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. 

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