Written by His Daughter Juanita J. (Jensen) Morrell
My father, Harry Jensen, was born to Thomas Jensen and Hansine Marie Jensen the 26th of January
1891, at their home in Mink Creek, Idaho. He had a twin sister, Hannah. She was larger than he, so
the mid-wife thought that her chances of survival were much better than his, so she attended to her
needs first. My father was very small so she didn't expect him to live. He as kept warm during early
infancy in a shoebox on the oven door. His sister, Hannah, died in infancy, but my father grew
stronger and was quite healthy throughout his life.
He began school at the age of six in Mink Creek. He always walked or rode a horse a distance of
two miles to school. After grade school he attended the Oneida Stake Academy at Preston for one
year: That was the extent of his formal education.
Until he was seventeen years old, he worked on his father's farm. Then for six years he herded
sheep for his brothers, Hans and James. In 1914, he and two brothers, Frank and Daniel, together
with Ferdinand Christensen, bought eighty acres of land from Amos Keller and farmed it until
1922, when they sold it to Leslie Keller. He then bought part of his father's farm and sold all but
twelve and one-half acres to his brother, Frank, in 1932. My father built the house and all the other
buildings that now stand on those twelve and one-half acres. The house, which stands there, was
not quite finished at the time of his death. He bought his father's homestead of a hundred and sixty
acres from Adam and Elias Keller. He kept that land for the rest of his life.
He was a good farmer and carpenter. He became very skillful at irrigating. The side hills were a
challenge because the water tended to run straight down in gullies, washing away the topsoil in
some places and leaving other areas dry. Also, gopher holes often diverted the water unexpectedly.
Dad was very patient and skillful at controlling the water, so our fields were evenly green and were
devoid of gullies. His father had been one of the main persons responsible for the construction of
the irrigation ditch that flowed high up on the hillsides above the farms. Dad was secretary of the
irrigation company for many years. It was his job to assign water turns. He was also often the
peaceful arbitrator of water disputes. To ease the problems, he assigned himself the least desirable
turns when possible. He enjoyed irrigating in his high gumboots accompanied by a faithful dog. I
remember Ben, and later Snyde, as devoted companions.
Dad built many of the houses and barns in Mink Creek. He did a lot of building repairs for others.
He also cut hair for any of the neighbors. His barbering was at their convenience and at no cost to
Dad was baptized and confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at the
age of nineteen. He fulfilled a mission from 1919-1921 in the Western States. He labored in
Denver, Colorado, where he was conference president for twenty months. He baptized twenty-five
converts, performed eight marriage ceremonies, and witnessed many cases of healing. He was also
senior companion to Harold B. Lee, who later became a member of the Quorum of the Twelve.
Dad returned from his mission in August 1921, and married my mother, Rosetta Nelson, April 5,
1922, in the Salt Lake Temple. My mother's brother, Edwin, was married the same day to Ruth
My parents leased my grandmother's place for nearly a year until they moved to their own farm
where they raised a family of six children.
Dad was always very active in the Church. At one time he served as president of the YMMIA. He
was also second counselor to the superintendent of the Sunday School for several years. In
December 1937, he was released from the Sunday School superintendency and was chosen second
counselor to Bishop L. Willard Nelson.
Dad had a great deal of faith and was often healed by it. At one time a barbed wire pierced his
eyeball while he was catching sheep for shearing. Dr. Reynolds of Logan, Utah, told him that the
eye would have to be removed or he would be blind in both eyes. My father insisted that he had
enough faith to be healed. The doctor gave him five days to go home, but told him he was very
foolish. The elders administered to him and the ward set aside a special day for fasting and prayer
in his behalf. When he went back, the doctor told him the eye had improved greatly and would
My mother put hot packs on his eyes for long stretches at a time. He never returned to the doctor
and the eye became normal again.
Later, he had serious troubles when a horse kicked him in the eye. Mom was again kept busy
applying hot packs and that injury eventually healed, too.
At one time, the doctor concluded that some problems Dad was having must be caused by his teeth,
so they extracted all of them. That didn't solve the problem. They finally decided that his tonsils
were at fault and removed them.
At times, Dad was bothered by ulcers in his eyes. These were treated effectively by Mom's hot
packs. He was also bothered with stomach ulcers. In spite of these illnesses and accidents, Dad
always seemed healthy and very active. Mom always worried about him because he was so thin and
he worked so hard.
Dad was a kind, pleasant person. He was always very considerate and loving to my mother. He
always thanked her as he kissed her after each meal. We children were taught to treat our parents
with love and respect.
The Depression made my parents' financial situation very difficult. They worried a lot about their
finances. But due to my father's good farming practices and my mother's homemaking skills, we
children were always well fed and clothed and felt very secure and loved.
Our parents taught us the principles of the Gospel and always let us kno w that they expected us to
be good members of the Church.
We had cows and chickens on our farm as long as I can remember. We sold the cream and later the
whole milk to the Sego Milk Company in Preston. It was hauled by truck to Preston. We sold our
eggs to the Utah Poultry Cooperative Association.
During the early 1940s, our financial situation improved. But we were at war. Dad always followed
closely the news of World War II as it was reported over the radio. He listened with interest to the
speeches of President Franklin D. Roosevelt regarding the financial status of our country and
regarding the progress of the war. Dad also enjoyed humorous radio programs such as Amos and
Dad enjoyed evenings reading aloud to the family. We read good books and stories, but one of my
favorites that I remember best was a continued story in the Idaho Farmer about an English-speaking
Caucasian boy and a Spanish-speaking Mexican boy who were captured by Indians, escaped and
had many exciting adventures in their lengthy wanderings as they attempted to find their way
home. The story ended happily.
Dad liked my mother's homemade bread. In the evenings after chores were finished, he often had a
bowl of bread and milk, accompanied by canned fruit. Also, I was often intrigued by his liking for
green onions, which he often ate with his bread and milk. My memory contains many interesting
little homey, heart warming memories of a great man who was my much-beloved father.
One Saturday morning, October 27th, 1945, he went out into the yard to put a reach in a wagon.
Just as my mother was about to go out to show him a letter we had received from my brother, Max,
saying that he would be discharged from the Army Air Corps in a week, my Uncle Frank and his
son, Varon, came and told us they had found him with his head pinned between the reach and the
hay rack --dead. This was only about fifteen minutes after he had left the house. He had a bruise on
his temple and one on his hand. There were no broken bones and the doctor said he had been killed
His funeral was held the following Thursday in the Mink Creek ward chapel. He was buried in the
Mink Creek cemetery. By following his teachings and example, we, his children, hope to meet him
The home in which his family was raised and where he died is less than a quarter of a mile from the
home where he was born and raised.
Written by his daughter Carolyn J. Wyatt
My father, Harry Jensen, was born in Mink Creek, Idaho, January 26th, 1891. He was a very tiny
baby; weighing just a little over two pounds. His twin sister Hannah seemed quite healthy but they
felt great concern for Dad's life. Hannah, however, died a month after birth of pneumonia.
Dad's parents, Thomas and Hansine Marie Jensen, left their homeland Denmark for America the
day they were married. They were converts to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
His parents were kind and hard-working people. Dad lived all of his life in Mink Creek.
One day when he was just a boy, his parents had gone away and Dad and his brothers were left to
milk the cows. They were busy at their play when suddenly it started getting dark. Thinking they
had lost track of time, they quickly ran to the field for the cows and about the time they got them
home to the barn it started getting light again. They were surely a confused and frightened bunch of
boys. They found out later there had been an eclipse of the sun causing the darkness.
As a boy he enjoyed the wide open spaces of his father's farm and, as a man, the fields, cattle, wild
flowers, and all beauties of nature were very much appreciated by him.
Because of disagreements with the authorities, his father was excommunicated from the Church
and so the children weren't baptized until they were old enough to decide for themselves. As a
young man, Dad herded sheep and while doing this he studied the scriptures and gained a testimony
of the Gospel. After joining the Church at nineteen, he was asked to go on a mission, but because of
Grandfather's feelings toward the Church he wouldn't support him, so the call was turned down.
When he was twenty-six, he again received a call and by now his testimony was strong enough to
know the Lord would help him if he did his best. He made arrangements to be supported by a bank
and went on his mission to the Western States, headquarters in Denver, Colorado. When Dad left
for his mission, however, Grandpa gave him a hundred dollars.
He records in his diary: "My farewell dance was held June 27th, 1919. I received as a missionary
fund sixty-seven dollars. I left home July 7th at about nine a.m. I rode with Hans in his Ford. Dan
and his wife and Pearl came down in the Studebaker. I left Preston in company with Elder Melvin
J. Keller and his mother at 5:15 o'clock p.m July the 8th I was set apart and given my instructions
for a mission to the Western States. Sixty-three elders and lady missionaries were set apart this day.
Wednesday, the 9th of July, I went through the temple and at 5: 25 p. m. was on my way over the
UPRR for Denver.”
Dad always liked to laugh and his laugh was indeed hearty. He records in his diary that on
September 3rd he attended a party with many missionaries and Saints; "It was the first good laugh I
had in the mission field.
He studied the scriptures and the writings of B.H. Roberts and James E. Talmage and in his diary
he continually mentions he spent the evening studying the scriptures and, as a child, I remember
him spending a lot of time reading scriptures and preparing for Sunday School and Priesthood
November 16th, 1919, he was chosen to take Elder Poulton’s place as President of the Denver
Conference and was set apart by John L. Herrick and President John M. Knight. He served in this
position for the remainder of his mission which was twenty months. When he was released to come
home, Harold B. Lee was chosen to replace Dad.
While on his mission, his father became seriously ill and Dad came home for a month to take care
of him. He then returned to finish his mission. He had the privilege of baptizing twenty converts
into the Church and also performing eight marriages while on his mission.
Soon after being released from his mission he married our mother April 5, 1921. They made their
home in Mink Creek. His father's homestead was divided and each boy received a share. The
Depression was on heavy by this time and his land was mortgaged when he came home from his
mission and money was very hard to come by. The note was about due on his mission debt and he
didn't have the money to pay. Then, quite by surprise, Mother received an inheritance from a great
uncle in Sweden and it was enough to pay that debt.
They were very happy but it often was hard to make ends meet. During the Depression he rode a
horse when he had one or walked five miles to work and earn a dollar a day and was very happy for
In Dad's patriarchal blessing he was told that he had been blessed with the gift of healing and I
remember the neighbors always called on Dad to administer to them when they were ill. They felt
the power to heal that he had.
Dad was called to fulfill a stake mission and he lived for six weeks in Dayton, Idaho.
Dad had many faith promoting experiences throughout his life which strengthened his testimony. In
the year 1926, a barbwire ran through his eye and pierced the eyeball which caused him months of
suffering and temporary blindness. Miracle drugs were not available in those days and Mother hot
packed his eye for hours. She would hot pack it for an hour and then not for an hour and then hot
packs again for an hour day after day, but his eye got infected and his condition worsened. One day
while in the hospital, the eye specialist told him that his eye must be taken out because it could
never be healed and would soon affect his other eye. He felt, however, that through the faith he had
and the power of the Priesthood his eye could be healed, so he refused the operation. Finally, the
doctor' consented to postpone the operation and let him return home for two days. A day of fasting
and prayer was called in the Mink Creek Ward in his behalf and he was administered to by those
holding the Priesthood. Through his faith in the Lord and the prayers of others, his eye was healed
completely and he never consulted his doctor again.
Some of the fond memories I had of him as a child were mostly associated with the out-of-doors. In
the spring, as he planted the grain, I would sit with him on the box of the drill as the horses, Old
Dime and Babe, plodded along. He was never' too busy to stop and look for the first tiny snow
drops as they poked their tiny white blossoms out of the ground and through the last of the
springtime snow. He often picked flowers and brought them to Mother.
Before the new part of our house was built, our kitchen was one of the late, bedrooms. He and I
were shelling peas one night in there and as we worked he taught me a little poem:
Once a trap was bated with a piece of cheese.
It tickled so a little mouse, it almost made him sneeze.
An old rat said, "There’s danger,' Be careful where you go."
Nonsense," said Mousie, "1 don't believe you know."
So he walked in boldly, nobody in sight.
First he took a nibble; then he took a bite.
Closed the trap together" snap! As quick as a wink,
Catching Mousie fast there, because he didn't think.
I was able to memorize it during that evening and he made a big fuss about how fast I could
Another poem he taught me was:
The big silver, dollar, and little red cent
Rolling along together went.
Rolling along on the smooth sidewalk
When the dollar remarked (for dollars can talk),
I'm bigger and twice as bright.
I'm worth more than you, a hundred fold
And written on me in letters bold
Is the motto drawn from the highest creed,
'In God We Trust,' that all might read."
"1 know," said the cent, "I'm a cheap little mite.
I know I'm not big nor good nor bright,
But yet," said the cent with a meek little sigh,
"You don't go to church as often as I."
He also sang cute nonsense songs to us a lot. One was titled "Inky, Dinky, Do, Dum, Di." Another
was about an owl. He had a good singing voice.
He was slow to anger, but I found out he could get angry. I was assigned to clean eggs, a task I
disliked with a passion. I took a big pan full of dirty eggs and threw them in the creek and Dad saw
me. He was very angry with me and I was punished.
One day as he and I were bringing a new calf from the pasture to the barn, Dennie Jensen was
playing in Aunt Dora’s pasture and he called out, "Uncle Harry, how much will you take for the
calf?” and Dad said, "Oh, fifty cents.” In a few minutes, Dennie was at our house with fifty cents.
Dad took the money and let Dennie have the calf. Dennie took real good care of it and, as the
weeks passed, Dad talked to Dennie a lot his calf.
I was asked to give a two-and-a-half minute talk in Sunday School on Conference Sunday the same
October that he died. Rodney had taken the car to Salt Lake for Conference, so Dad walked the
three miles with me to church. He compliment highly on my willingness to walk that long way to
fulfill my assignment.
The lesson he taught me at that time has always stuck in my mind. He wanted me to be dependable
and he encouraged me by showing me the way. The leaves on the trees were brilliant gold and red
and again he talked of the beauties of nature.
Because of his great faith and his gift of healing, I heard many of his friends make comments to the
effect that if he should ever die, his life would have to end in a fast accident because his faith was
so strong he would have to be healed any other way. And so it was on a beautiful Saturday
morning, October 27th, 1945, he went whistling out to his daily work. He talked to each member of
the family that was home. I was out in the yard loading some wood in my arms to carry into the
house. As he passed me, he said, "At's a stuff. Help Mama.” To my knowledge, these were his last
A farmer must always spend as much time repairing his equipment as using it and this particular
Saturday morning was a repairing day. He went out in the yard to repair the hayrack while working
underneath it, the braces slipped and the hayrack fell on him. A bolt hit him on his temple. He also
had a bruise on the back of his hand. Uncle Frank and Varon came to help him work and found him
dead. The doctor declared he had died instantly. His funeral was held in the Mink Creek Ward on
November 1st. Winter set in that day: he was buried in the Mink Creek cemetery during a terrible
He was greatly missed by the entire ward. He had always been active in the ward. He served as a
counselor to Bishop Willard Nelson. He had held leadership and teaching positions in Sunday
School, MIA, and the Priesthood Quorums. He also did a lot of temple work. He was kind and
found much joy in offering his services whenever he could help in church positions or just as a
good friend and neighbor.
He was missed by his dog, Snyde, who was with him when he was killed. For weeks Snyde laid
under the pine tree and whenever the door opened, he jumped up and ran to the door, only to drop
his tail between his legs and limp back to the pine tree when he realized it wasn't Dad at the door.
He howled a pitiful and mournful howl every night for a long time.
He was especially missed by his family who loved him dearly. He didn't leave us a lot of worldly
things, but he left a good name and reputation to be admired by kings.
During my growing-up years whenever I came in contact with someone who knew him they always
told me of some kind, honest, or worthwhile thing he had done. One evening after a Stake
Conference meeting where President Harold B. Lee had presided and spoken, I got up enough
nerve to go to him and introduce myself. He put his arm around me, gave me a hug, and expressed
to me the admiration he had for my father who had been his Conference President in Denver some
forty years earlier.
Dad had a strong testimony of the Gospel and bore it often. I feel sure he ga ined for himself a place
in God's Kingdom.