MY MOTHER AND MY GRANDMOTHER
Ingrid’s background and trip to Utah is as follows. Ingrid was born October 17, 1841 at Fjelkinge Sweden. Her parents were Lutherans and were great readers of the Bible. They were fairly well off. If I remember right her father was a tailor. She often talked about her home life and I am going to write what I can remember.
She was very happy the first 10 years of her life until her father and little brother died from small pox. Her mother was also sick in bed with the dreadful disease and could not attend the funeral services of her husband. After Ingrid’s father’s death her mother had to work hard to keep the home going. They had 4 children. The baby, a boy, died the same time as the father died so that left Ingrid the oldest then Anders and Betty or Bengta.
The children had to help in a small way. Ingrid being the oldest and Anders the next in line had to watch the landlord’s geese when the harvest was over, to feed in the field. It was hard to keep them from trespassing on the neighboring fields. Sometimes they would fly and then there was trouble. They would have to pick them up one by one and carry them back to their own field. How Ingrid hated those geese. She vowed if ever she had a home of her own she would not have any geese around (She never did as long as she lived). Her mother worked hard at her loom and spinning wheel. She also worked in the fields during summer.
Ingrid grew up to womanhood and was a good looking lady with coal black hair and dark eyes. She obtained work with a well to do family as housekeeper in Kristianstad Sweden. She was a fun-loving girl and good-hearted. She would often give food or clothing to those in need. She was well-liked by all the other servants and by her employer. Her cousin Elsie’s folks were very poor so when Elsie would visit her she would often give her lunch and serve white bread. At home Elsie’s folks had rye bread. Elsie said Ingrid gave her the first pair of leather shoes. At
[missing pages 17-18]
[missing pages 17-18]
how unpopular the word Mormon was and how awful it was to become one. After hearing it explained she also felt it to be the truth so one day she was also baptized into this new faith. She now wondered what her employer would say, as well as her fellow servants, when they heard she had joined those terrible Mormons. When she went back to work they treated her very nice which made her very happy. She continued working there until she immigrated to Utah.
Now after she had been baptized her greatest desire and wish was to immigrate to Zion at some future time. One day her employer gave a great banquet. Many notables and distinguished guests and friends were invited. Magicians and fortune tellers who had been asked to amuse and entertain the guests after dinner were also present. Much fun and laughter was heard coming from the banquet hall. All of the servants had worked so hard to make this dinner a success. After the guests had departed for their homes, the servants were called in to have their fortunes told also. One after another was told what the future held in store for them. When Ingrid’s turn came, the fortune teller said “I cannot understand your fortune. It seems as if you are to travel and cross great waters but of course that cannot be true as you are only a servant girl and it takes money to travel (little did she know that later Ingrid was to cross the great Atlantic Ocean). She told these fortunes by looking into a glass of clear water.
Ingrid liked her work as housekeeper and she like her employer and also her fellow servants. Her employer was a very broad-minded person. Although Ingrid was a Mormon she was treated with respect by all her employer’s family. She often told Ingrid never to worry as she could get along with people wherever she would go.
Elder Andreas Olson, before immigrating to Utah, came to bid goodbye to all the saints in their little town of Fjelkinge, also came to bid goodbye to Ingrid’s mother. Ingrid was away at work and did not see him before he left on his journey to America. A year almost went by since he left and imagine her surprise when she received a letter from him asking her to come to Utah, marry him and become his wife. He would send her the fare.
After much consultation with her mother what she thought about such an offer, her mother said she liked him and all the saints like him also. He was a true Latter-day Saint and for her to think seriously about it. She would not tell her what to do--that was for her to decide herself. Ingrid did not know him very well. She had only met him a few times. He was a nice looking man and was well liked in the village. She did think seriously about the proposal. Should she or should she not accept his proposal of marriage. After corresponding back and forth with him she finally accepted his proposal. She wrote and told him she could not leave her mother in Sweden alone so he wrote back he would send her fare also as well as Ingrid’s. Ingrid was very happy that her mother could accompany her on that long journey to a strange land across the water, meaning the Atlantic Ocean.
Ingrid gave notice to her employer that she was soon leaving for America to be married. Her employer answered, “I am glad for your sake. I know you will get along alright after you have crossed the great Atlantic Ocean.” She wished her God Speed and a safe arrival to that new land America. Now she and her mother started to plan for their journey.
Her mother decided to go to Copenhagen to visit her daughter Betty who had married a man of Danish decent and lived there, to bid her goodbye before she left for America. Betty was very angry at her mother when she told her she had joined the Mormons. She would not listen to her mother explain any thing about the religion so it was a sad farewell.
Her son Anders lived in Goteborg. Ingrid and her mother went up there to bid him goodbye. He also was very angry when they told him they had joined the new religion Mormons and were going to Utah to join them. He would not listen to them explain it, and told them to beware of those horrid Mormons. His wife was more bitter than he was, so they bid them a sad goodbye and came home with sad hearts for their accusations of their new religion.
Ingrid and her mother became busy preparing for their journey. They were filled with excitement having heard so much about Utah or Zion as the missionaries called it. After bidding their friends and neighbors in the village goodbye they were ready to go. They went by train that took them to the coast where they embarked on a ship to cross the North Sea. The North Sea was very rough, wild and angry. The waves were high and many became seasick.
Finally they landed on English soil and rode through England by train, and embarked from Liverpool with a large company of Latter-day Saints all going to Utah, June 24, 1874 on the ship Idaho. It was said this ship had been remodeled from a cattle boat into a passenger boat. It had no comforts, no luxuries of any kind, bunks to sleep in. Ingrid and her mother were lucky to get a top bunk. These bunks were made of rough lumber or boards to hold two persons each. They were two tiers in height nailed up along the sides of the ship. Most of the passengers traveled in the steerage--the men in one compartment, the ladies in another. The journey in cramped quarters gave the immigrants a taste of hardship and difficulty even before crossing the long dusty plains.
The food was fairly good. Preparing food for several hundred people was a problem, with the limited facilities aboard the ship. (I have heard later that the ships rations included salt pork, salt beef, sea biscuit, flour, rice, oatmeal, peas, sugar and condiments such as spice, salt and pepper, also water). How they managed to have fresh meat, I don’t how, as they had no deep freeze or frigideirs. They must have had iceboxes.
One night a great storm arose, the ship was at the mercy of the waves, at intervals great waves would dash over the ship and the deck would be filled with water. The crew surely spent a busy night. The engines were stilled waiting for the gale to subside. Some of the immigrants having brought cooking utensils, pots and pans, with them were spilled from their boxes by the tossing of the ship and went clattering across the floor. This noise and moans of the seasick and fear of safety made confusion and commotion. Ingrid and her mother did fairly well as they had an upper bunk or berth but it was a nerve-racking strain to them. The captain of the ship seemed calm and collected and when approached by someone asking as to the safety of the ship answered, “I have Mormons on board. I have no fear and I like to carry Mormons because I have never heard an oath from them, no matter how uncomfortable they were.” (The ship Idaho sank some years later when homeward bound to England).
After the storm was over they continued their journey. How thankful they were that their life had been spared during the terrible storm. How glad they were to step on land again after 12 days on the water. They landed in New York and after being in quarantine a few days they were allowed to continue their journey across the United States. There were no luxurious coaches to ride in, only common cars with wooden benches. No place to lie down. They had to sit on them night and day until they came to this new land [may be missing pages 26-27].
She knew she was to be married and have a home of her own and mingle with God’s covenant people. Very soon her husband to be found them and there was a happy meeting. He then took them home as he called it. Not in a taxi or carriage but with a team of horses and an old farm wagon he was fortunate to hire. A team and wagon was hard to get in those early days. It was a twelve mile drive to Sandy where his home was. The road was dry and dusty and the day was hot. The road was rough in places so they would bounce up and down in their seats. After a couple of hours they arrived at their destination covered with dust and almost shaken to pieces. That was Ingrid’s and her mother’s first ride in Utah and they never forgot it.
Sandy was a more desolate place than Salt Lake City--no trees, no lawns, no streets only cross cut paths and lanes and a few rude lumber houses or shacks. Ingrid’s heart sank again but as home is what you make it she tried her best to be cheerful and thankful they had arrived safe to their destination and in good health. Andreas had purchased one of the lumber houses, a two room house with a lean to shanty at the back. He had had it repaired and replastered also whitewashed on the inside. Also had a new chimney built. Many of the houses had only a stovepipe run through the roof. It looked quite respectable compared with some of the other houses. This is our home, I hope you will like it. It is the best I can buy in the town, he said.
He had furnished it with a few articles of furniture, a bed, a cot, a coal stove (they had no electric stoves in those days), also a table and chairs, some cupboards and shelves had been built around the walls in the kitchen. Ingrid was quite satisfied. In one corner of the room was a little closet where they hung their clothes. The house was ready for occupancy--what things we needed could be purchased now she had arrived. The first thing Ingrid did was to clean and tidy up the rooms the best she could so they would be livable. She had brought with her some linen and bedding and a few nic-nacs from the old country so it looked real home-like when she got through.
They were married August 17, 1874 in the Endowment House at Salt Lake City, Utah. This Endowment House was used for temple marriages and ordinances until the Logan Temple was built and dedicated. This Endowment House stood on the northwest corner of the temple block and was torn down later. August 17, 1874 was a warm day and it was a long, dusty ride in the old farm wagon loaned from a neighbor. It sure was a bumpy ride with dust swirling so dense they could not see what was in head of them. Thank goodness there were no automobiles in those days to be afraid of. At times you would run into a large herd of sheep traveling along the street to another feeding ground. Ingrid was very happy she was married the right way for time and all eternity. Her mother was to make her house with them which she did until she passed away at the age of 91 ½ years. Ingrid was very happy that her husband was so kind and thoughtful of her mother. So now my father Andreas or Andrew and my mother Ingrid began their married life in the little village of Sandy, Salt Lake County, Utah.