|Caroline Christina Iverson Morrison|
More than thirty eight years have passed since mother died. It is pleasant to recall and to think of recording the changes, the achievements - even the hardships and adversities of a life so consecrated to the well-being of her companions and her posterity. Her first-born, James Bruce, who came before her nineteenth year, would have done it much better. But her youngest daughter, Lula, has confirmed and added to my memory of the stories that have become a heritage of her family.
She had inherited qualities of patience, industry, integrity, and self reliance from her sturdy Danish father and mother who, among the "pure in heart", accepted the message of the early missionaries in Denmark. Being thrifty, with a trace of Jewish blood in the father, they were soon ready for immigration to Utah - a family of seven - two sons and three daughters. Hans Peter remained to complete a mission.
They set sail from Denmark late in 1855, across the North Sea to England, then by rail to Liverpool. They sailed from Liverpool on the John J. Boyd 12 Dec. under Canute Peterson. They had a very stormy passage, being driven back to the Irish coast after about a third of the way across the Atlantic. After eleven weeks and five days they reached New York and were warmly greeted by Apostle John Taylor. President Petersen took his company by rail to points in Illinois and Missouri until ready for the journey across the plains. Jeppe Iversen and family waited at Alton, Illinois a short distance north of St. Louis, where most of the saints waited.
The Canute Petersen company left St. Louis on the S.S.Arabia up the Missouri River on 2 June 1856 for Florence Nebraska where they made preparations for the journey by ox team to Uta. William and Margaret Morrison and other saints were with the company from St. Louis. They left Florence on 26 June, and reached Salt Lake City on 20 September.
Caroline Christine Iversen was bornb 15 December 1842 at Westbjerg, Song, Aarhus Amt. Jutland, Denmark. She was not yet 14 years old when they reached Utah. Jeppe Iversen went to live with a Danish Settlement at Ephraim. William Morrison lived about two years in Salt Lake City. He was called and served for six weeks in March and April, 1858 in the Utah Militia, sent out to intercept the U.S. Troops under General Albert Sidney Johnston. When released he found that his wife had moved to Ephraim and followed them there.
In the interval since arriving at Salt Lake City, Jeppe had persuaded Christina to accept the proposal of a brother Gubler to become his plural wife. The event proved to be a definite indication of her mental integrity and her self reliance. Brigham Young, about to perform the ceremony, asked her if she wanted to marry this man. She very decisively replied "No" and President Young said to Bro. Gubler, "Take this child to her parents". Later events proved that our name was to be Morrison. Christiana had been employed in the family of William Morrison, and in "eight or ten months she became with consent of Margaret, his wife - sealed to him by Apostle Amos M. Lymon, in the presence of Warren Snow, George Peacock, and Caleb Edwards, 11 July, 1859. This ceremony was probably performed in Ephraim because father's journal stated "I take two wives with me from Ephraim".
Mother began her life very young. Infant William G.C. Morrison was only a year old when she was employed in the family, and Williamina was only four months old when mother was married.
William Morrison was called with others to settle at what later became Mt. Pleasant. Jepper Iversen and family moved to Mt. Pleasant. The next five years life followeed and even tenor; she learned to love Margaret, and all of her children have imbibed that sentiment. James M. was born 7 November 1860; and Amanda Pusilla 10 September 1864.
A letter dated 15 November 1864, from Apostle Orson Hyde to Bishop Seely, directed a call for William Morrison to lead 29 other brethren of Mt. Pleasant to settle on the Sevier River, as soon as they could prepare for the move. On January 29, 1865, Father drove up to the meeting house at Richfield while Sunday meeting was in session, and by request of Bishop Higgins, bore his testimony. It seems that Christiana and her two children mus have been with him, because he records that he purchased a house which he could occupy in three weeks.
Under date of 2 September 1865 he writes: "Here at Mt. Pleasant all is well" and stated that he is in receipt of law books for Sevier County - Probate Judg. Arriving so early in the year at Richfield, no doubt father and mother planted a garden; but there is no other means of support mentioned except in appointment as Probate Judge. Father had taken another wife in Mt. Pleasant - Anne Marie Hansen, who had lived next door in Mt. Pleasant for more than a year. Hementions going to the grave of her second daughter, Hannah, while on this visit.
Mother's third child wss born at Richfield 25 November 1866, a son named Alexander. They were not to enjoy peace for long. The Indians under Chief Black Hawk were driving their livestock away and killing the settlers when too few to oppose them. Three were killed while on their way to Glenwood to do some shopping. On 20 April 1867, Richfield was abandoned. All of the settlers in Sevier returned to their other homes in larger settlements.
During this time Annie Christiana was born at Mt. Pleasant, 4 May, 1869. She was named for grandmother Iversen. Evacuation due to Indian depredatios lasted four years. Father with mother and four children were among the first to return. It was necessary for father to return to Mt. Pleasant, so for a few weeks mother and children and Jamse Petersen, age 21, tending livestock, were the only white inhabitants in the settlement. Baby Annie subsisted largely on milk the young man brought daily. Soon there were eight families and two single men in the village.
(The foloowing incident is referred to the time of this first settlement as Juanita had heard it from her father. My impression has always been that was when Annie was the baby.) The Indians were uigly. One young buck came to the home and demanded bread. Mother was on her knees scrubbing the floor. When she told him she had no bread he lashed her with his riding whip. She ignored him and he went out saying "heep brave squaw".
After the settlement was re-established, mother's home became a civic center. Father mad application for a post office and became the first postmaster, as he had been in Mt. Pleasant. The office was in her home, and the room was always thereafter called the office. Later, when the Deseret Telegraph Co. extended their service to Richfield, the office was installed in the former postoffice room.
Hannah Jane Spencer came from Salina as Telegraph Operator. She taught Amanda telegraphy, and when Mrs. Spencer left Richfield, Amanda became operator at age thirteen. Mother and Amanda purchased the first reed organ in the village. Choir rehearsals were held at our house. This was at the time of the United Order - 1874 (19 April) to 24 November 1877 - when Elder Orson Hyde recommended "Prompt and decisive winding up of the Order." The ward chorister requested pssession of the organ, but mother vetoed the request. This narrative already indicates that Christiana had little inclination for public service. Pioneering, homemaking, child care, nursing, and the virtues essential to such activity made life worth living for her.
George Charles was born 8 September 1871 - one day after father's fifty first anniverseary. Walter William was born 3 February, 1874, while father was representing Sevier County in the legislature. William was born about 1877, and died in his second year, of scarlet fever. Walter was in bed from a relapse of the same disease when Willie was buried. This was the first death in the family, of the only child mother did not live to see married and with children, Lafayette was born 10 October 1880, and marriages began the next year.
Amanda P. Morrison married John August Hellstrom in the St. George Temple , 28 September 1881. I remember the delicious grapes (pickled) they brought home with them. James B. followed his fiance, who had moved to Tuba, Arizona. He remained for some time to work for John W. Young as coachamn driving four horse team between St. John and Flagstaff. He married Caroline Amanda Foutz in the St. George Temple 30 January 1882, on the way home.
Father was plagued with stomach trouble; but to evade the U.S. officers harassing the L.D.S. elders who had plural wives. He purchased a ranch in Millcreek Canyon, a tributary of Clearcreek. Mother pioneered with him this first summer (1883), really enjoying it when there was no Indian Trouble. At the end of the harvest she returned with daughter Amanda. Juanita, born 12 July 1883 came to care for mother and Lula and I tended Juanita. I could never thereafter sit near a cradle without keeping it in motion.
Lula was the ninth child, and the end of that function proved very hard for mama. She became so ill that all the family gathered about her in tears. Annie took me aside and asked me to go by myseld and pray for mama. Young as I was, about 10, I went where a clump of wild currant bushes grew and offered such a prayer as a child would, and returned to find the family still weeping. Unnoticed, the climax had passed. Days before mama "Cad" had been amused at a soap figure of a man nursing his toe. Mother said, "Cad", look at that sap man". That set them all laughing. In a few days she was active both indoors and out, as she had always been.
Amanda's second child was born and died 3 July 1885, named Celeste. Zitelle was born 21 August 1886. John August Jr. was born 27 January 1889 and Amanda died of puerperal fever. This was a year of great trial for mother. Grandmaother Ivesen died 14 February; thirteen days after Amanda. She had lived for years with Aunt Elizabeth Salisbury. She had been almost a daily visitor with Christiana. She walked four blocks morning and evening, but at this time was growing weaker. Five year old Lula would meet her and go part way home with her almost until her death. Father died 26 August 1889, at his ranch, and was buried 28 August at Richfield - the same day as little Johnny, who had been cared for bhy cousin Hannah Salisbury.
John A Hellstrom was soon called to the Swedish mission and Juanita and Zitelle lived as part of our family. Soon after he returned he married a convert who had preceded him to Utah. They lived in Richfield fo some time and then moved with his family to Salt Lake City, where he found employment at Z.C.M.I He was an expert accountant and penman. Juanita returned later and grew up with Lula.
During the eighties, Martin Andersen, a cousin of Christiana, came as a convert to Utah, from Minnesota. He lived as one of our family several years. Being a skilled mason, built of stone two rooms replacing the "office" and one bedroom, with bedrooms in the half-story overhead. His sister who lived in Arizona sent a teen-age son for Martin to care for during the summer.
Another summer in the eighties mother had a respite from unusual cares. She paid a visit to her older sister living with her daughter Ardena Leslie in Salt Lake City. Aunt Maria was working in the Temple. Another family living nearby was caring for an orphan boy from British India, heir to a small fortune. The child seemed to be neglected, and now entertained him with storiesof farm life. Bert learned when mother would return home. After she was on the train and well on her way he came into the car where she was. She brought him home with her, and kept him until his guardians came and got a court order for his custody. Mother told her story to Judge Nephi J. Bates. Bert was remanded to the care of his relatives, who were admonished by the court as to his care.
Uncle Peter Iversen, eluding the federal officers who were making it very distressing for those who had plural wives, came to our house very sick with pneumonia. Mother made him as comfortable as possible. She prepared a bran poultice to cover him completely except his head. This home remedy proved very effective. In a few days he was able to go on his way.
Mother and Annie financed my course in the Normal School of the Deseret University, now the Utah University, from November 1888 to June 1891. Bishop Joseph Pollard, of the fifteenth ward and father were converts and close friends in England and in St. Louis. I boarded at the Pollard home.
Annie married John W. Orrock 23 December 1892, in Manti temple. She had been teaching beginners' grades in Richfield School. When viva was just old enough to stray away one block down to Main Street, (Annie was teaching again) and mother was tending Viva) this happened a second time. Her mama said to her "Didn't I tell you I'd spank you if you ran away again?" Viva replied "I didn't run mama, I dis alk, I dis alk." She didn't get a spanking. A few years later while John was on a mission Annie was teaching again and mother was with her children either at their home or ours.
Annielived only a few days after the birth of her fifth child, which was named for its mother. Christiana now cared for the children of her second daughter during their tender years. There wer four - Viva, Cyril, Beatrice, and Annie. Leal had died in infancy. Artificial feeding was not so common then as now, but Annie faired well.
Lulu married Lorenzo Barr, and when they had four children, moved to Illinois. Her husband contracted tuberculosis and they moved to Arkansas. Here they became destitute, and mother sent fare for them to come and live with her. The father went to his own people.
Mother had me build two houses on the old homestead; one a five room place for rent, the other one a small home for herself, with a cellar for milk, butter, etcl, and shelving for cured meats, fruit, and vegetables. She was well known for her excellence of these things; and a cellar was essential for her kind of living comfort.
Later she sold the new homes to Alex and returned to the old one.
This is where Lula and her four children shared the home with her; Lula worked for the White Sewing Machine Co. and mother cared for the children of her youngest child.
On the 27th of January 1916, after the children were all in bed, mother and Lula went to a cottage meeting in ghe home of Samuel G. Clark, on the corner west from our own home. A blizzard came on which would have made it disagreeable if they had to go far. Lula slept in the bedroom down stairs and mother upstairs. To make the picture realistic, I let grand-daughter Roma tell the final story quoting just as it was received from her 5 April 1955.
"I remember the family story, and it is hard to sort out my own memories from that. I do know that grandmother came to the big room over the kitchen on her way to bed. She did arrrange the covers over me, and I think Enid. I remember the way she took the top cover by one corner and shook it over us so that it settled down to cover us. I also remember waking the next morning when the school bell rang. I think it was 8:30. I think I went into her room and realized something was wrong, and that I went downstairs for mother. I'm sure I had very little realization of what it meant, because it was my first experience with death."
No sweeter tribute could be told than this recital of mother's solicitation for her grandchildren before lying down for her final sleep. When Dr. Neill came to see her he said; "She never tasted death".
"WHY DOES MOTHER TEACH US TO SERVE THE LORD?"
This lesson assignment may be suitable for a final tribute to mother.
To analyze this question is to answer it. "God's work and His Glory" is to lead man to eternal life; and eternal life means growth, progress, and increase without end. Whatever is true service of God.
And who is mother? She who faces death to give us life or birth; who, when racked wit so great that the death would be sweet relief, yet clings to life to shield and nurture us; who counts no task too great, no do too long. If we be made happier or better; who shares every sorrow, shields from every danger, sympathizes with us in defeat, glows with pride at every triumph - the guardian angel always with us. This is Mother !
"Behold the handmaid of the Lord."
This is why she teacxhes us to serve Him.
At the death of Amanda P. Morrison Hellstrom, the verses below were written by Maria Miller, then telegraph operator at Beaver, Utah, as attribute to her friend of childhood and this at the time of mother's death. She also shided me for saying in the account I gave the "Reaper" that she was experience left little to be desired.
Sweet friend of the needy kind helper of youth,
Firm guardian of virtue, bright lover of truth,
Thy sleep shall be peaceful, unbroken they rest;
Thy spirit disburdened, shall sleep on God's breast.
In songs with the angels thou takest thy part,
The Glory of heaven now filleth thine heart.
Earth's woes now may languish - no more for thy brow
Their thorns shall they weave, Thou art slumbering now.
The river of heaven now laveth thy feet;
Fair angels shall twine the a bridal wreath sweet,
And am'ranth immortal shall crown thy fair head -
In heaven they deem the not, loved one, as dead.
Sweet, sweet be thy welcome to life with the blest,
Where loved ones rejoice and warm peace is thy rest.
God grant we may meet thee on heaven's bright shore,
To part with thee, dear one, in grief never more.
(First two lines of last verse revised by W.W.M.O.)