Lars (also spelled Laurs) Peder Christensen was born on November 27, 1825 in Fourholt, Albaek Sogn (Parish), Hjorring Amt (County), Denmark. He was the son of Christen Pedersen and Marie Lauren. His name was chosen to perpetuate the names of both his mother and father. Three children had preceded him in the family, but each had lived but a short time. The eldest, Peder, was born October 6, 1818, and died the same day. The next, Lars Peder, was born September 24, 1820 and died on September 30, six days later. The third children was born on July 8, 1822 and died the same day. So, when Laurs was born, it was a happy time, and brought joy to his parents to know that they had an heir to carry on their name.
Christen Pedersen, Lars' Father, lived to see him married to Else Marie Jensen of Fourholt and to know that he had a posterity. Marie Laursen, his mother, must have been pleased when her only child became the father of a whole family of "Laursens" since her father was Laurs Laursen. The Parish Register shows that Ane Marie, their first child, was born May 16, 1853, at 10 o'clock A.M.; Jens Christen Larsen was born December 12, 1854, at 3 o'clock A.M.; Maren was born June 12, 1856, at 4:00 P.M.; Niels Peter was born May 9, 1858, at 5:00 A.M.; Ole Christen was born June 24, 1859, at 4:00 P.M.; and Christen Larsen was born June 17, 1861, at 9:00 P.M.
These six children were born at the family home, Fourholt. It was located on the south side of a large hill near a stream that ran into the North Sea near Vososo. After Laurs Peder and Else Marie were married on November 26, 1852, a series of events occurred which changed the lives of the family, and even changed the names of the members of the family. Else's widowed mother, Maren Mickelsen, married Ole Mickelsen. They accepted the Gospel when contacted by Latter-day Saint missionaries and prepared to leave for America. Else's only sister, Johanne Marie, was baptized into the Church in 1855 and left the next year for America with her mother and step-father. Johanne joined the "Hand Cart" Company to cross the plains, and Maren and Ole went with the Ox-Team Company. Maren died before reaching Salt Lake City, but Johanne made the difficult trip and later married John Paternoster Squires.
Else accepted the Gospel and was baptized on November 27, 1857, on Lars' birthday. This was a critical time for the young family. Where there had been perfect love and confidence between Lars and his wife, there now was religious differences. He insisted that the children be baptized into the Lutheran Church at birth. He drove the Company to the Church at Albaek while Else stayed home to prepare the feast. Church members were severely persecuted in Denmark at this time. There was now bickering and contention to the point of almost causing a separation. But, on October 14, 1861, Lars was baptized--he had finally seen the light.
Before Lars married, he had served in the Danish Army in the War of 1848 over the Schlechwich-Holstein Corridor. In his little diary he tells of the march from northern Jutland to the Prussian Border and return. (A translation is included in the Appendix.) For his service he was awarded a medal by the King of Denmark, Frederick VII.
Lars' mother died on December 15, 1855, and his father on September 28, 1857, shortly before Else joined the Church. After Lars joined the Church, they decided to make preparations to immigrate to America. By the first part of April 1862, he had sold his home and furniture, and they were ready to leave Denmark. Their neighbor, Hans Christensen, drove the family to Aalborg, a distance of 15 miles. From there, they went by boat to Hamburg, Germany. Other members of the LDS Church were immigrating to the United States at this time. Tragedy struck when they arrived in Hamburg on April 8, 1862. Little Maren took the measles and died on April 14--she was not quite six years old. Lars had a coffin made, and the body of Maren (Mary) was placed in it; but there was not time for a burial. Her body was taken aboard the ship and buried at sea.
They settled on the good ship, Franklin, about the 15th of April. There were 413 emigrants on board. The Captain was Robert Murray. Their leader was Bishop C. A. Madsen (see Footnote 1), later of Gunnison, with his two counselors. The immigrants brought the measles on board the ship and in a short time about forty persons were stricken with the disease. Little Christen died on Sunday May 4th at 1:00 P.M.; and Ole Christian followed a week later. All through the sorrow, the emigrants had their meetings, gatherings, and dancing. The deck was mopped three times each week, and the ship was disinfected by burning tar twice during the trip. The weather in general was good, although there was some rain about mid-ocean. On Thursday morning, May 29th, they landed in New York Harbor, having been on the ocean for six weeks.
During these six weeks, the call to arise was sounded at five in the morning; prayer was at seven, and evening prayer at 8:30 P.M. Bishop Madsen and his two counselors, J. C. A. Weiby and L. Larsen were in charge. They divided the group into eight companies with the following leaders: J. C. Thorpe, J. C. Kornem, Niels Mortensen, L. P. Fjelsted, C. P. Bjorreguard, J. C. S. Frost, F. Larsen, and J. Anderson. J. F. Mortensen was appointed to look after their belongings. Anton H. Lund acted as interpreter, and C. Anderson looked after the baggage weights. In New York they boarded a transport boat and prepared to land, with the thrill of knowing that their first destination had been reached; but at the bridge of Castle Garden they were stopped due to the fact that several of the immigrants were still ill with the measles. They all had to go back to the ship and remain for two more nights. Then, eighteen persons who were still ill, were transported to a hospital, and the rest were permitted to land at Castle Garden on May 31st. There they were received by C. C. Rich, John Van Cott, and others.
A number of the immigrants did not have the means to continue the journey; but through the kindness of those who did have funds, the poorer people were helped along. They boarded the train at nine o'clock that evening, and were in Albany the next morning, June 1st. From there, they continued their journey by rail, via Syracuse, Rochester, Niagara Falls, Windsor, Detroit, and Chicago. Then, on through Quincy, Illinois, from there, they went by boat to Hannibal, Missouri, then, by rail to St. Joseph; arriving on June 6th. The next day they were crowded on to a boat where they were very uncomfortable for three days until they landed at Florence, Missouri on Monday June 9th at 10:00 P.M. Here, they met three other companies that had sailed at about the same time as they.
The next day, they pitched their tents just north of Florence. Here they bought wagons, oxen, cows, stoves, cooking utensils, and other necessary things for the journey over the Plains. Some of the poorer people traveled with the teams provided by the Church. Many things happened to test the faith of these Saints. Some of them apostatized and left the Company. They remained at Florence for several weeks. Just before leaving, a very heavy tornado struck. Two men were killed, and Joseph W. Young was knocked unconscious by a wagon-box falling on him. Others were hurt; but their journey across the Plains commenced that day, 7 July 1862.
Lars had a yoke of oxen and a yoke of cows which could be used when needed. He was in partnership with another man who had a yoke of oxen and a wagon. When needed, they could hitch up three yoke of animals. During the long trek across the plains, the three children often walked behind the wagon. They were on the way nearly 80 days, arriving in the valley on September 23rd. They had been about six months on the journey. Sixty-two of the Company had died from exposure and illness; others died soon after reaching Utah.
Soon after they reached Salt Lake City, Lars took his family to settle in Pleasant Grove, Utah, in a rented room. There is nothing in the record to show why Else did not remain with her sister, Johanne, who lived in Salt Lake City. Else gave birth to her seventh child on October 9th and died a week later on October 17th. The long journey had been too strenuous for her. The hardships had taken their toll, and at the age of twenty-nine she found rest in the new land. Only her family and close friends mourned her passing. She was buried in Pleasant Grove Cemetery. The new baby, Else Marie, lived but 32 days, and died on November 10, 1862. She was buried by her mother's side in the cemetery.
Who knows the affect her passing had on Lars and on Johanne, Else's sister, who lived with her husband, John Paternoster Squires in Salt Lake City. Three years later, Johanne named her fourth child, Alice Marie, for her sister. Then after two more years, she gave birth to a boy; but the baby and Johanne both died. She was thirty-two.
Now, Lars was told that he should marry another wife to care for his children. He married Maren Andersen of Voer, Denmark, who was nine years his senior on 8 December 1862. Lars and his family moved from the room near the meeting house, where Else had died, into two rooms which he rented from a Mr. Reynolds. Here they lived for the winter.
In the spring of 1863, he built a cellar where they lived until summer. Then he built an adobe house in the west part of Pleasant Grove, on the road to American Fork. They lived there until the next spring when they moved to Richfield in a covered wagon drawn by two oxen, Tom and Jerry. They also had two cows, Red and Roan, which they had brought across the plains.
In the summer of 1863, George A. Smith, a member of the Quorum of The Twelve, then a resident of Provo, called upon G. W. Bean to take a small company of men and explore Sevier Valley for the purpose of settlement. If they found it favorable, about fifty families would be called from Provo to found a colony. The Company began their journey on July 15, 1863. It consisted of G. W. Bean, John W. Turner, Bishop William Fausett, Silas Smith, Marion Smith, and Abraham Holliday. They went by way of Gunnison and there met the colorful character, Barney (Elijah Ward), a mountaineer who had joined the Mormon religion. He had reared a family by a Shoshone squaw. He informed the party that they were going into the finest country for wintering stock in Utah. The party pushed eagerly on to Salt Creek at Salina; they crossed the Sevier River to a large spring near the present town of Redmond; and continued to the present site of Richfield, where it was decided the main settlement should be established.
On the way back to Provo, the company stopped in Spring City, where they told Orson Hyde of their journey and of Elder Smith's proposed settlement in Sevier Valley. Orson told the exploration party that no one was to settle in the Sanpete-Sevier district without first discussing the move with him, as he was in charge of the district. On his return to Provo, Elder Bean made his report to Apostle Smith, and informed him of the claims of Apostle Hyde. The matter was then referred to the First Presidency, and it was decided that Elder Orson Hyde had the responsibility of settling Sanpete and Sevier Valleys.
It was not long until a company was sent by Brigham Young, under the direction of Orson Hyde, to settle the part of the Valley now known as Richfield. In December, 1863, nine men taken mostly from Sanpete County, journeyed to Richfield. They were Albert Lewis, Nelson Higgins, Andrew Poulsen, Hans Hansen, George Ogilvie, C. O. Hansen, August Nielsen, Jorgen Smith, and Mr. Glenn. They reached Richfield January 6, 1864. The season was very cold and travelling conditions were slow.
Orson Hyde now called by letter about thirty families to settle Warm Springs, as Richfield was then called. Later it was called Omni after the Book of Mormon prophet. The first of these families began to arrive March 13, 1864. Among them were Lars Peter Peterson and family. (His name had been changed by the immigration authorities from Christensen to Peterson.) They moved in with N. M. Petersen and his family in their cellar.
The first dwellings were dug-outs, made by digging a cellar, placing a willow and dirt roof over the excavation, and forming steps in the soil leading to the entrance. There were no windows or doors, just a cloth hung at the entrance to keep out some of the cold. As soon as the family arrived, they were given a plat of five acres of land. The first thing to do was to clear the land and prepare it for planting. They had to raise the food to sustain them through the following winter. Next, they had to build a suitable shelter of their own.
The Indians were a problem. They came, not begging for food, but demanding it. Many times the children went to bed hungry because the Indians had come demanding the pot of stew and ate all of it. By 1865, Indian troubles were so bad that it was decided that a fort had to be built and families moved into it for protection. Each family that owned a lot was asked to build a rod of wall to be 3 1/2 feet wide at the base, 12 feet high, and 12 inches wide at the top. That would make a wall around one city block. Many families from the outlying settlements had to move to Richfield and stay there for protection. (The name "Richfield" was now chosen because of the rich soil.)
The young children that were assigned to herding the animals were in constant danger from the Indian raids that were made on those herds. Men had to carry guns while working in the fields. In July 1866, the trouble was so bad that 50 men were sent with Daniel H. Wells to help guard against the Indians. Many scalpings and killings and much destruction and theft of stock took place.
On March 21, 1867, Jens Peter Petersen, his wife, Amalia and Mary Smith were killed by the Indians. Soon came the decision from President Young that Richfield should be evacuated. In utter despair the people completely abandoned Sevier Valley by the latter part of April. All the inhabitants moved to Sanpete. Lars decided to go to Ft. Ephraim. Two hundred wagons arrived from Sanpete to assist in the evacuation. Lars lived in Niels Andersen's cellar during the first winter. The next summer, he made adobe and built a two-room home on South Main Street. Here they lived until the Black Hawk War was ended and peace was reached with the Indians.
On August 3, 1867, Lars' daughter, Anne Marie, was married to Jens L. Petersen in the Salt Lake Endowment House. They moved to St. Joseph, Nevada. In the meantime, Lars and his deceased wife, Else, were sealed for time and all eternity by W. Woodruff in the Salt Lake Endowment House on November 5, 1866, with Maren acting as proxy for Else. (See Book D, page 655, #8974.)
In the summer of 1870, they obtained permission from President Brigham Young to return to their former home in Richfield. But their troubles were not over. A small company arrived in Richfield on November 5, but very little work was attempted during the winter; it was very cold and long. Guards were stationed around the cattle at night. In the early spring of 1871, Lars and his 16 year old son, Jim, returned to Richfield to make preparations for the return of the rest of the family. Lars' 13 year old son, Niels, records, "I had just finished school for that year. Patriarch Poul Paulsen and his brother, Chris, stayed overnight at our home in Ephraim. They were on their way back to the Sevier Valley and they told me that they would take me with them if I would help them drive their stock to Richfield. It took us three days to make the journey. My father and brother were already there when I arrived. I remember that whole valley was covered with sage brush and willows."
In a mass meeting held in March 1871, Lars was appointed to represent Plot "B" of the town of Richfield. Peace treaties were signed with the Indians in 1871. During the summer, great swarms of grasshoppers swooped down on the grain fields and gardens. The settlers were near starvation, but the little group of fifteen families struggled through. They made their own clothes--their trousers were of buckskin or canvas. Hats were braided of reeds or straw. They dug their canals by spading or with homemade plows. The crops that year were at total loss but the people did not allow themselves to become discouraged. By careful planning and diligent care they managed to eke out a living with their meager amount of supplies. In the end, it proved to be the turning point for the people of Richfield. Brigham Young sent his oldest son, Joseph, to live among the people of Richfield.
On July 24, 1872, a parade was held and a program followed at the bowery. William Baker sang the "Star Spangled Banner." The United Order was organized in Richfield on April 19, 1874--it lasted three years. At this time, Lars returned to Salt Lake City to be sealed to his wife, Maren, in the Salt Lake Endowment House July 15, 1874. Maren Andersen (Thomsen, Peterson) was born May 5, 1816 in Voer, Hjorring, Denmark. Lars was sealed to Martha Marie Nielsen of Syndal, Hjorring, Denmark by D. H. Wells on August 17, 1874. Martha was born October 4, 1843, and had been baptized March 6, 1856. She had two children, Olena and Charles Peder Christian Mogensen; they were adopted by Lars and sealed to him in the St. George Temple December 10, 1880.
Maren died October 16, 1876, and was buried in the old Richfield Cemetery. She and Lars had no children. On June 13, 1877, he married Mette Petersen in the St. George Temple. His eldest son, Jens (Jim), married Ruth Jean Rio Baker January 15, 1878. In the winter of 1880, Lars and his wife, Martha, and their children all drove to St. George (175 miles) to do temple work for their dead. Niels tells the story:
"The snow was very deep. Our trip lasted about six weeks. Our company consisted of three teams. In my wagon was William Haywood and his wife, Father and Martha, her children (Olena and Charley), my sister, and her two-year old baby (Joseph), my brother, Jim, his wife and her mother."
Lars had built a home on the corner of Main and Center Street on their return to Richfield from Ephraim. He also provided a home for Martha on First South and First East Street and a little house in the back of the lot for Mette, his fourth wife. It is said his home was open to a host of people. He was friendly and hospitable and his wives were excellent cooks. Young people from the nearby towns lived with them while attending the Stake Academy. Conference visitors put their teams in his corral and fed from his hay stack. There was always a good meal prepared by Martha--no one made soup with Danish dumplings as good as hers. Latter-day Saint Church authorities stopped at their home on the way to St. George or Arizona. One time a little boy name George Albert Smith was with a group going south. He found a pair of Lars' wooden shoes and could not resist dancing a jig in them.
Maren was 46 years old when Lars married her. She had no children of her own, but she taught the other children to read and write and disciplined them well. There was an opportunity for the children to attend the schools during the short winter season.
Lars' first grandchild was born to his daughter Anne in St. Joseph, Nevada. She was named Alice Marie. Jens and Anne returned to Richfield where their other children were born. In 1882, Lars' youngest son, Niels, started to build a rock house. Naturally Lars was there to help him. They hauled the rock and laid the walls up to the top of the windows that fall. Then Niels received a letter from Box "B", a call to go on a mission to Denmark. Tuesday, Oct. 3, 1882, they left together in an open wagon to drive to Nephi to meet the train. It was windy and cold. They slept by the side of a wheat stack in Redmond the first night. It started to rain as they continued the next day. The second night they slept in their wet clothes. They arrived in Juab the third day about noon. Here Lars bid his son goodbye as Niels boarded the train. Then he returned to Richfield with the wagon.
During the next two years they corresponded once a month. Lars heard the news of his relatives who were still in Denmark. He sent what money he could to his son in the mission field. He continued to work on Niels' rock house. He planted trees and improved the surroundings of the property at Third East and First South. He obviously knew how to build a house since he had built adobe homes in Pleasant Grove, Ephraim and Richfield. On July 3, 1884 he met his son on his return from Denmark at Cedar Ridge, a few miles north of Richfield. They were back in Richfield at 10:00 P.M. The next day, July 4th, there was a homecoming party in the evening.
During the next year, Niels, and Lars' two adopted children were with him caring for the farm and doing the family chores. Then, his adopted daughter, Olena Marie, married Lars James Larson in the St. George Temple on December 17, 1885. She was seventeen. This left the two boys at home. The following spring, Niels hitched up his team and wagon and drove to Oakley, Idaho. There he picked up Augusta Johnson and drove to Logan where they were married in the Logan Temple on April 21, 1886. Niels and Augusta returned to Richfield to live in the rock house he had built. They were close to Lars for the rest of his life.
They frequently had dinner together and in times of sorrow they comforted each other. On Wednesday January 20, 1887, a grandchild was born dead. Lars helped dig the grave where the child was buried the next day. Jim must have appreciated the closeness of his father. Lars often helped his boys load or unload the freight they hauled to earn a few dollars to supplement their farm income. They worked together on their farms. When they needed, they could combine their three teams of horses to do their farm work.
Most of the time, he was well and healthy during these years. Niels mentions his being ill on occasion but nothing of a serious nature. In 1892, they took a trip together on business. They hauled wood together. Niels always addressed him as "Father." On November 27, 1895, he was seventy years old. His children joined together and bought him a pair of Sunday shoes. The following day they had Thanksgiving dinner at his home. The family circle was well represented and "they had a good time together."
On April 21, 1900, Mette died in Richfield. There is a brief entry in the record of Niels Peter Peterson to that effect. The next day, Lars purchased a lot in the Richfield City Cemetery and he and Niels dug Mette's grave. She was buried on April 24, 1900. The deed for the lot is dated May 10 and is lot 14, block 22, section 2, plat A, Richfield City Cemetery. The plot shows Lars, Mette and Martha buried on the left side of the lot. (See Footnote 2)
On August 14, 1906, Lars died in his home in Richfield. The obituary stated, "A well-known citizen and one of the first settlers in this valley passed to his reward Tuesday morning. Mr. Peterson had been gradually failing for a year or more past, and for the past six months had been bedfast nearly all the time. Beginning with the first year that settlement was attempted in Sevier County, Mr. Peterson became a resident of Richfield, but his family was taken to Ephraim during the Indian troubles from 1867 to 1871. The deceased was a native of Denmark. He was married when 27 years of age. He was a soldier under King Frederick VII in the three years’ war with Germany from 1848 to 1850. Mr. Peterson held some ecclesiastical positions in times past, and was one of the directors of the old Co-op Store. He lived a busy and useful life and has a host of old-time friends. He leaves three children, two adopted children, a number of grandchildren (32) and several great-grandchildren (100--without the adopted ones). He was a councilor to N.M. Peterson and Secretary and Treasurer of the Immigration Fund."
1. Christian August Madsen was three years older than Laurs. He was born in Copenhagen but his father was a farmer from Fredericksborg. He traveled in Germany and Belgium and joined the Church in Sweden. His father died in 1856 on the way to Utah with the Hand-Cart Companies. Christian immigrated to Utah in 1858 and lived in the tenth Ward. In 1859 he returned to Denmark on a mission and labored under John Van Cott. From September 1860 to April 1862, 814 members were baptized of whom 652 immigrated to America.
He was appointed to gather the emigrants from Jutland, take them by steamer to Kiel, thence by rail to Hamburg. He arrived on the 8th of April with 732 emigrating Saints. Here Lars and his family met them. The Mormon emigration from Scandinavia for that season numbered 1556. It was planned that an English ocean steamer would carry these people to New York; but the plan failed. The steamer was condemned by British emigration officers. The group was divided and Elder Madsen was placed in charge of a group of 413 emigrants who sailed on the American bark Franklin on April 15, 1862. The Captain was Robert Murray.
They landed at New York on Thursday morning May 29, after six weeks at sea. They continued on to Florence by rail and arrived on Monday June 9th at 10:00 P.M. Christian was in command on 45 wagons sent from Utah. John Van Cott presided over this company and the company was led by O. N. Liljenquist. They reached Salt Lake on September 23rd. Sixty-two of the Company had died on the way.
Christian moved with his family to Gunnison where he was later made Bishop.
WIVES AND FAMILY OF LARS PEDER PETERSON (CHRISTENSEN)
On 26 November 1852, Lars married Else Marie Jensen in the little church at Albaek, Hjorring, Denmark. Else was the daughter of Jens Thorsen and Maren Mickelsen, born 11 February 1833. They lived in the family home at Fourholt until they emigrated to the United States of America in 1862. Else died 17 October 1862 in Pleasant Grove, Utah, soon after their arrival there. They had seven children, six of whom were born at the family home in Denmark and the seventh born in Pleasant Grove, Utah.
On 8 December 1862, he married Maren Andersen in Salt Lake City, Utah. She was the daughter of Anders Thompsen and Anne Larsen, born 5 May 1816 in Venesyssel, Voer, Hjorring, Denmark. They moved to Richfield, Utah in the spring of 1864. Maren died there on 16 October 1876 and was buried in the old cemetery. They had no children. They were sealed in the Salt Lake Endowment House on 15 July 1874.
On 17 August 1874, Lars married Martha Marie Nielsen (Mogensen) in Salt Lake City, Utah and was sealed to her in the Salt Lake Endowment House. She was the daughter of Niels Pedersen and Maren Jensen, born 4 October 1843 in Syndal, Hjorring, Denmark. They lived in Richfield, Utah; she died 15 February 1892. Lars adopted her two children, Olena Maria and Charles Peder Christian.
On 13 June 1877, he married Mette Petersen in the St. George Temple. She was the daughter of Peter Nielsen and Maren Jensen, born in Emb, Hjorring, Denmark in May 1810 (christened 11 June). She lived in Richfield, Utah, until she died on 21 April 1900. She was buried in the Richfield Cemetery on 24 April 1900. It is of interest to know that when Lars was sealed to his wife, Else, on November 1866, it was Maren who acted as proxy for her. It was not until July 15, 1874, that they returned to the Salt Lake Endowment House and Maren was sealed to him. On August 17th, a month later he was married to Martha by Daniel H. Wells in the Endowment House. Later, they drove to St. George and Martha's children were sealed to Lars. Niels describes this journey during the winter of 1880 in his Journal. It can be found in the Historical Archives of the LDS Church in Salt Lake.
In the meantime, Lars and Mette were married in St. George by John D. McAllister on 13 June 1877. William Carter and S. S. Adams were the witnesses. (See entry #285 on that date.) It seems that all three wives had been married in Denmark. Maren was married to Peder Michel Jensen, Martha to Frederik Christian Peder Mogensen and Mette to Jens Nielsen (Smed).
On March 21, 1889, they went to the Manti Temple and did the temple work for my grandparents, Johannes Backlund and Christina Olsson. An error was made in Christina's name and she is listed as Christina Larsen, Larsson being her father's name. At that time, the family was adopted into the family of Daniel H. Wells, who was present on the occasion. Also, Mette Pedersen and her children were adopted to Pres. Brigham Young and family. The correct sealings to their families has been performed.
REFERENCES AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
As a primary source of information for this sketch of the life of Lars Peter Peterson (Christensen), we are indebted to the diary of Niels Peter Peterson. He kept a daily record of events during much of his life. Also, there are portions of the life of Lars Peter Peterson recorded in his little diary.
The following sources of information are also noted:
(1) Thru the Years, compiled and edited by Irvin I. Warnock. Published by Sevier County Centennial Committee Assisted by Daughters of Utah Pioneers of Sevier County 1947. Printed by Art City Publishing Co., Springville, Utah. Section I, Sevier County, by Afton Greenwood Peterson and Section XI, Richfield, by Afton Greenwood Peterson.
(2) Orson Hyde, Missionary, Apostle, Colonizer, by Howard H. Barron. 1977, pages 227-228. Published by Horizon Publishers, Bountiful, Utah.
Note: Afton Greenwood Peterson, obtained her information from the primary source noted above, Niels Peter Peterson. She was assisted in her writing by Mrs. Mary Monson. Mrs. Monson and Mrs. Elsie P. Barker are the grand-children of Lars Peter Peterson.
Appendix: Military Service in the War with Prussia--1848-1850
This is a brief explanation of my service when I was a soldier for Denmark. I reported for enrollment on the 25th of May 1848 and was in training in Copenhagen until the 19th of July. We were then transported to Aarhus on the Steamship Tidemand and from there we went to Skanderborg the evening of the 20th and to Horsens on the 21st. We continued to Vejle the 23rd and were in Kjarbollin on the 24th. We reached the town of Farup on the 6th of August.
On the Third we had reached Tonder and captured 30 Prussians. I had guard duty at Leirskov on the 9th and was released the next day, but we had to remain in the field over night because of the fear of the enemy. On the 11th we marched four miles north to the city of Vejle. On the first of September we went to Sonder (South) Wilstrup where the Guard was discontinued and a truce was started on the third.
We had a Church parade on the 4th in Rud. A Review for King Frederik The Seventh was held on the 18th at Lerbakgaard's Field, one-half mile north west of Vejle. I think there were more people present than I have ever seen at one place at the same time. Most of the Danish Infantry were there and there were many spectators. On the 20th of September we went to Haarstrup, which is located two miles south of Vejle.
We moved to Livkjar on the 16th of October. We continued to Torup on the 28th and then started the trip home, we made 24 miles. We reached Kattrup, north of Horsens, the first day. Then we went through Skanderborg on the 31st and reached Viby south of Aarhus the first of November. From there we went to Halmdrup south of Randers on the second, and to Asferg south of Hobroe (Hobro) on the fourth. We continued to Trud (?) north of Hobroe on the 5th and to Ferslev. There we had a dance in the evening. We reached Aalborg on the 6th and I was home in Fourholt on November 9th. A lot of schnapps was drunk on the 30-mile march.
We went through Randers, Hobro, and Aalborg without pay, but every man was asked to carry his own (schnapps) by our Captain Myhre, and he did not care how many we took. I know, I carried my own, but I didn't take all that I could have taken. On December 27, I again went for enrollment to Aalborg. We went to Oplov the next day and continued to Hobro on the 29th. Then we reached Viborg on the 30th, where I went into garrison until the 10th of March 1849. We then went to Vellov, southeast of Randers and continued to Lansby and Linderup on the 21st and 22nd. Now, I don't have my old notes any more, but we continued the trip daily. We went south to Hyrum (?), a town northwest of Vejle. Then, we went through Vejle to near Snognoj, and on to Middelfart on Fyn Island.
From there, we went to Mosegaard and on to another little farm near Assens. At that place all the servants gave us their beds for one night for our comfort. They slept in the haystack instead. Then we marched through snow and mud all the way up to our ankles to Assens and embarked on the steamer Hekla. Captain Bille was our Commander. Four small two-masted ships and three freighters were towed behind the Hekla, packed as much as possible with people, horses, cannon, provisions, and wagons. It moved right against the wind.
We arrived in Als on the first of April, I think. We were shown to our quarters in the middle of the night. We were above some other soldiers, who were sleeping in the barn on some straw. A few days later we went to Sonderborg and were quartered in the Castle. From there, we went to the Dybel side to dig trenches. It was Easter Holidays. I got eggs in Sonderborg, but some of my friends got eggs from the Germans in Dybol Field. They fought there for three days. At last, they burnt Dybol Mill.
Having been there for fourteen days, we went to sea again. We crossed to Faaborg on Fyn. From there, we went to Vissenbjerg Inn where we lodged for three or four days. One night, after I had gone to bed, I was told by a messenger to meet at the ____________ ready to leave. We walked that night, and the day after to Strib and Fredericia. From there we went to Kolding on the 23rd of April. There was a battle. The first I heard were bullets zooming. I went into a town. From there we went one mile west of Kongeaa and then doubled north for two or three miles on the same evening. The next day, the Third and Fourth Companies walked through Vejle, and continued for days until we reached Aarhus. We had a forced march, in case the enemy arrived before us and prevented us from reaching Fredericia from Aarhus with the Steamer Caroline Amalie.
From Fredericia, we went two miles south again for guard duty until the 7th of May, when the enemy forced us back to Fredericia. On the 13th, we were again commanded to face the enemy. Some were wounded. A bullet went through my pants by the right knee. The enemy started pushing towards the city and continued until the 6th of July, when the big battle took place. At that time, I was in Fredericia for six days and at Fyn for another six days. I lived at Typringaard. Later I went to Enslev proper, close to Enslev Inn. I was there for ten or twelve days; then returned to Fredericia. There were many killed and wounded; General Rye was killed; he was a very good officer. We won the battle in a big way, we thought.
For some days, I was on guard at Erritso. The enemy had built some houses in preparation for the coming winter. At the time, the Prussians were in Aarhus and close to Viborg. Five or six days later, I went again to Fredericia and saw the graves of the dead. The Prussians were in one area and the Danes were in another--Both sides had lost many men. Then we went to Havendrup on Fyn for fourteen days. Northwest of there was a little town, Ibskov, where we were for five or six days. We pressed through Vejle two miles north, and on to the nearest inn, northwest of there where I was stationed for four weeks. We helped in the harvest to make some money for food.
Then we journeyed to Aalborg. This year we followed the old road from Skanderborg to Randers, hence we did not go through Aarhus. I do no recall the date, but it must have been about the middle of September when we arrived in Aalborg. So I was back home for the remainder of the year 1849.
In 1850, I again reported for duty on March 13th in Aalborg. I was there, I suppose for fourteen days, and then went to Hobro where I was in the hospital for fourteen days. Then, we went a half mile east of Mariager and remained for about eight days. We moved twice more and spent three or four days there. Then we came to Oril close to Poshaus Kove between Aarhus and Hobro, where we were for about four weeks. Then, from there we went south to the town of Grejs, northwest of Vejle, where I was lodged in town for a few days. We were north of town for a while at Soren Markussens'.
We continued to Houer close to Vejle, where we stayed for four weeks at Jens Nielsen's. Then we had bad days again. We walked every day in the sultry heat with all our equipment until we arrived between Flensborg and Slesvig, near Idsted on July 20; we had walked 18 miles the last day. The battle raged on the 24th and 25th. It was very fierce and exhausting. My friend for the past two years (Anders Pedersen Meddelhed) was wounded in the right arm. We met, the two of us, during the battle and emptied our bottles. This was the last time I saw him. He went to Copenhagen and died there a while later. Six of my companions were wounded.
I crossed the swamp by Idsted three times on the 25th of July and then went to Dannevirke, south of Slesvigon, the same evening. This was two miles from Idsted. I remained there until the 12th of August when we went to observe the enemy. We left in the morning before in the sun rose. We battled the enemy for a long time. Then, returned so we could sleep early in the evening. I think we walked seven miles that day. I had not slept for three nights because of a toothache, but it went away. I stayed at Dannevirke until the 25th of September, when I became ill and was taken to the hospital, first in Slesvig and later in Flensburg.
From there we went to Augustenborg on Als on October 2nd. I was delirious, and for five weeks lived on water and medicine. I knew death was near. Not many thought I would live through each night. I heard the doctor and a priest talk about me one evening. They stood a short distance from my bed. I had to strain my ears to hear what they said as they didn't talk very loud. I thought about what they said, but still had hope of living. I thought the Lord could still help me keep my life more than all the doctors and priests in the world. In my innocence, I must admit that I asked Him for life. I recovered a few days after that experience. On December 25th, I was discharged and started the trip home. I arrived on January 3, 1851. [Found online by Chad Hansen]