John August Warnick (1835 - 1904)

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Nicknames: "Johan Warnicke"
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Forsberg, Sweden
Death: Died in Pleasant Grove, Utah, UT, USA
Occupation: Railroad worker
Managed by: Michael Shane Awalt
Last Updated:

About John August Warnick

Biographical Summary:

"...John August Warnick was born November 13, 1835 in Forsberg, Sweden, the son of Anders Peter Warnick and Anna Helena Anderson, under the most humble circumstance. August grew to be a strong and healthy boy. While he was very young he started working in the fields with his father. He did not have the privilege of attending school, but as soon as he was old enough he was obliged to spend four years in the military training. When these four years were over he hired out as a coachman for his father's landlord.

The Warnick family was very poor and young August often went hungry. He could not help thinking, while caring for his master's horses, that they were being fed better than he, for he fed the horses bread made from oats. However he was much to honest to take any of the animal's food. But he often gathered up the pieces off the ground that the horses let drop while they were feeding.

August was a favorite with the landlord because he could run so fast. Where there was an errand that called for haste he was sent on foot and often ran several miles and back without resting. This he did while the horses stood slick and fat in the stables.

One day the landlord became angry and was going to give August a beating. He, however, stood his ground when his master came close to him, August got down on his hands and knees and as the landlord stooped to give the first stroke the lad jumped between the landlords legs and over balanced him. August, of course, lost his job as coachman for this act and so he went to work for the railroad.

While they were camped at Elgaros there was a young girl who brought soup and other eatables to sell to the men. August make the remark the there was the girl he was going to marry. He said. she is the picture of health and strong, just my style. Before the camp moved on to other quarters he called to see her a few times. After two years August returned to claim her as his wife. This girl was Mari Christena Bengtson. Her parents were living comfortably in their own home on a farm large enough to raise their grain and vegetables. They also had cows, sheep, chickens, pigs and an ox team. On their farm was a small orchard of apple and plum trees. Her father was a great hunter who always had a good dog which he took hunting with him. He loved flowers and always had the choicest varieties in his garden. Mari walked four miles morning and night to attend school. Each child was allowed only one pair of shoes a year and were supposed to wear wooden shoes the remainder of the time. She often went barefoot rather then wear those shoes. She was only 17 years old when she married August. It was not easy for her to leave a home of plenty and go to live with his parents and brothers and sisters adding another to the family of eight already living in the one room house.

While Mari and August were living with the Warnicks the traveling shoemaker came to make shoes for the family. He told the Warnicks of some apostles or preachers of a new religion that had been founded by a young boy. The shoemaker told them that these preachers taught salvation for all righteous people. When August's father heard this it made him feel very happy for he had been taught only a select few could be saved and that the rest would all suffer a burning hell. The new doctrine sounded reasonable to him and filled him with joy. The shoemaker was asked to tell them all he could about these wonderful missionaries and so he told the Warnicks family all he had learned about the ancient records of the early inhabitants of the American continent and of the principles of salvation for the dead.

When the shoemaker had finished relating that which the missionaries had taught him, Mr. Warnick and his family were anxious to meet these latter day apostles and they prayed that the Lord would open up the way for them to do so. In 1860 the elders (one of them Adam Swenson, who later married into the Warnick family) brought the gospel to them. The father and mother readily accepted it and were baptized but others of the family were not baptized until later.

Mari and August lived with his parents until their firs child, a girl, was born on October 3, 1861. After this they moved by themselves in a little house in the woods near Mari,s parents. On October 26, 1863 a son was born to them.

Four years after the elders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints had visited the Warnick home, John August Warnick became very sick with Typhoid fever. During his illness he requested the elders to baptize him. They carried him in his weak condition to a small lake near by and there he and his wife were baptized into the church. From that day until their death they were faithful Latter-day Saints.

After joining the church they were anxious to emigrate to Utah. So on May 1, 1866 this family left Sweden. The group consisted of the following members: Anders Peter, age 65, Anna Helena, age 60, John August, age 31, his wife Mari, daughter Caroline, and son John Gustaf, Anna Christine, age 27 and her daughter Charlotta Christine, Anders Gustaf, age 21, Charles Peter, age 16, and Charlotte Bengtson, Anders betrothed. They knew they were leaving an old life behind, but looked with hope to their new unknown future having no comprehension of the trials, sorrows and suffering that were awaiting them. On June 1, 1866, they sailed from Hamburg, Germany on the ship Cavour.

The voyage across the ocean was made in the old fashioned sailship, the last of its kind to make the voyage. Their stateroom was the open deck and for nine long weeks they tossed about on the great waves. The trip was a very hard one for they suffered from cold and exposure. Most of all they suffered for the want of drinking water as only a small amount was allowed each person per day. Soon after their arrival in New York Harbor on July 31, 1866, cholera broke out among the saints and death began to take its toll.

They were by boat from New York to Canada and from there they traveled by rail in cattle cars westward. At Marcellus, Illinois on August 5th Mrs. Warnick (August,s mother) who had been ill for some time passed away on the platform of the station. There she was left among strangers to be buried. Three days later Mari's and August's young son, John Gustaf, died and was buried.

Just before the train reached St. Joseph, Missouri, one of the cattle cars caught fire and it was with great exertion that the sick were removed from it to escape being burned to death. At St. Joseph a number of the sick and dying had to be left on the platform of the depot. Among these were Anders Peter Warnick and his daughter Christine. Death had not completely claimed them, and loved ones obtained no further knowledge of them. Residents of Missouri at that time were so hateful they seemed to actually thirst for the blood of the saints. And it was never learned whether the suffering saints were buried alive or killed by force.

On August 24th, Mari and John August buried an infant son who was born that day on the plains. Two weeks later, September 8th, Mari's sister Charlotte, died. On Sept. 22nd, August's three year old niece, Christina, died leaving only August, his wife Mari, their little daughter Caroline, and a brother Charles. Only four of the original eleven were left to continue on to Zion.

Mari had been sick and was near death for six weeks. Her life was spared but when she regained consciousness several of her family had died, among them her son and sister.

In spite of the sorrow and hardship through which they were forced to pass during their journey they remained firm and steadfast, never doubting that God was leading them. Many things happened

From time to time which strengthened their faith and made them thankful and happy.

On October 22, 1866, the survivors of Captain Lowery's company arrived in Salt Lake City, six months after they had left their homes. The Warnick family had traveled approximately one month in their native land and Germany, two months on the oceans, two weeks by steamer and train over the eastern United States and Canada, and two and a half months by ox team crossing the plains from Missouri to Utah.

This was the last of the emigrant trains to travel all the way from the Missouri River to Salt Lake City with ox team, as the Union Pacific Railroad was being built form Omaha westward, and the following year (1867) was opened several hundred miles west of the Missouri River.

The first night they drove out south of Salt Lake City near the present site of the Prudential Federal Building (33rd So.) to camp for the night. There was good feed at the sides of the road for the cattle to feed on. August was walking around and noticed a small plot of ground, which had been recently plowed. On kicking the loose ground he found a few potatoes that had been overlooked in the harvesting. Needless to say they were greatly enjoyed as they were the first potatoes they had for six months.

After resting a few days the company started for San Pete County. When they reached Pleasant Grove, Mari's strength was gone and she begged them to leave her there. To her this seemed the most beautiful spot she had seen on her journey and she could not bear to travel further. A kind hearted man by the name of Paul Anderson seeing her condition and realizing how tired and frail she was asked about her. When he found out that she wanted to stay there he offered to let them at his home until they could find a place of their own. So the Warnicks made Pleasant Grove their home. Many times during her life Mari said how thankful she was to Brother Anderson for his great kindness to them.

That first fall John August husked corn and earned some corn, vegetables and molasses on which they lived the first winter. Their home was a dugout cellar with dirt roof and dirt floor. Christmas Eve the roof caved in on them. They then moved to another dugout, which had on door, only a carpet hung up to keep the cold out. Later in the spring they were able to get them a better dugout with a door and window. They were hard working people and although they had many hardships to overcome they prospered and were soon comfortably fixed.

In the spring of 1867 John August went to work for the railroad in Echo Canyon. He left Pleasant Grove with his clothes, bedding and provisions in a wheelbarrow. He pushed this of foot as far a Parley's Canyon (about 40 miles) and there he was over taken by Milo Andrews of Draper. They put the wheelbarrow and all in the wagon and John August was glad to ride the rest of the way.

He had worked on a railroad in Sweden and so he knew more about the work than some of the men. One time when President Brigham Young visited the camp to inspect the work he was impressed with the fine workmanship that was displayed on one of the curves in the roadbed. He inquired and found August Warnick had done the strip alone. Pres. Young told the foreman that it was the best work that he ever seen on any railroad. He pronounced a blessing upon August's head that he would prosper and live in faith all his life, which he did.

In the summer Mari joined her husband and cooked for the men on the railroad. Together they accumulated some means most of which was sent to their native land to pay the transportation of relatives and friends to come to Utah.

In the year 1871 John August and Mari were endowed and sealed in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City. Through their faith and integrity they were blessed and prospered. They were the parents of 13 children: 7 boys and 6 girls, five of whom preceded them in death.

Mari died February 12, 1909 in Pleasant Grove where she is buried. She was known throughout her life as a hard working, honest woman and as being a great friend to the poor and motherless. She was a kind peaceable neighbor and was loved by all. During her life she worked in the church being a Relief Society teacher for thirty years.

John August died November 24, 1904 at his home in Pleasant Grove and is buried there. August was known throughout his life as being a very industrious man. He built and owned seven homes in Pleasant Grove, each one being an improvement over the previous one. He was loyal and active in the community serving as one of the councilors to Alderman James O. Bullock and Thomas Beck. He was also active in church duties.

He was a ward teacher with Brother Mads Nielson for 22 years, was a member of the 144th Quorum of Seventies... He was best known for his loyalty to God and his generosity to the poor. It was no uncommon thing for a poor family to find a sack of flour, potatoes and other produce on their door step which August had left there during the night, never disclosing his identity. He was an ideal husband and father and was loved and respected by all who knew him...

SOURCE: The following is a link to the source attributed to the above history but the link no longer works when attempting to retrieve it on 5/519/2012: http://biphome.spray.se/sundbergfamilj/Warnick/Warnick%20Family/Warnick_family_History_-_Kap_5.html#Daphne%20Rae%20Warnick

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August Warnick's Timeline

1835
November 13, 1835
Forsberg, Sweden
1861
October 3, 1861
Age 25
Sventorp, Skaraborg, Sweden
October 3, 1861
Age 25
Sweden
1863
October 26, 1863
Age 27
Algaros, Skaraborg, Sweden
1866
October 26, 1866
Age 30
Missouri, United States
1868
January 14, 1868
Age 32
Pleasant Grove, Ut, Utah, United States
1869
August 17, 1869
Age 33
Plesant Grove, Ut, Utah, United States
1872
February 15, 1872
Age 36
Plesant Grove, Utah, United States
1874
September 27, 1874
Age 38
Pleasant Grove, Ut, Utah, United States
1877
January 21, 1877
Age 41
Pleasant Grove, Ut, Utah, United States