January 31, 2010

Nielson children: (Parents Jens and Kirsten Jensen Nielson)

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

Margaret Christine Nielson: was born in Parowan, April 1, 1864. She was the fourth child of a family of nine. The family moved to Cedar when Margaret was very young. The President of the Church, John Taylor, called a Company of people to go to San Juan County and settle that part of the State. Jens Nielson's oldest son, Joe, was called to go so his father, Jens Nielson, volunteered to go also. It was a great day to prepare for this journey. Grandfather took three wagons. They could just take what they needed most, expecting to be on the road 6 weeks but they were 6 months. The family at that time, consisted of the Mother, Father, Joe 20, Jense 18, Margaret 15, France 11, Lucinda 8, and Caroline 6 yrs. Margaret remembered: "Wood was scarce and they had to burn sage brush. France 11, would take his rope and go out hunting wood. Margaret, Caroline and Cindy would often go along to help. The food was getting scarce. They would take corn and grind it up in coffee mills and then make mush and bread. Grandma had 2 or 3 five gallon cans of preserves, we also had bacon and potatoes. They had milk cows but they got very poor. Everyone seemed to have good health."
        When they finally got to Bluff there was nothing but sage brush and cottonwood trees. Margaret said to her father, "Is this where we are going to stay?" He said, "Why, Yes, where did you want to go?" She thought Bluff was the worse place on earth. They at once started to clear the land and plant corn, alfalfa, potatoes, beans etc. They had to make a ditch from the San Juan River. There was always a lot of work to keep the water in the ditch. They built a fort and lived here for some time because the Indians were not friendly. They caused a lot of trouble stealing. They finally marked the town off in blocks and streets. They then drew for lots.
      Jens Nielson's family were living in the Fort when William Adams and his son John came to Bluff. Grandpa invited them to dinner. Margaret was young and shy. While they were eating dinner, Margaret peeked at them through the cracks in the wall, never thinking that John would be her future husband.

   The Adams' and Nielson's lots were in the same block. The young folks would often dance in one another's door yards. Maggie Walton and Margaret were great friends. One summer they went to Elk Mountain to visit Julia and Willard Butt who had a milk ranch there. John Adams and Thales Haskell were at a cow camp a few miles away. These boys Invited the girls to their camp. They had a fine dinner of cooked beefsteak and biscuits. After dinner they went for a horseback ride. This was the beginning of the courtship of Margaret and John. Two years later they were married. John said he had $163.35 saved to get married on. They took the train and were married in the Logan Temple. April 24, 1887.

      When Margaret was a young girl about 18 or 19 years old, they had many good times. One time Margaret, Maggie Walton and Irene Haskal, who were good chums all their girlhood days, made several trips to Durango with their brothers and fathers. They had a fine time camping out. People in Bluff would go to Durango for their provisions. Durango was a prosperous town. The girls would stay at a hotel and they shopped and would have their pictures taken. It would take two weeks to make the trip. They would buy a whole barrel of oatmeal mush, dried apples and sugar syrup which was a great treat.
      The girls at that time did lovely handwork. They would knit lace 4 or 5 inches wide for pillow slips and petticoats. Crochet piece quilts and always made their own dresses. Grandma Kisten Nielson was a seamstress. She made mens suits and buckskin gloves. The girls helped in the gardens. Irene Haskel had an accordion and the young folks would dance in the door yards.
     The first summer that Margaret and John were married, they lived at Dodge, a ranch north of Verdure. The whole Adams family were there, Uncle George and Aunt Eve, Frank, Grandma and Grandpa. Here they made butter and cheese and took it to Durango to sell. John and Margaret moved to Monticello and lived there two years. They didn't like it in Monticello so they moved back to Bluff. They now had two children, Kisten and Ernest. They bought a home in the west part of town, a three-room log house. They lived there for 12 years and 5 children were born here, Carlie, Lloyd, Melvin, Effie and Clara. John was trying to get a herd of cows and he was away from home a great deal of the time taking care of them. They were on the Elk Mountain in the summer and also Comb Wash and Butler.
John and Margaret Adams home in Bluff: shows Pearl, Margaret, Melvin, Kisten, Caroline, Clara, Lloyd, Joseph, Ernest, Effie

    They built a fine stone house down in Bluff (See photo above). It was plenty large with six rooms on the floor and 5 bedrooms upstairs. Pearl and Joe were born in this house. When Joe was about a year old, John was called on a mission to the Southern States. He labored in South Carolina. Margaret had nine children and Joe was a very sick baby at the time. It was a great trial for John to leave his large family and his property. When John came home from his mission, he met Pearl and Joe on the side walk. He picked them up and kissed them. They didn't like it at all for some strange man to kiss them.
      Two years from this time, John and Margaret went to Salt Lake City to attend conference. While they were there, there was a terrible rain all over this part of the country and floods came down the San Juan River and Cottonwood Wash. It was so big that it came into town and was about 2 feet deep in their house. Every thing possible was moved out. The family stayed at Grandma Adams' for a few weeks and then moved back. The house cracked and never was as good again.
   The San Juan River had taken most of Bluff away so the people moved to Blanding. John bought the Will Nix place. He remodeled it and made it very comfortable. The family moved to Blanding in 1917. The place had a good orchard and a good garden spot. Margaret was chosen Relief Society President. She was President from Oct. 28, 1919 to Oct. 26, 1924 and Hattie Barton and Nancy Harvey were her counselors and Ruth Redd her secretary. She was loved by everyone.
   Several years later. Margaret and John spent the winter in Salt Lake City and worked in the temple.  Soon after this John's health began to fail due to a heart ailment. He died March 10, 1935.
In July 1940, Melvin took his family and Margaret and Carlie for a trip to New York City. They had a fine trip. Carlie died suddenly in June, 1941. At this time Margaret had 30 living Grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren. Margret died January 31, 1945.
(Written by Kisten as told to her by her mother in May, 1944)
Francis Nielson:
Francis and Leona Jane Walton Nielson (his wife) came through the Hole-in-the-Rock in 1880. He was twelve, she, nine. Francis was the son of Jense and Kirsten Jensen Nielson. He was born in Cedar City, Utah in October 11, 1868. Leona was daughter of Charles E. Walton Sr and Jane McKethnie Walton. She was born in Bountiful, Utah, August 19, 1871. The couple was married in the Logan Temple November 30, 1892. They lived in Bluff, Verdure and Blanding.
Francis was a prominent man in San Juan County. A successful stockman from his youth, he was active in the Bluff Pool. For a long time he was foreman of the Bluff Cattle Pool, and has been a valuable director in a number of important institutions.
His son Floyd explained: My father, Francis and his two brothers, Jens and Joe, formed a company. He was the foreman of the Bluff Pool. Joe Nielson was the sheep man. Jens was the farmer. They carried on the company until Jens died. Joe died first, then Francis, then Jens (P.). He was a County Commissioner and later served two terms in the State Legislature.  He served as a counselor to both Bishop L. H. Redd and later to Kumen Jones in Bluff.  He died in Salt Lake City, December 11, 1921.

His daughter Helen recalled:
Francis was tall, at least 6 feet 2 inches tall. He had blue eyes and sandy colored hair. My Father was a quiet man but when he said something, it was important; we all listened and obeyed. When my Mother would tell us to do something, we might drag our feet; when Dad told us to do something, we jumped and did as we were told. If we didn’t listen to Dad, he would take a newspaper and tap us on the head. Sometimes the girls needed to be reinforced to work. But was a gentle and kind person.
     I loved my Father, he took us with him wherever he went. He would sit up in front of the congregation in Sunday School. He was in the presidency of the Sunday School. Dad would let me sit with him in front of everyone, I loved it.  When ever he had been gone on the cattle run, taking the cattle out to Thompson, he would bring gifts back to his children and to all the neighbors children. The gift might consist of an orange, that was treat for us in those days. Oranges were hard to get.
      When the men came back from the cattle run, we always had a celebration in Bluff. We had a great time. The women spent days preparing the food. We had a big feast.
     My Father took good care of his family and other people too. He was a generous man. Dad was always giving a sack of flour and potatoes to someone. The house that we lived in burned down. It was a rock house that Marion Hunt lived in for awhile. It had an upstairs with a couple of rooms. We also had a parlor that we used on special occasions. We had a bath tub, but it had no heat, so we could only take a bath it in the summer. The tub was located in a room that was added on. In the winter we would bring out the metal tub.
    My Dad had the first Ford in Bluff. We would go for rides around Bluff. Everytime we would go up Cow canyon, we would have to get out and push the car. (Her brother Floyd says it was a Mitchell with curtains that snapped on. The car didn’t have a heater.)
    My Father and Mother had four children:  Lyle, Floyd, Genevieve and Joe when he was called to go on a mission to the Southern States. I don’t remember how we supported ourselves, while he was gone, but we got along. I do know people helped us with taking care of the cattle business. After my Father returned from his mission, Ila, Howard, Elliot and myself came along, therefore there was a gap between my brothers and sisters. My Parents lost three children, one before and one after me. Lyle died in a buggy accident. Elliot, an infant died of whooping cough. Howard, another child, I think died of measles.
    Christmas was fun. It was different than now, we only received practical things, like clothes. For all special occasions, food was the driving force. Whatever the occasion was all the family went to it. A quilt was taken to the activity for the children to sleep on, while the adults played and danced.
         My Father had a favorite quote: “Oh rocks”. He ran cattle out by the bridges. Someone asked him if he had seen the natural bridges. He replied, “No, I’ve seen enough rocks.”  I was baptized in the old swimming hole. I was baptized by my Father.  At Bulldog, my Father raised wheat and potatoes. He took a blue ribbon on his potatoes at the fair in Monticello and also at state.  At threshing time, we would take a lunch and have a picnic. My Father liked ice cream, but he was a meat and potatoes man.
    My Father had very little education. He probably never went any further than 8th grade. He was a self taught man.
We moved from Bluff to Blanding. Henry Ashton, a son-in-law, to my parents, built our house. Preston Nielson's family lives in it now. Henry also built and lived in the small house where Joe Smith used live in, across the street. Our house in Bluff was smaller than the house in Blanding. We hadn’t lived there very long when Dad died. Mother and I were the only ones that were living in the house after Dad died. Ila went to live with Genevieve, she worked and went to school. My Father served in the State Legislature, for a couple of years. He was in his early 50’s when he died. He died of a ruptured appendix. Dr Sherman operated on him and cut too much on his intestine. The doctor couldn’t mend it. Dad didn’t heal, so they took him to Salt Lake City. In those days you couldn’t go to Salt Lake in one day. We had to stay in Green River the first day. He died in Salt Lake City."
(Helen Wilson’s recollection of her Father, Francis Nielson --August 8, 1997)

His son Floyd Nielson recalled in later years a conversation regarding Francis:
I asked Old Scottie Ute, “Did you see my father when he came to Bluff?” Francis and Leona had eight children.  Three died: Lyle F., Howard G., and Elliot. The others grew to adulthood:  Floyd W., Mrs. Henry L. (Genevieve) Ashton, Joseph L., Mrs. Val (Ila) Sundwall, and Mrs. Reed (Helen) Wilson.

He said, “Yes, I saw you father.”
I said “What was he doing?”
He said, “Well, he was riding behind the wagon on a horse, and he was driving an old red milk cow.”
Scottie Ute's description of Francis, “Da Harn a to watts”, meaning “Pretty whiskers almost white.” Indians picked some peculiarity about you and would give you a name.
He also remembered: The Bluff people used to hire Indians to wash all the time. One of my first recollections is seeing an old Ute grandma, Cheer, who came to help my mother wash when I was kid in bed. She was Old Scottie’s mother.

Lucinda (Cindy) Diantha:

History from Mary Lyman Reeve, Copyist -May 13, 1955, Donated by Carol (Hyde) Landaal
    "Salt Lake City has several exclusive eating places. Several weeks ago [in 1955] a presumptive lady from out of State went into one of them and after looking around a bit asked to see the proprietor and asked if he would allow her to go to his home and make him some home made pies. He looked at her an instant and replied, “Sure Mother, we would like a taste of your cookery.” Cindy went up and made some berry, apple and cherry pies, and Herbert and the whole family smacked their lips. But his own two eating places here are second to none anywhere. We know-we’ve tried them.

But making pies are but one of the many, many skills those tapering beautiful hands of hers can do. Listen, we’ll tell you a little about what some of the interests of that pretty head of hers has been doing the greater part of the last century.
    Among her first recollections are of Cedar City where she was born March 6, 1872. As for the house, it could have been brick, adobe, granite or logs, it was HOME, with a capital "H", and a happy one. And here we discover the one great secret of Lucinda’s charm- her brightness, cheeriness, and optimism. The wise man of old must have had the likes in her in mind-if indeed there was ever the likes of her when he wrote: “a merry heart doeth good like a medicine” and “he that hath a merry heart, hath a continual feast.”
A New Apron
   She was two-and-a-half years older than her younger sister, Caroline, but Caroline soon caught up with in size. The two little girls chased each other over the logs on the wood pile with their brand new aprons on, and a hole came into hers. It was not deception, but sheer resourcefulness and a yern to avert and avoid a frown from her mother Kisten, and it took but a minute to change the torn one on to baby Caroline, and the undamaged one onto her own mature frame. She was four years old so by her deception she saved her honor, for she carried the name of “Diantha” from Aunt Diantha Jensen Lolland.
Baked Squash
Lucinda remembered: Our next door neighbors in Cedar City were Gowers. One day I went in there and Sister Gowers opened the oven door and took out a baked squash and gave each of us a large piece. It was good.
My Relatives
My Father, Aunt Elsa, and Aunt Trena had no relatives in this country. But my Mother, Kirsten, had a host of them. Here they are:
Aunt Dotee-Dorothy was her name. We loved Aunt Dotee. She married Herman Daggett Bayles and their children were:
Enoy-married Parley Butt, Orpha-married George Decker, Nora-married Orton
Vilda-married Parley Butt, John, Herman
Then there was mother’s brother John Lollin and Aunt Diantha Jensen Lollin that Mother named me after.

We Go to San Juan
    I was seven when Mother packed up the three wooden bedsteds, the stove, and two large boxes, one blue and one brown. We always kept those boxes afterward. We were going to San Juan! The first night we stayed in Parowan. Mother had a sister-Aunt Dotee living there beside a host of Danish friends, and the family stayed among them. All but me, Mother let me go to a special friend’s house and I was pleased for I thought I was going to sleep with her. But was I disappointed when her husband came and she made me a bed on the floor, and there I slept. The next morning we gathered and started off and the next thing I remember we were at:
The Hole in the Rock
   There were a number of girls that were along and could have been at the little meeting we were holding. Anyway, I was preaching long and powerfully, when along came Brother Platte De Lyman. What he said made me forget my sermon and everything else. I was scared stiff for a long time at his words: “Well that is very good, now I know who we will have to preach to us in our next Sunday meeting.” I trembled and did not want to go, but they never did call me to preach.
   One day as we traveled along Mother’s newly made bread smelled so good. She was riding up in front with Joe, and Father was in the back with us, and he was playful and was to blame as much as we were. We knew the bread was to last the day, but we kept taking a piece and it tasted even better than the one before did and so we took another and we were surprised to find it gone, and out of sight. Father helped us do that wrong thing. But we remembered when we camped and Mother was so surprised and disappointed, when had to get the big bake kettle and wait until a lot of red coals were ready to make more bread.
   We had cows and horses and oxen and one mule on our wagons as we traveled along. We had three wagons and none of us had to sleep on the ground. We had five gallons of honey and five gallons of ground cherry preserves. I suppose it was made of honey also, for we had bees in Cedar. Margaret was about 15 years old.

Memories of Bluff City

    About the best and first thing I remember in Bluff was being baptized in the San Juan River. I guess it was about June in 1880. I was the first one in the town to be baptized there. Sarah Williams (Aunt Sarah Perkins) was baptized at the same time. Brother Charles E. Walton baptized us both. So now I belonged to the Mormon Church, and had as much or more fun than all the rest of the town. I could ride a burro as well a boy. And I loved it. I can’t remember when I learned to ride a horse. We went to molasses candy pulling’s, and peach bees, and melon busts-why that first summer we raised great big long melons. And we parched corn, had rag bees and quilting parties, and keeled over and over on the “pummy” stalks of the molasses cane. It was springy and slippery. If we didn’t get our fingers out on it was fine for a play pile.
    When I went to school my teachers were Brother Walton, Irene Haskell, Magnola Walton, and Brother Phil Sorenson. My girl friends were Aggie, Lizzie and Annie Allan, Onie Walton. The boys worked all the time and did not have time to play.
    We used to make paper flowers and decorate our homes. The walls were lined with factory, and when it rained, the mud would wash through and spoil the lining, then we would have to take it all down and wash it and put it up again. Then again we would put the flowers on the window curtains and one time Sister Elizabeth Howard who came from Salt Lake on Relief Society business said when she saw those flowers, that people who could make lovely homes and decorate them with flowers, should never be without homes.
    We used to make good use of the Mail Order Catalogues-we ordered our yardage from them and made our dresses. We got our hats, coats and capes there. In fact all we had to have that could not be brought in by freight over long periods of time. But Father ordered two organs- one for us and one for Aunt Elsa and they came by freight. And did we make the air ring them! I took music from Annie M. Lyman. The young folks all over town used to gather at our places and play and sing.
I began to go out with boys when I was about 16 years old. But always my real boy friend was Frank Hyde. Even if I ever did go to dances or walk home with someone else, he was the one and only. We ran together five years before we were married. He was a good man. And did we love to dance!
Church Work

     I was always doing something or other in the Church. I loved it. I loved to go and if not teach or act as secretary, just listen to the prayers and join in the singing. I was Sunday School teacher in the Old Log Meeting house to a class of boys-Fletch and Frank Hammond were in it, possibly my brothers Uriah and Freeman. I remember Hardy and Herbert Redd and the class was all along the north end of the old stand there.
(Right here let the copyist say a word; in 1891-2 Lucinda was my Sunday School Teacher and we met right there in that old stand. She took us through all the Faith Promoting Series, and New Testament Lessons and we loved her. She made a lasting impression for good on us.)
     I was secretary in the Primary for years, and for years I was Counselor to Lucinda Redd in Y.L.M.I.A. It was while I was there that I went to school at the BY for a term and under the advice of Dr. Brimhall I picked out the Library for the Young Women’s Association. I learned and taught “There’s a neat little Clock”.
Dodge Point
When I was about 17 or 18 I went with a crowd for the summer out to Dodge Point about five or six miles eat of Verdure to make butter and cheese. Father and Kumen and Jo and Willard Butt had planned it with Julia and Kumen’s wife, May, to cook for us, and Willard to oversee and me to milk and we had a glorious time. We had two houses. The milk house was built right over the spring. We had wild range cows. We let the calves go to their mothers long enough to get the milk down and then we would drag them away. I had never milked before in my life, but I learned then and rode horses and gathered the calves in and sometimes went as far as Verdure and Monticello. When we closed down we divided among us our summers’s earnings and I had made $30.00- we thought that was pretty good. Julia made the cheese. My brother Joe freighted a great deal and sold our cheese in Durango. We had bunk beds.
Riding Habit
We, in those days, rode side-ways, never astride-that was not considered quite well-bred for ladies. We had long flowing skirts that made a beautiful graceful curve, and tight-fitting bodices and horse-back riding was a real recreation, sport and often a necessity. But we had lots of fun.
Frank would bring in gentle horses but with good life, and always easy to ride. He had a side-saddle that used to be his sister’s and he gave it to me. We had many a good ride. He owned sheep and cattle. When we were married we were well fixed. He had a well furnished home, with a plush-upholstered sofa and chairs.
My wedding dress
I sent to Montgomery Ward or Sears and got the yardage for my wedding dress and I made it myself. You should see it-it was all prettied up the front with leg’o’mutton sleeves and very full and many gored skirt with stiffening about to my knees. I guess I had sent for a pattern for it too. I made the bustle, and I never did have to cinch my corset very much. I wasn’t very large, and I never did have a bustle that was a big one either. But the basque was well-boned and I received lots of compliments on my dress. President Francis A. Hammond married us in my Mother’s front room on the 30th of November, 1894. I had all the girls in my Sunday School class to my wedding dance and saw that they got a piece of my wedding cake and that Frank danced with all of them. It was the first “big dance” that many of them were ever to in their lives. I had white slippers and we had to walk from our home down to the new rock school house. Frank put my white kid slippers in his coat pocket and when we got there we went in the east room and sat me down and took off my street shoes and put the white ones on my feet, while my Sunday School girls all stood around and gazed admiringly.
My son Hugh’s wife once wore my wedding dress and I was invited to put it on exhibition in Z.C.M.I. windows. I should like you to see it, but the seams have been take out and it is not as pretty now.
My Wedding Pin Cushion
My Sunday School girls each gave me 5 cents for a wedding present and I sent east a and got an 80 cent pin cushion in velvet, all mounted on legs and very pretty and I kept it for years.
Some Tragic Things I Remember
   When Amasa Barton was killed by the Indians at Rincone, all the men in town were down there except Peter Allan. That night after Posey had brought word of it, ever Mother, who was the Relief Society President, went with the men down there. Then all the women and children in town came to our house and stayed all night while Peter guarded outside. Some of the women were scared to death. The next morning, Parley Butt, who had been hunting and was hunting his horses who had strayed, came along by Mother’s place, and a voice called, “Who goes there? Speak or I’ll shoot”. In the morning darkness he recognized Peter’s voice and asked what was the matter. Then he was told of it. But what a relief to have another man in town!
I remember about Jody Lyman being shot by the thieves on the Colorado, and his long cruel suffering. I always remember about hearing the story of Bill Ball being brutally shot by the man he had sheltered all winter.
Tragic death of Jane Walton: July 24, 1891
The summer of 1891 I was in Monticello staying with my sister Margaret. On Pioneer Day Frank took me to the dance. It was there that Jane Walton was killed by a cowboy's bullet.  (More details)
There was no more dancing that night. They took Sister Walton home and laid her out on the floor. Everyone in the whole country mourned for her. The Indians cut their hair close as a token of their great respect for her.
I never did enjoy going to dances in Monticello, for one never knew when the cowboys would come in and take over. But Frank and I both loved to dance.

Monticello Home
Our first years of married life were happy in Monticello. On the floor was a hand-woven carpet Aunt Elsa had made just for me. I helped gather some of the rags for it. It was certainly appreciated, not only because it was so useful, but that she was so thoughtful and kind about it.
Our children came along, and as they came the less we went to dances. They were born in this order: Zilla, Herbert, Merle,  Hugh, Harold, Angeline, Carl, Boyd, Edith, Myrna.  Five of the ten are still living. (May 21, 1955)
When Zilla was born I was still in bed with her, two cowboys chased past our window and at the corner of the block one of them shot and killed the other one.
Our first four of the children were born in Monticello, then in 1902 we sold the home and moved to Bluff. Harold was born there the day after Father’s (Jens)  82nd birthday. The whole town had been celebrating in his honor.
Bluff Home
We moved in Jen’s log house. The peaches there on that lot were the most beautiful I ever saw. Then we moved into Sarah Perkins’ old home and built a store on Jens’ lot. We did well in the store for years. The place boomed and miners coming in brought trade, and the Indians patronized us.
First Piano
There was a lot of excitement about oil and gold and gigantic pieces of machinery were brought in, drawn by oxen over those terrible roads. Even a new piano was brought in-a new one. Frank bought it-the first one in Bluff. Zilla took lessons and did very well. Frank was very proud of her. It was a joke among my boys that after the evening meal, he would say: “Now Zilla you go to you piano and boys, you do the dishes.”

    While we lived there a flood came down and washed out much of our land, and although it did not get into our house, people were expressing concern and interest for our welfare. I told them, “The Lord giveth and the Lord takenth away.” and He spared our family and home.
Frank’s Store
     Frank was always resourceful and accommodating. He saw an opportunity to serve the community by storing ice from the river. He acquired the equipment and in the hot summer it was a great thing that people of Bluff could know they had ice within range. For years the business did very well and Zilla and Herbert and Merle went away to school and were a great help to Frank in his business.
In 1915 Frank and I and John and Margaret Adams, and Ri and Beatrice went to the World’s Fair in San Francisco. It was real and rare treat! Zilla and Herbert cared for the store and did it very well.
Frank’s death
After the mines closed up and the bottom went out of our business we moved to Salt Lake in 1919. We lived in the big house on the southwest corner of Douglas and 4th south. Herbert dove an ambulance during the flu here in 1919-1920. When Herbert became interested in the fish store, his father gave him a lift as long as he was able to work he took pride in doing his share.
Frank died Dec. 18, 1935
Jens died in January, 1936
John Adams died in March, 1936
Wayne Redd died in May, 1936
Thus, three of my Father’s sons-in-law and one son passes on within five months of each other. "
* * * * * *
Comment by Mary Lyman Reeve who interviewed Lucinda: I find yet that old unquenchable spirit in Lucinda, the “stick-i-de-tudy” that her Father talked of. She says, and it was characterized her whole life; “If I can’t have what I want, I want what I have. God gave me all I have and I don’t want to bawl when he takes it away. He knows more than I do why He gave it, and why He took it. So if I can’t help it I’m not going to make it worse by bawling about it.”

 <-- Caroline returns to Hole-in-the-Rock:

Caroline Nielson:

Caroline Nielson Redd was born in Cedar City, Utah, 21 July 1874. She came to San Juan Country when she was a little girl, six years old, with the first pioneers through the Hole-in-the-Rock, just a child trudging along behind the wagons until her little legs got tired, then climbing up in the seat to ride, or crawling back on the load to play or sleep.
       At night she snuggled close to her tired mother in their bed under the stars. She lived with her family in the fort at Bluff until their home was built. She was the youngest of her mother's eight children and her father was the bishop in Bluff. To her, pioneering was a way of life. She watched her mother cook over the campfire, watched her wash wheat, dry it, and then grind it in a hand mill to make the coarse flour for their bread.
         On her first Christmas in Bluff, she and her sister Cindy slipped out of bed after the folks had gone to sleep and hung their stockings on the bedposts, thinking, of course, that Santa Claus would find them. But the next morning the pitiful little stockings hung empty--not even a cookie-and her mother stood crying with her two little girls. But this never happened again. Her older brothers went to work in the mines in Colorado to earn money for the necessities. They always brought back a wagon load of supplies and presents for their little sisters.
         As a girl, Caroline learned that though Bluff was far, far away, the Lord was close when they needed help. His protecting power was with them through Indian perils, angry river floods, and sickness.
             (by Alice Redd, a daughter-in-law)

Caroline remembers Hole-in-the-Rock:
It was fun jogging along in the big covered wagon with Father or Mother up in front driving the white mules. Usually Father drove because it was so hard for him to walk because of his crippled feet. It was fun, so Caroline thought, as she and Cindy played on the bedding that was piled high in the back. Caroline was a little pioneer girl journeying with her family from Cedar City to find a new home in San Juan. There were eighty wagons following, one behind the other, for several miles back.

She didn't know at that time that being a pioneer meant hardship. She was only five years old and her mother's youngest child. She and Cindy could always ride in the wagon because they were not heavy and did not take up much room, but Mother and Margaret and the boys walked most of the time.

At night, when they stopped to make camp, the little girls played around the fire and watched the older ones cook supper and roll out the beds on the ground. And then, when darkness came on, Caroline could snuggle down in her mother's arms and go to sleep. Oh, how she loved that dear mother, and how sorry she was when Mother sighed and seemed so very weary.

Most of all she was sorry just now because she and Cindy had eaten all the bread that afternoon while they were playing in the wagon. Mother had intended it for supper, and Caroline could see now how very tired Mother was as she bent over the bonfire cooking some more. That night, as she patted Mother's arm and drifted into sleep, she promised herself that she would be a good girl. And Caroline was a good girl, especially to her mother.

That mother was Kirsten Jensen Nielson. She joined the Latter-day Saint Church in Denmark, coming to Utah in 1857 when she was about twenty-two years old. She pulled a handcart with her invalid sister in it a thousand miles across the plains from St. Louis to Salt Lake City. Hers was a steady trek with no stops to recuperate. They knew that cold weather would be upon them if they did not hurry, so they trudged relentlessly on.

A young brother had died previously of cholera in the epidemic in Missouri. Kirsten Jensen had been baptized by Jens Nielson in Denmark and soon after she arrived in Salt Lake City was married to him. He took her to Cedar City where his first wife lived. The family was called by Brigham Young to settle in various places in Southern Utah, and she helped make five new homes and moved that many times before finally starting the six months journey to Bluff. This was the mother who still faithfully plodded on.

Caroline's father, Jens Nielson, was considerably older (fifteen years) than her mother. He had joined the Church in Denmark and had done some missionary work there before coming to America in 1856. He crossed the plains with Captain Willie's handcart company. He was fairly well-to-do when he joined the Church, but, for his religion, he forsook his family and position, selling what goods he had to raise money to bring himself, his wife, Elsie, and a child, Jens, to Zion. That only child died in the hardships of crossing the plains and was buried with thirteen others in a shallow grave in Wyoming.
     From the cold and exposure of that trip, Jens Nielson's feet were frozen and crippled for life. He himself had begged to be left when he could walk no longer, but his courageous wife, Elsie, prevailed up him to let her pull him in the handcart for many miles until help came to the belated company. He promised the Lord then, that if he were only permitted to reach Zion, he would willingly spend his life in the service of the Church. That promise was never broken, nor were the Church authorities ever doubted in the demands they made of him.
       These were the parents of Caroline who was born in Cedar City, Utah, 21 July 1874. She was the eighth child of a family of nine, but her youngest brother died when a baby. To her this traveling all day in a covered wagon, napping on the bedding when she was tired, and getting out and running about to rest her growing limbs was just a lark. But she was old enough to read trouble in the faces of her father and mother when their caravan came to a long stop on the brink of the canyon of the Colorado, miles and miles east of Cedar City.

For weeks they had been working their way a few miles each day over untraveled deserts and through uncharted canyons toward a place on the San Juan River where they were to make their new home. Their milk cows and a few other cattle and sheep were herded by the younger boys while the older men made roads and directed the course of the company.

But now they were all stopped. They could go to the edge of the cliff and look down fifteen hundred feet to the river, a tiny silver thread at the bottom of the canyon; but how to get down there, not even her father seemed to know. Up and down the river the canyon was the same, just a huge gorge cut in the earth that only the birds could cross. There was only the crack in the rock plateau where they could get the wagons down if they could but make that opening large enough.

For six weeks the men worked early and late, digging, chipping, gouging and blasting, to make the Hole-in-the-rock large enough to get their wagons through.
    When at last it was finished, the wagons were let down very slowly, being first anchored to heavy rocks above and then lowered again until they reached the bottom. Caroline and Cindy stood on the top watching it all and clapping with glee. Their white mules looked like kittens down below. All day the men worked at this perilous job of getting the wagons through. That night Mother helped Cindy and Caroline climb down through the crack and at night they camped on the banks of the river. They camped there for several days after while the men built rafts on which to load the people and wagons to cross the river. The bawling, lunging cattle and horses were herded into the river to swim across.

The worst of their journey was over, but there were still many weary weeks of dangerous travel before they came to a place to stop. They had intended going to the mouth of Montezuma Creek, but when they reached Bluff their horses were worn out and they could go no further.

Bluff was a little green, homey spot hidden down among the cliffs, a welcome haven of rest to the weary wanderers. Spring had come early; the grass was green, and once more the little company had found a home. This time it was hundreds of miles away from any white settlement, the towns in Colorado being their nearest neighbors. They were on the very edge of the Navajo country, and they had been sent there to make friends with the Indians and to protect the other settlements against the thieving outlaws who sought refuge in that wild corner of the state. Their mission was to bring civilization and law and order.

No time was wasted. Some of the men began breaking the ground in preparation for planting and making ditches while others worked on the “fort,” a long, dirt-roofed house they were building for all of them to be sheltered in until each family could have a home of their own. It was built so that it could protect them against unfriendly Indians.

They were nearly out of flour, but they still had wheat. Caroline and Cindy often went with Mother about a mile down to the river and there played in the sand in their bare feet while she washed the wheat. When it was dry, she ground it into a coarse brown flour in a little hand coffee mill. Sometimes Margaret helped grind also, for it really was a tiresome task to keep flour enough for the family.

Bishop Nielson had received word that some of the Church authorities were coming soon and Mother felt that, to show her respect, she just must have something nice to offer them. That faithful woman had sacrificed much for her church and still gladly gave the best she had. It was a lesson that Caroline never forgot. Even when she was grown and had sons of her own, they teased her about putting her best blankets and quilts away to keep only for the “Apostles' Bed.” Her husband was then stake president.

The winters in Bluff were mild but usually there was enough snow for a few days of sleigh riding. For its kind, it was most hectic and most hilarious. The youngsters would crowd onto and old dry cow hid and sit tight, hold to the edges. A rope would be tied to the tail of the pelt and then someone on a pony would pull them over the crusted snow.

The children were taught to help, too. While still small, the girls learned to knit. Every summer they must knit to pairs of wool stockings for winter, and every winter they must knit two pairs of cotton stockings for summer. When Caroline was married she had seven pairs of stockings she had knit for her trousseau.

As the girls of Bluff grew older, many went away to work, but Mother guarded her girls carefully and found work for them at home. She taught them to raise gardens. There was always plenty of sale for their melons to the Indians. They always earned the money to buy their own clothes. On a few very prosperous summer days, they sold as much as ten to twelve dollars worth of melons and fruit, and the money was put away to buy the necessities.

The Nielsons raised a good peach orchard, and Cindy and Caroline earned money drying and selling peaches. The foreman of the L.C. Ranch used to contract their dried fruit. The girls had peach drying bees, and it was great deal of fun, too, to have a crowd come at night to help cut the peaches. Boys weren't so loathe to do woman's work with a crowd of jolly girls. Of course, they returned the labor when neighbors had fruit to dry.

The girls worked in the sugarcane fields, too, for the Nielson family made their own molasses and sold the surplus to get flour. The cane was stripped and the juice crushed out in a home-made mill drawn by a horse. Then the juice was boiled down in huge iron kettles over a slow fire. The molasses making was a community affair. In the evenings at molasses time the folks got together and had candy pulls, plenty of chance for budding romance. It was at such a party that Caroline first met Wayne. That was when she was nearly sixteen.

She was sixteen when they started “going together” and nineteen when they decided to marry. Wayne was twenty-four. He had been managing his father's cattle and sending money regularly to help his family in Mexico, but he had made enough to buy the Haskell place, a dream home to them, just a log house with one large nice room and a lean-to.
Early in November, when the fall work was done, the round-up over, and the cattle drifted, Wayne came in off the range and they left to go to the Salt Lake Temple to be married. (15 Nov. 1893).
(Submitted by Brooke, Jordann and Davin Lyman Caroline's great, great grandchildren).

    Alice Redd added additional commentary about the romance: As she grew older, Caroline learned to work hard, as all pioneer women must do. She grew into a beautiful, happy young woman, filled with radiant health and ambition. When she was sixteen, she first met Wayne Redd at a candy pull. When he came to ask her for their first date, he found her down in the sugarcane field stripping cane. She was embarrassed at her rough clothes and rough work.

    There began one of the loveliest romances between man and woman. Wayne loved and wooed her ardently. He did not go on to Mexico with his family as he had intended doing, but stayed to work as a cowboy in Bluff and to marry the bishop's daughter three years later. He was twenty-four and she was nineteen when they went to the Salt Lake Temple and were married in 1893 for time and all eternity. In that marriage was genuine  love, loyalty, understanding, and a remarkable companionship.
    They had a very humble little home of their own, but a very happy one. They worked together to get a start. Wayne rode the range and was building up a small herd of cattle of his own. When their first child,Leland, was sixteen months old, all unexpectedly, a call came from the Church for Wayne to go on a mission. Though it meant sacrificing much, they had no idea of refusing it. Wayne sold his saddle and things he would not be needing for a while and enough cattle to meet his expenses. Caroline took the baby and went home to live with her mother.

      Wayne was gone two-and-a-half years on his mission, and before he reached Bluff on his return home, he was called into the stake presidency as a counselor, and he continued a life of active service for church and community. For Caroline it meant sacrifice and loyalty to a husband who was to become a bishop, stake president, and patriarch. Her life was built around his life. Her ambition was that of an ideal wife and mother.
     They prospered financially, owning quite a herd of cattle. Together they went through hardships to build a lovely seven-room rock house in Bluff, only to sell it when they decided to move to Blanding in 1909.
Caroline began pioneering again. With their five children they moved into the little rock granary and a tent. It was five years before their home was built in Blanding. During this time more babies came and, too, their little Metia was laid to rest on the hillside where only two other graves had been dug. Maybe she died of diphtheria. There were no doctors within a hundred miles and she was taken so quickly. Caroline and Wayne buried two other babies.
     Wayne always said of his wife that she understood psychology better than many students of the subject. She was a diplomat in dealing with her children. Could her high regard for the schools have possibly been back of bringing five school teachers and also a music teacher into the family as in-laws, and making teachers of three of her own daughters, and a seminary teacher of Wayne? The ten of them in her family had enough certificates and qualifications to have manned a good sized school from the first grade up through high school, including seminary.
      She was always good to the Indians. The family smile rather indulgently when they think of her always saving food "in case some Indian should be hungry. " She said her father taught her an obligation to the Indians that she could never forget. She could remember when they were at the mercy of the Indians in Bluff in the old days.
      Motherhood is a partnership with God, and Aunt Caroline was surely a good partner. She brought twelve children into this world. Three of them died in babyhood, but the other nine were reared to be honest, hard working, well respected citizens, and a strength in their church. They all nine were worthy to be married in the temple. They are loyal to the cause for which their parents and grandparents sacrificed. Thirty-eight grandchildren and forty-three great-grandchildren survive her. One brother, Uriah, and one sister, Cindy, are still living. Of her twelve children, seven were alive at the time of her death: Leland, Joe, Alma, Miriam, Josephine, Bernice, and Norma.
(More details are in the Nielson history collection in posession of Mike Halliday and Donna Nielson Jensen of Blanding.)

(Story and picture of Francis Nielson home in Blue Mountain Shadows Vol. 24, p. 11; Wayne Redd home pp 9-10)

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