Saturday, August 11, 2012

Crossing to America

Father and Mother were baptized 21 February 1862, and from that time began to prepare for their trip to America. I do not know just how Father (David) got the money, but as you know Father was very saving and did not spend money foolishly. I am of the opinion that he received some help from the Emigration Fund that was used in early days of the church to help the saints to get to Utah. I do not think he received any help from his mother as she was very much against his going. She did not believe that he would be able to even write to her when he got to Utah. She tore the corner from a sheet of paper and told him if he was allowed to write to her when he got here, he was to use that sheet of paper. If the letter she got from him fit into the corner that she had, she would know that he had written it. They may have received some help from Mother's grandmother as she had a home and I think some money saved from the little farm she owned, for we know that Aunt Julia came with Father and Mother. Aunt Julia had lived with her grandmother practically all of her life up to that time. I don't think that Grandmother could help any as Grandfather was so bitter against the Mormons, and continued so until his death which occurred while I was on my first mission. The fact remains that on 13th April 1863 Father, Mother, and Aunt Julia bid farewell to their friends and relatives, and set sail on the ship "Exelence Tolv" for Copenhagen, Denmark. The date of their arrival in Copenhagen is not given, but with a sail ship, unless they had favorable wind, they would be three to four days. We know that they remained in Copenhagen until the 30th April, when they again set sail for Kiel, Germany, and then to Hamborg, Germany. It must be remembered that Mother's second child was born 5 November 1862 and was at the time of their starting on this trip only six months old. They had to travel third class. It must have been very hard for Mother to care for our little sister Josephine. From Hamborg they went on board the steam ship "Roland" and crossed the North Sea to Grimsby, England. They had on board six hundred emigrants and forty head of steers and several hundred head of sheep. I think I can form some kind of an idea of what they had to go through with that kind of a load on a small ship, and then to have steerage passage at that, and Mother with a six months old child in her arms. I have crossed the North Sea eight times and have had first class passage all but once and that was on my first mission. I don't think there is any place on the ocean that can get as rough as it does on the North Sea because the water is shallow and the waves roll so much higher in shallow water. So I know just what Mother had to go through on the trip from Oslo to Copenhagan to Kiel and from Kiel to Hamborg and from Hamborg to Grimsby, England. It took them 27 days with their stops and traveling which would only take at the present mode of travel about 48 hours. From Grimsby to Liverpool they went by train arriving there on the 20th of May. On 23 May they set sail on the sailing ship "Antartic" for New York, with four hundred and eighty emigrants on board. Joseph Needham was in charge and assisted by Carl Dours. They were on board the ship 49 days. It was necessary for them to stand in line each day to get their drinking water. They only received a small portion towards the latter end of their voyage, as the Captain was afraid they might run short of water before they reached New York. Several persons died on the way over and were buried at sea. It is hard to imagine them 49 days on the ocean. We, their children, will never know nor be able to understand what our parents went through for the sake of the gospel. They arrived in New York 10th July and were placed in cattle cars and shipped to St. Joseph, Missouri. They passed through a part of the Civil War battle zone where they could hear the cannons roaring. From St. Joseph, Missouri, they went to Florence, Nebraska, arriving there on 25th July. At this place there were seventy wagons awaiting the arrival of the emigrant company. Peter Nebeker, who was in charge, had come from the Salt Lake Valley to bring the company of Saints to Utah. As you will remember there were nearly five hundred emigrants in this company. Their belongings were loaded into these seventy wagons, together with the supplies that was necessary for the journey and also with supplies for the Saints in the valley. It was necessary for the Saints that were able to walk to do so, as the teams had all they could pull with the luggage and supplies that were necessary for the company. Up until this time Father and Mother had been on the deck of ships or on steerage with all of the disagreeableness. Then being shipped in cattle cars, but that was no comparison with that which now lay before them. They had a thousand or more miles before them, with seventy wagons pulled by oxen, horses and mules. These were necessary to draw the loaded wagons over the rough road that was cut into deep ruts by the travel that had passed over them during the dry summer months. It is almost impossible for us as their children to understand their condition. They would pitch camp for the night all covered with dust, as well as all of their belongings. Mother with our dear little sister in her arms all covered with dust and no place to take her and give her the attention that was necessary to prevent her form getting sick. So after being on the way for a few days she did become ill. Even though Mother was granted the privilege of riding in one of the wagons with her sick child, you can imagine what it would be like in one of these heavy loaded wagons over a rough road. I was told by Father and Mother that they walked most of the time with Josephine in their arms. Finally on 13th August her spirit took its flight. Father and Mother found themselves along the Platt River with their dead child in their arms, without a casket or anything wherewith to bury her. The company was halted for a short time while a shallow grave could be dug, into which they placed the body of our dear little sister Josephine. They put her in a casket made from the sod that had been dug out of the grave. It is hard for us children to imagine the feelings of Father and Mother, especially that of Mother as she knelt by the side of the grave as they filled it with earth. She knew that she had nothing with which to mark the spot of ground that had become sacred to her because it was the resting place of her dear little daughter. Oh, what anguish must have filled her soul. When she had walked a short distance, she turned taking one last look at the little grave that she knew she would never in this life see again. It must be remembered that the death of Josephine was just one year and eight months after the death of Segvard Julius, her first child. From here on there was nothing of importance that happened outside of Aunt Julia and Margaret Olsen Clayton wandering away from the company and getting lost. It was necessary for them to send out a searching party to find them because they thought the Indians had captured them. They were found in a short time and returned to the company. Two buffalo were killed on the way and the meat was portioned out to the company. There is nothing of importance that happened to the company from here on that we have any knowledge of. There is no history written of this company of saints from Florence, Nebraska to Salt Lake City. Peter Nebeker failed to turn it in on his report on arrival at the city. It was afterwards lost, so we are told, by the Historian's Office. The company arrived in Salt Lake City on 3rd October, 1863. Father and Mother went directly down to Lehi. It is also stated that Mr. Olsen, the father of Margaret Clayton, with his family, also went with them. They were very close friends from Norway. Brother Olsen came from Dramen which is about one hours ride due west of the city of Oslo. Not very much is known about Father's and Mother's stay in Lehi. The family record which we have of the births and deaths of the children of Father and Mother informs us that our brother David Henry was born in Lehi on 2 July 1874. About ten months after the death of Josephine, Father and Mother were again called to pass through this awful ordeal of laying another of their little ones away in mother earth. As David Henry died on the 9th of September 1864. It must have appeared to our heartbroken mother that she was not going to be able to rear any of her children to maturity. She had now buried three, one after the other, in such a short time. We do not know the exact date of the marriage of Father and Mother; but it must have been in the latter part of 1859 or the first part of 1860. Their first child was born on the 24 December 1860. We have then a brother buried some place in Norway, a sister on the plains, and brother in Lehi. But just where their graves are we will never know in this life, I never did ask Father or Mother anything about the matter. On the 11 August 1865, our sister Sarah Christina, came to gladden their home. It must have been a joy to Mother to again have a little child in their home. Aunt Julia went down to Lehi with the folks and it is stated that she went to work for a lady by the name of Jacobs. This lady, by the way, was very particular about her house work. Aunt Julia had a lot of grief until Mother took her back home again. One day Aunt Julia and Margaret Olsen were out in the field gleaning. An Indian spied them and came out to where they were. He began to make uncomplimentary remarks to them. They became frightened, but made motions towards the willow patch that was nearby. He followed them only to find Brother Olsen in there cutting willows. He made his get away in a hurry. Aunt Julia and Margaret knew that Brother Olsen was there for they had gone out with him into the field. Father and Mother and Aunt Julia remained in Lehi until the spring of 1866. Then, they together with Brother Olsen and his family moved to Franklin, Idaho. Father bought a city lot just two blocks directly east of the railroad depot. Here he built a log house, and later added to it and made it quite comfortable. He also later bought a lot joining him on the west. Soon he had two lots on which he raised small fruit and vegetables and some grain. Later on he bought two lots one block south and a half block east of the house. On these two lots, he raised wheat so he had enough for flour the year around. The old Charles Baker home joined Father's place on the south. The old lady Clayton's (Joseph Clayton's mother) place was just across the street about a half block south of Father's home. The old lady Wheeler, who was the midwife for Franklin, at that time, lived just across the street north. Mr. Lundengreen's place joined Father on the west. He was killed while trying to move an old shed out to the place he had taken up. That is now owned by the Peterborg Brothers and James Jensen. Mr. Hansen lived across the street east and a half block north. This is where May Jensen's mother spent her girlhood days. Franklin at that time had what was called the co-op store. It was a store in which the people bought shares of stock, and at the end of the year they would receive a dividend on what the store had made. Father did a lot of work in this store putting up furniture and other odd jobs. Mr. Stalker also had a store and sold liquor as he did not belong to the church. The saints were forbidden to trade with him. Brother William Webster had a harness shop and later on added a general mercantile store to his business. It was the old rock house that stands on the the hill in west part of town. Brother Charles Spongberg and Isaac Nash each had a blacksmith shop, and did all of that kind of work for the people. Father did a lot of cutting of grain for the people with the cradle. He had the name of being able to cut more garin with the cradle than any man in Franklin. On 22 February 1868 Hyrum Daniel came to gladden the home of Father and Mother. It is stated that Father and one of his neighbors had to carry the midwife in a rocking chair to the house. It was so muddy and the ground was so soft that they could not drive a team. Aunt Julia had made her home with Father and Mother most of the time from their arrival in Utah and Idaho. From the records we have at hand we find that on 23 November 1868, Father and Aunt Julia were married in the Endowment House at Salt Lake City. From that time on, Father had two families to take care of. As we all know Mother and Aunt Julia were sisters. Mother had given her consent to the marriage of her sister Julia to Father. Mother went to Salt Lake City with Father and Aunt Julia. Here she went through the Endowment House and received her Endowments. She was sealed to Father on 23 November 1868, also. It was necessary later to have Segvard Julius, Josephine and David Henry, Sara Christina and Hyrum Daniel sealed to Father and Mother in the Logan Temple. As long as Mother lived, there was no contention between these two sisters. Mother because of her poor health did most of the work in the house (as we lived in the two log rooms that still stand on the farm). Aunt Julia was a strong and robust woman in her young days and helped Father a great deal with the work outside. Yet in later years she suffered a great deal with neuralgia and was compelled to remain in bed at times. Her first child was David Samuel born 19 March 1870. The others are as follows: Peter Simon, Christina, Anne, Junius, Jeremiah, Netha, Bertha, Arthur, Edith, Elene, Wilford, and Elmer.

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