Niels Christensen

4 Aug 1843 - 18 May 1923

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Niels Christensen

4 Aug 1843 - 18 May 1923
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Grave site information of Niels Christensen (4 Aug 1843 - 18 May 1923) at Pioneer Memorial Cemetery in American Fork, Utah, Utah, United States from BillionGraves
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Life Information

Niels Christensen


Pioneer Memorial Cemetery

320 N 100 E
American Fork, Utah, Utah
United States

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Phoebe Adelaide Chipman Christensen

Contributor: Celique Created: 2 years ago Updated: 2 years ago

Phoebe Adelaide Chipman was a daughter of Stephen and Phoebe (Davis) Chipman; Utah pioneers. She was born at Millcreek, Utah, December 5, 1852, where her father had built and operated the first flour mill there. While a small baby, her parents moved to American Fork, the town her father founded. Her father, Stephen, died in 1868 when she was just 15. Then four years later, her mother passed away. Phoebe was the eldest of seven children and played the role of mother. Her youngest sister, Bertha, was four and had been born just months after their father's death. Niels and Phoebe Chipman Christensen Three months after Phoebe's mother's death, Phoebe married Niels Christensen in the Endowment House and he helped to raise her little brother and sisters. In time they had seven fine, strong children of her own. Phoebe was a beautiful woman, deeply spiritual, and gifted in the art of making an ideal home. She was a wise and loving mother and a devoted wife. Through her efforts, she was instrumental in organizing “woman suffrage” in American Fork. “On October 2, 1890, tragedy struck [Phoebe and Niels’ family] suddenly. Their daughter, Phoebe Helen, a charming, dark-haired beauty of sixteen, died. The sorrow of the family was intense. [Helen, as she was called, was the oldest child. Bernard came next in the family.] Much of Bernard’s grieving at the loss of his sweet sister was dispelled because of a marvelously realistic dream he had the following night. In that dream, he stood with Helen at the foot of the bed where her body lay and once more, as a big sister would, she told him they would meet again and it would not seem long. That certainty never died out of Bernard’s life. Interesting, is it not, that this sweet spirit of assurance was given on the night of October 3, the fourteenth anniversary of Bernard’s birth? “[Phoebe] . . . remained unconsoled over her namesake daughter’s death. Despite the [fact that the family was in an] extraordinarily diffi[#$@^!]lt financial situation, Phoebe made a trip to Manti, Utah where, on October 21, 189l, she did Phoebe Helen’s temple work. Perhaps within those sacred walls a sense of peace came.” During the summer of 1893, Niels had several financial setbacks and Phoebe [40 years of age] was not well. “[The following summer] July 14, 1894, was a warm summer afternoon. Bernard was riding his little black mare. He was starting for Utah Lake to go for a swim when he met his mother coming out of a neighbor’s gate. She greeted him with a smile and, with the usual caution to be careful, turned and went up the street. Bernard watched her go. He had a strong urge to go with her, but turned his horse south and went for the swim. Upon his return he found a crowd of people in front of the family home. Bernard’s mother was dying. She had stood with the choir to sing the closing hymn at a funeral and had fallen unconscious, probably the result of a massive cere[#$@^!]l hemorrhage. “Among those gathered in the room where Phoebe lay was a Mrs. Tilleck, a convert to the Church from Australia. After Phoebe died and the crowd had disbursed, Mrs. Tilleck said quietly to the family, ‘Just before your mother died, I saw a short, dark-complexioned, very beautiful woman come in he door. She crossed the room and held her arms out over the bed. I saw Phoebe’s spirit rise out of her body and they left the room arm in arm.‘ There were many questions asked of Mrs. Tilleck about this remarkable woman she had never before seen, but Niel knew from the clear description which had been given that she was his mother-in-law.” Phoebe’s early death kept her from accomplishing some of the fine and helpful things she was capable of doing. “Adversity had come again to the Christensen family. Yet its refining hand molded in them a deep loyalty and love for each other. Bernard [at 17] now felt that his duty was at home. Someone had remarked that the Christensen children were such a handsome lot and so full of life, that with an easygoing father they would all go to the bad. In Bernard’s soul there burned a fighting resolve that they would not, and that intense resolve never diminished in his life. [Bernard had the greatest respect for his father, but said in later years that his father did not recognize the hazards which young people then faced.] When their mother died, John, Homer and Marie were all younger than twelve years of age. Mable was but thirteen. Edith, who assumed the burden of the housework, was only fifteen.” Knowing more of the history of Niels and Phoebe Christensen’s family life makes it easier to understand Bernard’s decisions, especially the one he made two or three years later to delay his mission. Yet he was true to himself and his resolve and when the time was right, he left his sweetheart, Maud Rosalie Driggs behind and served a mission to New Zealand. All quoted material is from the book, The Christensen Family of Soro, Denmark and American Fork, Utah, USA, by Allen C. Christensen, 1994, pp. 45-58.

Ellen Poulsdatter Christensen

Contributor: Celique Created: 2 years ago Updated: 2 years ago

Peder Christensen & Ellen Poulsdatter How did we come to be Christensens? The story begins in the early 1800’s in Vedbysonder, Soro, Denmark. But it doesn’t end there. Niels Christensen’s father was Peder Christensen, so according to Danish custom, he was born Niels Pedersen. The events that transformed him into Niels Christensen make an interesting and important read. Bernard Christensen’s father was Niels. Niels Christensen’s father was Peder Christensen who was born 19 May 1808 in Vedbysonder, Soro, Denmark. Niels’ mother was Ellen Poulsdatter who was born in Ottestrup, Soro, Denmark, on 5 December 1810. Allen C. Christensen, in his book, The Christensen Family of Soro, Denmark and American Fork, Utah, USA, tells of Peder and Ellen’s beginnings. Soro is a thickly wooded area. Its homes and cottages appear to have stone walls. In 1810 most of them must have had thatched roofs for some still remain today. Ellen was her parents’ first child and only daughter. She had four brothers. “In St. Peder’s Church in the town of Slagelse on 30 June 1843, Ellen married Peder Christensen. He was 35 and she was 32. Peder was also a carpenter. . . . Two sons were born to Peder and Ellen. Poul Pedersen was born 22 August 1843 and his younger brother, Niels Pedersen, [our ancestor] was born 4 August 1844, both at Nykobbel. “Peder Christensen was a large man. Part of the time he was a steward for government land, some of which he was apparently permitted to use as a small farm. One day he was kicked in the groin by a cow. A few days later, on 18 December 1847, he died. This left Ellen with two small sons and the necessity of finding a husband; if she were to retain custodianship of the government’s land, it was required that she be married. This stewardship was apparently awarded by the Danish crown and had been a part of her ancestry’s inherited rights for several generations. According to family tradition, Ellen’s grandfather, Anders Jensen, had been an officer in the Danish Army. As a reward for gallantry, he received from the government a section of beautifully wooded land to be held by him and his descendants. At his death, Poul Andersen [Ellen’s father] inherited the land. Poul’s daughter, the eldest child, next fell heir. Four months [after Peder Christensen died] on 28 April 1848, Ellen married Hans Christensen. He was nine years younger than she. Hans lived with Ellen only a short time when he was taken into the army in a time of war with Germany. . . “Ellen had a difficult time during the three years Hans was in the army. Poul and Niels, though small boys, were compelled by circumstances to assist their mother in caring for the government-owned forest lands and in operating the small farm allotted to them. Ellen’s two sons had some interesting differences. Niels loved to tramp the woods with the gamekeeper and to watch him shoot foxes. He wanted to be a gamekeeper himself when he was grown. Niels also loved climbing to the tops of the very tall oak trees in the woods. He had a wonderful sense of balance all of his life. . . .Poul was more of a schoolboy than Niels. Niels did not much care for the teacher who would box his ears when he did not do his lessons well. A weekly trip to the nearest town to buy bread was quite an event; the two-five-pound loaves carried home by each boy made walking no easy task. “When the war was over, their stepfather, Hans Christensen, returned. He had fought on the mainland against the German cavalry. [The sword that had protected him and saved his life he kept with him even when the family moved to the United States and it became a family heirloom.] Ellen was about forty and beyond the childbearing years when Hans returned. “In 1855 the Christensens were visited by missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. On May 11 of the following year they were baptized members of the Church. The details of their conversion have been lost. However, they did go at night to a pond to be baptized, so one can safely surmise that their decision to become Mormons was probably not greeted with kindly expressions by neighbors and churchmen. The choice, no doubt, resulted in great soul-searching and personal sacrifice, but it was a decision from which they never looked back.” (pp. 1-2) The following year [1857 when Poul was 14 and Niels was 12] they left Denmark and sailed from Liverpool and spent the next five weeks crossing the North Atlantic. They landed in Philadelphia where they took the train [not a passenger train but in a box car] to Iowa City. From there they went two or three miles distant to Clear Creek, a staging area for the handcart trek, where they stayed with others in a large tent. “The Christensens had enough money remaining to outfit themselves with team, wagon and provisions. But there were others in their company who had nothing. In the spirit of true religion, the Christensens divided their substance with those who were destitute. Preparations were then made to take handcarts and to make the remainder of the journey on foot.” (pp. 2-6) The Christensens became part of the 7th Handcart Company. Allen Christensen has written a full account of their trek in his book, Before Zion: An Account of the 7th Handcart Company, 2004. There are also wonderful details of their trip in his “blue book”--referenced above. Near the end of the trek “Poul took sick and nearly died on the way west. For three days his mother and another woman half led, half carried him--there was no stopping. He was never strong enough to pull the handcart again. The last hundred miles Niels and his stepfather pulled the handcart alone for the others were too worn out to help. . . . “On Sunday, September 13, people were just coming out of church services when the ragged, hungry, sunburned weary pioneers came into Salt Lake City. They had walked 1300 miles. It was the happiest day of their lives. They had been ninety-three days on the way from Iowa City. . . . A ragged blanket, a ragged shirt, and ragged overalls were all that Niels had of this world’s goods. . . .His mother gave him a little bucket and directed him to go ask for some milk. The first house had none but a lady at the second home gave him some milk and asked if he had any bread. When he replied no, this kind woman gave him half of her only loaf. “During the winter of 1857-58, the Christensen family was compelled by circumstances to separate and live in various homes where they each worked for their board. That first winter Niels stayed with a family in Cottonwood. The family of six with whom he boarded lived in a two-room dugout. Niels shared this humble home with three women, two girls, and a little boy of about six years of age. It was the boy who helped Niels learn to speak English. The father of his host family was . . .serving with the Utah Militia in its successful blockade against Johnston’s Army. Niels chopped wood and herded and milked cows . . . . and [lived mainly on] potatoes and pumpkin butter.” (pp. 14-15) It would be almost two years before they settled in American Fork in a situation where they had sufficient to eat and a bright future. In the meantime “Niels and Poul had but a month in school, their only formal education in America. During this period they adopted the American custom of using their father’s surname as their own. That is why today we are the Christensens rather than the Pedersens. At this same time, Poul began spelling his name Paul.” (p. 15) Source: The Christensen Family of Soro, Denmark, and American Fork, Utah, USA, Allen C. Christensen, 1994.

Hans Christensen's Big House

Contributor: Celique Created: 2 years ago Updated: 2 years ago

Hans Christensen’s Big House Clare B. Christensen and other family sources Perhaps the most curious house ever built in American Fork stood at about 138 South First West. It was a monument of massive masonry and bore four big chimneys and a pyramid-shaped roof. On a long red sandstone lintel over the front door was the inscription, “H. CHRISTENSEN 1873.” It was common knowledge among the town folk that the house had been built to stand through the Millennium, and there was much comment and concern when it was torn down in 1912. Later eighty thousand of it’s bricks went into the walls of the American Fork High School. Some of the big granite blocks that made the foundation went to decorate the cemetery lot of Joseph Moyle, the one-legged man who hauled them from the granite mountain north of Alpine. William Hurbert, the mason who built the house, spent much of six years on it. The walls below ground were three feet thick; made of quarried rock, mostly quartzite, and set in lime mortar. The foundation above ground was of granite blocks, some weighing more than one thousand pounds. The outside walls on the first story were five bricks thick. The partition walls and all second story walls were four bricks thick. Floors were covered with double flooring of 1 1/3 tongue and groove boards of choice native lumber; supported by joist three inches by fourteen inches in both stories and attic. A stairway of like construction ran from basement to attic. Over each of the windows, front and back doors was a red sandstone lintel. Inside, there were three big ties to support the masonry over each doorway. Because the walls were so thick, the rooms were small and made to seem even smaller as the ceilings were twelve feet high. There were four rooms on each floor. Each room was connected with the middle hall where the stairway ran. There was also a small hall room on the second floor. No windows or doors were in the north or south walls. They were solid brickwork except for two sets of lintels in each. This was purposely arranged so that more rooms could be added as the family grew. Hans had two wives. His first wife, Ellen Poulsen Christensen, lived on one side of the house with her two sons, Paul and Niels–sons of her first marriage to Peder Christensen. His second wife, Maren Jorgensen, and her family lived on the other side. Hans Christensen died on the 24th of July in 1880, not many years after the house was completed. Ellen died in 1896. Then it was vacant for a number of years. Bernard Christensen, a son of Niels, purchased the home intending to remodel it; but a building contractor told him that it would be completely impractical. Bernard and Maud had married in 1904 and lived in the north side of Niels Christensen’s home. They needed a home of their own so in 1912 Bernard began the enormous job of tearing down the Big House. William D. Baxter, or “Billy Baxter,” helped to take the chimneys and roof off. He said in after years that it was a crime to tear that house down - “just like tearing down the pyramids in Egypt.” Along the side of the street was a row of lombardy poplars, like a row of giant sentinels guarding the entire block. On the winter morning in January when the demolition began, most of the folks who passed along the walk between the trees and the picket fence, stopped to look and comment. Chris Beck, an acquaintance of the family, stopped in his horse drawn carriage. “O Bernard,” he called with much concern, “do you know what you are doing?” “I hope so,” was the reply. “Why?” “The ‘Old Man’ built that house to stand until the Millennium.” Chris had earlier said he didn’t believe in religion or a hereafter. “Do you believe in the Millennium, Chris?” Bernard asked. Chris grunted, kicked the brake, and drove up the street. The big house furnished brick for Bernard and Maud Christensen’s home and several others. The solid door frames made good material for bridges on the farm. Stacks of the lumber and timbers went into homes for people and barns and sheds as well. All the kids in the neighborhood were entertained for years helping to build play houses. A picture of the house can be seen in Allen Christensen’s book called The Christensens of Soro, Denmark and American Fork, Utah, p. 329 Submitted by Karen Christensen Luthy

Information on the life of Phoebe Davis

Contributor: Celique Created: 2 years ago Updated: 2 years ago

"Phoebe Davis was a convert from England who migrated to New Orleans with her parents arriving there in April 1849. They joined with the other saints at Council Bluffs in June for the march toward the Rocky Mountains under the direction of Orson Spencer. The family located at Millcreek, where Phoebe met Stephen Chipman. She died, a widow, in her 44th year leaving four young children in the care of her oldest daughter, Phoebe Adelade, who married Niels Christensen three months later." "Stephen Chipman Pioneer," by Dean Whitaker Chipman, p. 15.

Life timeline of Niels Christensen

Niels Christensen was born on 4 Aug 1843
Niels Christensen was 16 years old when Petroleum is discovered in Titusville, Pennsylvania leading to the world's first commercially successful oil well. Petroleum is a naturally occurring, yellow-to-black liquid found in geological formations beneath the Earth's surface. It is commonly refined into various types of fuels. Components of petroleum are separated using a technique called fractional distillation, i.e. separation of a liquid mixture into fractions differing in boiling point by means of distillation, typically using a fractionating column.
Niels Christensen was 19 years old when U.S. President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, declaring the freedom of all slaves in Confederate territory by January 1, 1863. Abraham Lincoln was an American statesman and lawyer who served as the 16th President of the United States from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. Lincoln led the United States through the American Civil War—its bloodiest war and perhaps its greatest moral, constitutional, and political crisis. In doing so, he preserved the Union, abolished slavery, strengthened the federal government, and modernized the economy.
Niels Christensen was 34 years old when Thomas Edison announces his invention of the phonograph, a machine that can record and play sound. Thomas Alva Edison was an American inventor and businessman, who has been described as America's greatest inventor. He developed many devices that greatly influenced life around the world, including the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and the long-lasting, practical electric light bulb. Dubbed "The Wizard of Menlo Park", he was one of the first inventors to apply the principles of mass production and large-scale teamwork to the process of invention, and is often credited with the creation of the first industrial research laboratory.
Niels Christensen was 40 years old when Eruption of Krakatoa: Four enormous explosions destroy the island of Krakatoa and cause years of climate change. The 1883 eruption of Krakatoa in the Dutch East Indies began in the afternoon of Sunday, 26 August 1883, and peaked in the late morning of Monday, 27 August when over 70% of the island and its surrounding archipelago were destroyed as it collapsed into a caldera. Additional seismic activity was reported to have continued until February 1884, though reports of seismic activity after October 1883 were later dismissed by Rogier Verbeek's investigation into the eruption. The 1883 eruption was one of the deadliest and most destructive volcanic events in recorded history. At least 36,417 deaths are attributed to the eruption and the tsunamis it created. Significant additional effects were also felt around the world in the days and weeks after the volcano's eruption.
Niels Christensen was 55 years old when Spanish–American War: The Treaty of Paris is signed, officially ending the conflict. The Spanish–American War was fought between the United States and Spain in 1898. Hostilities began in the aftermath of the internal explosion of the USS Maine in Havana Harbor in Cuba, leading to US intervention in the Cuban War of Independence. American acquisition of Spain's Pacific possessions led to its involvement in the Philippine Revolution and ultimately in the Philippine–American War.
Niels Christensen was 62 years old when Albert Einstein publishes his first paper on the special theory of relativity. Albert Einstein was a German-born theoretical physicist who developed the theory of relativity, one of the two pillars of modern physics. His work is also known for its influence on the philosophy of science. He is best known to the general public for his mass–energy equivalence formula E = mc2, which has been dubbed "the world's most famous equation". He received the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics "for his services to theoretical physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect", a pivotal step in the development of quantum theory.
Niels Christensen was 74 years old when Tsar Nicholas II of Russia was forced to abdicate in the February Revolution, ending three centuries of Romanov rule. Nicholas II or Nikolai II, known as Saint Nicholas in the Russian Orthodox Church, was the last Emperor of Russia, ruling from 1 November 1894 until his forced abdication on 15 March 1917. His reign saw the fall of the Russian Empire from one of the foremost great powers of the world to economic and military collapse. He was given the nickname Nicholas the Bloody or Vile Nicholas by his political adversaries due to the Khodynka Tragedy, anti-Semitic pogroms, Bloody Sunday, the violent suppression of the 1905 Russian Revolution, the executions of political opponents, and his perceived responsibility for the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905). Soviet historians portray Nicholas as a weak and incompetent leader whose decisions led to military defeats and the deaths of millions of his subjects.
Niels Christensen died on 18 May 1923 at the age of 79
Grave record for Niels Christensen (4 Aug 1843 - 18 May 1923), BillionGraves Record 6000 American Fork, Utah, Utah, United States