Friday, July 22, 2011


Grandfather Christian Peter Boel
Transcript from a cassette tape recording of
Joseph M. Boel on September 21, 1983.

Grandfather Boel (Christen Petersen Bol) died in 1877.  Both he, his wife (Anne Marie Poulsdater) and nine children lived with his parents.  Grandfather was the only male descendant.  He had an older brother but he died in infancy.  He had the same name, Christian Peter (Christiansen),  so when grandfather came along, they gave him the same name, which was not unusual in history.  My grandparents were married when she was 33 years old and he was 23 years old.  They had nine children in eight years, boom-boom-boom, he just wore grandmother right out, one of them died in infancy, so they actually had eight kids altogether. 
As a result, they brought a housekeeper (Aunt Hanna) into their house and Aunt Mary hated her guts.  After great-grandfather died, my grandfather sold the property, rather he traded it for a smaller piece of property and placed my great-grandmother who was still living, her maiden name was Anna Marie Poulson, my grandmother, her maiden name was Maren Kjerstin Sorensen and three children, my father Peirre, his older twin brother Peder and Mary who was ten years old on it.  Mary would not come to the United States with grandfather.  Now they did not come to Utah for the church. 

The reason they came to the U.S. was because grandfather’s older sister joined the L.D.S. church in about 1852, 53 or 54, I do not know exactly when, and so great-grandfather kicked her out so she came to the U.S. and married a man by the name of Frederick Wilhelm Nielsen Tweedy.  Nielsen was the family name, Tweedy was the nickname like Boel is.  So great-grandmother wanted to see her daughter.  That’s the reason they immigrated to Utah.  A large number of Danish people were immigrating to New Zealand, in fact, the Halvorsen’s have brothers in New Zealand.  They’re all dead now.   If you remember, Aunt Mary married a Halvorsen and their name over there was Petersen because of the way they handled the name situation.  I think it was Harvey that went to New Zealand.  That’s Aunt Mary’s son.  I visited with him a number of years ago.  So, grandfather picked up his mother and five kids, and the housekeeper and came to Utah never expecting to see his wife, daughter and twins again.  This is Aunt Mary Halvorsen’s story to me in about 1947.  Two years later, grandmother was able to sell this piece of property, so she picked up the three kids and traveled to Utah.  Grandfather was living in Pleasant Grove with the housekeeper and in the meantime had joined the church.  Grandfather and the housekeeper, Anna Johanna Jensen, went to the Salt Lake endowment house and they were sealed for all time and eternity in about 1879.  So when grandmother showed up with the other three kids, Aunt Hanna as we called her, said to grandmother “well you have to be the second wife, because I’m the first wife”.  And you will find a history of this in Mapleton, that’s where they eventually lived,  on page 81, 1915, in the amusement hall of an old folks outing and grandfather is in the picture with Aunt Hanna and grandmother and grandmother is listed as Christian Peter Boel’s second wife.  Aunt Mary told me that in their old neighborhood in Denmark, they said that if Pete Boel ever came back here they’d run him out of town on a rail.  I asked “what do you mean by that?  She said it meant that they would get a long pole and tie his arms over and around it, tar and feather him, take him out of town and dump him.  Now we have to say that Aunt Mary did not approve of the situation, but there were a lot of good qualities about grandfather Boel, a lot of very, very fine qualities.  Soon after they arrived here, Neils Peter, father’s twin brother died from measles, and then the oldest daughter who was Kristine Tetine died of consumption.  Now I never knew she existed until I started to talk with Aunt Mary about genealogy in 1947. 

 Never knew she existed.  She was born two months after grandmother and grandfather was married.  Now don’t be too shocked about that, because that was not unusual in Denmark.  In fact half of the first born were conceived before marriage.  They rented a home in Pleasant Grove and grandfather’s sister, who married Fredrick Wilhelm Nielsen Tweedy, lived in American Fork.  Grandfather and his family lived in West Pleasant Grove right where the State Road is now.  Neils Halvorsen showed me a red brick home thirty years ago where they lived.  He remembered Aunt Mary telling him a story about grandfather coming home drunk one day and Aunt Hanna kicked him out.  He walked two miles on
State Road
to his sister’s house and went in and cried “Why did I ever get mixed up with this second woman?  I had a good wife and didn’t know it.”  They eventually moved to Mapleton, but before I tell you about that, let me tell you about the cemetery in Pleasant Grove. There are five bodies buried there.  Neils Halvorsen would never let me touch it, and then about a year ago, he dumped it in by lap.  They sold the lot to the City of Pleasant Grove for perpetual care.  Legally,  they can’t do that but I didn’t make an issue of it because I went to the city and spent a lot of time there, so we got the front half of the lot and the back half is owned by Olpin Mortuary in Pleasant Grove.  I would like to someday put a marker on it with five names on it. 

 There is great-grandmother, Anna Marie Poulsen Bol, father’s oldest sister Kristine Tweedy, father’s twin brother Neils Peter, and two children that were stillborn to grandfather and Aunt Hanna, according to Aunt Mary.  Pleasant Grove had a fire after these bodies were buried there so they do not have a record of who’s on that cemetery lot, so we have to take Aunt Mary’s word for it.  The city wrote down the names I gave them.  Now Hazel has been working for the genealogical library is Salt Lake once or twice a week for several months as a volunteer worker, so she did a little research for me and she found a little girl named Melvina born to grandfather and Aunt Hanna in November 1880 and blessed in April 1881.  Now I am sure she did not live to adulthood and have never been able to run the rest of it down.  Now a lot of them were baptized in Pleasant Grove and Hazel got some records of those.  My father was baptized as Peirre C. Boel and I know it couldn’t be anybody else but him.  But we have a second baptism date on him in April 1880.  His name is spelled “Pierre” an should not be pronounced “Pierre” (French) but “Pier”.  Father did not walk until he was five years old.  His mother could not nurse him, I don’t know if she was able to nurse the others or not.  I got the idea from Aunt Mary that she couldn’t nurse any of them.  He was fed on what they call a sugar tip.  It was butter and sugar tied up in a piece of rag and shoved in his mouth like a pacifier. 

He didn’t go to school until he was eight years old and then he got some virus along the line somewhere and had to quit.  Now father worked along with grandfather until he was thirty-four years of age.  He was born April 5, 1875 and he had a mission call about 1901 or 02.  I have a letter from the office of the First Presidency in Salt Lake when Joseph F. Smith was President of the church.  Father was going to the Missionary Training School in the winter at the Brigham Young Academy and on weekends he was home to chase the pig.  While doing so he stumbled over a rock and broke his toes on his left foot.  These are stories from mother, Aunt Mary and various other places.  So – both of the doctors in Utah County were away at graduate school so he went to what they call a quack in Spanish Fork and one in Provo.  Apparently he had some broken skin and eventually got Osteomyelitis in the bone in his foot.  So when these doctors came home from the east, they took him in to take his foot off.  Mother told me that father’s heart stopped for twenty minutes during that operation, but I don’t believe that.  My medical knowledge tells me that your heart doesn’t stop for twenty minutes and start again without some very serious brain damage.  I don’t question whether it stopped, but I question the twenty-minute period.  They cut into his heel and the bone was okay, so they cut off his toes on his left foot.  Father was a cripple for the rest of his life and I remember his shoe that he wore on the farm.  He made it himself, but in his Sunday shoe he had a steel plate in the toe so his foot wouldn’t slide forward.  He had a limp that I don’t remember.  I don’t remember my father’s face but I remember a lot of stories about him, a lot of things about him when he was around.  While father was recuperating from the operation he made this in about 1901, 02 or 03.  He made it with his pocket knife, a saw, hammer and a few brads.  I never knew about it until I was at Aunt Mary’s in Mapleton about 1951, 52 or 53.  About the time when Joe, her son that never married, was real sick or she was.  This was given to me and she said “Here, you ought to have this, your dad made it when he was crippled up and couldn’t move around”.  I’ve had this now for thirty years.  Besides dad being a farmer, he was a blacksmith.  He made these.  We would call them “C” clamps but mother never called them “C” clamps.  They were for her quilting frames.  One of the problems he had when we lived in Delta country was that everybody would come around with their broken farm machinery and dad would fix it for them.  They were supposed to give him trade work for it but he never got it. 

Dad met mother in the summer of 1909.  They were married in the Salt Lake Temple on December 15, 1909.  I was born a year from the following February.  Now grandfather said to father, when you get married, I’ll give you the old home, a wagon, two teams of horses, two cows and ten acres of ground.  But grandfather didn’t get along with mother so she left while grandfather’s new home was being built and moved back with the Robinson’s.  Now mother came to Utah in 1905 with the help of the Madsen family in Vineyard.  They loaned her the money and she paid it back.  She had never seen a train until she was twenty-eight years old when she went six miles to Madison, Georgia to get on a train to come to Utah.  She worked for two weeks in Ophir, Utah as a dishwasher.  Then she went back to the Madsen’s and they got her a place to stay with a Doctor Edgar E. Robinson at 257 East Center Street in Provo.  She was really hired to be a companion to Sister Robinson because he was never home due to his medical practice.  Mother was there for four years.

So mother went back to the Robinson’s while the new house was being finished and I was born upstairs of the old house and its still there in Mapleton.  Somebody (name in audible) had a restaurant there, and I have some pictures around somewhere.  Grandfather was going to renege on his offer to father, so some of the relatives said to dad, you can take him to court and he’ll have to pay you a dollar a day for every day you worked for him after you turned twenty-one.  Grandfather checked up on that and decided that was right so he backed off and gave father five acres of ground, one team of horses, a wagon and one cow.  Dad had homesteaded two and one-half acres of ground on a hill east of Mapleton.  Then mother and dad sold that after George was born in 1912 and went to Delta country.  They bought forty acres of ground there.  That’s just when the Delta country was just opening up.  Delta at that time was one of the two wealthiest towns per capita in the State of Utah because of the alfalfa fields.  Now there is a hardier grain of alfalfa seed growing someplace else, but it’s still a well-to-do area.  Dad and mother were in Sutherland, about six miles outside of Delta.  Uncle Julius Mock, who was not really an uncle, went down with dad to build a two-room wood frame house.  We didn’t have an outhouse.  Mother had the little thing you pushed under the bed at night for her and the kids.  Dad went out to the stable.  It was just a flat roof stable with poles across the top with hay or straw across the top of it.  That’s where the horses and cows were kept.  I remember they came home one time and unhooked the buggy and left it standing in the driveway.  It’s an awfully windy area and the wind came up and dumped that buggy into the canal.  We only stayed there three years because they only had a crop for one of the three years.  They were growing grain.  They bought turkeys, raising them on a shrivel of grain to make their payments so they decided to come back to Utah County.  They bought a home from the Tarbets.  I have some pictures of that old house I took about fifteen years ago.  It’s gone now.  If you know where Rock Canyon School or Rock Canyon Church is on 650 East, about 2700 or 2800 North, from the back of the parking lot at the church is where that old home was.  Dad had eighteen acres there but he had to give that up because of his health.  I remember seeing him on top of a straw sack when the wind came up and was blowing the chaff all over him.  He came up with pneumonia that winter so they sold and went down on 12th North there.  Dad would never farm there because I brought scarlet fever home and dad and my two brothers had scarlet fever.  That was the doing in for dad.  He died on July 28, 1918.  Two years later mother moved in to town.

Let me make a preface here.  I was made an Elders Quorum President in 1946.  That made me interested in genealogy because of the push on it.  So that’s when I began to poke Aunt Mary, mother and Aunt Viola, she was father’s cousin.  She was the youngest daughter of grandfather’s oldest sister.  She was one of those that made babies like Christine made babies for us.  I got most of the genealogical stuff from Viola Tweedy.  She had a man by the name of Ole Hawkin Bang (a lousy guess from the audio) do research for her in Denmark.  There is some of it that I question because they moved into Northern Denmark.

Oh!!!  Do you want to know about the “Boel” name?  Everybody had a nickname because everybody was a Christiansen, Sorensen, Swensen, Jensen, Pedersen, you name it.  An so they only used that name when they were christen, married and died, otherwise they used their nickname.  Aunt Mary said there was a hill on their property, very symmetrical.  She sat in our house on 3rd North and said it was about as high as our house.  Well I question that because this is a ten-year-old’s memory.  I’m sure it wasn’t that high because the highest point in all of Denmark above sea level is fifty feet.  So I wouldn’t be surprised if it was eight or ten feet high.  On top of that hill was a bowl shaped depression that was full of water most of the time due to rain.  I believe the have fifty inches of rainfall in Denmark a year.  So that’s where the “Boel” name came from.  When they came over here, grandfather and grandmother’s name should have been Christiansen and I quite agree with that.  Grandmother was really quite educated for a Danish woman.  Aunt Mary couldn’t read or write.  I didn’t find that out for a long time.  I asked why not and she said to me “well my dad said there was no need of his daughter going to school to be educated.  All they do is get married and raise a family, they didn’t need an education.  I’ll send by boys but not my daughters”.  But grandmother, I have a slip of paper somewhere, wrote all of her children’s names with all of their birth dates, and in the case of one or two of them, their death dates.  They were written in the Danish terms for the birth and death.  This was in her material I got from Aunt Mary.  Now there was some dishabille in the family over what the name should be.  Aunt Hanna ran the show pretty much, and she said it should be Pedersen because grandfather’s father’s name was Peder Andersen.  So you took Peder, added the “son” on there and that was the last name.  So it should have been Pedersen, and she was right.  Bishop William T. Thue (another lousy guess) in Mapleton advised him to Americanize it to Petersen which would be a mistake in my opinion.  There are lots and lots of Peterson’s but there aren’t very many Pedersen’s around.  I know a number of Pedersen’s but if they wanted to use that name, it should have been Pedersen.  Grandfather Boel established the name of Boel in three ways.  1. He took Aunt Hanna to the endowment house in about 1879 and they were married and sealed as Christian Peter Boel.  2. He bought the cemetery lot in Pleasant Grove as Christian Peter Boel.  3. On December 19, 1893, he went to the Utah County Courthouse in Provo and took out his naturalization papers so that he became an American citizen as Christian Peter Boel. 
Now all the sons took the name of Petersen and Ruth went to the genealogical library with a sack of stuff one time and they picked off the top sheet and here’s part of them Petersen and part of them Boel.  They pushed it back to Ruth and said you can’t do that.  She said “you look on the back, the explanation is there”.  I remember when we were still on the farm where the red brick house was and Uncle Chris, he was the oldest son and Uncle Jim who they called “Yent” came to the farm to see by dad to convince him to change his name to Petersen.  Dad said NO.  That’s the name my father gave me “Peirre Christian Boel” and I’m going to keep it.  However there is still some dishabille about it.  Aunt Mary married Andrew Halversen in 1889.  She was married as Mary Petersen but in parentheses was Boel, but spelled Bole.  Merle Halversen has that marriage certificate and that I can have a Xerox copy of it.  I hope I will live long enough to put this all together.

Thank you for your attention.  I love you all!  More than you will know.

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