John J. Rasmussen

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John J. Rasmussen

Birthplace: Mount Pleasant, Sanpete County, Utah, United States
Death: March 07, 1932 (66)
Bennett, Uintah County, Utah, United States (Stomach Cancer, Hypertension)
Place of Burial: Roosevelt, Duchesne County, Utah, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Morten Rasmussen and Karen Marie Rasmussen
Husband of Albertena C. "Teenie" Rasmussen
Father of John Terry Rasmussen; Cleoa Alberthy Rasmussen; Nickline Rasmussen; Martin Rolon Rasmussen; Ivo Cecelia Seeley and 3 others
Brother of Martin Rasmussen; Sophia Marie Madsen; Lars Christian Rasmussen; Mary Rasmussen; Henry Rasmussen and 6 others

Occupation: Farmer
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About John J. Rasmussen

John was a big man, about 6'3" tall, husky and raw-boned. His hair was a dark brown. He was the third child of Morten Rasmussen and Karen Marie Christiansen. He had a habit of wearing a broad-brimmed, black, high-crowned hat.

He loved horses and took good care of them. When he worked on the railroad, they worked the horses hard and fed them heavy. "I (his younger brother) surely thought him extravagant when I saw him feed horses six to ten double hands full of oats to a feed. He believed in feeding well and believed in the horses earning their feed."

A story I heard about John's courting days- it must be known that our family's best friends and only relatives in this country lived in Ephraim. It was quite an event to go to Ephraim, sixteen miles away, to visit. There were great "feeds" when we went there or they came here. The family was the Lars Anderson (Strib) family. John took his girl and joined the family trip to Ephraim. With all the children and young people who had to be fed, there were side tables and second tables, etc. Of course, the children and small folks got pushed aside for the elders. Someone officiating at the seating pointed a place out for John and "this little girl with John would find a place over there in the corner at that little table with those other little girls." John was less enthusiastic about Ephraim visits than some of the rest of the family after that.

John's daughter, Ivo, remembered that he was a good penman, but a poor speller. He probably didn't go beyond the 4th grade; however, as we all know, an education can be gained elsewhere than from books. John went to the school of experience. He left home at only fourteen years of age to make his way in the world. John and his brother Mort freighted a lot together. Their trips by wagon and horse took them as far away as Colorado.

Uncle Dan told us about John's and Albertina Christensen's courtship and marriage. They took out their endowments on 29 January 1886. Soon after their marriage, they lived on a farm near Castle Dale and John freighted in southern Utah and Colorado. He was a great outdoorsman; he loved the mountains and animals. At times, he rounded up wild horses and brought them to the farm to break for riding, or to sell or trade. Once, when he brought a herd of horses home, he tied a beautiful animal, resembling today's Palomino, up to a wagon. He gave the horse to his daughter Carrie. He was gone for a couple of weeks, and, during this time, she cared for the horse faithfully, and "gentled" it down. It was later broken to ride and became a very good saddle pony. One day her dad loaned the horse to a man who rode it too long and hard, and Carrie's pet lay down and died. All the family felt badly over this.

During the years, ten children were born to John and Albertina. Those who lived to adulthood were Carrie Christina, Tena Arminta, Ivo Cecilia, an one son, Farrel "J". They lost six children - all babies, except Jennie who was nine years old when she passed away.

Their oldest daughter, Carrie, was about fourteen years of age when the family moved to Sunnyside, where John worked in the mine until the strike of 1901.

Arminta recalled that her dad was always whittling in his spare time. While idled by the strike, he made tops, whistles, etc. for the children. During this time, they were forced to move down into town and live in tents. John whittled a doll with movable joints, a novelty in those days. Mother made a head for it and dressed it. John put the doll on a board and would move it in such a way as to make the doll dance - like a puppet. The children would all laugh and sing and have a good time together.

John played the harmonica very well. He bought an organ. Arminta learned to play this organ, and she used to accompany her father while he sang. Ivo also enjoyed singing. In Kenilsworth, John bought one of the first radios which required earphones for the listener.

At Castle Dale, John bought one of the first cabinet phonographs that came out. At Brigham City, he bought one of the Edison phonographs with a large horn for a speaker. In this way , he gave his children a musical background and created within them a love for music which has made their lives richer and more enjoyable. Some of the songs he was fond of were: "I'm a Lousy Miner," "If I Had the Wings of Some Small Swallow," "Lay My Head Beneath The Rose," and "Old Dan Tucker."

When Arminta and Ivo were about four and eight years old, their father had a job in the timber. He let one of his daughters come and meet him at the top of the hill and ride to where the poles were unloaded. This day it was Arminta's turn to ride. They had about three of those huge logs on two wagon wheels. As they were coming down the mountain, the poles turned, and Arminta fell off. The wheel pinned her to the ground. John didn't wait for help. He lifted the load off from her and told her to crawl out. She did! Had John not had will power and strength, she would have been crushed.

While the strike was still on in Sunnyside, John moved his family to Salt Lake City. He worked at Redman Van Lines and Storage Co. At that time, the vans were drawn by horses. The family lived near the viaduct where trains passed frequently. Probably the only animal that John didn't like was cats. Later, the family moved to Brigham City for a year or so. It was here that their daughter, Jennie, finally passed away. She had a tumor on the brain which made her ill for about three years. She lost her eyesight towards the last. All the family simply adored this sweet and patient little soul, and her passing left an emptiness in their lives.

After Jennie's death, the family moved back to Castle Dale. Here they lived on a farm. This is where John's pioneer spirit came into use. For instance, he tackled land that needed levies before you would get the water over it. This took plenty of real hard work. Sometimes, he shoveled all night to keep the levy from breaking. According to Ivo, when John started a job he could hardly wait until it was finished.

About 1925, John went to work as a fire boss in Kenilsworth mine, a job he did very efficiently, until he met with an accident that broke three vertebras in his back. He then knew his mining days were over. Until that time, he had hardly known what a sick day was and moved out to the Uintah Basin. Before long, their dad and mother decided to go out to the Basin and buy a place. They located in Bennett, Uintah County, where they all lived until John passed away on March 7, 1932. His death was caused by cancer of the liver and a heart condition. Ivo never remembered hearing her father complain of his health, until just before his death, a wonderful tribute to the stamina and courage of this strong-willed man.

Death Certificate

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John J. Rasmussen's Timeline

November 28, 1865
Mount Pleasant, Sanpete County, Utah, United States
November 1, 1885
Castle Dale, Emery County, Utah, United States
November 28, 1894
Castle Dale, Emery County, Utah, United States
February 23, 1902
Sunnyside, Carbon County, Utah, United States