Heritage Gateways

Official Sesquicentennial K-12 Education Project
sponsored by the Utah State Board of Education, the BYU-Public School Partnership and the Utah Education Network

Pioneer 1848-1868 Companies

Previous | Next

1866 (age 30), Grundvig, Frants (Frantz or Franz) Christian

I was born in a little town called Eistrup, in Jutland, Denmark. My father's name was Nicoli Fredrich Hershire Grundvig. My mother's maiden name was Kirstine Marie Behrends. I was the youngest of six children, born March 27th, 1836. When 14 years old I was sent to Copenhagen to learn the trade of cabinet maker. I have never forgot my mother's last council, which was, "Whatever you do, always tell the truth." I would like to give the same advice to my children, and, if adhered to, they will never go very far astray. I did not see my mother for three years, then she came to Copenhagen and stayed for a few days, and I never saw her again. When, two years later, I got a letter saying she was dead, I went home, but she was buried one day before I got there. I only saw her grave. I walked about 60 miles and got there too late.

I served six years apprenticeship with my sister Christiana's husband, who was mean and stingy; only got my room and board and what clothes I had to have. I remember when only a small child at home, we sometimes had scarcely a thing to eat. My mother would save the best crusts for my father. When at last I got my diploma, and went out on my own, the company I was with was bad for my young mind, and all kinds of temptations were before me.

In 1856, on my 22nd birthday, I married Jenssine Hostmark. Her birthday was just the day before mine. Our first child was born, also on my birthday in 1858. After that I began to look on life as something more serious than I used to. At that time there was quite a religious stir in Copenhagen. I went to these meetings, and all they told me was to come to Jesus, but I could get no satisfaction. My wife's brother, Carl Hostmark, was a Mormon, and he was a very good man. He began to tell me about Mormonism, and I went with him to their meetings. I heard a man by the name of Liljenquist, who had just come from Utah, preach, and I thought here was the Gospel I was hunting for. When I got home that night I prayed and I told the Lord that if He would give me a testimony of the truth I would sacrifice everything for the Gospel's sake. That night I had a dream that convinced me that the Mormons had the true Gospel. Shortly after that I was baptized. My wife did not join the Church until a year later.

Financing Immigration
In the winter of 1865 I was released [from Church duties in Norway] to emigrate. In the spring, my wife and son came over from Copenhagen. I had no idea where the money was coming from to pay the emigration fund, but a Bro. Erickson and wife came over from Copenhagen, and he was selling electric belts for rheumatism. His wife made them and my wife learned from her how to make them. One evening when I came home my wife told me that Bro. Erickson wanted to see me, so we went to spend the evening with him. He laid plans before me whereby he thought he could make enough for all to emigrate. His plan sounded good, so next morning we started off in two different districts to sell belts. Our wives made and sent them to us as fast as we could sell them and in a few weeks we had enough money to pay our way. During the two years I was on a mission in Norway, my wife supported herself and our son by making fine laces and gloves. She was one of the best singers in Copenhagen. The last night we were in Christiana she sang a solo, one of Olis Bull's compositions, the great violinist, and she was greatly applauded.

I was greatly blessed in my missionary labors in Norway and was never in prison for baptizing, as most of the brethren were. They had to live on black bread and water for five days for the first offence, ten days for the second, etc. I was warned in the night of what would happen the following day and when the police came around to hunt for the little Mormon priest who had baptized someone...

To America/Measles Killed Many Children
We left Norway in April 1865, the emigrants from my Church in Copenhagen came over and stayed for eight or ten days, in company with other Danish Saints. We went from there to Hamburg, Germany, where we got on board the big ship B. S. Kimball, that carried us across the Atlantic Ocean to New York City. (Landed 14 June 1865.) We buried 25 children in the deep ocean who died from measles. We had no fresh water as it had gone rotten and no milk to give the poor sick children and no place or way to take care of them. Severine, our son, had the disease but recovered. There were only three or four children who lived through it.

To Nebraska City
From New York City we went by rail to the Missouri River and sailed on that a couple of days. Landed at a place called Wyoming (a small town near what is now Nebraska City). From here we were to cross the plains by ox teams, but we stayed there about 5 weeks. It seems they had trouble getting oxen and wagons to take us to Salt Lake City. Finally one morning we were called out and were told that if we would reduce our loads to 50 lbs., per person we could all go. We were three in family and had 500 lbs., so I sold and gave away what I thought we could best spare. We thought we were alright but in a few days they told us we would have to raise $50 for provisions. Then I went to work and sold everything we had of value such as my watch and gold rings, my wife's wedding ring, also a fine Sunday suit and overcoat.

To Utah/Indian Thievery
Soon after, we were ready to start. About 50 wagons with four yoke of oxen to each. Most of them were young steers and we would put a yoke of broken ones in the lead. We went about six milee the first day and increased the distance a little each day. We made camp on the 17th of Sept., and had just gone to rest when we were called out and told that the Indians were driving off our cattle. We did not sleep much after that. Next morning there were 22 head of cattle gone. We crossed the creek and camped in a better place and some of the men were sent to look for the missing stock and did recover some. After two days" delay we started again and traveled all that day and the next.

Indian Ambush/Frantz Wounded, Wife Kidnapped
Sept. 22nd we had to travel a long way to get to water. My wife got very tired and we fell behind the train. Our son stayed in the wagon. The train finally reached a creek and there was lots of thick brush along it and a band of Indians were hiding in the brush. When the boys drove the cattle to water, five of them were wounded. Then every man in camp came out with his gun and drove the Indians away. At that time my wife and I were about a quarter of a mile from camp, and some of the Indians came towards us and with a blood-curdling yell started to shoot at me, while some of them took my wife, put her on a horse and took her away. I was hit by five or six arrows, the last one lodged in my hip. I pulled it out and dropped it, thinking it was all out. However, the whole arrowhead was left in the hip bone, and it caused a running sore. Two years later Dr. Anderson came to Salt Lake City and took it out. It was 3 1/2 inches long and 3/4 inches wide at the top. Thinking that I was dead the Indians left me. I was far from camp, but managed to hobble in, but it was three weeks before I could get around again with a cane. But all the bodily suffering I passed through for nearly two years was small compared to the anguish and sorrow for the loss of my wife. I have often stood by the work bench with tears running down my cheeks. I can never forget it. My boy was all I had to live for. (This son had a daughter who looked like the lost Jenssine and played the organ by ear, and sang, just as her grandmother had when she was young. Grandfather would ask her to play and sing, and pretty soon his head would drop into his hands and the tears would start trickling through his fingers.)

We reached Salt Lake City the 8th of November half starved and without clothes. I lived there the first winter, then moved to Big Cottonwood. Also lived in Santaquin. (It was probably while living here that he married Enger Frulesen, who had recently come from Denmark. A few years later she left him and he took a third wife, Marie Jenson, also a Danish emigrant. He never forgot his first wife sufficiently to really love another woman...

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.