John His autobiography
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
Louisa Thalman Hasler
In a mountainous part of Switzerland in the Country of Thurgau, Parish Dussnang, I was born on the 26th of August, 1843. My parents were Heinrich Thalmann and Ana Thalman. They were distant relatives of each other.
My first recollection of my existance in life came possibly to me when I was four years old. I have a faint remembrance, at that age of seeing my father in life. I had been in the garden in the front of our house and had plucked some of his choicest flowers to give them to a girl who had asked me for them. My father had come and chided me for taking his nice flowers. It must have been shortly after this time that I saw, one day, a strange man coming to the house. He went into the bedroom. I learned afterwards that it was our family doctor. When he went away my mother followed him to the door, and when she came in again she seemed to be in great distress. After that I saw more people going into my father, and my mother was in tears. Then they told me my father was dead. Then another man came and went in the bedroom, and I slipped in with him, and this man took his measurements. I noticed then, my father laying on his bed ~ so tall and still.
I did not realize what death meant until I was lead into the room again to see him lying in a black coffin. His eyes were partly open and I thought my papa would soon wake up again. But then the funeral came and I was to begin to realize that the people that gathered were going to take my papa away. A stretcher was placed before the house and our friends found me working hard to get that stretcher out of the way. I was then gently taken into the house by sympathizing friends. When the procession started, my sister and I were led by the hand of an aunt. Our dear one was carried to his burying place in the churchyard. I heard my mother ahead of us sobbing in grief. I rushed up to her, then fully realizing where we all were going.
When we came near the church, the funeral bells were tolling and I well remember how my little heart suffered. When we reached the open grave, the coffin was lowered, os so deep! There had not been a vault made to place the coffin in to prevent the earth and rocks from falling upon the coffin. Oh horrors! That sound to my child heart was so terribly painful I could not stand it, and years after I could not stand on an open grave. It is just as plain now at my old age as it was then. My father died on the 15th of September, 1847.
I will remember the first winter that followed. I believe our mother was timid to be alone. She would keep us children up at night as long as we could stay awake. We both would cuddle up close to her and she would tell us stories and so many things about our father that we got as well acquainted with him as if he were with us. Mother's timid feelings were occasioned a great deal because our house was broken into three times that winter. But it seems the burglars were frightened away every time without getting anything. Mother was grieving as much over our loss that she could not stand us children having our frolic and laughter, especially when she prepared our evening meal. She would come in the dining room and bid us to be quiet. A friend of ours noticed our condition and told her that she should not grieve as much for she was depriving her children of the happiness that was due them. After that time she tried hard to control herself, and allowed us more freedom.
Mother's task was a hard one, because such physical labor was required of her and we children were too small to help her. But she adapted herself bravely to what was required of her. In our country the law required of a widow who was left with children, that the home and property left at her husband's death be appraised at its full value, and a guardian appointed, that it should be protected in case the mother should marry again.
The law was all right, but such a guardian could exercise too much power sometimes. The times were hard, everything high in price, money scarce, taxes high, the farm did not bring in enough to cover expenses. The breadwinner was gone. We had splendid timberland on our farm, but we were not allowed to sell anything to breach us over. Mother had to do a man's work on the farm. We had no money to hire. In the first few years her brother came and helped her considerably in haying time, for which she was so thankful. Also a sister of mother's came and helped in harvest time to cut the grain with the sickle.
Pleasant memories are those for us children when Aunt Katherine came. She was never married and always happy. She was so quaintly dressed. She had always some nice candy in the deep pockets of her homespun linen dress, and in her satchel, a huge gingerbread man for each of us children and for mother, some coffeecake. She brought us children our first dolls. I remember mine was dressed in pink silk, trimmed with lace and gold beads. It could do everything except walk.
As soon as we children were able to carry a burden, we had to help. Everything that would grow on our farm had to be carried on our backs, ha, grains, fruit, potatoes, wood ~ all had to be carried, up and down for there was scarcely a level place to build a house on. However, our land and meadows were all close to our home, and we raised enough hay to keep two cows. We always raised our own foodstuff; potatoes and fruit, etc.
Our schooldays were very happy ones. In the long winter months, we had lots of sport with our sleighs. They would carry us down to the valley below, to the schoolhouse, about as fast as we travel now in our autos. It was not quite as pleasant going home in the evenings through the deep snow that had fallen during the day. We had such long and hard winters there, but the boys would go in single file and draw our sleighs to make a path for the girls, and keep the road open for the next morning. It was a half-hour walk to our school; to church, one hour.
We would spend lunch time and recess on the mill pond skating. I fell in once and got under the ice. The boys quickly formed a chain, got hold of my head, and pulled me out. I worried more about my wet clothes than about my cold head.
After we got out of school, we would be more of a help to mother. We got ingenious and had a little wagon made to haul our products home, which helped us very much.
I must mention, at this time, our good neighbors ~ two or three families that lived not very far from our home, who were so very good to us. One was a carpenter, and when any farming tools or other things in our home were broken, we could go there. They never turned us away and they mended many things for us without pay. How thankful we were for their great kindness to us. We tried our best to show our appreciation in doing errands for them. Neither of these had children. Mother advised us that if ever we could do any errands for them, to drop everything and do it. But we always felt that we could never get even with them. I have never forgotten them, and I had been so thankful that I could do the work for them in the temple and for their families. I want to meet them again in the life to come.
Our mother was quite strict with us children. we did not have as much freedom as many other children had. We were kept at work. She taught us to pray, and was very particular to have us attend Sunday School and meetings. We were taught in the Protestant Church. I well remember how she would get us children u in the middle of the night when there was a thunderstorm and she would pray with us, asking the Lord to temper the elements and that we would be preserved from fire. Sudden and violent thunder storms are frequent in Switzerland. Our large house was a wooden structure. There was danger of lightening striking the building. We were mostly without water to fight a fire in the summertime and we had full faith that the Lord would answer our prayers.
Mother loved nature, and instilled love for the beautiful in us children. Often I have seen her working in the field in springtime, when all nature was in its verdure. The birds were singing ~the kuckuk calling. She would lay down her tools, and fold her hands, thanking and praising our father in Heaven that in his living kindness he was doing so much for us.
When my sister got out of school, she learned to weave cloth in the long winter months. Mother would be at the spinning wheel working up the flax, which we had raised in the summer. I would be knitting and sewing our family linen. Can anyone picture a happier, more contented, and peaceful life with us girls singing our patriotic songs which the Swiss love and believe in so much.
But the poet, Schiller says "We cannot limit the threads of happiness for any length of time!" My sister commenced to have her love affairs, and when she was nineteen years old, she was engaged to a young man, Ulrick Winkler from Zell Ct. Zurich, who was in good circumstances, was a baker by trade, and an only son. Before she was twenty years old she married and left the parental home.
By this time we girls had learned to do all work that was needed on the farm, even cutting the grass with the scythes, curing it, and bringing it home like men did. Now her leaving was a hard blow for us, but mother and I still kept it up. By this time we could afford to hire a little more help in the busy season; we had brought the farm to a better paying condition.
In our country when we left school at fourteen years of age, we entered into our religion class-work with the Protestant minister twice a week until we were seventeen years old. During this time we went through the Old and New Testament catechism before our confirmation. Then we were admitted as members and allowed to partake of the sacrament. I was fortunate to have a devout teacher as far as he understood the gospel. I was a favorite of my class, and was religiously inclined. My teacher said I was truly converted. His training, however, was a great help to me when later I received the true gospel of Jesus Christ.
About three years after my sister got married, she and her husband's sister went on an errand to a place where they met Mormon elders and were introduced to them. The lady they visited was a member. The missionaries engaged them in conversation and explained their doctrine to them. They both got very much interested and the elders invited them to a meeting the next Sunday that would be held in the woods away from town. They could not get a place nearer to meet in. After they got home late in the evening, my sister told her husband what they had heard and persuaded him to go with them on Sunday to attend the meeting. Strange to say, the church was but a stone's throw from their own house. More out of curiosity he consented to go with them.
They all get interested in what they heard. They were anxious to hear more. They made frequent visits to the lady first mentioned who was a good conversationalist and was eager to explain and to teach. They later invited the elders to their home, and in the time of a few months, applied for baptism. My brother-in-law was very popular and jovial. They kept an inn, besides a flourishing baker trade and a very comfortable home.
The news that these people had joined the Mormons spread like wildfire. The opposition they had to meet from relatives, friends and the whole population was hard against them.
The elders felt much concerned about them and the situation that confronted them. More so, as they were going to be released to go back to Utah. They convinced the family to try to get ready to emigrate with them. But there were the aged parents to be left behind. The situation was indeed critical. Their father refused them money to emigrate, being much influenced by others.
My brother-in-law, with his jovial disposition, had after marriage often found pastime in car playing which is most always accompanied with the wine glass. My mother had noticed this habit soon and had worried over it. They were raising a family and she thought it would be such a bad example to their children.
At this time when we, too, were agitated about this new and unpopular religion he came to our home often to tell us about their trend of mind. He took pains to explain to us out of the Bible that this so much misrepresented organization was in accordance with the teachings of Jesus Christ. We could, of course, not comprehend at that time; but mother said there must be something very remarkable or it would not make such a change in a man's heart who never pretended religion before. She then came to their rescue and borrowed the money to help them. They were determined to go and she said no child of hers should suffer if she had it in her power to help.
They got ready with their two small children and his sister and left on May 6, 1864 to go to Utah. My sister took from us the promise before they left us that if some missionaries should come our way we should entertain them and we would be blessed. We did do that for their sake.
They endured many trials on their journey, They had a child born on board the ship which died before they landed, and a boy two years old died as they crossed the plains. But their faith never wavered. When they wrote to us after they arrived in Salt Lake some time in October, their testimony was strong, full of hope and cheer.
In 1866 I first met my future husband. Our acquaintance ripened later into friendship. I had had suitors before this time, which was not uncommon with a young woman of some means in sight at her marriage, but I was always very cautious for fear it was the money my admirers wer after and not alone the girl. I was more afraid, however, that the gospel might be true and I would do a great wrong if I would bind myself to anyone there and would be deprived of accepting it if I would be convinced that it was true. I was not humble enough to accept it. I was generally frank to such young men, and told them that I might go to Utah. This answer was generally sufficient. They would not press the suit any longer.
But this method did not work so well with Mr. Hasler. He wanted to know more about it. Before my brother-in-law went to Utah, Mr. Hasler had some business transactions with him. He came to Mr. Winkler's home a day or two before they were leaving. He wanted to know what could induce him to leave such a good home and prosperous business to go to America. Mr. Winkler took him to his private room and explained the gospel and bore his testimony to him. I was present and asked Mr. Hasler if he wanted to become a Mormon. He then took a promise from Mr. Winkler that he should write to him if he would find that he was not deceived.
This incident might have been forgotten by both parties. But two years later Mr. Hasler was led to my home to ascertain how my folks had found their new home and religion in Utah. He asked for their address. He wrote to Mr. Winkler who answered his inquiring letter and again bore testimony to him. He investigated in the City of Zurich, the nearest branch, where President Karl G. Maeser, in his eloquent, convincing way made many converts. A few months after, in November, 1868, he was baptized by Benjamin Brupbacher and confirmed by Karl G. Maeser.
My sister and husband continued to encourage mother and me to give obedience to the gospel message which we finally accepted. I was baptized on the 25th of December, 1868. My mother was baptized on the 1st of April, 1869. I was married to John Hasler on the 14th of May, 1869. We were then able to sell our home and farm at a great sacrifice, but we were thankful that the way was open for us to go to Zion.
Leaving our home had not been so hard on us. Relatives and friends turned against us. Some of them forbade us to come and take farewell. We now made p[reparations to emigrate. My mother's health was very poor. Hard work had weakened her constitution. The dreaded disease of dropsy had set in. The doctor told us we should never attempt to take her on a journey. She would never reach Liverpool. But mother was determined to try. She had great faith in the ordinances of the gospel. She was administered to and when we reached New York, after 13 days at sea, she was ell and stood the overland journey just fine. Ours was the first company of saints that traveled in comfortable train care over the desert to Ogden, Utah.
My brother-in-law, Ulrich Winkler met us in Salt Lake City. we bought us a yoke of oxen, a wagon, plow, some farming tools and a cook stove before we started for Mt. Pleasant. I forgot to tell that when we started from the City of Zurich we took with us a little boy, three years old, the son of a poor sister who had no money to emigrate. Another family took a little six year old with them. Their mother had a promise to come the next year. When we left Salt Lake City, our wagon was heavily loaded. Another family followed us to Mt. Pleasant.
When we came as far as Payson one of our oxen took sick, and we hired a man with another yoke of oxen to help us along for a day. I was riding on the wagon that was loaded with trunks, holding the little boy on my lap. The man was not a careful driver. As he crossed a deep ditch, I lost my hold and was pitched from my high seat onto the wagon tongue, and the little boy into the ditch. The heavily loaded wagon went right over his abdomen. After we were both extricated, the little boy opened his blue eyes and gave just a gasp. Imagine my feelings when I sat on the side of the road holding the little boy in my arms, apparently lifeless. Mr. Winkler and my husband administered to him and before very long he commenced to breath again. We worked very long with him and in the confusion I could not find any dry clothes for him. We wrapped him in a blanket and my mother took him in the other wagon. I stayed behind, and washed his clothes. evening had overtaken us.
After I had washed the clothes, I started to follow the wagon, but my legs refused to go. I tried hard to follow but I could not. It got dark and I could not overtake them. They did not miss me until they stopped to unhitch. Thinking I was in the last wagon, my husband came rushing back to find me, and when he assured me that the little fellow was alive, I began to get strength to walk to the camp with his help. Wat a wonderful testimony that was to us all. The boy was all well the next morning when we continued our journey.
We arrived in Mt. Pleasant the last of September, 1869. Our joy and happiness was complete when we were united again as a family. Mother often told me she would never be happy until we could embrace one another again. We two sisters had always been so near to each other, such close companions. My sister's family had been driven from Richfield a year before on account of Indian trouble, and had had to make a new start again in Mt. Pleasant. They had a little house partly built with two rooms. We lived together that year, but in the spring both of our families had welcomed an addition. My sister had now three children, and ours was our first son (June 14, 1870). We called him Henry Hasler. We began to get crowded for room, and we now wanted to start a home of our own.
My husband had taken up a city lot where we started to build a cellar. We did not have means enough to start a house tool. We had assisted several families to emigrate, but of course they were not in a position to pay us back. My husband then put a dirt roof on the cellar and divided it in two rooms with two small windows and doors. We had lumber enough to make a floor in one room. On Christmas eve 1870, we moved into our new home. I had whitewashed the walls and decorated them with pictures of relatives and friends. People may move into mansions, but I doubt if anyone could feel more happy than we were. We held ourselves in each other's arms and shed tears of joy that we now had a home again of our own. But to their credit, I must say with gratitude that my sister and family had made us more than welcome and assisted us in every way they could.
I cannot remember that we ever had an unpleasant word between us until we came to divide our dear mother. My sister claimed that since she left our home I had had her all the time and that it was her turn to have her. We had some tears together; both of us seemed to be selfish. At last we concluded to let our mother decide where she wanted to stay. She said that since there were only two city lots to divide us, she thought she could mother us both. As I was the youngest, she decided I needed her most, with a promise that she would always be where she was needed. This was satisfactory with all of us.
We started in with a will to make us a home, cleared the land off and fenced in two city lots with cedar posts and willows, weaving them in basket-fashion. We started some gardens, but the grasshoppers ate up everything the first year. We got two pounds of lucerne seed from Salt Lake City and planted the first lucern in Mt. Pleasant. We had many rocks, large and small, on our lots, which showed bigger when the sagebrush had been removed. Water had to be brought on the land that could not be plowed from a mile away. I had done hard farming at home, but this was a new task. My husband was a hard working man, but neither of us was skilled at pioneering. We did not work to an advantage as an American goes to work.
I must admit that one day I sat on one of these huge rocks in front of the place and cried bitterly. My husband came and wanted to know what was the matter. I told him we would never be able to make a home on this place. He came and sat by me and tried to comfort me. He said this very rock could be made a very romantic spot. The rocks could be made very quaint and scenic. He would plant shrubs and vines around them; flowers would make it beautiful. The picture helped to comfort me. The rocks are still there yet, but there is lucern grown around them, and they do not look nearly as large as they did then.
On February 11, 1871, another son was born to us. We named him John Hasler. He did not come to stay very long ~ only three months. He was sick only one day with convulsions and we had to give him up. He was so sweet and bright. His papa often called him his little angel and an angel he was soon going to be. That same year we traveled to Salt Lake City by oxen to receive our endowments.
In September, 1872, my husband took down with typhoid fever. I will not repeat this long and severe trial. It is described in my husband's diary, but I must mention how faithful and true the brethren holding the Holy Priesthood had been to us. They came to visit us for months almost every day to comfort, help, and bless him. It was hard for us all to exercise faith. He was so very low so long. To human appearance it would seem impossible to think he could live. The nearest doctor was living in Nephi. I telegraphed for Dr. McEwan, but on account of sickness in his household he could not come. We were often told it was not right for us to fast and pray for him to live. It would be better if he could be released from his suffering; but as long as there is life, there is hope.
Those were had and trying days. My little boy, Henry, then two years old, had also taken the fever. Both were lingering between life and death for a long time. My mother was a great support to me in tending and nursing the little boy. Never will I forget the help and support my sister, her husband, and the faithful elders who exercised their faith, prayers, and fasting in our behalf. Surely our Father in Heaven will reward them. They have all of them since gone to their rest. Blessed be their memory.
His condition was very low all winter. His body was reduced to a skeleton. He had to be lifted around. He could not help himself in the least. On March 25, 1873, under these conditions, I was delivered a little baby girl. She came indeed to bring hope and cheer and gladness under these trying circumstances.
I had for weeks and months carried my husband in my arms from one room to another. My strength was much spent and overtaxed by night and day. At this time my sister was with me and when I was made comfortable she wanted to go home to bring the glad news to her family, intending to be right back again. As she turned to me as she was leaving she noticed that I had become unconscious. She rushed to my bedside and tried hard to bring me to notice her, but to no avail. I can remember I heard their pleading, but could not speak. At last she rushed off to find some elders, but she had to run a long way as we had then no near neighbors.
During this time my husband had managed, without assistance, to get to me from his bed, and in the anguish of his heart and soul, prayed over me and asked the Lord to let me come back. More than an hour must have elapsed when my sister returned and an elder with her. He administered to me and after he took his hand from my head, I came to again. My sister tenderly nursed me and in about two weeks I was able to do my work again, and to take care of my dear ones.
My husband was lifted up from the cellar for the first time on the first day of May to enjoy the sunshine, and soon after that he was able to walk a little on crutches.
About July papa was still not able to walk without his crutches, and we had to have hay for our cattle. We owned some hay land in what is now called Chester. Everyone was so busy getting his own hay home, but some kind brethren told us they would cut and load our hay if we could get our team down there. We managed to yoke up our oxen. I got a little ladder for my husband to get on the wagon, and we drove to the hayfield. There were always kind people to load our wagon, and then put us both on the load again. Our home journey was mostly in the night. Ox teams are slow. I was told to always put my arms around the binding pole so if we got in a chuck hole I would not fall, but the one night I went to sleep and fell down from the load unnoticed. Papa drove on. He did not know what had happened. After I gathered myself up, I started limping after the wagon. He had quite a start. It was not far from town when I caught up beside the wagon and called to him to let me ride with him. Papa was a little frightened, thinking it was my ghost calling. Happily I was not hurt much. We were thankful to get our hay home.
In 1875 we joined the United Order which delayed, somewhat, the building of our house. We had the adobes made. I handled those adobes two and three times until they were in the wall. I helped to bring them from the yard, unload them, and then handed them up again. I can remember how sore my hands were. My husband gave up his land, oxen, wagon, cows. He had to teach music in school, brass band, and the choir. Mason and carpenters were assigned to do the building, but before the house was up to the top, the mason drew out of the order and we had two rooms ready to put the roof on. It was getting late in the fall. I was determined there should not be another baby born in the cellar. I put the shingles on myself so that we could move in the house. Papa did the carpenter work in the house, so we were able to move in about December having lived in the cellar for five years. On January 31, 1875, another son was born to us. We named him Walter Hasler.
In 1875, I was called as Secretary to our President, M.F.C. Morrison in the Relief Society, which position I held for 32 year4s until our President died and another organization was effected. At the time of my calling, I was ill-fitted for the position. I was greatly handicapped, not having mastered much of the English language, but I went to work with a will with my papers and dictionary. I translated the minutes into English from my mother tongue.
This work was a great pleasure and blessing to me. I was associated with the best and truest of sisters. I was the youngest of them. The experience of association with them was a joy and benefit to me. I am ever thankful to my Heavenly Father that this great privilege came to me. When later my sons were called on missions, I could correspond with them and encourage them in their work.
In 1877, on July 15, another little daughter came to bless our home. We named her Louisa Hasler. She was a sweet treasure to gladden our home, but again, only for a short time. She died of scarlet fever when she was only eight months old. Parting with those little souls was a hard trial for us.
On December 22, 1878 or 1879, another son was born to us. We gave him the name of Emil Hasler. He was very welcome because the other children had grown out of their babyhood. About that time another sorrow awaited us. My dear mother took very ill. She took to her bed after Christmas time and lingered all winter. We hoped that springtime would have an invigorating influence over her, but the Lord destined it otherwise. On April 15, 1879, she left us for another sphere of action. She had lived 76 years. Mother was always so thankful and happy that she had been able to reside in America and to receive the gospel of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. She was the only one of her family who was able to come to this land, and be united with her children and live with the prophets and apostles.
She was greatly handicapped at her age. She was not able to learn the English language, but she had received the spirit of the gospel. As soon as she was baptized, she gave of her means to help different families. She was generous to a fault as some of the people did not appreciate her kindness, and did not prove worthy of it.
In the fall of 1880, my only sister's health seemed to be failing her. It caused us some alarm, but we attributed it to her delicate condition, and we believed that when her time would come she would soon be restored to her former health and strength again. Her cheerful disposition gave us reason to hope for the best.
In October, she was delivered of a baby boy. In our joy in her new delivery, we did not notice that a change for the worse had come over her. The dreaded disease of dropsy had rapidly developed, to which she succumbed on December 9, 1880. Her little baby had preceded a few weeks before the death. This was a hard blow to her husband and it was a very hard trial to me, we having so recently parted with my dear mother. But then we had felt our loss together. No I mourned alone. We had been more than sisters to each other. There was a companionship that few enjoy.
I, too, was in a delicate condition, and the shock came so unexpectedly to me, I took sick, and in a few weeks gave birth to a premature child. We named him Edward Hasler, but he died the day after he was born. Thus we added another grave to those we had already laid away.
In the spring at April Conference, my husband was called to go on a mission to his native country. He had only two weeks to get ready. We were quite destitute for clothes to wear at that time. We had used our means to finish the house, but we had plenty of bread stuff. The good people of Mt. Pleasant donated him enough money to take him to his field of labor. He was given a farewell party together with another missionary. Many were invited. I had nothing to wear to accompany him to the party. I had a silk wedding dress, but I had taken it to pieces, thinking I could make a cloak for my little seven-year old girl. I intended to make it warm with some woolen, home-made lining, but when I was invited to the party I sat up all night and put the dress together again. And to the surprise of my friends I came out in a silk dress and wore a pair of home-made shoes which sounded loud to the rustle of my dress. Fortunately it was quite long and I was careful to cover my dress over my shoes.
I worked very hard while my husband was away. I worked in the harvest field. We did not have self-binders then, and I was not the only woman who worked in the field. But it came hard on me because I was not used to that kind of work. I left my four children home alone. Oh how I missed my mother! It was always late at night when I came home. I told the children to sit on the floor when they were beginning to get sleepy as they would not be so apt to fall from their chairs. I would most generally find them all four in a row on the floor asleep.
From that time on my little girl mothered my children. I could always depend on her that she would be with them. In the winter I got work to crochet hoods for the school children. I earned money to make us comfortable. Thus we got along just fine until papa returned in the fall of 1882.
When he returned, he brought some emigrants home with him in fulfillment to his patriarchal blessing that he would return bringing his sheep with him. Four followed him to Mt. Pleasant. He also had charge of an emigration of 72 Saints from Switzerland. Among them, he brought home to Mt. Pleasant an old lady who just recently had lost the only daughter she had, who was also to emigrate with her mother when death overtook her. This sister, before her death, had taken a promise from Brother Hasler who had visited her at her deathbed that he would take her mother home with him to Utah, and take care of her as long as she lived.
When she came, we were all very glad to have another grandmother which she indeed proved to us and our children in every sense of the word. If she had been our very own grandma we could not have loved her any better, and she loved us. She lived with us for fifteen years and died in August of 1897. Her name was Elizabeth Muller, born in Langenhart at Zurich, Switzerland.
On August 13, 1883, Mino Otilia Hasler was born. we called her our missionary girl. She brought so much joy and happiness to our home. After my husband returned from his mission he started to teach music at home. He had mostly students from out of town. They boarded at our house. We had two instruments in different parts of the house. The first session would start at 6 o'clock in the morning. there were generally three students. Four one hour lessons were given a day and that many hours practice in a day. A term was three weeks. Many of the students who had some talent would advance quite fast in the art of music. Many of them returning home, would be able to play our church hymns in Sunday Schools and meetings which was quite a help in those days. Many of our organizations had thus been benefited throughout Sanpete and Sevier Counties.
In June, 1886, our last baby was born which nearly cost my life. It was one of the greatest testimonies we received of the power of the priesthood when my life was spared. Conditions were such that it was impossible for me by human appearance to get through this ordeal and live. No skilled medical help was obtainable. Nightly prayers were offered up to our Father in Heaven by the priesthood and my dear ones, and in a wonderful way my life was spared. My beautiful baby boy's life had to be sacrificed.
It is hard, often, in human life, when you have to meet with trials that will try your heart and soul, trials which you can not share with any soul, however near and true. Your heartstrings may be almost ready to snap, but you will carry the burden alone. A heart doesn't break. It will be wounded; it will bleed; and the wound will be hard to heal. Some try to find relief in the whirlpool of pleasure. I doubt it! Fortunate is he or she who can to to his sacred alter, humble himself and bring before his Father in Heaven the load he has to bear when it seems that the water of sorrow will overflow it. Unload your burden to Him that lurks in the recess of your hear; you will not ask in vain. His great mercy, his loving kindness will manifest to you the healing balm of His holy spirit and there alone you will find peace and comfort. What wonderful testimonies will be revealed to you.
In the year 1893 our oldest son, Henry, was called on a mission to Switzerland and Germany. He worked a year in our native land, one in Germany, and one in the office in Bern as Secretary. He returned in 1896. In 1898 our second son, Walter Hasler, was called on a mission to our native country. After he had graduated from the B.Y.U. in Provo, he labored two and one-half years in Germany. He returned in 1901.
We had been able to give our children (and not without sacrifice) some educational advantages that would be a help to them through life. Our home was not a pretentious one, but hospitality was given freely to all who entered it. We welcomed and entertained in our home such men as Dr. Karl G.Maeser, Dr. Talmage, Brimhall, Keeler, Benjamin Cluff President of the B.Y.U. We entertained sisters of the General Board of the Relief Society, Mrs. Annie T. Hyde, Elizabeth Grant, List Farnsworth, and many others. We harbored about twenty-four emigrants at different times. some of the for weeks, some for months, until they would find houses of their own. All were made welcome and at home.
Our home was a place where the young folks congregated, where freedom, music and song were enjoyed, and all made welcome. We also harbored a number of people that were hunted down because they were accused of breaking the law of the land. We were loyal to our trust and not any of our children betrayed the trust. I remember a little incident that happened some time ago. It was a cold and dreary November night. Rain had come down in torrents all day. At a late hour we heard a knock at our door. As my husband opened the door a man stepped in, all wet and cold. He asked if he could not get a night's lodging for two families. They came from Manti where they had been in the temple. They aimed to reach Fairview where thy had friends, but their horses gave out, and they could not get any further. As they entered our town they asked on several places, but no one could make room for them. They had little children with them, both women and children were cold, hungry, and wet. My husband told them all to come in.
We made a warm fire. i warmed a kettle full of hot milk with fresh bread; then I put the little children in our warm beds. I kept a good fire all night to dry their wet clothes and bedding. They told us that a man had directed them to our place where a light was still burning.
There lives Brother Hasler. He is a good man. He takes everybody in. He will make you comfortable." In later years I met one of the ladies in Provo. She told me that never in her life had hot milk tasted so good to them as it did that night.
In 1897, our daughter, Lydia, was married in the temple at Manti to Arthur C. Candland of Mt. Pleasant. Her husband left her in a few days after on a mission to the Southern States. Lydia did not leave our home until he returned two years after. The same year my son, Henry was married to Sophi Kelch in the Manti Temple.
Louisa died January 4, 1930 in Mt. Pleasant, Utah
"In all of us there is a hunger, marrow-deep, to know our heritage - to know who we are and where we have come from."
"In all of us there is a hunger, marrow-deep, to know our heritage - to know who we are and where we have come from."
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