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 Nelsen Peter Petersen

Nelsen Peter Petersen

Death 8 Jun 1931 (aged 71)
Granger, Salt Lake County, Utah, USA
Burial Taylorsville, Salt Lake County, Utah, USA
Plot 1 A 61 2
Memorial ID 144581 · View Source
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Son of Peter Petersen and Anne Catrine Nielsen
Born: Ellinghedehus, Funder, Viborg, Denmark

A Sketch of the Life of Nels Peter Petersen
Born: June 13, 1859, Denmark
A Utah Pioneer of 1868.

Prepared and read by daughter
Ella P. Bennion, March 10, 1955

Granger Camp, Salt Lake Co.
Daughters of the Pioneers

My father, Nels Peter Petersen was truly born of goodly parents. He was the son of Peder and Anne Katrine Nielsen Pedersen. He was the youngest of five children. He was born June 13, 1859 in Århus, Denmark. His parents joined the church in 1850-59, years before father was born. At this time persecutions were intensely bitter in Denmark, and according to history, pretty well over the entire civilized world.
An interesting story of a sister father never told us about was found in the records by Grant Stevenson, a grandson of my father. On Aug. 30, 1842, was born to Peder and Anne Katrine Nielsen Pedersen, their second child, whom they named Birgithe. She was given to Peder’s sister Maren to raise. Maren Pedersen had married Rasmus Andersen in 1835 and their only child Birgithe Kristine died Mar. 30, 1941. Thus it is evident that Peder Pedersen’s daughter was named after this five-year old niece, and possibly due partly to poverty given to Maren to raise in place of their lost child. Thus my father’s sister was given to Birgithe. She was raised about 12 miles away in the town of Fjensted, where many of our relatives still live. Birgithe married Søren Nielsen September 23, 1881 at the age of 19. She died 7 1/2 months later on May 5, 1862. My father was three years old.

Edel Kirstine Petersen, born April 5, 1839 at Røde, Skjørring, Århus, Denmark. Married Niels Erickson.Died Oct.20, 1916

Peder Pedersen born July 14, 1849 at Funder, Viborg, Denmark.
Died May 6, 1852.

Peder Pedersen was born Dec. 19, 1854 at Funder, Viborg, Denmark. He came to Salt Lake with the missionaries on June 12, 1867 (13 ½ years old.) Father was unable to find or know anything of the whereabouts or what happened to Peder (Grandpa Pedersen’s brother.)

A few months later one of the highlights of the life of my grandfather occurred as he received the Melchizedek Priesthood and was ordained an Elder on Sept. 8, 1867. The following year my father and his parents left Denmark for Zion, June 10, 1868. They sailed from England on either the John Briget or Emerald Isle. They arrived in the Salt Lake Valley in August or September in 1868 after a most wearisome journey. Although it was not the handcart company, they walked most of the way. My father was nine-years-old and his parents, Peder and Anne, were 60 and 50 years old respectively. Their sacrifices that we might be born in a land of opportunity ended tragically as the long hard journey had sapped their remaining strength and brought about their death a few weeks later. The records of the old Salt Lake City Cemetery list only the last name (Petersen) of two Danish emigrants who died Oct. 10, and 13, 1868. They were buried in the church plot, D-7.

From the time of joining the church it was the sincere desire of my father’s parents to someday emigrate to Utah. Father said he could not remember a time in his early life when it was not hard work. They were always saving every penny (krone) in anticipation of emigrating to Utah, and at the same time seeing that the children were taught the fundamentals of education. This was at a time when there were no free schools as we have today. Father remembered the tutor who came each day to teach him to read, write, and learn arithmetic. He well remembered reading aloud the church books to his father and mother.

He had a very vivid picture of their home in Denmark. He remembered how clean it was kept. At the back was a pond where ducks and geese quacked and honked noisily - very interesting to a lad of seven or eight. He remembered the anxiety of his parents when the money was saved and they were making ready to leave on the long journey to Utah. Their house was sold. He remembered the tears his mother quickly wiped away as they left the home with so many memories. She didn’t look back again, but with courage and fortitude, and feeling the gospel the most precious thing in the world and that they were going to Zion. There they would be reunited with the son and daughter who left earlier.
They left Denmark early in the Spring of 1868 leaving England June 10, 1868. They were 32 days on the water. Father said the emigrant passage across the ocean at that time enjoyed about the same conveniences in transit as do our cattle of today. They arrived in the Salt Lake Valley early in September, 1868. Due to hardship, age and the change in climate, his parents died five weeks later.

At that time emigrants from the Scandinavian countries were met by members of the church. They offered to take children and teach them the language and help them get a start in this new country. The emigrants thought that any man who was a seventy was truly a choice spirit and would be able to do much to help their children. As a result, father was taken into a family and did not learn of his parents’ death until one year later. I think this was due in part to a severe sickness which father had, where he lay between life and death for several seeks. During this time, he heard nothing but English and when he was well, he had forgotten most of his Danish. It was a blessing in a way, but he always felt bad to think he couldn’t remember enough of his Danish language to teach it to his children.

In this family, there were two boys much older than he. He was sent over to Jordan to help them herd cattle. The sons were not honest with their parents and they stole cattle from them. Father knew what they were doing. They made father promise by torturing him using red hot irons, burning the vessels in his legs. He suffered from this all his days. These two boys in their derelict years came to father for assistance, which he gave. He held no unkind feelings, but was happy he was able to help and was sorry for their wasted lives. Finally gaining enough courage to leave this home, he had nothing but the clothes he stood up in. He had an Indian blanket and a dollar in his pocket which he borrowed, and paid it back to the people he had served for eight years. He lived with this family for a period of eight years until October 1876, experiencing many hardships and trials.

He next went to live with Hon Young, a family living in the Sugarhouse Ward. They treated him so kind, as compared with the other family, he said it was like stepping out of hell and into heaven. He was so appreciative of their kindness, that the first five dollars he earned, he gave to their young son as a gift.
He found employment in the Deseret Woolen Mills and also worked for Bro. William Barton in the canyon in the logging and lumber business until he saved the sum of six hundred dollars, which he invested in a farm in Granger at 4400 West and about 3800 South. He plowed and did farming with oxen the first year or two.
He was married March 4, 1885 in the Logan Temple to Sarah Grant, whom he met in Sugarhouse. This was two years after purchasing the land in Granger. They lived in a small house in the mouth of Millcreek Canyon for a short time. In this first home, father made the bed, table, and two chairs. They soon moved to a small house in Granger, later building a small house on property which he owned. To this union was born 13 children, who all lived to maturity. As the children came along, a new room was added. Of course, there were no modern conveniences at our home until our new home was built in 1905, the very year the new church house which now houses three wards was built. I shall never forget the pride we all had in this new house - and the time and effort that was given in the beautification of our surroundings.
Father and mother were hard workers and we were all taught to work. I often wonder how they fed and clothed us all. Well do I remember being the seventh child, sitting around the table when 13 were eating. We always had cows, chickens, etc. We always stored ice in the winter for use in the summer. Of course, this was before refrigeration. One thing we had daily for supper during the summer was cold milk to drink. It was made cold by chilling it almost to slush in an ice cream freezer. When I was small, we always had a garden.

On holidays, somebody always had to stay home. Many people would come to buy a little ice and the ones who stayed home were allowed to keep the money. This was recompense to us. It seemed Bert and I were the ones who usually remained home.
Although father did not receive any schooling, after coming to Utah he was a really educated man. He could converse on nearly all subjects, and it was his great desire that all his children take advantage of every educational possibility.




  • Maintained by: Burnt Almond Fudge
  • Originally Created by: Utah State Historical Society
  • Added: 2 Feb 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 144581
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Nelsen Peter Petersen (13 Jun 1859–8 Jun 1931), Find A Grave Memorial no. 144581, citing Taylorsville Memorial Park Cemetery, Taylorsville, Salt Lake County, Utah, USA ; Maintained by Burnt Almond Fudge (contributor 46857451) .