Hole-in-the-Rock Landmarks and People

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

January 7, 2010

Nielson, Jens and Kirsten Jensen

For more information on all children, an extensive history of Jens Nielson and his extended family has been compiled and is available on disc from Mike Halliday or Donna Nielson Jensen

Children on the trek: Margaret, Francis, Lucinda, Caroline

 Jens Nielson was born on April 26, 18120 in the Island of Loaland, Denmark.  He was a thrifty, industrious man.  He married Elsie Rasmussen in 1850 and they joined the LDS Church March 29, 1854.  For 1 1/2 years he was a missionary amoung the Danish people, but they eventually came to America in 1856.  They later crossed the plains with the ill-fated Willie's company.  Here, their only son, Jens, died and was bured on the plains.  Brother Jens had his feet frozen and had to be pulled in the handcart by Elsie.  This group were finally rescued in Wyoming, and came to Salt Lake on Nov. 9, 1856. 
   He built homes in Parowan and Paragonah, Panguitch, and Cedar Cith and prospered while raising his families.  He married Kirsten Jensen in 1857 and later in 1874 married Catherine Johnson.  Elsie was not in the 1st company coming to Bluff, but came later.  Coming on the long trek through San Juan, Jens Nielson acted as a stabalizing and spiritual influence.  He was older than most of the company and had experience in trail building.  He was the revered Bishop of Bluff for 26 years.  He was an Indian interpreter; a spiritual as well as temporal advisor; a practical man and yet a visionary who opened new vistas for the Saints of San Juan.  He died April 24, 1906 in his beloved Bluff (Saga of San Juan.)  More information by Ben Markham

Elsie Rasmussen Nielson, 1st wife of Jens Nielson. She was born Jan. 29, 1820 in Ile Lolland, Denmark.  She met Jens while they wer eworking out a field hands.  She was a quiet unassuming woman who lived tomake others happy and comforable.  She was industrious, careful, and sensible.  Lost her only son Jens in 1856, had 3 children in the West: Agnes, Julia and Mary.

Kirsten Jensen Nielson was born August 29, 1835 in Denmark. She had been trained as a tailor and became an expert seamstress.  She joined the Church in Denmark, and was baptized by Jens.  She came to America alone and crossed the plains in 1857 with the Morton Handcart Company.  She met Jens again in 1858 and became his 2nd wife.  She had nine children, six of whom came in the first company to San Juan: Hans Joseph, Jens Peter, Margaret, Francis, Lucinda, and Caroline.  Johnny was born in San Juan.

Lucinda recalled her Mother:

She didn’t scold or ever spank us, but we were as decent as if she had. She had a way-maybe just her way, or maybe her eyes, but her way was something we always knew what she thought. She was very prayerful. When Father wasn’t home our family knelt in prayer just the same. If she wanted anything she prayed for it, and if it came she was thankful. If it didn’t she felt there was a reason for it. She prayed for her Brother John who did not do as much in the Church as she thought he should.
     They were building a Temple in St. George and Mother wanted to give more to it than we had to give. So she prayed and prayed. One day Margaret, I thing it was Margaret, brought in a gold piece she had kicked up as she was on the street. When Mother saw it she immediately concluded that her prayer had been answered and she gave it to the Temple. I do no remember when the Temple was dedicated, but history say it was in 1877, so I can imagine how the people were scurrying to get it finished.
    She learned sewing in Denmark. She made all our clothes. She learned the tailoring trade in Denmark. In that picture of our family, she made all those clothes-Father’s, the boys’ and hers and ours. Didn’t they fit well? She traded with the Indians for tanned buck-skins and made gloves, hundreds of them. Sometimes she would send as much as $50.00 worth of gloves to sell at Pioche, or some other mining places.
     Mother used to plant grape vines and raised lots of grapes. She put them down in syrup and in the winter we would pull out great bunches of grapes all luscious and fresh to eat. She planted apricot and plum and peach stones and always had plenty to sell to the Indians.
     In Denmark before she came to America, she learned much about the Bible. They taught it in school. I remember sitting around the table with the other girls and Mother telling us the Bible Stories. We will remember such hours all of our lives. Mother sent me to a private school in Cedar where I went for a short time before we left for San Juan.

Hans Joseph was born Jan. 24, 1860.  He came with the first scouters to San Juan in 1879, returned to Parowan in Sept. then came back when the official group left.  In 1882 he married Ida E. Lyman in the St. Geore Temple.  They reached Bluff May 21, 1882.  Their children were J. Edward, Lyman, Ethel, Lydia, Shirley, Alta, Herma, and Clisbe. He served a 2 year LDS mission, returned and built a store at Verdure, one room of which was used as a school house.  He raised sheep and farmed. He died Dec. 24, 1903 (more information in Saga of San Juan.)

Jens Peter built the famous "castle house" in Blanding. He was born Feb. 9, 1862 in Iron County. (See articles in Blue Mountain Shadows Vol 7 pp.17-19 and also Vol 24 p. 13)  At 18 he came to Bluff with his parents.  He eventually maried Martha Jane Roberts and they moved to Blanding. They were the parents of seven children: Mary Kirsten, Mildred Helena, Virginia, Lucinda May, Coroline, Jay Peter, and Margaret.  Jens Peter died Dec. 28, 1935.

Francis Nielson as described by Kumen Jones:
 "Having known Francis longer than any other of the prominent leaders of San Juan, and take it all together been more closely associated in business and in other activities with him, and in all of which I always found him on the square, naturally became very much attached to him. Our association on the range as cowboys continued thru many years. I have worked under him and he has worked under me as foreman on the range, and I always found him quiet, kind and fair, considerate, and thotful of others feelings and sound in judgment--in this regard being somewhat "a chip off the old block" (Bishop Nielson.)

As a small boy he was nervous and timid but as time went on he overcame the nervous trait, but never entirely overcame his timidity, but thru sheer force of character he worked his way up into many places of public importance, liked, honored and trusted by the great majority of the people. He served as counselor in the Bluff Ward Bishopric for about fifteen years, worked in the superintendency of the Sabbath School, Presidency of Mutual Association, School Trustee, etc., and took a prominent part in all business affairs and public enterprises; served as County Commissioner many terms; held the highest office within the gift of the country, that of representative to the legislature, several terms; made a splendid choice of a wife, Leona J. Walton, to whom eight children were born, six of them are still alive (3 boys, and 3 girls.) All together they comprise a family that would be far above the average anywhere on earth. If I have the good fortune to be permitted to continue our associations in the great beyond, for my part it will be more than satisfactory to me. Brother Francis and wife assisted materially in establishing a civilization in the wilds of San Juan County, Utah, that ordinary mortals may well be proud of."  (See his profile in Children of the Rock blog site.)
Kathryn Johnson, was Jens' 3rd wife.  She had three children: Annette, Uriah, and Freeman (Saga of San Juan.)


Brooke said...

My understanding is that Johanne Christine Gronberg was Jen's first wife
2nd Elise
3rd Kirsten
4th Ane Katrine Jorgensen

Ganado Granny said...

I checked with descendent/researcger Mike Halliday of Blanding on this question, and Jen's first wife was Elsie. The other lady was mistakenly linked with him in earlier genealogy records erroneously, as there are hundreds of Jens Nielsons...even though there is only one in a Hole in the Rocker's world.