HISTORY of JORGEN CHRISTIANSEN SMITH
from JULIE MOORE TIPPETS
Jorgen Christiansen Smith was born 28 May, 1823 in Fasted, Haderslev, Prucia (Prussia) according to his own record book. The record last known was in the possession of his daughter Rena Holt. He kept a record of his own immediate family or families.
On 6 October, 1850, Jorgen married Christine Marie Birkedahl, who was born !! April, 1825 at Rodding, Ribe, Denmark. They joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on the 27 February, 1854 and he filled a three year mission for the Church, he often said. After joining the Church, they decided to come to America. They set sail on the ship, Tuscorora.
He also served in a war between Denmark and Germany. He served for Denmark and had to fight against his own brothers. One of them was killed in the war and Jorgen felt very badly, often wondering if and deeply hoping that it could not have been a bullet from his gun. This war took place about 1848-1850. He was given a medal for outstanding duties and he received a pension up until the time of his death. He was called to be a soldier and was sent to Copenhagen 1845, 46 and 48. War broke out between Denmark and Prussia and he took part in the fight at Flemsborg and at Nobbel in 1848. He was also sent with frigate ship, Gefron in a skirmish with Ekrenborg 6 April, 1849, was injured in his foot and taken prisoner and was sent to Rensborg.
When his mother heard he had joined the Church and was ready to leave for the USA, she came to see him and cried and tore at her hair and said, "Your going to live with those wicked Mormon?' That was the last time Jorgen ever saw his mother. His father died when he was three years old. He had to cross a lake to do his chores and he fell in and drowned.
There were four children born to this couple in Denmark that came to United States. Their names were; Thildeven Maren (Mary) Smith (born 28 July, 1851 in Nybe, Ribe, Denmark--killed by the Indians 21 March, 1867 near Glenwood, Utah); Christian (born 6 February, 1853 in Nybe, Ribe, Denmark--died 22 September, 1858 in Burlington, Iowa); Bertle Birkedahl (born 18 September, 1855 at Nybe, Ribe, Denmark--died 31 July, 1857 in Burlington, Iowa); and Maria (born 20 March, 1857--died 16 July, 1857 in Burlington, Iowa). The ship landed 3 July, 1857 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. On Jorgen's own records, he gives Maria as being born 20 March, 1857 Burlington, Iowa. However the Captains Log shows she was on the ship when they set sail from Liverpool 30 May, 1857.
These are the names written in the CAPTAIN'S LOG, 30 may, 1857; Jorgen Smith, Christina M. Smith, Maren Smith, Christian Smith, Bertle Smith, and Maria Smith.
The ship, Tuscarora, under Captain Dunleve sailed from Liverpool 30 May, 1857 having 547 of the Saints aboard. Of whom 298 were from the Scandinavian mission and the remainder from the British mission. Elder Richard Harper was appointed president of the company with Joseph Stapelton and C.M. Funk as his councilors. The Saints who sailed in that vessel only contemplated going to the States that season, there to labor and procure means to enable them to cross the plains to Utah another year. After a pleasant voyage lasting about five weeks, the Tuscarora arrived in Philadelphia on the 3 July, 1857. From that port, most of the emigrants continued the journey by rail to Burlington, Iowa, where they scattered in search of employment. (Millennial Star, Volume XIX, page 489; Morgenstjernen, Volume III, page 53, Church Emigration, Volume 2, 1849-1857.)
Landing in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on 3 July, 1857, they then traveled by train to Burlington, Iowa. Then they moved to Leharpe, Illinois. Where their first child, Susane, was born in the USA. She was born 30 May, 1859.
He then traveled with the pioneers to Utah. He came across the plains in a covered wagon using an ox and cow for his method of transportation. They milked the cow for food, food being very scarce in those days. The plains were long and hard to travel over.
After arriving in Salt Lake City, he was sent to Fountain Green by Brigham Young to settle that town. Children that were born there were; Jorgen (John) Smith (born 13 September, 1861); Christine Marie (22 March, 1863), Wilhelmine (twin, 11 May, 1865; Caroline (twin, 11 May, 1865); Joseph (6 June, 1867 in Ephraim, Utah).
He then moved to Richfield, Utah in 1864 but had to move back to Fountain Green, Brigham Young moved them away because of the Indians. He soon went back to Richfield when most of his family of the other wife, Mette Marie Johannessen, were born.
He helped colonize Richfield, Utah and was among the first ten men sent there by Brigham Young in 1864. His children by his marriage to Mette Marie Johannessen were; William Smith (3 January, 1864); Marie Smith (28 April, 1865); Ane C. Smith (November, 1866); Mary Smith (22 March, 1867); James A. Smith (17 March, 1870); Evadine M.M. Smith (17 December, 1871); Ane Laurine Smith (14 November, 1873); Adled Smith (27 April, 1874); Elise Smith (11 February, 1876); Catrine Elise Smith (14 November, 1877); John Christian Smith (3 March, 1883); and Constain Smith (7 August, 1884).
He and his older children helped haul stone and material that built the Manti Temple. They spent many hours doing this. While living in Richfield, a daughter, Mary was killed by the Indians near Glenwood, Utah in 1867, She was shot in the arm, then she ran down the hill where they shot her in the back with bow and arrows. A man and his wife named Petersen had taken her along to shop with them to Glenwood and had left the children at the home of Mary's father, Jorgen Smith. The couple was also killed. Two of their children were raised by the Smiths.
The people of Glenwood witnessed the awful tragedy and reported it to the soldiers. The soldiers followed the Indians, killing 18 of them, then kept the rest away while the people of the smaller towns could move to the fort in Richfield for protection. Jorgen then drove his oxen and covered wagon into the fort with his family and their possessions..
He stretched a cover for protection against rain and sun and they stood guard day and night, shooting at Indians that tried to start fires outside the fort doors. It was believed that Chief Black Hawk led the raiders, but some say that the cruel and daring White Horse was in command. Jorgen risked his life many times going to his wagon to secure provisions for those inside the camp, (information from Mette Maria Smith). Finally a treaty of peace was signed and Jorgen received a medal from the Black Hawk Indian War. for bravery.
Jorgen also had another wife, Wilhelmine Pedersen.. She came to this country as ,an emigrant. He sent money to help bring emigrants here. He built two rooms with a shed roof in between where they could do their washings, make potato starch and soap . There were ten children by his first wife, Christine Marie, and twelve by his second wife, Mette Marie. Wilhemina had no children by Jorgen, but three by her first marriage. She brought two with her while her daughter, Christine, came ahead, Her daughter, Amelia, married an Oberhansley and lived in Payson, Utah and John Smith lived in Pleasant Grove, Utah. (see chapter XVIII )
After the Manifesto, Jorgen lived with his third wife, Mette Marie. He could only live with one wife, but still had to support the others. By this time, Wilhemine had died in 1882. He divided his property with Christine Marie who lived in Richfield until her death in 1900.
Jorgen was a blacksmith by trade. Hour by hour he did community service in his blacksmith shop to help earn a livelihood. Some was hard work, other a little easier such as tinsmith and some shoemaking, but mostly the anvil and hammer was used. We learned in later years he named himself Smith as his name was Christensen before he sailed to the USA. Jorgen had one of the first drug stores in Richfield, Utah. He knew medicines and to fix formulas. The store building which was part of his home still stands. Jorgen was also handy with the sick and did much to alleviate their pain and bring comfort to his friends and neighbors. He could speak seven languages and write five. He got his education in the country of Denmark while it was Germany. Sometimes it was confusing. He was born in Prussia, which at the time was under German control. He was a grown man when Denmark was finally able to regain control. So sometimes it is said Jorgen was born in Denmark, but not so.
Jorgen could hunt along with any of the fellows and proved to be a sure shot. In this manner, he was able to furnish much food for his family. Sometimes it would be a deer, but many times it would be wild rabbits or wild ducks. The gun was the kind which required powder to be hand loaded. Even until his old age, the grandchildren can remember him slipping out with his gun and bring home a cottontail rabbit. Those were the best for an evening meal.
Little is known of the other homes he lived in , but at one time in Richfield, Utah it was a dug-out (in 1864). Then a small cabin was built, the a better home. Christine became very ill in the later part of her life and lived all alone. She would sit at her spinning wheel and sing songs in Danish. She spun her own yarn, took her knitting any place she went. She died in the year 1900 and was buried in the old cemetery at Richfield, Sevier County, Utah. Jorgen went to the old Endowment House and had his second endowment done. (the information in the latter part of this history was taken from writings of their lives by May Neilson Jones, daughter of Christena Marie Smith Nielson. May lived with her grandmother until the time of her death)
Jorgen made his home in Richfield until about 1886, then moved to Notom, Utah. He ran a post office and did some farming. While residing in Notom, he was kicked by a horse. His friends thought he was dead and were planning to bury him. One man however would not give up, and placed a mirror in front of his mouth--and to everyones surprise, steam appeared on the mirror. His friends nursed him slowly back to health. Jorgen still thought he might pass away, so 29 February, 1899 he wrote in his own handwriting a few words of advice to his children and on the following page are reproduced these documents as he has written them. Jorgen had lived a full life and had served well. He had been an honest upright father, justice of peace, a postmaster, a presiding elder and performed other services for the public. He had lived a faithful life and wanted his children, also to live well.
His house stood by the side of the road and he befriended many a passer-by. Luncheon was served to all. (See Wayne History, Daughters of Utah Pioneers of Rainbow views by A. Snow)
He had a great many friends and was never afraid to share with people the food or things he had. He moved to Thurber, Wayne County, Utah, now known as Bicknell. He was laid to rest at Bicknell Cemetery. He died 28 August, 1908. Jorgen lived to a ripe old age of 85 years and three months.
The following are copies of two original handwritten documents made by Jorgen Smith.
COPY of PROPERTY DOCUMENT; Dividing of property with wife, Christine Marie was made when Utah Law said, "A man must have only one wife." He chose Mette Marie and this was Chistina's share as his statement shows.
House and Lot $250.00
5 Acres of land $100.00
2 Cows $30.00
1 Horse $40.00
5 Head of sheep $10.00
The lower hay lot $15.00
This is a copy given of a blessing to his children and posterity, Notom, Utah Post Office, 25 February, 1899;
My dear children and family,
I am going to advise you and give you my last advice. I feel my days are numbered and I am going to leave you. I will advise you, my sons and daughters, my sons in laws to go get your endowments in the temple of our Lord and get your wives and children sealed to you and live up to the rule of the Gospel of the son of God and do better by your Father. Be honest and live and do good work and do better to hold your prayers and pray for one and all.
I am told by the Stake President to go to the Temple this Spring and get my second endowments, but I won't be here in the Spring. If I will be permitted to stay her it will be by your faith and prayers, my children. Wake up, I know the Gospel's reign upon the earth and will remain here until the coming of Christ and it will be closer than we are aware of. It is my last counsel I give you.
Oh, my Father and God, I pray in the name of the Son, our redeemer Jesus Christ, open the eyes of my children and their understanding that they may see the Gospel in it's purity and live up to it. I pray this in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen
Let all my children see this and all copy it if you feel it is worth it to listen to your fathers last advice and council.
From your father,
He was permitted to live for a number of years after this. He passed away 28, August, 1908 at Thurber, now Bicknell, Wayne County, Utah, by the side of his second wife, Mette Marie Villadsen (Johannesen Danish). Laid to rest in the Thurber Cemetery. He lived to the ripe old age of 85 years and three months.
The story was originally written with Zidsel as Jorgen Smith's wife, all family and Church records show this to be an error, so Christine Marie now becomes his wife in the story.