Sunday, January 15, 2012

Soren M. Nielsen ~ Mayor of the Month ~ January 2012 ~ Serving as Mayor 1948 -1950

Soren M. Nielsen was born is Visborg Denmark on June 4, 1886.  He was the son of Soren Christian Nielsen (Gade) and Johanna M. Jensen.  He was the third child in a family of four.

While his father was working in America, an LDS missionary from Mt. Pleasant called on Soren's mother.  The missionary was her sister's son.  Soren's mother, brother and sisters joined the LDS church, sold their home in Denmark and sailed to America.  They arrived in the United States on November 6th, 1895.  They made their way across the United States and settled in Mt. Pleasant, Utah.

In the fall of 1896 Soren started school in the building which later became the Mt. Pleasant City Hall and later Ursenbach Mortuary.  Soren attended school for one year and then went to work for Peter Jensen and occasionally returned to school for the next two years.  This was the end of his formal education.  At the age of 12 it was necessary for him to work alone in the Utah desert, herding sheep.  Later he worked as a miner, then back to livestock in Utah, Wyoming and Colorado.

In 1908 Soren went to work for Ericksen Meat and Grocery on Main Street in Mt. Pleasant.  He managed the store until 1925 when he returned  to the livestock business having large sheep herds and later, cattle in both Millard and Sanpete Counties of Utah.

In 1911 Soren enlisted in the Utah National Guard, along with several other businessmen, to help keep the unit in Mt. Pleasant.  He served seven years and helped patrol the Mexican border as captain of Troop E., First cavalry.

In 1913 he married Florence Ericksen in the Manti LDS Temple.  They had five children:  Forence (Charles E. Peterson), Howards. (Lorine Uhlig), Don E. (Carol Braithwaite), Grant E. (Verna Aiken) and Marjorie (Joseph Beck).

In 1915, Soren became the city marshal, For ten years Soren served on the Utah State Water Storage Commission.  Soren was elected Sanpete County Commissioner in 1932 and served for two years.  During that time he was elected Chairman of the Board of Sanpete County Commissioners.

In 1914 Soren was called to be the Ward Superindendent of the YMMIA in the Mt. Pleasant South Ward.  During this time he was called to be the scoutmaster.  Later he became Scoutmaster in the North Ward.  A short time later he was appointed Scout Commissioner for the North Sanpete Stake.  In 1923 Soren was sustained as President of the North Sanpete Stake after serving as Stake Superintendent of the YMMIA for two years.  He served as Stake President ofor 13 years.  During these years, scouting was organized on a council basis and the Bryce Canyon Council was formed with Soren as President.  Soren received his Siolver Beaver in 1935.  In addition to his church work, Soren was also serving as Vice President of the Board of Directors of Snow Junior College.

Soren later went to work as a bank examiner and was assigned to the liquidation of the BeaverState Bank at Beaver and the Bank of Iron County at Parowan.

Soren was elected Mayor of Mt. Pleasant and served in that position from 1948 to 1950.  During this time Mt. Pleasant saw the addition of Sanpete Valley Hospital and the first street lights were installed.

In 1950, Soren, with two of his sons, transferred his ranching operations to Meeker, Colorado, incorporating under the name "Nielsen Land and Livestock Company.  He spent every summer in Meeker until his health prevented further trips to "the ranch".

He was able to return to his beloved homeland in 1960 while his son, Don and his family were stationed in Germany with the United States Air Force.  His final years were spent living in Salt Lake City with his daughters, Florence and Marjorie.  He died April 14, 1975 at the age of 89.

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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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