MARY HALVORSEN PETERSON
by her grandson,
JAMES GRANT NIELSON
written November 1, 1979
|Mary & Martina Halvorsen|
One of the sons of these immigrants wrote a book about the impact that the Nordic people had on the settling and development of New Zealand. None of my immediate family has visited any of those people, even thought Scott, my son, was on a mission in New Zealand. He wasn't in the Auckland area and we never sent him any names to contact. My Grandmother used to write to these two boys from time to time and used to hear from them.
|Anna Mary Halvorsen Peterson|
|LeRoy Elda Mary & James Peterson|
I remember these two people quite vividly, and I remember James Peterson when I was young because he used to take me with him on his white horse up to do his work at the church and at the school. And he would always let me go up to the store and buy soda pop as a treat. I always loved to go with him, and since I was his only grandchild and I was very pampered. My grandmother pampered me the same way, and they bought lots of clothes for me when I was very young.
|James (Jens) Peterson|
As a matter of fact they had a well about ten or fifteen feet from the corner of the house. It seems to me they had a bucket hooked up to a pulley so they could draw the water to the top. In the back of the house they had a barn and they kept a cow, pigs, and some chickens. They would butcher the animals and they would store the meat. They didn't eat a lot of beef; they usually ate pork.
They used to cure the pork by putting it in a brine barrel or dry porking it, which was just covering the meat with dry salt and this made it possible to store the meat all winter. Grandmother used to make what we called head cheese from the head of the pig. It was kind of like a pressed meatloaf. She also cleaned the entrails of the pig and filled them with sausage. She really knew how to flavor those things and she was an excellent cook. She made all kinds of pastries and everyone thought she was a master in the kitchen.
They drank coffee at breakfast, at 10:00 a.m., at 2:00 p.m. and in the evening. They were heavy coffee drinkers, which comes from their Danish heritage. I used to sit up to their table when I was three years old and dunk sugar cookies into coffee and then eat them. They were great people and I remember them from an early age, particularly to the time I was seven years old when I moved to Springville. We only lived a couple of blocks from them in Mapleton. As I got older they didn't pamper me as much, and when Earl was born they just didn't have the money to spoil two grandchildren. And so the gifts weren't as lavish when there were two of us to buy for.
My Grandmother Peterson was around 50 when grandfather died, and after his death she dated other men. Two or three years later she married a man by the name of John Beckstrom, who lived in Spanish Fork. I remember he had a six-cylinder Buick touring car. It was an open-air car, and quite fancy for those days. Grandmother never had very much in the way of worldly goods and this was an opportunity for her to live in a big house in Spanish Fork and to be able to ride around in a car. John Beckstrom was about 20 years older than she. One of the things he was famous for was that he went to every funeral around, whether he knew that person or not. They didn't live together very long as they didn't get along very well; and according to her, he was cruel to her.
But his children asked her to stay with him until he died, which she did. His children were very good to grandmother and they thought a lot of her. Apparently they realized their father was hard to get along with. There was some kind of settlement after his death. I don't remember just what she got, but they settled with her on a very favorable basis as far as they were concerned and as far as she was concerned. It seems to me she got about $1,500. She never married again. She moved back to Mapleton and lived with Roy and Goldie.
|Chris James Pierre Peter|
Mary Elsine Maren Peterson (Little Grndma) Family
He fixed up a room for her and she lived with him until she became ill with cancer. By this time I was out of the war so it was around 1948 when she died. She died of cancer and there was nothing we could do for her. She never did complain and I visited her in the Payson Hospital and at Roy's several times. She always called me the "Professor". I'm not sure why she chose that name for me but she called me that from the time I was a young boy. As I said before, she was an excellent cook and I can remember her eating beef steak and telling me that the fat was the best part. She ate a lot of food and she got quite heavy and flabby before she died. I suppose she weighed well over 200 pounds and was about 5' 4" tall.
She was about 68 years old when she died. She passed away in the Payson hospital and was buried in the Springville Cemetery. Bishop Oscar Whiting was the Bishop at that time and he officiated at the funeral.
Now there were some other highlights on her life. In 1943 my mother passed away and Mr. Ottesen was still living at that time, and he brought her (my grandmother) up on Sundays and she cooked dinners for my father and Oran. I remember my father saying how much he appreciated what she did for him.
|Andrew Mary Mariah Martina Thomas|
Peder Niels Johanne Halvorsen Family
I was old enough to remember the interaction between her and her husband and I can never recollect anything but joy and happiness in that home. I can never remember any bickering whatsoever. So it is with fond memories of my Grandmother, Mary Helverson Peterson, that I often think back. So I give tribute to her for her goodness and for the kind of life that she lived.