Saturday, July 25, 2015

{History of Mapleton} Joseph Jensen and Harriet Lucinda Whiting Jensen

This is from The History of Mapleton, by Ralph K. Harmer and Wendell B. Johnson, on page 143-144.

Joseph Jensen was the son of Karen Marie Nielson and Hans Peter Jensen. He was born September 25, 1875 in the northeast section of Spanish Fork. He received his early education here, but when he was nine years old he and his family moved to Mapleton. Since shcools [sic] were not free at this time, Joseph’s education was limited and consisted of a few winter months preparation when it was too cold to do much else. Some of his early teachers were: Ella and Josie Williams, Richard Thorn, Hannah Friel, Arthur Southwick, Carrie Coats, Leslie Poag, Lizzie McCoard and Henry Erlandson.
Joe attended church and school in the first frame meeting house. He also helped carry mud and bricks for the first brick meeting house built in Mapleton. He and a group of other boys formed a club and earned enough money to help put in a tongue and groove floor in part of the meetinghouse so that they could hold dances there.

During Joe’s early adult years he spent much of his time working in the nearby canyons cutting railroad ties. He and his good friend Wayne Johnson were always telling about things that happened to them during those years. Finally, after keeping company with Harriet Lucinda Whiting for two years they were married in the Salt Lake Temple, December 5, 1900. Harriet was the daughter of Harriet Stewart Perry and Albert Milton Whiting. She was born at Mapleton on June 5, 1879 and was the fourth daughter in a large family.

Harriet’s school experiences were much like her husband’s, but her health was not very good as a young woman and she had to take care of herself. Still, there were many family outings, visits to grandmothers, and dances to fill out her social life. She was active in her church too. She was President of the Primary, and she also served as recording secretary and teacher. She was secretary of the M.I.A., counselor in the Relief Society, teacher in Relief Society, and finally, she served as President. Joe was also active in his church. He served as a counselor in the M.I.A., President of the elder’s Quorum, and several other jobs. He was town constable and marshal for a few years. He served as Justice of the Peace and was a member of the town board. Joe also saw community service on the various irrigation boards that affected the Mapleton bench.

The Jensens bought a small farm on east Maple Street and then added to it in later years. They built a brick home on the place in 1916 and it still stands in excellent condition. They had nine children: Clara, Fay, Ermel, Russell, Marie, Nelda, Fred Grant, Muriel, and Fern. Some of them have spent most of their lives in Mapleton. Their son Fay spent many years as a town Marshal and city worker while running a small farm. Ermel farmed on south center street most of his life, and Fred spent much of his life running the family farm on east Maple street. Muriel married Bill Cox and lived on East Maple Street for many years. She was a gifted musician and accompanied many of the local youngsters when they put on church programs.

Joseph and his wife both lived fruitful and worthwhile lives. They worked for their family, church and community. It is with such people that good communities grow and develop and they are sorely missed when they pass on. Joseph died August 21, 1948. Harriet lived a few years longer and passed away on September 28, 1965. They are both buried in the Evergreen Cemetery.

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