Friday, September 9, 2011



author unknown

Hans Peter Ottesen   wife Ane Johanne Larsen
Hans Ottesen was born in Kokkenborgled, Hjorring County, Denmark, 7th August, 1823.  He was the son of Otte Pedersen and Anne Katrina Hansen Pedersen.  Hans was blessed with two brothers and three sisters;  Niels Christian, older, Christian, Mette, Marie and Birgette were younger. 

The Family owned a home, and a farm stocked with dairy cattle.  At this home all the children were born and grew up.   When the children were old enough, they went out to work and help themselves.  The salary on the farms consisted of board and room and $20.00 per year.  

Hans was fortunate in obtaining work on a large farm where he received fair wages.  He worked on this farm until he was 29 years of age when 5th January, 1853 he married Ana Johanne Larsen.  She was 22 years of age. 

Ane Johanne Larsen, his bride, was the daughter of Lars Christensen and Christine Pedersen Christensen.  She was born 24th September, 1830 in Norreskoven, Hornby, Hjorring, Denmark.  She had an older sister who died six months after Ane was born.  She also had three younger sisters and two younger brothers. 

Her parents were also a happy family who owned their own home, a farm, and they operated a small mercantile business.  The children were well cared for and schools were provided, and attendance was compulsory in Denmark then. 

1900 picture of Ottesen family
Ane Johanne graduated from school but was taught to work in the home and help with other children on the farm.  She then went to keep house for her grandfather who was a widower.  She worked here for two years, then took a position in an other home.  There she met Hans Ottesen and they were married after two years of courtship. 

They made their home with his widowed mother and younger sister, Birgette.  Ane Johanne's father gave them there dairy cattle and many things to help out the young couple. 

Soon after their marriage the Latter Day  Missionaries arrived in their home, arrived in their home town.  They became interested in the gospel and on 14 February, 1854, they and Hans' mother and sister were all baptized by Andrew Petersen and were confirmed 18 February, 1854 by Elder Lars Larsen.  Hans was ordained a priest in 1854 in Aalberg, Denmark. 

When Ane Johanne's father Lars Christensen learned that they had joined the Mormons, he became so angry he demanded that they return everything he had given to them.  This they did, then they sold everything they had left to make the long journey to Utah.  Ane's father was so angry the young people were afraid to let him know where they were while they were preparing to leave.  Their last night was spent at the home of a dear friend, the sister of Kate Carter' grandmother.  Here Ane Johanne's mother secretly visited her daughter, son-in-law and their six week old baby son.  She bid them good-bye at midnight. 
Hans's exit visa

(The following information is taken from the Church emigration records)
Eighteenth Company;---"James Nesmith", 440 souls.  On the 23-24-25 of November, 1854 about 500 Scandinavian Saints sailed from Copenhagen, Denmark on the steamship "Slesvig, Cimbria and Geiser" under the direction of Elders Peter O. Hansen and Erik G. M. Hogan.  The two smaller companies which embarked in the Slesvig and Geiser traveled by way of Kiel, Hamburg and Hull to Liverpool, England, where after successful trips, they arrived on the 27th of November and the 7th of December, respectively.  The larger company of nearly 300 souls, under the presidency of Peter O. Hansen, left Copenhagen, in the Cimbria on the 27th of November, all the emigrants being good heath and excellent spirits.  They had an exceedingly rough passage over the German Ocean.  At 10 o'clock on the morning of the 25th, the Cimbria arrived at Frederickshaven on the east coast of Jutland (Jylland), where 149 more emigrants from Aalborg and Vendsyssel conferences came aboard.  (Hans Ottesen and his family were among these)  With these additional passengers the voyage was continued on the morning of the 26th. 

The prospects were fair till about 2 o'clock on the morning of the 27th, when the wind turned south-west, and began to blow so heavily that the captain, who appeared to be an experienced sailor but very cautious, deemed it necessary to turn back and seek the nearest harbor in Norway.  Consequently the course was changed, and about 4 o'clock in the afternoon, the Cimbria put into the port of Mandal, which is an excellent harbor--surrounded by very high steep cliffs of granite.   This romantic place and it's surroundings were as much of a curiosity to the Danish Emigrants as a ship-load of Mormons were to the people of Mandal. 

In the Harbor,  the emigrants tarried for several days, while the wind outside spent it's fury on the troubled sea.  Some of the Saints went ashore to lodge, they found the inhabitants of Mandal very hospital, and by request some of the brethren preached several times to the people on shore.  The results of this was that some of the inhabitants subsequently embraced the Gospel. 

Ottesen sisters    Emma on right
On the morning of 7th of December, when the weather seemed more favorable, the Cimbria again put to sea, and steamed off toward England once more, but the captain and all on board learned that the change in the weather was only a lull preceding an outburst of more violence of a long winter storm.  About midnight of the 7th the wind became so terrific it shattered the ship's bulwark and broke a number of boxes.  About 2 o'clock, on the morning of the 8th the captain decided to turn back to Mandal but as the wind, waves, and strong current rendered it very dangerous to turn the vessel in the direction of Norway, it was necessary to go back to Frederickshaven, where the ship arrived on the 9th about 4 P.M.  By this time the Saints were suffering severely, but with the exception of two or three, all stayed with the company. 

While weather-bound, most of the emigrants went to shore to refresh themselves and were able to hold several meetings with the people there. 

On the 20th of December, the captain decided to make the third attempt to reach England.  The Saints were rested and felt better, but in the night between the 21st and 22nd, a terrible storm arose threatening the ship and all, with destruction.   For many hours they fought the storm, but finally turned back the third time.  The captain and the crew were discouraged, but the Saints thanked the Lord for saving them.  About 2 P.M. on the 22nd the wind changed and the Captain immediately steered for Hull, and 24th of December about noon the ship anchored in Humber.  They journeyed by rail to Liverpool where they joined two smaller companies who had awaited their arrival.  The Heloi--previously chartered for them had gone, so the James Nesmith, under Captain Mills sailed 7th January, 1855 with 440 saints from Scandinavia, from Liverpool, England to New Orleans. 

On 18th February, 1855 the ship arrived at the mouth of the Mississippi after a fine voyage, during which 13 deaths had occurred. 

At New Orleans, where they landed 23 February, they boarded a steamboat, Oceana and sailed from New Orleans on 24th February, 1855.  On the journey up the Mississippi, seven more saints passed away.  They arrived at Saint Louis 7 March, 1855. 

One hundred and seventy five members including the Ottesens left Saint Louis 12 March, under Peter O. Hansen by the Steamboat Clara for Atchison, Kansas.  Low water forced them to land where they waited for the company led by Elder Hogan to arrive.  During their stay 20 immigrants died. 

They selected a new camp because of an outbreak of Cholera and many immigrants moved to Mormon Grove, 5 miles west of Kansas.  It became a real outfitting post.  Ottesens went there 22nd May, where they obtained a wagon and team of oxen.   They were then ready to journey west.  The James Nesmith log list them as;  Ottesen, farmer 31,  Anne Johanne Ottesen 24, Anders H. (son) 3 months, Annie C. Ottesen (Hans' mother) 59, and Birgette Ottesen 17 (Han's sister).  (page 200) 

The Ottesen family were members of the Secrist Company;  368 people, 51 wagons, 317 oxen, 100 cows and 5 horses. 

They left Atchison 13 June, 1855.  Captain Joseph F. Secrist died 2 July, 1855 at Ketchum Creek and Noah T. Guyman was made captain. 

While crossing the plains Hans' sister, Birgette, then 18 years of age, became seriously ill with colary (now called cholera).  She died 15 June, 1855.  The company halted long enough to dig a shallow grave.  When they had dug three feet, a large flat rock prevented them from digging any deeper.  While the grave was being dug, Ane Johanne prepared her beloved sister in law for burial.  Birgette was dressed in clean clothing, the body wrapped tightly in a sheet and placed in the rock bottomed grave, a short service held and a saddened company went on their way after only a one hour pause to leave another faithful member by the way. 

They arrived in Salt Lake City 6 September, 1855, almost ten months after leaving Denmark.  They were sent that same year to settle in Brigham City.  While they were still living in their wagon they stopped work on their own home and made 4000 adobes for the Church. 

They moved into a dugout and continued to work on the house. 

They built a small two room house, but before it was finished, a large tree fell on Hans' leg, breaking it in two places.  The fracture was set by his wife and a neighbor man.  Of course, the recovery was long and tedious and never completely successful.  John S. Lewis helped to put on a roof before the winter storms set in. 

The food was very scarce, and all the clothing that could be spared was traded for bran and shorts.  Flour was almost never seen.   

In December 1855, another son was born.  He was named Joseph Grant Ottesen.  He died when almost two years old. 29 October, 1857. 

In 1857, wolves killed a fat cow in the night.  The meat was divided among the starving saints who felt this was a blessing from Heavenly Father. 

Because of the scarcity of food and Indian trouble they were advised to move south.  Before they left, while Hans was in bed with his broken leg an Indian came demanding food.  The young wife tried very hard to explain she had no food.  He had a knife in his hand with which he threatened to kill her.  With  a prayer in her heart she bravely grasped him by the wrists while she prayed.  He dropped the knife.  As in previous incidents, her faith was strengthened.  She picked up his knife, handed it to him and he walked away. 

Leaving their little home and their son's grave they moved to Spanish Fork in the spring of 1858.  Here they built a small home and then a larger one, so well it still stands in very good condition.  This home they lived in as long as they lived and here eight more children were born

Moving to Spanish Fork did not end the Indian troubles.  Hans was lame from the time of his accident, so he never participated in Indian fighting, but spent many long nights standing guard.  His son, Joseph now a large boy, often helped an older herder guard the cattle from the Indians.  One night When Joseph was home ill with the mumps, Mr. Knudsen, the herder he was to help, was killed and scalped.  Joseph often spoke of this and wondered at the Lord's method of saving his life.  Ana Johanna often dressed in a man's clothing, went out to get the cows.  She knew she would not be safe if the Indians saw her dressed as a woman. 

Hans Ottesen again made 4,000 adobes which he donated for the Spanish Fork Central meeting house. 

In Spanish Fork, Hans Ottesen homesteaded land and was a very successful farmer.  He bought more land and livestock and became a very prominent man.  He worked hard on his farm and for many years he made shoes for the entire family, and also , the neighbors.   He was a good tinnier and was an expert Marksman and he and his family enjoyed, wild geese, quail, ducks, and much other game. 

Upon one occasion, he had a severe case of pneumonia, the Elders came, and after prayer and administration, an opening appeared between two ribs where pus drained out and he soon recovered.  He and his family never failed to give proper thanks for all blessings. 
His wife was a worthy help-mate at all times.  She corded and spun wool and made beautiful fabrics, she raised silk-worms, and even made many yards of beautiful silk.  She made her own clothes, candles and soap.  She made bread, butter and cheese, raised sugar cane and made molasses. 

Letters were frequently received from the Elders laboring in the Scandinavian Mission asking them to help some honest person, and at times, whole families to come join the Saints in Utah.  This, they did until 64 persons had been helped.  Many of these people were met in Salt Lake City and conveyed by ox team and later by horse drawn wagon to the two homes maintained by the Ottesens.  Here the new-comers remained until employment was found.  Some paid back the money advanced to them and others never did. 

Ane Johanne would always explain to her children if they protested that they needed new clothing or other things,  "We are only doing what is our duty and we are helping our friends and ourselves to gain salvation."  

Hans Ottesen was ordained an Elder 10 May, 1858 by John Lewis, at Spanish Fork, Utah.  He received his endowment with his first wife, Ane Johanne Larsen 29 November, 1861;  also with Meete Mortensen, his second wife.  She died in Spanish Fork, 27 January, 1863.  Johanne Petersen, third wife was endowed and sealed to him 19 January, 1867.  She had one son, Hans Peter Ottesen, born 10 August, 1868 and she passed away 6 September, 1869. 

In November 1869 he married Nicolena Jensen, forth wife, a lovely young bride, and they were the parents of Nephi Ottesen, Ephraim Moroni Ottesen, and Emeline Victoria Ottesen Fowler.  (Endowment House # 14611 book 7, page 51) 

Hans and his devoted first wife, Ane Johanne were the parents of 10 children; two of whom, Joseph Grant and Christine died in infancy.  The other children are, Andrew, who crossed the ocean as a baby but died at 47 years of age in 1901 and those others who survived their mother;  Hans Joseph, Johanna Katherine, Sarah Laure, Hyrum, Eva Christine, Emma Johanna, Erastus Laurats. 

Hans Ottesen died on New Years Eve, December, 1892 and Johanne Died 17 December, 1906.  They are buried in Spanish Fork Cemetery. 


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