THOMAS CHRISTIAN PETERSEN
By Dorothy H. Matthews
Born July 12, 1831 Died 3 Sep 1903
Thomas Christian Peterson was born in Frederikshaven, Denmark, on July 12, 1831. His parents were Peder F. and Dorthe Jensen.
His church records are from the parish of Grydsback. He was a large man in physique, a land owner, and his farm was called Lenden. One of the servants employed on the farm was a young lady converted to the new movement of Mormonism and she was trying to teach Thomas C. about this church. One day she said to him, "I am going to fast and pray for you to see the light." He answered saying, "I will work you so hard you won't have time to think about it." However, she continued and eventually he was taught by Mormon elders from America and was baptized. He was as devoted and ambitious in this new movement as was his characteristic in all he did, so he started making plans to come to the headquarters of the new church in America.
Lisa or Lise Andersen Petersen Mother of Anders Christian Petersen. Thomas and Lise Andersen Petersen
Auntie (Kerstin) Petersen Polygamist wife of Thomas Petersen
Casty Petersen Polygamist wife of Thomas Petersen
Thomas C. was married and his wife was Johanna (Aunty) Thompson. They had a daughter, Ann Johanna.
(Ann Johanna, age ten, died while on the ocean.)
He also had a son, Anders Christian, whose mother was Lise Anderson.
Both he and his wife, Aunty, were new converts and worked hard in Augusta, Denmark, to buildup the church in this area. For five years they made preparations to emigrate. On April 15, 1862 they sailed from Hamburg, Germany on the ship "Franklin". They settled first in Farmington, Utah. Later they were called to help settle Franklin, Idaho and in 1864, they helped settle Bear Lake.
They settled in what is now Ovid, living first in a dugout, then in a log house. Thomas' successful farming experiences in Denmark proved valuable here.
His son, Anders Christian, was still in Denmark, so he sponsored him here in 1869, when he was eighteen years old. Anders Christian and his father sponsored Nina Marie Nielsen from Denmark and her son, Soren Christian. Later, Nina Maria and Anders Christian were married, into this union was born four daughters, Eliza Marie, Annie Johanna, Matilda Christina, and Julia. They also had two sons; Andrew Louis, who died when he was nine years old, and Parley Joseph who died as a child.
Thomas C, in 1865, married Kristine Jacobine Morgensen (Johnson) who was a widow with two daughters, Mary and Maria. This was a marriage in polygamy, and he took Kristine to Salt Lake City and stood proxy for her to be sealed for time and eternity to her husband Rasmus Johnson. In 1866, Kristine, at thirty years of age, died in childbirth; the child also died.
Thomas C. and Aunty kept the two daughters, rearing Maria until her marriage. Mary spent some time in Montpelier, with relatives. Mary married William Skinner and moved to Soda Springs, Idaho. She lived there until her death. These girls were taught to be industrious, clean, ambitious, and religious. An interesting story of Maria is that she was chosen to be the wife of a polygamist. Thomas C. and Aunty desired this very much. Maria refused the marriage and chose a young man who had emigrated from Denmark, Lars Peter Neilson. In the history of Ovid Ward it is recorded, "In Sharon a pioneer project was the Union dairy. It was operated by Samuel Humphreys who employed women to do the milking. A quartet consisting of Sarah Hoge, Sarah Skyaard, Nettie Bee, and Marie Peterson milked all the cows and cleaned the vats for a pittance."
Maria and Peter Neilson reared a large family and this family had a very good relationship with Thomas and Aunty Peterson and their family and were taught to be so appreciative.
Thomas was very meticulous, neat, and tidy. He had a tool shed, a large barn, a beautiful string of horses, milk cows, and a hay loft full of hay for winter feeding. They also had a smoke house and a vegetable cellar. He made furniture and was really gifted at this hobby.
In 1867 Thomas married Kristine (Casty) Pederson.
Casty was a petite and gracious little lady, neat as a pin and all who knew her loved her.As one came into the yard to her home you would walk up a board walk that shined it was scrubbed so clean.As you entered her door the wooden floor was just as clean and attractive with homemade rugs.The black kitchen stove was so polished you could see yourself in it as a mirror.Very comfortable and homey, her home welcomed every visitor.
She was born in Malmo, Sweden, and her father, Henry Pederson, immigrated to the United States in the early springtime of 1856, after joining the Mormon Church.Casty was seven years old, she had two older brothers, Andrew and Oley, a younger brother, John.The hardships these people encountered would be unbearable today.In order to get in a company crossing the plains they had to sell, burn, or just leave a lot of their possessions because all they could get was a handcart and it couldn't hold much.Her mother and father pulled the cart, assisted by the older boys.Casty walked a lot, and told of being barefooted with cracks in her feet and how they would bleed.Food was mostly coarse, dark bread and parched barley drink.They would gather wild berries and roots which were a treat.They depended on other companies to supply them with food.They first settled at Lehi, Utah.Sorrow came to the family when the mother died and the children were motherless.Her father was strict and the children obeyed.At a very early age Casty took over the responsibility of this family.
In the fall of 1864, the father was sent to help colonize Bear Lake, so with his family walking and the household possessions packed in a wide cart being pulled by the two cows, they journeyed to this new place.They were to settle in Ovid, but due to so many Indians the first year was spent in Paris.For a time Henry operated a flour mill at Logan, Utah, where he was known as the "little Miller."He married Mary Ann Griffinauch, a nonmember of the church and a German.Casty was kept terribly busy and wasn't treated too kind, so she matured young.This stepmother, not being a member of the church, exerted a strong influence on her children who were not nurtured in the ways of the church.In time this family left Utah and Idaho and went to Lander, Wyoming.Henry became a man of considerable wealth and when he left Bear Lake he had a trail of cattle from Ovid to Bern that he trailed to Wyoming.Henry died in 1881 and is buried in Wyoming.
Casty had been chosen to be the wife of a polygamist.She tells how she gleaned grain after the harvest, earning enough money to buy material for three calico dresses and her first pair of shoes.
Thomas C. took Casty to Salt Lake City, where they were married in the Endowment House.She wore the lightest colored calico dress and the new shoes.She was fifteen years old, much more mature due to the great responsibility given her at such an early age.Her husband was thirty six.He was a dynamic person, very prosperous and industrious.He had one living wife, Aunty, whose home was on the farm north of Ovid.Casty's first home was a cabin in the township of Ovid.She was very happy, busy, and did her own sewing, knitting, spinning, weaving, and dyeing cloth.For the dye, she gathered different colors of flowers, boiled the flowers in water, and then put the material in and changed it into a beautiful color.She also made her own cheese and butter.As a young bride she had a great fear of the Indians, stemming possibly from her childhood, so she would go to the neighbors, Bishop Peter Jensen's, and visit with Sister Jensen.
Thomas had a farm which he homesteaded.They always had fifteen milk cows and about two hundred chickens.What they didn't use for themselves, they sold.Butter and eggs were at a fair price.Thomas was highly respected among the people.A great lover of horses he always drove and rode the most beautiful horses.His driving carriage and sleigh were used only to go to church, to the county seat, or to Montpelier on business.Being a good dancer, he would take them to many dances.A daughter-in-law told what great excitement it was to ride with him.Being a good teamster, he'd hold both lines in his right hand, while the horses trotted fast with their heads high.His harness had white rings from the bridle to the center of the horse's head.His buggy was handsomely upholstered.Most people remembered his outfits tied to the hitching rail in front of the church.He was a great speaker, and he and his wives had a strong testimony of the Mormon movement and dedicated their time and talents to build it.
Later a home was built on the ranch next door to Aunty for Casty and her growing family.Aunty helped Casty rear her children.They are as follows: Thomas, John T., Henry, Nels Dorsten, Parley O., Alexander, Joseph, Bertha, and Selma.
Thomas and Casty celebrated their silver wedding anniversary.Thomas's eldest son, Anders Christian and Maria's daughters were hosts for this memorable occasion.
Nina Marie's son Soren Christian, whom she had brought with her from Denmark, married an Ovid girl, Bertha Meyers, and they moved to Star Valley, Wyoming.Records show that Thomas moved with his family to Star Valley in November of 1890, but returned to Ovid in June of 1891.
Aunty outlived Thomas.He died in 1903 and she died in 1912.Casty lived until 1936, when she passed away at the home of her daughter, Selma.
This history was found in "History of Bear Lake Pioneers" which was compiled by Dorothy H. Matthews, Montpelier, Idaho.