FAMILY

HISTORY
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A LIFE SKETCH OF MATILDA PETERSEN

ATKINSON

t-------------'----------------------------------------------------~-----'11 g r ve a s xe t ch 0- my l'f e an d 0 f my ~nces t ors as f ar as f J. I Wl Nov 19_,

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I h ave know 1e d.ge o f-. our genea 1o g y.
daughter of Johames was noted

I was b orn

1852 at Knuds.ke r Sogn Bornko1m to suffer

Denmark.

I

J was the youngest

and Ann Ca therine Peterson. for his kind deeds his

Mv grandparents They

on motb.ers side were Peter and Ellen Olsen. wr'o g than do wrong." n and religious

My great grandfather

motto was, "better

were an industrious

family and very good singers.

My mothers

father

was a farmer, he served

as an anpreniice to a shoe maker. He was called as a soldier to go with Na1201eon Bone12arte who hired soldiers from the §wedish King. They went to Egypt, the Red Sea and the Black Sea. When Napoleon went to gain fame before he was

.cr-owne Emneror of France his soldiers d
army was starving heads and other things

fought in the summer time but had to find work in the winter time. Once the badly so they came to the city. The men were glad to gather up the garbage, potato peelings, 'fish that had been discarded which they washed and cooked hammers to satisfy their hunger. thick copper sheets to the and all kinds of Another time in three ba t t l e s but

Once Grandfather desired thickness. farm implements.

got work with a copper smith where sledge

were used to hammer Lundeburd. and added

Another

time he found work with a wheel wright. King, Carl John Bernodate Sweden.got passage that led under

There he learned

to make wagons He fought it to Sweden.

He built his own house and all his-buildings Onc~ the Swedish called the Danes came against the copper and fought

at Calmam, took Norway the ground

was never v/Ounded. while he was serving
wa s

i.nside the wall t ha t s ur-r ounde d the city of Ca Le me n , but there to the Kings palace. The Swedish soldiers by the The city was taken and retaken

a secret

passage

poured

into this passage

the Danes back three times that day.
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Swedish.

.
she came young, worker then he married Elir Carlson.

Grandfa t.he rs first wife bore him four children she died enerietic and was a good mother to his ch ildren.

from a well

to do family

and had property Mv mother

of her own.

She had some property,

sheep and cattle and was a very amb i tious and and wea ver. was her olclo3t

She was a fast spinner

chi.ld and was tauah t in all the .arts of the home. She learned to work on the farm and also lea rned tailoring and dress making. She She went to the Island and worked in a merchants family for three years and as the family dress maker. and the other servant left at the same ti.me. The mistre-.;shad become attached to the two girls and cried when they left anq said I will never get Anna and Mary ba ck aga in. Mother wa S nearly twenty three when she met and married
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FAMILY

HISTORY

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Johanes c:oulrl hR

Peterson
l'RntRo

page 2 (my fa ther) On her wedding hv navinrr so ~llc:h monev

day she wore

the golden church crown!

which was a great honor.

It

meant so much in the old country ;_n a mysterious way. If it had never been taken awa y from them they would never have come to this country. My fathers could hardly live. father was a baby nine months old .father died when Il!Y and repairing in Denmark
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She had a church wedding. Her: f.a.the.r gaze ber: a cottage and a Lo.t., ,_:wb_j_cb to have a home of their own. It was taken away from them by fraud but God moves

he was the twelth child in a sailing

in the family. where

when he grew up he got a job in the ship yards building He heard he found work

ships.

The')wages were very-:-andpoor people vesel to Bornholm

Inw

that they paid better wages

so he went

so

There was a famine in Sweden and what little monev father could send we n t very fast. in the coal mines. Mother would go to the field and ga t.he some sour dock and crush the seeds to help make a r manv were so hungrv The little bread. She stitched cuffs, collars and dickeys and shirt fronts ·to get a little flour to make bread. children children were so hungry
and begged

for just a piece of' bread. for joy. For once

Once mother came home with a large loaf of bread, they could eat. My little brother to Denmark.

the Carl

ran to meet her and danced father was away.

they had all the bread

died while

In two more years father furniture

moved from Sweden and took his family

.

We had some household with the cold. started wea ther. elders a fire.

we rented a house with a fire pLace ." It was a severe Father managed

cold winter

and they suffere his·way.

Cine night they put some coals 1n an iron kettle the' family. The fireburned

to take away some of the chill and went to slee.l2.This to get to the door by feeling which meant so much were born at Knudsker Sogn. to them in cold The

Some of the gas and smoke almost over came them. a home and lot where

He threw the door open and awoke came and preached

most of the clothes the last two children
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They worked hard and bought the gospel,

.

my parents were baptized

Mar 1852. I was born No\y' 19! of the same year. came and learned more of . the gospe 1. Once

There were many meetings

held at our home

many of the neighbors

The Elders went on with the the mormon Elders were 12reaching when a mob armed wi th clubs headed by 12rea che rs came. meet ing. The mob had been drinking, the saints got between them so the mob could not tell which were the missionaries. One day an Elder washed and dressed came to our house who had been mobbed. His face was bleeding and his clothes torn. Mother

the wounds

gave him food and rest and did every Ioger and bought

thing to make him comfortable. fruit and two large cherry trees

We next moved to Clemensker,

a small farm with plenty of small

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page

,3

and a. 1e t re e s .fa t11 er ")a n ted twe 1 ve s we 8_ t c h:.:_e=r..::r.....!y'---t.::..::._r..:::e..=e..:::s::_:.:.._-=.T.:.:h:..::e:__:E::_:l::..d=e..:: l t..::..h::.:.__;::u:::::s,-,.:..___:_:W ..:....v..:::e_;::d:.__ _ several years. We then sold our place to help with our emigration 'to America . There was not enough money for all of our
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his wife had enough John had got married, VIc my you nge s t br mc ne y for one fare and had to leave We were able to send left like a lost sheep on a wild island. Sweden and stay un t.I I we we n t . It seemed like our enemies tri fares. borrowed Brother
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.

~oney

by her sailor brother to pay for their fares Mother said he was ~ther behi.nd, this parting was sad. for him years La ter. My brother John had to go to '~d to stop him from going to America. given her

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::: b;~~y:~~ :;~~: ~:~~~~~:~ ~:~:;::::~!:~~:h~:ndT:r:: :::n ~t::: ss:::: :::~.~~~ ~ t::l:~ ~b;:
first John ---_.
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only the Ca »t a Ln and crew .. They told him to steer the ship. He found . a vessel .. go ing to Sweden carrying At . it went fine then the wind came up and whirled the ship round. A sail nearly took him over board. The ca p ta in the sea was rough. John knel t on :the shi12· The Ca12tain gave hi,s_m~n,e~.!J.~ ._~_~~ p~.ig. for his. .. fa r'e , he trea ted ... -him _ .. .
1 ke a .brother. .... . ..
_ .

back
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.. - .. - . ... . .. ... .. .,~ :--:--.. . . - .. . .. -. - -. - .... - ...... --.- .. .when. a1.1 ,wa.~,.rea_dy··f,o·r :to.sa il .. .. us to. Z.ion we met at Co )enhagen where John saw his four: mQnth Qld b;ab;y: fQr: the fj rst time. I shall never f )rget is ,the.high buildings We . - sa.w .TIl~ .. u t.i u 1 sigh~one ny bea f tower away above the tallest watch was kept to see if any ships "we re coming. We left home at Sundown. People t sunrise and reached Copenhagen . ._ . .

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whe:;€

were on the .$treets shou:ting their wares. to Keil then .by train _to Hamburg where our we were ready to s a IL,
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They good

sold ship

fish of a 1 kinds. We stayed Kinelwortl lay in the harbor. ..

there When

then went by steamer one week our luggage was taken aboard

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eighty five people on board we~e six hundred,apd We had a lower deck. Some the time. We Vlere 55 c;lays OI:l. the ocean. We sighted land on 1) July. The captain kept the prevent g and many wha es blowing sickness. the wa ter. Often W?. s.a.Yl rea t ice burgs floating the vessel. Once a wee!>; we had sour 'erau t which was new to us It was new to the Norwegians -.one fed to the fish. Our fa vori te fare was sour soup, pota toe 3 and herrings .. Our cook was -.--'was a joker· he was
'.

There

of our ship

folks

were

ailing

most

to the north to great shoals of fish went be r o r-, something nearly every _ and a black haired Ge r ma n , That

0: ,

a mormqn ha ter .. One time he - put salt in 0 ~r tea one man complained and he got very to the captain angry. For part pay the C09k was to have what grease he saved He then cooked our meat to rags but he saved himself s ome barrels of grease. One night there was a fire ke12t all n .ght. The the deck to where we were. It fell through watchman saw it and shouted the alarm. unt.il we were ready to anchor. It was so cold we all ivore our overcoats -p;aUiEti Itl u. C. A.

2-aa·!S3

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page 4 George Cannon and Brigham

FAMILY

HISTORY

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It turned so hot many took .s.Lcls M¥ sjster Sopbja came sown with the climate fever. We were more than a half day leaving the ship. Six people died durini7 that time. The afternoon was like a hot oven, we all rested at Castle Garden a day or two. We went by train to Wyoming. At St the people were angry when we tried to buy bread they drnze Joseph __ p.Laces therp. ___ us bf1.ck Ylj tb rQcks_a_nd_siict...s_.___In_some were slabs pu.t across the rails. Two cars ,iumped the track but kept right side up and no one was hu r t . The; -,' lunches
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Young came with the pilot.

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were all shaken use it, were forbidden ca-mp.

up.

We went up the Missouri

River to Wyoming,'

The water was muddy and we had to settle
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could it before we __ the

We stopped

and resteo jn a t:w.o s tor~T l't.dob.~-O-r~-re..ek to drink it as there was mineral poison in it. he took sick and died in an hour. Vias oeleriou5
by this time.

\J

.

There was a clear s}2ring on the bank but we to drink it against our clothes. There were many sick in

One young man was determined

advice of the others

.. My

We rested and washed

sister nearly

BriE_ham Young sent 500 -wagons wi tli oxen from

the

vallev family

to meet the saints. We All to gether.

We stopped

three weeks before we left Wyoming. ( must mean .Omaha) that another walk had to. In a week wagon was found for one family leaving The sun was hot and the sand was ankle fever. In another

There were three families ours and my brothers deep. week my brothers

to each wagon.

had so much sickness that could possibly it with shoes on. years old. the grave. for dinners.

We would gO barefooted baby died.

awhile then try I was nearl__y 14 When

I came down with mountain

I was well enough

to wash and dress the baby for bu'r Le L.
Lnd i.a ns, they were

The sisters

ga thered some wild flowers to put on came into our cam12 asking by signs it to us. Our

We had no casket~ all of the graves were dedica ted. We had flour_ mush and gave them some in a basin. of strong sheets sewed to-gether.

The next day the babys mother died and was buried. The squaws
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we reached Fort La r-a mLe .we saw the first

ragged and dirty.

They ate with a spoon and then returned
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Our tent consisted food was flour,

They were made by ourselves furnished
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from home made linen.

bacon and coffee,

.

salt"pepper

and a little brown sugar, had been established.

by the company. was paid later on.

By then the perpetual

immigration

company

Our immigration

My brother

made fires helped father pitch the tent cooked get the sick out of the wagons. One da_y. ~ Father got the wood were to cross a bad hill and all had to walk. Father said we had to carry the sick people to the tent. The man _got < angry my sister had been getting better and could walk around the tent. She said she would try and walk between fa ther and ., :> john this forenoon. It had ra ined and snowed and was slushy. She wore uncles shoes and her feet got wet. She had a ?: o We were camped by Green River. The men scra12ed away the snow to make the be ds :t: '" headache and stayed in the wagon tha t night.

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" The o xe n couldnt " o :t:
... worse ;i

get feed through

the deep snow and several

oxen died

tha t night.

From tha t time on my sister became

and three weeks

La tel' she died.

It was the day before we reached

Salt Lake Valley.

page 5

FAMILY

HISTORY

I
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fl widow

the mother

of seven children an a~randmother Salt Lake Cit

was buried

in the same grave with her.

Her husband

had died a week before.

Now there was m.1l_y

to looK after the seven children. Oct 7 1866 and cam ed in the tithin~ ard. Mothers body was swollen with dropsy

~1:1~
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She realized :Ji~se~T. b811 oJ dest daughter very much as they were like chums. OTro~ sa~jng she dared not mourn or she would go too She was very weak a. Brother Hestmark had cha r ee of the tithing: vard at that time.

how we needed her and she controled

We were given good food, flour,

beef, potatoes

and the like It tasted so good after having only a little bread most of the time. --I'-,-()11 r mn ~ 11 My appetite was coming" back and I could begin to walk around a little. . Hestma;"k broug:ht a doctor to see mother
I dont k now his name but it was

·Occasionly a little black coffee and Bro. My feet were still- swollen. The doctor gave was third morning the swelling

in the time of Dr Anderson.

mot:her thrpp nowde rs in three different all gone but she was still very weak. Father
-f~ ",po.
whpn

paners

to take.
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She took o ne eachmorning,__~ythe

and John got work at Hyrum,
UP

they ·brought home some purple

grapes the first that we had ever seen. who lived at Sanpete in Denmark.

Their We to the

-f~

i".l 11i ~t

with .tov to see us eat the thingE;-they brough us. He administered baked our bread. there to mother. The saints brought

Elder Anderson produce

came to see us

he heard t hat we Vlere living: in Salt Lake City. to see him. Brother kindlv Hanson Citv took us to lUs farm.

He had been to our home many times when we lived for tithing which but a mud corral. days. We lived

were happy immigrants. sister moved onR of

they distributed

There were no buildings time of my childhood

in our tent and in making our

HansNon

In the sprin!! we moved to American if we we re go ing to Sunday

Fork where we had a good log house. We then We girls took pride We would or any place. call for each other. the street,

to Rear River

drR~~p.~ alike

We would do our work first

.I

snent the happiest

School

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tbe g_j r:l s did nQ:t hay~ her work done we would hel2 her.

Some time we would make a chain clear across

We had to make our own Often the boys would make a chain across the street behind us and often break our chain- in fun. . We amusements, we went to dances in crowds and had lots of fun riding on the ferry boat across the river and back. We had a singing class and took a delight in it, we also learned to play many games.

Father rented Halling Farm on shares for three years. When the dam broke we could not get water for our g__tain Many people left Bear River City at that time. We moved to Newton, here I met Alfred Atkinson and we and gardens.

page 6 were married. na
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FAMILY

HISTORY-

We moved

to Clarkston.

Alfred
0f

was a good farmer 1an d

and canyon hand.

He got logs to build

two rooms.

Vie

acres

of farm land ana a plece He kept the meeting

meeting

house.

te ce}2t 2 o head of shee}2. A 1f re d was t1e deacon f'or the house clean and filled lamps made fires and cut lots of wood2 to be used for meetings meaaow Often
I made

and dances. At one time I cared for 27 hives of bees. caught- ewa rms for the new hives.

frames and hives and took out all the honey and

every

Three years after we were matried Alfreds fa ther died of cancer. He had been sick a lonp" time and it took nearlv thing the family had to pay expenses. That left Alfreds mother homeless with four children .t o live with us. with His mother was a midwife and nurse so she was a-way from home a good deal of the t Lme. the needle and that was a big help to all of us. We never had a cross VIord While she was alive. that we raised that we couldnt exchange Alfred
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They lived with us for 19 years. She was 1'8a1handy All the wheat the mountains. and products

for things we needed had to be hauled
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to Corinne over

There was no: railroad

at Cache Junction.

would leave with his load and oxen at 3 A. M.
I have

r belonged to the choir and took parts in many of the theatres.
mustaches for men many times.
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taken my hair and made whiskers

and

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(Men who took part
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in the plays. ) We went through much J2_ersecution. of nine children, We were arrested

My husband

auepted

plural marriage.

He married Ada Peck.

and taken to court but he never had to serve a sentence. all of whom were married in the temple.

I am the mother

five girls and four boys

Since my family was grown fairly good health.

.

I have done considerable

work

in the temple.

inK I am now 73 years old and am e n_i o_-y

)
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This sketch was copied from her book Feb 16, was 77 years old.

.

1925.

She died 7 Dec 1929 at her daughters

home at Newton.

She

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