HISTORY OF SOREN FREDERIK PEDERSON as given at his funeral
Contributor: kcapson Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
On the 6th of July 1885 in the parish of Onslev, Denmark a child was born to be known throughout his earthly life as Soren Frederik Pedersen. He was the second child out of a family of five, his parents being Rasmus and Bodil Pedersen.
Rasmus Pedersen and Bodil Hansen were married around 1883 in Denmark. Rasmus at this time was 49 years old and possibly had been married previously but to whom and when she died is not known. Bodil Hansen was 34 and had a child by the name of Peter Pedersen, age 8 at this time, his real father being Hans Pedersen. She also had two stillborn children. Bodil never did marry Hans Pedersen so this made Peter a half brother to Soren.
Soren was born the 6th of July 1885, the first child born to Rasmus and Bodil. He had two sisters, Karen Marie Oline Pedersen born the 1st of Dec. 1887 and Mary Kristena Pedersen born the 30th of Jan. 1893. Soren's other brother, Karl Kristian Ferdinand Pedersen was born the 29th of Dec. 1889. Soren's parents being on government aid shows that they were basicly poor.
Soren was out working at the age of 10 or 11 to find a trade and earn his own living by working for and living with other people. He wasn't paid much if he was at all, he mostly worked just to have a place to sleep and food to eat. Out of the jobs he had, one of them required him getting up at 4:00 a.m. to wash and clean the cows for the inspectors to check so the milkmaids could milk. As the night came, he would retire to his resting place which wasn't a nice soft bed and pillow but a wood floor covered with straw up above the cows, their body heat sufficient to keep him warm. Although he worked very hard at this time his wealth was just enough to keep him alive and provide a small amount of spending money. Throughout most of his time in Denmark he worked on farms and gardening and at one time worked in a brickyard. We have heard him mention that at times he would get on his bike and ride 20 miles to a tavern to get a beer, water being so bad at that time to drink.
Around 1903 and 1906 the LDS missionaries taught one of his sisters. His sisters came over to the United States shortly after with the missionaries. They were brought out west to work for Church families in America which paid for their trip and provided them with room and board.
In 1907, grandfather immigrated to the United States with money he had earned, some saved and some borrowed from his family. He came without knowing any English and with the hope of finding his sisters. He sailed into New York the 27th of May 1907 aboard the S.S. United States. He said that as he was preparing to leave the ship that they stopped him and wouldn't let him off because he didn't have any specific place to go or anyone to sign for him where he was an alien. Then during this confusion a man stepped up and told him that he would sign for him and give him a job. As grandfather was getting ready to leave, he turned to thank the man but he was gone and he never even caught his name. He figured that he would see him again and went to Chicago where this fellow had told him he could get a job. He never found out who he was, but a person can't help but think that the Lord knew Soren and that he had a specific purpose for him here in this choice land. He worked in Chicago for a short time until he made enough money to go West where his sisters were. He said that he worked on a garden farm and that the people he worked for were German people. He worked for two brothers and they were as different as night and day. One would work you till you were almost ready to collapse and then would hardly feed you anything and the other would feed you so much at the end of the day that you would be stuffed.
Soren joined the church shortly after he came over. He had hoped to bring his mother to America but she died even before he had earned enough money to leave Denmark.
He tried several times to take out citizenship but never was able to complete the papers. He at one time was so worried that they were going to send him back to Denmark that he had some of his possessions put on fire this being during the war.
April 11, 1917 he married Marilla Tracy of Yost, Box Elder, Utah for time and all eternity in the Salt Lake City Temple. She had one child before she married Soren, his name being Alton Tracy. Though it isn't known whether he was adopted or sealed to them, he took on the Peterson name as his own. And then on Feb. 7, 1918, Soren Frederik and Marilla had a son named Harold Eugene Peterson. Marilla died 14 months after Harold was born, of pneumonia around the Rose area. Her death I'm sure weighed heavy on him because he saved several things of hers till the day he died. It was a month or two after that he received his Patriarchal blessing, the strength he needed to continue his earthly mission. After her death, Harold was placed in people's homes till he was at the age of 7.
During that time, Soren worked on farms and for the railroad. After Harold reached the age of 7, Soren and Harold farmed in Wapellow for a few years. Because of discouragement and the trials he had, they went traveling for a time. While traveling, they lived in a tent most of the time. Then in the year 1929, they moved to Thomas where Soren lived there on a 10 acre farm. He always seemed to enjoy working in the garden planting peas, tomatoes, potatoes, and strawberries. He was called the Strawberry King by many people.
When he wasn't working in the garden, he was chopping wood or gathering wood and sagebrush. It was very unusual for him not to have a fire going in his wood stove.
Soren wrote often to his brothers who stayed in Denmark. He would often write that he would like to go see them, but he never made it back. On April 18, 1937, Soren's sister ,Karen, died in an automobile accident south of Pocatello. He would often say that she was killed in an accident and you could tell that he missed her. Then around this time his brothers' letters became less and less until they wrote no more. Peter, his oldest brother died 20 of April, 1955 and then two years later, Ferdinand, his youngest brother, died of cancer on Dec. 13, 1957. This left Soren with his boy, Harold, and his wife and their children, and with one sister still living. His sister lived until Jan. 8, 1974, but he never got to see her for several years before then. He outlasted them all and he had a determination that wouldn't quit. He never did remarry and his last few years he lived were lonesome ones, but still he kept the determination he was raised with.
I never heard him say anything bad about anyone but he did have a blunt way of saying some things and it was a style all his own. He always liked to help the widows and would make sure that they always had enough vegetables and would take them things from his garden. He was always fair and he would very seldom take anything that he couldn't work for or pay for. This little old man in overalls never became a citizen of the U.S. but he was happy to be here. His one thing he was proud of was all the time he was able to help on the grounds of the Thomas Church. He thought alot of taking care of the grounds as if it were a part of him. He was close to the Lord and from the time he went out on his own till now he has tried to take care of himself. His life has been one of many trials and he hasn't ever wanted anymore than he had for he was happy with what he had and I know that his thoughts of this earth life are choice and will remain forever.
On Nov. 11th, 1976, Soren Frederik Pedersen died at his son's home. His peaceful look told you that someone was there to greet him in a familiar place.
He left this earth only to be greeted, I'm sure by someone we all know, who told him . . .
Well done my good and faithful servant.
PATRIARCHAL BLESSING FOR SOREN FREDERICK PETERSON #4
Groveland, Idaho, May 27, 1919
A blessing given by Patriarch Andrew Christian Jensen, upon the head of Soren Frederick Peterson. Son of Rasmus Peterson and Bodil Hansen. Born July 6, 1885 at Denmark.
Brother Peterson according to your request and in the name of the Messiah I place my hands upon thy head and as the Lord shall direct me I seal upon thee a father’s and patriarchal blessing.
Thou art of the chosen seed thru the loins of Joseph, heir to all the keys powers and blessings of the Holy Priesthood and of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob with all the gifts and graces of the New and Everlasting Covenant.
Thou wast fore-ordained before the foundations of this world was laid to come down and pass thru mortality to prepare for this life’s mission and the life beyond the vail.
Thou art free from the Blood of this generation and thy labors are accepted of the Lord. You have come thru the loins of a noble lineage, heir to all the keys, powers and blessings of the faithful. Thy name is recorded in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
Thou art of the chosen seed and you shall become a king and priest unto God to reign and rule in the House of Israel and stand as a savior upon Mt. Zion. You shall have faith sufficient to keep thyself unspotted from the Blood of this generation.
You shall go unto the lands of your fore-fathers to search out the Lost Sheep of Israel and bring them unto the fold of Christ. You shall go in peace and return in safety. The God of Heaven will open up the vision of your understanding so you will be able to confound the wisdom of the wise and promulgate the principles of the Gospel to the convincing of many souls. You shall assist in the restoration of the Lost Tribes of Israel and minister unto them in the House of the Lord.
I seal you up against the powers of darkness, sickness and death and promise you that you shall live until you are satisfied with this life’s mission and if thou art faithful you shall become a common judge in Israel.
You have received your blessings at the hand of Ephraim in the House of the Lord and have been commissioned with authority to minister in the name of the Lord and you shall receive additional blessings and become the father of a numerous posterity and the God of Heaven will give unto thee the comforts of this life and eternal life in the world to come and every blessing that will be for your good shall be granted unto thee and in thy ministry you shall have joy and rejoicing and every hand that is raised against thee shall fall to the ground.
You shall pass by the angels and the Gods free from the blood of this wicked wicked and adulterous generation and sit down with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to the marriage feast of the Son of God.
I seal you up unto the Lord to come forth in the morning of the first resurrection crowned with immortality and eternal life prepared to enter into your exaltation and glory to enjoy the presence of the Lord and the society of your loved ones who have gone before you, and if thou wilt be faithful these blessing are yours and I seal them upon thy head by the authority of the Holy Priesthood and in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen. A.C. JensenAN IMMIGRANT’S PRIDE
By Peggy Bloxham
To look at the house, you know immediately Grandpa was very poor. He immigrated from Denmark to the United States and lived 90 years but never was able to amass a fortune and capitalize on the American dream. Only a small shack, buried in the ground in the middle of a 10 acre farm, remains to proclaim he existed.
A single lane dirt road leads up to the front of the house. Only the wood shingled, pitched roof and about 1 foot of the walls are visible above ground. Two windows peak out on the world from ground level but are so dirty that curtains aren’t necessary for privacy. A homemade four paned window is set under the gable to provide light for the stairwell below. A rusty water pump sits to the front side of the house exhibiting in repose the same lethargy as it does when the lever is pumped up and down to draw water.
A wooden structure measuring 4 feet wide rises from the ground in front of the house high enough to encase the old door that serves as the only entrance. Another four paned window sits in the door. The door is held closed from the outside by a blunt end, diamond shaped piece of wood that rotates sideways to block the door or up and down to release the door. On the inside, a leather strap extends from a nail on the wall and wraps around the doorknob to secure the entry.
The stairs are steep and the darkness closes in rapidly. Old work clothes hang limply from nails in the wall like long forgotten soldiers guarding an abandoned fort. The cold and damp linger year round since there is no insulation or finished walls. Old cans and bottles are stored in recesses under each step, their contents unknown because of the heavy dust that clings like a second label to the outside. Cobwebs drape themselves over every crack and corner, their occupants not visible to the half-closed eye. I am always relieved to get past the stairwell either to the living space below or to the sunshine above. Another wooden door is secured at the bottom of the stairs with a metal latch often seen on barn doors that swivels sideways to release the fastening. This provides protection from the cold of winter.
The living area is actually one big room but appears to be two rooms because of the large wood/coal burning cook stove in the center. Immediately, I am enveloped by the warmth emanating from the continuously burning fire. There are six burners on top and an oven, hopper, and damper in the front. The stove rises above the burners to house two warming ovens with mismatched metal pots spilling out. A large wooden rocker sits in front of the stove its arms adorned with ferocious lion heads on the end. I used to believe they would bite my fingers off when I was young. White stucco covers the lava rock walls but water seeps through the joints between the rocks and bleeds through the stucco creating brown splotches everywhere.
To the left a wooden cabinet stands, its frame painted yellow and the thin plywood doors stained walnut. A small sink to hold dirty dishes sits below one small window. A dusty mirror hangs from a nail but the reflection is so distorted, it is hard to visualize its real worth. On the left stands a homemade wooden table covered by a plastic faded red and white checked tablecloth. An oil lamp sits on top to provide light for the room after dark. Underneath is a shelf to hold canned food.
The second room serves as the bedroom. It comes complete with a twin bed, plain wooden trunk, and dresser. A makeshift closet stands to the side covered by an old bed sheet. Above the bed a dark suit hangs from the wall gathering dust. There are two more windows in this room, one facing the back of the house and the other facing the far side.
I can still feel the simple pride and strength of Grandpa emanating from every scarred wall, rotting timber, and forgotten bib overall. Expensive homes, furnishings, and clothes don’t make the man; humility, wisdom, and character do. These traits live on for others to remember in Grandpa’s house.