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
Rosetta Nelsen Jensen
Autobiography of Sarah Rosetta N(i)elson Jensen
I was born April 12, 1899, the 5th child of Lars Christian Nelson and Anna
Matilda Peterson Nelson. It was my privilege to be the first child to be born in
the new 2-room house made of log with wood shingles on the roof. The old house
had a mud roof and was abandoned just previous to my birth and was used
thereafter as a playhouse for us children.
When I was a baby, Etta Simons was boarding with our family and teaching school
in Mink Creek. Since my mother's health was poor, she helped with things in the
house and tended me quite a bit. In her later years, when she was in her 80's,
she regained contact with Anna and wrote me. Among other things, she said that I
was a pretty baby and it was a joy to help take care of me.
One vivid recollection I have of my early childhood experiences took place one
day when Mother was ill. Willard was staying home from school to help Mother
that day, and he was to take care of Etta and me. While Mother was resting, he
tied a long string to a big teakettle, which was on the stove, and I was jumping
the string. The teakettle fell and both my legs were scalded badly. The burns
were very painful, and I remember Mother continually changing the bandages on my
legs for several days.
I was 5 years old when my Mother died on July 3, 1904, just a few days more than
a month after the baby, May, was born. Mother had been in very poor health after
the baby died shortly after she was born. However, the morning of her death, she
told Father that if she felt as well that day as she had the day before, she was
going to go out and watch him repair the fence that afternoon.
It was still early in the day, and we were outside playing above the old house.
Suddenly everyone seemed excited as If something was happening. Finally, they
came out of the house and told us our Mother had died. She left behind a very
young family. Willard was 12, Anna 11, Edwin 9, Etta 3, and I was 5. There were
to be many sad and lonely days ahead for her young family and husband.
Mother was dressed and prepared for burial in the old home. Father picked Etta
and me up on his knees to see her. I remember they had stacked money on her eyes
to keep them shut.
Mother's funeral was a big one. There was a long line of buggies in the
procession. Harry Jensen, who was later to become my husband, remembered that he
was out working in the fields the day of the funeral and saw the procession
going to the Church. He remembers that as far as he could see either way there
were buggies traveling to the funeral. In her memory, the Bishop called off all
annual 4th of July programs and activities In Mink Creek that year. So, we know
she was very well loved and held the respect of the community.
After mother's death, I remember Father would get up every morning and make a
fire, take Etta on his knee in a shawl and hold her on his knee and rock her
while the rest of us were getting up.
At this time, while I was just a little girl, I remember mainly two things. One
being that Etta and I played with dolls a lot in the old house. In my youth,
this was the most fun I had. I always got a-pretty doll for Christmas.
I must have missed my mother a lot, because the only other thing I remember at
that time of my life is being lonely at sundown. Every night as the sun went
down, I had such a lonely feeling that I always dreaded the time when it would
set. I would get a pain through me every night. Often, I would go out and walk
around the big creek after sundown and have a terrible lonely feeling go through
me. It seemed that no matter what I was doing or how much fun I was having, as
the sun started to set I would start getting the pain. Sometimes when I was
sitting in the swing alone during the day, I'd start to worry about the sun
I was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on my
8th birthday, April 12, 1907 by my father in the Creek in Grandpa Nelson's
Uncle Jim's family lived close to us and his daughter, Ivie and I were very good
friends. We played together and did our lessons together. We would compare notes
with our lessons by working our arithmetic separately and then checking our
answers. If we disagreed on an answer, we would both work the problem again. In
our English lessons, we would make up two sentences together and each write one
down. We would also read a story and the first one through would wait until the
other finished and then we would read it over again.
We were good friends and enjoyed a lot of experiences together until she moved
with her family to Brigham City, Utah when we were in the 5th or 6th grade. One
Christmas, several years later, she came to visit in Mink Creek, and stayed with
me during the holidays. Right after she went back to Brigham City, she died of
the flu during a bad flu epidemic, which took a lot of lives that winter.
The Mink Creek School consisted of 8 grades at the time I was growing up, and I
graduated from the 8th grade. There were no graduation exercises of any kind. I
just received my diploma in the mail from the Superintendent of Schools at
There was no chance for me to go to High School because Father didn't think the
girls needed further education. However, Etta and I were the only ones in the
family who weren't able to attend High School at all. When we got older, we did
go to Idaho Falls for a 6-week course in sewing, and learned to make our own
On Sundays, we went as a family to Sunday School at 10:00, and since Sacrament
Meeting was at 2:00 in the afternoon, not allowing enough time for us to go home
and back (the distance from our home to the Church was about 6 miles and we
traveled with a buggy and team) we usually spent the 2-hour wait between
meetings visiting friends and relatives living close by the Church.
When I was 9 years old, we had a family picture taken In Preston, Idaho. Anna
made new dresses for us to have our pictures taken in. In fact, she made all of
our clothes from the time Mother died. Etta and I thought a lot of Anna. She
tried to fill in for our mother, and worried a lot about us. She had a lot of
responsibility at an early age. We all had a lot of responsibility. I milked
cows morning and night and helped with the hay as well as with the house.
There were a number of people always trying to pair Father up with some woman to
marry him off again, but he never seemed the least bit Interested. However, when
Jake Peterson, Nephi Nielsen's uncle, was serving a mission in Denmark, he met
Nelsine Jensen and when he saw her, a mantle came over her face and he saw our
Mother's face. So, when he returned from his mission and she had come to Salt
Lake City, he introduced her to Father, and after a short courtship, they were
married 5 years after my Mother's death, when I was 10 years old. Some of her
ways were quite different than we had been used to, and when she came she spoke
At first we didn't know what to call her, so we just called her "Her". Later on
we called her Ma, and in later years it was easy for me to call her Mother. It
pleased me when my Mother's family came to visit that they liked her.
She had two children, Sine and Howard. Sine died in infancy. We were thrilled to
have a new little brother. I surely enjoyed Howard and romped and played with
him when he was a little boy.
One day, when Howard was small, she bought him some half stockings in Salt Lake,
which had been very popular in Salt Lake at the time. I didn't like them and was
afraid people would make fun of him. I finally asked her not to let him wear
them. So, although she thought they were nice, for my sake she didn't put them
on him again. This incident made me know that she did respect my opinion and
wanted to please me. Father told me that she surely thought a lot of me. While I
was in school, she always had a surprise party for me on my birthday and would
invite some of my friends in for refreshments. I remember, the first time, she
had chocolate ice cream.
I learned the Danish language from her. I would read stories out of the Relief
Society Magazine and tell them to her in Danish, an activity we both enjoyed. My
older children remember she and I talking in Danish when we discussed things we
didn't want them to hear. In later years when she learned English, I forgot the
As we got older, Father didn't want us girls to go out and work. However. I did
have part-time work helping mothers of new babies.
My Church activities at this time consisted of teaching in the M.I.A. and the
Primary mostly. In my middle teens, I taught a religion class after school, and
when I was about 18. I was put in President of the M.I.A.
During the First World War, while I was M.I.A. President, we were asked by the
Church to glean wheat. There was a .00 savings stamp given to the Ward which
gleaned the most wheat. We gleaned a lot of wheat, mostly in Thomas Jensen's
fields, and came out way ahead of any other Wards in the Stake, thereby winning
In order for me to get to the M.I.A. Stake leadership meetings and M.I.A.
Conferences In Preston, I had to get a ride down with someone and usually stay
over for one or two days in Preston before 1 could get a ride back home. I
enjoyed very much working In the M.I.A. and tried to do what was asked of me.
One of the years I was President, the Flu Epidemic was so bad that we didn't
hold Mutual all winter.
Before Willard went on his Mission, Father had three rooms, a pantry, and a
clothes closet added onto the house. This was the first clothes closet we had
While Edwin was on his mission, I was cooking and milking cows at the farm we
had recently purchased just a little northwest of the Church. It was a red brick
home and has since been torn down. At the time, I had been terribly ill and was
there alone doing the cooking and helping with the milking. Willard and Orson
Kunz were running the place. They had both gone upstairs for the night, and as I
was lying in bed, it seemed that someone bent over me. I felt that it was my
Mother. She said nothing, but just bent over my bed. Shortly afterwards, I felt
much better, but every joint in my body was stiff and sore. When I went home and
told Father, he was very impressed and said he was sure it had been Mother and
that she took a terrible sickness away and left only the after-effects of
stiffness and soreness.
Father was clerk of the school board, and it was his job to acquire
schoolteachers who taught for a 5-month school year. One day, he was talking
with Sam Wilkinson, who managed the implement store in Preston where Father did
business. In the course of the conversation, Father told him they were in need
of a schoolteacher in Mink Creek. He said his niece, Ruth Matthews, from Ogden,
was a teacher and was looking for a school. The deal was made. She came to Mink
Creek that fall to teach and boarded with our family.
I had worked at a variety store for Mr. Childs in Rexburg, Idaho the year
before, and was going to go back again that year to work for him. The very day
father was going to take me to the train at Dayton, he became terribly ill, and
was taken to Preston to the Hospital, which was an old home used as a Hospital.
He was very ill and an operation was necessary. He had stomach ulcers and
Peritonitis set in. After he had been in the hospital a little more than a
month, he died. We didn't have a telephone, but we did receive word that he was
dying. Etta and I hadn't been able to go down to see him all during the whole
time he was hospitalized. Orlando Kunz took us to Preston when we received word
that he was dying. He was very near death when we got there and wasn't expected
to live through the night. He did live until the next day, but was in terrible
During his Illness, Willard and Edwin administered to him and when they had
finished, he said, "Oh, there's Ma -- Oh, and Grandma and Grandpa Peterson and
Grandma and Grandpa Nelson. Willard said, "Is Ma here?" He said, "Yes, can't you
see her? She's been with us all the time. You don't know what a help she's been.
Ma on earth (meaning our stepmother) will understand. It won't be long until
we'll all be together-- one big family."
The winter after Father died, Harry and I had the leading parts in a three act
M.I.A. play in the Ward. He would come and get me to go to the practices in a
sleigh. It was a romantic play and quite a thrill to play opposite him.
That winter we had a lot of fun going to various sorts of entertainment, usually
accompanied by Edwin and Ruth. Our main means of transportation was an open
The Jensen's had been wealthy and had a lot of land and cattle. When we were
about to be married, my neighbor lady said, "Anyone who gets those Jensen boys
is really lucky. They'll have pianos and organs and everything!"
My happiest days were after I was married. We had such a good time preparing for
our wedding. Edwin and Ruth and Harry and I were married the same day. Harry
came and got us in a sleigh and we rode in it from our home to his, then went
from there in a buggy to Preston on real bad roads. The first night out, Ruth
and I stayed with her Aunt Ida and Harry and Edwin stayed at Harry's father's
place in Preston. Ruth and I took the train the next morning to Ogden to
purchase our wedding dresses and stayed with her parents that night. Then Harry
and Edwin came and took us to get our marriage I licenses in Ogden. We took the
train early that morning to Salt Lake City and went to the early morning session
of the Temple to be married on April 5, 1922. There were a lot of couples
married that day. We stayed in a hotel that night and went to General Conference
the next day. Then Harry and I stayed at Willis and Amy Woodbury's (a missionary
companion of Harry's). They had been married only 6 weeks earlier.
Since Harry had been Conference President of the Western States Mission for 20
months and knew all the Missionaries in that mission, many of them attended the
wedding, including President and Sister Knight of the Western States Mission. We
went to the Missionary Reunion a few days later, and had a wonderful time.
One of the nights, we went to Ogden for Edwin and Ruth's wedding dance.
We came back from Salt Lake on the bus after having been gone about ten days.
When we got home, the Mink Creek people came serenading. This was a custom that
was carried on for many years there. The people came in sleighs, singing and
ringing bells. They came in the house and asked us to give a dance, as was the
custom. We, of course, consented to give a dance, which was held at the Church.
We hired an orchestra to play and it was a real nice dance. Willard and Iva gave
a shower for us at their home. Gifts were received, opened, and displayed.
Afterwards, refreshments of homemade ice cream and cake were served. These
events were really fun. Personal invitations weren't sent out, but everyone in
the ward was invited.
For our first home, we shared two rooms in Mother's house with her and Howard.
Edwin and Ruth lived in the other three rooms, and Edwin ran the farm. We bought
a new stove and new kitchen cabinets. We never felt crowded or cramped for
space, but felt fortunate at having a nice place to live. We carried water from
a spring that was quite a distance from the house for washing and general use.
We had no washer, but did all our laundry on a washboard.
The next year, Edwin and Ruth moved to Ogden, where Edwin taught school, and
Harry took over running Mother's farm as well as his own. We continued to live
with Mother and Howard, moving into the three rooms with a pantry, closet, and
spacious porch. A new schoolteacher and his wife moved into the other two rooms.
Father had given Anna a sewing machine when she was married. Mother said he had
meant to give Etta and I one too, so, although her resources were low, she
bought us each a Singer sewing machine right after I was married. She was
certainly fair with us.
While we were living with Mother, our first baby was born. Since the roads were
very bad and it was wintertime, Harry's mother wanted us to stay in Preston with
them so the baby could be born down there near a Doctor. So, Margie was born at
the Jensen home February 7, 1923. In the fall of that year, we moved to a threeroom
house about three miles south on Harry's property, which was to become the
family home. He was in partnership with two of his brothers, Frank and Dan, in a
farming and ranching operation for several years. They later dissolved the
partnership and divided up the property.
Rodney, Max, Juanita, Opal, and Carolyn were all born in the family home. Rodney
was born September 14, 1924, Max on October 7, 1926, and Juanita on November 22,
1929. Opal was born June 8, 1933 and died four days later. Carolyn was born
September 6, 1934. Coralie and Harry Jr. were born in the Preston Hospital.
Coralie was born May 24, 1938. Harry Jr. was born on October 24, 1943 and lived
only 6 hours.
When Coralie was born, I was in the hospital for two weeks, and ordered to stay
in bed for a long time after I left the hospital. One night, in a dream, Father,
Mother and Howard's Mother came and stood in the room. They all looked very
pleasant, but the only one to say anything was Howard's mother, and she just
said, "Rosetta" in just the same way she always did when she was alive. In a
little while, the same thing took place again, so I got up and walked over to
the baby and covered her and went back to bed. When I got back in bed, I had the
same experience for the third time. Afterwards, Anna asked me how Mother's hair
was fixed. I said, "That was one thing which puzzled me because it was puffed
out on the sides and I had always seen it in pictures pulled back straight. She
said the way I had described it was the way she wore it before she died.
We added on to the house, making the existing rooms larger and adding new ones
until the house became a large three-bedroom home. There was eventually a very
spacious, convenient kitchen with a nice breakfast nook attached. Harry spent a
lot of time making the benches rounded in the breakfast nook, and also rounding
the corners and legs of the table. A new roof was put on and new floors,
windows, and cabinetwork were added. Harry put a lot of work and time into the
house, working well into the night many times. He took a lot of pride in his
work, and was very particular about little details. Everything he turned out was
neat and attractive. I was really proud of our home and all the work he put into
the beautiful finishing touches.
Just before Rodney was born, we bought a gas washer. It was the first washer I
had ever had. It had to be cranked, so I had to wash when Harry was working
around close so he could start it for me. It ran on a belt. I was thrilled with
this new convenience. Up to that time, I had done all the washing on a
We planted trees just before Max was born, and took a picture of Juanita
standing by one of the pine trees when she was 3 or 4 years old. They were
nearly the same size. Through the years, they got to be very large beautiful
I carded wool and made a lot of quilts with it. Of course, there were no
furnaces; just stoves, so the nights were cold and we needed a lot of bedding.
At Christmastime, we had candles on the tree. We had to stay right in the room
while they were lit, and would usually all go in and light them at night and sit
around the tree enjoying them for the evening. Of course, we had to blow them
out before we left the room.
It was a very sad day, October 27, 1945, when, in a farm accident in our yard,
Harry's life was taken. His passing was a terrible shock to the whole family,
but especially to me. I had depended on him a great deal, and wondered how I was
going to manage without him. At this time, Margie had been married only a month
and was living with her husband in Tyler Texas, where he was stationed with the
Max was at Lowry Field, Colorado, serving in the Air Force. Coralie had been in
bed with Rheumatic Fever for several months, and only the day before Harry's
death, she had been able to be on her feet a little. We had both been so happy
that she was recovering. The shock and excitement caused a relapse, sending her
back to bed for another three months. This, and other problems were much harder
to face alone. Harry had been a good provider and a wonderful husband and
father. His funeral service was very well attended, and mainly consisted of
wonderful tributes to him. He left many evidences of his talent in carpentry
throughout the community, as well as a strong feeling of love for the good
friend, neighbor, and teacher he had been.
Max was discharged from the Air Force and Rodney was called on a mission to the
Northern States with headquarters at Chicago, Illinois. Later, Max served a
mission to the North Central States Mission, with headquarters in Minneapolis,
Minnesota. While he was out, the Mission was changed to the West Central States
with headquarters in Billings, Montana. After we moved to Logan, Juanita filled
a mission to the Netherlands. Her Mission Home was located at The Hague. They
all served the Church and represented their family well.
Seven years after Harry's death, Rodney bought the farm and we moved to Logan,
Utah, thereby changing the family home address to 471 East 2nd South, Logan.
This house had a basement apartment, which was to be helpful in making a living,
and after the children were all married and left home, having someone in the
house was company for me.
After Harry's death, I was put in Relief Society Secretary in Mink Creek, a
position I held for several years. This was a great help to me and I enjoyed the
association with the women. After moving to Logan, I worked in the Primary and
Relief Society, which was certainly helpful in getting acquainted in a new Ward.
In my patriarchal blessing, I was promised that I would have the privilege to
have and enjoy the blessings of a good family and peace and love would be in my
home. This blessing has been fulfilled. All of my children have been married in
the Temple and hold responsible positions in the Church. At the time of this
writing, I have 21 grandchildren.
Children and grandchildren of Harry and Rosetta Jensen
1. Margie and John Worley
Joan, Kenneth, Diane, Cynthia
2. Rodney and Virginia Jensen
Sheldon, Bruce, Steven, Stanford, Paul, Tamara
3. Max and Hilma Jensen
Karen, Connie, David, Linda
3. Max and Marie Jensen
4. Juanita and Madison Morrell
Ronald, Barbara, Beverly, Douglas, Rebecca, Roger, Richard
5. Opal Jensen (died as a child)
6. Carolyn and Clair Wyatt
Stewart, Gary, Scott, Nancy, Gordon
7. Coralie and Robert Morrow
8. Harry Jensen Jr. (Died as a child)
As of January 2003 Harry and Rosetta Jensen had 29 grandchildren, 79 great-grandchildren and 6