirstine Marie (Mary) Jensen, a gray-eyed, brown-haired girl, eight years younger than my father. The picture was mounted on a small card, surrounded by pink roses and blue forget-me-nots. He and his sweetheart were married on 15 July 1891 in the Logan Temple. They had nine children-Leon, Alma, Mabel, Ruby, Harvey, Anna Laura, Dean, DeVere, and Grant. Grant was a baby of two months, when Marie died on 27 November 1909, the day after Thanksgiving.

A number of hired girls helped raise the children, including Olga and Petra, who were especially kind to this motherless flock. Father never remarried.

America is truly the land of opportunity. Father, as well as his brothers and other immigrants and children of immigrants, started with nothing but year after year, through much hard work and frugal living and making the most of his opportunities, he was able to accumulate various parcels of land-none of them large but all of them suited to his purposes. He obtained the city lots on which he built our house from Henry Jensen. This ground was planted with fruit orchards and berries. He built a large barn and corrals and a stable for his horses and cows. Later he bought two fields of pasture ground known as the West Field and the North Field, both near the city. Here the cows were pastured and hay was raised. The milk was sold to a creamery, which was located on the present site of the golf course. Later on, he bought a separator, the first one in the vicinity to be operated by an electric motor.

The land out west of Brigham City, something less than a section along the Bear River, furnished grazing for beef cattle. He had a herd of purebred Red Polled cattle. The last land he secured was a ten-acre tract where we raised peaches, cherries, raspberries, strawberries, cantaloupes, cucumbers, and tomatoes. This tract was sold shortly after his death to Brigham City Corporation and is now the north part of the ball park and city park.

Father never kept all his "eggs in one bucket." The failure of one crop didn't mean starvation because if one failed there was surely something else to bring in an income. He was one of the first in Brigham City to raise white Leghorn chickens. He built a cellar in which he incubated the eggs. He fed the chickens scientifically and had a ready market for his cases of pure white eggs.


What are some of the clearest memories of my father? One amusing incident I'll always remember concerned our electric washing machine. It was one of the first electric washing machines in Brigham City. Joseph F. Hansen, the furniture dealer, bought one for his family and we got the other. Sister Maren K. Jensen washed for us every Monday for years and years, but after the purchase of the machine, father expected the hired girl to do the washing. He had built a washhouse separate from the house, a building, which now serves as a clubhouse for his grandchildren and their friends, where he kept the washing machine and the separator. One Monday morning he was explaining the operation of the machine to a new hired girl who had never seen an electric machine and who was very timid about using it. Father explained that nothing could go wrong-that it was very simple to operate. He demonstrated how to turn it on and off and then he proceeded running some clothes through the wringer. No, he didn't get his hand in the wringer but he did get it between the top wringer and the wooden frame. The wooden frame, as his hand was carried through, cut the skin clear across the top of his hand and folded it neatly back in a slice about one inch wide before we could get the power turned off. The sight of all that blood discouraged the hired girl so Sister Jensen came back to wash that day.

Father's mustache, his leather money purse for silver coins, his slowness to speak, his hunting guns standing in the corner, his white shirts with the starched fronts for Sunday­these are some of the superficial memories. His honesty, integrity and industry are the attributes for which he was admired and remembered.

Although he was not a large man, father was blessed with a strong physique. At times

he suffered from sick headaches which were probably migraines. At one time he had erysipelas, an acute streptococcal infection characterized by deep-red inflammation of the skin and mucous membranes, usually considered contagious; also known as St. Anthony's Fire. But, for one who worked so hard, he was a healthy man. He talked in his last years of retiring from hard work but never ceased his activities.

Father died at the age of 63 at the Dee Hospital in Ogden, Utah on 21 June 1924 of pneumonia contracted after an operation. He had lived another 15 years after his wife's death.

The old trunk holds dozens of other mementos important in the affairs of this one

man-the letters from the Danish lawyer who was instrumental in securing my mother's legacy from her Uncle Thomas who had resolved to leave his estate to the Baptist Church rather than to his niece who had become a Mormon; letters from Uncle John in the Southern States Mission; letters from Uncle Oluf when he was working in Montana; letters from Aunt Christine and Uncle Alec during the time that they were in Idaho; bank statements and business letters all written in longhand long before the typewriter came into general use. All of these treasures are more precious than the bags of money we hoped to find when we were children.

There are only two classes of people in the world-not the rich and the poor, not the strong and the weak, but the leaners and the lifters. Those who are the lifters have all the other attributes, which form strong character. Father was always a lifter.

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OLUF CHRISTENSEN 14 March 1863 15 August 1915

Oluf (Ole) Christensen was still a boy when the Christensen family immigrated to the United States. Once they settled in Brigham City, little Ole who was perhaps eight or nine years old, helped his older brothers build a home for their parents on Second West Street, a half-block north of Forest Street.

As a young man, Oluf got a job in Montana cutting timber. After cutting wood all day, they often traveled many miles through the cold wintry nights to go to the dances. He later got a job

working in the mines of Montana. Then he got a job hauling gold nuggets from the mines. He purchased a pearl handled pistol and carried it with him for protection. This pistol he later gave to his son, Roy.

The money Oluf saved while on these jobs was sent to Brigham to the church co-op organization. His first winter in Montana earned him only his board and room for the winter, but after that he was able to do better.

He returned to Brigham City and with his savings purchased farm implements and rented dry-farm land from Bill House. This land was located west of Brigham City by the Bear River. His first year's crop was a failure. It was a dry year and the wheat crop was small. After that his luck was better. He was a good farmer and although there were no fences, one could tell where his farm began and ended by the difference in the way his wheat grew.

For his social life Oluf would go to a dance school and here it was that he met Anna Lavina Simonson who was also taking dance classes.

Oluf's wife, Lavina Christensen, now tells the story: I joined the dancing school.

There I met a very good dancer. He asked to see me home. We became good friends and he took me to a dance or a show once a week that winter. In the summer he did farming and each weekend when he came to Brigham, he would come and visit with me each Sunday evening. I remember the fun we had going for a buggy ride and a sleigh ride during our courtship. He was a fine respectable gentleman and a member of the LDS Church so, when he proposed to me, I promised to marry him. We were married on Thanksgiving Day in 1900 in the Salt Lake Temple.

We rented a little two-room house and lived there for a year. We planned our new home and built it on an acre lot which my parents had given to me as a wedding present. His friends helped him build a lovely story and a half red brick home. Lorenzo Petersen, who was in charge of the carpentry, checked to see that everyone was doing everything just right.

Jorgensen, a painter from Denmark, did a lot of grain painting in the house. Some of his paint had milk mixed into it and after 60 years, the original paint is still there and in good condition.

It was a lovely home and when we moved into our new home, our little son was just one month old. We were very happy. Everything looked prosperous. My husband repaired all his machinery through the winter months so that it would be ready for spring work. We also tended to our church duties better in the winter months. We were planning for the future.


Oluf and his younger brother, John, bought farm land together and also some mountain land for an orchard. The two brothers farmed and worked together. One year they had bad luck with their horses and lost several of them from distemper.

Oluf helped John plant trees in the orchard. The first year the grasshoppers ate up the trees. They tried again and covered the trees with mosquito bar sacks, but the grasshoppers got them again. When they got rid of the hoppers, the rabbits came! For six years they fought the pests, then they had their first crop. The market was poor so the crop was lost.

We had six children, three boys and three girls. When Leota was three years old, she became sick and the doctors said it was diabetes, and they didn't know what to do for her. The Elders were called in to administer to her. As she gradually grew worse other doctors were contacted and the Elders were called in several times to bless her and give her relief. Within a year, she died.

We had an infant daughter at that time and she was also ill from pneumonia. Doctor Harding said to be brave for he feared both little girls were going to die. The Elders were called and the baby was named Alyce LaRue. Mother and one of the neighbors kept rubbing Alyce with warm anointed olive oil. Her health was restored and we were thankful to the Lord that we could keep her.

Oluf was an ambitious man, always looking ahead to the future. He worked hard caring for his farm and his orchard. The crops were fairly good for a few years. He always kept himself free from any debts. His health began to give away so he began to hire help. Before long he was unable to work. All he could do was to sit in a chair. We had everything done for him that we could think of so our doctor took him to Ogden to other doctors. They told him it was cancer of the stomach. He suffered for one year and then he died on 15 August 1915. He was only 52 years old when he left this life..

That left me with five children, the oldest about 13 and the youngest four months old. This was a very dark hour. It was fall and winter coming on--the first winter I had been alone. Luckily my mother lived close by. She was a lot of help to me. The first year after the death of my husband, I rented out the orchard and the farm. The next year I and my two boys took over the running of the orchard. My mother cared for the little ones. Alyce, my oldest daughter, helped her in many ways.

I harvested the fruit crop and rented the farm. It was hard work for my two little boys. They were good and stayed by me. As they grew older, we gathered more cattle, pigs and chickens. This helped so that they were able to go through school as the years went by.

One by one they finished school. Oluf's aim in life was to have his children educated. Oluf was a good religious man. He always paid his tithing and other donations. He and his brothers sent money to Denmark for research work in genealogy. He went to church and his Priesthood meetings. He was always honest and paid all his bills. He didn't have time for much social life.

Oluf and his brothers were dignified and reserved in their attitude toward themselves and others. They were kind and helpful to their friends and neighbors and were well liked by all who knew them.

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JOHN PETER CHRISTENSEN 19 March 1866 to 3 May 1925

John Peter Christensen was the youngest child of his parents. He was the sixth child and fourth son. Though it is believed that the Christensen ancestors were fishermen, John's father became a tailor when he arrived in Utah because he was inclined to be sickly and could not follow the fishing trade in Brigham City. John Peter's brother, Lars Peter, was supposed to have looked like and been much the same size and build as their father.

In 1871, after the Christensen family immigrated to Utah and settled in Brigham City, Christian Jensen Christensen operated a tailor shop until about the time of his demise on 3 April 1890. He was almost 72 years old. His wife Ane (Anna) lived five years longer and passed away on 31 August 1895.

John and his brother Ole built a little home for their mother just north of Forest Street on Second West in Brigham City. There are two incidents John P. told about his mother. One was that in her early life in Brigham she became sick and lost most of her hair.

The Elders in administering to her promised her that her hair would grow in again and that it would never turn gray. This blessing was fulfilled and when she died at the age of 73, she still had a full head of black hair. The second story concerns her death. Ole and John were both still unmarried and living at home in August of 1895, although Ole didn't happen to be home on the 31st when their mother died. John and his mother had both arisen in the morning and while John was doing some of the chores, his mother milked the cow and took the milk into the house, telling John to come in for breakfast. He followed in just a few minutes to find milk on the table and his mother on the sofa apparently asleep-but actually dead.

Her passing to the other side had apparently been peaceful as it was sudden.

John P., as he was known by his friends, attended school just two weeks in his life when he was about seven or eight years old. His parents then found a job for him and he began to earn his living. When he was about 11 years old, he left home to work in Montana in the lumber and mining camps where his older brothers were already working. He sometimes told of how cold it got there-even 60 degrees below zero. The cattle froze solid standing up in the fields and trees split open from top to bottom with a sound like a cannon shot.

Just when he returned to Brigham to live is not known, but sometime before his mother died, he and Ole were operating a farm near Bear River City, northwest of Brigham.

John and Ole remained as partners in the farming business as long as they lived, eventually buying a 20-acre fruit orchard on the southeast end of Brigham and about a 25 or 30 acre farm near the cement plant seven miles northwest of Brigham where they raised hay, grain, beets and potatoes.

On 16 October 1895, six weeks after his mother's death, John P. was called to serve a mission in the Southern States. He was set apart on 17 January 1896 by Apostle George Teasdale and left Salt Lake City on 18 January 1896. He spent most of his mission in Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi. He returned home in the spring 1898 and in the fall was called and fulfilled a short term mission in the Stakes of Zion for the M.I.A. He filled another short term mission when his son, Carlyle, was a young child-Carlyle remembered him


being away from home one winter. John P. remained active in the church after his mission, serving in the M.I.A., performing in plays, working in the Sunday School Superintendency for about 14 years, and was chairman of the Sixth Ward Genealogical Committee for several years prior to his death.

Physically, John P. was very small as a child and a young man. When he was about 17 years old, he grew very fast, gaining about a foot in height in one year. Once, when his children were young, they were measuring all their heights and their papa, John P., stood just a quarter of an inch under six feet.

Like many of those who fulfilled missions in the Southern States, he contracted some kind of fever down in the South and weighed only 128 pounds when he married. But he is remembered best as a big man with wavy black hair, six feet tall and weighing 210 to 215 pounds, and none of it fat. His wife said that he was never sick in the first twenty years of their married life. He told of sleeping all night in the same bed with a man who died of the measles the next day but John P. never contracted the disease. Even though his formal schooling was only two weeks long, he was considered a well educated man by the time he died. He was an avid reader, spending many hours of the long winter days and evening reading the daily newspaper, church books, and classical literature. In fact, his family believes his

son was named "Carlyle" because he was reading some of Thomas Carlyle's works at the time his new son came along and John P. liked the author's name and gave it to his son.

John P. had the reputation of taking quite awhile to form an opinion on any matter, but after having considered all sides and having made up his mind, no one was able to change him. One summer a traveling sec!arian missionary, a Reverend Nutting, set up headquarters in Brigham City and held several street meetings and even visited the ward Sunday Schools. Many of the local LDS members would argue with him, but John P. refused to, saying it was a waste of time as Reverend Nutting had no hope of converting John P. to his religion.

John P. said he smoked just once in his life-a big cigar he tried while he was in the

lumber camps in Montana. It made him so sick he never tried again. He was never known to swear though sometimes he would say gosh or darn and he rarely showed signs of anger, at least around his children. He was usually very gentle with his horses and could get them to pull when others couldn't. He was rather reserved by nature, seldom showing extreme emotions. His son, Carlyle, could never remember of seeing him kiss his wife, although his sister says she caught them kissing once and her mother blushed clear down to her neckline.

When the children were youngsters, John P. used to bounce them on his knee and sing Danish songs to them. As they grew older, his children often wished he had taught Danish to them but although he often spoke Danish with his Danish friends, it was never spoken at home.

John P. served on the City Volunteer Fire Department in his early life. He was prominent in political affairs, being a staunch Democrat. He was a member of the City Council in 1902. He helped to organize the Brigham City Fruit Growers Association in 1908, and served as its president until 1924 when he asked for release because of ill health. When he was released as superintendent of the Sunday School, the ward had a surprise party for him at his home and presented him with the book "Gospel Doctrine" and a signet ring.

In 1898, shortly after returning from his mission in the Southern States, John P. met in the Brigham Third Ward Sunday School, a brown-haired, blue-eyed dressmaker named Isabella Lucas Burt. He lived just a few doors away from where she was boarding at the


Ricey Jones home, and he used to water his horses in the creek in front of the Jones home.

They managed a few conversations and then their first date was a horse and buggy trip to Corinne, about seven miles away where John P. was to speak in church. One can get rather well acquainted in a buggy while traveling 14 miles together. Their romance blossomed and on 18 October 1899, they became man and wife in the Salt Lake Temple. They stayed their first night at her mother's home in Salt Lake City and then returned to Brigham. They had no money for a honeymoon--that was to come later--but "later" never arrived.

Their first home was the little home he and Ole had built for their mother and father. On 5 February 1901, a little daughter was born to them. They named her Hazel Burt after Isabella's baby sister who had died in childhood. Shortly after Hazel was born they moved to the old home of Alphonzo Snow, son of President Lorenzo Snow, located just south of Seventh South on the west side of Main Street. Here their next two children were born: Elma, 4 September 1902 and then their first boy, Morley Burt, on 28 March 1904. Sometime

in the next three years they purchased the George Graehl home on the northeast corner of Fifth South and Main Street, the lot extending clear through the block from Main Street to First East. There was an acre of ground here in trees and garden with several large soft­shelled walnut trees. Before they were old enough to attend school, the children used to help their mama pick up the walnuts in the fall after a windy night. Here that bundle of joy, Carlyle Burt Christensen, arrived on 27 July 1907, to be followed by Mary Louise on 19

February 1910, and the caboose of the family arrived on 28 December 1911 and received the name of Florence-the first name of their mother's next to youngest sister.

Their home at Fifth South and Main was an adobe house with a parlor, dining room, two bedrooms, a pantry, a lean-to kitchen and room for a bathroom but without any of the fixtures in it. They had only a cold-water tap in the sink and the sink drainpipe went through the wall and spilled onto the ground outside. The water pipes froze nearly every winter and the city sent men around to thaw the pipes out. However, they had electric lights as far back as the children remember, with a drop cord in the center of each room. They also had one of the first phones in that part of town, as John P. needed it in his business. Electricity was a new thing and would fail every once in a while. One of the children's regular Saturday chores was to keep the lamps in readiness by cleaning the chimneys, trimming the wicks, and filling them with coal oil.

By present day standards, life was pretty hard back then. The laundry was mainly done by hand; even the first washing machines were worked by hand. The ironing was done with a flat iron heated on a coal stove. Baths were taken on Saturday in the washtub in the middle of the kitchen floor. Almost all the food was raised on their own farm or orchard.

They had their own chickens, cows, pigs, and horses. Mother made their own bread, churned their own butter, and bottled their own fruit. She made most of her family's clothing

including John P.'s shirts and underwear. Although she married a farmer, one thing she refused to do was to milk the cow. If John P. couldn't be there, one of the neighbors helped out until her daughter Hazel got old enough to take over. Each of the four older children learned to milk as they grew up. They often sold milk to the neighbors and one of the children's chores was to deliver the milk in lard buckets.

In about 1914 or 1915, they traded homes with Lorenzo Smith and moved on Washington's Birthday. This new home was located at 319 South First East and was next


door to the First Ward Amusement Hall. It was a story and a half brick house with a parlor, dining room, kitchen, pantry, bedroom and bathroom on the main floor with three unfinished rooms upstairs, which John P. soon finished for his six children. Even in this rather new home there was no central heating, the only heat being the kitchen coal range, a Charter Oak heater in the dining room, and a small heater in the parlor which was seldom used.

A few years rolled by, the home and farms were paid for, and John P. had purchased a new Dodge touring car in about 1920. And then the first real trouble entered their lives.

John P. slid off a load of hay he and Morley were hauling from the farm to town, and either the horse kicked him or the wagon ran over him and mashed his leg. While he had the cast on his leg he contracted smallpox! Imagine how his leg must have itched inside that cast with smallpox on it! Although his leg healed, he never walked without a cane afterwards. And then in the summer of 1923, his oldest child, Hazel, became very sick. It was finally diagnosed as typhoid fever. She and five other girls became sick the same day. A registered nurse in attendance pronounced her dead on one occasion, but her mother wouldn't give up and asked John P. to administer to her, which he did, and she regained life. It was not to be, however, and a few weeks later on 18 October 1923, Hazel passed from this life. At her funeral a stake president and three bishops were the speakers and another bishop gave the benediction.

While John P. was in the hospital with his broken leg, a small lump appeared on his neck. He drew the doctor's attention to it but the doctor didn't seem to think it was very important at the time. It continued to grow and finally when John P. was sent to some specialists in Ogden, they operated to remove it but it was too late. On 3 May, 1925, John P. passed away. He and his wife had spent over 25 years of happy married life together. His many friends joined with the family in mourning his passing and his body was laid to rest at the side of his daughter, Hazel, in what was then the newest part of the Brigham City cemetery.

He had lived 59 eventful years. He had traveled from Denmark to Utah, to Montana, to the Southern States, had spent some time in St. Louis one winter attending a law suit about some fruit shipments and, although unschooled, had held several prominent positions both in the political and business world besides executive positions in the church. Although he undoubtedly had failings and faults as all mortals do, time has erased them, and he leaves only a rich heritage as an example to his children

 

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SUMMARY

 

The six Christensen children grew up together and, with the exception of Hanna who died at age 20, married and raised families. They remained close to their parents and to each other. All their children knew their cousins. Most, if not all, of their children grew up understanding and speaking Danish. While the older two or three generations remained mostly in northern Utah or in eastern Idaho, today many of their descendants remain in Utah, many others are scattered throughout the United States, and others even around the world.

 


PARENTS & SIBLINGS OF ANNA S. JEPPSEN

        HANS STEVEN JEPPESEN OEPPSEN)

19 May 1827 to 16 March 1908 ANNA RASMUSSEN 22 March 1830 to 1 March 1909

 

Anna Sophia Jeppsen Christensen's father, Hans, was born in Odense, Denmark. Her mother, Anna, was born in Stoense, Denmark. They were married in Odense, Denmark, on 23 November 1854. Hans was almost 27 years old and Anna had just turned 24. They had 11 children, six boys and five girls, all born in Denmark.

The story of how Hans and Anna joined the LDS Church is related earlier in this section by their daughter, Anna Bolina Sophia J eppsen (Christensen). They both joined the LDS Church and were baptized on 15 October 1865 while living in Denmark. Their children were baptized later.

This photograph of the Hans Steven and Anna Rasmussen Jeppesen family was taken in Odense, Denmark in about 1870 or 1871. They are believed to be (left to right):

Back row:

(unknown woman), Neils Peder, Adelaide Wilhelmina, Severin Jeppe Soren.

Middle row:

Anna Bolina Sophia, Mother Anna holding Emma Josephine, Christina Jacobina Nicoline, Father Hans with Mary Bernhard

Front row:

Jacob Frederic

Note:

Hyrum William and Orson Christian were not yet born.

 

Hans and Anna had two more children, sons Hyrum William and Orson Christian. Both little boys died before their first birthdays and were buried in Denmark.

The J eppsen family decided to immigrate to the United States and travel to Utah to be with other members of the LDS Church. However, they had little means so did not leave Denmark together as a family. The older children left first and the parents and younger children came later. Only their two deceased sons were left behind in Denmark.


The family finally settled in Logan, Cache, Utah. They soon felt at home there and quickly became part of the community. Many of their descendants still live in Logan and in the surrounding areas today.

The Jeppsen family members were very close to each other. Their daughter, Anna J. Christensen, spoke often of her love for her parents and for her brothers and sisters. The Jeppesen family, especially her parents, was there to support Anna when her son, Alma, died in 1891 and when her husband and oldest son, Jimmy, died in 1896. Her parents were still living, although in poor health, when Anna lost another two children in 1907, her son, Oliver, and her daughter, Amelia. In their later years, when their health was no longer robust, Anna immediately came to the side of her father and her mother to take care of them through their illnesses.

Hans and Anna had both worked hard during their lives and had raised a fine family. All their living children were baptized members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day

Saints.     While not much is

known about the day to day lives of their children, it is documented that both Anna Sophie and Christina Nicoline were active temple workers in the Logan Temple.

Hans and Anna were married for nearly 54 years when Hans died on 10 March 1908. He was 81 years old. He was buried in the Logan City Cemetery.

Anna, his wife, passed away approximately one year later on 1 March 1909 at age 79. She was buried in Logan beside her husband.


SS MINNESOTA

 

The Christensen family sailed from Copenhagen, Denmark aboard the SS Minnesota, shown on the riaht of the laraer ship on the left. The steamship was built by Palmer Bros & Co, at J arrow­on- Tyne, for the Liverpool & Great Western Steamship Co Ltd., familiarly known as the Guion Line, She launched in February 1867 and weighed 3,008 tons; 102,22 x 12,95 meters or 335.4 x 42.5 feet in length x breadth;

clipper bow, one funnel, two masts, iron construction, screw propulsion, service speed 10 knots. There were accommodations for 72 passengers in 1st class and 800 in steerage. The cramped quarters in steerage was where our ancestors lived during the voyage, coming up on deck for fresh air and exercise as weather permitted.

 

 

 

 

 

 

CASTLE GARDEN A Landing Place for Immigrants - A Brief History

James Neils Christensen immigrated to the United States in 1871. Anna Sophia Jeppsen immigrated in 1875. Both went through immigration processing at Castle Garden as did others who joined our family through marriage.

Castle Garden was originally named Fort Clinton. Built on an island about 200 feet from the shoreline off the southwest tip of Manhattan, the fort was intended to protect New York's harbor from anticipated British attack during the War of 1812. Its eight-foot thick brownstone (cheap red sandstone) walls never saw combat, and the building, reincarnated as a popular entertainment center called Castle Garden in 1824, became an immigration processing depot in 1855.


 

Clipper Ship - 1860 - Nearing Castle Garden


Steam Ships - As Seen From Castle Garden


 

Before 1855, passengers coming to the United States disembarked directly from their ship onto the wharfs of Manhattan. On 3 August 1855, the State of New York turned Castle Garden into the first center for processing new immigrants.

It was hoped that a receiving station off the mainland would serve two purposes: to prevent people with contagious diseases from entering the country and to protect arriving immigrants from the hazards of fraud, robbery and deceit as practiced by the unsavory characters who previously roamed the open wharves at will to take advantage of gullible newcomers. Now, reliable information about boarding houses, travel routes and fares, medical attention, an honest currency exchange, as well as a chance for employment was provided to the immigrants landing at Castle Garden.

Between August 1855 and April 1890, almost 35 years, more than eight million immigrants-two out of every three persons immigrating to the United States then-passed through the Garden. On 18 April 1890, the last immigrants went through Castle Garden. With control shifted to the U. S. Superintendent of Immigration, the Barge Office became a temporary landing depot, pending the opening of the newer, more commodious center on Ellis Island on 1 January 1892. Castle Garden was

converted into the New York Aquarium between                               Castle Garden Interior

1896 and 1941. It was restored as a national monument in the 1970's and is now called Castle Clinton National Monument.

NORTHERN UTAH AREA

The Christensen and J eppsen ( Jeppesen) emigrants who left Denmark to come to the United States settled in northern Utah, initially in the Brigham City, Box Elder County and in the Logan, Cache County areas. There they found their relatives and other Danish friends and emigrants who were mostly all working class people. These

early emigrants usually spoke very little English and were fairly recent converts to the LDS Church. Together, they found a strength and fellowship that greatly helped them adjust to their new surroundings and way of life.

Later, some Danish emigrants moved up into southern and central Idaho Many of their descendants came to love the beautiful northern Utah and southern Idaho areas so well that they live there to this day.

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James N. Christensen Family Sources & Credits

 

James Neils Christensen - From a sketch by VaLoie R. Hill (granddaughter) in March 1937 with assistance from Marie C. Rosenbaum, Anna C. Fullmer, Rena B. Hopkins and Thomas Blanchard; family records and photographs.

Anna Sophia Jeppsen Christensen - From a history written by Alice Christensen in 1931, with additional information from Anna Fullmer and Marie Christensen; information, records, photographs from many of Anna's descendants.

Maria or Marie Rasmussen - Family records; Death Certificate, State of Utah; newspaper clippings, Logan Journal, May 1926; research on LDS Family History site, with help from Rochelle Augustine.

Anna Christine Christensen Fullmer - Excerpted from a history compiled in 1961 I¥ LaRie and Clem Thompson from information given in a history of Bryant and Almedia Christensen Campbell; a biography written by Anna for her granddaughters in 1951; family records and photographs.

Hannah Adeline Christensen LaBelle - Family records, cemetery records, BYU-Idaho Family History Center marriage record; family photographs, gathered in 2001-2003.

James (Jimmy) Neils Christensen - Family records, cemetery records, family photographs.

Orson William Christensen - Based on the funeral address written by Alice Christensen and presented by Betty Jean Davis, Media Hochstrasser; memories of lilias Mae Christensen Lish; family records and photographs.

Marie (Mary) Emelia Christensen - Her life story is not in the Christensen section of this book but with her husband, Morris Snow Rosenbaum. See page 20.

Neils Peter Christensen - Written by Sharon P. Christensen, wife of grandson, Bill D. Christensen; BiblioQraphy: Diamond Jubilee. DriQQs Idaho Stake 1901-1981; "History of Neils Peter Jeppesen Christensen," written by Marie Christensen Anderson; from family records, taped interview with Joseph Christensen, letter from Media Christensen Hochstrasser, obituary sketch, all in possession of Bill D. Christensen.

Oliver Christensen - Family records and photographs; death record BYU-Idaho Family History Center death record; grave photo supplied by Sharon Christensen; written by J aron V. Skenandore.

Alma Christensen - Family records and photographs; Logan book of death records and grave photograph researched by Nedra N. Burden; written by Jaron V. Skenandore

Media Christensen Hochstrasser - "Life story," by Media C. Hochstrasser; "Later Life," by Jack Vandervest; family records and photographs.

Amelia Sophia Christensen - Family stories and records, BYU-Idaho Fanily History Center death record. written by J aron V. Skenandore.

Joseph Heber Christensen - Sketch by Mary Dale Christensen Medlar; family records, family photographs, newspaper articles, internet sources.

SiblinQs of James N. Christensen - Kirstine Christina Christensen - Based on the account of his mother's life,

written by John E. Baird, her son; personal family records; Hanna Kristine Christensen - Family records; research on LDS Family History site, Brigham City sexton/cemetery records; Lars Peter Christensen - IM-itten by Mabel Christensen, daughter (under pressure) in June 1958, at the insistence of his granddaughters; Oluf Christensen­

Based on "The Story of My Father, Gluf Christensen," by his Daughter, Bernice C. Warct John Peter Christensen - IM-itten by his son, Carlyle Christensen in 1958.

Parents & SiblinQs of Anna S. Jeppsen - Written by Jaron Skenandore, based on family records, photographs and genealogy files.

Denmark, Ancestral Home - Compiled from various sources and written by Jaron Skenandore.