In beautiful Vingoker, Sweden, on the 15th day of February, 1874, a sweet little baby girl was born
to Peter and Christina Peterson. This was the first baby to bless their home and they named her
Anna Matilda. She was lovable and sweet and truly as beautiful a girl as you will ever see. More
babies came to bless their home and Anna helped a great deal to take care of them.
When Anna was born, her parents belonged to the Lutheran faith. The LDS missionaries came to
their home and taught her parents the Gospel, which they accepted, and C.H. Monson baptized
them in January 21st, 1880. Anna was six years old then, so she had to wait two years, but was
baptized a member of the Church in Sweden.
Her parents immediately started to make plans to come to America. In 1884, they left their lovely
home in Sweden and sailed for America with their six children: Anna, Albertina, Eizabeth, Esther,
Emil, and Avol. They certainly had to have a lot of faith to leave those beautiful surroundings and
come to a new land, learn a new language, and start all over again, not knowing at all what was in
store for them.
Anna, who was ten years old then, felt very lonely leaving her little friends and familiar
surroundings and wondered if she would ever see them again.
They first lived for a short time in Logan, Utah, and at that time there were many Indians around.
Anna was so afraid of them, but despite this fear, she had to take their cow to a pasture every
morning and go after it in the evening. On one of these trips, an Indian wanted her to eat a big corn
worm. She refused,
So he caught her and, in forcing her with her teeth held tightly together, he mashed it on her teeth.
Another time her mother had made the four girls each a dress, for which she had carded the wool,
spun the yarn, and woven into beautiful material. She had them dyed and hanging on the clothesline
when some Indians came to the house and wanted the dresses. Anna was alone home with the
smaller children and she was so frightened she gave them to them. This made her very sad, both for
the loss of the dresses and breaking the news to her mother who had spent so many hours on them.
They soon left Logan and moved to Mink Creek, Idaho, on a farm. Anna, being the eldest, worked
very hard helping her mother in the house and also helping her father in the field and with the
chores, for her brothers were too young. Many times she would get up early in the morning and
catch enough fish for breakfast. She also had to walk way up Cottonwood every morning real early
and again in the evening for the cows and horses and most of the time she was barefoot. She
walked to church and school and this was quite a distance.
They first lived in a one-room house made of log and later a room was added. The children spent
the nights sleeping on the floor that was often scrubbed.
Anna was quite a young lady by this time. She had a beautiful voice and could speak or sing
Swedish, Danish, and English fluently.
Lars Nelson was courting her and they fell in love and were married in the Logan Temple by M.W.
Merrill on the 5th day of February 1891.
Their first home was in Mink Creek, where they purchased a one-room house with a few acres. It
was in this home that they were blessed with their first child, a son, which they named Willard.
Now they decided to homestead some land up Strawberry Creek, which was six miles north of their
present location. They built a one-room log house with a dirt roof. There they ran a dairy, making
cheese and butter for sale. Anna helped with this along with her housework and she was a very
immaculate housekeeper and a very good cook. Three babies were born in this one-room house:
Anna, Edwin, and Alvin. Alvin lived only seven days and she mourned the loss of this baby very
They soon built a two-room house with shingles on the roof, close to where the old one was. They
also built a little summer kitchen by the new house, which in. those days they called a shanty. This
was a very happy day for Anna, for she had sewn carpet rags and had a carpet woven for her new
bedroom. This they put straw under twice a year. Oh! The fun her little children had playing on this
carpet and listening to it rustle. She also got a new bedroom set for her new home. She took great
pride in her home and loved her husband and children very much.
Not long after she got this new home, a school teacher came and wanted to stay with them, so Anna
let her use her bedroom and boarded her for seven dollars a month. Lars and Anna moved into the
kitchen in the old bed and the children slept on the floor. At that time, though, school didn't last
many months at a time.
Three girls were born in this house: Rosetta, Etta, and May. May only lived five days and again
Anna mourned the loss of her baby.
Anna was a faithful Latter-day Saint, true to her church, and she performed every duty she could.
She was a Relief Society visiting teacher, helped the Relief Society sisters gather wheat to be stored
and used in time of need. She had many friends in Logan who always welcomed her and loved to
have her stay with them so, occasionally, she would leave the girls with their grandmother and the
boys with their father and go to Logan to do Temple work for a few days.
Lars and Anna enjoyed life and each other. They enjoyed dancing the old-style dances together and
could do it very well. Whenever Lars was gone to a meeting in the evening, Anna always waited up
for him, never went to bed until he got home, which he was very proud and happy for.
When it came time for Lars and Anna to prove upon their homestead, the county headquarters were
in Bancroft, Idaho, which was several miles away from where they lived, and with horses and
buggy, took a long day and into the night, but Anna waited up until way after midnight and Willard
waited up with her. When Lars got home, Willard remembers how thrilled they both were; now
they had the deeds for their home and land without any debt.
Anna was so thrilled for the things Lars would do for her. One thing that stands out in the memories
of the children is when their father had piped the water to the side of the house. He worked during
the winter, gathering long poles and boring holes through them, putting them together underground
from the spring to the house, which was a good quarter of a mile and then he put a post standing up
with a spout on it. Their mother was so thrilled to see the water shooting out of the spout and no
longer had to carry buckets of water from the spring.
She passed away suddenly on July 3rd, 1904, at the age of thirty, leaving her husband and five
small children (for two had preceded her in death), her mother and father and nine brothers and
The whole town of Mink Creek, for she had many friends, mourned the loss of Anna and her last
resting place is in the Mink Creek Cemetery.