Hyrum Andrew Jensen
Contributor: awg47 Created: 2 years ago Updated: 2 years ago
Hyrum had a legacy of faith to live up to. Both of Hyrum’s parents were converts to the Church. Hyrum’s father, Jacob Hans Jensen, came from Denmark and traveled to Utah with a handcart company in 1857. Hyrum’s mother, Juliana Marie Andersen, joined the church in Denmark and came to Utah in the early days of the first railroad in Utah. Hyrum was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, on December 1, 1881. Hyrum was the sixth of nine children. His brothers and sisters older than him were Maria Sophia Amelia, Juliana Marie, Sarah Anne, Jacob, and Joseph Hans. Of the five older than him, only Hyrum’s two oldest sisters were alive when he was born. His brothers and sisters younger than him were Jacob Christian, Osia Maria Lillie, and Anna Margrethe.
When Hyrum was about one and a half years old, his family moved from 883 East and 800 South in Salt Lake City to a little west of Highland Drive on 2700 South in the Millcreek area, farm country about two miles from downtown Salt Lake City. In Millcreek Hyrum’s father built a three-room brick house. Hyrum’s family and his uncle Jim’s family lived together. At this time, all of the members of the family, except Hyrum and his mother, were stricken with diphtheria, a serious disease that can be fatal. Hyrum recalled seeing a woman nurse the sick, swabbing their throats to help relieve the soreness.
When Hyrum was between two and three years of age, he got into a vat of slaking lime, a substance used to cure animal fat into soap. He almost lost his sight from the lime because chemical burns from slaking lime are usually permanent, and sometimes even fatal. Under the direction of his Heavenly Father and the tender, loving care of his mother, his sight was saved.
About one year later he had another brush with tragedy. There was a canal nearby Hyrum’s house; it was about eight feet wide and filled with water two feet deep. The stream fascinated Hyrum, and his faithful big, black Newfoundland dog tried to protect him from the danger of the water. One day when Hyrum reached the bridge, he fell into the water. The barking of Hyrum’s dog alarmed his mother. She discovered Hyrum on the canal bank recovering from his fall. The dog had saved Hyrum’s life and had created within him a love of dogs that lasted throughout his life.
Hyrum always liked training and tending horses. One day when his father hitched the team to the wagon to make a visit at the home of a friend, John W. Young, Hy was told that he could not go, but he followed on foot anyway. When he arrived at his destination his father asked John what he would do with the boy. John replied that if Hyrum liked to walk so much he could walk the two miles home. He did.
The first night that Salt Lake City was going to be lighted with electricity, the family hiked a few blocks east of their home to higher ground to witness the beautiful sight. There they saw city lights for the first time.
In about 1890, when Hyrum was nine years old, his family moved to a farming community called Big Cottonwood (now Holladay). They purchased a fruit farm and raised apples. At first they lived in an adobe house, but they later built a new brick house and moved into it. At times they rented the old house to other people. Houses were scarce and many times more than one family lived in the same house.
Hyrum attended the 28th District School. At that time, there were no centralized school districts like there are today. A district school consisted of one building, one teacher, and all of the students from grades one to eight, or one to twelve. In school Hyrum had to memorize things—that was hard for him. One day when he was unprepared and hadn’t done his homework, the teacher told him to stand in a corner of the room as a punishment. While in the corner, he made faces at the other children so the teacher ordered him to face the wall. While he was facing the wall, he drew pictures on the blackboard. The teacher gave up and ordered him back to his desk.
Hy loved horses. The first one he owned was a wild one, which he purchased for only twenty-five dollars. He managed to train it to do multiple jobs and he did it in a short amount of time because he was a good trainer. One day, Hyrum was riding his horse and driving some colts. The horse wanted to run along with the other horses, which made for a dangerous situation for Hyrum because the horses would run wild. Hyrum could not stop the horse easily so he had to slide his hand along the neck of the horse and down to its nose so he could shut off its breath. The horse stopped more quickly than Hyrum did. Hy was thrown to the ground. Onlookers said that he walked about one hundred yards to the house and made his way through the kitchen, dining room, and bedroom three times before he really regained his senses. He only suffered from a lump on his head and a broken shoulder.
Hyrum purchased a horse and buggy and drove it to his school, Granite Stake Academy, a high school several miles from his home. His willingness to find a way to get to school shows his dedication to his education. He also attended the academy because of a certain little girl who had kicked his shins while they were in grade school, Ann Eliza Andrus. After high school Hyrum attended the University of Utah for almost a year. He received more formal education than most people of his time.
At that time, bishops in the church had the responsibility to enforce laws and keep order and peace in the community. Hyrum’s bishop and Ann’s father, Milo Andrus, asked Hyrum to serve as deputy sheriff, helping to keep the peace, which he did. The next winter Hyrum took a missionary preparatory course at the L.D.S. College, seeking to better prepare himself to serve a mission for the church.
In those days, if you wanted to serve a mission, you had the responsibility to pay for everything yourself as you went along—there was no centralized money system for the missionaries like there is today. Missionaries sometimes relied on the generosity of people they served or took odd jobs to earn the money they needed. Hyrum assisted his father with the farm work the following summer until his mission call came. He sold all of his worldly possessions: a team of horses, a wagon, and his tools. Then he gave the money to his father to help pay for his mission.
Before his mission, Hyrum’s mother wanted him to receive his endowment and then act as proxy to do the work for her father, Andrew Christian Andersen, who had recently died. Hyrum said that the most inspirational experience of his lifetime was in the sealing room as he acted proxy for his grandfather. After the sealing ordinance was performed, his mother cried for joy and said that her dream had come true.
Hyrum was called to the Northern States Mission and he labored in southern Illinois in the towns of Bloomington, Quincy, Danville, Mt. Vernon, and Dequoyne. Missionary work in those days was quite different than it is today. Missionaries served in “conferences,” districts of the church where stakes and wards weren’t yet organized. In addition to proselyting, missionaries were responsible to provide leadership in small branches of the church and keep the records of the church in the places they served.
While in Mt. Vernon, Hyrum served as conference secretary, keeping track of the membership records, a responsibility somewhat like a stake clerk today. Hyrum had copied into a small pocket notebook the names of all the members of the church and their addresses. This information helped him when he was assigned with a Canadian Elder to visit all of the members of the church in the large conference, one hundred eighty of them. The church records were sometimes inaccurate and the members were spread far apart; sometimes the members received little contact with the church. After all, they didn’t have phones, radios, fast cars, email, and fax machines like we do now. Hyrum and his companion were assigned to locate new members and to visit all the members, determining their spiritual and temporal needs, giving encouragement, and strengthening their faith. It took them considerable time and walking to accomplish the task.
Before Hyrum’s assignment was completed, he was called to act as the mission secretary—an assistant to the mission president of sorts. He was assigned to write letters every month to all of the saints and Elders, keeping them posted of the activities in the mission. He also had to orient all of the new missionaries when they arrived in the mission field. The mission president had to spend all of his available time in visiting the saints and supervising the Elders. Hyrum’s assignments kept him quite busy, but when he had spare time he spent it tracting for a few days at a time with new missionaries until they were assigned to a regular companion.
A faith-promoting incident of Hyrum’s mission occurred when he was transferred from Quincy to Decatur. He was waiting at the station when the train left without him. He had to go back to the office and report to the mission president. The president told him not to worry because there was some reason that he didn’t board that train. Later Hyrum learned that the first train he was going to board had wrecked—he had been blessed to be on the next one to leave instead.
Near the close of his mission, Hyrum was sent with a newly arrived Elder to locate two missionaries who had not been heard from for several weeks. Hyrum and his companion found them in the eastern part of Illinois staying in the home of members. One of them was sick with malaria. They sent a report to the mission office and received instructions for the two healthy Elders to act as companions and engage in regular missionary labors, while Hyrum stayed with the sick Elder. Under the careful attention of the members and Hyrum, the Elder soon recovered and was able to travel. A short time later, Hyrum was released from his mission. He had to pay for his transportation home himself, so he arrived in the Salt Lake City with five cents in his pocket, just enough for his streetcar fare. Hyrum spent two years and four months in the mission field, from April 28, 1903, to September 12, 1905.
After his mission, Hyrum rented a three-hundred-acre ranch to make a living. He hired a crew and directed the work. On the ranch, they did “haying”—cutting, drying, hauling, and stacking hay and storing it to feed the livestock in the wintertime. The ranch that Hyrum rented was at the foot of the mountain and rattlesnakes were plentiful there. Hyrum saw many of them because he spent much of his time irrigating. As water ran through the fields, it would flood out the snakes. The snakes came to the higher ground in a fighting mood; he sometimes killed as many as five of six of them in one day. One morning, he was working in a ditch when he heard a rattling sound behind him. There lay a big, coiled snake within striking distance. Hy didn’t stop to argue with it or wonder what he could do. He just ran.
One evening on the ranch, Hy and one of the other men were out by a water hole where they took horses and cows to drink. They were training a three-year-old colt to lead. The rope they were using got caught around the colt’s neck and Hyrum’s ankle. When the colt got scared and ran off it dragged Hyrum with it. He was behind the horse face down with his gloved hands spread out so that he was not rolling. Finally the horse changed direction and headed for the corral. Hy spent a several rough moments wondering how he would ever get through the gate without losing his leg. But, as the horse went through the gate, the rope miraculously slipped from Hy’s ankle.
Bishop Andrus, Ann’s father, jokingly told Hy when he returned from his mission that if he did not get married at the end of ten years, he would recommend him for another mission call. Once again, Hyrum was frequently visiting at the home of the bishop to see the great attraction there. That great attraction was the middle child of the family, Ann Eliza. Undoubtedly, she proved hard to get. She was a vivacious, friendly, cheerful person, and she had many friends and other interests to divert her attention. It took Hyrum five years to convince her that he was the man she desired.
It drew near to Thanksgiving Day of 1910. When Hyrum and Ann finally decided to get married, they were married in record time. One Tuesday evening Ann gave her consent to Hyrum talking to her parents about the marriage. He was at the bishop’s home early the next morning. He received the consent of her parents and her father issued a temple recommend. They were married in the Salt Lake Temple that day. The day after they were married, Hyrum and Ann ate Thanksgiving dinner with his family in Huntsville, Utah, to tell them about their marriage.
Hyrum and Ann made their home at Holladay and managed the Jensen fruit farm. On September 30, 1911, their first child, a daughter they named Elena, was born. Two years later, on September 5, 1913, sandy-haired Elaine arrived, and on November 5, 1915, came dark-haired Mildred.
In 1916 the fruit crop was completely destroyed by a severe frost. Friends had offered Hyrum some good jobs in Salt Lake City, but he didn’t want to work in the crowded city and he preferred the country life. He wanted to earn money as a result of his own planning more than earn it under the direction of another person. Hyrum and his father had to make a decision that would help both of them. As that time Hyrum’s father owned two farms, one at Holladay and the other at Huntsville. The Huntsville farm had been purchased because Juliana Marie, Hyrum’s mother, enjoyed better health there, but now she had passed away; Jacob, Hyrum’s brother, had also died a few weeks before his mother. They decided that Hy and his family should move to Huntsville and his father should return to Holladay.
Hyrum and his youngest sister’s husband, Adam W. Schade, formed a partnership. They leased additional land and worked together very profitably for six years. For their first year in Huntsville, Hy and Ann rented a house; at the beginning of the next year, they bought a house.
Soon after they settled in Huntsville Hyrum was called to serve as the ward clerk. He worked closely with the bishop and his two counselors, men he came to know and respect. Bookkeeping had never appealed to Hyrum. In meetings of the bishopric, they discussed all problems and agreed upon decisions thoroughly before they took any action. Hyrum said that he recalled just one time that a family in the ward that was in need of help. The bishop helped them immediately. At the next meeting he asked forgiveness of his counselors for not consulting them before he acted. Hy served as ward clerk while the bishop presided. During this time he was called into the seventies quorum and became its senior member, meaning that he had the responsibility for all of the missionary work in the stake. He was released from this position soon after the release of the bishopric. Later he was ordained as a high priest.
It was during their first year in Huntsville that Hyrum and Ann’s first great trial came. Their daughter Mildred became sick with scarlet fever. Because there weren’t antibiotics to treat a contagious disease like scarlet fever, the sick were quarantined (isolated from other people so that the disease didn’t spread). Hyrum and Ann called the doctor—he decided that Ann should leave the home and Hy’s oldest sister, Marie McDonald, should come and nurse Mildred. Mildred was very ill, but with the aid of the doctor, the nurse, and the faith and prayers of her family, she recovered.
While Mildred was in quarantine, Ann gave birth to her first son on April 12, 1918. Hyrum and Ann were pleased with this redhead and named him Jacob for Hy’s father and Andrus for Ann’s maiden name.
Ann became pregnant again and expected to have twins. Hy called for the doctor on the morning of March 14, 1920, and was greeted with this information: the doctor had found albumen in the sample that he took. Ann was losing fluids and it was dangerous to her and the babies. The doctor thought there was nothing they could do about it. Ann was soon unconscious. The doctor told Hyrum to hold up her chin. If he let her chin drop, her tongue would drop, she would choke, and she would die. Two boys were born. The doctor, thinking that the birth was over, concluded that Ann wouldn’t get better until the afterbirth came. Instead, she gave birth to another boy. Ann was not regaining consciousness. Word was sent to the church to have someone come and give Ann a priesthood blessing. After the ordinance, Ann regained consciousness and said, “Hello, Brother Lofgreen.” Hyrum and Ann named the three triplets Willard Andrus, William Andrus, and Willis Andrus.
While the first two boys were being born, Hyrum had no knowledge of what was happening. During this time, he saw in vision three men standing on an elevation, a sort of bench. The center man was about eight inches higher than the other two. He was talking to a great number of Indians who were sitting on the ground facing him and listening attentively. They seemed pleased at what he was saying.
Sometime later President David O. McKay came to administer to Willard who was very ill. While he was there, he gave Ann a grand and glorious blessing—one of the greatest Hy had ever listened to. When President McKay was leaving the house he said that Willard was very sick. Hy told him of the vision he had at the time of their birth. President McKay replied that the vision made a difference and that the boys would go teach the Lamanites on a mission. The triplets later served in the Spanish American Mission. While Ann and Hy were in Mesa, Arizona, later in their lives, they attended a meeting where President and Sister McKay were the speakers. After the meeting, Hy and Ann talked to them and President McKay said, “I see three little boys and a prophecy fulfilled. Am I right?”
In the fall of 1921 Ann had gone with the children to Holladay to stay with Hy’s sister Elizabeth, who had volunteered to help them with the children. On New Year’s Day of 1922 Ann had twins. They were named Milo Andrus and Elizabeth Marie. The family later returned to Huntsville. Meanwhile, Hyrum and Ann’s children grew older.
At the age of twelve Mildred became ill again. The doctor said she should be in the hospital. He took Ann and Mildred in his car. Ann slept on a cot in Mildred’s room. A few days later, the doctor called for Hy to come. Hy asked him what he should do. The doctor replied that he shouldn’t leave the hospital without his permission but instead should stay there with Mildred. Two weeks of prayer, fasting, and daily priesthood blessings followed. Hy slept on chairs in the halls and in the reception room of the hospital. One day Hyrum and Ann were standing looking at Mildred. She had not spoken during this time because she was in a coma. Hy said to Ann, “Shall we let Heavenly Father have her?” Ann replied, “I think so, if you do.” They knelt at Mildred’s bedside and gave their consent to the Lord for her death. In about five minutes, Mildred left for the spirit world. All they had left of her was a beautiful memory and the knowledge that they had done all they could for her.
During the two weeks that Mildred was in the hospital, the neighbors cared for Hyrum and Ann’s children and livestock. During that time, they never even thought of their cows or other work.
Hyrum and Ann moved into Huntsville with very little of this world’s possessions, but they left in more prosperous circumstances and learned of the goodness of Heavenly Father to them. In 1929 they had a chance to buy a large farm in Marion, Summit County, Utah. After seeking advice from their stake president and bishop, they decided to move. Hyrum wanted to move from Huntsville to Marion, Utah, to get away from town. He wanted to find a place for his children away from the city where his children would have lots to do and where he could control their lives better. Ann and Hyrum took their family, cows, machinery, and furniture and started to make a new home in Marion. It was during the time of the Great Depression when money was tight and many people were in difficult financial circumstances. Hyrum and Ann had debts and two farms to pay for and no way to pay. Hy’s sister Elizabeth bought the Huntsville farm by paying back-taxes and interest. This left them with the Marion farm and debts and left them poor indeed. They wondered why then but later learned that poverty was a blessing to them.
Hyrum and Ann made many good memories in Marion. Their home was on the foothills, about one-half mile from the main road and the nearest neighbors. Their children all grew up together—all nine of them were born within ten years and three months of each other. The work hours were long and hard, but there was a lot of sunshine, fresh air, good food, and exercise to make strong bodies and healthy minds. They learned to enjoy each other. They had a lot of fun at the big bonfires; at softball games; on trips to the hills for wood; and doing sleigh riding, skiing, and singing.
In Marion Hyrum served as the ward clerk again. He also served as the scoutmaster and as superintendent of the Y.M.M.I.A (young men’s president).
One day Hyrum and his sons had loaded a nice load of green quaking aspen and straight poles. The boys had started down the hill ahead of him and were nearly at the bottom when he started. The hill was so steep that the load was soon traveling too fast. He yelled at the boys to move. They moved. They lost their brakes and the horses couldn’t control the weight of the load. Hyrum tried to stop himself and the horses from getting smashed into several tons of logs. That was a very dangerous spot to be in, so he jumped to the side of the road still holding tightly to the lines. Before the horses had reached the bottom he had been thrown against one tree, bounced back against the wagon, and thrown against another tree. He was rather shaken up, but he got back on the wagon determined not to slide off the front again. The front wagon gear bounced over some large rocks, and he fell into the dirt on his head and shoulders.
One day a bull escaped into the neighbor’s field. Milo brought him home. Hyrum was going to lock him up in a new bullpen they had made. He threw a rope on the bull and tied him to a post, fastening the rope using the ring in the bull’s nose. Hy noticed that the bull was not feeling friendly so he carefully led him toward the pen. Hyrum turned his back just long enough for the bull to hit him and send him sprawling. Hyrum reached a big rock, threw it with all his force, and hit the bull right between the eyes. The bull was dazed long enough for Hy to get to his feet and wrap the bull to the nearest post. Hyrum’s clothes were torn from his back from being pulled around by the bull. He was also in a delicate condition for a few days.
On another occasion, they were mowing hay in Marion for Ann’s brother Joseph. One evening Milo stopped the tractor while it was in gear. Early the next morning, Jake and Hy went to work. Jake worked piling the dry hay and Hy worked cutting the hay. Hy took the crank and the engine turned over immediately. Then the tractor started to move forward. In no time at all, Hyrum’s foot was caught between the two front wheels with a wheel coming up his left leg. He struggled around enough so that he could reach up and choke the engine. When it finally stopped, he was under the tractor with the large hind wheel ready to run over his body. He tried to keep on working but his willpower wasn’t strong enough. The two lower ribs on his left side were broken, and his whole left side turned black and blue up to his ribs. After that, he tried to be more careful.
Many changes happened in the family during the fifteen years they lived in Marion—some of the children went on missions, started careers, served in the military, or were married. Hyrum and Ann worked on paying their debts.
World War II began. The draft board told Jake, Hyrum and Ann’s son, to keep his cows because the army needed the milk to help feed the soldiers. He bought a 160-acre farm at Emmett, Idaho, and moved his cattle up there. Hyrum went up to help with some of his work. His daughter Elaine died the following August. In May of 1944, when the triplets retuned from their mission, Ann went with them to go up and visit Jake. Because of the lower altitude in Idaho, Hyrum’s cough that had been plaguing him for several years improved, and Ann improved from her heart condition that had been bad for about six years. They decided to make their home in Idaho. After Hyrum sold the farm at Marion, Utah, he bought a forty-three-acre farm at Emmett, Idaho, in the Letha Ward.
In March of 1945 Hy and Ann received word that their son Willis had been killed by shrapnel wounds in World War II. Before he came home, their son William had the chance to administer to Willis and dedicate the grave.
Hyrum’s children remembered three of Hyrum’s favorite sayings: “Better slow down—you’re burning your candle from both ends,” (meaning that you should get more sleep), “Yes, you do have time—you have twenty-four hours a day, and no king or president has more,” and “He’s a really good feller—don’t judge him too harshly till you’ve walked a mile in his footsteps.”
Hyrum was a sensitive man. Once when he was a young man his father said to him, “Hy will you milk the cow? My arm is really sore.” He said no. His father milked the cow instead. Years later Hyrum said, “I can’t wait to see my Dad and to tell him to please forgive me.”
Keeping the Sabbath day was vitally important to Hyrum. One time Hyrum felt like he just had to get some hay out of the field. He worked steadily, but the Sabbath day arrived and he felt that the ox was in the mire. His wife took the girls and went to church, leaving him and the little boys haying. When they came home, the horses had run away, the machinery had broken, and the haying had come to a stop. Hy said that he had learned his lesson. It took longer to repair the machinery than it did to put up the hay.
Hyrum and Ann spent several winters working in the Mesa Arizona Temple. In the spring of 1958 Hy had not been feeling well so he finally visited a doctor. The doctor sent him to the hospital. Hy walked into the hospital and woke up two days later because he had had a heart attack. He had to spend eight weeks in bed. After that, he didn’t do farm work but later he gained back more strength. Ann and Hyrum had enough income to live on by renting their farm for a percentage of the crop and managing their finances carefully.
Because of his illness, Hyrum was told to do absolutely no work. This was very hard on him because he had always been able to do things and feel useful. His daughter Elena remembered that one time he said, “When there’s so much that I could be doing it’s impossible to sit and do nothing.” Even with his poor health, Hyrum managed to help some with the irrigating the following summer when Milo got his hand seriously injured in a hay baler and couldn’t work like he could before.
Hyrum tried to keep his flowers blooming, and Ann helped him to accomplish it. He made a couple of end tables and made two piano benches, which he gave to his daughters. He also attended priesthood and sacrament meetings as long as he was able to.
Hyrum passed away quietly at his home on February 7,1962. A funeral was held at the Letha Ward meetinghouse on February 9, two days later. Later at a viewing in Huntsville, President David O. McKay paid Hy and Ann a distinct honor by coming to the chapel, shaking hands with the children and grandchildren, and giving Ann a kiss. Hyrum was buried in the Huntsville cemetery.
Hyrum wrote, “I sometimes wonder if I have accomplished the things for which my life has been spared. We have helped to get some genealogical records collected. We hope to see more of this work done. We have found a lot of genealogy on Father’s lines and Lillie is tracing Mother’s lines. At the present time, on the last check 217 family group sheets have all the endowment and sealing work completed. Ann and I have had a number of testimonies of the possibilities that come to us through living the gospel. We have seen the sick healed time and time again. As for the future we know very little. This we are doing: we are praying that our children will succeed in building into the lives of the grandchildren the testimony that the first and main thing in life is to help our Father in Heaven build and make Gods.”
Ann Eliza B. Andrus
Contributor: awg47 Created: 2 years ago Updated: 2 years ago
Thirteen children is a large family. And that was the size of the family that Ann Eliza Boyes Andrus was a part of. She was the seventh child of Milo Andrus Jr. and Elizabeth Boyes and was born on May 22, 1883. At that time Big Cottonwood (later named Holladay) was a beautiful agricultural district about ten miles southeast of Salt Lake City, Utah. Big Cottonwood was a rural farming community named after the creek that was the source of water from Big Cottonwood canyon.
Ann had two older brothers, Milo (born in 1872) and George (1881); she also had four older sisters, Elizabeth (born in 1874), Sarah (1876), Mary (1878), and Leonora (born in 1880 and died at five months of age). Later on, there were six more children born into the family—Joseph (born in 1885), Ida (born in 1887 and died at nearly two years of age), Elena (1889), Lavina Leone (1892), Willard Oscar (1895), and John Ivan (1897).
Her father, Milo Jr., came from an even larger family than Ann did—he had fifty-six brothers and sisters, but was the only child of his mother, Sarah Ann Miles. His family was large because Milo Sr. was one of the early faithful members and missionaries of the church and lived in polygamy, having several wives. Ann’s father was a humble, sincere, dependable, hard-working man. He served faithfully in the church.
Ann’s mother, Elizabeth Boyes, was an energetic, industrious, and proper English woman. John Taylor, the third president of the church, was her uncle and her lineage traced backed to the kings and queens of England. Elizabeth was the daughter of George Boyes and his second wife, Elizabeth Taylor, both natives of England.
Growing up, Ann was a tomboy, playing with boys more than girls, probably because her brothers were closer to her age than her sisters were. Since her sister Mary was five years older and her sister Elena was six years younger than her, Ann chose to spend her time playing with her brother George and the closest neighbors nearby. The Harpers were the closest neighbors on the south, so she played with her cousin that was about George’s age, Edwin Harper. The Taylors lived the closest on the north, so she played with her cousin that was about six months older than her, Joseph Taylor. Ann, George, Edwin, and Joseph were a familiar foursome and spent a lot of time together.
Her home was the place for the crowd of the Andrus children’s friends to gather. Ann developed into a good softball player and a good runner, too. Her nickname as a child was “Datch,” shortened from Dan Patch, the name of a famous racehorse.
Ann wrote some things about her childhood. She explained, “I began my schooling when five years of age at a private school taught by Great Aunt Ann Brooks Andrus.” Her aunt was an experienced teacher and was responsible for her education. Not many people attended public schools in those days, so it wasn’t unusual that her aunt taught her at home.
“When we played house at noon,” she wrote, “I was chosen to be the baby as I was rather small for my age. I later took music lessons on Aunt Ann’s piano. Next I went to the grade school. At this time, I had measles and they left my eyes in quite bad condition. I was out of school about two years. Mother was a firm believer in prayer. During my eye trouble she did quite a bit of it and received the assurance that I wouldn’t be blind.”
Medicine was not advanced like it is now and appendicitis was not well understood in those days. Ann explained, “I was six when Ida died at two years of age. Knowing since that a person had an appendix; the folks [my parents] decided that she died of a ruptured one. She helped put dishes on the table for breakfast and died near noon.”
When Ann was growing up, sacrament meeting attendance wasn’t as strongly emphasized as it is today. Ten percent attendance for a ward was a considered high attendance. Testimony meetings were a held the first Thursday of every month, and missionary farewells and homecomings were held during the week as well. Ann explained, “We children were required to go to sacrament meeting twice a month. We chose testimony meetings because the talks were shorter, and home missionary days because we could hear new speakers. As we grew older, it just got to be every Sunday with us.”
Ann wrote about a time when her and her brother started fighting. They used a “switch” or spanking stick, a green flexible willow branch that would sting the person that you hit. Ann wrote: “Mother was quite a disciplinarian. How well I remember one day when Joseph and I were scrapping. We got told on. Mother sent us each to get a switch. Then we had to stand in front of her and switch each other while she kept saying, ‘Hit harder.’ That pretty well cured us.”
Ann told us more about her parents, “Never once did I hear Mother say a swear word. I’ve been with Father while he was mending things, and if he’s get burned or hammer his finger, his swear would be, ‘O, my golly.’
Ann had to do chores like feed the chickens, cows, and pigs; milk the cow; gather eggs; and weed and water the garden. “Handwork” means crotchet, tatting, and other tasks like that. She wrote, “Summer evenings when chores were done, if we had no Sunday School lesson to study or no letters to write, we would do handwork and read or talk together. One evening, Elena, Leone, Mother, and I were by ourselves. One sister was reading aloud from Adam Bede and was soon blubbering. I took the book and was soon doing likewise, so Mother finished out the evening for us.
Ann loved horses. Her family owned some horses, including a “driving horse,” a horse used to work in the fields with a tractor, pull wagons, and move the hay into the barn. Ann said, “How I loved to ride horses! ’Twas even a treat to ride to pull the hay into the barn. Our riding and driving horse was a smart one. He knew how adept I was without a saddle. Sixty years ago there were no cars on the road and not much traffic, and there was quite a space between houses.” It was proper for a young lady to ride sidesaddle, to sit sideways on the horse rather than straddle it. However, Ann’s horse wouldn’t move if she rode it in the proper ladylike way, so she didn’t do it. She said, “He wouldn’t go off a pace if I were sitting side-wise but let me slip my leg over and away we’d go. However, I didn’t often go without the saddle.”
Ann further explained her childhood, “As I was the middle one of the family, and there were two brothers between Mary and me and two between Elena and me, I was mostly too little to be with the big girls and too big to be with the little girls. There was one thing I truly enjoyed—I just loved to take part in home dramas.” Home dramas were melodramatic plays that they acted out together.
She talks about her school days saying, “The teachers I had in grade school were Luella Bitner, B.W. Ashton, James E. Moss, Arthur Stayner, Fred N. Poulsen, Mervin W. Davis, and D.W. Moffatt. I had a part of a year at Granite Stake Academy. My teachers there were Douglas M. Tood, James E. Moss, and Eliza S. Bannion. Elizabeth’s husband, Thomas Ritchie, was killed at Ucon, Idaho; Sarah was married; Mary was teaching school; and Mother went to Ucon to stay with Elizabeth so I had to quit school to be ‘it’ at home. That ended my formal education.” Ann’s mother left to help her daughter with the farm so Ann had to take care of the family and drop out of school. She acted as the mother of the house—cooking, cleaning, and supervising her younger siblings. At that time, there weren’t rules regulating how much school you had to take, so people got the amount of schooling that they had time and money for.
Ann summed up her childhood and young adult years by saying, “I had a barrel of fun until I got married: then it seemed business.” Of course, after she married she many more responsibilities, including managing the household and raising children. Ann was a scholar of English grammar, spelling, and the derivation of words and their meanings. She was also good at math. Beautiful handwriting was important to people then—typewriters weren’t common so people needed to learn to write beautifully. Ann learned it well.
Idleness had no part in Ann’s upbringing. The girls were divided into teams of twos and the jobs were rotated by the week. When cooking, washing, ironing, mending, and cleaning were done, there were always sewing, gardening, whitewashing, and numberless other tasks waiting to be done. The job she disliked most was cooking. Perhaps it was not so much the cooking itself as it was being tied down to regular chores day after day, and in the house too, when she’d much rather be doing something outside. She would often leave things until the very last minute and then find out there wasn’t enough time. She became known as the family short-order cook, meaning she had to cook whatever everyone else wanted all the time and cook a lot of it for her growing children.
She was blessed with an intense interest in people; she was understanding and sympathetic. This spirit of kindness expressed itself in numerous ways: wanting to adopt motherless children, teaching the young boys in her Sunday School class to dance, giving a newly-made quilt to a family whose home had been destroyed by fire, taking food to bereaved families, opening her doors to the lonely and homeless, preparing many meals for those who were moving in or out of their homes, washing and ironing to help her children with their families, and genealogy and temple work for the dead.
Perhaps it was Ann’s tendency to sympathetic understanding and kindness that prompted her first reaction to the Danish boy, Hyrum Andrew Jensen, whose family moved into town. The young people made fun of him because he was considered of the lower class. English was not his parents’ first language and they had little formal education. He came from a poor farming family. Ann, on the other hand, came from an upper-class English family. The class differences were wide between them but Ann accepted him anyway. Hyrum and Ann attended the same school, church, and community functions.
When Hyrum and Ann were married on November 23, 1910, there were only twelve hours between Ann’s “I will” and her “I do.” After eight years of trying to marry her, Hyrum asked Ann one night when she would marry him. She replied that she didn’t have a temple recommend. Her father was the bishop so he told her to go inside and ask him for one so they could get married the next morning. They had both received their endowment previously so they were married in the Salt Lake Temple the next morning. Then went to spend Thanksgiving Day with Hyrum’s parents in Huntsville, Utah. Ann was twenty-eight and Hyrum was twenty-nine. Hyrum and Ann started their married life together in Hyrum’s parents’ house in Holladay because Hyrum’s parents needed someone to care for their large apple orchards.
Here in Holladay their first three children were born—all girls. Elena was born on September 30, 1911; Elaine on September 5, 1913; and Mildred on November 5, 1915. The family had financial problems when the apple crop completely froze two springs in succession and they had to find a surer source of income.
In 1917 they moved to Huntsville and started farming. Ann wrote, “We rented a house for a year from Charles Aldous and the next year we bought one from William Felt. In 1918 we were expecting an addition to our family and were looking for a hired girl.” It was quite common to hire a girl to help with the house cleaning and other chores around the house. Ann explained what happened when they were looking for another hired girl. “Two girls came to call. At the time we didn’t know it, but we were told later that they were smuggling scarlet fever in their home. A while later, Mildred had a high fever. The doctor thought it was scarlet fever but said he would call again in the morning. That night at prayer, both Hy and I received the assurance that she’d recover. I was quarantined away from home. Hy’s oldest sister, Marie McDonald, came into care for our three little girls. And on April 12, 1918 our first son, Jacob A. arrived.”
Ann said, “Two years after this (March 14, 1920) we were blessed with triplet boys all on a Sunday morning. At the time of their birth we received a marvelous manifestation of the nearness of our Father in Heaven—truly a wonderful testimony. After the first two babies were born, the doctor felt my pulse and listened to my heartbeat. Then he told Hy and the nurse, ‘She’s gone but we’ll save the babies.’ The third baby was born. Hy said that he felt that couldn’t be—a bunch of little children and no one to care for them. He prayed and was shown three young men preaching to the Lamanites. He telephoned for two Elders to come from priesthood meeting to administer to me. Just as the few last words of the second Elder were spoken, I heard them. The nurse said the babies couldn’t live, so to have them named. Hy went to Thomas E. McKay and asked him if he’d come and attend to the ordinance. He did. We had them named Willard A., William A., and Willis A. They weighed at birth 5 ½, 6, and 6 pounds. They were a lot of care and were not very small, but mostly skin and bone. A while later Willard was very ill. Brother David O. McKay, who later became the President of the Church, came in to help Hy administer to him. When they finished, Brother McKay said he’d like to give me a blessing. It was truly a wonderful one. As he was about to leave he remarked, ‘That’s a very sick baby.’ Sometime later he told me he thought the baby was dying and was surprised when Hy said, ‘They are going on a mission.’ Then I told him of the incident at their birth.”
Ann continued to have children and she explained, “Nearly two years later, on January 1, 1922, we were blessed with twins: a boy, Milo A., and a girl, Elizabeth Marie. Schooling I truly had—the University of Hard Knocks. For three years I scarcely got away from home.”
It took courage to do what she had to do in those few years. The bank account dwindled and the bills mounted. There seemed no end to the work. Hyrum and Ann had a hard time finding adequate help so they solved the problem by moving to Holladay the winter the twins were born. Hyrum’s sister, Elizabeth Laney, helped care for the children. Imagine all the work that needed to be done with five babies all needing feeding, diapering, bathing, and cuddling! Not only did Ann have to take care of the babies, she also had to prepare the food, wash clothes, carry wood to heat the water for baths, and find time for cuddling the babies. They were in Holladay from about October until March of 1922. Then they moved back to Huntsville.
In the following years, Ann underwent two operations while the bills continued to mount and the farm seemed to get smaller. Ann’s daughter Mildred had a throat infection shortly after she turned twelve years old. She died from it. It is believed that she died of spinal meningitis or perhaps strep throat. There weren’t good medicines or antibiotics for those kinds of illnesses. She died on February 16, 1928, and was buried in Huntsville.
Ann and Hyrum raised cows. They sold the milk to the creameries to make butter, cheese, and other dairy products. When they had a good-sized herd of cows, Ann and Hyrum needed to move because their farm was too small for the herd. Their farm couldn’t produce sufficient food to keep the cows healthy and producing. They left Huntsville in the spring of 1929. They settled on a hillside on the east side of Kamas valley in Summit County, Utah. They were one-half mile from the highway, a mile from the Marion School, and a mile and a half from the Marion ward meetinghouse, the only ward in the town. Life in Marion was a challenge, a pleasure, and a rewarding experience. Marion was a small town and the snow in the winter made it hard to get things done. It took effort to attend meetings, group and move rocks, clear away sagebrush, and build additions to make the house a better one to live in. But there were also hills where they could hike and ride horseback in the summer and sleigh ride and ski in the winter. They spent time at “bonfires parties” (roasting hot dogs around the fire), singing around the piano, and eating apples from the many orchards that grew nearby.
As the children grew older, they didn’t usually need to look for people to play with because they were all so near the same age. The nearest neighbors to the family lived two miles away. As the children grew older, they invited friends to spend evenings with them and enjoyed themselves very much.
During the fifteen years they lived in Marion, Hyrum and Ann saw many changes in their family. They sent five of their children on missions: Jacob to the Netherlands; Elaine to California; and the triplets to the Spanish American mission, teaching the Hispanic people in the southwestern United States. The children grew older: Elena and Elaine graduated from the University of Utah and taught school; Elena, Jacob, Milo and Elizabeth were married; and Elaine passed away on August 5, 1943, and was buried in Huntsville at the age of 27, a short time after returning home from her mission. Hyrum and Ann even had four grandchildren were born to them during their years in Marion.
Ann’s son Jacob moved to Emmett, Idaho, early in the spring of 1944. When the triplets came home from their missions that May, Hyrum and Ann went with them to visit Jacob in Idaho and help with the spring work. In Idaho the altitude was lower and the climate warmer; both Hyrum and Ann felt better there so they decided to buy a place. That fall, the triplets were inducted in to the army in World War II. Willard was sent to Japan, and William and Willis were sent to Germany. In March 1945 the Army informed Hyrum and Ann that Willis had been killed in the war. Later he was buried in the Military Cemetery in Luxembourg and his triplet brother, William, dedicated his grave. Willis’s death was hard for the family because he was a special son and a real leader of the triplets especially. Willis was the third of Ann’s children that died before she did.
Ann always worked actively in the church. At the age of twelve, she became secretary of the Primary of the Big Cottonwood Ward, keeping attendance rolls. She held this position for three and one-half years and was then made treasurer of the Sunday School. All of the auxiliaries collected money for their programs so she had, kept, and dispersed the money of the Sunday School. She taught religion classes and Primary, teaching children and young adults. For twelve years she taught the first intermediate class in Sunday School. She also served as the first counselor in the Y.L.M.I.A. (the Young Ladies Mutual Improvement Association, the young women organization of the church at that time) for about one and one-half years. She served as an organist in the Sunday School, in the Relief Society, and in the Holladay Ward. She served in some of these positions when her first three children were small.
During the time she was having her family, Ann made time to teach Sunday School in the Huntsville ward and to be secretary of the ward Relief Society from October 1926 to May 1929, in addition to helping her husband with the job of ward clerk. In the Marion Ward she was a teacher in the Primary and Sunday School and a secretary and organist in the Relief Society. In 1930 she was chosen as second counselor in the Summit Stake Primary and she served for four years. When the South Summit Stake was formed from part of the Summit Stake, she acted efficiently as stake secretary of the Primary and later as president of the ward Primary. Ann also served as the Relief Society Magazine agent for several years when she moved to the Letha Ward (while living in Emmett). In those days, the Relief Society printed and sold the magazine for its members. Later it was combined with the Ensign. She had always had more than 100 percent quota of subscriptions because she sold the magazine to nonmembers as well. Ann always put church duties first in her life.
While living in Emmett, Ann and Hyrum attended the Letha ward; Letha was a small town about ten miles away and there wasn’t another ward to attend.
Since work was a fundamental part of her early training, Ann learned how to do it and she was never afraid of a job no matter how big. Although she had a large family, she didn’t do anything halfway. She ironed and washed clothes. All the clothes needed to be hung outside to dry and ironed, a big job for such a large family. She made delicious bread even when she had to bake ten big loaves three times every week. Another thing she excelled in was canning fruit. Although there were many bushels to be canned at the same time, there was never a let-up on her exacting standards in getting good flavoring and making the bottles look beautiful. Ann was the champion cow milker of the family. Not only could she milk the most cows in a given length of time, but it also seemed they gave more milk for her. It was hard to have a hired girl work for them when her children were small because there was always such a lot of work waiting to be done. After one girl stopped working for them, Hy remarked, “There wasn’t much use of keeping her—Ann always had to do the dishes over again to be sure they were clean.”
Ann had a sense of humor that carried her over many of the rough spots in life. A man in Huntsville once told her that he enjoyed meeting her and asking how she was because she always smiled and said, “I’m fine,” even when he knew she didn’t feel that way. When she moved to Emmett, Idaho, she had a bad case of arthritis. When it was at its worst and she was hobbling around on crutches, she asked for a blessing from Elder Antoine R. Ivins, who was visiting their stake conference. He graciously complied. After administering to her, he sat down for a few minutes and told her to go whenever she could because she’d feel better getting out and associating with people more than staying home by herself, and it would help her to pass the time better. At the evening meeting, he was welcoming people to the meeting at the door. When she came in he remarked that he didn’t expect to see her out again that day. She said, “You didn’t promise me anything, so I thought I’d best go while I’m young.”
Another one of Ann’s talents was her ability to tell a story. The Bible and Book of Mormon were her main source material. She made the stories fascinating by her ability to fill in the background and make the characters come alive.
Ann has never lost her interest in people or joy in being with young people. In 1957 she and her husband were honored at the Special Interest party of Weiser Stake as the oldest couple to regularly attend the Mutual Improvement Association. The Mutual Improvement Association the old name for the Young Men and Young Women’s organizations in the church. At that time, it was optional for everyone to participate and not just for the young people.
Hyrum and Ann spent several winters in Mesa, Arizona, doing temple work and blessing the lives of friends, acquaintances, and people they met. They rented an apartment and stayed until they had done one hundred endowments each and then they went home.
Although life was not easy for Ann, it was precious to her and the rewards were the realization of some of her most cherished dreams. In her older years she continued to work, be kind, tell stories, and brighten the world with her sense of humor. She still had big dreams and was firm and steadfast in what she knew to be right. When a son-in-law and some grandchildren were asked what traits they admired in her, they said they admired her ability to entertain and mimic and her sense of humor, friendliness, unselfishness, industry, and humility.
In November of 1960 Ann and Hy were honored at a golden wedding reception at the Letha Chapel in Emmett, Idaho. A host of friends and relatives joined in the festive occasion. A short year and three months later, on February 7, 1962, Hyrum passed away at their home. The rest of that winter, summer, and early fall, Ann tried living alone. It was hard for her. So the following winter she lived with her sister Leone Taylor in Holladay, Utah. When spring came, Ann felt that she must go home to keep up her yard work. She lived near her children.
In August 1963, Ann underwent a serious cancer operation for colon cancer at St. Luke’s Hospital in Boise, Idaho. Shortly after coming from the hospital she flew to Kamas, Utah, to make her home with the Goodworths, the family of one of her daughter Elena. Her frail body had to adapt to the high altitude. Oxygen was kept by her bed and she used it less each day until finally she managed without it through sheer willpower.
Ann still attended all of her church meetings although it grieved her to be unable to repeat her beloved scriptures because she started to lose her memory. Knowing the scriptures had given her much joy. During her last winter, Ann and Dick (her son-in-law) had a Bible reading contest. She was in the lead, in Deuteronomy, when spring work interfered. She wanted to take care of the gardening and taking care of things. For her, not to work didn’t exist.
Ann died on September 9, 1968, at a hospital in Heber City, Utah, after a brief illness of only a few days. She was very well respected by her family and her passing was not unexpected. Her family was her joy, jewel, and reason for existence.