Jens Petersen (1818 - 1904)

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Birthdate:
Birthplace: Søholm, Capital Region of Denmark, Denmark
Death: Died in Huntsville, UT, USA
Managed by: Kaylene Groll
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About Jens Petersen

Jens Petersen, an active Elder in Huntsville, Weber Country, Utah, was born March 21, 1818, at Sóholm, Praesto amt, Denmark, the son of Peter Jacobsen and Anne Marie Nielsen. While a youth he learned the trade of a carpenter and wheelwright and built several mills in Denmark. Later he served as a soldier in the Danish army for eleven years. He joined the church in 1862, emigrated to Utah in 1863 and located temporarily in Weber Valley, where he engaged in various occupations, until 1872, when he located permanently in Huntsville and began his career as a successful farmer. As an active church worker he advanced from one degree in the Priesthood to another and for several years he acted as president of the Elder's quorum. He was finally ordained a High Priest. His first wife's name was Mette Marie Jensen, who was born Feb 19, 1822, in Gronfelt, Randers amt, Denmark, and was married to Bro Petersen June 12, 1851. She became the mother of two children and died Jan 15, 1897. In 1882 (Dec. 28th) Bro. Petersen married Caroline Petersen as a plural wife, who bore him three children, two of whom are still living. In December, 1887, Bro. Petersen was arrested on the charge of unlawful cohabitation and subsequently served six months imprisonment in the Utah penitentiary and sentenced to pay a fine of $150.00. Elder Petersen died at Huntsville, Utah, Sept 15, 1904, as a faithful and highly respected member of the Church Biographical encyclopedia, Vol II, copyright 1914

Story Shared by Ann Watson, September 10, 2012

Jens Petersen, my mother's grandfather, joined the church in 1862 and came to America in 1863 with his wife and two children. They traveled west by train as far as it went and then traveled by wagon the many, many miles to Utah. At one point the food ran out. Each day they hoped for a supply train but none came. At last, too weak to travel, and feeling the terrible pangs of starvation, they prayed even more fervently for some deliverance. Their prayer was heard, and answered like that of Moses and the Children of Israel in olden times, for a huge flock of birds appeared and the Saints were able to catch them with their hands to get enough to sustain themselves. The family eventually settled in Huntsville (1872) where Jens took up farming. Jens was noted for his strength. One day he had the wagon loaded with potatoes and other vegetables. Along the road one of the burrs came off a wheel and the wheel then came off. The man that was with him started off to find a pole or something to hold up the loaded wagon while they put the wheel back on. Jens stopped him with, 'I can hold up the wagon, but I can't put the wheel back on at the same time.' So he lifted the heavily loaded wagon up and the other man put the wheel back in place. When he was in his seventies he said he was in his best years. They used to take logs out of what is now Snow Basin. His son Pete told about how, even as an old man, Dad could throw onto the wagon the big end of a maple log, when Pete, as a middle aged man and at his best, could hardly lift the little end. Jens attributed part of his stamina to the fact that when he joined the Church he gave up liquor, and also tea and coffee, though many of the saints continued to enjoy their tea and coffee. In the middle of winter Jens would ride on the spring seat in the front of his wagon without a blanket over his knees and feet; the cold didn't bother him. Many men would occasionally get off the wagon and run behind to get warm, but not Jens. He commented about those who did: "There goes somebody who had his warm coffee this morning." Jens drank water with the horses; he said that was good enough for him. He retained his vigor until about the age of eighty-three, at which time his "too many birthdays" started to catch up with him. He found it most difficult to accept the fact that he was getting old. Even when he could no longer walk behind the harrow he hitched up another horse alongside and rode it while driving the team pulling the harrow. He just couldn't give up, and worked as long as he could at whatever he could.

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Jens Petersen's Timeline

1818
March 21, 1818
Søholm, Capital Region of Denmark, Denmark
1851
July 4, 1851
Age 33
Gronfeld, Denmark
1882
December 28, 1882
Age 64
Salt Lake City, UT, USA
1884
February 18, 1884
Age 65
Huntsville, Weber, Utah, USA
1887
January 2, 1887
Age 68
Huntsville, UT, USA
1896
December 7, 1896
Age 78
Huntsville, UT, USA
1904
September 15, 1904
Age 86
Huntsville, UT, USA
September 17, 1904
Age 86
Huntsville, UT, USA