Lars C. N(i)elson History
Anna Matilda N(i)elson
Hans L. N(i)elsen
Lars C. N(i)elsen
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 and Christina Olson History
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.
By Aileen Ashbakey Hubbard
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
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
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
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
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.