Monday, December 29, 2008

Pioneers of the Month - January 2009 ---- Peter M. and Christine Folkman Peel

Peter Madsen Peel

The beautiful Peter Madsen Peel home was located on First West and Main Street where the Triangle Lounge now sits. It was torn down to accommodate the Seely Hinkley Garage in later years.

Peter Madsen and Christine Folkman Peel History

(excerpts taken from research by Madeline Merrill Mills a great granddaughter)

Peder Madsen Peel (Pihl, Piil) was born on the 24th of August 1820 in the town of Aaker, Bornholm, Denmark. His father, Henning was a farmer and he had a small farm just outside the town of Aaker.

Peder and his father had a wonderful feeling for each other and were very close. Both of them were small in stature and they worked well together. Peder was very apt in the mechanical things and would fix anything. He learned the blacksmith trade. He may have worked for his future father-in-law because Jergen Folkman, too, was a blacksmith. This ability to know how to do things certainly stood him in good stead in his later life.

On November 27, 1846, he married Christine Folkman, a daughter of the blacksmith. They were the same age as they were probably school friends and had known each other all their lives. She was a dark, slender young lady who moved swiftly and was happy and gay. She was the second child and daughter of eight children. They were married in the white Lutheran Church in Aaker and their first little girl, Christiane, was born the following year. She lived about ten days. They had another little girl the next year, July 25, 1848. They named her Christiane, too, but she lived only until the following March and Christiane Pihl was without a baby again.

On the 14th of November, 1850, she had a little boy, Christian Frederick, and they were so happy with him. They lived in a little house just outside of town. They had a big garden - the soil was deep and rich and things grew easily. Both Peder and Christiane had a feeling for growing things. Christiane loved flowers and the spring ones especially. The baby grew into a sturdy healthy boy, and followed his father and mother around their place in Aaker.

The first Mormon missionaries came to Bornholm in June of 1851 and had very limited success, but had baptized four people. They were called back to Copenhagen for a general conference in August of 1851, and at this time it was decided to organize a branch of the church in Bornholm.

Brothers Anthon Agren and Hans Peter Jensen came to do this. In October they moved into the Aaker section and on October 18th they were holding a meeting at the home of neighbors of Christiane's father and her brothers went over to hear what they had to say. At the meeting, the Elders said that the Lutherans were teaching false doctrine; and this made an impression the young men. Chris wrote in his autobiography that he and his brother, Peter, decided to repent of their sins but didn't want to be Mormons. Christiane's older married brother, Jeppi, was also at the meeting and he invited the missionaries to their home. He also invited his brother and father and several relatives to be there. The Elders spoke and Chris wrote that he wanted to protest what they were saying, but they proved with references of the Bible that what they said was right. Then in November there was another meeting at Jeppi's home and this time Christiane and Peder and Peder's father, Henning and mother, Karen, as well as other relatives and friends attended. It was a very inspirational meeting and right after this meeting, the very same evening, her brother, Jeppi, and his wife and cousin, Anders Ipsen, and wife, and a neighbor, Trana Johnson, decided to be baptized. All of the people from the meeting walked the mile and on-half to the beach and the five were baptized. It was very thrilling to the crowd to see the baptism done in the original way.

A few days later on the tenth of November, Peder's father, Henning, and mother, Karen, and sister Caroline, were baptized by Elder Jensen. About this time, the people of Bornholm, stirred by the Lutheran Church, began to be very unfriendly to the members and to the investigators. They made threats if people joined the Mormon Church and there were some beatings. Brother Jensen had returned to Copenhagen for Conference in November and Brother J. Jorgensen who had been ordained a priest was continuing with the meetings. Christiane's brothers and Peder's father were right in the middle of the persecutions. It was very heavy around Aaker. At one time the Elders were literally carried out of the county and threatened that they would be killed if they came back. The mob was led by the sheriff.

Christiane's brothers, Peter and Christoffer, were baptized on the 29th of November and the next morning they wee told by some customers to the blacksmith shop not to expect any more work from them because no Mormon could ever do work for them. The next day, Jeppi was ordained a Priest and also District President and his cousin, Anders Ipsen was made a Priest and his counselor. A mob with clubs were ever around. The members there in Bornholm were abused and beaten, arrested and their lives made miserable. Their jobs were threatened and some lost them, but through it all only one couple left the Church.

Every day there were more and more baptized. In February, Jeppi was called as a missionary and other missionaries, including one from Zion, Brother John Forsgren, were sent to the island to help. Peder and Christiane knew the church was true. On August 2, 1852, they went to the beach and were baptized by Brother Ole Svendsen. The mobs were relentless in their search for the missionaries and in their harassment of the members but the members continued to hold their meetings.

In the autumn of 1852, the subject of emigrating from Denmark to Utah was brought up. All the Pihls decided to leave. They got their outgoing permits on the sixth of November, 1852. But there just was not enough money for all to go, so it was decided that Peder's father and mother and sister should go. A total of 25 adults and 11 children sailed for Copenhagen to join other Scandinavian converts for the trip. They sailed for England on December 20th, 1852 via Kiel. Brother John Forsgren sailed with them. At the dock, along with a crowd of Saints, was a big crowd of hecklers but no violence occurred.

In the year of 1853, many more people were baptized. There were healings, and faith-promoting events. Violence increased, if anything, but there was much love among the Saints and everyone helped each other.

Peder and Christiane were busy getting the money together and preparing to leave. Her brother, Jeppi, who had spent one and one half years in Norway on a Mission - six months of this in jail and his wife, who had gone to Copenhagen to stay until he got back were leaving, too. The middle of December, 1853, they sailed to Copenhagen. Their brother, Chris, met them there. He had been called to the island of Lolland as a missionary. It was a wonderful reunion. As usual there was a big crowd at the dock and after the ship sailed, one of the missionaries was beaten. The ship "Slesvig" was carrying 301 Saints . President John VanCott accompanied these emigrating Saints by way of Keil, Gluckstadt, and Hull to bid them farewell at Liverpool. They sailed from Liverpool the 26th of January. The ship had been delayed because of sickness of the children. More than a dozen had died. But they sailed on the Benjamin Adams with 179 Scandinavian and six British Saints under the direction of Hans Peder Olsen.

It took more than six weeks for the trip to New Orleans. There had been sickness and several deaths on the way. Little Christian Frederick died two days before they docked. Christiane could not stand to have him buried at sea as she had seen others be and she prayed to God that if he would let her keep him until they reached land she would not cry. She carried him off the ship when it docked and Christian Frederick was buried on a knoll in a grove of trees at New Orleans. She was again without child, but at this time was expecting again. The group of Saints went up the Mississippi to St. Louis, and after staying there for awhile, went on to Westport, Missouri, now part of Kansas City, where other Scandinavian people had arrived and gathered.

A company was formed under the direction of Hans Peder Olsen as Captain. The emigrants began their journey on June 15th 1854, but some of their wagons were so heavily laden that a halt was called by Captain Olsen and messengers sent to Leavenworth, Missouri to consult with Orson Pratt of the Council of Twelve, who, that season was the emigration agent for the Church. He advanced the company enough money for 50 more wagons. It was while they were waiting that Christiane gave birth to another little boy. They named him Christian Frederick, too. He grew to manhood. Christiane had a great power of recuperation and she never complained.

One of the happiest times on the trek was when they met Erastus Snow going East on a mission to the States and he spoke to them in their own language. It was like manna from heaven in this strange land.

Peder's father and mother and sister had arrived in Salt Lake the hear before on September 13, 1852, with the john Forsgren Company. The mother was ill and exhausted from the long journey and had died on the 30th of November, just two months after their arrival. She was buried in Salt Lake. Shortly afterwards, his father and Carolyn went to Lehi to live. When Peder and his family arrived, they went on to Lehi and settled there. It was already October and cold and because they could manage nothing better, they lived in an old hut that winter. The roof was poles covered with dirt to keep out the weather. One day in the spring, as the ground got softer from thaw, the walls gave away and the poles fell in almost killing Peder's wife and baby. He immediately began to build them a cabin and they had a garden planted. Soon after this, Peder, Christiane and his father came to Salt Lake to find his mother's grave but it was unmarked and they could not find it, nor to this day do we know where it is.

The Piils lived in Lehi for several years - four in all and Caroline married Hans Yes Simpson, another Danishman. Christiane's father and brother, Peter and family came in a handcart company in the Spring of 1857, and came to Lehi to be with them. Another daughter was born to them on March 1, 1858. She was named Margaret Folkman Peel and blessed in the Lehi Ward. By this time, they had anglicized their name to "Peel".

On Sunday, March 21, 1859, President Young, because of the imminence of the arrival of Johnson's Army, issued an order for all families north of Salt Lake to travel south, and the migration south started. Peder's father and sister and husband went with it and settled at Ephraim. The trouble with Johnson's army was over in a few weeks so Peder and Christiane stayed the winter along with her father and brother, Peder, and family, but early the next spring they packed their belongings and moved to Sanpete County where his father was and they were among the first settlers of Mt. Pleasant.

Peter M. Peel passed away November 17, 1900 as a result of a paralysis of the heart after only a few hours sickness. He was one of Mt. Pleasant's earliest and most prominent pioneers. The Book of Mt. Pleasant by Hilda Madsen Longsdorf names Peter M. Peel as Mt. Pleasant's first Blacksmith. He presided over the Scandinavian Meetings for twenty years.

Christine Folkman Peel passed away November 6, 1899. She was a faithful and kindly lady, beloved by everyone. She was a counselor to the President of the Relief Society. Whenever any of the LDS Church authorites visited Mt. Pleasant, they made the home of Sister Peel their stopping place. She and her husband, Peter M. Peel were husband and wife for fifty three years<>
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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Danish Ebleskivers

3 separated eggs
2 Tbs sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups buttermilk
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
Dash nutmeg

Separate eggs, beat egg yolks and add sugar, salt and buttermilk. Sift dry ingredients together and add to the egg mixture. Beat egg whites until very stiff and fold into the batter. Add vanilla and nutmeg.

Place about a teaspoon of oil in each indentation of a preheated Danish Ebeleskiver Pan (preferably cast iron). Then fill each indentation to about two/thirds full with the batter.
Cook until bubbly on the top. Then turn carefully with a fine knitting needle or skewer or fork and finish cooking the other side. When fully done, you can roll them in powdered sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon sugar or whatever suits your fancy. Serve them with jam, or syrup or real butter.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

"Hunk" of Meat On a Stick - Ericksen Meats by Alice Hafen, granddaughter of Henry Ericksen

Inside Ericksen Meat and Grocery

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.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


Words we used in 'Olden Days'
Have faded with the time;
Today, we'll bring them back again
And place a few in rhyme.

Singletrees and neck yokes
Doubletrees and blinders,
Belly band and martingale
Tug chains lines and binders

Bolsters bows and reaches
Stay chains, tongues and thimbles;
Fellies, spokes and king pins
Croupers, hames and spindles

Chimneys, wicks and tallow
Sadirons, flatirons, trivets;
Scrub boards, churns and dashers,
Half soles, brads and rivets.

Steelyards, toils and tally sticks
Snath and Scythe and sickles;
Grindstones, rasps and cradles
Spigots, barrels and pickles.

Thunder mugs and cauldrons
Hearths and blackened kettles;
Woolen dyed with walnut--
Horse hair padded settles.

Brigham Tea and pine gum salve
Golden seal and yarow;
Shampoo soap from yucca roots
Hardwood teeth for harrow.

Plodding ox and stubborn mule
Buckboards, carts and sleds;
Ising glass for windows
Rawhide springs for beds.

Corn shucks for the mattress
Straw and limbs for sheds;
Logs for rustic cabins
Shakes for roofs o'er heads.

Button shoes and button hooks
Muffs and padded bustles
Petticoats and bloomers
Hatpins shawls and ruffles.

Weaving, braiding, plaiting
Knitting, netting, tatting;
Stitching, darning, quilting
Carpet rags and batting.

We could write in endless rhyme
Until all heads were reeling
But we believe we've said enough
To give an Old Time Feeling !!!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Two Tombstones of Note: Left, Charlotte Staunton Hyde - Right, Cyrus H. Wheelock

Charlotte was our Pioneer of the Month for October. She was an early school teacher and also the wife of Orson Hyde.
She had a very liberal education. She inspired many of her students to go on to become school teachers themselves. Her only pay was vegetables, fruit and heating supplies given to her by the parents of her students. She was also a seamstress. It was also said that she smoked a pipe. Brigham Young granted she and Orson Hyde an honorable separation.
Cyrus was our Pioneer of the Month for August. He was a courageous, honorable pioneer, who took
a personal interest in everyone he knew, and was always there to help anyway he could. He is best known for smuggling a gun into Joseph Smith the day of Joseph and Hyrum's martyrdom. He also took back a letter to Emma that same day. He wrote the LDS hymn: "Ye Elders of Israel".---

Both markers are located on the south side of the middle road of the older part of the cemetery. Charlotte's about one third of the way traveling east toward the middle lane. Cyrus' is located just two or three rows east of the middle lane.

We owe much to these early pioneers of Mt. Pleasant. Most of the earliest pioneers are buried in this area of the cemetery. It is fun just to wander up that middle lane and view their markers and their epitaphs.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Blacksmith Class From Snow College Traditional Building Skills Institute

The Snow College Traditional Building Skills Institute Basic Blacksmith Class visited our Blacksmith Shop today. Gerald Cooper, Instructor wanted the members of the class to see a working pioneer blacksmith shop. He also demonstrated the coking of coal at the shop. See more about coking coal here:

Some Would Ask "Why Should Massachusett's Chief Massasoit Return to the Utah State Capital?"

Because its about the Sculptor,
Cyrus Edwin Dallin.
But Why Should Mt. Pleasant Citizens Have an Interest in Him?
By Mike Stroud, circa May 1997
Massasoit Statue in Salt Lake City, Utah

In 1922 Dallin presented the original plaster figure to the State of Utah. A bronze copy was placed in the gardens in front of the building, perhaps to honor Cyrus Dallin and to make a connection between Utah and the early history of the nation. courtesy of

Utah's Chief Massasoit statue, now sitting at the Metal Arts Foundry in Lehi,
(Francisco Kjolseth / The Salt Lake Tribune)
A bronze Massachusetts Indian chief makes his return to the Utah Capitol sometime this month or next. Chief Massasoit, who celebrated Thanksgiving in 1621 with Massachusetts' pilgrims, has been missing from his prominent place in front of the Capitol's main steps since an extensive renovation began in 2004. But why does Utah show this honor to a Massachusetts Indian Chief?

Perhaps its about the sculptor, Cyrus Edwin Dallin.

Paul Revere Monument --- Boston, Massachusetts --- Cyrus Dallin - Sculptor (photo courtesy of Cyrus Dallin Art Museum, Arlington Massachusetts)

What Is Cyrus Dallin's Connection to Mt. Pleasant?
About the sculptor:
Cyrus Edwin Dallin was born in a Springville cabin in 1861 to Mormon pioneer parents but later became a Presbyterian. He had an early interest in art and American Indian life.

At age 18, he moved to Boston to study sculpture and later took two trips to Paris to learn the art from master sculptors.

He soon gained international recognition for his monumental, award-winning statues of American Indians and patriots. He returned to Utah to craft the Angel Moroni statue for the Salt Lake City LDS Temple and the Brigham Young Monument on Main Street.

He created three Chief Massasoit statues. Besides Utah's Capitol, the statues are in Plymouth, Mass., and on the Brigham Young University campus in Provo.

Dallin died in 1944 at age 82.
Source: Utah History Encyclopedia

The Connection
Cyrus was the nephew and namesake of Mt. Pleasant's own Cyrus Wheelock. In Hilda Madsen Longsdorf's History of Mt. Pleasant we find the name Cyrus Dallin on page 305 as one of the gentlemen who took part and helped in Mt. Pleasant's theatrical troop.

In numerous histories of his life it is said that he made friends with the indians as a child. No doubt there were indian children who lived in and around Springville. But maybe he also played with the indians children who lived near Mt. Pleasant as well which is noted in the histories of other Mt. Pleasant pioneer children such as James Burns, Conderset Row and the Frandsen children. It is said that the indian children taught him to fashion indian figures out of clay and that is how his sculpting of figures started.

So if you should have the opportunity to visit Boston Massachusetts, make sure you see the Paul Revere monument. When you look at the Angel Moroni atop the Salt Lake temple, or visit the Utah State Capital in the future, remember our connection with Cyrus Dallin, world renowned sculptor.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Pioneer of the Month - December


James Christopher Burns was the son of John and Lydia Ann Porter Burns. He was born in Linden-Rock Port, Atchison Missouri in September of 1849. His parents were headed for California in the Great Gold Rush of 1849.
At the place known as “the Last Crossing of the Sweetwater”, in the State of Wyoming, two-month old baby James Burns was found by a company of other travelers. He was lying at his mother’s breast. Both parents lay cold in the embrace of death. They had succumbed to the deadly disease of cholera. Deadly cholera is a very contagious disease. One brave soul from the company by the name of Milton Dailey risked his life to save the baby, if possible. The kind-hearted people of the wagon train did what they could for the baby, and they put forth efforts to find any relatives.

Arriving in Salt Lake City, they found the Saints gathering for conference, and Milton Dailey, gave the baby to Brigham Young who held him in his arms before the conference gathering, told of his parents tragic death and asked for information. The baby’s aunt, his mother’s sister, was among the saints and claimed the child.

He was then taken to the home of his grandmother at Provo, Utah. His early boyhood and manhood was spent in Mt. Pleasant, where he was educated and grew to the type of man that earned the love and respect of all who came in contact with him.

He fell in love with Matilda Josephine Anderson. It was thought by many to be “love at first sight”. James Burns often remarked that when he gazed into Matilda’s eyes of blue, he knew she was the one being in the world to make him happy. They were married on the 22nd March 1869.

After the Blackhawk War, he made friends with the red men, allowing his children to play with them, learn the Indian songs and dances, and many of their phrases.

James Burns prospered and progressed and became the Sheriff of Mt. Pleasant, and later served the people of Sanpete County in the same capacity.

Then on the 24th of September 1894, he received a telegraph notice from Scott Bruno, asking him to meet him in the morning at Moroni, as there had been a sheep stealing case.

The following is taken from the writings of Niels Heber Anderson:
‘Bill Brewer, Scott Bruno, Niels Heber Anderson and Sheriff James Burns confronted sheep rustlers at Reader’s Ridge back of the Horseshoe Mountain. Evidence of the changing of the ear marks and brands made it quite clear that certain sheep had been stolen.

Sheriff Burns made an attempt to place the rustlers under arrest without first disarming them. As he approached them, they shot and killed the sheriff, then warned the other men that if they did not stay out of the affair, they would receive the same treatment as had been given the sheriff.

Bill Brewer and Anderson brought the news to Spring City and Mt. Pleasant. Thomas Braby, with the Mt. Pleasant Militia, was soon on the scene of the shooting, and the body of James C. Burns was taken to Mt. Pleasant. Although the Militia searched and guarded for a couple of weeks in the ledges and dense timber, the murderers were never apprehended.’ (This has since been proven wrong. They were apprehended)

“James Burns’ life was short but some there are who do not have to live long to accomplish big things. He was killed in the performance of his duty.” Olivia Burns – daughter in law and author of James Burns History  

Mt. Pleasant Depot - Wagon - Men (unknown)

Sent in By David R. Gunderson, Ogden, Utah
Contributed by Betty Gunderson Woodbury.
Can anyone identify the people?

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

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