HISTORY OF ANNA ASENTETH SWENSEN CARLSON
I was born to Hansena Pauline Poulsen, and Peter
William Swensen, May 26,1897, at Mount Pleasant; Sanpete
county in the state of Utah. My mother was of Danish
descent, and my father was of Norweign descent. I was
born at home, which is the house located at 3rd West
and 4th South. The home is presently owned by Eva
Sometimes when I wake up early and hear the birds
singing in the trees, I think of when I was a young child
helping my mother before I would leave to work for other
On wash day I would get up early to pump water
from the well out in the yard. With buckets I would
fill all the wash tubs. Then I would take a rope and
go to the wood pile, where I would pile sage brush
on the rope to bundle it so I could drag it to where
we heated the water. We would set the tubs on a three
legged metal stand about 18- high and build a fire
under it. This stand was called the three leg. I
remember well how mother would pin up her long dresses
to go to the corral to milk the cows. The dresses then
were real long and this was necessary to keep them
from dragging in the manure. My grandmother lived just
across the road east of us at the time. Sometimes when
mother was upset and scolded us, grandmother would
come over and tell us poor drain·in. In Danish, this
meant (poor children).
Some of the other Danish words I remember her
useing were as follows. Smurr-butter, Ust-cheese,
Kaclue-dish cloth, Catuffla-pototes, Hesst-hors~ Godoutgood
day, Vodoun feeledee Ie dout-how do you feel todaY
Draina-children, Go dee to saints-go to bed,Tem legotfairly
I remember well my first days in school. These
were spent in the old Hamilton Elementary,which was
located at 1st East and Main Street. My teacher's name
was, Miss Clawson. One thing that stays in my mind, was
that we all wore our hair long, and one girl by the name
of Ella Freston, was forever pulling mine it seemed. I
attended this school to and including the 7th grade.
After the 7th grade, I had to quit school and go to work
to help the family.
This work consisted of general household duties
such as house cleaning, baby care, chopping wood for the
many stoves, and bringing in buckets laden with coal.
Coal and wood were used at this time to provide heat for
the home and also heat water. The water was also brought
into the homes in buckets. Most homes had their wells
out near the barn and yards where the stock was kept.
Usually on Saturdays, the job of packing water was a
much bigger job,:because it was customary to bath the
family Saturaay afternoon and evening. This was accomplished
by heating water in a #3 wash tub on top of the
cook stove, plus what could be heated in the reservoir
on the side of most cook stoves of this era. When the
time come to bath the children, the #3 tub was usually
set on two chairs for a more convenient height. The
children were then placed in the tub one at a time,
and washed with homemade bar soap.
Along about this same time I did attend 1 year
at the Wastach Academy. This would be the 8th grade.
At age 16 years, I went to Price, in Carbon
county, to work for the E.C. Lee family. This was
on a ranch 34 miles East of Price, Utah. This ranch
was used by the overland stage coach company, as a
way station, to change teams and for layovers. Stages
coming from the East thru Green River, would stop
before continuing on to Price, and the East bound
stages stopped for fresh teams before starting across
the desert to Green River, and points on East.
After working here about 3 months, I went to 3rd Avenue in
Salt Lake City. Here I worked for the family of a
manager for J.C. Penny Co, I worked there about 2 months
after which I returned home to work for O. M. Aldrich
a local merchant. He owned and operated the O. M. Aldrich
Mercantile, which is still operated by a son at about
150 West Main in Mount Pleasant. I later went to work
for the James Monson family. James Monson's wife was a
sister to my mother. After this my next job was with
Ervin and Elvine Draper. This family was operating a
livery stable at 2nd West and about 50 North. Some of
the barns were later used to house a company that made
sheep camps under the direction of W.E. Madsen and Sons.
It was during the time I was working for the Drapers
that I met the man that later became my husband. His name
was, John Lawrence Carlson. I was now 17 years old. This
was in February. We went together until October of the
same year. On October 27,1915, we were married in the
Manti Court House. Lawrence continued to work for the
Draper's Livery Stable. Some of his duties were to meet
the trains at the station and bring passengers and
freight from the depot to town. He also spent a lot of
time taking salesman around to the neighboring towns by
horse team and buggy.
In May 1916, Lawrence left with.the town militia to help quill a Mexican upraising on
the border of Old and New Mexico. In June of this year
my first baby was born, a baby girl. We named her Betty.
She was born in the home at 2nd South and 4th West.
Lawrence came home in September of this year, and got a
job with the Sanpete Coop. It was located at 150 West
Main, in Mt. Pleasant. He continued to work here in the
grocery and dry goods department, until about 1930, when
they closed their doors forever due to the depression.
On June 27,1917, we borrowed a model T Ford from
Ervin and Elvine Draper, and traveled to Manti Temple
to be married for time and all eternity. My Aunt Ida
Poulsen went with us.
On May 27,1918, my second baby, a boy was born.
We named him after his dad, John Lawrence. He was born
at home at 2nd West and 5th South. At the time or his
birth I developed partial paralysis. This affected to
a great degree the use of my right leg and to a lesser
degree my right arm. The paralysis left my face disfigured
and I was unable to close my one eye for at least a year.
I got my first glasses at this time. In October 1918,
both my new baby and I contacted the flu that was terrible
this year. On February 24,1920, I gave birth to another
son, Francis William. He was born at a home owned by
my parents.lt was located at 5th West and 3rd South.
My parents were living in Magna at the time.
In the fall of 1920, we moved to our present home an the southwest
cornwr of 2nd West and 2nd North. We bought this
home from Lawrence's Mother and her brother. It had
been owned by Lawrence's grandmother Beckstrom.
By this time, through many visits to doctors Olsen,
Jackson, and Monk, who were Chiropractors, my paralysis
had almost disappeared.
On March 5,1922, I gave birth to another daughter,
Maxine. On March 18,1924, she died of an ear infection.
The same month we lost our precious little girl, My
half brother, Cleon Poulsen, asked if we would take
his infant son into our home for a while. He had lost his
wife to the flu when her baby was seven months old.
We went to Magna at this time to get the little boy. His
name was Shirley Don. He lived with us until he was
14 years old. At this time he went to his dad who had
remarried and was living in Salt Lake City on Yale Ave.
In 1925, or there about, Francis came down with
diphtheria and was one of the first in Mt. Pleasant to
receive the new serum that had been developed for this
disease. During this period of sickness, Betty and John
went to stay with Grandma Carlson. Grandpa Carlson
moved into our home to help us and set up with us through
the nights to keep watch on Francis' condition. By this
arrangement the others were able to get their sleep and
keep up their work. Our family doctor, Dr. Holman, removed
the quarantine sign on Christmas Eve of this year.
Lawrence and the other two children were then able to come
home and celebrate Christmas with us.
Lawrence continued to work for the Coop until 1930,
when he went to work for the Consolidated Wagon and Machine
Co. It was located at about 25 West Main. He traveled all
over the County with this company. One of his jobs with
them was that of bill collector. We had many enjoyable
times traveling with him from farm to farm and town to
town. He had the use of a little model T ford pickup.
Many times we would pack a lunch and go with him to
make his rounds.
On November 14,1925 I gave birth to another
daughter, Barbara. She was just weeks old when
Francis had diphtheria, but we were very lucky that she
never contacted the disease.
On August 20,1928, I gave birth to another daughter
LaRae. After about 2 months we found it necessary for me
to go back to work outside the home. I did more of the
same work I had done earlier in life. Besides doing
housework in their homes, I would take their laundries
home to do on many occasions. Things progressed along
these lines until November 29,1935 when I gave birth
to another son. We named him, Carrol Bud. At age one
this baby developed pluricy pneumonia and was real sick
nearly all winter.
On August 2,1938 I gave birth to a daughter Sena
Joan. After she was born I continued to take in washings
and ironings to help with the finances.
About 1940, Lawrence went to work for Harry
Erickson, at the Red and White Meat & Grocery, at about
50 West Main. Here he worked as a clerk and butcher.
He and Mason Burnside, did most of the slaughtering
for the meat shop along with some custom slaughtering
for indiviuals. Harry always raised and fattened from
50 to 100 head of steers for this purpose. This was
near the same year that I begin having so much
trouble with my legs. From that time on I have had
open ulcers on at least one of my legs. As the years
passed by the ulcers have grown bigger because of the
On December 7,1941, the Japanese bombed Pearl
Harbor and threw us into the Second World War. In
February 1942, my son John joined the navy and left
for training in California. My son Francis soon followed
his brother John into the service, He enlisted in the Sea
Bees, a branch of the Navy. John served in the Atlantic and
Mediterranean areas and Francis served in the Pacific
areas of the war. Francis was married and had a boys
Jay and Johnny at this time. John was married in November
1942, while home on a leave.
In July 1946, my youngest son, Bud was shot
while hunting with 2 friends in the foothills East of
town. On the 24th of the same month, our home suffered
tragedy in.the form of a massive flood. We were not at
home when~the flood hit town. We were having a picnic
at Milburn. We returned just after the crest of the flood
had passed. The mud and water reached up to the front
door of the house but did not enter the main floor. It
did however fill our cellar under the house. It completely
covered our yards with about 2 feet of mud and debris.
Most of the fences were knocked down, but we didn't
suffer any loss of human life. Within a few days they
had set up health clinics and everyone had to go get
shots against possible disease. The Church asked for
volunteers from the towns around us, and many men come
to help us dig out from the flood. Those that come to help us
with our yards were from Milburn for the most
part. All they asked for pay was their meals while they
In the years that followed Lawrence had a number of
different jobs that I don't remember the dates of.
He went to work for Jay Winkelman for a while around
1946 to about 1949. Here he set up some of the first
bottle gas units in this part of the country. He also
did some logging for Jay, along with some farming. After
this he went to work for Mt. Pleasant City Corp. This
was mostly in the water works department. Along with
this job we took care of the North Ward Church and the
Seminary building. We did this until the he retired.
On September 16,1965, Lawrence died in his sleep.
We were to celebrate our golden wedding anniverary the
On New Years night following the death of my husband,
I fell off my back porch and broke my one hip and my left
arm. I nearly died of exposure before a neighbor heard
my calls for help and came to my aid. From that day to
this I have been unable to walk with out the use of
crutches. This was a big turning point in my life. I
had always been self sufficient until now. My children
have all been a big help to me in adjusting to this new
way of life, and I have always enjoyed them very very
much. I might add that this is true also of my grand
and great grand children.
Over the years all of my remaining children were
married, and moved from home. Two of my daughters
still live in Mt. Pleasant, one in Moroni, and one
in Lehi. My sons live in Magna, Kearns, and Midvale.
At the time this is being written I am still able
to live alone and take care of myself for the most
part. My children come and help me with the things that
I am unable to do for my self. I have the loveliest
children in the world and they are simply wonderful
This about concludes the story of my life up
to the present, but I hope to have many years to come yet.
I HAVE ENJOYED LIFE VERY VERY MUCH!
Asenteth died two years after this was written. August 26th, 1975.
In those two years she had surgery for cancer, suffered from a
stroke, leaving her in a wheelchair until her death. She also lost
her eyesight about two weeks before she died.
"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."
"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."