Wednesday, July 13, 2011

HALVERSON THOMAS LIFE

A History of the life of
THOMAS HALVERSON

author unknown

Son of Peter and Anna J. Larsen Halverson born in Gronhaden, Huring, Denmark, November, 3, 1865. 

His father was a carpenter by trade and his mother did weaving all the time she could spare while keeping up their home and caring for ten children.  Two of the children died infancy.  All the children learned to work at an early age.  School was compulsory as children reached six years of age.  When not in school the children hired out to neighbors or farmers.  At age ten Thomas took his first job herding geese. 

When Thomas was a small boy his two eldest brothers went to New Zealand as immigrants for the English Government.  The plan was that they were to establish themselves and send for the rest of the family.  However, after they had been gone for sometime Mother Halverson became very ill with typhoid fever and it was some time before she recovered.  During or shortly after this illness she joined the Church.  All thoughts of New Zealand was given up and the family came to United States.  Maria came to America first, then Niels, then Andrew and Thomas most of them about one year apart.

Thomas was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints by Elder James Larsen and confirmed by James Nielsen in 1883.  He emigrated to Utah and Spanish Fork September, 1884.  James Mickelson who lives near the mouth of Spanish Fork River paid Thomas's immigration expense with the understanding he was to pay it back by working for him one year.  He started this job as soon as he arrived but through an accident Brother Mickelson lost his life so Thomas found a job with a Mr. Olasen in Goshen.  The four members of the family who came here, Maria, Andrew, Niels and Thomas put their savings together and sent for their parents and two younger sisters, Mary and Martena.  Then came the job of paying for his own immigration which he did while working for A.W. Johnsen in Palmyra with whom he made his home and worked for nearly five years.  While working there he also bought a piece of land where his father built a two room house.  Here they were neighbors to the Ottesen's and it was there he met Emma Ottesen

A couple of years later on 2 July, 1890 he and Emma were married in the Manti Temple with President Anthon H. Lund officiating.  They lived in Palmya where he molded adobes and built a two room home. 

Six years after he was married he was called to fill a mission for the church in Sweden.  He was asked what he had to provide for his family, a wife and two sons, one four and one two years old.  His answer was that he had ten acres of salt grass.  The letter came from Box B asking him to leave in a couple of months. 

To get funds for the mission he sold their cows, horses, wagon and almost everything salable.  He moved his family to Lehi and left for his mission from Salt Lake City, 28 March, 1896.  Money was scarce so he entrusted his wife and children to the care of the Lord with only one silver dollar and a few hens and he was on his way.  14 May, 1898 he returned from his mission finding his family in better condition than when he had left them.  This proved that the Lord will provide if we do our part which at times seems quite a job. 

On his return to Lehi there was an urgent letter saying his father was very ill, but on visiting him he found his condition improved. 

They then moved to Palmyra and started farming his own small farm and some land for his mother-in-law.  It wasn't easy for Thomas to again be accustomed to farm work.  and it was sometime before he became acclimated to the change of climate and atmosphere. 



He visited Patriarch Blackburn and received a blessing saying he would do much work among young people.  This was verified in him being asked to take charge of Young Men's Mutual work with Joseph Crump and John Roach as assistance.  He was ward teacher for years with James A. Boyack as partner.  Their assignment was the whole North Branch of the Third Ward under the direction of Bishop Marinus Larsen. 

He served as councilor to Brother Boyack in the Sunday School before going on his mission and again after he returned home.  There was a Sunday school organization and a Primary in the branch while it was attached to the Third Ward. 

Under the direction of Apostle Reed Scoot the Palmyra Ward was organized 11 August, 1901 with Albert T. Money, Thomas Halverson as first councilor, Ed. M. Banks second counselor and Erastus L. Ottosen as ward clerk.  The ward was given the name of Palmyra Ward.  This first bishopric served about 20 years until the Halverson Family moved to Spanish Fork.  A new bishopric was then sustained. 

Not long after that time a stake genealogical society was organized.  Henry Sabin was the chairman with Thomas Halverson and Robert T. Bradford assistants and Mildred Sterling as secretary.  This organization lasted for seven years or until the death of Brother Sabin.  Thomas was then made chairman of the committee with Brother Bradford and John K. Johnson as assistants and Frank Edmond secretary.  They served for three years and Thomas was released because of ill health.  As long as he was physically able he took great interest in temple work. 

He is now 85 years of age and because of physical disabilities is unable to attend meetings or get out and visit.  He is always patient and cheerful and is happy to meet and visit with friends and neighbors. 

The family consists of five boys and four girls.  Two of the girls died in infancy.  

Note: Author unknown.  Spelling of original retained. 

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