1861 (age 6), Mineer (Felt), Alma Elizabeth (Sweden)
Alma Elizabeth Mineer (Felt) was born in Landskrona, Sweden, May 1, 1855. Her father, Andrew Mineer was born Sept. 7, 1816 in Hasluff, Sweden. At the early age of eight he was very desirous of learning to play the violin but his father wished him to learn a trade and his older brother to study the violin. When his father saw how badly Andrew felt when he bought the older boy a violin, he made one out of a wooden shoe and gave it to Andrew to play upon. He liked his little makeshift violin but yearned for a real one. When his father and brother, who would not practice but wished to learn a trade, were away he diligently practiced on his brother's instrument. He became so proficient that one day when the father came home his mother asked if he would not like to hear his little son play. He was so astonished when he heard Andrew play, that he gave him the violin and allowed the brother to follow a trade. Andrew became a violinist and moved from the country to the city of Landskrona, where he became the director of his own orchestra in one of the finest theatres. He married Ingaborg Jensen and settled in Landskrona where they had eight children, seven girls and one boy, Alma being the youngest child. Ingaborg was known as a child as Jens Nels Inger, but later when her brothers took the father's first name, as was then the custom, she also changed hers. Her parents were good people although her father was addicted to liquor and soon drank up his vast estate and sent his children out to earn their own living.
At the age of ten years Ingaborg went to live with her aunt who treated her cruelly. When she was sixteen she decided to marry the man she was engaged to, but while making preparations received word that he had been killed by lightning. Ingaborg then went to Landskrona where she became chief matron in a baron's home, having full charge of the management of the residence. She developed into a very beautiful and intelligent woman and at the age of twenty-six married Andrew Mineer. They were very saving and accumulated enough to buy them a home in the city where they lived very happily.
In the year 1860 Ingaborg Mineer and her children were soon baptized.
Wives and children of Jos. H. Felt
Her husband was not so willing to accept the Gospel, but being afflicted with inflamatory rheumatism and confined to his bed for six months with his hands and feet crippled, used this time to study and prayed for a testimony. He felt he could never play the violin again, but as soon as he could be moved he consented to be taken to the Bay where he was baptized. His limbs grew stronger and his crippled hands straightened out and he was able to play all his life up to the time of his death.
In the year 1861, the parents and six children, two having died, immigrated to Utah, the journey covering a period from May 1st to September 17th. Leaving Sweden they sailed on a ship Monarch of the Sea where they traveled steerage. Severe storms at sea threatened to sink the boat, but the Captain said that as long as there were Mormon passengers aboard it would weather the gale, which proved true, as the boat sank in mid ocean on its return trip. The first colored person Alma ever saw was the ship's negro cook, who made a great pet of her as did also the sailors and passengers.
After being on the ocean six weeks they landed in Castle Garden, New York City which is now known as the "Aquarium," where they spent several nights, their beds on a floor in a corner near some sacks of brown sugar. On the voyage the children had tasted no sugar, nor candy and her brother August discovered a small hole in a sack near him and finding a spoon, he and Alma had a grand feast of it during the night, which resulted in two very sick children in the morning. Leaving New York in filthy cattle cars they reached Omaha were they joined the ox team train for Zion. Alma walked the whole distance, only getting in the wagons to cross the rivers. At one time her father was unable to keep up with the company, fell behind and was lost. Alma remained with her father as long as possible, then caught up with the company and continued on. After wandering around Mr. Mineer approached a light which proved to be a camp of Union soldiers on their way to the Civil War. One of their number spoke Swedish and asked him who he was and what he could do. When he told them he was a musician they ordered him to play the night long. In the morning the soldiers brought him within sight of his company where he soon rejoined his anxious family who rejoiced and thanked God for his return.
The family reached Union Square, now the site of the City and County Building, September 17, 1861 where they remained two days. They then rented a little adobe house on a strip of ground ten rods by twenty rods on Main Street, between Second and Third South. This property could have been purchased by them for $150.00 but Bishop Seely of Mt. Pleasant came with his team and offered Mr. Mineer many inducements to move with his family to that settlement as they were in need of a musician. In the fall they moved to Mt. Pleasant and for the next four years lived in a house built mostly of mud. The Black Hawk war was then in progress and Brigham Young advised the Saints to fortify themselves against attack. When the Indians became more peaceful, Alma's father with many others built their homes outside the fort where they could cultivate land.Source: Our Pioneer Heritage © Carter, Kate B., ed. 20 vols. Salt Lake City: International Society, Daughters of Utah Pioneers, 1958-1977. All rights reserved. No part of this material may be reproduced in any form or by any means without permission in writing from the publisher. Documents and images are exerpted by permission from the LDS Family History Suite CDROM from Ancestry.