Monday, September 27, 2010

Female Relief Society March 20, 1876

Meeing held March 20th, 1876.  Opened with singing "Let Zion in her Beauty Shine".  Prayer by Sister Simpson.  Minutes of former meeting read and accepted, also reports of  donations and disbursements. 

Sister Peel who had charge of meeting addressed the Sister and bore a faithful testimony to the truth of the Latter Day Work an rejoiced that she had the privilege of being numbered with the Saints of he Most High.

Sister Simpson also corroborated what the former Sister said and hoped the Sisters would be faithful and diligent in the performance of their duties.

Sister Morrison spoke at some length on the principles of the Gospel and the blessing accruing from a strict observance of those principles and hoped that the Sisters would strive to let their light so shine before others that they see their good deeds might go and do likewise.

The Sisters of  the Visiting Committee gave a good report and all felt desirous to press forward and do right. 

Meeting closed with singing "How Firm A Foundation".  Benediction by Sister Hemmert

MFC Morrison, Pres
Pro Tem, Sec


Female Relief Society March 6, 1876

Meeting held March 6th 1876.  Opened with singing  "O Saints Have You Seen On Your Mountain Tops".  Prayer by Sister Hemmit (Hemmert). Minutes of former meeting read and accepted, also reports of donations and disbursements.

Sister Morrison was pleased to meet with the Sisters and glad to see so many present, and that all wanted to unite together and take a lively interest in doing good in every possible way.

Also that the mothers would encourage their daughters to attend their meetings with punctuality that the older sisters might feel encouraged in striving to do them good.

Also that the sisters in going round would remember the emigration (fund) as it was the wish of Sister Young that the people should try and make an effort to help out the poor and the honest in heart, that they might have a chance to show what they could endure for the Gospel's sake. 

Sister Simpson was glad to meet with the sisters and be able to talk of the blessings we receive day to day; we had also great reason for  thankfulness that the servants of the Lord had been sent the everlasting gospel and bring us to the Kingdom, and rejoice in the blessings of the Last Days; prayed that te  Lord would help us to be faithful, that by putting all our mites together it would soon help to bring out the "honest in heart"; that this was the gathering dispensation and i was our duty to help gather them home before the Lord begins to pour out his vials of wrath upon the nations of the earth.

Sister Christensen felt well and hoped that the Lord would give her strength to go around and do all the good she could; she felt to sustain Sister Morrison and her counselor's and all that were placed in authority and prayed that the blessings of the Lord would be upon us Eternally.

Sister Hemmert bore her testimony and felt well and liked to come to Sister Meeting and was desirous to do all the good she could.

Sister Rasmussen also felt well.  She had been round visiting and said that the people generally felt well. 

Sister Peterson said it was now stormy and bad walking and now was the time to test our faith.  She was glad to be here and to e able to do a little every day; that if we do the will of our Father as far as we are able, it will amount to a good deal that the Lord had made manifest His will to us and it was our duty to work therein, if our hearts were right before Him, he would enable us to overcome every difficulty.

Sister Sorensen spoke in Danish.  Sister Johansen also felt well.  Sister Josephson bore her testimony, prayed that the Lord would bless us all in inasmuch as we wanted to serve in humility.  Sister Lovegreen felt glad to be present and thought the sisters would all enjoy a better spirit by attending the meetings.  She hoped the Lord would bless her husband and her children inasmuch as they tried to do His will and keep His commandments. 

Sister Frandsen said she felt it her duty to mingle her testimony with the rest of her sisters.  She had been round visiting and was well received and the people all felt well and was willing to assist in helping the poor.  She said if we could but keep the good spirit, even if we had trials to contend with, the Lord would help and bless us, for He had said He would have a "tried people", and we have no right to expect to be without trials.

Sister Rosenlund felt well and hoped that the people would donate freely to help the poor from the old country.  Sister Fitcher (Fescher) was glad to be present.  She rejoiced in the knowledge she had of the Gospel and thanked God for the blessings which were daily bestowed upon us.  Sister Nabilla (?) bore her testimony in the Danish language and Sister Jensen hoped the Lord would give her the strength to overcome the weakness of her nature; that we might try to do to others as we would like to be done unto.  She knew this was the kindness of God, or she would not have been here; prayed that the Lord would help brother Brigham and give him power over his enemies.

Meeting closed with singing "All Praise to Our Redeeming Lord".  Benediction by Sister Simpson

MFC Morrison, Pres.
Pro tem Secy

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Bells of Town ~ Pearl Madsen Olsen

There is a bell,
the high one over the schoolhouse
droning long and lazily
to tell the clocks in town. 
It puts each day to bed at nine o'clock
and often charges air with brisk alarm,
calling anxious men to fight a fire
or seek a straying child -- lost
and sometimes fallen into water.

I am awed by a bell in the steeple
over the meeting-house, and await
it's deep, religious voice
reminding me to worship.

Keeping time like metronomes --
thick and heavy as necks they fall from
are the bell tones drawing near
as cows amble home from pasture,
and fretful trebles of swinging pendants
tinkle higher when bleating ewes
search for wandering lambs.

Bells, bells of my town,
You sound the silence left by time.

Pearl Madsen Olsen

Saturday, September 25, 2010

1933 Fire Raze Wasatch Academy Hall

On April 4, 1933, the Administration Hall was destroyed by fire. Classes were housed temporarily for the remainder of the year.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Oldest Pioneer Tells Own Story ~ Aunt Mary Wilcox ~ 1927 Newspaper Article

With the approach of the annual celebration of Pioneer Day by the Pioneer Association of Mt. Pleasant, it seems especially fitting to ask "Aunt Mary" Wilcox as she is affectionately called by everyone in Mt. Pleasant to tell some of the incidents in connection with the perilous trip across the plains and the soul testing first years in the pioneer colony in the Salt Lake Valley.  We will let "Aunt Mary" speak for herself and tell her story in her own words.

"My people lived in Canada north of Lake Ontario.  I was born at Whitbey, June 6, 1831.  Parley P. Pratt brought the gospel to us up in Canada and my people embraced the gospel and emigrated to Missouri in 1836. The persecution of the Mormons was at the height in Missouri then, so our stay there was a short one and in the spring of '39 we were driven out and settled on the Iowa side of the Mississippi.  We were a part of the Nauvoo Settlement.  There were about 15000 persons in the settlement and they stayed there seven years.  In 1839 the prophet and his brother, Hyrum were freed from prison in Missouri, came to Illinois and there they built a temple and built up the colony til there were between 25,000 and 30,000 when they emigrated to the west."

"In 1844 they killed the prophet and then the people that  persecuted the Mormons thought that now the settlement would fall to pieces.  'Now old Joe Smith is dead, they will soon disperse', they said, but when we did not, they started persecuting us harder than ever, and began to threaten. They told us 'You just yet, we have no use for you'.  Then Brigham Young told them 'Hold on, we'll go,' and they all began to prepare to go on a long journey.  At first they just started west in small bands whenever they were ready and reached what they called Winter Quarters.  That was in 1845.  They were strung out for a hundred miles whenever they could find feed for their stock and logs to build their cabins.  I can tell you what these cabins were like.  They had no floors, no windows no doors and no stoves.  We cooked on a fire on the dirt floor and the smoke found its way out through a hole in the roof.  They would bring in the wagon box, put on the bows and top and that was our bedrooms.  We cooked in the iron kettles and spiders we brought with us  but everybody had very little to cook.  The people died by hundreds that terrible winter."

"In the spring of '47 Brigham  Young said that all able to get together a year and a half provisions must follow on.  So we followed on the desolate trail and I drove my own ox team into the Salt Lake Valley.  I was just 17 years old and I drove that team every step of the way to Salt Lake Valley and on, but it was a barren desolate looking place-- just as nature had left it for thousands of years."

"Yes, there was between twenty five and thirty thousand people driven out into the wilderness to live or to die, whichever they could and many of them did die.  Brigham Young led the first company of 143 and they reached Salt Lake on the 24th day of July 1847. The company I came in was led by Apostle John Taylor and when we reached Salt Lake valley, he said, 'Sister Mary, it doesn't stand in the lids of history where a girl of your age has undertaken the responsibility you have on this journey.' I didn't know what he was taking any notion of me, not a bit."

"In crossing the plains we crossed the streams on rafts, but as we got farther west there wasn't a stick or a log to make a raft of and when we came to the Platte we went 400 miles upstream before we found a place we could cross.  That left us with nothing to burn, not even brush, so we had to gather buffalo chips and use to cook our food.  It was a terrible experience but it was a pleasure trip to us compared to what we had been through the nine years of persecution before it.
"I must tell you how we made butter on the way.  'We had four gallon churns and strained the night milk and the morning milk into the churn.  Then the bumping of the wagon during the day churned the mild and in the evening we had fresh butter and buttermilk to make biscuits with."

"Those first years in the Salt Lake Valley we had it bad.  We nearly starved.  We would drink a little milk, eat some wild greens and bit of buttermilk cheese and that was a meal.  We settled south of the city in what is now called the 'Sugarhouse Ward'.  We managed to get in some crop that first year and then the crickets came and ate it all and then the seagulls came and ate the crickets, but we had no more seed and there was nothing to get.  The people who settled north of the city were not visited by the crickets and they got a fair crop.  My husband worked all day grubbing oak for a part of the day and gleaned the stubble and sometimes got two quarts a day.  Then at night I would boil a little of what I had gathered and grind a little in a hand mill and made read and in this way we lived.  Then in '49 the gold rush to California  began  and we got a little flour and a little bacon from the emigrants  as they passed through."

"The second year we had a fair crop, but we did not understand irrigation and we had a hard time.  We never knew a comfortable meal in three years.  The first potatoes came to Salt Lake by pack animals from California and they were divided among all the people so everybody would have an equal chance, but we got only four potatoes to a family, and  we got a few beans to plant.  Some were discouraged and went to Oregon and California, but the leaders told us 'if you'll stay, we'll guarantee you won't starve to death and you'll live to see this a rich and beautiful valley'."

"We moved to Manti in 1850, but the indians robbed us of everything we had burned our wagons and our cabin and we were forced to go back to the Utah Valley.  We had three little children then.  For ten years we worked at anything we could get to make another start in the world and in 1860 we moved to Mt. Pleasant.  There was nothing but bare sagebrush then.  The early pioneers built a fort, that is, they built their houses one against another with a solid wall to the outside.  The second year those who could began to build houses for themselves, and others stayed in the fort a longer time."

Aunt Mary said she could have talked the rest of the week telling of their many struggles.  At the age of  96, she is clear minded, lively and a most entertaining talker.  She stands at the head of six generations and can count over 500 descendants.  She had four grandsons and three great grandsons in the World War, one of them,  Melvin Patton of Payson, fell on the field of battle.  Here was the first wedding in the new colony.  She married John Henry Wilcox when she was still a girl of 17; William S. Seely performing the ceremony.  She is the mother of eleven children, all of whom grew to manhood and womanhood and raised large families of their own.  Two have passed on to their reward within the past few years and Aunt Mary says she is "ready for the call........",but in the meantime she is taking a deal of pleasure in life and can justly be proud  of the long useful years she has dedicated to the difficult job of  opening up a new land.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Mt. Pleasant Homes ~ Glass Plate Negatives ~ Restored by Chas Hathaway

Three years ago we found a candybox in the attic of the Relic Home filled with glass plate negatives.  They were in pretty rough shape  ~ beyond hope of restoration.  Chas Hathaway came to the Relic Home a few months ago and took one on to restore.  He did such a beautiful job, we asked him to do more.  These photos are just an example of the many he has done for us. 

Now we hope you can help us by
identifying the homes and the people
included in the photographs.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Lee Remembers "Class of '34"

Kathy: My book ”You Knew Me As Buddy” is more or less dedicated to my Hamilton grade school Classmates of 1934; considered by at least two of us to be the “greatest” class in the schools history. And probably by many others because on at least two occasions the class was given the responsibility of enforcing school rules on a large, older group.

When we were third graders the powers that be set up a “kangaroo” court system to enforce playground rules. Charged violators were assembled in a classroom/courtroom where they were tried and sentenced before a judge, who as I remember was a fifth grade teacher. The third graders were to maintain order in the courtroom. This activity lasted about three weeks.

When the "Class of '34" was in eighth grade North Sanpete High School joined the Traffic Patrol bandwagon and started a traffic control program. The "Class of '34" were to be the Enforcers. One of the big goals of the program was to stop the high school students from cutting across State Street at the bridge to the candy store corner. At noon of the first day a squad of us eighth graders with our new flags walked over to the bridge and the NE corner of Main and State to begin this new operation.

I was with two others at the bridge and here comes the noonday stampede of students headed for downtown. Remember, we had one hour for lunch. The Enforcers at the corner never saw a student. The Enforcers at the bridge never stopped one. I don’t know that any of them even asked us what our flags were for, and they never saw them again. The Program lasted just the one day.   .......Lee R. Christensen

Nine North Ward Relief Society Presidents Meet for Picture ~ 1950s?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Old Dutch Mill Torn Down ~ Elva Seely Guyman Collection

This building was torn down in approximately........and was located east of where Beck's Furniture now stands or where Rodger and Jenni's is now located.

Kathy:  I do not  remember this building as the” Dutch  Mill” It was the corner candy store in my day (1929-30) and was owned by the Madsen Brothers.  I’m guessing they sold or rented it to Drug Store Johansen from across the street and his son in law Glen Williams then ran it as a candy, hamburger, and malt operation.  The Madsen brothers , from down Moroni way build a place just north for their saloon as soon a beer drinking was allowed back, about summer 1933, just as Roosevelt promised.  The building also carried a full side wall  ad for , I think,  Levi’s rumored to have been painted by an artist from Fairview.  Lee

Sunday, September 19, 2010

A Visit to the Gravesite of Amanda Armstrong Fausett Sanders Born 6 May 1810 and Died 24 April 1885 Gisela, Arizona

The last week in April of this year my husband and I took a road trip to Gisela, Arizona to visit the gravesite of Amanda Armstrong Fausett Sanders, a great. great grandmother of mine.  What a lady she was.  I admire her great obediance.  She has  a grand posterity who love her for her wonderful example.  

Her life was one move after another and always to new frontiers where it was very difficult and often dangerous. She was a helpmate and companion to her husband. She gave birth to 12 children.You can learn more about Amanda here:

Hamilton Elementary Poets ~ from Betty Gunderson Woodbury and David R. Gunderson Collection


Saturday, September 18, 2010

Home-Town Friends ~ from Carrie Hafen's Scrapbook

Humorous Story by Will Olsen

In olden days we had three plagues, the Indian War, the grasshopper war, and the Sanpete Valley Railroad. I was at Moroni to get a load of freight. A man there said, "What do you think about this railroad coming to Mt. Pleasant?" I said, "We have been able to fight down the Indians and the grasshoppers, but Lord save us from the Sanpete Valley Railroad." Still, it wasn't so bad-it meant well.

When Brother Bradley was conductor of the train, Sister Hansen would come to the train every morning with her basket of eggs to take to Ephraim to sell. One day she looked rather sad. The conductor asked her why she was sad and she said, "Today I only have eleven eggs." He said, "You go back home and I will hold the train until the chicken lays another egg."

Book of Mt. Pleasant p. 337

Friday, September 17, 2010

Female Relief Society February 21, 1876

Meeting held February 21, 1876.  Opened with singing "Guide Me O Thou"
Prayer by Sister Peel.  Minutes of  former meeting were read and accepted.  The reports of donations and disbursements.  Sister Morrison bore her testimony and said she was glad to see so many present and hoped there was a prospect of Spring, that the sisters would double their diligence and be desirous to do all the good in their power as there was plenty of  service for all to be dilegent and perseverant in the fulfillment of every duty of ....them, was also desirous that mothers would be united in their efforts to instruct their daughters by precept and example to walk in the paths of virtue and loveliness and by their.....walk and  ....might know them" that mothers would also encourage their daughters to attend  thier meeting regularly and .......with useful knowledg..................................................................................
Sister Peel felt well and was glad we had the privelege of hearing the Servants of the Lord from time to time, knowing in as much as we enjoyed the spirit of the Lord.......(The rest is too light to read)


This Is Our Most  Popular Pioneer of the Month


Peter Monsen was born 8 April 1830 in Svendstrup, Langeland, Denmark. It was a little village about two miles from Kerser, a harbor town on the west coast of Denmark. His home was a long, one-story adobe house with a thatched straw roof. His family appears in the 1840 census records for the Taarnborg District of Svendstrup: Lars Mogensen age 35 and his wife Christine Jensdatter (Jensen) were living in Svendstrup City in February 1840 with the following children: Ane Christine Mogensen age 13, Peder Mogensen age 10, Rasmus Mogensen age seven, Caroline Mogensen age four. Lars’ mother is a widow at this time and living with him: Karen Johansdatter (Johansen) age 66. His parents were farmers who did not own their own farms, but rented them. Peter spent his young manhood, as was the custom, on the adjoining farms as a hireling.

Peter and his people belonged to the Lutheran Church and were devoutly religious. On 9 March 1853, Peter was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He, in turn, baptized his father Lars, his mother Christine, his sister Hansine, and Dorthea Marie Christensen (Nielsen), whom Peter was to marry. His family was among the first to embrace the Mormon faith in Denmark. At the end of that year, Peter’s family left their home in Denmark to move to Zion. Listed on page 588 Afgangsliste (Departure List) in 1853, town of Taarnborg, island of Langeland, 1841-58: Lars Mogensen, his wife Kristine Jensen, and their four children: Caroline 19, Jens 10, Hansine 13, and Hanne Catherine left for Copenhagen 24 December 1853. Mogens Enke (Lars’ mother), age 74, went also. After they arrived in St. Louis, Missouri, Lars died of cholera on 6 April 1854. Peter’s mother, Christine, a sister Caroline, and a brother Jens (James Willard Munson), arrived safely in Utah. However, Peter’s grandmother, Karen Johansen (Nielsen), and two sisters, Hansine and Hanna Catherine all died of cholera on the way across the plains.

Peter remained in Denmark to be married. The Taarnborg Church records (page 330), show Ungkarl (young bachelor) Peder Mogensen 23 years old and Pegen (unmarried girl) Dorthe Marie Christensen 18 years old, were married in the Taarnborg Church on 8 January 1854.

Those present were Christian Nielsen (Dorthe’s father) og (and) Lars Mogensen (Peder’s father). “Begge er Mormoner.” (Both are Mormons) Dorthea’s family is listed in the 1840 census records for the Taarnborg District of Svendstrup City as family #108: Christen Nielsen age 43 and wife Ane Andersdatter (Andersen) age 41, their daughter Dorthe Marie Christensen age five. At this time they had four servants or friends living with them. Dorthea’s parents were wealthy and they offered her all of the riches they possessed if she would not join the church. She was their only daughter, and they didn’t want her to leave them to come to Zion. But no material offer could dissuade Dorthea and Peter from doing what God intended them to do. They left Svendstrup for Copenhagen, bound for Utah, and with them was their one-year-old son, Christian Nielsen Mogensen. They left Svendstrup on 24 November 1855 as recorded in Landsarkivet, Jagtveg 10-1-20-39 (Archives in Copenhagen).

On 29 November 1855 they left Copenhagen and set sail for Liverpool on 6 December 1855 in a wooden sailing ship named “The John J. Boyd,” bound for America. There were 508 people on the boat and 437 of them were Scandinavian saints. The vessel was not equipped for so many people, and crowded conditions prevailed. Tiers of bunks were all around the vessel, and they ate upon the same boxes that were used to sit upon. The captain of the ship was very domineering, and when severe storms arose he forbade the saints to sing or pray or hold services. President Canute Petersen was appointed to take charge of this group of saints and he instructed them to carry on secretly, which they did. Never did they lose their faith. In addition to the terrible storms, fire broke out in the captain’s cabin. No great excitement prevailed as the saints had faith that God would preserve their lives. As they proceeded on their journey, they ran across a disabled ship and picked up 50 sailors. They proved to be a great help to the ship, as the regular sailors were near exhaustion because the journey proved to be much longer than had been contemplated. The water supply ran very low and was vile. Sickness broke out and around 50 adults and children died, among them Peter’s 16-month-old son, Christian. They were heartbroken to see the sailors lower their darling baby into the great ocean. These trials helped to prepare them for the rigors of pioneer life that they would meet in the future. After a voyage of 11 weeks and three days, the saints landed in America on 1 March 1856. They arrived in St. Louis, where they remained for several months finding work to do.

This group of saints began their journey across the plains on 26 June 1856. There were 60 wagons in this company with two yolk of oxen to each wagon and from six to eight persons in each wagon. President Petersen was again called to be their captain with sub-captains under him for each 10 wagons. The oxen were very unruly and would get overheated, so that many of them died. They stampeded one day and killed a man. No one traveled on Sunday, and they held services in the day and evening. Other evenings they would sing the songs of Zion, and occasionally they would dance. They arrived in Salt Lake City on 16 September 1856. On the entire trip they saw very few people outside their own company; no houses were along the way except one government station at Fort Laramie. After arriving here, Peter planned on locating in Weber or Cache County. At this time word came of Johnson’s Army who were said to be on their way to wipe out the Mormons. Peter Monsen was enrolled with the saints who enlisted as soldiers. They went up Echo Canyon, where they prepared to defend the saints against the army. Among other things, large boulders were quarried on pivots in preparation to roll down the canyon as the army came through. The army came, but not in war. In many ways they proved beneficial to the saints. After the army came to the valley, Peter worked at Camp Floyd. There he made adobes with which to build houses for the soldiers camped there.

In 1858 he was called to Sanpete County, and they moved to Ephriam and then to Mt. Pleasant the following year. They lived in the fort there, as did all the other people. This was the year the first school settlement was built. It was a one-room house (about 16' x 25'), which served as a school house, a social center, and a building for religious services. It was called the second ward school house. The desks were a double arrangement (about 2' wide on either side) sloping to the center, with split log benches on both sides. The students faced each other. Four such desks constituted the furniture. A blackboard made from planned lumber hung on the wall. Roaring wood fires provided the heat, from the large fireplaces at each end of the room. There were few textbooks. The meager educational opportunities came from dedicated men and women within the community who had been fortunate to have had some education in the countries where they had previously lived. Peter was one of the first to serve on the school board of trustees. He helped in the building of the school house which was built with donated public labor and materials. He knew well the struggles for education with little or no money to pay the costs. It took about 20 years for new church buildings to be built, and a new and commodious school with modern benches and desks, and with comfortable heading systems as well as with books and supplies.

About 1863, Peter Monsen entered into polygamy and married his second wife, Annie Christena Christensen. She had been born in Copenhagen 8 October 1848. Soon after her family had been converted to Mormonism, they made arrangements to come to America. They set sail on Christmas eve, 24 December 1853, on a ship called the “Benjamin-Adams.” The ship carried mainly Scandinavians. Curiously, this was the same date that the Lars Mogensen family sailed-possibly on the same ship. On their journey to Salt Lake, there was much sickness in the camps of the saints. Annie Christena’s father became ill and passed away on 5 April 1854. Exactly six months later, the surviving family entered the Salt Lake Valley. Within a few months, her mother had remarried. Annie Christena was only seven at the time. In March 1859, they moved to Mt. Pleasant. When Annie Christena was 16, she left her home and went to work for Peter and Dorthea. This was to escape the attentions of her stepfather. She later became Peter’s plural wife, even though she was 18 years younger than he. She became the mother of 13 children.

Annie was strong and well, while Dorthea was ill much of her life. Thus, Annie Christena went into the fields to help with the crops, while Dorthea remained at home to watch the children and to do the work in the home. Those who knew the two families say that a great love existed between the two women. It was said that Peter was a fair and just man, who ruled with gentleness and love, with harmony always prevailing.

In March 1864 Peter was called to go to Circleville with Annie, along with Mads Madsen and his second wife, and colonize the area. They left home with each a yoke of oxen and a wagon, arriving in Circleville about April 1. They proceeded at once to build log homes in which to live. They built houses from timber which was not far away, but since no shingles or lumber was available, they were necessarily satisfied with a dirt roof as well as a dirt floor. The soil there was very fertile, and they proceeded to break up the land and to plant enough grain to raise 1,000 bushels of wheat. There were no threshing machines then, so the grain was threshed by trampling their oxen over it. When the grain from the first layer was thoroughly tramped out of the straw, chaff and fine material still remained which had to be separated from the grain. They cleared the ground, and when the wind was favorable they used a small hand scoop to cast the grain out against the wind, thereby separating it from the chaff. When this was done, they took what they could haul in their wagons, leaving the remainder for those who stayed behind. They returned home to Mt. Pleasant in November of the same year. The immigrant who later occupied their cabin was killed by the Indians.

After returning to Mt. Pleasant and when it was considered safe, Peter was among the first to build a home outside the fort. It was a two-room structure 28' long with two large beams along the top, placed in a half-roof shape to carry the weight of the dirt which answered the purpose of shingles. There was also a dirt floor. Aside from building this house and the log cabin in Circleville, he later built each of his wives a house of adobe. Dorthea’s home, the larger, consisted of a living room, a kitchen, a dining room, and a bedroom. The upstairs remained unfinished, but was used for bedrooms. Annie Christena’s home had a large kitchen, which served as a living room and a dining room as well, and a large bedroom with a clothes closet in it. The upper floor had all bedrooms. The walls were at least 1½" thick, and served to insulate the homes. Peter drew his lot in the southwest of the city, and remained there.

Peter was always ready and willing to answer calls made upon him from the church or the state. He was called to be a minute man during the Black Hawk Indian War in 1865. He was a public-spirited man, devoting much of his time to civic duties as well as to his religious duties. This was all done without pay, but knowing it was for the betterment and uplifting of mankind. His heart and soul was always in the gospel, he was a counselor to Bishop Seely for many years. He was a ward teacher all of his life, and served as head teacher for many years. He was always a member of the ward choir, and the happiest time of his life was when he gathered his many children around him and the sang together the songs of Zion. He had an organ in his parlor, and upon it were two statuettes of Brigham Young and Joseph Smith. He loved singing, and taught his children the love of music. The Monsen daughters were singers and were often in demand at the pioneer socials. Annie and Olevia sang alto, Nora and Esther sang soprano in double duets. All of the girls participated with their father in the ward choir. Life in the Peter Monsen home was a happy one and a busy one. Peter also served in the city counsel for two terms, and was a member of the school and irrigation boards. As previously mentioned, he took part in the building of the fort to protect the early settlers of the valley. He also assisted in the laying out of the towns and farms.

The first steam sawmill brought to Mt. Pleasant was by Peter Y. Jensen and was placed in Cedar Creek Canyon. Before it could be placed, a road had to be constructed. Peter was the supervisor of the road construction. He also assisted in the leveling of the hill where the Manti Temple now stands. After this, a sawmill called the Temple Sawmill was placed in the Twin Creek Canyon, where lumber was sawed to be used in the construction of the temple. The work was carried on in winter and summer (men donated their work with few exceptions). Peter supervised the work in the wintertime. The depth of the snow was at times seven feet, and prevented the use of oxen or horses to drag the timber from the mountainside. The trees were felled and cut into certain lengths. With hand spikes and such appliances as were necessary, they slid the logs from the hillside to the bottom of the canyon. From there they were hauled to the mill upon bobsleds—all home made. The lumber from the mill was hauled to Manti by team, all done with donated work in which Peter participated. When the Snow Academy was built, he furnished teams (at no pay) to haul brick from Mt. Pleasant to Ephriam.
Peter’s occupation was always that of a good farmer. He had studied agriculture and had been a farmer in the old country, so he took great pride in his farm and in his methods of farming. He taught his children these skills. The girls learned from both father and mother that when the food was harvested, it must be carefully preserved and cared for. They entered into the tromping of hay, picking of potatoes, keeping of the garden, and the milking of cows. They also learned to cook and sew from their two mothers (both of whom entered into the training of the children). They learned to spin, to card wool, and to weave. Their hands were also busy with beautiful hand work and crocheted pieces. True pioneer life meant hard work, thrift, industry, and also sharing in the dangers of the pioneer life.
Nothing was easy in those days. The children remember Dorthea’s homemade sausages. They learned the art of cleaning the animal’s intestines and soaking them in brine, scraping them on the breadboard, and then again soaking them in brine. The cleaned intestines were then placed over a cow horn, and the sausage was carefully worked down until the sack was packed tightly. Sometimes, they ground the pork sausage and placed the skin around the spout of the grinder. The skin would fill up as the meat ground through. If any air bubbles appeared, a darning needle was used to poke them out and force the meat in tightly. The sausages were then smoked or put into a weak brine to cure, as were the hams, shoulders, etc. of pork. There was a lot of work involved when a pig was killed. All of the fat was cut off and sliced into small pieces, or ground up and fried just long enough to process it. The whitest part was then stored in jars and placed in the pantry for use in pies and cakes. Other grease was saved for frying food. It was a hard day’s work to “render” lard, and all of the children learned the process. You couldn’t just go to the store to purchase a can of shortening then. The meat from the head of the pig was ground and seasoned and put into a pan. It was pressed flat by putting heavy flat irons (which were used to iron clothes) on top, weighing the meat down and pressing it hard. It was considered a real delicacy, sliced and eaten cold. The pastries and cinnamon buns were also a thing to remember, for on baking day every youngster in the neighborhood went home with a big, hot bun filled with sugar, cinnamon, and raisins. The big drippers filled with homemade bread, each holding 6 to 8 loaves, were familiar sights in their homes. The Danish recipe for dumplings and chicken soup, has now been passed down to the great granddaughters.The children went barefoot as long as the ground was free of snow. But when shoes were needed, Peter furnished his children with wooden shoes that he made. He had learned the craft in his native land, and brought with him some of the tools needed for making them. He would go to Cedar Hills after loads of wood. After loading it he would find a pitch pine tree, just to suit his fancy, for the stick best suited for wooden shoes. After he finished the wooden shoes, his wife shined them nicely with soot she gathered from the fireplace. The children of Peter were the only ones with wooden shoes, and they were nice shoes. The only objection the children had to them was that they couldn’t run as fast with them on as they could when they were barefoot.
During the United Order, Peter was captain of the men who worked in what was called the Old and South Field. He was, however, one of the first to withdraw from the Order. His family was deeply concerned about it, and some of the neighbors went so far as to say that he was on the way to apostasy. Peter felt that he had given it a fair trial. One day on his rounds in the fields where men were engaged in irrigating, he arrived at a piece of his own land where a man was supposed to be irrigating it. Peter found the water all going down a dead furrow of summer fallowed land, with no man in sight. After searching around, he found the man sound asleep in the shade of the willows. When he asked the man how the water was going, he answered, “I suppose it’s running to the west,” which was the slope of the land. That, in addition to many other similar conditions, drew disgust from Peter to the extent that he left the Order.

When the polygamy crusade was on, the U.S. Marshalls had a warrant of arrest for all polygamists. It was just at harvest time, and Peter came to the lumber camp with a proposition to his son to go down to do the harvesting so that he could do the work there at the camp. The harvesting was done under very difficult conditions. Occasionally, Peter would come like a thief in the night to see how they were getting along. The grain was too ripe, dry and brittle, and some had to be soaked in water to use for bands to bind the grain. They had to handle it carefully to avoid waste. They did what was necessary to be done during the balance of the summer and the fall. Peter was in hiding most of this time. The marshalls would come to the house under cover of the night and search through the house for him.

On 9 April 1888, just two weeks after the birth of her 13th child, Esther, the young and beautiful mother, Annie Christena, was struck with puerperal sepsis (childhood fever). The dreaded infection took her life at the age of 40. The burden of a big family must have weighed heavily upon the young shoulders of the children, as they had to share the responsibilities even more so now. Dutifully and lovingly, Dorthea, the other mother, gathered these little motherless children around her, comforting them, teaching them, and being a true mother to them. She was affectionately known to them as “Tante”. Esther has said of her “If ever there was an angel mother, it was Mother Dorthea.” The family then adjusted to a new way of life.

Life in Mt. Pleasant was beginning to take on the airs of a thriving community. Beside the new school and churches, the Wasatch Academy became part of the community buildings. A brick kiln was producing lovely pink brick, and some of the up-and-coming members of the community were building elegant two-story homes. Little groups, who especially enjoyed associating together because of likeness in their nationality, would meet in each other’s homes for parties and dinners. Celebrations were always great days for the people of Mt. Pleasant. Not only was the 4th of July an event, but the 24th of July was also celebrated as the day the pioneers entered the Salt Lake Valley. Usually, there was a parade led by a brass band. The parade was usually followed by a program recalling the early pioneer struggles. In the afternoon, there was a dance for the children. In the evening, there was a dance for the adults.

During those days, the only source of supplies was through the wagon trains that came from Salt Lake City bringing their necessities. The men of the community would exchange grain for a supply of flour for their winter’s use. The supply wagons always brought back yard goods for the pioneer mother to make up into clothing for her children. Esther well remembers her father bringing her a piece of blue material, while he always brought some pink material for Olevia when they were small girls.

In the winter of 1897, on the 8th of January, Peter was called to go on a mission to Denmark, his native land. He was the oldest missionary in the field—67 years of age. He enjoyed excellent health, and was able to keep in shape and do all that was required of a missionary. He was gladly received by the people, and made many friends. The people were surprised that a man of his age could sing so beautifully. He visited the birthplace of his first wife while he was in Denmark, and was received very kindly by her people. They called all of the neighbors in to see this stranger who had returned to the old homestead after 42 years of absence in America. He served 1½ years in the mission field.

After Peter’s return from his mission, he proceeded to care for his small farm. As in the past he had a few livestock to care for. He continued to do so until he was physically unable. His wife Dorthea died on 10 November 1912. The children all helped care for him. In March 1915, Olevia or “Levie” (one of his favorite children, it had been said) moved in with him and brought her three children. Her husband, Joseph Johansen, had been called on a mission. She worked hard caring for her family and for her father’s needs. It was a good arrangement for all of them. During this time, Olevia’s oldest child, Etta, passed her important 8th birthday. They all drove to Manti in Peter’s shiny, black, horse-drawn buggy with bright red wheels. Etta was baptized in the Manti Temple. After Joseph’s two year mission was over, they all continued to live with Peter for yet another year while they were building a new home. They continued their close association, as did the complete family, until his death.

Birthdays has always been treated as something special for the Peter Monsen family. There was a spot on the pantry shelf where the members of the family put their savings in anticipation of the next birthday. The child having a birthday party could always expect one fine gift from the family. As the girls grew up, sometimes the gift was sheets, linen, dishes or some coveted item. There was always a special birthday dinner, and Father Peter was the central figure at these gatherings. The whole town was invited to his 90th birthday party. He had such a large family, and so many friends, it had to be held in a rented hall. His daughter, Nora, made one of her famous sponge cakes. The cake had to be beaten in a certain way, for a certain length of time, and it turned out as a work of art with the 90 candles ablazing on the top. The tables were set the full length of the hall to accommodate the number of well-wishers who came. His last birthday party was his 94th. He stood in the doorway at Annie’s home and said, “I may not be here too many other birthdays, but I’m going to sing you a song.” He counseled, “I hope and pray that you will continue with your birthday parties when I am gone, for it will keep you close together.”

Peter Monsen died just two months before his 95th birthday, on 9 February 1924. On his death bed he sang “I Know That My Redeemer Lives.” He was buried 12 February 1924, in the Mt. Pleasant City Cemetery by his two good wives. He was among the noblest of all creation. He was careful in the use of language, as well as saying ought against his neighbors. He never spoke profanity, nor spoke untruthfully. He and his wives were outstanding citizens, and devout Latter-day Saints. We can justly and proudly refer to them and their accomplishments with pride and admiration, and be thankful that we are of the lineage of such people. They unselfishly moved about in duty’s call, complying with one of God’s first commandments: multiply and replenish the earth. Under humble circumstances, they reared a large family which would seem impossible today. Peter at no time owned more than 40 acres of land, upon which 16 children were reared to maturity with five others dying in childhood. Despite the privations as would we considered today, or perhaps because of the manner in which they lived, the children grew to man and womanhood with clean, strong bodies, and pure minds instilled with honesty, truth and honor. Peace, harmony, and love were characteristic in the family. That same feeling prevails among their posterity.


Children of Peter Monsen & Dorthea Nielsen:

Stena & J.C. Madsen 7 children

Sena & Peter Peterson 2 children

Joseph & Anneta Neilsen 3 children

Dorthea & George Christensen 3 children

James & Mary Ann Poulsen 10 children

Lena & Andrew Jensen 11 children

36 children

Died in childhood: Christian, Peter

Children of Peter Monsen & Annie Christensen:

Amelia & Thomas Kirby 10 children

Sophia & Hans Poulsen 4 children

Annie & Erick Ericksen 8 children

Josie & Peter Anderson 6 children

John & Annie Blake 5 children

Christie & Marinus Beck 11 children

Nora & Gilbert Beckstrom 7 children

Peter & Kate Gillman 11 children

Olevia & Joseph Johansen 7 children

Esther & Albin Merlin Anderson 6 children

74 children

Died in childhood: Peter, Tina, Mary

Peter Monsen’s children and grandchildren totaled 110. His descendants on the 100th anniversary of his leaving Denmark totaled 679.



Biography sent in by Guy Pearce, a descendant

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

John Carter ~ Mayor of the Month ~ September 2010 ~~~ He served as mayor 1895~1897.

Among the original pioneers of Sanpete County, were the following men, some being accompanied by their families: Isaac Morley, Seth Taft, Charles Shumway, D. B. Huntington, Barney Ward, John Lowry Sr., Titus Billings, C. W. Bradley, Albert Petty, C. S. Cox, Albert Smith, Jereel Shoemaker, Cyrenus H. Taylor, Azariah Smith, Abraham Washburn, John D. Chase, Isaac Chase, Sylvester Hewlett, Wm. Potter, Gardner Potter, James Brown, Joseph Allen, Madison D. Hambleton, Wm. Richie, Harri­son Fugate, Sylvester Wilcox, Gad Yale, John Carter, Isaac Be­hunin, Wm. Mendenhall, Edwin Whiting, Wm. Tubbe, John Hart, John Baker, John Elmer, John Butterfield, Amos Gustin, John Cable, and W. K. Smith.
Source:  History of Mt. Pleasant by Hilda Madsen Longsdorf

Stirling Ericksen and Lucretia Vern Seely Ericksen

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Horseshoe Mountain

Reposing here for centuries,
This mountain in a sculptured mold
Marked the valley of the Sanpitch, loved
By me for all my years.  High
On the slanting front of dappled green,
White shafts of stone present a rare
Resemblance to a horseshoe, giant, bent,
Pressed into the mountainside below its crest.

Near this shrine I kneel to lose myself
In silken silence of the pulsing altitude.
I prize the experience as my own, yet know
That red men and white have walked upon
The valley floor and towered height
To marvel at the pattern of stone.

In future aeons someone else will ascend
This ridge to gaze in wonderment and awe
At this same  phenomenon.

by Pearl M. Olsen    from her book:  Frame the Laced Moments

Victorian Pears and Grapes

Our Most Popular Posts

This past July we passed our Two-Year Anniversary of our blog. We are now approaching 15000 visits from people who care about the History of Mt. Pleasant, the Pioneers who gave up so much to come here. Pioneers who left their extended families in the old country, broke the ground, fought the indians and established a home for themselves and future generations. Google and Blogger now have a tool that graphs our most popular posts. During the next few weeks we will repeat those posts. Here is a listing: Pioneer of the Month: Peter Monsen (Peder Mogensen). Recipe: Danish EbelskeversTwenty Fourth of July by Talula Nelson. Victorian Scrapbooking. Hamilton Elementary ~ 1940s. Pioneers of the Month ~ Moses Martin Sanders and Amanda Armstrong Faucett Sanders. Hans Brotherson/Pete Nielsen Home by David Gunderson.  Justus Wellington Seely Family from Alice Hafen's Photos from the Past. Lee R. Christensen's Photos from His Book, "You Knew Me as Buddy". Rosenlof and Beckstrom Family From Sweden from Betty Gunderson Woodbury. Early Mt. Pleasant Main Street, from Elva Guyman Collection. Mt. Pleasant Female Relief Society ~ September 21, 2009Unknown Lady # 41. We thank you all for your interest and for your submissions. Keeping these histories alive will prove valuable to future generations to come. Thank You!!! ~~~Pass the Word On !

Monday, September 13, 2010

100,000 Men Command Post Exercise ~ San Luis Obispo ~ July 1941

Lee writes:
Kathy: This news article is describing the war maneuvers of Aug 1941. For these war games Mt Pleasant’s Btry D 222nd FA Regt motored north to Western Washington from San Luis Obispo. A year earlier, summer of 1940 while still a National Guard unit, the Btry went by rail from Mt Pleasant to a tent camp near Centralia Washington for a similar exercise.

A story to go with the maneuver article. In August 1941 of the four Btry D gun Sgts I was the junior Sgt. The Btry had just been issued three big 4 ton Diamond T’s to pull our 155mm howitzers . As the jr sgt, my section got a small 2 ½ ton 6x6. As we were getting ready to move out on this 2000 mile road march the Division Commander called me over and asked if our small truck was up to the job. I told him that with DelRay Sorenson as our driver it would be no problem. It wasn’t. The commanding general was Maj Gen Ernest J Dawley who went on to command the American VI Corp in the invasion of Italy. A photo of the gun section, with DelRay, was posted earlier on this site and well after we had a Diamond T truck.

Danish Potato Dumplings ~ Mary Bjelke Cloward

Peel and boil potatoes (6 medium size for large ketle of soup). Salt and cook until tender, drain and mash.  Beat in 1 egg and small amount of cream, add  flour until mixture leaves pan,  add to boiling soup 5 minutes before serving.

Summer memories: Trekking through Wyoming | Mormon Times

Mountainville Ward ~ Mt. Pleasant North Stake
Click Link Below for more info:

I Remember ~ Wasatch ~ Fouste, Burgess, Coates

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Astronomy In Mt. Pleasant ~ H.C. Davidson

Hans Christian Davidson

On page 92 of the Mt. Pleasant History by Hilda Madsen Longsdorf, she briefly mentions that H.C. Davidson had moved to town with his family and "erected an astrometer on his lot." The location was "west side of State, southwest corner of intersection of First North." I googled "H.C. Davidson" and "astronomy" and I discovered a blog entitled "Hans Christian Davidson and

Here I found out quite a bit about Mr. H.C. Davidson.  Hans Christian Davidson was born in Horup, Alsen Island, Schleswig, Holstein, Denmark.  H.C. and his wife Annie Marie Jensen came across the plains to Utah in 1858.  In 1866 the family moved to Mt. Pleasant where H.C. was the first dentist and also the first newspaper editor.  He studied astronomy and made a perpetual calendar.

In the years 1876-77, during which time E.A. Day was teaching in Mt. Pleasant, Davidson, was asked to lecture to his pupils.  His talks and illustrations proved very interesting and beneficial.  Mr. Davidson was always eager and willing to be of help at any time.

"H.C. Davidson's sons, Lorenzo and Amasa Davidson attended the first Presbyterian school, now known as Wasatch Academy, founded here in 1875 by Dr. Duncan J. McMillan. The school was first conducted in an old dance hall which was converted by McMillan into a school and church. This building still stands on Main Street as one of the land marks of the early pioneer days, and is now the meeting hall of the Masonic Lodge."

"They moved to Birch Creek in 1879 and lived there until Mrs. Davidson died, May 2, 1886, after which they moved back into town. The farm was sold to James C. Meiling of Mt. Pleasant. Davidson remarried a few years later to a widow from Ephraim."

"During these early years, there was no dentist of course, so Mr. and Mrs. Davidson did their best to take one’s place and pulled teeth for people, using the old fashioned turn-keys, which we still have with the relics. Mr. Davidson was also the first printer in Mt. Pleasant, and did job printing up until the time of his death in 1891, making him seventy-one years old. "
"We know several prominent men of Utah who tell us that it was Hans C. Davidsen's lectures that inspired them to make great efforts for success. It remains for us as his progeny to carry on the work that he started, honoring and revering him for his high faith and courage to battle against big odds. May we not be found wanting."  by Sarah Davidson Wilcox, Daughter of Hans Christion Davidson.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Deseret News Request

Published in the Deseret News, was the following:

"Mount Pleasant, Sanpete County.

"June 6, 1863.

“Editor News “Dear Sir:

"I am requested by our good Bishop to acquaint you that the inhabitants of Mount Pleasant in a public meeting on the 6th inst. unanimously resolved that from the earliest practicable date, we would send for the News and all other mail matter to Springville through Spanish Fork Canyon every Thursday, returning again on the next day (Friday). Said messenger to bring with him the parcels of 'Deseret News' dispatches and mail matter generally for this place and Fairview, or North Bend as it has been called, of whose cooperation we are this evening fully advised. Bishop Seeley has sent personal communication of our intentions. They have cordially entertained the idea and wish to co-operate and participate in the benefits of the enterprise. By this means we can have the news, etc. on Friday evening instead of the Wed nesday following, and we can forward all our communication northward almost, if not quite, a week in advance of our existing postal arrangements via Moroni and Salt Creek Canyon. If this arrangement was published and all correspondents of either of these settlements would hence forth address their communication to us of Mount Pleasant and North Bend or Fairview, as it is now called, by Springville instead of Moroni, and the post master at Springville be advised thereof, it would, I opine, at once be fully understood and adopted. If, therefore, you resolve to give this publicity, it will at once facilitate the business and much oblige the parties interested.

"Your very respectfully,

(Signed) "WM MORRISOM.

Soren Hansen ~ sent in by Betty Gunderson Woodbury

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Johansen Bros Dairy Foods Sign Donated

Mt. Pleasant Pioneer Relic Home is happy to announce that it has been given a “Johansen Brothers Grocery” sign that once hung in the Johansen Grocery at 30 West Main. The sign was donated by Sam “Coyote” Madsen, Steve Poulson, Ted Poulson, and Peggy Thompson in memory of Alan “Doc” Johansen, their friend and brother. Alan passed away June 30, 2009 at the age of 53. Alan was the son of Shirley Otto Johansen who owned and operated Johansen Grocery for many years.

The sign will hang in the Relic Home over the pantry door. The small pantry will soon become a small old-fashioned general store, featuring candy, dry goods, postcards and historical trivia. The Mt. Pleasant Pioneer Historical Association wish to thank Sam Madsen and the Poulsen Family for this unique and memorable donation.

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