Monday, October 6, 2008

Christmas Exchange 2008

Here is the result of the gift exchange we did on Sunday

Christmas 2008

Kevin giving to: Jared
Jenny giving to: Kelli
Nate giving to: Jonathan
Sarah giving to Shawn
Lynell gives to Jen
Tony giving to Justin
Justin to Liz
Sarah Ann to Benson
Shawn to Tony
Eve giving to Cheryl
Cheryl to Lynell
Benson to Sarah Ann
Jared gives to Eve
Liz to Nathan
Kelli to Sarah
Jonathan to Kevin

Becca gives to Allyson
Jessica giving to Zach
Roz gives to Anna
Ally giving to Clark
Eliza gives to Jessica
Maddy giving to Sofia
Zach gives to Lorena
Hannah giving to Eliza
Andrew gives to Elizabeth
Katie gives to Austin
Lorena hasAndrew
Emma hasDavid
Sofia has Anneka
Clark has Daniel
David has Madeline
Elizabeth has Colette
Julia has Emma
Anna has Becca

William H Jensen



William Hebert Jensen was born May 1, 1875 in Bear River City, Box Elder County, Utah, a son of James Lars Jensen and Bertha Maria Carlsen Jensen. The family lived at Bear River until Will (as he was called) was 11 years old. The following children, brothers and sisters of Will, were born at Bear River:

1. William. H. Jensen, May 1. 1875, died November 25, 1956.

2. Mary Lavina Jensen Nelson Peterson, August 15, 1877- May 20. 1926.

3. Reuben Conrad Jensen, Jan 11, 1880-May 15, 1886.

4. Elmo Carlos Jensen, September 21, 1883 -November. 16, 1959.

When Elmo was just a small baby the family moved to Cache Valley and settled in Hyrum. Grandfather had been called to work on the Logan Temple. They bought a corner lot with a one room log house. While living in the log house

5. Carrie JaVan Jensen Peterson was born July 10, 1885, died October 18. 1956.

A few years later a nice brick home was built on this same lot. Here the other children were born:

6. Chester James Jensen, November 1, 1887-December 25, 1960.

7. Joseph Leroy Jensen, November. 23, 1889-November 9, 1908.

8. Harris Leonard Jensen, April 24, 1893-November 9, 1935.

9. Lula Engre Pearl Jensen Clark, January 14, 1897-March 7, 1963.

10. Maud Melvina Jensen Buck, April 16, 1899 – June 8, 1979.

Dad was baptized and confirmed a member of the Latter Day Saints .July 22, 1853.

During Dad’s early days in Hyrum it was his responsibility to herd cattle on the near-by hills. Here he would put in long hard hours of work for a boy of 12 years. He also was a lookout for the marshal’s team. When he saw this team of horses coming he would let the men who were 1iving in polygamy know so that they could go in hiding.

We do not know how much education our father had, but we know that he took advantage of every opportunity he had to attend school. He was very good at adding figures in his head. When Dad was just 14 years old his father was called to serve a mission to Sweden, May 5, 1889 to August 5, 1891. Dad being the oldest member of the, family was left with the responsibility of caring for the farm. and helping his mother earn a living: for the family. He worked long hours and had very little time for fun.

At the time James L. purchased their home in Hyrum, they also purchased land in what was known the North Field. This was an irrigated farm. Dad did most of the irrigation. He had to ride four or five miles on horseback each time he tended the water.

In his earlier years at Hyrum, Dad was an apprentice to his father in the mason trade. During this time he learned the mason trade largely in rock construction. This type of work led to bricklaying at which he primarily earned his living. He worked in Cache Valley building many homes, fireplaces and chimneys. He worked on the Elite Dance Hall at Hyrum. Later on he worked at Kenner, Wyoming and in Idaho.

William H Jensen married Alice Wilson on January 18, 1899 in the Logan Temple. He was then 24 years old. At this time they purchased a lot one block south of the Hyrum 1st Ward meeting house, 389 Center Street. This lot was all in fruit trees and brush. They worked hard removing much of the rough growth and built their first home. Here they spent most of their married life.

Children of William H. Jensen and Alice Wilson Jensen were:

1. Harris William Jensen – Dec 5, 1899 – Nov 18, 1910 (WW1)

2. Ruby Jensen Zollinger – Sept 25, 1902 – July 27, 1973

3. George Golden Jensen – August 29, 1903 – July 9, 1941

4. Evan Dewayne Jensen – May 24, 1905 – Dec 22, 1996

5. Alice Fern Jensen Smith – November 13, 1908 – October 23, 1993

6. Gertrude Jensen Iverson Mortensen – January 25, 1911 – January 25, 2005

Dad stressed to his family the importance of having a good education. George farmed and worked for Utah Power and Light. Ruby served a 2 year mission to the North Eastern States. Dewayne graduated from Utah State Agriculture College. He taught school for a number of years. Then he worked in the Bureau of Land Management - Department of the Interior. Fern graduated from the Budge School of Nursing at Logan. She worked as a Registered Nurse most of her life. Fern and her husband served as Mission President in the Philippine Mission. Gertrude graduated from Utah State Agriculture College at Logan. She taught school specializing in the teaching of reading.

As a sideline, Dad was interested in raising beef cattle to supply meat for his family. He used to give his children, after they were married, a half beef at Christmas time. He also liked to share meat with the widows and those less fortunate.

He served as President of the Cache Valley Live Stock Association.

He took an active interest in community affairs. He served two or more terms as City Councilman. In his later years, he was Justice of the Peace.

Dad and Mother worked for many years on the Old Folks Committee. At this time, all members of the ward and former members attended a big supper, program and a dance at night. Dad really enjoyed this – it gave him an opportunity to renew friendships and visit with lots of people.

He as a staunch Republican and was active in country politics. He served as an assessor for many years.

He worked with the officials of the Cache National forest. As President of the Live Stock Association, it was his duty to oversee the fencing in the Cache forest and that the fences were always maintained. Dad and O. M. Wilson frequently headed up the work crews. This he enjoyed - working out in the open country.

In the fall, when they had a cattle round-up and the branding of the cattle, Dad was always excited and happy. He loved to take a day or two and go up into the mountains to stay with George Richmond, the association range rider, and eat sourdough bread and lamb chops cooked in an open pit.

Dad lived in Hyrum all his married life except one winter when he worked at building many of the buildings at 2nd street on the Defense Depot. He and mother lived in a little apartment in Ogden on 24th street. They were very happy there and enjoyed living in the city. Mother enjoyed taking care of this small apartment. They lived close to mother’s sister Adeline. Mother liked going with her sister to visit all the relations in Ogden and going shopping in the city.

Dad was ordained a High Priest in his later years. This pleased mother very much. At this late time in life he quit smoking so he could be advanced in the Priesthood . This was a great sacrifice for him, but mother had told him she could not live with that smoke any longer. So he stopped smoking because of his great love for his wife.

After their children were all married and had families of their own, we spent many good times on picnics in the canyons. Dad loved to be out in the great open spaces.

When Dad would come to visit with his children, he loved to visit for a short time – then, “It’s time to go home Mother”.

One big event in Dad’s life was the celebrating of their Golden Wedding, January 18, 1949. We had an open house, inviting friends to call. The night before there was a very heavy snowstorm. When Dad got up and saw all that snow, he was sure nobody would come and he couldn’t possibly clean the paths of all that snow. But before long, the city crews came and cleaned all the walks and streets so cars could park. Many friends and relations called to pay their respect and renew friendships. People from all over Cache Valley came. Bricklayers, cattlemen, politicians, friends and relations. Dad so enjoyed visiting with all of them. The children gave Dad and Mother an electric blanket. (This was something new at the time). Dad kept going in to feel if it was getting warm and was so sure he wouldn’t like it – but it did work and he enjoyed sleeping nice and warm. He said that was the greatest thing yet. When that one wore out, he quickly bought another and another.

Dad was a very hard working man and a good provider for his family. He was honest in all his dealings and his word was his bond. He had the ability of when he removed your coat of making you feel as if you had no worries or cares and he carried the load for you. He loved helping people.

He loved to sit out on the back porch and visit with family friends and neighbors. He was well loved and respected by all who knew him.

Dad died of a heart attack on November 25, 1956 and was buried in the Hyrum Cemetery on Mother’s birthday. On the day of his funeral, all stores and places of business were closed during funeral time to pay their last respect to father. He was 81 years old at the time of his death.

Reminisces of Father

Dewayne, Fern, Gertrude (1956)

Dewayne: My brother George and I apprenticed to my Dad on many of the jobs he did locally. George got so he did some of the brick laying work. I later did some brick-laying. I well remember when we were working on the Elite Hall in Hyrum. We devised a means by which we filled the buckets with mortar and pulled them up by pulleys to the masons. I remember I was leading the horse, which would pull the buckets up to the tops of the building. This particular day a severe hail storm came up and I really got a belting with the hail. Dad was well known for his brick work in Cache Valley. I also remember when he was working at Kemmer Wyoming and Idaho. This left George and me to do a big share of the farm work.

Fern: One thing I always remember is our raspberry picking. The folks had two raspberry patches. During the raspberry season, we would be up at 4am every morning to pick raspberries. It usually took us all day to pick the two patches. But if we got through early we always had to go help the neighbor across the street, Olof Olsen. So sometime we weren’t the best of workers because we didn’t want to have to help Mr. Olsen. I remember Mother was thrilled when we were able to sell the berries for $1.00 a case. The three girls would take turns doing all the cooking – three meals a day dishes and house work, this was a privilege compared with picking raspberries. We have now lived long enough that we can again eat raspberries and enjoy them – but it took a long time.

Gertrude: As a family we enjoyed going to the mountains. We often went to the summer home of Aunt LaVina’s at the forks in Blacksmith Fork Canyon. But the thing I remember most is the homestead of Aunt Javan’s. They were homesteading this ground and the house was built on such a steep hill that they had to tie it to the trees so that I would not slide down the hill. I remember we could not drive up the steep mountain, so we would have to get out and walk up to the cabin. Dad would pick up rocks and by the time we reached the cabin, we would have enough sage hens killed for dinner. I remember one night lying petrified in the cabin because of the noise I could hear. But everyone else seemed to be sound asleep. In the morning, we soon discovered that we had been visited by a pack rat and it had taken all our stockings. Nobody had any stockings to put on that day.

Another time I remember we went to step out of our bunk beds there was a rattle snake coiled up in the middle of the floor. We jumped back into bed and Uncle Ren came and killed the snake.

In the evenings the men would build a huge bonfire. We would all sit around the fire and sing songs and listen to stories about mountain lions. Then Dad would leave the group and make such frightening sounds. It took me a long time to find out it was Dad and not a mountain lion.

Dewayne: When Dad brought the cattle down from the range each fall we would have a rodeo. We had a young heifer which had the reputation of being able to throw off every rider. The biggest form of entertainment was to rope and ride calves. This one particular time, we got Leon Bradley, who was supposed to be such a good rider to try riding our heifer. There were 60 to 100 kids setting along the fence watching. When Leon got on this wild calf, he was thrown so fast he didn’t know what had happened to him. He was thrown flat on his back. When he rose up and saw all of us laughing at him, he lay down and bawled.

Gertrude: Dad never felt that women were capable of doing the same things a man could do. How well I remember coming home one time after I was married. I had driven from Bingham Canyon to Hyrum. It was harvest time and Dad arranged to get all his men up to the farm. But then he didn’t have a way to get up to the farm himself. He went up and down both sides of the street for two blocks trying to find some man to take him up to the farm. But there weren’t any men at home. So he came and said, “Well I guess you will have to take me up to the farm”. This I was glad to do, but he made me drive in low gear all the way to the farm at Paradise while he had both hands on the door ready to jump out.

Fern: While we were growing up, Dad would never let us girls drive his car. So we would take the car when he was away. We would push the car out of the garage and over the bridge (Mother helped) because we didn’t know how to shift into reverse. When we got the car out on the street we would drive down to Allen’s store and we even got brave enough to drive to Logan. Mother gave us her permission, saying it was alright as long as we could get the car into the garage before Dad got home. We had great times doing this – until one day I drove into the garage too fast and knocked the garage off its foundation. We tried but never could push the garage back.

Dewayne: I will remember when Dad bought his first car, a Ford. He didn’t know how to drive a car at this time. A salesman brought the car over to our home. We all piled into the car and went up to the farm to practice. Dad would go forward and then he would slam on the brakes. Then he would back up. We really went for a wild ride. He practiced making all the signals and turns for about an hour – this was his lesson and he was now an authority on driving a car!

Gertrude: When we were little kids one of our duties was to bring home the cows from the pasture. Dad wouldn’t let us ride the pony, but we could take the old work horse “Balley”. This horse went when she pleased and no amount of kicking or coaxing could make her move. As a child I was always so afraid of bulls. Our pasture was inside of another pasture. In this pasture was a big old bull. We would come home with a big tale about the bull chasing us. Dad would always say, “Oh you girls”. Then he would send the boys after the cows and they would come back – never having even seen the old bull.

Fern: I will remember how one day my friend and I saddled the pony and were going for a horseback ride. We went around the block and all went well. We even had the horse on a good gallop. But when it came to the barn gate, the horse stopped but I continued and went right over its head. I was knocked out cold. When Dad came home and found out about my try at riding horses, boy did I get told off.

Gertrude: Dad never called me Gertrude, it was always his “Buttercup”. Dad loved to tease. At night when we were getting ready for bed, he loved to punch us and make us squeal. The only way we had of getting away from this was to get Mother to take him to bed. We went through this process almost every night.

I remember Grandmother Jensen giving us an organ so we could learn to play, but Dad said ”who in the hell wants to listen to that” ? So he would never build a fire in the front room. I remember wrapping up in a quilt and trying to practice, but my hands would soon be purples from the cold. So Dad was happy when we gave up the idea of learning to play the organ.

Fern: On the 4th of July, Dad would always give us a quarter to spend. But before we could have the money, we had to open his hands. Boy how we would work to get that quarter. He had such large, strong hands – it was almost impossible. When we were about in tears, he would ease off and let us get our money.

Dewayne: Dad had a favorite chair that he always kept by the south kitchen window. If were setting in this chair when Dad came home – we were tapped on the head and we knew that meant “get out of my chair”. He loved to read western paper back books.

Gertrude: I remember when I was in the third grade, we used to play school constantly. I had a girl friend, Ida Curtis, who was a very good speller. She must have been smarter than me because she could spell and I couldn’t. This one time I asked her to spell “North” and she misspelled it. So I was getting quite a kick out of it so Dad took the paper from me and asked me to spell “North”. I couldn’t, so Dad sent me up to bed and said I couldn’t come down until I could spell “North”. I stayed in my room and cried and cried. How could I learn to spell north? Finally I saw a slip of paper slide under the door and my dear sister Fern had slipped a paper with “North” written on it so I could learn to spell “North” in time to have supper with the family.

Fern: Saturday was the big day of the week. We would work hard and get the house cleaned up in the morning, then we would doll all up and Dad would take us to Logan. Dad would stand on the corner and visit with everyone and have a good time while we did our shopping. When we came home, Dad always had a sack of salted peanuts. We all enjoyed eating peanuts. As we got older, we still went to Logan on Saturday, but now we would go into the Bluebird and have a piece of pie. Dad always had a piece of raisin pie. (Dewayne commented that this activity was with the “blondes” and not with him).

Dewayne: At about this time, Ruby went on a mission to the North Western States. Dad purchased the farm in Paradise from his Dad. At the time of purchase, this farm was about 53 acres and a large part of it was in side hills on which Dad used as pasture for his cattle. About ten acres had apple trees. This was lots of work for the kids to pick all these apples. When Dad passed away, he deeded this farm to Mervin, George’s son and myself. Mervin is now living on this farm.

Fern: Dad was a big talker and he loved to tell stories about his little wife – what a good dancer she was and how good she could cook. He loved her very much.

Gertrude: I remember how strict Dad was with Ruby when she first started going out with boy friends. She was told to be home at a certain time and if she wasn’t home at that time he would go out and bring her home! Dad and Mother and me used to go down to the Elite Dance Hall and go up in the balcony and watch them dance on Saturday nights.

Fern: When we would come from Milwaukee to visit Dad and Mother, Dad always arranged to take his grandchildren for a horseback ride. This was a great thrill for my city children and they would talk about their Grandfather’s farm and pony for many months after our visit to Utah.

I will always remember the one time Dad and Mother came to see us in Milwaukee. We took them into Chicago. Dad was so nervous about the traffic that all he wanted to do was to go home. He got on the train a whole hour before it was time to take off.

Dewayne: In bringing our reminiscing to a close, we realize we have not covered many of the characteristics and event that took place in our home and life with Dad. We children grew up having a deep respect for our father and the good principles he stood for.

[1] This document was written by Gertrude Jensen Mortensen on the occasion of her father’s death in 1956 with the help of Fern and Dewayne. Some dates (death dates) and name corrections were filled in at a later time (2008).

Monday, September 1, 2008

Milwaukee Chapel 75th anniversary

Last weekend Mom and I attended a special event in Milwaukee -- the 75th anniversary celebration of the chapel in Milwaukee where I grew up. I thought it might be interesting to share some of the highlights of that event with the family.

My sister DeAnna made a special trip here from Ohio to also attend this event and stayed overnight with us on Friday, Saturday and Sunday -- so we had a nice visit and caught up with each other.

I always thought that the chapel in Milwaukee was designed and built by the German saints who mostly lived in this community -- but as it turns out that wasn't exactly true. The building was designed in Salt Lake and was one of the early chapels built outside of the mountain west back in 1934. As you might recall, 1934 wasn't exactly the best of times in this country -- it was depression times and jobs were really hard to come by. So for the saints in Milwaukee to come up with the money for the local share was a trial all by itself. We learned that the church bought 3 lots in a subdivision to build this church on. It wasn't the first chapel built in the Milwaukee area -- but the previous chapel had been sold to another congregation because they outgrew it and this church was built "way out in the country". Now of course it's in a very urban area -- but at the time it was "in the boonies" - because it was less expensive than building in the city.

The most interesting part of the story has to do with the conflict between the locals building the church and "the church building department in Salt Lake". (Does this sound familiar?). Turns out that the church called for the use of red brick on the outside of the building and an asphalt roof. That of course didn't happen -- the building is a beautiful lannon stone on the exterior and a red clay tile roof -- and the original building had a beautiful pipe organ in the chapel instead of the specified electronic organ.

Turns out that the local saints talked the local quarry into supplying lannon stone for the same price as the red brick the church specified -- and the local tile company to supply the red tiles for the same price as asphalt! (it was hard times - so they were anxious for the business). And the pipe organ was paid for outside of the original contract for construction of the building by the local saints in addition to the local share of the cost which had to be paid to Salt Lake City.

We saw many of the German saints that built the church in this area. It was especially fun for Heinz to see many of his German friends whom he hadn't seen for 50 years. We visited with Mark and MaryAnn Busselberg -- Joyce's roommate at BYU and my childhood friend. She is confined to a wheel chair (a powered wheelchair) as a result of multiple sclerosis and Mark is suffering from Parkinson's -- but they still manage to live independently in Greendale. MaryAnn isn't shy about asking people to help her transfer from wheelchair to a special seat fitted into their minivan that elevates like an elevator to allow her to get in and sit. Mark still drives the car -- it's not clear how much longer he will be able to do so. He has a ramp that the powered wheelchair climbs up into the back of the minivan and then folds up to be carried in the back to the next destination. They have modified their home such that MaryAnn can get around in her powered wheelchair -- and so life goes on for them. I respect them for their independence and positive attitude in the face of incredible physical challenges at this phase of their lives.

President Charles Monk did a lot of the organization work to make this anniversary happen. Recall that he replaced Dad as the Stake President in Milwaukee when Dad was called on a mission to the Philippines. He has since been released for many years and currently serves as a sealer in the Chicago Temple where we see him frequently. Turns out that he made a CD of pictures of the early construction of the building and saints that he made available to all who attended.

Perhaps you recall that Mom and Dad sponsored the Wehrhahn family from Germany in the 50's -- German saints whom they had never met but sponsored on the basis of recommendations from their friends who lived in the Milwaukee Ward where Dad served in the Bishopric for 12 years. They had 3 children, Wilfred, Fred and Lucy. We saw Lucy and Wilfred at this anniversary -- and we see Fred frequently as he is a sealer in the Chicago Temple but he happend to be on vacation at this time. Fred shared with me a copy of the official paperwork that allowed his family to immigrate right after the war that Dad signed. In essence, Dad signed a document that guaranteed that this family would never seek welfare from the government and he had sufficient means to help them should it become necessary. Wilfred is suffering from some problem that doesn't allow him to sit for any length of time -- so he left early.

Paul Smith

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Dad's first post

Who would have thought I would be a blogger?