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 Emma Ida <I>Johnson</I> Jesperson

Emma Ida Johnson Jesperson

Birth
Fairfield, Jefferson County, Iowa, USA
Death 2 Sep 1953 (aged 91)
Provo, Utah County, Utah, USA
Burial Pleasant Grove, Utah County, Utah, USA
Plot C-08-064-05
Memorial ID 37769 · View Source
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Emma had a wonderful memory and wrote her own history at age 87 and said, "The earliest memories of my childhood are of my sixth year when I crossed the Plains with my parents, two sisters and a brother. Our oldest sister had married and refused to come with us. My father was a little sad to give up his job as a policeman in Omaha, but mother said if we did not go and live among the Latter-day Saints we would get careless about keeping the Lord's commandments.
On the journey one of my playmates died. I watched when they buried her. The grave looked deep but they put willows in the bottom, then wrapped her in a blanket and laid her on the willows then covered her with more willows and earth. That night I heard the wolves howling, it was hard to sleep.
Our journey finally did end for we reached Salt Lake City. I still remember that day. The Relief Society sisters had prepared a delicious meal set on tables under a bowery, how we feasted. The City looked so beautiful, there were fruit trees laden with fruit and streams of water running in ditches along the street. Flowers were blooming and grass was green.
Father built a house in Mt. Pleasant, Sanpete County, near an uncle. When it was partly finished mother built a fire in the fire place to smoke some fish and left me to tend the fire. I got tired of staying in the house alone, so I threw a lot of wood on the fire and ran out to play. Soon the whole house was in flames. Fearful of my father's wrath I ran and hid in the cornfield. I guess the Lord softened his heart, for when he finally found me he only told me to remember that lesson and be more careful in the future."
The family settled permanently in Richfield. At the age of 14 she learned telegraphin and worked in that job for 2 years. At 16, she opened a private school in their home. She taught up to the third grade, charging $1.00 a month per student.
She married James Peter Jesperson, a Danish boy her father had hired. About that courtship she writes, "Well, if he is calling on me, that is just too bad for I am not interested in any danish man. He couldn't speak a word of English, but I did like his smile. It was while sitting together in my little school room that he asked me to marry him. My answer was yes for I had learned to love him."
Their life became one of moving and helping settle many towns. Criss-crossing Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico, they lived in nine towns and five states plus to colonies in Old Mexico until driven out of Mexico with other Mormons in 1912, only to seek again the adventure of more towns in Arizona and finally to die in Utah.



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  • Maintained by: Jessie Larson
  • Originally Created by: Utah State Historical Society
  • Added: 2 Feb 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 37769
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Emma Ida Johnson Jesperson (20 Apr 1862–2 Sep 1953), Find A Grave Memorial no. 37769, citing Pleasant Grove City Cemetery, Pleasant Grove, Utah County, Utah, USA ; Maintained by Jessie Larson (contributor 47636298) .