Sunday, November 22, 2015

Life History of Peter M Jensen as told to Grandson Ted Leroy Poulsen

I was born in (near) Aarhus, Denmark in a small town called Bering
Jutland, August 17, 1850, son of Mads and Maren Heidman Jensen.
I was second eldest of a family of eight children, 7 boys and 1 girl,
my sister being the oldest.

At the age of 1 1/2 or 2 years, I was taken by my father’s sister to
raise as she and her husband had no children. Their name was
Petersen, and as they were pretty well to do, I had anything I wanted
and was raised as a pet. When I was behaving wrong, they would
threaten to send me back to my father and mother. Being very
young, I thought that would be some sort of punishment. So, I feared
the name of father and mother, the same as children of today fear the
“boogey man.”

When I was 6 years old, I was taken from my aunt by my father and
a missionary of the Mormon faith. They came for me while my uncle
was busy in the fields, or I don’t think they would have taken me,
because my Aunt had raised me from infancy and had become quite
attached to me. My father though had been baptized into the
Mormon Church and was preparing to sail for America and wanted
all his family with him.

We sailed from Denmark to Grimsby, England and from there we
took a train to Liverpool, England sometime in the spring of 1857.
We stayed in Liverpool just long enough so I could understand the
English Language. From Liverpool we sailed for America. After
being on the ocean 9 weeks and 4 days, we landed in Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania. I saw my first street cars in Philadelphia, they were
pulled by mules. We took the train from Philadelphia to the place
where the Handcart Company (Christian Christiansen Handcart
Company) started. Being only 6 years old, I forgot the name of the
place and the name of the Handcart Company. I rode a stick horse,
which is the same as walking clear across the plains with the
exception of about 3 miles. There were 6 in our family coming across
the Plains including my parents.

While coming through Nebraska, I went to a farm house to get some
milk for my sick baby brother. The owner of the farm wanted to buy
me from my father. He offered $200.00 in gold, and I was wishing

father would sell me, but he refused. Here I saw for the first time a

$20.00 gold piece. We had many hardships and our food was very
simple and limited. To make things worse, mother was very sick
nearly all the way. While we were camped in Emigration Canyon
east of Salt Lake City, some wagons came out of Salt Lake to meet
us. They had clothing and food stuff. I especially remember the
freshly baked buns, they were so good and such a contrast to the
hard biscuits we were used to eating coming across the plains, that I
looked up at father and said, “Father, now we are in Zion.”

Our Handcart Company arrived in Salt Lake on September 13,
1857—I was now 7 years old. We stayed in Salt Lake that winter
where I attended school. In the spring of 1858, we moved to Goshen,
Utah and lived in the old mud fort. We stayed here until April 1862
when we moved to Mount Pleasant, Utah where we engaged in
farming. I attended school when possible during the winter. But
being able to attend only part time, my education consisted of only
reading and elementary arithmetic. During the Indian War in 1866, I
volunteered to carry a message to Fountain Green, Utah. I was shot
at from ambush supposedly by an Indian. Although I didn’t see him,
the message was probably something about the Indians who were
harassing every settlement at that time. Father and I joined the
Minute Company in 1867 who were in readiness at all time for any
Indian outbreak, besides guarding the livestock of Mount Pleasant,

I went to Salt Lake in 1868 after the Indian troubles were over, and
secured a job on the first railroad, Union Pacific in Echo Canyon. I
also worked in Weber Canyon on the same railroad. In December of
1868, I came home with $100.00 of which I paid my first tithing,
$10.00. Due to trouble with my father, in the spring of 1869 I went to
Ogden, Utah and worked on both the Union Pacific and Central
Pacific railroads, which were running side by side. I worked on the
Promontory and couldn’t collect $200.00 due me, so I quit. I went
back to Salt Lake and went to work hauling lumber from Mill “D”
in Cottonwood Canyon into Salt Lake. In the month of December
1869 I went to work for Bishop Kesler of the 16th Ward west of Salt
Lake on his farm for $5.00 per month with board, washing, and
mending. I stayed there until 1871, I got a job from Brigham
Hamilton Young (a nephew of President Young) freighting into East
Canyon. That fall I went to Buhl City, Nevada and went to work
burning charcoal for a smelter. In January of 1872 a pal and I started
working a claim but we couldn’t get finance so quit. We got a

contract with Corrinne Company to sink an incline of 50 feet, We left
for Ely Nevada as soon as we got our pay and got to Ely 7 April
1872. Ely was just a new mining camp, it was two weeks after I got
there before they got mining equipment in there. During the next
three years I worked at Ely both in the mines and smelters. In 1875
the camp started to thin out so I left and went to Hamilton, Nevada
the seat of White Pine County. I was unable to get work here so I
went to Treasure City, on Treasure Hill a short way from Hamilton
where I went to work in an old prospect for a man who was leasing
prospects. In April 1876, I went to work irrigating on a farm in White
River Valley Nevada. That fall I quit and went to Tybo, Nevada and
for the next 3 years I worked in the mines there. Father sent my
brother Jim for me and I came back home in 1879 and on May 8 of
the same year, I married Ann America Truly of Ogden, Utah. Since
then we have resided in Mt. Pleasant, Utah except for a short time in
Manti, Utah where I kept a saloon.

I have herded sheep in Colorado, Idaho, and Utah, and I went to
Arizona and bought a herd of sheep. When I got them home, dogs
got into them and killed nearly all of them and I sold the rest. I was
shot in the right shoulder while in Fergus Springs, Nevada by a
drunk. The bullet narrowly missing a vital artery. I went there to
work a mining claim for my son John. I received a pension for my
participating in the Indian War. I tended bar for awhile when Saloons
were open and later I opened a confectionary of my own and ran it
until 1928 when I retired. Since then, my time has been spent mostly
in gardening.

I am the father of ten children, eight boys and two girls, four of which
died while young, three boys and one girl. In 1933 my wife and I
took a trip to California to visit our son Hugh, we stayed for two
month. Hugh came home with us on July 24th , “Pioneer Day”.
My health has been the a best and I’ve been very active until the last
year or so when a rupture received in early life started bothering me
very much. I have a double rupture now and I am sure that is the
cause of my ailment and failings.

I hereby acknowledge that the above is the true history of my life as I
have related it to my grandson, Ted LeRoy Poulson, eldest son of my
only living daughter, Ruby Jensen Poulson, by assigning my name
on this 12th day of March 1936.

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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

L.D.S. Temple

L.D.S. Temple
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