Sunday, July 24, 2011

A 24th of July Celebration In Commemortion Of Our Pioneer Heritage

The 24th of July celebration is always a wonderful opportunity to remember our pioneer ancestors and reflect upon their lives. They sacrificed much for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In their darkest hours they remain true to their faith. 

The history of my Great Grandparents Eskild and Sena Peterson.
Front Row Left Sena and Eskild -
 Back Row Right My Grandfather Ernest Peterson.
 Note their Black Hawk Indian War Medals

Hans Peter Christensen with his wife and three children lived at Fouting, Denmark. He was on the Police Force for many years. It was here his son Eskild Christian was born, January 18, 1840.

Missionaries from the Mormon Church were in Denmark teaching the gospel. When the Christensen’s were told of the gospel and the wonderful Zion in the mountains of Utah in America; Mrs. Christensen was converted, and was ready to go to America. In 1861, she took her two children and started for America. (Her oldest child Christian Karl died when he was 7 months old.) The father remained in Denmark uninterested in their new found religion. He came to America later but we don’t know for sure when. We do know that it was sometime after 1882. He was buried in the old Richfield Cemetery up by the old Richfield High School.
When they came to America Mrs. Christensen bought an Ox team and wagon with which to travel across the plains. In the winter of 1861, they reached Salt Lake City and settled in Mill Creek for awhile and then went on to Mt. Pleasant, Utah. In the long trip across the country, they endured many hardships common to pioneers. Fuel was scarce and they were compelled to gather up anything that would burn to cook their food.
When they reached Mt. Pleasant, Mrs. Christensen gave her Ox team to Eskild and this he used to haul logs for their cabins. He built a home for his mother and one for himself. We do not have a record of when he changed his name to Peterson, which was a Danish custom. The name Peterson was because he was the son of Peter Christensen.
In the same year the Hans Peter Christensen family left Foutin, Denmark, the family of Niels Christian Christensen left Aalborg, Denmark. They were on the same ship called the Monarch of the Sea. They came to America with six children, among them was their daughter Andesine Margarethe (Sena) Christensen. Her family settled in Spring City, Sanpete County, Utah. Eskild and Sena met on the ship while coming to America. They were married in Mt. Pleasant, Sanpete County, Utah on May 16, 1863.
In the fall of 1863-64, a party of ten men under the leadership of Albert Lewis, came from Sanpete and arrived in what is now Richfield. The season was very cold and traveling conditions were slow. Upon arrival they were bone tired but not discouraged. After cooking their meager supper and tending to their weary oxen and horses, they made their crude beds for the night. The only sounds were the wail of coyotes and the occasional rustle of the underbrush. Weak men might have been appalled by the desolation and sheer loneliness of the country, but not the sturdy pioneers. These men were Albert Lewis, Robert Wilson Glenn, Christian Olsen, C.O. Hansen and his brother Hands Olsen Hansen, Nelson Higgins, August Nelson, George Ogilvie, Jorgen Smith and Eskild c. Peterson. There is a monument in the Richfield City Park with all these names on it.
They made for a dwelling place for all the men what would later be called “The Hole in the Ground.” They carefully covered this hole with brush, willows and other materials and made a chimney of rocks. This was built to resemble an Indian Wick up. This strange abode was located about where McKinley’s Garage was standing on Main Street in Richfield. Here these sturdy men spent the remainder of the winter, planning and preparing for the time they could bring their families to the land of promise.
In 1864 President Orson Hyde called by letter a meeting of about 30 families from Mt. Pleasant to go to Richfield and join with those already there. The first dwelling places were dugouts, with willow and dirt roofs. They then built houses of adobe because clay dirt was available as a building material; logs and lumber weren’t. Because of Indian troubles settlers were prevented from long trips into the mountains. Consequently, there were few log or lumber houses in early Richfield. They tried several times to get their families moved here but the Indians kept forcing them back to Sanpete.
In 1866, Eskild served in Captain George Tucker’s Calvary Company. He went to Thistle Valley, a distance of 18 miles from his home in Mt. Pleasant. He served under Colonel John L. Ivie. When they arrived they relieved a company under the command of a Lt. Dewey. This company had been attacked by Indians on the morning of June 24th. They fought them all day and the Indians killed one man and wounded another. They then wounded or killed all the horses. He served under Captain Tucker all summer.
During the summer of 1867, he served under Colonel John L. Ivie; they were under the command of Captain Orange Seely’s Cavalry Company. He was with this company June 1, when the Fountain Green Cow herd was taken by the Indians. They helped recover the Stock, but the Indians got away with 40 head of horses. He was also in the skirmish at Spring City, August 13, 1867 when the Indians made a raid on their cow herd, killing several men. He was a minute man for three years during the Black Hawk Indian War.
I am so grateful for my pioneer heritage. I can't imagine the hardships that they endured while coming to America by ship and then coming to the Salt Lake Valley by Wagon.
As I sit in my lovely home with air conditioning for the hot summer months and heat for the cold winter months; would I have been as faithful as these hardy pioneers were? They came because of their faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. They suffered much for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. There are hundreds of pioneer stories that reflex their strong testimonies of the Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-day Saints.

136. I am grateful for my pioneer ancestors.
137. I am grateful for my great grandparents and their decision to join the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
138. I am grateful for the many pioneer stories that strengthen my testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
139. I am grateful for the air conditioning that we have in our home when the temperatures are high in the Salt Lake Valley.
140. I am grateful for the heat that we have in our home during the cold winter months.
141. I am thankful for the heat and air conditioning in our cars as the temperatures change.
142. I am thankful for the opportunity to work on family histories.
143. I am thankful  for my 97 year old Aunt and my 90 year old Aunt that help me in my family history work.
145. I am thankful to be a member of the Daughters Of The Utah Pioneers.
146. I am thankful for all of the daughters in our camp that enrich my life with their pioneer histories.
147. I am thankful for my pioneer ancestors that walked in faith to this great Salt Lake Valley.
148. I am thankful for the Prophet Joseph Smith and for the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
149. I am thankful to the Prophet Joseph Smith for translating the ancient writings of the Book of Mormon.
150. I am so thankful for the Book of Mormon Another Testament of Jesus Christ.


Patty Ann said...

We don't have a pioneer day festival in our small town, although there is one about 40 minutes away. I think it is amazing what a small group of men and women who were worshiping God according to the dictates of their own conscious were able to do. I hope to live up to the example they set.

singing/granny said...

Thanks Leann! I too am so thankful for ancestors who were willing to give up comfort and ease for the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. What a wonderful legacy! Hope your ankle is doing well! Melody

Marie said...

Leann, I love reading about the Mormon Pioneers and I loved reading about your family history. I am so grateful for these early members of the church and the fine examples they set. A few weeks ago I was teaching the lesson in RS and I spoke about how hard it is to be a member in this church sometimes when you are the only member in your family. One lady told me I was a pioneer, and it came to me that I was. I may not be in America and I may not have to suffer the trials of having to travel by foot across a continent, but I am a Pioneer in the Gospel in my family. Hopefully one day my posterity will want to join me. I pray to that end! Thanks for all your lovely posts and happy Pioneer Day! xxoo

Sue said...

What a great family photo and history.

Wonderful to have both.


Joy For Your Journey said...

What a great family history!! And I love the pictures. Interesting . . . some of my ancestors also came from Denmark and settled in Mt. Pleasant. In fact that is where my mother grew up.

Grammy Staffy said...

Dear LeAnn,
What a lovely post. Both my mom and John's parents were converts to the church so we don't have much pioneer history. It turns out that one group of John's family came from Sweden and crossed the planes with the Mormon pioneers but fell away from the church after they arrived in Utah and moved to Montana. We just realized that they were LDS a few years ago while doing genealogy. We found family named Hyrum and Nephi.That was a dead give-away. It was a surprise to us.

All of our family were together in Utah for the 24th and are now camping and river rafting on the Snake river in Wyoming. I am sad that my health did not permit us to go this year.... but there is always next year. (I hope)

Thank you for your concern and get well wishes. They mean a lot to me. I hope that you are recovering too and feeling better each day.

Meanwhile, good luck on your mission.... you are a modern day pioneer. Hugs, Lura

Darlene said...

I enjoyed reading about your Pioneer Heritage. I am amazed that your ancestor came without her husband. That would have taken real courage. The fact that she made it across those plains on her own is amazing too.

My ancestors all came from Sweden. We have some pretty strong men in our group too. At least the women didn't have to make that trip alone.

The Adventurer said...

This was fascinating to read Leann I loved the video and learning more about your family. I can't imagine coming over to the new world alone and travel to Utah with just oxen your relative must have been a amazing women! I love learning about other faiths, there is so much people can learn if they just open themselves up. Thank you for sharing:)

Grumpy Grateful Mom said...

What an amazing history. I appreciate we don't have to worry about Indian skirmishes today!

And I echo your gratefulness. My worries seem so vein when I think of the hardships that the pioneers went through. How blessed I am!

Darlene said...

I am so glad that I finally figured out how to comment and to make it show up. Maybe I am not quite so dumb as I thought. Anyway, it was good to see my comment posted here. You really don't have to post this!!


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