This blog is dedicated to my parents, brothers, sister, and cousins who are descendants of Johannes (John) Gutke and Johanna Mork Gutke (pictured above). I am in the process of posting everything I have, so that I can back up documents/photos and also access the info from any location. There are likely to be mistakes, so check back often and feel free to comment if you have corrections!


Deniane Gutke Kartchner


Johan Magnus Gutke short history

The following life story was contributed by Helen Pirtle, a descendant of Johannes Gutke through his granddaughter Amanda Eliza. 

John Magnus Gutke
(by Amanda Eliza Gutke, his daughter)

My father, John Magnus Gutke, was born November 1, 1851 in Minkedohl Foss, Bohus, Sweden.  He was the second child of the second wife and he was four years old when his mother died.  When he was six years old he left Munkedohl with his father, his step mother, three half sisters, and two half brothers, for Rodonefors, an iron manufacturing place.

He was blessed and christened in the Lutheran Church.  He was a young man, 28 years of age when he heard an elder preach the gospel.  He went to their meetings and was converted.  Elder Christen H. Monson of Richmond, Utah was one of the elders who converted him.  He was baptized by Elder Monson.  Charles Anderson, a Utahan  confirmed him.

With the above named family, they sailed on the ship "Wisconsin", leaving Liverpool July  10, 1880.  Arrival in New York was July 21, 1880.  They continued their journey by rail under the leadership of Captain Niels P. Rasmussen, arriving in Salt Lake July 29, 1880.

While still in Sweden an elder told John he knew of a nice girl in Norway and he gave John her address.  They corresponded until he went to Utah, then he sent for her to come to Utah.  They had never seen each other, but she came.  Father met her and they were married August 18, 1881 in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City by Daniel H. Wells.

John had learned the trade of blacksmith from his father so they went to Logan.  Their first three children, Amanda, Edwin, and Joseph were born there.  Then he got a new job in the railroad shops in Idaho Falls, then called Eagle Rock.  Here they lived 2 or 3 years.

One day the wind blew so hard and the dust was so thick, one could hardly see any distance away.  When the wind was over they could see the Round House had blown down.  Everyone was out in the streets      screaming for their loved ones.  This discouraged some of the men.

The climate was very cold.  The wind blew so hard.  They had to buy water from a man who had it in barrels who got it from the Snake River.  It would soon get stale and the dust blew on everything including it.

During this time John learned the English language as he was working with men who spoke it, but Anna Elise didn't get a chance to learn it so fast being in the home and not in public.  So discouraged, they moved back to Smithfield.  Now their children numbered four as William was born in Idaho Falls.

In Smithfield they build a one-room home.   A blacksmith shop was built on the north east side of the lot.  Life was hard.  John worked some time in Pocatello in the Round House there.  He finally decided to do blacksmithing on his own.  He was a good machinist and mechanic.  Anything he did was well done.

Eight of their children were born in Smithfield: Linda, the twins, Sylvester and Sylvenus, Anna, Herbert, Olga, Elva, and Hilda.  With this increased family, two more rooms down stairs and two upstairs were added on.  They got a cow, pig, and some chickens.  They had an acre of ground on which he raised some hay and spuds.

The big flour bin which he built was never empty although the family was so poor in other things like sharing each other's shoes.  No washer, no linoleum or other things to make life comfortable.  All buckets and utensils he soldered.

During Cleveland's day the depression hit.  John worked and had to take in commodities for pay.  All the money he received in one year was $90.00.  He was handy and ambition, but many people didn't pay or wanted to pay their bills.

With his growing family he decided he needed a farm for his boys as he had six of them.  Their next move then was to Shelley, Idaho.  He had never done any farming but he proved to be a successful one.  It took a lot of hard work.  While building his home they stayed with their daughter and son-in-law, Amanda and Lewis.  Then John built his blacksmith shop so he had his trade with him.  All his debts on the place were paid before they were due.

He was an honest man.  Never received charity from anyone but was willing to help those in need. They were interested in genealogy so gave money for research.  They also did temple work having to go to Utah to do so.  John was well versed in the Bible, having studied it in school in Sweden. Family prayers and blessings on the food were always had.

In their older years they sold their home to their son, Will, and in turn bought his which they remodeled.  Now they could be in town where they could walk to everything as they never owned a car.  They spend several winters in California.

John met his death in a car pedestrian accident.  It was dark and windy when he crossed main street in Shelley to go home.  He held his head down to keep his hat on so he walked in front of a coming car.  The accident proved fatal as he died in the Idaho Falls hospital that night, October 27, 1934, age 83.  His funeral was held in the Second Ward church and he was buried in the Shelley cemetery.

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