Father of MAY JONES
Grandfather of NORMA ORENO
Written by MAY NIELSON JONES
James Nielson was born 18 October 1860 at Jutland, Denmark. His father was Hans Nielson. He was born at Herning, Denmark, a town down by the western ocean. The roaring of the ocean could be heard from there. Hans Nielson was born 12 November 1827 and died November 6, 1907. He married Kisten Marie Pelson. She was born 22 March 1823 at Genrnon Denmark and died 5 September 1895 at Richfield, Utah. To them was born six children - two girls and four boys - Mary and Anna Johanna and James I and James II (my father) and Christian and Niels.
Hans Nielson was a convert to the LDS church, so all the children were born in the church. I can remember while living in Richfield of being in their home when the Danish converts would meet at Grandfathers home and have Cottage Meetings and Grandfather would preach in Danish and expound his faith very strongly. He was a wonderful speaker. Grandmother was an invalid with rheumatism and was bed ridden.
My father spent his childhood in a small town in the country in a rented house. His parents were not very well off. His father was a stone mason and his mother an invalid. Their home had three small rooms and a hallway. The kitchen was very small, the bedroom and also the living room; it had two beds, a chest, wardrobe, chairs, and stove. One small room was used as a store room. The children were all hired out except the two younger ones, as there was nothing at home for the to do.
My father worked as a farm hand. He had to herd cows, clean corrals, and feed stock. The corrals were kept spotless and were bedded each day with clean straw. In Denmark they milked the cows three ties a day. Father received very little pay for labor, mostly board. 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 six a.m. to nine a.m., then worked on the farm the rest of the day. In Denmark they went to school until fourteen years of age, then one year to the Priest to take examination. None of Grandfather's children went to the Priest as he would not let them.
There was not much time for amusement as the children had to work all the time. Very little freedom. They attended dances one in awhile in the winter. Then there was skating and snowballing. The children of the poorest class were allowed to gather the dead wood from the large and beautiful forest. You could see many children with large bundles of wood on their backs, sometimes going long distances into the forest for wood. And also to gather hazelnuts to store for winter to roast as they sit around the fire at night. They had a lot of pleasure going into the woods.
My father left Denmark and emigrated to America in the spring of 1877 with his brother Chris. Father was 17 years old and Chris five years younger. They came and stayed with their sister Mary. She had emigrated several years before they did because she was married and she and her husband and two children. Aunt Hannah Brown should have gone then but as her mother was an invalid she stayed and let the two brothers go for the price it would have cost for her. She and her mother and father emigrated that fall.
When the boys arrived in Richfield, father worked on a farm and Chris took are of his sister's children until their parents arrived in Richfield; they then went to live with them. Father worked on a farm and wheat field. Father married Christina Maria Smith, my mother, at Richfield, Utah. She was born March 22, 1863 and died at Winter Quarters 18 July 1906.
Father was also a stone mason and helped his father cut the stone for the Richfield Stake Tabernacle which afterwards was torn down as the land seemed to sink with the weight of the building. He also cut stone for a good many business houses of Richfield and homes I remember as a child. I would take his lunch up to the canyon and stay and play until he came home with me. Mother sometimes would take her lunch and spend her time up there while father split the rock.
Later he moved to Winter Quarters and worked in the mines digging coal in the day and at evening, mason work for company. Mother died of pneumonia July 18, 1906, leaving father with three boys not married. He met with several severe accidents in the mines and finally his left hand and arm was badly crushed and was left a cripple until he died of gall stones October 11, 1925 at Eureka, Utah, my home. The place mother and father are buried at is Richfield, Utah. We have one child buried at Spring Glen, Utah also are at Scofield cemetery.