Hole-in-the-Rock Landmarks and People

Hole-in-the-Rock Landmarks and People
Answers at bottom of the left column.

January 8, 2010

Larson, Mons and Olivia Ekelund

Mons Larson: (6 Jun 1823-25 Apr 1890); he was born in Skeglinge, Malmohus, Sweden.  He married his 2nd wife Olivia on  23 January 1876 Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Ut. His Father: Lars Olson, Mother: Beretta Jonsson Olson. 1st Wife: Elna Olsson Malstrom Larson.
Prior to 1879 Mons had established a residence at Snowflake, Arizona and had returned to Santaquin, Utah in the spring of 1879 to move his wife Olivia and their two children to the new home site.  He was already to begin the trek, when he heard of the San Juan Mission expedition that was going to try a new route by way of Escalante.  He was a close friend of Silas S. Smith, so not wanting to travel alone, and believing the route would be shorter and easier, he decided to travel with the Hole-in-the-rock expedition as far as Montezuma. Unfortunately, this unknown route was much longer than the established route (pp. 129-130 Hole in the Rock).
According to David Miller Mons was one of the men who helped to build the ferry used to take the wagons and cattle across the Colorado River p. 197.

Mons was a member of first high council in the then Eastern Arizona Stake. He helped to build the first church and made the first bench with a back. He is buried in The Glenbar Cemetery, previously called the Matthews Cemetery, is located at Glenbar, Graham County, Arizona. The records are kept at the Museum in Pima, Graham County, Arizona and at the Pima City Hall.

Lorentina Olivia Andersson Eklund:(1856-1935)
They had two little girls that died when they lived at Matthewsville. Where they were buried is unknown. Possibly they were left in this Old Pima Cemetery.

Children on the Trek: Moroni Mons, Lars Andrew, John Rio

Thanks to several journal keepers, we have record of John Rio's birth: John R. Larson was one of the two babies born on the trip. He was born on Grey Mesa on Feb. 21, 1880. Following is an account of his birth written by his Sister, Ellen J. Larson Smith.

The canyon on the other side of the [Colorado] river required only fifteen days of work to get to the plateau [Grey Mesa] above. The Larsons and two other parties had been left by the main group during the climb upward. Olivia had been walking a good deal of the day with Moroni and Andrew on each arm, it was so cold that the children's feet had become frost bitten and were purple. The father and mother sat up nearly all night doctoring their children. The wagons were strung all along the roadside, some had reached the top of the plateau above and some were still below the Larsons.
It was February 21, 1880, when the Larsons reached the top of the plateau. A blizzard was raging and it was in this terrible snowstorm, exposed to the desert winds, that Olivia gave birth to a boy.  

The boy was born while the mother was lying on a spring seat and her husband was trying to pitch a tent so the mother could be made more comfortable. With the help of sister Seraphine Smith Decker and brother Jim Decker,she was placed in the tent and made as comfortable as circumstances would permit. The boy was named John Rio (since he was born near the San Juan River). He grew to be a fine stalwart man and reared a fine family. The day after the baby came a hard wind raised the tent upward, Olivia reached up and took hold of the pole and held it down."

Steven Smith adds another account of the birth
. . .
The third day after the birth of the Larson baby, the Larsons and the Deckers moved on to join the company which had gone ahead. Mrs. Z. B. Decker wanted Mrs. Larson to ride with her because they had a stove in their wagon, but Mons wanted her to ride with her because he would not trust her with another driver. Because of Olivia's unusual vitality, she was able to be up the fourth day, packed her belongings and climbed into the wagon traveling all day over rocky roads. She said the baby never had colic. If it wasn't snowing she could bathe him, otherwise, this wise young mother of twenty-three, who now had three babies, rubbed him with flannel instead of bathing him.

1 comment:

Loraine said...

These are my Great, Great Grandparents. I am a descendant of their son Moroni. Thanks for posting this history. It's wonderful to see the Hole-in-the-rock story being shared with others. We are blessed with a legacy of faith and determination! Great job!