March 30, 2010

Mickelsen, Don Alvin: son of Peter Mickelsen and Harriet Emily Decker

Don Alvin Mickelsen:  1879-1945
By Bonnie Trower Brantley Eureka, Utah.  Given to Bonnie by Bernice Mickelsen, the second wife of Joseph Rasmus Mickelsen.

Don Alvin Mickelsen was born 12 October 1879 in Parowan, Iron County, Utah to Peter and Harriet Emily Decker Mickelsen. Peter was their first baby, and as a family they became a part of the “Hole-in-the-Rock” expedition. As no journals of this family have been located it is impossible to know the experiences of this newly formed family as they prepared themselves to live in a covered wagon with their new born son. He was six months old when the group reached Bluff and set up housekeeping. Three more children were born to Peter and Harriet while they lived in Bluff. Peter Adelbert, Joseph Rasmus and Ethel Gertrude.

In 1884 the family moved to Manassa, Colorado and little Peter Adelbert passed away from scarlet fever. Anna Mae was born 25 March 1886 in Manassa. Some time after his father Peter died in Arizona in 1888, Harriet and her children went to visit her family in Parowan. She left Don Alvin in Parowan, presumably for the summer, but as a poor widow, she was never able to send money for Don to come home to his family in Manassa. He was in Parowan with relatives for the rest of his childhood.

The 1900 Census shows 20 year old Don living again with his mother, Harriet, and step father, Cornelius Gilleland, in Lumberton, Rio Arriba, New Mexico.

He said he felt like a stranger among his family, after living in Parowan for so many years, so he left his family and went to California. He was bitter toward his mother for leaving him in Parowan and his mother did not hear from him for 25 years. He never married. He became sick and went to stay with his brother Joseph Rasmus in Manassa for over a year. At that time he told his brother that he was at the first meeting in New York for the Communist Party, and that he had joined the Communist party, saying there was no God. He led a sad and lonely life and died in San Francisco October 9, 1945.

No comments: