Saturday, July 9, 2011


written by her Granddaughter
Cyrstal Magelby
Hannah lived in Galton, Denmark with her family which consisted of one sister, Mary, and four brothers, Chris, James, Nels, who was lost at sea, and Jens, who died when he was two years old. 

When the Mormon Missionaries converted the family, they were anxious to emigrate to Utah, but did not have the passage money for the whole family.  They decided to send the sister, Mary first.  She arrived in Utah, went to Richfield and married a man named Hans Peter Nielsen.  He was a miller and had a flour mill on the west side of Richfield.  The two brothers, Chris and James followed their sister to Richfield.  Hannah felt it was her duty to stay in Galton with her invalid mother who was bedfast, with rheumatics. 

More than seven years passed before the remaining family members could come to America, but finally Hannah and her mother and father sailed for America.  In 1877, she in company with her father and an invalid mother, immigrated to America.  On their voyage across, across the deep, Hannah's sick mother was very ill and all the bed clothing that they had went to her.  Hanna used to sit up all night on a trunk that her mother her mother could have Hannah's share of the blankets.  However, the last night  on board the ship, her parents insisted that she lie down, her legs were badly swollen, and she was in need of rest.  They landed in New York City and from there, they came by train to Utah.  Hannah's sister, Mary met them at Ogden.  She was married and had a five year old child.  The day the family met in Ogden was the day of President Brigham Young's funeral. 

Hannah had a gentleman friend that she left behind in Denmark.  He wanted her to stay in Denmark and to be married to him, but she felt that it was her duty to be with her mother at this time. 

Her sister, Mary brought the family home with her and they settled in Richfield.  A short time later, Hannah found a job in the home of Mr. Jensen who had a store in Elsinore.  Hannah helped Mrs. Jensen in the house.  With Hannah working, that left her mother with no one to stay with her while both Hannah and her father, Hans worked.  So they found a girl by the name of Carrie Miller (married name was later Hansen) to sit with the mother.  Hans worked as a stone mason and a farmer in Richfield.  His farm was located where the Richfield Cemetery now rests in peace. 

Hannah married Christian Brown in 1878 in the Saint George Temple.  She met Christian at a stake conference in Richfield.  Christian was invited to the Nielsen's home for dinner and here he became acquainted with Hannah.  After a brief courtship, they were married.  Hannah was 24 years old when she married.  Christian Brown was a personable man, fine and splendid.  Hannah and Christian were married 30 years.  He died in 1909.  At the time of his death Jim was on a mission and with a big farm and cows to milk, help was badly needed.  Erastus Nielsen came to town to the funeral.  He was attending school at the BYU, but decide to stay with Hannah and the family for the rest of the winter and help out with the farm work.  An other cousin, Ed Simpson from Kamas, also spent the winter helping out on the farm.  They stayed until Jim came home from his mission.  

During the twenties an thirties, Sevier County raised a lot of sugar beets.  In fact, a sugar factory was built at the crossroads between Monroe and Elsinore.  A small town grew up around the sugar factory called Austin. (or Frogtown as many people called it).  It housed many of the Employees at the factory where the sugar beets were ground into pulp to make syrup  for the refined sugar manufactured  there.  This industry brought employment to many people in the valley and a steady paycheck to the families round about.  

Uncle Jim, Ma's son owned some farm land in Austin, near the sugar factory.  On this land he raised sugar beets. 

In those days, everything was done by horse power or by hand.  The ground was plowed, leveled and planted by horse power and man power, in long hours. 

By June, the beets were beginning to show their green lines in the field.  This was the signal that the beets would soon be ready to thin.  The thinning was done by hand.  When you became 10 or 12 years old, you were old enough to thin beets.  You were paid ten cents a row for each row of beets you thinned.  This was a good way for kids to earn their spending money.  Some fast thinners made as high as 10 or 12 dollars during the thinning time, which lasted about two weeks. 

In order to prepare the beets for thinning, a man would start at the end of the row and block the beets.  This meant that he would take a hoe and every foot he would he would cut out the beets leaving a small clump to be thinned.  The thinner would then crawl along the row on his hands and knees and pull out all but the biggest beets with his fingers in the clump, mound the dirt around the big beet left in the clump and then move on to the next clump of beets.  A person would need some good gloves to do this, unless you wanted your hands to get sore.  We also had a small thinning hoe that helped us with the work. 

After the whole field had been prepared in this way, it would be furrowed off an watered until the beets had matured.  The rest of the summer the beets were watered and weeded until time for the harvest.  Fall was the harvest time.  The beets were ready to top.  (this meant cutting the leaves of the top of the beets by hand).

In order to prepare for topping the beets, a plow would be hooked or fastened to the horses and as it went down each furrow, it loosened the beets from the ground and the beets could be pulled out of the soil and topped.  Just like you harvest potatoes.  The person who topped the beets would use a big knife with a wooden handle on one end and a hook on the other end.  The topper took hold of the handle of the knife, hooked the beet with the hook, pulled it up over his knee and the cut off the top of the beet with he knife.  After this was finished, he threw the beet over the pile to be loaded on a wagon and taken to the sugar factory to be made into white sugar. 

This Faith prompting story about Ma happened during this beet season.  The beets were being harvested in Jim's field in Austin, which is about three miles from Monroe.  During this beet harvest, Ma would prepare a meal at noon to take to the field for the workers.  She would harness up the horse and buggy and be on her way.  This day she needed a stick to tap the horse with to make them go faster as they sometimes lagged along unless they were prodded a little.  She went out in the orchard to find a stick and while she was looking, a voice said to her very clearly "Take two."  So she took two sticks and climbed in the buggy and proceeded on her way.  When she got down the lane always, she dropped on of her sticks.  She stopped the buggy and climbed out to get the stick that had fallen.  As she turn around to climb back in the buggy, she missed the small step that is on the side of the buggy to help get back in.  This made her fall under the buggy wheels, which excited the horses.  The buggy wheel ran over Ma's head, making a big cut in it.  In describing this cut the daughter said it look like she had been scalped.  She had been warned to take two sticks, but she had a long way to go when she lost the first stick and thought she must have those two sticks all the time. 

Vivian Tuft, a neighbor, found her and brought her home.  It happened on a Saturday when Dora was home so she called Nellie Gould, another Neighbor, who cleaned her wound as best she could and put her to bed.  Dr. Loring came later and put a tight bandage around her head to make the wound stay together.  Later while she was mending she got ericyplus and her head became so swollen that the girls had to feed her with a knife, a spoon would not go into her mouth, it was so swollen.  Ma had many serious accidents and ailments from which she was healed by her faith and the power of the Priesthood. 

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