Sunday, September 15, 2013

Hans Peter Jensen (1844-1931) and Karen Marie Nielsen (1845-1926) histories, Part 3

Part 1
Part 2

Additional Memories

By Clara and Marie

For Hans and Karen, the boat ride across the ocean was very difficult. Karen was ill all of the way. The passengers had to go onto the deck each day for fresh air, but she was too ill to walk, so Hans carried her. She was a small woman, not weighing much over 100 pounds. They had to bring their own food, as the fare was meager, and cooked it in groups, using old pots.

Hans had a brother, Chris, who also came to Utah and lived in Springville. Chris was a tailor by trade. He was married to Rose Allred but later divorced. He had ­several children.

Once Hans and Karen were located in Utah, he was proud of the fact that he had been able to come to Utah without depending on the Perpetual Emigration Fund set up by the LDS Church to help the Saints come to Utah. But they were very poor, as their money was almost gone. Their meat for the first winter was a cow head given to them by one of their neighbors. Karen said of the experience, “There’s much meat on them.” They lived in an old house of Bill Johnson’s in Spanish Fork. Hans made a bed and crossed ropes for springs. They had no chairs that first winter. They ate their meals standing at a window.­ It was a hard struggle to get along, but they managed somehow and also helped to take care of others who came from their homeland later. After living in town for a year of [sic] so, they moved to Lake Shore, just a few miles west of Spanish Fork. The land was flat there so the water was easy to get and they could have fish to eat from
the river. A drought in Sevier County to the south brought traders from the salt mountain to trade for fish to eat.

Their first home in Utah was an adobe house with a thatched roof made of cane. In the summer, they moved into the fields west of town where they stayed in a granary owned by Bill Johnson. He remembers how the roof leaked and the rain poured through. The river at that time ran through the Johnson Farm; in one place the river had changed its course leaving a large area of very rich dirt, so they cleared out a large area of willows to give them extra space to plant potatoes; the story was that the potatoes yielded 900 bushels to the acre.

The first farmland Hans was able to buy was a piece in northeast Spanish Fork. There he built a three-room adobe house (with a mud roof) for his family. Uncle Hansen made the adobes. Taylor Larsen laid them together, and he (Hans Peter) did the carpenter work. Early maps of Spanish Fork City describe the northeast part of the city as “Little Denmark.” The various nationalities tended to live together and preserve some of their customs and language.

Joseph remembered, as a boy, how his father gleaned a little clover along the ditch banks to bring home to feed the cow. He left it in a stack to dry and one day while the parents were at Church, one of the children made a bonfire of the hay.

After the four wards were made, this area was also known as the Fourth Ward. Since the soil in the area was mostly alkali and very poor for farming, he moved to Mapleton for better land. They bought land in Mapleton known as the part of the School Section, the west central part. This would have been after 1890, as records show that all of their children were born in Spanish Fork, except Allie who was born in Mapleton.

Their Mapleton home is located at present at 125 S. 1600 W. Here they raised their family. This house was built of nice red brick, had two stories, and was on approximately 10 acres. It had a parlor, a big dining room and living room, and a large kitchen, and two bedrooms upstairs. The home is located near the head of the Big Hollow, which is probably where they got their water, as there was a nice spring there. The stream of water running through this area was the location of early baptisms in Mapleton and served as a settlement for some of the Indians. The Big Hollow was a large grove of trees just west and north of the intersection of Maple Street and 1660 West (Highway 89). Maple Street continues on to the southwest to Spanish Fork. The Springville Evergreen Cemetery is just a little north.

Jensen Mapleton Home

This home was later sold to son Pete and Ruby when Hans and Karen moved back to Spanish Fork. Stanley, a son of Peter Jensen and Ruby, now (2004) owns the home and has remodeled it. The original home has been covered with a white imitation brick veneer.

Marcelaine's note: I looked up the address on Google Maps and I believe this is the Mapleton House.

Hans and his sons farmed about 40 acres. As was a custom in Denmark, they rose early and had breakfast. Then about 10 o'clock, the mother took out something for them to eat and this happened again in mid-afternoon.

The Denmark winters were very severe with deep snows. At the corner of the farms were very tall posts and on the post nearest the house, they would place a black flag as an appeal if there was illness or if they needed help. Their out buildings were connected together so that they could go from one building to another to take care of the animals without going out in the open weather. Hans built like this in Utah, his sheds attached together like they did in Denmark, but not connected with the house.

The first building was a tool shed, then a granary, and last the chicken coop. The barn was on to the south. Hans was very fussy about everything and had a place for everything. By the tool shed was a large barrel where they put wood ashes and filled it with water. This mixture made the lye they used to wash with as well as their home-made soap. The grandchildren learned early that they didn't put their fingers in it because it made your hands sore. They had a big iron kettle that was used to heat water in to wash. Their daughter Harriet helped make the soap as long as they lived in Mapleton. When they moved hack to Spanish Fork, Hans let Harriet have the kettle with the provision that she wasn't to lend it.

Hans was a carpenter and very handy with tools and made much of their furniture. He also made wooden shoes for the children until they were old enough to go to school. Joseph get his first store shoes when he was four. Before that, he wore his wooden shoes so he could go out in the snow if he wanted. Later, in the teen years, they wore their older wooden shoes on the way to dances and kept their nice new ones to wear at the dance, changing to their nice ones when they got there. Hans had a wooden bench that he sat on that held the piece of wood as he worked on it. His feet, pushing on a lever, provided the pressure to hold the work in the jaws above the bench while he worked the shoes or other project with his tools. The bench is much like what is known today as a shaving horse, a tool rarely seen today except in a museum.

>>Part 4

No comments:

Post a Comment