Peter Peterson

Lars C. N(i)elson History

Anna Matilda N(i)elson

Etta Simmonds

Hans L. N(i)elsen

Harry Jensen

Lars C. N(i)elsen

Peter Peterson

Rosetta N(i)elsen Jensen

Mink Creek History

Mink Creek Photos

Lars C. N(i)elsen Photos 1

Lars C. N(i)elsen Photos 2


Peter Peterson

Peter Peterson and Christina Olson History
By Aileen Ashbakey Hubbard

It was in the beautiful land of the northern lights and the midnight sun of Sweden that Per Persson, known later in this country as Peter Peterson, was born to Per Persson and Anna Persson on December 24, 1845. He was born in the small village of Vestra Vingoker, Sodermanland, Sweden. Up to the end of the 19th century, Sweden was described as a poor country. Many visitors referred to Stockholm, Sweden's capital, as a place of bleak, dir ty houses. But things began to change about 1870. Stockholm is now a city of high culture and advanced legislation as well as great natural beauty. Sweden, one of the lands of the midnight sun, a land of lakes, forests, and rapid rivers, is rich in iron mines, paper mills and intricate electrical appliances. Although few in number the Swedish people have left their mark upon the world-- for there is not one of the great ruling races with the exception of Japanese, that cannot through Gothic ancestors of centuries ago, claim kindred with the Swedes of today.
There are many holidays in Sweden which are looked forward to by the people, especially Mid- Summer's Day that came on June 24. It meant a holiday and rest from their work. It was spent by having picnics, programs, and much singing and dancing.
Peter grew up in this fascinating country on his father's Farm. The farms were called estates and his father's estate was quite large and made a good living for the family. Peter was the oldest of a family of four children, all boys. The three brothers were: Lars, born April 1, 1849, Olof, born December 12, 1854, and Erick, born March 17, 1861. These boys all were taught to work and help with the duties on the farm, and looked forward '0 the holidays and especially Mid-Summer's Day. Peter was a very good singer and dancer and it was said that he entertained many an audience with his fancy steps.
After he was in his twenties and a very handsome young man he started to keep company with a young lady who was raised in the same village. Her name was Kerstin Olsson, known later in this country as Christina Olson. She was the daughter of Olaf Olsson and Kerstin Larsson and was born July 8, 1851.
She came from a well to do family but had learned well how to work at the things all Swedish women undertake, such as cooking, sewing, weaving, and helping with the Work in the fields. When she was 22 and Peter 27 they were married and began a beautiful and full life together. Perhaps we can picture them in his day as being very gay, because at a Swedish village wedding, he married pair and their guests make the most of the round of festivities afforded by the wedding-day, since they will afterward return to hard agricultural work.
The yeoman bridegroom, who in the typical holiday clothes of his class life, like a clergyman, sets himself exactly the same strenuous tasks on his farm as he sets his laborers.
The wife is expected to devote her time to the care of her home and children. They were all very good cooks and learned to prepare many varieties of dishes that were served at the famous smorgasbords. They also help in the fields and barns when needed. It is the custom for the sturdy young women to take the children and work as hard as the men in fields and factories. The men would cut the grain with scythe and cradle leaving it in piles. The girls would follow the men and bind it into sheaves, which were shocked to allow it to dry. Sometimes the weather wouldn't allow the grain to dry, so they hauled it into the barns, dried it, stacked it, and threshed it later in the winter. After the days work was done, the men and boys went to the house. The women and girls did the chores, especially feeding pigs, milking cows, and cleaning the barns.
Peter and Christina were deeply religious and very ambitious. They worked hard together and during the first years of their married life were able to procure a large estate and build a large beautiful home on it in a small community called Sponga, just outside of Vingoker. They joined the Lutheran Church because it seemed to follow the teachings of the Savior more closely than did the others, but Peter wasn't quite satisfied with it. He had much faith in the Lord. At one time when he was working in a steel mill with a group of men, they saw the stars falling just like snow. All of the men were frightened by this sight and didn't know what to think about it, but Peter had so much faith that things like that did not frighten him. He saw the hand of the Lord in all things.
Six children were born to Peter and Christina while living in their native land. They were: Anna Matilda, born February 15, 1874, Alma Christena, born January 28, 1876, Maria Elizabeth, born December 22, 1877, Ester Olivia, born July 24, 1879, Emil Ephraim, born March 16, 1881 and Per Evald, born March 10, 1883. These children were all taught while very small to help with the work in the home and in the fields. They enjoyed so much romping in the hills and enjoying their beautiful country. They employed two women, one to help with the work in the house, and one to help with the outside work.
About the time of the birth of their fourth child, Ester, a friend of the family took a trip to Stockholm to sell rugs that she had woven. While there she found that there were some men there who had brought a new religion and were preaching it to the people. Some of the people were very upset about it. She came back home all excited telling her friends about it.
It wasn't long until these men, two Mormon Missionaries, came to their community. Peter was very anxious to hear what their religion was about so they were invited to his home. The officers of the law were trying to arrest the missionaries so while they were in the home of Peter Peterson they kept the blinds pulled down and the door locked so no one would know they were there. They hardly dared talk above a whisper. As soon as Peter heard the message of the Restored Gospel he knew it was what he had been searching for and it just seemed to penetrate 1is whole being.
He accepted it readily and it wasn't long until he applied for baptism. Of course, his faithful wife accepted it also and they were baptized June 21, 1880 by C. H. Monson, a missionary, and were confirmed the same day. Peter and Christina were anxious for their friends and brothers and sisters to hear this wonderful message, but it didn't strike a cord with Peter's brothers and they began to ridicule him for paying attention to this religion and became very angry with him. This made Peter and his family very sad, and they began to feel like they would like to go to America and mingle with the saints there. They sold their large estate at a sacrifice and left a beautiful farm and home. It took about four years to get their property sold and procure enough money to take them so far. It was sad for Christina as she had been caring for her aged mother and had to put her in a rest home and leave her behind, knowing full well that she would never see her again.
There were quite a large number who, after hearing of the new religion accepted it and prepared to go to America, so on April 1, 1884, Peter and Christina, their six children and the two hired girls, in company with 95 persons left Sweden on a train to Copenhagen, Denmark. On April 4th they boarded a ship "Milo" and sailed across the North Sea to Hull, England where they arrived April 7th. Then they went to Liverpool, England where they joined other Saints and eleven returning missionaries, making a total of 207 souls, and boarded the steamship "Nevada" which set sail for America, April 9, 1884. The Saints traveled third class in the ship.
While crossing the ocean the waves were so high that at times the ship was entirely covered with water. Many of the group were sick. The two hired girls helped to care for the children and the sick. Peter had paid their fare, and for this they were to help with these things on the journey. To add to their discomfort and sorrow, a boy died at sea and had to be buried there. He was strapped to a plank and thrown overboard. It must 1ave been a sad thing to witness and something not easily forgotten.
They arrived at New York on the evening of April 19, 1884. Imagine the joy these people must have experienced when they saw the shore of the Promised Land and the hope they felt in the promises of the gospel. Here they could worship as they pleased with the people of their own faith. Nothing could shake their faith. The next day the immigrants were landed at Castle Garden, New York.
On Monday morning April 21, they left by train westward bound for Utah, arriving in Ogden, Utah April 27th. This group of Saints was then divided into smaller groups. The family of Peter Peterson and others headed for Cache Valley, where they arrived the next day. They lived in Logan for a time and then moved to Mink Creek, Idaho where Peter had employment on a farm. There wasn't a house for them to live in but their employer let them live in his granary until they were able to build a one-room house, which they lived in for quite a while. It had only a dirt floor, but they would cover it with clean straw and then stretch homemade carpet over it. Here the children slept. Christina and her daughters kept the little house immaculately clean. The children spent much of their time out in the hills digging sego lily roots and picking berries. Seldom were they able to have shoes in the summer and they ran over the countryside in their bare feet, or rode a horse. It was their duty to herd the cows over the hills in the summertime.
When father Peter was able to accumulate enough to build a room onto the house they were all so happy, because all of the children had been sleeping on the floor. Now they would have more room. But soon the room was rented to a schoolteacher so the condition stayed about the same, except now they were getting a little rent money. Peter homesteaded some land and was soon able to be on his own.
Five more children were born to them in Mink Creek: Ellen Naomi, born June 2 1885, Nephi, born August 1, 1887, Carl Enoch, born December 22, 1889, Richard Lanard, born April 13, 1893, and Rebecca Evalyn, born January 14, 1898.
In February 1889 sadness came to their home when little Ellen, three and one half years old died of scarlet fever.
They built a larger home and were quite comfortable, but it seemed they always had schoolteachers living in their home.
Everyone worked together on the farm. The older girls worked in homes in Preston and Logan to help earn a living. They had very little schooling, but were taught at home.
At one time the girls got caught in a rainstorm in their new dresses. They hung them out to dry overnight, and they were stolen by the Indians. The girls learned to cook, crochet, knit, weave and many other things. Mother Christina wove and dyed cloth for dresses for the girls, so when their dresses were stolen, this must have been a real loss, because clothes were scarce. They all had to work very hard, but they had many joyous and good times.
Peter was very faithful in the principles of the Gospel, especially in the paying of tithing. He always said, "If we pay our tithing we will never be burned."
Peter was a successful but hard-working farmer in Mink Creek until poor health changed his life style and they moved to Logan, Utah, leaving Nephi and Enoch running the farm.
With their two youngest children still in their teens and yet unmarried, this dear couple joined each other in death the same year. Peter died on July 13, 1912, in Logan, Utah, and Christina on December 28, 1912 at Mink Creek. Both, however, are buried in the Logan Cemetery.