Saturday, July 9, 2011


 Written by his daughter,
Ella Nielson Boothe

James Nielson was born 18 October 1860 at Galton, Jutland, Denmark.  It was a town by the western part of  the ocean and the ocean could be heard from their home.  He was the son of Hans Nielsen born 12 November, 1827 in Herning, Ringkobing, Denmark, and died November 6, 1907 and Kirsten Marie Pelson born 22 March 1823 at Nisset, Lemming, Viborg, Denmark and died 6 November, 1895.  They both died in Richfield, Utah.  Kirsten had rheumatism so bad she was bedridden for many years.  James spent his childhood in a small town in the country in a rented house.  His parents were not very well off.  Hans worked very hard for his family as a stone mason.  Their home had three small rooms and a hallway.  The kitchen was very small, and in the bedroom was two beds, chest, wardrobe, chairs, and a stove.  One small room was used as a store room. 

The children all hired out except the two smaller ones, as there was nothing for the to do at home because my father worked as a farm hand.  He had to herd cows, clean corrals, and feed the stock.  The corrals were kept spotless and were bedded each day with clean straw.  In Denmark they milked the cows three ties a day and Father received very little pay.  In the winter the children went to school at nine o'clock and lasted all day, and in the summer they went to school from 6:a.m. to 9:00a.m. and, then worked on the farm the rest of the day.  At that time in Denmark, they went to school until
they were 14 years of age and then one year to the Priest to take examination.  None of Grandfather's children went to the Priest as he wouldn't allow it.  There was not much time for fun or very much freedom.  The young men and women went to dances sometimes and in the winter they had skating and snowballing.  The children were allowed to gather the dead wood from the large and beautiful forest.  It was possible to see many children with large bundles of wood on their backs.  Sometimes the children would have to go a long way to get wood.  They also to gather hazelnuts to store for winter and during winter nights they would  roast and eat them night.  They loved to go into the woods.

In the spring of 1877 at the age of 17, my father left Denmark with his brother, Chris, Who was 12 years old.  They came to America to live with Mary, an older sister, who had come many years before with her husband and two children.  Is aunt, Hannah Brown, stayed to care for father's mother and came with his parents that fall.  When they arrived in Richfield, Utah father worked on a farm.  While living in Richfield, they and other Danish converts would meet at Hans' and Kirsten's home and have Cottage Meetings.  At these times, grandfather would preach our LDS gospel in Danish.  His faith very strong and he was a wonderful speaker.  Father's mother was in bed with rheumatism and suffered very much.

Grandfather worked at Richfield cutting stone until he could earn enough money to build a home and buy a farm.  He bought a cheap lot from the city.  Grand father was a hard worked and soon had a beautiful place with trees and flowers.  He farmed for a few years and then sold the farm which was south of the city.  He then leased, from the city, some land north of Richfield, which was all cut up from floods and in bad condition.  He worked long and hard and soon had a level farm that produced abundantly.  He broke up the land that the cemetery of Richfield now occupies and farmed this land until his death in 1907. 

My father met and married my mother, Christine Marie Smith, at Richfield, Utah, 13 December, 1879.  She was born 22 March, 1863 at Fountain Green, Utah and died in Winter Quarters, Utah, 18 July, 1907.  Her father Jorgen Smith was born 28 August, 1823 in Denmark and her mother, Christina Maria Birkedahl was born 11 April, 1825 in Denmark.  My father and mother had 15 children and I was the 15th.  Mother died while carrying the 16th child.  Father got be a stone mason like his father.  He helped his father set.  He helped his father  cut out the stone for the Stake Tabernacle.  He also cut stone for a good many business houses and homes.  Sometimes mother would take a lunch and eat with dad and stay and watch him split the rock.  My father was very strong and could handle stone no one else could move. 

My parents moved to Winter Quarters, Utah and father worked in the coal mines during the day and worked as a stone mason at night for a company.  It was here my mother died leaving my father with many children.  Father met with many accidents in the mines and finally his left hand and arm was badly crushed.  After he felt some better, but unable to work at his trade, he got a job as a night watchman for the mine company.  My dad was good and kind to me.  He did his best to be both a father and mother to me, as my mother died when I was 18 months old. 

During my father's later life in Richfield, he was City Marshall.  He was well respected by the people, and was very kind hearted.  He was very strict in doing what is right.  He was good to his parents.  His mother needed lots of care because of her rheumatism and he was willing to help.  In 1925, my father was in the LDS Hospital.  The doctor must have let him come home to die because two days after leaving the hospital he passed away on 11 October, 1925 at Eureka, Utah and was buried in Richfield, Utah. 
Father was a pleasant looking man and always appeared to have a smile upon his face.  My father loved children.  He received so much happiness out of my little girl, Melba.  She was the sunshine of his life at that time.  My father was so honest that they called him Honest Jim. 

Father always tried to be nice to his baby girl.  He always called me "Dolly" and there wasn't anything I couldn't have if it were possible for him to give it to me.  Father loved to sing and his voice was beautiful.  I remember, after he came home from work and after supper, he would sit on the front porch and sing beautiful songs to me he had learned in Denmark.  Most of the time he sang in Danish.  To me, my father was one of the best father's a child could have.  At his death, we took him to Richfield to be buried.  His grave is located on the south part of the cemetery. 


Can I introduce you to my father?  He was taller than my husband, Les.  He had brown hair with a little silver in it, pretty blue eyes, and he had a mustache.  I wouldn't know him without a mustache.  He came across the ocean with his brother, Chris in 1877.  He was born 18 October, 1860 at Galton, Juteland, Denmark.  He was a wonderful man and raised his 15th child, so wonderful in good old Winter Quarters, Utah.  He could really sing Danish songs.  He would sing on the porch to all of Ed's and Joe's children.  They would gather around and I was so proud of his beautiful voice and that wonderful father.  (On tape) Ella began to sing "Daddy Dear Old Daddy"

I would like to introduce you to my mother, Carole.  She was about your size.  She had dark hair like you.  I had a dream one night and there came a knock on the door and there was my mother.  She said,  "Ella don't you know me?"  She was about like you.  A Mrs. Gilbert told me about my mother.  In a cupboard back home there is a recipe for the Danish Dumplings my mother made.  Mrs. Gilbert told me mother always put mashed potatoes in them.  My mother and Mrs. Gilbert walked down to Scofield arm in arm.  When they got down there, they would buy all kinds of things for their children and they would buy a quilt backing.  Don't you think Mrs. Gilbert was a wonderful person?  Just as wonderful as my mother.  My mother had to leave me when I was 18 months old.  I was left to be raised by a wonderful father.  I'll bet it hurt, when she had to leave her 18 month old child.  Mother then sings, "You Are A Wonderful Mother". 

This history was written by Ella Nielson Boothe and typed on the computer by Beverly Carole Boothe and Maurice John Moulton. 

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