Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A.L. Larson Group

Unknown Group, Unknown Occasion

Betty Woodbury adds that Angus Woodbury is the one on the far right.  This was a tenth-grade graduation photo taken as graduates from the Woodward School

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Jean Brunger Madsen - A Friend to All of Mt. Pleasant

One of the sweetest ladies we have ever known.  A good neighbor and friend.

A. L. Larson - - - Band

Do I ever miss Alice.  These were amongst her collection.  All pictures with A.L. or Andrew Larson.  I don't know how she came by them, but we are happy to share and maybe some one else can fill in the blanks.

Friday, April 23, 2010

JOE THE PARROT ~ by David R. Gunderson

Memories of Andrew Madsen’s Parrot, Joe ~ by David R. Gunderson

Early Photo of Hilda's House on State Street
I first met Joe in the late fall of 1942 when our family spent December at Aunt Hilda’s house in Mt. Pleasant, Utah. Originally, this home had been built by Andrew Madsen, Aunt Hilda’s father and my great-grandfather, and it was one of the first houses built outside the fort in the early 1860’s.

                                           Aunt Hilda

Joe lived in the south-west corner of Aunt Hilda’s kitchen and could speak in both English and Danish. Sometimes he used words in English that, as a five year old, I was not allowed to say. I don’t know about his Danish vocabulary, but I’ll bet it was just as colorful as his English vocabulary. I did notice that, unlike me, Joe’s mouth was never washed out with soap when he used any of his more colorful words. I also noticed that Dad and Uncle Bruce didn’t get the soap treatment either. I decided that maybe Aunt Hilda and Mom had just given up on all three of them A Picture of an Amazon Parrot
We believe that Joe was an Amazon or perhaps a Military Macaw parrot and that he had been obtained by Andrew Madsen in the 1910 time frame, after his first parrot had flown off. The story goes that one day in the early fall, the first parrot was placed on the front porch to get some sun. When he saw a flock of birds migrating south, he simply flew up and joined them. His wings had been clipped and family members feared for his safety. They carefully searched for him for several days but no sign of him was ever found in Sanpete.

Some years later, a group of LDS missionaries returning to Sanpete from Mexico, reported that they had seen a parrot, perched in a tree that looked like the Madsen’s lost bird. When they approached it to try to coax it down, it flew away swearing at them in both English and Danish. We can’t say, for sure if this bird was Andrew Madsen’s lost parrot, but the number of feral parrots in Northern Mexico at that time, with the lost bird’s coloring and the language skills, must have been extremely small.

Joe seems to have joined the family at about the time of my mother’s birth and a year or two after Aunt Hilda had resigned her management position in the Scofield Division of the Eastern Utah Telephone Company to take over the management of the Madsen home in Mt. Pleasant.

 Joe with Russel, Royal, Leoan, & Chesley Madsen

Joe was quite attached to Aunt Hilda and he loved my mother, Leoan. He and Mom had a lifelong friendship and they had seen each other nearly every day as Mom was growing up.

 When Mom was eighteen or nineteen years old, she entered the University of Utah and had to be away from home for some extended periods of time. Joe missed her during these periods and must have felt that she had been ignoring him. He took personal offence to this, and when she came home on breaks, Joe would totally ignore her for a day or so. We think this was just to teach her a lesson, and let her know how it felt to be ignored. But this never lasted long, and he would soon forgive her and welcome her back into his inner circle of friends.

Joe was always busy cracking seeds, preening his feathers, honing his beak, scolding, surveying his domain, or doing other things that are important to parrots. But, when you entered “his” kitchen, Joe would always stop all of his activities and say, “Hello Joe, Hello Joe” (always said twice) and then he would wait for you to say “Hello Joe” back before he resumed his busy schedule.

By the time I met him, Joe was about 32 years of age, late in his midlife years, and he had become a bit “crotchety”. Aunt Hilda warned us that Joe had been known to bite and cautioned us that we should keep away from him.

Joe always wanted to have things done “his way”, and when Aunt Hilda did something he didn’t like, I remember of seeing him charge at her feet, with his wings flapping, and scolding her at the top of his lungs. This made believers of us children, so after that, we enjoyed Joe from a safe distance. Joe seemed to have liked this arrangement, because I don’t recall that any one of us was ever bitten or even scolded by Joe.

Joe had a perch, a cage, some toys and a cover for night. He also had a cup for food and one for water. Each morning, Aunt Hilda would give him fresh water, fill his food cup with sunflower and other seeds and give him fruits and greens. I loved to see him play with his toys, pick up a seed, shell it, and pop it into his mouth. He wasn’t very tidy with the seed shells, scattering them all around his perch.

Aunt Hilda raised sunflowers in her garden for Jo; the ones with the huge heads and equally huge seeds. She had quite a few of these dried sunflower “heads” stored in her back porch, and I remember that she recruited me to help her pick them or scrape the large seeds out of the “heads” for Joe. I loved her cat "Tom" helping to do something for him.

Hilda, "Joe the Parrot" and "Tom the Cat"

Aunt Hilda suffered from rheumatism which worsened as she grew older. When she was away for treatment or visiting nieces and nephews, she always left Joe with her cousin, Emma Anderson. The Andersons liked Joe and he seemed to have liked them as well. In 1944 or 1945, after Aunt Hilda had cared for Joe for some 35 years, she found that she could no longer carry on and Joe went to live with the Andersons permanently.

In 1948, Aunt Emma, called to offer to let us have one of her newly born purebred wirehaired terrier puppies. (Aunt Emma was very selective about the people she would trust with one of her puppies, and it was a great honor to be given an opportunity to have one of them.) When we entered Aunt Emma’s kitchen to get my new pup, mother walked over towards Joe’s perch to say hello. Joe wasn’t ready for such familiarity with someone he didn’t recognize and he turned toward Mom, flapping his wings and squawking at the top of his lungs. This was not an angry attack but enough to let Mom know that he felt that she was intruding on his private space. Mom backed off a bit but continued to talk quietly to Joe.

When he had settled down, he seemed to begin to study her, like you would when you meet someone you think you should know. He then brightened up and called her name in his shrill parrot’s voice, first, softly as a question, then with increasing volume as he recognized her, and finally brightly as a welcome to a dear friend that he hadn’t seen in far to long a time.

“Leoan??? … Leoan??? …. Leoan!!!”

Joe then seemed delighted that Mom had come to visit him; he wanted her to pick him up, and let him stand on her shoulder so that he could preen her hair and “cuddle” her.  Mom let him stand on her hand and wrist and let him climb up to her shoulder once but didn’t trust him to stay there. Both Mom and Joe seemed to enjoy this renewal of their long friendship.

I believe this visit to Aunt Emma’s to get my new puppy was the last time we ever saw Joe. He died a year or two later at the young age (for parrots) of about 42 years, far short of the 60+ years he might have lived in the wild.

In all, Joe shared his life with four generations of our family. We all loved him, and enjoyed his quirky ways. I believe that, in his way, Joe loved us too. 

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Photos taken from "You Knew Me As Buddy" book by Lee R. Christensen

Lt. Lee R. Christensen

Howitzer Section, Mt. Pleasant Battery World War II

Howitzer Section, Mt. Pleasant Battery Utah National Guard, 1935

Enlisted Club Dance 1941

Boys in Army Camps - - - Tribune June 29, 1941 ~ Ten Sets of Brothers

double click to enlarge

Sadly, Frank Ruesch and Joe Matson were killed and did not return home.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Wanted: Woolhouse Photos

Mt. Pleasant Depot Sketch "Sanpete Swift"

My Favorite Story About the Sanpete Swift

My pregnant mother took the Sanpete Swift to Salt Lake City where a Dr. Beldon delivered me at St. Marks Hospital.  I have always resented the fact that I could never say that I was born and raised in Mt. Pleasant as my husband Peter can.  We both dearly love Mt. Pleasant. My mother had to go to S.L.C because of two major reasons.  One, my mother was blood type A negative, a very rare blood type.   Second, she had been told she would never have another child because she was too full of scar tissue.  You see, my older brother (12 years older than me) weighed 12 pounds at his birth.  

Well, I was born just a few hours after my mother arrived in Salt Lake City.  I was born 7 minutes after 7:00 p.m.; weighed 7 pounds and 7 ounces.  And I was born the 7th month of 1947.  So you see the number "7" has always been my lucky number. Coincidentally, my last child was born in 1977. 

 I wish I could remember more about the train and the depot..  I grew up in the east part of town, almost a mile and a half from  the depot.  But I remember the train whistle to this day. I love to hear other's stories ..............Kathy Hafen

We would love to have you share your memories of the Mt. Pleasant Depot or rides on the "Sanpete Swift".

Lee's comment:  ~ Kathy: Great story. And your first words were " cho cho". lee

Monday, April 19, 2010

Rasmussen Family Reunion Blog

We are adding the Rasmussen Family Reunion Blog to our Favorite Blog List.
Fred Rasmussen was the Depot Agent at the Mt. Pleasant Depot for many years.

Female Relief Society November, 1874

Meeting held in Social Hall November 8th, 1874.  Opened with Singing and prayer by Sister Peel.  Minutes of former meeting were read and approved of.  Sister Morrison expressed herself with pleasure at having the opportunity afforded us of assembling together to bear our testimonies and to talk of the principles of the gospel, revealed in the last days.  Also, she talked a little on the "United Order" and said that the Lord will have a tried people.  If we would remember our prayers in private and public, He would give us his spirit to enlighten our minds and give us wisdom, knowledge, and understanding, if we were faithful to the whisperings of the Good Spirit.
Sister Peel also spoke in her own language.  Many of the sisters bore a faithful testimony. Sister Peterson read a singular dream she had which certainly was very instructive.
It was porposed, seconded that Sister Synegore (Syndergaard), Johnson, Mina Madsen, Charlotte Jensen were admitted as teachers of the Visiting Committee.  Meeting closed with prayer by Sister Peterson.
M.F. Morrison, Presidentess
E. Wallis, Secretary

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Seely - Hinckley Automobile Company 1915 Painting by Ken Baxter

The Mt. Pleasant Carnegie Library recently acquired a photo of this painting and has shared with us.
Seely Hinckley Auto was located where the Triangle Lounge is now located; 98 West Main.  Prior to its construction, the Peter Madsen Peel Home stood here.  Robert Hinckley was once a mayor of Mt. Pleasant.  He married Clarissa Abrelia Seely, a daughter of John H. Seely, a prominent sheepman here in Mt. Pleasant.Robert Hinckley went on to become a Senator, a member of the Civil Aeronautics Commission, a parter with Ed Noble in creating one of the televisioon broadcasting companies.  He founded the Hinckley Institute at the University of Utah. You can read more about Robert Hinckley here .

Hinckleys In The News - - - 1939

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