Monday, January 26, 2009

Pioneer of the Month --- February --- Andrew and Johanna Anderson Madsen

Johanna Anderson Madsen --------------Andrew Madsen Sr.

Andrew Madsen was born on March 3, 1835 on his father's farm, located near the little village of Svinninge, Osherred, Denmark. His fathers before him had been free men of the soil, holding their land in every sense of the word: ambitious, clean, hard-working, kind, honest and deeply religious. Young Andrew assimilated these traits. Of his early childhood, he later wrote, "I received my education in a village school house and worked upon the farm, assisting my fater in earning a livlihood. Later, I worked for my uncle two years at a salary of $1.25 per month, including my board. For one year I then worked as a carpenter's apprentice and received no pay other than learning the trade, and boarding myself."

With his parents and brothers and sisters he joined the Mormon church in 1854, he being baptized on December fourth. Andrew's conversion was very real. After the family unanimously decided to gather to Zion, Andrew, with his brothers, Niels Peter and Niels and sisters Margrethe and Jacobena left their home on November 23, 1855, they began their journey to Utah. They set sail from Liverpool, England, December 6, 1855, in a company of 508 converts. Andrew recorded "Many of us became seasick. The voyage was not a pleasant one and our vessel was not equipped for so many people, so we suffered many disadvantages. We had tiers of bunks aroound the sides and boxes in the center. We were all compelled to eat off the boxes we had to sit on ... our rations were very coarse and simple, and our water supply became low, owing to the long journey."

On the nineteenth of that month a bad storm developed and continued for several weeks. On the first day of the new year, 1856, the storm became much worse and a mast cracked under the violent force of the wind. It was wrapped tightly with a chain so it could serve for the rest of the voyage. Then fire broke out under the captain's cabin and filled passenger quarters with thick suffocating smoke. With extreme effort it was extinguished. under pressure with these troublesome events, the Captain forbade all praying and singing of hymns. Andrew later wrote in his journal "This did not prevent us from fasting and praying in secret, and afterwards, better weather prevailed." On February 24, 1856, after eleven seasick weeks, filled with the dangers of storm and fire, with nearly sixty dead, they thankfully landed at New York City.

Andrew and his party proceeded to St. Louis, arriving there March 1, 1856. None of his family could speak English and it was difficult to get along. Those able to work did so when worked could be had. Andrew found work on a steamboat and was paid $2.50 per day; later he worked on a farm for $15.00 per month. About June first, President Knute Petersen gathered a company and they went to Winter Quarters (now Florence, Nebraska) where they organized to continue on to Utah. Their outfit consisted of sixty wagons with two yoke of oxen, andsix to ten persons to each wagon.

On September 16, 1856, nearly ten months after leaving their home in Denmark, Andrew and his brothers and sisters arrived in Salt Lake City. Andrew had the thrill of his lifetime when he met Brigham Young, and he was especially thrilled to realize he could understand many of the words of the Prophet.

Andrew and his family were poor when they arrived in Utah, having "one dollar in money between them." according to Andrew. However, when Lorenzo Snow was to build a fine home in Brigham City, Andrew and his brothers presented him with a keg of nails, which they had brought all the way from St. Louis. In pioneer Utah, a keg of nails was truly a rich gift. The Madsens stayed in Salt Lake only briefly, then moved to Kaysville where they divided their remaining posessions. Andrew received a pair of young steers as his share of their common property, and moved to Brigham City, where he worked as a carpenter. He was paid twelve bushels of wheat and his board, for his winter's work.

On December 21, 1856, the brothers and sisters learned that their mother, Bodil, and brother Christian had arrived in Utah and that their father, Lars, had passed away in Devil's Gate, Wyoming, when traveling with the Hodgetts oxen company. After Bodil and Christian were with them, the brothers and sisters all moved to Brigham City, a devoted and happy family. The following September 13, 1857, their brother Mads reached Salt Lake City, safely. There was a great rejoicing, for the whole family had completed the journey to Utah.

In 1857 when the United States government sent troops to the Territory of Utah, Governor Brigham Young declared the territory under martial law, and forbade the troops to enter Utah. Andrew's brothers andsisters were by then married and in March of 1858 they moved to Fort Ephraim, but Andrew stayed in the north to help the militia. They planned to burn their homes and destroy their property if thearmy actually threatened the people. While in the militia Andrew did some trading with the Indians, obtaining a red flannel shirt andsome buckskin trousers, his first suit of clothes purchased in Utah. By June the difficulties between the United States and Utah were peaceably adjusted, and the militia disbanded. Andrew took his gun, his knife and blanket and walked from Brigham City to Fort Ephraim,a distance of about two hundred miles, where he was reunited with his mother, brothers and sisters.

On December 26, 1858, Andrew was married to Johannah Elizabeth (Widergreen) Anderson. Johannah was born 15 December 1840. To them were born ten children. They were:

Hannah L- - - - - Born: September 27, 1859

Louisa B. - - - - - - - - - - August 10, 1861

Andreas- - - - - - - - - - - September 15, 1863

Annie- - - - - - - - - - - - - October 20, 1864

Emma - - - - - - - - - - - - July 15, 1866

Andrew C.- - - - - - - - - May 4, 1867

Lawritz L.- - - - - - - - - - August 2, 1869

Neil M.- - - - - - - - - - - - September 21, 1873

Hilda E.- - - - - - - - - - - - November 28, 1877

About the last of February, 1859, Andrew and a venturesome group of people left Fort Ephraim and moved north. They finally camped on the present site of Mt. Pleasant, March 20, 1859. there they built a good substantial fort to live in, following the counsel of Brigham Young. The fort walls were twelve feet high, made of good stone,andenclosed five and one half acres. Very little farming was done that first year, according to Andrew, for first the land needed to be cleared of giant sage brush and fields needed fencing.

From 1865 to 1868, Andrew participated in the Black Hawk War, and his history of that Indian uprising has been a reliable source of information.

Andrew and his brothers worked tirelessly for then common good of the community and became interested in the first steam powered saw mill, mowing machine, hay bailer, threshing machine, binder and reaper, molasses mill, and piano brought to their valley. Recognizing their need for fuel, Andrew also become interested in opening the first coal mine eat of Mt. Pleasant. Realizing the benefit a retail establishment could be to the community he helped organize the Mt. Pleasant Z.C.M.I. and was its first superintendent. When it was later dissolved, Andrewtransferred his holdings to the newly formed Union Mercantile Company, which later became the Madsen Mercantile Company. Seeing the value of rapid communication, Andrew and his brother, Mads sub scribed stock in the new telegraph line in 1865. They cut telegraph poles, transported them to and erected them on the proposed sites, to pay for their stock.

Andrew owned a two thousand acre ranch at Indianola and a twenty-five thousand acre ranch at Scofield, Utah. He owned several herds of sheep and cattle. He helped organize the first Sanpete County agricultural association and was its first treasurer. He served on the Mt. Pleasant City Council for twenty four years and acted as the first city treasurer.

In 1909 the citizens of Mt. Pleasant held a big celebration honoring their pioneers, on the fiftieth anniversary of the city, and Andrew originated a movement to erect a monument honoring the settlers of the city and preserving their names on it. He was always interested in preserving history and tradition and to this end, wrote extensive personal and community accounts in his records. They became the basis for the Mt. Pleasant book, compiled later by his daughter, Hilda. That the fellowship of the pioneers and their descendants might be preserved, Andrew organized the Mt. Pleasant Pioneer Historical Association in 1909, and served as the first president until his death six years later. In recognition of his outstanding leadership and community service he was especially honored by the Association on March 13, 1915, on his eightieth birthday, and he was presented with a gold watch, in appreciation.

Andrew was a tall, well proportioned man, his hair, light brown and eyes a gray-blue, with a clear tanned complexion and ruddy cheeks. He was strong and healthy and enjoyed wrestling with his sons. Even when grown men, they were unable to overcome him in their bouts. His active, long and eventful life closed when he passed away December 6, 1915.

(excerpts taken from the Madsen Family History)

Andrew Madsen Home

(also, Hilda Madsen Longsdorf Home, a daughter)

Mt. Pleasant's Original South Ward Meeting House

On December 9, 1900, Mt. Pleasant was divided into two wards, the North and the South. The original South ward chapel was built and dedicated in 1908. Lars P. Madsen was made Bishop, with Thomas West and Joseph Seeley as counselors of the North ward, and James Larsen, Bishop, with Christian Johansen and James Monsen as counselors of the South ward.

February 23, 1937, the South Ward L. D. S. Chapel was destroyed by fire, and on Sunday, March 27th, the corner stone for the new chapel laid. Although the new building was not complete, the opening social was held there May 12, 1939. In excavating for the new building, it was found that all that had been placed in the corner stone of the former building had decayed and the cement box had filled with moisture.
Rocks from the old building were used in constructing the west wall at the cemetery, a W. P. A. project.

1877, W. S. Seely, Bishop; Counselors, Jacob Christensen, Wm. F.
Reynolds, C. N. Lund, Peter Mogensen (Monsen).

December 1900, James Larsen, Bishop; Christian Johansen and
James Monsen, Counselors.
1923, A. Merz, Bishop; A. E. Mcintosh and J. W. Anderson, Coun­selors.
1914, A. E. Mcintosh, Bishop; Clarence Stewart, Kimbal Johan­sen, Mads Anderson and Louis A. Peterson, Counselors.
1926, Andrew L. Peterson, Bishop; Clarence Stewart and Joseph Johansen, Counselors.

The South Ward as seen today (or Mt. Pleasant Stake House)
photo by David R. Gunderson

(Excepts taken from the Mt. Pleasant book by Hilda Madsen Longsdorf)

Photos available at the Mt. Pleasant Relic Home

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Directors (1948) Mt. Pleasant Pioneer Association Showing Off Hat Collection

Ladies of the Mt. Pleasant Pioneer Historical Association in 1948 show a few of the Mt. Pleasant Relic Home's collection of hats. Those pictured are left to right: Ella Candland, Johanna M. Hafen, Mina Bjelke, Bertie M. Eatinger and Tina Nelson. (Double click title above to see more information)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Honey Pudding ------ Clarissa Jane Wilcox Seely

1 Cup Honey
1 Cup Milk
1 Cup Suet or oil
1 Egg
2 Cups Flour
1 tsp soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
3/4 tsp allspice
1 Cup Nuts

You can add 1 cup each of fruit, dates or raisins; whatever you want.
You can make it rich or plain.
Steam for 2 hours.

Serve with caramel sauce and whipped cream.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Mt. Pleasant's First LDS Chapel

New Meeting House
January 4, 1865, a special meeting was called for the purpose of discussing ways and means of erecting the new meeting house, as the Social Hall was now too small and a larger place was needed to accommodate the people. It was proposed to erect a large meeting house in the center of the church block. (Location today at 75 South State Street). A resolution was adopted assessing each person over eighteen years of age $10.00. Besides, a property tax of three percent was levied upon the property. William S. Seeley, (the first Bishop and also Mayor), Amasa Scovil, Niels Rosenlof, and William F. Reynolds were appointed as a building committee. February 17th, a contract was let to James Hansen and Niels Ro­senlof to erect the building. It was to be of white adobe and was to be completed by May 1, 1866. The contract price was $14, ­000.

Work was at once begun, a good foundation laid, and the wall started, but on President Young's next visit, he told the people the building was too small and, consequently work was discontinued for the time being.

Two years later, August 16th, Paul Dehlin, Abraham Day, and Samuel S. Witten were appointed to supervise the building of the meeting house, on the foundation laid in 1867, at which time, on account of the trouble with the Indians, work was suspended. Ebbie Jessen took contract for the mason work for $800.00 and Erick Gunderson and Jacob Rolfson the carpenter work for $2,000.00 A poll tax of $10.00 for each man was paid towards it.

It might be interesting to know that at that time adobes were $10.00 per thousand, and freight on window glass was $25.00 cwt., from the Missouri River. At about this time some people became dissatisfied and apostatized from the church. The High Council, a quorum of twelve men, chosen by the church to settle difficulties among the Saints, was organized with Bishop Seeley as the president.

During the fall of 1871, the new meeting house was completed and dedicated. This new building furnished ample accommodations for church services. The building was of white adobes and faced the west with a fine pulpit in the east end of the room. Three large windows were on the north and the south and two on the west. One on each side of the door. Later there was a gallery built in the west end of the building with a stairway at the north side of the entrance.
The following is copied from the Minutes of the High Priest Quorum: "December 30, 1871, High Priests met in the New Meeting House. Several of the brethren spoke in Danish and several in English." During the past year the meetings had been held in the Fourth Ward schoolhouse and the Social Hall.

Taken From Hilda Madsen Longsdorf; "Book of Mt. Pleasant.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Blacksmith and the Farrier trade Were Essential Services to Early Farming in Mt. Pleasant

Almost all of the farming implements were home-made and hand-made. Peter Madsen Peel, who was the first blacksmith in the colony, is credited with having made most of them; however, some people made their own.
George Farnsworth, who in his native land learned the farrier trade, was said to be an excellent "Shoer," assisted, and also kept the oxen shod. Iron was very scarce and hard to get, being obtained usually from the wreckage of immigrant wagons. Straight oak sticks were brought from the mountains for making bows for ox yokes. These sticks were cast into a fire long enough to roast them thoroughly, then they were bent into the required shape, and when complete were thought to be just as good as those brought "from the States."

In 1859, on the 11th of August, they began harvesting their first hay crops, consisting of native grasses growing in abundance in the lowlands, called the Hay Field, which was south and west of where Chester is now located. The only means of cutting the grass was with home-made scythes and snaths, raking it with rakes and pitch forks which were made from native wood and such iron as could be obtained. Much time was consumed in haying on account of this simple method, and the use of ox teams, sometimes one ox and a cow, in hauling it so great a distance. As soon as hay crops were put up, harvesting of the grain began. This was handled in about the same manner as the haying.

The grain was cradled, raked up into bundles and bound by hand, then hauled into the yards and threshed by being trampled on by oxen or flailed with willows or flails by men. The separating of the grain from the chaff was accomplished by waiting for a light wind or breeze, at which time, the farmers would toss it into the air, against a canvas, erected upright like a wall, the grain falling into another canvas, while the chaff was blown away. This was repeated several times, or until the wheat was thoroughly separated or clean. Sometimes, when the people did not have a cradle, the wheat was pulled up by the roots with the bands. When this was done, the stacks would be as black as the earth. The crops were good and much grain was harvested; however, much of it matured late and some was frozen, due to the fact that some of the settlers had arrived late in the spring and did not get their seeds planted early enough to mature. The women always took an active part in the harvesting, helping with the raking, binding, and the gleaning, etc.

The railroad was built for the purpose of getting the coal from Wales, where coal had been discovered in 1855, and was the first discovered in Utah. Later it was recognized of good quality for blacksmithing and other purposes.

James Wilson had a blacksmith shop on the corner where the drugstore now stands. James Borg and Ole Clemensen had a harness shop and Abner Crane had a blacksmith shop on first west. Anderson's Blacksmith Shop was located on the east side of State Street, about Third South.
Several Blacksmiths and Farriers were needed to keep up with the demands of planting, cutting and harvesting.

One story told by Peter Gottfriedsen: It was the inherent nature of an Indian to steal, and this brings to my mind an incident told of an Indian who brought a half worn out axe to a blacksmith to be fixed. The blacksmith said, 'I can't fix it, it hasn't any steel in it.' 'Oh, yes,' said the Indian, 'It all steal, me steal it last night.' "
(excerpts taken from Hilda Madsen Longsdorf, "Book of Mt. Pleasant")

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Hair Art

Porcelain Hair Receiver

Many of Early Mt. Pleasant Women made hair wreaths to adorn the walls of their homes. It was a common way to preserve a memory such as we do today by saving the first locks trimmed from a baby's head.

During the Victorian Era, 1835 - 1900, this practice was very popular. Long before photography was invented and before portraits were within affordability for the majority of people, it was a common practice to make keepsakes made from the hair of family members, loved ones and friends.

Since pioneer women wore their hair long, it only required a few strands to supply the amount needed to make a wreath. As women brushed thir hair they collected their hair in what is known as a "hair receiver".

Hair receivers were most often very ornate porcelain pieces in the form of a jar and lid. A hole was molded in the lid. After brushing their hair, the women would remove the hair from the brush and place it throught the opening of the receiver for storage. Once enough hair had been accumulated, it could be used to make not only hair wreaths, but also bracelets, watch chains, necklaces, rings and even ear rings.

Today Hair Art is highly collectable, and there are hair art socieies that preserve the history and promote this very interesting type of artwork. The Mt. Pleasant Relic Home is fortunate to have three hair wreaths, two of which have been beautifully framed and enclosed for safe keeping so that many generations in the future can learn of this very curious and historical art.

One wreath represents the Farnworth Family: Hair Wreath 1898 (picture coming soon)

Hair from the George Farnworth Family was used to make this Human Hair Wreath by Violet, a daughter. Violet was the mother of Elva Mills DeCamp and wife of Dr. E.G. Mills, a Mt. Pleasant Eye Doctor. All the blonde hair in the wreath was Elva’s. George Farnworth was the Tithing Clerk in Mt. Pleasant for many years and also one of the original Mt. Pleasant Pioneers.

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