Relic Home and Blacksmith Shop

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Blessings Remembered At Christmas Time ~~~ Mike Ericksen

 As we ponder and consider the blessings we have at this Christmas time, I
think it's wise to think about our heritage as well as what we will leave to future generations—our legacy.
Perhaps our trials, petty squabbles, and even those things, which we
deem as issues that are too great for us to get over, are brought low especially at this time of the year when we think about what the savior had, what he taughtus that was important, and the legacy he left behind in his life and humble circumstance.
Please read this story of a Christmas in 1926 exactly how it happened
(well, exactly how it may have happened).
Mike Ericksen, in an email to his
famiy and friends, December 2012

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~December 1926

“Merry Christmas, Mother,” Leonard called as he
walked into the warmth of the kitchen, through the
swinging door from the backyard. The screech of the
stretching spring and the bang of the quick snap of the
light screen door announcing his entry before his voice was heard.

His mother, who was sitting on a chair in the corner
of the room with her grandson Max in her lap, fanned a slight smile as she watched him glide by, his arms
carefully holding an almost straight-stacked tower of
small pieces of wood that he had been splitting to refill the wood bin used to fire up the already heated and smoking stove.

His wife, Jennette, was making pancakes and
bacon in the small kitchen area of Ane Marie’s home in Mt. Pleasant. As she cooked, she sang a song that she had taught her children. “Falling snowflakes make me
shiver, but a warm pile of hotcakes with plum syrup, to my tummy I deliver.”

Then placing a pile of hotcakes on a plate for the kids, she laughed heartily.
Ane Marie, smiled and stroked the hair of 18 month-old Max as he lay against
her chest “He’s so happy,” she said, “He reminds me of Willy.”
Leonard and his family had just arrived the day before by train from Hamer,
Idaho where Leonard worked for the Union Pacific Railroad. Leonard and
Jennette had three children: Virginia, Doug, and Max. “What time is Chris coming over?”  Leonard asked his father, Hans, who had just walked into the room with a small bucket of cream.

As we ponder and consider the blessings we have at this Christmas time, I
think it's wise to think about our heritage as well as what we will leave to future
generations—our legacy.

Perhaps our trials, petty squabbles, and even those things, which we
deem as issues that are too great for us to get over, are brought low especially
at this time of the year when we think about what the savior had, what he taught
us that was important, and the legacy he left behind in his life and humble

“Oh your brother will make it for dinner,” Hans replied, we would do well to
start dinner early as his herd of kids will go through everything in the cupboards
within minutes,” “Han’s,” Ane Marie shot toward her husband, warningly.
Hans just smiled as he walked past, looking down at little Max as he went by.
“He is a bit like Willy, isn’t he?” he added.

A few minutes later they were sitting around the large dining room table about to
eat Christmas morning breakfast.  Hans bowed his head to say the prayer, but before he could start, Ane Marie said “Hans, please don’t forget the children.” Hans smiled and simply said, “Yes, of course.”

He thanked God for living in Zion, he thanked Him for the food they had, as
his voice quieted slightly and his tone became softer, Hans thanked Him for the
two children they raised on this earth, he then said, thank you for those that we
had for a little while and that we will surely have again and then he very slowly
and deliberately and with some emotion, said each name: Hannah, Andrew,
Hansine, William, Anker, Hans Jr., Willy and Olof.

In this Christmas prayer he thanked God, as he did every year since June 9th,
1920, for the children they had and those children that they would again have,
and never, not once in all those years in this certain prayer and on this very
special day, did he ask for anything—for that gift was above all others.
Following breakfast Leonard gave his mother, Ane Marie, a gift. The gift was
a simple one that he had written last year on the journey back to Idaho after their
Christmas visit. This gift, would bless her life and the lives of many even down to
the present generation. Leonard slowly removed the paper from his coat pocket.
Ane Marie was sitting in her big cushioned chair, wrapped in a shawl. She
spent a lot of hours in that chair these days, and as she watched her family, her
eyes would move to the distance. A distance only known to those that had been
on the trail for too many years.

Leonard knelt in front of her when he read it to her, as she never learned to
read English. Slowly and deliberately the words fell from his lips. All in the room listened intently.

What I Owe My Mother
The first conscious remembrance I have of
my mother, is of a wonderful smile hovering over
me. It meant. My Mother…
As life went by and perplexities, vexations,
and tribulations appear, it became my habit to look
to this smile for strength when courage was low
and results uncertain. I well remember its
stimulus as I lisped my first effort from the school
stage, and timidly sought her face in the audience;
its consolation when I was sick.

When the time came that issues of life must
be met without my Mother at hand, I found that
such smiles as hers were rare and were not reflex.
In process of analysis, I found that her smile was born of the
spirit. It was the expression of her interpretation of life. My Mother’s
courage was not the sink-or-swim, live-or-die variety. Life to her was
not a struggle or an affliction, but a beautiful privilege to live and
act. She loved the world and everything in it, and the great giver for
allowing her to be part of his creation. This was the secret of her

My mother’s early life would be termed anything but pleasant.
When a child of 10 years, her Father and Mother with two sisters
and a brother crossed the plains from Nebraska to Salt Lake City in
the Willie Handcart Co. and while journeying westward, one cold day,
her Father with 12 others were buried in one grave by the wayside.

From a mere child to a young woman she was compelled to
work for others and when she received her scant pay, would take it
to assist her widowed Mother. She evidently had her full stock of
what the world defines as hard knocks, cares and privations and
difficulties. As I saw her smile a few days ago when I came home to
spend Christmas, I noticed it had lost none of its inspiration, but it
was grown a bit wistful and tremulous, for my mother
is past 81.

But, when I shall behold it no more in the flesh,
this smile its impress which distance cannot dim nor
time efface, will still be my pilot even to life’s sunset
with the assurance that whatever comes must be best
and good, for God is in His Heaven.

L.E. Hamer, Idaho
Dec. 30, 1925
Ane Marie, quietly wept as Leonard finished and he gave her a soft kiss on her cheek. The moment hung in the air, in the quiet, and the room was still for some time. Suddenly, someone called out, “Uncle Chris is here,” and
the reverence of the moment was replaced with the excitement
of Christmas.

When Ane Marie, Hans, and their son, Chris, came to Utah,
from Nebraska in 1881, they had three more children; Willy,
who only lived for three months, Olof, who lived only 16-
months both dying on Feb. 20, 1886, and Leonard
(1888-1960), my grandfather, the last child of Ane Marie, who
was born in 1889 and lived until 1960.

Ane Marie and Hans were concerned that they might not be accepted back into the church when they left Utah, the Zion they had once found, because they, for a time, had turned their backs on their faith and their people. But they were
received with open arms, love, and words of encouragement, which is the way of people living the gospel, especially those that had been through so much for their faith. In 1900 Ane Marie lost her dear sister Kristina. On June 9th, 1920, Ane Marie and Hans would go to the temple and have 9 of their 10 children sealed to them as a family for all eternity. It was the single most important day in their life. Leonard
was sealed to his parents in 1931 at the Manti Temple.

That Christmas day in 1926 three years             

Doug, then 13 years old, walked up to the music
box that Hans had bought for her when they lived in
Grand Island, Nebraska. As he turned it on, Ane
Marie got very sad as she had occasion to do, and
Hans told Doug that she didn’t want to hear it
because it was too hard to listen to as it brought
back painful memories. Doug replied that he liked
the music. Hans gave it to him as a Christmas
present with a protest from his father, Leonard,
“What do you want with that old thing. If you want it you’ll have to carry it
yourself.” So he tied a rope around it and took it with him to Hamer, Idaho. His
children have it to this day.

Hans died in December 1928. Leonard was afraid of the bank situation and
being liable for bank losses, so he and Christian sold the family house and paid
the creditors. Ane Marie received a check from
the bank when she lived in Hamer with Leonard
at the time of her death in September 1929. The
Depression hit in October and the bank check
was never cashed.

Saturday, December 9, 2017


In about 1885, Grandpa Ericksen (Henry Ericksen) and his brother Allif started a meat and grocery store in Mt. Pleasant. Grandpa managed the store while Alif ran the farm and livestock; buying, feeding and slaughtering for the store. They would notify the townspeople that on a certain day they were going to kill a beef in the evening and bring it to the store the next morning, so that people could get a "hunk" of meat.

There were steaks, roasts, boils, stews or hamburger - just a chunk of meat. They would start cutting just back of the ears and end at the hind shank. all the cuts sold for the same price per pound; whether it was the neck or the porter house. Then, to carry it home, the customer whittled a sharp stick, jabbed it in the piece of meat and went home to mama, to have it prepared for the family dinner. There was no paper, twine or plastic to wrap the piece of meat in.

In 1893, they built their store on Main Street and took in another partner; brother-in-law, Judge Ferdinand Ericksen. The store was incorporated as the Ericksen Meat and Grocery Co. Their store was in a two story brick building with a full basement. It was considered one of the finest institutions in the community.

Ferdinand Ericksen was a lawyer and occupied three rooms on the second floor for his law practice. The town doctor, Dr. W.W. Woodring, occupied the other two rooms on the second floor.

In 1920, Soren M. Nielson and Uncle Harry, Henry's son, bought the store. Then in 1925, Uncle Harry, bought Nielson's half interest and owned and managed the business alone. Uncle Harry put in about forty five years operating the store. They did their own slaughtering and feed their own livestock such as hogs, lambs and cattle. Before the meat packers came into the state, they shipped out daily loads of dressed meat to Salt Lake City, Bingham, Eureka and also Carbon County.

During those first twenty years of operation they started to make their own lunch meats, bologna, minced ham, corned beef, head cheese, hamburger and sausage. But when the big packers came into the state that phase of manufacturing was discontinued. Until 1925 they handled the livestock with a first class saddle horse. After that, motor trucks and trailers were used to move the livestock between range, feed lot and slaughter house.

Ice was used in the store coolers until 1915, when modern refrigeration was installed. Before that, ice blocks were stored in the ice house under sawdust, and used to refill the store's ice about once a week. With the advent of electric home refrigerators, the store discontinued using their own ice supply.

After Uncle Harry sold the store, there has been several companies using the Main Street building, including Al and Naomi Berti's Red and White store, Terrel's Red and White Store.
The Ericksen Meat and Grocery Co. had a lot of competitors come and go, but operated for over sixty two years. And since 1986 it has been the home of the Mt. Pleasant Pyramid, the local newspaper. And now is the Gun Shop. 
Genealogy Quote

"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."

~Alex Haley

L.D.S. Temple

L.D.S. Temple
Manti Temple