Mads Peter Rasmussen (1835 - 1887)

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Birthplace: Tiller, Ontillery, Randers, Denmark
Death: Died in Vernal, Uintah, Utah, USA
Managed by: Robert Lovell
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About Mads Peter Rasmussen

Mads Peter Rasmussen

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First his daughters, Annie, Amanda, and Alice from family records, Church and archive statistics and their personnel remembrances of their father, later it was rewritten with additional facts and corrections by Annie (Clark) Bergendorff, granddaughter.

Mads Peter Rasmussen was born in Tillerup, Randers County, Denmark on 8 October 1836. His parents were Rasmus Sorensen Basse and Mette Katrine Pedersen Smed, both of who were descended from a long line of Danish nobility, both Basse and Smed being family titles. The title Basse means wild boar and the Coat of Arms is the wild boar.

Peter, as he was called by his family was the third child of a family of five, four boys and one girl. The oldest brother, Soren, died in infancy. His next brother was also named Soren.

Little is known of his (Peter’s) life in Denmark except that his father was a large land owner and a successful miller. Young Peter seemed to have a strong desire for adventure and a love of the sea. Also, that his mother constantly impressed upon his mind the fact that he must shun liquors and strong drink because his father wrecked his life by becoming addicted to liquor.

At the time that young Peter was growing up all young men in Denmark, between the ages of eighteen and twenty-one were required to serve in the army. Peter did not fancy life in the army so he ran away and became a seaman to escape the army. He loved the sea and at the age of twenty-one or twenty-two he was First Mate on the ship “William Tapscott," that sailed from Liverpool, England the 11 April 1859.

Sometime before this he heard some Mormon Missionaries teaching their religion on the ship he was serving . He was impressed. He took some of their literature and studied it. No doubt he had other contacts with Mormon Missionaries; at any rate he was baptized in Denmark, 27 March 1857, probably while he was on shore leave from his ship.

Among the passengers on the ‘William /tapscott’ were some Mormon converts from Denmark and some missionaries who had been in Denmark. They held services on the ship on which he was serving and Peter attended. It was on this voyage he met a young Danish convert, Karen Peterson who was on her way to Utah. It is not known if he had previously met her in Denmark of not. But they were married on board ship. They came to Utah together crossing the plains by ox-team in Captain Robert F. Neslen’s ox-team company, which arrived in Salt Lake valley 5 September 1859.

They stayed in Salt Lake City for some time and then moved to Centerville in Davis County, Utah. There their children Laura and Peter were born. In the period between 1862 and 1864 they moved to Richville, Morgan County, Utah where their daughter Mary Catherine was born. They then moved to Farmington, Davis County, Utah. There George Henry, Joseph, and Margaret were born. Joseph and Margaret were twins.

Sometime late in 1868 or early 1869, before the twins were born his first wife left him.

He must have had some money when he came to America for he purchased his own ox-team and outfit with which he crossed the plains and he began gathering cattle, and other property around him. His family seemed to have more of the comforts of life than many of their Pioneer neighbors.

When his first wife left him he gave her their home in Richville, a team of oxen, some cattle and other property. He kept the team of horses and the property in Farmington. He was very broken up over this separation and prayed very earnestly to the Lord to know what to do. He saw in a dream a woman he was told to marry. He had never seen this woman but one day as he was selling some produce at the hotel where she worked, he saw her (Anna Gertude Claesson) and immediately told her she was to be his wife, that he had been shown it in a dream.

She had just immigrated from Sweden and at first thought this was very strange conduct in this strange land. But soon she became to believe as he did, that it was the right thing for them to do and they were married 25 January 1870 in the Salt Lake Endowment House. They lived in Farmington the remainder of the winter and then moved to Montpellier, Bear Lake County, Idaho taking their cattle and equipment with them and securing land and building a home. This proved a fine country for farming and cattle raising and the family prospered and expanded their possessions. Their oldest child, Annie Maria, was born in the nearby village of Ovid where he took his wife as there was no medical service in Montpelier, Idaho. And his wife wanted to be with people who spoke her own tongue. Amanda, Albertina, Albert, Amos, and Agnes were all born in Montpellier. And the following are the children of the third wife Anna Marie or (Mary) Peterson Ahlbren whom he married 24 November 1877 with consent and approval of his wife. Annie, John, David, Emily, Willard, Elizabeth, and Alice. Willard and Elizabeth were twins.

His first wife Karen had married a man by the name of Cheney who did not belong to the Church. (This is probably a mistake as George Henry said his step-father John Cheney belonged to the Mormon Battalion. D.R.) She bore him two children David and Axie. Then Chaney died and she married another man (a Mr. Nielsen, a non-Mormon). They went to live in Star Valley Wyoming. A of Peter Rasmussen’s visited them and found that Karen and the children were very cruelly treated so he sent word to him “Rasmussen, if you think anything of your children you had better go and get them”. Which he did at once. He also brought their mother to Montpellier.

She wanted him to take her back. This both women consented to. He loved her dearly, and wanted to take her back but the church authorities there said that she had forfeited her right to be his wife and if he took her back they would both be excommunicated from the church, So he provided for her and her children but held his membership in the church, above all his love. She did not forgive him for many years and by that time he was dead.

He did much to build the community of Montpellier and liked it very much but the climate did not agree with him. His health became very poor, and in the summer of 1883 the doctor told him that another winter in Bear Lake would cost him his life. So he sold or traded his land and homes for what he could take along, loaded his two families into two wagons with what goods they could take along, secured the service of one Chris Johnson to drive the cattle, and started for Arizona in September.

He was ill. He suffered from rheumatism which was turning to dropsy and his heart was bad. The children of both families were small, Annie, the oldest, was not quite thirteen. She drove one of the outfits that consisted of two covered wagons fastened together by a trailer-tongue, and drawn by four head of horses. Mary and her children rode in this outfit. Her father drove a similar outfit where his wife Anne, and the rest of her children rode. The hired man drove the cattle with the older boys help. The roads were very poor and they had great difficulty on the way.

By the time they reached the Ashley Valley (Now Vernal) Uintah County, Utah, the weather was getting cold and their youngest boy, Willard, a baby was very ill. his mother, Mary, pleaded with her husband to stay until he was better as she feared she would have to bury him in the desert, and he was too ill to go on, so they decided to stay there for the winter. That particular winter was mild with little or no snow. It was a good country for cattle, his health had improved by spring, so he decided to stay, There he bought land, built homes for his family and stayed.

Here the rest of the family was born and lived until they grew to adulthood. Peter never fully recovered his health and he died at what is now Naples Ward, Vernal, Uintah County, Utah the 24 July 1887 at the age of 51 years.

While he was living in Richville, he had persuaded his parents, and brother to emigrate from Denmark. They came to Richville, joined the church, and lived there until his mother died. Then his father and brother who had who had not been too staunch in the faith went to Montana and became large cattle owners, who made a business of importing long horn cattle from Texas into Montana. He never saw them again and the family lost track of them.

At the request of President Brigham Young he made a trip back to Missouri River to bring out other Saints who had no way of getting to Utah. When he and the other man who had been sent with him were camped one night on the Missouri River, one of his oxen was stolen by the Indians. They crossed the river to try to recover the stolen ox. There they came upon another company of Saints who had seen the Indians with the ox and recovered it. Doctor Hullinger, who later settled in Vernal and was the only doctor in that vicinity for many years, and who later treated Peter Rasmussen during his final illness, was in that company. He and Peter Rasmussen began a friendship that lasted the rest of their lives.

After Peter moved to Vernal he spent much of his time away from home, tending his cattle and freighting between there and Salt Lake City. He continued his freighting even after he was not able to pull his own brakes. Mike Sessions has told members of the family that he freighted with their father and when he was not able to pull his own brakes they tied a long rope to his brake and Mr. Sessions operated them from his wagon. Mr. Sessions said he was a fine man and had lots of grit.

Sister Bartlet told his daughter, Alice, “Your father was a good man and lived his religion.” His wife, Mary and her children lived in a house belonging to the Bartlets until he got one built for them. He provided well for his families and was concerned about the care if his animals. When he got so that he could not walk he would go on his hands and knees out to see how his horses and other animals were getting along.

When he took his first family back to Montpelier to live, the boys of that family made their home with him and his second wife Annie Gertude, much of the time. She loved them as her own. They helped their father with his cattle on the farm and in the blacksmith shop.

The oldest boy, Peter had always lived with his father and his wife Anna. He did not go with his mother when they separated. Annie said that it was this boy more than anyone else who helped their father with the cattle on the farm and in the blacksmith shop.

When Peter was about eleven years old his father had to cross the outlet of Bear Lake on business. The water was very high and Anna was worried about her husband crossing it. So he took Peter Jr. with him to see that he got across safely and then he was to go back and tell his step-mother, Anna. Peter begged his father to let him to go with him but was told to do as he was told. He waited until his father was safely across and then evidently decided he would follow. His horse either could not or would not swim so it went down and Peter was swept from its back by the swift current. His father was unable to rescue him and it was several days before his body was recovered.

The death of his oldest son was a source of great sorrow to him and to Annie who had him with her almost from her wedding day and who was as dear to her as her own children.

His daughter, Annie, described her father as being about 5 feet, 11 inches tall. Slight of build weighing about 150 pounds. He had light brown wavy hair, a fair skin and very blue eyes. He was very tidy about his wardrobe. He wore a good grade of wool work clothes, the best work shirts that could be obtained and discarded them before they were shabby. He detested wearing the thin proper dress shirt with stiff front and a very stiff collar, only on Sundays and very special assassins would he tolerate such a shirt or a dress coat.

He was a good business man and a good manager an so honest, his word was considered as good as his bond. He was generous to the poor, but almost intolerant of shiftlessness. He always provided well for his families and wanted them to have the best of every thing available but expected them to take care of things and work hard. His daughter said he expected strict obedience by his children but was proud of any special accomplishments they showed. He was very appreciative of his wife Anna’s good housekeeping. Her house was always neat and tidy. So were her children. She kept her husbands' clothes in good condition. She was a good manager and a good cook. His daughter, Amanda, remembered that she (Amanda) wove the cloth and made her father an overcoat. His daughter, Alice, who does not remember her father says, that Jassie Morrell Goodrich told her that once after her father died, her (Alice’s ) father came and knocked on their door and when it was opened he just poured a seamless sack full of fresh apples on to the floor. Jassie said , “We children just stood and looked. We didn’t know what to do until Brother Rasmussen said ‘Don’t you children like apples?’ We said we did. He then said ‘Then eat some.’ There were no apples grown there at that time and they were a very rare luxury.”

He was a firm believer in the principles of the Gospel and was obedient to those in authority over him. He taught his children to comply with the requirements made of them and to keep the commandments of the Lord. He prized his membership in the Church above all else and met every requirement made of him to the best of his ability and did all in his power to bring the Gospel light to others.

His mother's teachings and his loyalty made him a strict observer of the Word of Wisdom. He was very strict in the observance of family prayers and payment of tithing. And of his obligations and keeping his name above reproach. He believed in taking his problems to the Lord in prayer and taught his children to do this also. He held the office of Seventy at the time of his death. He died in Vernal, Utah 24 July 1887 at the age of fifty-one.

We the descendants of Mads Peter Rasmussen should appreciate the heritage he has bequeathed us and live to the best of our ability to be worthy to live by his example. We should be proud to have such an ancestor.

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Married aboard ship 1st Karen Peterson ( Ship was the William Tapscott).

They crossed the plains by ox team in Captain Robert F. Neslen's ox-team

company, which arrived in Salt Lake Valley 5 Sept 1859. She left him sometime

in late 1868 or early 1869, before the twins were born.

They had the following children;  Laura and Peter were born in Centerville,

Davis, Utah; Mary Catherine was born in Richville , Morgan, Utah. Then in

Farmington, Davis, Utah George Henry, Joseph and Margaret were born.

Joseph and Margaret were twins.

Anna Gertrude Claesson and he were married in the Endowment house 25 Jan

1870. They moved to Montpelier, Bear Lake, Idaho. Their oldest child

Annie Maria was born in a near by village of Ovid. Amanda, Albertina,

Albert, Amos, and Agnes were all born in Montpelier.

On 24 Nov 1873 with consent and approval of his wife he married his 3rd

wife Anna Marie Peterson Al green (nickname Mary). Their children Annie,

John, David, Alma, Emily, Willard, and Elizabeth were all born in Montpelier.

Then Alice and Ada were born in Vernal, Uintah, Utah.( Willard and Elizabeth

were twins). [Vernal was once called Ashley Valley]

  • check on the Annie mentioned of the 3rd marriage as she is not listed

on the group sheet but is in the life story I have!

Mads Peter died what is now Naples Ward, Vernal, Uintah, Utah 24 July 1887

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Mads Peter Rasmussen's Timeline

1835
October 9, 1835
Tiller, Ontillery, Randers, Denmark
1836
October 14, 1836
Age 1
1859
April, 1859
Age 23
1864
July 13, 1864
Age 28
Richville,Morgan,Utah
1870
January 25, 1870
Age 34
Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
1873
November 24, 1873
Age 38
Salt Lake, Utah, United States