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)
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
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.
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
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
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
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
... 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
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
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