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History of Johannes Larsen

Johannes & Anna Larsen


(Journal Services of my Fathers' father, John Larsen, as written by his brother Lauritz Larsen and printed in the Deseret News. (Sarah H. Clawson's Father. Mothers Grand Father - RCJ)
John Larsen
Died at Spring City, Sanpete County, on May 13, 1895, John Larsen in his 72nd year. He was born in Greis, Veile county, Denmark, December 18, 1823. When the war broke out between Denmark and Germany in 1848, he was drafted as a soldier, but through some intervening powe he was permitted to remain in Copenhagen and work at his trade as a tailor in making soldier's uniforms for the army. He was from youth religiously inclined, and it was under these conditions that he became acquainted with Apostle Erastus Snow and other Elders from Utah who soon arrived in the summer of 1850 and as the first fifteen members were baptised on the twelth of August of that year. Brother John Larsen was baptised on the eighteenth of the same month by George C. Dykes, and received confirmation under the hands of Elder Snow. He was afterwards a faithful and zealous Latter Day Saint. Shortly after that he married Anne Jorgensen from Slagelse on Sjetland. In the Spring of '51 he went back to the home in Greis, Juttland together with his wife and younger brother Lauritz. His parents, brothers and sisters all embraced the gospel and were baptized and a branch of the Church was organized in that town, over which he was called to preside. He assisted in organizing other branches in the immediate neighborhood, one of which was in Fredericia, over which he also presided for a short time, until he was called in 1853 to go to Allborg and preside over that conference, which mission he did with honor until his release in the spring of '56 with permission to go to Zion. He left Denmark with his wife and three small children, 2 girls (Aunt Christiana and Aunt Sarah) and a boy (Uncle Louis) who are now living in Spring City, with large families, The company of emigrants with whom they traveled crossed the Atlantic in a sailing vessel, Elder John Van Cott having charge of the company. That year the emigrants were late in leaving the frontiers and winter overtook them long before they reached the valley of the Great Salt Lake and they suffered extremely with hunger and cold. Sister Larsen gave birth to a boy on the plains on the 24th of September. The child lived until the first of December, when it died and was buried three miles this side of Green River. The morning of the burial Brother Larsen was alone with his family, the other teams having gone as best they could. He dug the grave in the frozen ground in this solitary wilderness and there laid to rest the darling baby who was nine weeks. How often I have heard he and his wife relate this sad incident as the greatest trial of their lives. A young (boy) by the name of Madsen who was with Brother Larsen in his wagon died the next day through sheer hardship and starvation, for they had neither flour, nor rice, nor anything else to eat only as they could kill and eat their poor and worn out oxen. They would all have perished had it not been for help sent by the Church authorities from Salt Lake City, Utah. Brother Larsen had his feet frozen so badly that it took him about six months before he could walk. After his arrival in the valley he made his home in South weber, Weber County, where his parents had previously settled where he stayed until the general exodus in the Spring of 1858 took place, when he came to Springville. From there he went back to Salt Lake City where he stayed until the fall of 1859 when he with his family moved to Ephraim, Sanpete County. The next Spring he came to Spring town (now Spring City) where he made his permanent home. Brother Larsen has for many years acted in the capacity as head teacher in the ward, and since the organization of the Eighteenth quorum of Seventies in Spring City he faithfully filled the position of one of the presidents of the quorum. He was honest and up right man and leaves an aged wife, nine children, forty grandchildren (six grandchildren having died) to mourn the loss of a loving husband and parent. He was ailing for about two months and dropsy set in. He passed away peacefully surrounded by his wife, children and grandchildren. His life was a useful one, worthy of emulation. The buriel took place on the 16th inst. Services being held in the meeting house under directions of Bishop Allred. Many sympathetic words were spoken by a number of the leading Elders to a large concourse of people who also followed the remains to their last resting place Lauritz Larsen (a brother)

History of John Larsen and his wife Anna Jorgensen Larsen Written by a granddaughter Sarah Clawson Johnson

John Larsen was born in Gries, Viele, Denmark, December 18th, 1823. The son of Lars Johansen and Margretha Sorensen. They were a religious and God-fearing family. Anna Jorgensen Larsen, daughter of Hans and mother Jorgensen was born October 11th, 1827 in Slagelse, Jutland, Denmark. Grandfather was the oldest member of his father's family which consisted of five sons and two daughters. He and his brother Lauritz were tailors - having learned the trade from their father who operated a tailor shop in Gries, Vejle, Denmark. John and Lauritz opened up a shop in Copenhagen. They were called by the government to make clothes for the soldiers as Denmark and Germany were then at war. 1848. He was from youth religiously inclined and when Elder Erastus Snow arrived in Copenhagen in 1850 to preside over the Danish Mission he and his brother Lauritz were in the second baptism August 18, 1850. The first baptisms occurred August 12. Baptized by Geo. C. Dykes. He received confirmation under the hands of Apostle Erastus Snow. He remained true and faithful to the Church all his life. The gospel to him was sacred. Shortly after he married Anne Jorgensen who was attending school in Copenhagen. In the spring of '51 he with his wife and Brother Lauritz moved back to his former home in Gries, Vejle. A branch of the Church was organized here and (he) was called to preside. In the immediate neighborhood one in Fredericia over which he presided for a short time until called in 1853to go to Aalborg and preside over that conference, a mission he filled with honor until his release the Spring of '56 with permission to go to Zion. While presiding over the Aalborg Mission he called at the home of Grandmother's parents, told them who he was and that he and Anna and their three lovely children - two girls and a boy were soon to leave for Zion and that although when Anna joined the Church she had written her parents informing them of this new religion and how happy she was in accepting it - they had written and told her unless she denounced this hated religion and would leave her husband she could never come home. She prayed and hoped that now that she was in Aalborg and that she with her husband and little family would soon leave for Zion, her parents would relent. But not so. They would not see her. Hers was a test not often experienced. Torn between home and parental devotion or husband and children whom she loved dearly - a religion which was sacred to her as it opened unto her a new vision of light and understanding pertaining to life her and hereafter. A belief in a personal God who hears and answers prayers who knows our innermost thoughts and sees our every action. Her heart was crushed - but a vision of light was opened unto her and she chose wisely and well. She would remain with her husband and children. She would leave all and follow the master. How different from her husband's family. Father, mother, brothers, sisters all embraced the Gospel and came to Utah. They left Denmark with their three small children together with another couple and small son. The company of immigrants with whom they traveled crossed the Atlantic in a sailing vessel. Elder John Van Cott was in charge of the company. During one of the rough storms they encountered - the husband and son of their friend were drowned. This was a new sorrow - a new trial to the widow and mother and brought a gloom of sorrow on the whole company. Especially to Grandfather and Grandmother. Grandfather and Grandmother cared for her in their home as long as she lived. The ocean voyage over, meant another long trip to Winter Quarters where they must prepare to come on to Zion. A good yoke of oxen and wagon was purchased with necessities they would need on their journey. That year the immigrants were late in leaving the frontier and winter overtook them long before they reached the valley of the Great Salt Lake. They suffered extremely with hunger and cold. Grandmother gave birth to a baby boy on the plains September 24th. The child lived until Dec. 1st when it died of cold and exposure. It was buried three miles this side of Green River. His name was Joseph. The oxen were growing weaker from want of food and the company were instructed to unload and leave as many of their belongings as possible. Grandmother had a small cedar chest that she was impressed to put inside her feathered (bed ?). She knew not why but when her baby passed away she knew why. It was used for her little ones casket.. The ground was frozen hard but Grandfather chopped a hole large enough in which to bury it. He was buried three miles this side of Green River. The morning of the burial they were alone with their little family. Other families had gone on as best they could. How often have I heard them say this was the greatest trial of their lives when they had to leave their darling baby alone in this solitary wilderness. Grandfather was fairly well equipped with a good wagon, a yoke of oxen and all to assist on the journey. Their wagon was loaded with food and useful and necessary articles. Winter set in early and as they traveled over trackless plain and snow-capped mountains and frozen rivers, feed became scarce for the oxen and little by little, article after article was left by the way. Food too was getting scarce and many a meal was without bread and consisted of thin buffalo soup. Many succumbed under the whip of starvation and intense cold. One morning, Grandfather's hired man, Madsen by name who had gone out to bring in the oxen was found frozen to death. He went on further and found his oxen were frozen to death. They (had) nothing left to sustain them other than soup made of these poor worn out oxen. They would have perished had it not been for help sent by the Church Authorities to bring them to Salt Lake City. Grandfather's feet were frozen. It was six months before he could walk and always suffered with them during cold weather. Grandmother and the three little children - Christiania, Sarah - my mother, and Louis were on the verge of collapse. Grandmother had infection in her breast so serious the one nipple dropped off. The children, Christiania, Sarah - my mother, and Louis, would faint when brought into the warmth and had to be carried in and out of the warm room until they became accustomed to the heat. It was a sorry little group of Pioneers who landed in Salt Lake City a few days before Christmas. A cold half-starved depleted group of immigrants. They were taken in and cared for by a family of Saints until further arrangements could be made for their welfare. Pioneer life was hard at best but to this immigrant who could neither speak or understand the English language it was doubly hard. Fortunately there were a few their native tongue. Grandfather being a tailor had work a great deal of the time but only meager wages. Grandmother went out washing and cried much of the time as she washed because she couldn't understand the language. One good sister who sympathized with her made motions and she understood. Shortly after their arrival in the valley they made their home in South Weber, Weber County where Grandfather's family previously settled. They stayed here until the general exodus in the Spring of 1858 took place when they went to Springville. This was caused by the entering of Johnston's Army into Utah. Afterward they moved back to Salt Lake City where they stayed until the fall of 1859 when they moved to Ephraim, Sanpete County - thence to Spring City where they made his permanent home. Grandmother had given birth to a baby boy three days before the coming of Johnston's Army into the valley. She was taken to Springville and they had gotten her located in a dugout when a big rattlesnake appeared above her bed - So she was moved into another family. By this time she was in chills and really a serious condition.. Apostle 'Rastus Snow and others administered to her. The sister nursed her back to health. He was born in the month of May. They called him John. As time went - pioneer life took on a new meaning with its charms, work, neighbors, friends and Church. She had been reared in the city, but more and more she grew to love her mountain home. After the fear of Johnston's Army was over they moved back to Salt Lake City. Grandfather was one of Brigham Young's gardeners and this along with his trade provided a living for his family. Much of tailoring was done in the evenings and grandmother always worked with him. She did this as long as he worked as a tailor. His father was a tailor and continued his trade after he moved to Spring City where they made their permanent home - His wife, five sons and two daughters. They were a close knitted family. As one by one these sons and daughters made homes of their (own) they kept closely to the family relationship. Names of these: John, Lauritz, Soren, C.G., C.J., Stena, and Mary. Now that grandfather and grandmother felt they were permanently located they started life anew - building a log room to begin with and later a four room adobe with a lean-to summer kitchen where they spent the remaining years of their life. His children were born in this home making a total of 11 children born to this union - 6 boys, 5 girls: Mary, Christiania, Sarah, Louis, Joseph, John, Ephraim, Louisa, Josephine, Christian, Daniel. Once again they were called to depart with one of their dear (children). Mary passed away at the age of 8 years.. Love and harmony reigned in this home. A place of peace - of faith by understanding. They bowed to the will of the Master. Grandfather was a farmer and gardener as well as a well-trained tailor. His place was one of beauty. Every foot of ground was laid out in order and utilized to some good. Choice apples, plums, pears, cherries - different kinds of currants, gooseberries, etc. Besides a large vegetable garden. Every family must have their share. To we grandchildren he gave generously but decried waste. He owned and with the help of his sons cultivated a good-sized farm. Everything was in order. During the winter months he repeatedly sorted the apples to avoid waste and decay. How well I remember the big wheat and hay on the place when the crops were garnered. Always a place for everything and everything in its place. With the exception of one - the children all lived in Spring City. Josephine lived in Castle Dale, Emery County, Utah. They were active members of the Church and loved and appreciated the gospel which they had accepted. Their home was a haven of peace. Their children were reared in an atmosphere of faith and governed by love and understanding. ... worked at his trade but grandmother was along side of him night after night until the small hours of morning they would sew. The only light being the pine log in the fireplace or a tallow candle. Thrifty, frugal, ever working for the comfort and well being of their children. In a few years their place was one of beauty - fruit trees, flowers, vegetables adorned the place. His was a versatile nature. He was as good a gardener as a tailor and he loved beauty. He kept his place clean and every morning he could be seen moving about gathering fallen fruit or any rubbish that might have fallen. When the fruit began to ripen the family was notified to come and share it. In the fall each kind was placed by itself in the huge cellar built for that purpose. At intervals he would go through each bin and clear out the spoiled fruit. When we grandchildren helped he taught us how one bad boy could ruin the lives of many He was generous and kind to the needy and shared with unselfishness but decried wastefulness. Their's was a place where family and friends and whoever came was a welcome guest. Each Sunday after Church as many of their family as could would congregate at the home for a family get-together. They were versatile by nature. Many of their country lived in Spring City. They met often in social gatherings. They enjoyed dancing and frequently during winter months enjoyed this social pastime. Grandfather and Grandmother were true Latter-day Saints. For many years Grandfather acted in the capacity of head teacher in the ward. One of the obligations in this capacity was the distribution of fast offerings. He was one of the Seven Presidents in the Eightieth Quorum until his death. A position he fulfilled with honor. He was blest with the gift of healing and he and Bro. Stoddard were set apart by Apostle Hyde to administer to the sick. Often accompanied by Grandmother assisted in nursing. She spent sometimes days at a time away from home nursing the sick. She ant Aunt Mary Commander were called to prepare the bodies of the deceased for burial. She assisted in this work until the time of her death. This noble and faithful couple lived to the age of 71 years passing away three years apart. Their counsel was ever to their posterity "Keep the commandments." How often I have sat and listened to Grandmother relate the sad experiences of her life. Ignored and disinherited by her family because of her faith in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The sad death of her baby boy having frozen to death and buried as best they could do in the .......

History of My Father James Clawson

My Father James Clawson was born in Naglebran, Maribo, Denmark Feb. 7, 1853 the 6th and last child born to Claus Rasmussen and Anna Magdalene Fredrickson. There was one girl and five boys; one boy died in infancy. They were devout Christians - frugal and industrious. Thus maintained a home and gave proper care to their family. Grandfather passed away when my father was but 20 months old (Date of death Oct 26, 1854) leaving grandmother the soul support of herself and family save for small jobs her son Neils 13 years of age could obtain. About this time Erasmus Snow was sent to open the way for the preaching of the Gospel in Denmark. It spread rapidly through this small country and when it reached Naglebran, grandmother readily accepted. In due time she sent the two older children Neils and Caroline with Elders to Zion - who took them on to Moroni, Sanpete County. The year 1859. Three years later 1862 a friend of the family, John Shougaard sponsored Grandmother and her three children's immigration to Zion. The trip across the plains was one of hardships, trudging beside the ox-drawn wagon many times with her little brood beside her. Father was 9 years old and walked practically all the way from Omaha to Salt Lake City. After Grandmother came the family all moved to Spring City. Her eldest son and daughter had married and Grandmother and the three other children lived with her daughter until a small home could be built. History courtesy of Carolyn Taylor Harmon Salt Lake City, Utah

Larsen History Index