Thursday, October 25, 2012


Diary of Christian Nelson
By Christian Nielsen (Nelson)
“Jeguar Fodt” is Lodsby (Laasby), Aarhus amt, Denmark, October 20, 1866
Men Fader uar Hans Nielson Herning, Men Moder was Kjisten Martie Jensen Pelson.  Men Fader came from Byen Herning, Denmark.  Men Moder come from Nesset, Jegtroir Det er I Silkeborg amt.”

I Christian was born in Lodsby (Laasby), Aarhus County, Denmark.  My folks was Lutherans afor they joined the Mormon Church and understood I was christened “Jensen” then changed to Nielson.  Father bore the name of “Herning”, which was the custom in that country to be called by the name of the town or county you were born in, which make the Danish names very mixed, in fact it puts them in a muddle to cipher out.  Anyway I was born in the Church.  (the muddle was no muddle at all the mother, Kjisten Marie was born a “Jensen” an Upper Class Jensen.  Hans became a Jensen because of his station in life and his children were born with the Christened name of “JENSEN”.   Christian said, “Her own family whom were nearly all well off rejected her on account of marrying against their wishes.  They never came to see her and she was very proud.  She did not go near them.  Such was our lives and such was our living.  

I commences to go to school when I was seven years old.  I learned to read very good before I was taken to school.  Father was very strict, never allowed any fooling and very little play and no talking only to answer his questions.  I can remember my sister, Hanna took me down to the red school with red roofing tiles on it.  School was set when I came into the room.  School teacher, his name was Nielsen (surname), made me read a piece out of a book and I read so well, he put me up in the middle of the class.  In those days they only had one class in public schools and our lessens was Reading, Writing, Spelling and a little Geography.  My teacher was a splendid fellow, hones, square and always treated me fine.  I liked him.  Just once did he chastise me on my cheek and said I suppose you will be a Mormon just like your father.  I sure felt cheap. 
We was poor, that is we had enough to eat and wear, just common, only the clothe you wore, none extra.  Wore wooden shoes, was happy in a way but scared to dead of any strangers. 
I remember once when I was down in the store for something and there was some Gypsy kids in there.  Two of them.  They were a nuisance.  Storekeeper said to me, put them boys out, they were above my size.  I tackled the job and out they went.  Next day I met them out of town a little ways.  They knew me and they were good and sore and came after me.  I could hold my own but one of them pulled a knife and threatened me but I was scared sure, but I still hung on.  Just then Father happened to come along.  I guess that was the only time I was really glad to see him.  He chased me home and I sure was glad of it.
A good many of our neighbors was wealthy and they was very kind to us.  My good mother was sick all the time, lying in bed, aromatic.  Oh how I loved my mother no one knows.  She used to tell me her troubles and she sure had some, no one knows but her.  Those days poor people sure suffered all kinds of hardship.  I can remember when I was  about 9 years old, how our rich neighbors tried to get Father to sign me over to them.  They all liked me but nothing doing.  When I would be out playing and I would see father coming how I would hike for home.  He was very strict and I was on the jump.
School hours was my best time but if I was late getting home I would get a good correcting.  There is one instance of my childhood I am proud of.  Coming home from school one neighbor gang of boys and girls stopped at a pond which had been froze over and broke up in the spring.  We was all having a good time jumping across the pond on kegs of ice from shore to shore till one of the boys fell in and was clinging to a keg of ice.  In about two seconds every boy and girl was scared to dead.  I can remember the boy, he was bigger and older than I was but I could not run.  I guess I was so scared.  I remember getting a stick and pulled him over where I could get his hand and helped him up on this ice float I was standing on, it nearly put us both in the pond.  He was sure a thankful boy.
Taken from a letter to his Children on his Birthday 20 October 1933
Christian’s Life in Denmark
Born 68 years ago today in a long straw-thatched wide building in country town called Lodaly, by one of the greatest and best honorable mother that ever lived.  A most humble and God-fearing woman, in the very poorest of circumstances and conditions, in a room, I see it now, ide in area, with bunk nailed against wall.  One side of room bottom board and straw filling with a feather tick on top of straw and one for top cover.  A high four-walled iron heater put together with common clay with pipe into the chimney.  A hard earthen floor with a rough table and chairs and benches standing under a high window.  One alcove room to one side with a baker’s brick oven with a fireplace on top leading up to a very wide chimney, this is where you done what little cooking was done in an iron kettle hanging across the chimney.  The door leading out was just like a double cut stable door with a one foot high door sill to step over. 

Bingham Train and shovel
Maybe mother got enough to eat sometimes and maybe not.   Many times she went hungry and her children would cry for food.  Living on black rye bread and what little skim milk neighbors would give her.
I loved my mother dearly.  In my infant days I can recall her going into the woods gathering up wood and strapping it on her back with a rope and packing it home for two or three miles.  I used to trot along by her side.  When she got tired she would sit down in the ditch along the highway and rest and what a hard tie she would have getting up with the wood strapped to her poor back.  As soon as was able to pack a little on my back I done so.  It was freezing sometimes in snow two or three feet deep.  What a life for a good woman to lead.  I never heard her complain of her hard lot.  She was always thankful for any kindness extended to her by her poor friends. 
Her own family whom were nearly all well off rejected her on account of marrying against their wishes.  They never came to see her and she was very proud.  She did not go near them.  Such was our lives and such was our living. 


You children complain over your circumstances.  You have no cause for complaint.  You should be on your knees morning and night thanking our Father in Heaven for your many blessings you receive daily.  Why don’t you all turn to Him with your heart and soul kneeling His commandments .  In ourselves we accomplish nothing.  We are depending on His mercies to us.  Why do we not appreciate our wonderful blessings received daily?  I am telling you once for all if you don’t change some of your ways you will be sorry and maybe too late.  You have no excuse, you was raised and taught the truth by a good mother of your own.  A mother you should all love and take her council.  A mother that was good and kind.  A mother that did lead you right as long as you was small.  Whom tried to  show you the right course to take.  I cannot understand why you do not follow in her foot steps and worship the God she loves.  The God that gave us all life, that opens up ways for his children if they follow Him.  How plain the plan to follow which he has revealed to day.

The end of the seasons are knocking on your door, open up and let in the Light while you have a chance.  Never mind what your fellow associates say or think, you must not follow them, you must stand on your own feet.  You must think for yourself.  You must not deny your own conscience.  You must not go against the teachings of your mother.  If you do so you will rue the day as sure as you live.

I am telling you once for all that Mormonism is true and the only way to salvation.  Let the world raze all it wants to against the officials of the Church, that dose nor not hurt the principals of the Truth.  There is no man perfect and we are all apt to err in our ways but you children seemed to have turned your parents’ and their religion down.  I cannot understand how you could do so..  what, are you afraid to acknowledge God that gave you life and whom you will someday return too?  You all know better.  Today is the time for you to turn over a new leaf.  Get in line become life members of your Church and help out for your own salvation and the salvation of your children if you love them, or get out of it entirely.  You are standing in the door, turn one way or the other.  Do not say I did not tell you for I have.  I bore you my sincere testimony that the Church of Jesus Christ is true and the only way to eternal life.  So I hope you will all read this letter and understand my words and seek for greater things, for it is here and do not cast it from you.

Your Old Daddy

C. Nelson

Death Notice
Christian Nelson, 68, of 154 West North Temple Street, Road Master of the Bingham & Garfield railroad, was killed at 10 a.m. today (19 March, 1935) at Highland Boy.  Mr. Nelson was killed when a crane on the wrecker struck a trolley pole crashing it down on him. 

Hans NIELSEN HERNING                                                  Herning, Ringkobing, Denmark
Marie Kisten JENSDATTER PELSEN NIELSON                   Nisset, Lemming, Viborg, Denmark
Maren Catrina HANSDATTER NIELSEN                    Rohde, Skorring, Aarhus, Denmark
Anna Johanna HANSDATTER NIELSEN                                    Galten, Aarhus, Denmark.
Niels HANSEN NIELSON                                                               Galten, Aarhus, Denmark
Jens HANSEN NIELSON                                         Laasby, Gern, Skanderborg, Aarhus, Denmark
Jens (James) Hansen NIELSEN                   Laasby, Gern, Skanderborg, Aarhus, Denmark
Christian Hansen NIELSON NELSON         Laasby, Gern, Skanderborg, Aarhus, Denmark
Christian was born 20 October 1866 and killed 19 March 1935

Marie Kisten was a Pelsen who married below her station in life and was shunned by her family.  So no matter how hard she suffered or how poor she became she was no longer part of the family.  They moved two or three times trying to better themselves but the family was poorly housed and did go hungry at times.  They were also harassed for joining the Mormon Church.

Bingham Canyon, Utah
Chris was the Rail Master "the head of the trains" for the D & RGW serving the Carbon County coal companies until he moved from Provo to Salt Lake City.  The Bingham Canyon mines were mining ore faster than the D & RGW could ship the ore to the Magna mills.  Two or three new lines were constructed but this was not enough, so, they built the Bingham & Garfield Railway (the B & G) from the bottom of the Utah Copper Pit directly across the mountain to Magna.  It was a 20 mile railway built high up on the steep mountain side high above the town of Bingham.  It was a major project with three huge steel trestles across three canyons and four tunnels totaling almost a mile long.   And Christian Nelson was the Road Master, "the head of the railroad". 

Winter Quarters, Utah
Ella Nielson Boothe said,  "I had an Uncle Chris.  You should hear about him.  He is a famous guy in my life.  He was the head of the trains.  His office was way up high in the store.  When he would come over he would put me in his arms and love me and give me a book or something.  I remember standing up on the hill when I had the mumps, waving at the men on the track.  When Uncle Chris came they would throw out lumps of coal for us and we would go and get it."  

Friday, October 5, 2012


The Argo
Once upon a time in a land far away the Greeks and Gods built the famous  Argo  it was made from trees  from an inchanted forest.  It carried Jason and the Argonauts  to find the "Golden Fleece" and other  mithical adventures.
Niels was he Shangaied -- or--  Lost at Sea ?
Argo built by the Gods for Jayson
In the spring of 1877, James 17 and Christian 12 boarded "Argon" with a Company of Mormon emigrants. It was to sail to Hull, England in the morning. Niels followed his two brothers to the harbor and watched them board the Argo. That night he quietly slipped into the water and swam to the ship, climbed aboard and found a hiding place but was soon discovered and taken to the Captain. Niels, 22 years old agreed to work as a sailor to pay his passage. Niels never did accept the Mormon religion there was a lot of talk against polygamy and he had enough of the Lutheran Church also.  At Hull the two brothers looked high and low for Niels. Niels just had just disappeared. We say he was lost at Sea. Did the Captain and crew hide him away or did Niels just hide from his brothers
Seattle, Washington 2011
In a LDS Church a daughter of Carole Moulton and a young lady was looking at one of my books in the Nielsen section.  She pointed at Niels and said he was not “Lost at Sea”; he has a large family in Argentina.  The young lady cannot be found and Niles’s family is “Lost in South America” somewhere.    I am desperately looking for her.  What a waste.  Was Niels “Shanghaied” (taken by force by the Captain and  crew) or did he just hide from his brothers? 

Anna Johanna Nielsen, Hannah as she was called was born under humble circumstances into a family of six children; two daughters and four sons. 
Maren (Mary), Anna Johanna, Niels (lost at sea), Jens (died at age two), James (Jens), Christian.

1877 Argo that took Niels
Maren Catrina was the first to leave Denmark, in about 1869 or 1870.  She immigrated alone to Salt Lake and then sent down to Richfield, Utah.  There she met and married Hans Peter Nielsen, together they had built a farm here.  Hans was a miller and a carpenter.  She would provide a home for the rest of the family when the rest of family came several years later. 
 The S. S. Wisconsin sailed from Liverpool on the 19th of September 1877 with a company of 482 Mormon Saints; it was a spirited and lively company, full of music and song.   They landed at New York Sept. 3 and arrived by train in Salt Lake City on October 6th."
The daughters of James, May and Ella both tell this story of life in Denmark; the family was poor and times were hard.  The wealthy feudal landlords made life very hard for the peasants.  Having no land of their own they had to live in a rented house and work where they could.  All of Han's children were hired out to these landlords except the two youngest.  May said, "My father (James) worked as a farm hand.  He had to herd cows, clean corals and feed stock.  The corals were kept spotless and were bedded each day with clean straw.  They milked the cows three times a day.  Father received very little compensation for his labor, mostly board. 
Hans Nielson Herning family
May said, "In the winter the children went to school at nine o'clock in the morning and it lasted all day.   In the summer they went from six to nine in the morning, and then worked on the farm the rest of the day.  In Denmark they went to school until they were fourteen years old, then one year to the Priest for examination.  None of Grandfather's children went to the Priest as he would not let them. 
Hannah’s father lived a long distance from his folks.  They were hard toward him for joining the “Mormon” Church.  One day her father’s brother was traveling by their home as a freighter.  He came to the door and asked if they were still serving the devil. 
In Denmark, the Catholic priests would go around with a box on their shoulders to solicit money from their followers so that the souls of the dead relatives, who had sinned, could be released from the burning pits of Hell.  If the people paid enough money, and the box clinked, immediately the souls of their dead relatives would spring out of Hell’s fire. 
There was not much time for amusement, as the children had to work all the time.  They had little freedom; they attended dances once in a while in the winter.  Then there was skating and snowballing.  The children of the poor class were allowed to gather the dead wood from the forest.  You could see many children with large bundles of wood on their backs.  Sometimes they had to go long distances in to the forest for wood and also to gather hazelnuts to store for winter and to roast as they sat around the fire at night.  They had a lot of pleasure going into the woods". 
The parents and the children were all converts to the Mormon Church and all wished to come to Utah but they didn't have the money for the passage.  There was only enough money for the oldest daughter to go at first.  It took several years before the rest of the family could earn enough for to follow. 
Christian Nelson  wife Mary
From New York City, the journey continued the same day by rail 30 September 1877.  They crossed rivers and mountains.  At one point it was raining so hard the river started to rise.  It rose so high that they could not cross and their train had to wait three days for the river to go down so they could go on their way.  The Saints arrived in Ogden and in Salt Lake City, Saturday, 6 October 1877.
While in Salt Lake City, they visited the grave of Brigham Young who died earlier that same year.
Hannah’s sister, Mary and her husband met them at the end of the railroad and took them to Richfield where she lived.  They traveled by wagon.  Hannah found employment from a man named Jensen who ran a store in Elsinore.  Hannah helped Mrs. Jensen in the home.  With Hanna and her father both working, they hired a girl to come and sit with her mother.  Hannah’s father worked at cutting stone to earn money to build a home and buy a farm. 
James Nielson and family
Her father bought an inexpensive lot from the city and by working hard he soon had a beautiful place with trees and flowers.  He farmed this lot for a few years then sold it.  This farm was south of Richfield. He then leased some land from the city to the north of Richfield.  This land was all cut up from floods and was in bad condition.  Again, by working long and hard he soon had a level farm that produced very abundantly.  He broke up and farmed the land that the Richfield City Cemetery now occupies.  He farmed this land until he became sick and died in 1907.