James Peter Larsen and Mary Caroline Andersen
Contributor: ScottDimmick Created: 7 months ago Updated: 7 months ago
History--James Andersen and Caroline Nielsen, History and Posterity
Compiled by Marilyn and George R. Hall. 1987.
James Peter Larsen & Mary Caroline Andersen
Mary Caroline Anderson, a daughter and second child of James Andersen and Caroline Nielsen, was born 18 Feb 1865 in Spanish Fork, Utah. BIC; Bapt. 1 July 1875; End. 28 Dep 1882 EH. Sld. To P. 26 Jan 1968 MT.
Mary had five brothers and five sisters. They were all born in a home that had been built by their father. Both parents had been converts to the church and had come to America from Denmark soon after they were married. Times were hard and opportunities were few. Mary attended Reese School for three years. She and her mother shared one shawl, Mary wearing it to school and her mother wearing it on occasions when Mary Caroline was not using it.
Mary was an attractive young seventeen-year-old lady when she met James Peter Larsen. He was twenty-two years old. They were married in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City on 28 Sep 1882. Mary’s mother, Caroline Nielsen Andersen traveled to Salt Lake in a covered wagon with James and Mary. The journey took them two days. There were two beds on the bottom of the wagon floor. They left Spanish Fork in the early morning and camped at the Point of the Mountain at the end of the first day. Mary slept with her mother that night. On their return trip from the Endowment House to Spanish Fork, Mary slept with her husband she had married that day.
James (Jens) Peter Larsen, a son and second child of Lars Larsen and Johanne Jensen, was born 3 Apr 1860 at Herstedvester, Copenhagen, Denmark. Bapt. May 1869; End. 28 Sep 1882 EH; Sld. To P. 6 Nov 1889 MT.
Missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints came to the Larsen home in Denmark and imparted the gospel to them. James’ parents were baptized members of the church 5 Apr 1867. About one year later, they sold their home and set sail for America on the steamship “Minnesota,” taking their five children with them. James was about eight years old at the time the steamship left Liverpool, England, carrying 589 saints, mostly from Scandinavia. After sailing for six or seven weeks, during which time they endured sickness and hardship, they landed at New York in the year 1869 and continued on their journey to Utah.
The saints met them in Ogden with ox teams and wagons and brought them to Spanish Fork, Utah, to the home of Birthe Nielsen, who was Lars Larsen’s sister. They lived in part of Birthe’s home until the following spring, and then James’ father Lars built a home for the family in the northeast part of town. They were called “dugouts” and the floors were dirt. The beds were made of sagebrush, and for brooms they used a large bunch of sagebrush. The family lived happily in this temporary home, but as soon as it was feasible, James’ father, with the help of his sons, built a five-room home from foundation to chimney to replace the crude dugout.
Five more children were born to James’ parents in Spanish Fork. James grew to manhood under the influence of staunch, faithful parents. Through the teachings of his parents and his activity in the church, James’ testimony grew and became very strong. It was here that James learned the nature and value of physical toil as he assisted his father with the farming, caring of the livestock, repairing of farm equipment, and the other things that had to be done. Here he learned the value of work along with habits of frugality and cleanliness. They were lessons well learned because they stayed with him throughout his life and were in turn taught to his children.
James and Mary made their home in Spanish Fork when they were first married. It was a small adobe house on the corner of Sixth East and Sixth North. James chose the occupation of farming and raising livestock as their source of livelihood. While they lived there, their first five children were born. Their first two children, Hannah and James, died of spinal meningitis at seven and six years of age and they were buried in the Spanish Fork City Cemetery. Their deaths occurred only thirty days apart. This was such an overwhelming loss that for a year after the death of these two children Mary went to the cemetery each morning and visited the graves. One Sunday morning, while she was sitting mourning at the resting place of her two children, strange voices of a different language came to her. When Mary stood up the voices would cease, but as soon as she sat down again she could hear the voices again. She could not understand what they said. She saw no one, but Mary interpreted it as a sign that she should cease mourning for her children. As a result, Mary stopped going daily to the cemetery but only returned periodically.
They moved to Mapleton, Utah, in 1890, homesteading a forty-acre tract of sagebrush covered land. James built the home that his son, Reed Larsen, lives in today (1987). This was the home in which they lived and where the rest of their children were born. On 13 Jan 1894, James left his four children and wife Mary, who was expecting another child soon, to go on his first mission to Denmark for the LDS Church. Mary’s brother, Oscar stayed with her and the children and helped with the farm work until after the baby, Mary Ellen, was born. The winters were severe and the snow was deep. It must have been difficult at times for Mary to face sickness and the care and providing for the children while James was in the mission field. More than once she called on a neighbor to administer to a sick child in the middle of the night.
James returned from the mission field, and the Lord blessed them and entrusted more children to their care. The stewardship of sixteen children was entrusted to James and Mary to guide and rear. They had a humble and prayerful home where they exercised their faith and strived hard to live the gospel. Often the scriptures were studied and read aloud to their children.
At one time the family had scarlet fever. Reed was the baby at this time, and his case of scarlet fever became complicated with pneumonia. His fingers were cyanotic to the second knuckle. His lips and a circle out around them were cyanotic also. James and Mary had the family fast and pray. One time while they were praying a spirit came to Rebecca, their oldest daughter, and told her to tell her parents that Reed would get better. She started to cry, but a few hours later she told her parents what had happened.
Each fall James would store a supply of flour and sugar in the attic to last for one year. He would cure the hams and store them down in the wheat bin as they kept one year. They had beehives. James would take the honey from the hives, and with the help of his children, extract the honey from the combs by whirling the combs in a big round barrel. The honey came out into the barrel and the combs were returned to the hives. Often Mary used the honey instead of sugar in making jam.
They raised a lot of their own fruit: apples, grapes, prunes, etc. They also had cows, chickens, horses and pigs. All of the farm work was done by horses or by hand. They pumped their water by hand from the well for use in the home and for watering the livestock. Mary must have loved lilacs as she had many lilac bushes around her home.
Mary Larsen was the heart of their home. Her lovingly outstretched arms to her children kept them happy. She was always there to give them the emotional and spiritual security that is
essential for every child’s well-being. She planted deep spiritual truths in them to know God and His son, Jesus Christ. By her attitude and high example in living her life, she instilled in her children a resolve to remain true to the teachings they had received in their home. She reared her children to serve the Lord and keep His commandments. She was a living example of what she taught. She shared her spiritual feeling continually, and motivated her children to pray daily. Three times every day a blessing on the food was given before eating. Every morning and before going to bed at night, everyone knelt down on the floor and took part in family prayer. The children were taught to have their own personal prayers before getting into their beds at night.
Once Alberta was busy doing something when she was told to come and join family prayer. She came slowly and only put one knee down on the floor. As soon as the prayer began, she heard a strong voice say, “Alberta, put both knees on the floor when you pray.” That experience had a strong spiritual influence on her all her life.
Mary taught her children to be dependable and honest. She said, “If you earn a dollar, pay one tenth of it to the Lord for tithing.” The children had positive guidance and discipline that was constructive. They knew that their rights were limited and that they must respect the rights of others.
Mary was good to her neighbors, and many of her children can remember being sent to a less fortunate neighbor with a pail of milk with a half pound of butter floating around in the sweet milk. Other food was also sent. Years after Mary was dead, a neighbor of hers named Polly Smith told one of Mary’s granddaughters that Mary had sent her a pail of milk with butter in it, and also that many times Mary would call to see if Polly wanted to ride to town with her in the buggy drawn by their horse “Fanny”. If Polly had no dress suitable to wear to town, back home Mary went and brought Polly a dress to wear to town.
For several years James was in the Sunday School superintendency of the South Sunday School in Mapleton, Utah. He was also actively engaged in genealogical research and doing temple work for his dead ancestors. In January 1909 he left his wife and large family of eleven living children (two were married at the time) to go on a second mission to Denmark. The children assisted their mother with the operation of the farm while their father fulled his second mission. They sold chickens and eggs to stores and neighbors to help with the groceries and needs of their lives. One cold winter night when James was on this mission, and the ground was crusted with snow, Mary heard someone in their coal shed and went to see who it was. Whoever it was ran away, dropping coal as they ran across the fields on the white crusted snow. Mary called to them, “What is it you want? Come and tell me and I’ll give it to you.”
During his stay in the mission field he missed his family greatly and wrote home asking them to have a picture taken of his family and sent to him. This Mary did. While on his second mission, James contracted tuberculosis and he was never well again. In the summer of 1910 James returned from his mission very ill, accompanied by another elder.
From 1910 to 1914 James suffered from tuberculosis. During this time everything was done to try to relieve him of his illness and make him comfortable. Also, many measures were taken to prevent the children from contracting this contagious, deadly disease. Out of love for her husband and children, Mary accepted and performed all this extra precaution and toil. Her labors paid off, because through them her husband was made more comfortable and none of her children contracted this dreaded disease.
A few hours before James died he told Mary that their son-in-law, Asa Strong, Florence Victoria’s husband who had been dead just a few days from an explosion, had spent the night with him. James died Sunday, 4 Oct 1914, at his home in Mapleton. He was buried in the Spanish Fork Cemetery.
Mary continued to live in Mapleton for eleven years. She reared her children honorable and well. All eleven of her children that lived to be adults were married to their mates in the temple. Her descendants love and honor her and have great esteem for her memory.
Mary married Alonzo Fullmer, a very faithful and religious man, 20 Mar 1922. They moved from Mapleton in 1925 and were ordained ordinance workers in the St. George Temple for one year. In 1926 they returned to Mapleton and Mary sold her home to her son, Reed.
Alonzo and Mary moved to Salt Lake City and purchased a home at 361 North Center Street. They were continuously engaged in temple work in the Salt Lake Temple for the next ten years. Mary often bore testimony of the joy she derived in doing temple work.
Alonzo Fullmer died 4 Mar 1936. Mary continued doing ordinance work, and about one year later she married Lauritz C. Larsen. There were no children by either of these marriages; however, both men had reared families by previous marriages and had been left widowers.
After fourteen years of ordinance work, Mary’s health began failing and she had to give up the work she dearly loved. At age eighty-two, Mary passed away Sunday, 23 Nov 1947, at the home of her daughter Florence Victoria, in Springville, Utah. She was buried in the Spanish Fork City Cemetery.
Children of James Peter Larsen and Mary Caroline Anderson
1. Hannah Caroline 10 Nov 1883 -- 9 Mar 1891
2. James L. 20 Dec 1884 -- 8 Apr 1891
3. Alice Rebecca 10 Aug 1886 -- 29 Nov 1952
4. Florence Victoria 10 Mar 1888 -- 10 Oct 1964
5. Wilford 24 Dec 1889 -- 13 Mar 1952
6. Clara Elizabeth 7 Jun 1892 -- 30 Apr 1986
7. Mary Ellen 20 Mar 1894 -- 16 Jun 1974
8. Alta Christine 24 Jun 1897 -- 27 Jul 1971
9. Alberta 26 Dec 1898 -- 16 Nov 1971
10. Andersen Reed 22 Oct 1900 -- 10 Jun 1994
11. Melvin Fredrick 29 Sep 1902 -- 9 Oct 1902
12. Ina Jamima 13 Nov 1903 -- 18 Jul 1984
13. Thelma 14 Sep 1905 --
14. Son (stillborn) 20 July 1907 -- 20 July 1907
15. Ivy (Patricia) 24 Oct 1908
16. Martha (stillborn) 7 Feb 1911 -- 7 Feb 1911
History--James Andersen and Caroline Nielsen, History and Posterity
Compiled by Marilyn and George R. Hall. 1987.