Saturday, July 9, 2011



by Beverly Brasher Nielson, 1973

father, James with Ed Nielson at Winter Quarters
He was born 14 December 1886 in Richfield, Sevier County, Utah.  One of fifteen children born to James Nielson and Christina Marie Smith, he was the fifth.  Ida Marie born 3 October 1880; Niels, born 28 June 1882; May, born 20 October 1883 James, born 22 February 1885; Ed, born 14 December 1886; Joseph born 14 July 1888; Jennie, born 26 December 1889; Caroline, born 4 March 1891; Jim, born 2 April 1892; Ethel Ordena, born 2 June 1894; Martha, born 16 November 1895; Dicinio, born 7 January 1898; Manila Viola, born 10 February 1899; Minnie, born 10 January 1901; Ella, born 20 December 1904.

On a trip to Richfield, he had us drive by the log cabin where he was born.  Later on a trip we tried to find the cabin so we could take a picture, but we were unable to locate it.  Perhaps it had been removed to make room for a newer home.

When Ed was about nine years old, he went from the family home in Richfield to Blue Mountain to obtain a milk cow for the family.  He traveled a distance of about fifty miles one way.

In approximately 1898, the family left Richfield and moved to Spring Glen, Carbon County, Utah.  Wile living in Spring Glen, Ed worked for Matt Warner, who is noted in Utah History as "the last of the good bad guys".

James Nielson, father of Ed, at one time owned much of Spring Glen, also a good share of land in Richfield.  After the death of a favored child, he started gambling and drinking.  He lost most of his belongings by gambling, leaving the family near poverty.  James had injured a hand sometime in his life -- and always wore a glove on the bad hand.  by trade he was a rock mason and a good one too - he worked on several public buildings in both Richfield and Spring Glen.  He also helped with the building of the Manti Temple.

Ed had a way with horses.  He had chased wild horses on Utah's desert.  This is where the original "Old Nettie was acquired.  In his younger days Ed drove freight wagons through Castle Valley, often the would race the teams from Price to Huntington to Castle Dale.  He was not much different from his sons and their racing in cars.  Driving freight wagons even is close to driving trucks, as does his youngest son Vern Dee.
front-Georgia, Evelyn---back-Marie, Edna

On 31 July 1907, he was married to Sarah Evelyn GibsonBy this time his occupation was that of a coal miner.  He worked on many rescue crews after mine explosions, until his health no longer permitted.

Ed and Sarah Evelyn were blessed with 10 children.

1. Christina Marie, Born: 9 March 1908,  married: Earl Christian Jensen

2. Leo, Born: 15 April 1910,  married: (1) Reo Cash,  (2) Bernice Blackburn

3. Rena, Born: 9 August 1912,  died: 8 December 1922

4. Edna, Born: 9 January 1915,  married: George Hanson

5. Evelyn, Born: 3 June 1917,  married: Carl Empey, Jr.

6. Georgia Nora, Born: 25 November 1919,  married: Marvin Teeter

7. Erma, Born: 22 January 1922,  married: Harold Nelson

8. Ted C., Born: 4 September 1915,  married: Ellen Barney

9. Glen B., Born: 27 November 1927,  married: Alice Hanson

10. Vern Dee, Born: 4 November 1930,  married: Beverly Brasher

All of the children were born in mining towns.   After the last child was born, it was decided that the family should have a farm to keep the three young boys from running around a mining town.  Ed and Sarah cashed in a life insurance policy and purchased a farm near Price, Carbon County, Utah - where they lived out the rest of their lives.
Marie Nielson

Things I remember about my father in law.  He was a choice man.  He was a wonderful Grandfather.  I remember watching him with his grandchildren, seeing how he enjoyed them and they enjoyed him.  I regret that my children never knew him, except by the stories we have told them and the pictures we have.  I remember he used to save a cigar for when he went for a ride with Dee and I (he usually smoked a pipe).

He rarely missed a news report on his radio, which was on a stand next to his favorite chair which was a platform rocker.  After TV became popular in Carbon County, the family all got together and gave him a television one year for Christmas.  He spent many hours watching it.  He even got interested in some soap operas.

Pine nuts grow close to Price, so in the fall we would go gather some.  He didn't have any teeth to crack them with as most people do, but he would sit and crack the tiny nuts with a special little pair of pliers, until he had enough in his hand to chew on for awhile.

On wash day it was a common sight to see him out wiping off the clothes lines so the clothes would not be soiled when clipped to the line.  He did enjoy having his picture taken, especially with a Dv         movie camera.  he had a special jig or dance he would perform.

He and the family farmed after moving to Price.  They raised meat and vegetables that provided most of the families food.  The boys usually had a hard time catching the horses, which were used to pull the farm equipment.  But Ed could walk out to the corral and call or whistle and the horses would come to him.  Even after he quit doing most of the farming, he still had a small garden spot, where he raised fresh vegetables.

In his last years, he was hospitalized several times because of his heart.  He passed away 18 December 1957 in his favorite platform rocker in his home on the farm near Price, Utah.

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