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

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Anne Larsen Andersen, 1865 (age 51)

A Family of Some Wealth
Anne Larsen Andersen was born May 20, 1814, in Shuldelev Parish in Denmark. Her husband, Peter Andersen, was born in Draaby Parish, Frederiksborg Amt., January 6, 1807. They were married December 12, 1840, and made their home on a Danish estate northwest of Frederiksborg in a forest known as Jaegers Pries (Hunter's Paradise). For generations the Andersen ancestors had lived there as caretakers for the Danish royalty. Peter Andersen had often been a fishing and hunting companion of Crown Prince Fredrick VII, who later became King of Denmark.

Anne, too, had been closely connected with the royal family as maid to Grevenda Danner, who was Louise Rasmussen, a woman possessed of high attainments and very sympathetic of the king's subjects which won for her the admiration of the citizens. Thus Anne and her friend Louise became sincere companions, and their visits were frequent and without formality.

It was King Fredrick VII who gave land title to the common people of Denmark, and his remembrance of Peter and Anne was such that a large tract of land was given to them in Skoven. Here the following children were born to them: Anders, Hans, Peter, Rasmus, Morton, who died in infancy, Kristen Marie, later called Christena, and James. Anne and Peter entertained lavishly; rich and poor were their guests. In the fall of 1859 a harvest festival of one week's duration was held at their home. Peter died the last day of the festivities, probably of a heart attack. It was a severe shock to the family, and even though friends extended love and kindness, Anne received greater solace and strength through prayer.

A few months after the death of the father, the family became acquainted with missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who taught them the principles of the Gospel. Peter, the third son, was the first to be baptized, followed by all of the other members of the family. Soon they prepared to leave Denmark, at which time the mother was fifty-one years of age; Anders was twenty-three; Hans, twenty-two; Peter, twenty-one; Rasmus, nineteen; Kristen Marie, seventeen and James, twelve. After disposing of their property, they made arrangements to emigrate to America to join the Saints in Great Salt Lake City.

To America (She financed 20 other immigrants)
It was not easy for Anne to leave her friends who urged her to remain in Denmark, but a desire to live a more spiritual life, and a faith that in a new land would come a rich unfoldment of spirituality and material blessings, had taken root in her soul. Grevenda Danner and members of the royal family pleaded with the Andersens to remain in Denmark, giving assurance that they would not want for the necessities of life, but Anne was determined to carry out her desires. Bidding goodby to their friends and associates, they departed from Denmark with royal, but reluctant, good wishes. Anne paid for the emigration of twenty other converts; Peter Anton Nelson was the only person to repay her. Sailing for America May 4, 1865, on the B. S. Kimball in company with other converts from Sweden and Denmark, they traveled by way of Hamburg, Germany, where young Peter was quarantined for smallpox. He was placed in a hospital and Anne was promised by the elders of the Church there that her son would recover and meet her in the land of their destination. It was eight months before she heard from him, and one year before he joined the family in Utah.

Death at Sea/On to Council Bluffs
After a long and tedious voyage in which three adults and twenty-five children died and were buried in the ocean, the ship docked safely in the New York harbor June 14th. From New York the company traveled by rail in cattle cars to Quincy, Illinois, where they crossed the Mississippi River and rested two days. Going then to St. Joseph, Missouri, they arrived June 23rd, and on June 25th started by steamboat up the Missouri River, reaching Council Bluffs June 26th. Here the company stopped five weeks to prepare for the long journey of 1,000 miles across the plains.

Captain Miner's Company/Indian Attack
They had never been accustomed to handling oxen, and as they began the long trek the boys experienced trouble in learning the art of driving them. The company consisted of sixty wagons with three yoke of oxen to each wagon, 720 people with Miner G. Atwood as captain. They were advised to buy provisions for ten weeks, but their journey totaled fifteen. Ten miles northeast of Ft. Laramie they were attacked by Indians and thirteen men and one woman were wounded.

Anne Provided Food for the Company
At Fort Bridger, Anne bought fifty pounds of flour using the last fifty dollars of the small fortune she possessed after selling her property in Denmark. As provisions were running low in the company, the captain called upon her to divide her flour with the entire company. For her family of six children and herself the captain allowed her to keep only ten pounds. She owned a cow which gave milk. This also was divided among the sick and afflicted. After a week's travel from Fort Laramie, the company was met by Saints from Great Salt Lake City traveling in mule-drawn wagons loaded with flour. Rejoicing and thanksgiving was felt by all as their hunger was alleviated and they received the assurance that food in sufficient amounts had been provided for the remainder of the trip. Their long journey was soon completed and the hardships and dangers endured were over. They reached Salt Lake City November 8, 1865, where president Brigham Young and W. W. Riter were waiting to shake their hands and greet them.

To Bear River City
Four days later, Anne and her family left for Brigham City. On the way one of the oxen gave out and was left by the wayside; the cow was yoked with the remaining ox to complete the journey. The next spring Hans returned for the oxen, finding it within a short distance from where it had been left.

In Brigham City they accepted the hospitality of Christian Hansen until spring. On April 10, 1866, they started north and crossed Bear River at Boise Bend [Hampton's Ford ?]. That night Anne became very despondent. She saw the Bear River Valley sunbaked and covered with sage, and wept bitterly. She thought of her home and her royal friends in Denmark, and of the comforts of the life she had left forever. The place where they crossed the river was called Boise Bend Ford. Here a marker has since been placed. From there they traveled on to the Malad River where a dam was being constructed to bring water onto the land for irrigation purposes. At that place they stopped, and in due time plowed and planted about twenty acres of wheat. In July the Indians became troublesome and the Andersens, along with other settlers, were advised to move back to Brigham City. In September they returned to the Bear River and built a dugout in the bank of the river where Bear River City now stands. After they were located in their dugout, the boys went to look at the grain they had planted in the spring, and which had not been irrigated. To their surprise there were ripe heads of wheat, and they harvested a crop. That was the beginning of dryland farming in the west. Anne Andersen was short in stature and stout in form, with a dark complexion. It was easily observed that in her youth she had been a beautiful girl. She was blessed with a very even temperament and was of an optimistic disposition. She had the rare quality of leadership, and a magnetism which held her family together in close relationship throughout her life. Though some of her sons were grown, every undertaking concerning the family was carefully planned under her supervision. She was retiring in nature and did not seek public recognition. One of her grandsons who remembers her, said that her countenance portrayed benevolence. Tender toward children, she always managed to have a few cookies or a little rock candy in a jar, and no child ever left her house without first being treated to some of her goodies.

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.