Monday, May 30, 2011


I was to Levan recently with Carolyn and the grandchildren and Kanda's family.  We drove around the town of Levan looking at all the homes and remembering myself as a child growing up there.  I got permission to take some pictures of our homestead.  The picture is included under my father, James Peter Christensen's history.  The house is changed; new roof and it was added onto.  Trees were cut down and the feel of being "my house" was not there.  Of course, it isn't my house now.

Anyway, check out the new picture.

New House Picture - taken 2010

Sunday, May 29, 2011




Relationship: Jens Christen Christensen is my great grandfather (his son is Soren Peter Christensen, my grandfather; and his son is James Peter Christensen, my father)

Jens Christen Christensen was born on March 15, 1838 in Bindslev, Hjorring, Denmark to Christian Christensen and Ingeborg Jensen.

Jens Christen Christensen
Johana Marie Jensen

Jens married Johana Marie Jensen on October 14, 1836 in Bindslev. Johana was born in Sindal, Hjorring, Denmark on October 25, 1833, the daughter of Jens Andersen and Else Marie Sorensen.

Johana had her first baby on August 11, 1860 and they named him Niels Christian Christensen. He died when he was ten years old on July 21, 1870. They had five children altogether:

Jens was a carpenter and they lived quite comfortably. They moved to Taars where their next two babies were born. Inger Annie Christine (Jensen) Christensen and she was born September 28, 1862. She died on the 16th of January 1933 in Levan, Juab, Utah.

Another little girl was born on 27 January 1864 in Taars, Hjorring, Denmark and they named her Marie Ellen Christensen. We don’t have a death date for her.

They then moved back to Johana’s hometown of Sindal, where Jens was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints on February 27, 1865. Johanna was probably baptized then also but the baptism date was lost and she was baptized vicariously on March 17, 1894.

Johana had two more babies in Sindal. Soren Peter Christensen on January 16, 1866. He died 22 May 1945 in Levan, Juab, Utah; and Christine Christensen was born June 1869 in Sindal and died September 1869, living only three months.

It was recorded that Jens, Johana and their two children, Annie, about seven, and Soren, about three, and Jen’s mother, Ingeborg Jensen Christensen, who was about sixty-seven, came to America soon after the death of the last baby in 1869.

They landed at Castle Rock, New York [Later to be called Ellis Island], traveled on the newly completed transcontinental railroad to a place called “Ogden’s Hole” fifty-three miles north of Ogden, Utah, where they got off the train and somehow made their way to Levan.

They lived in a dugout until Jens could get a house built. Because of the availability of clay for adobe bricks, most of those first homes were built of adobe and later added on to.

The Christensen’s were not counted on the 1870 Census, but as was stated in the “Lamberts,” there were three houses where there was no one at home, and those people were not counted. Perhaps the Christensen’s were one of these.

They had lived in Levan for about thirteen years when Johana Marie Jensen Christensen died of Tuberculosis, on January 23, 1882, at the age of forty-eight years and nine months. She was buried in Levan.

Johana Marie Jensen's headstone in Levan Cemetery

Their eldest daughter, Inger Annie Christensen, when she was about seventeen years old, had married Stephen Christian Christensen, on March 20, 1879 in Levan, Utah. Their first baby was born on February 15, 1881 and they named him after his father, Stephen Christian Christensen and called him “Chrissie.” His grandma, Johana, who was ill with Tuberculosis, had tended the baby and he died from Tuberculosis when he was still small.

Jens’ mother, Ingeborg, died in Levan on May 28, 1887, she was eighty-five. She is buried in the Levan Cemetery.

Jens, who was fourteen years older than she was, married Larsine Petersen, who was born in Salling, Aalborg, Denmark on February 19, 1852. There was no marriage date and no record of any children.

Jens and Larsine operated “The Christensen Hotel” on the corner of 212 South Main in Levan, until Jens died on April 2, 1923 in Levan. Two of his grand-daughters, Teckla and Mary, operated it until they left to go to Salt Lake City to work. Their mother, Inger Annie took it over and continued to serve mouth watering meals.

 Site of The Christensen Hotel - today 2011 it is a residential home

Site of The Christensen Hotel - today 2011 it is a residential home

Jens died on April 2, 1923 at the age of eighty-five and is buried in the Levan Cemetery.

Jens Christen Christensen's headstone, Levan Cemetery

Friday, May 13, 2011


25 March 1801 – 16 May 1893

Written by Maurine Stephensen, Levan, Utah, February 26, 1985
I, Von Christensen, obtained the history through the National DUP in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Relationship:  Karen Margreth Mathiesen is my second great grandmother
(her daughter is Axeline Marie Pedersen;
and her daughter is Alvina Stephensen (my grandmother)

Karen Margrethe was born 25 March 1801 in Elling, Hjorring, Denmark to Mathies Pedersen and Mette Thompson and so was known as Karen Margrethe Mathies’ daughter. We know nothing about her family, whether there were brothers and sisters or who they were. We would like to find out more.

She married Peder Christian Hansen who was born 20 September 1799 in Aasted, Hjorring, Denmark. (later obtained correct birth date according to Von Christensen, being 5 October 1900 in Lynget, Aasted, Denmark) We do not have a marriage date. (Von Christensen also found a marriage date, 28 December 1827, Elling, Hjorring, Denmark)

Her husband, Peder, died 14 April 1838, not quite two years after a daughter, Axelina, was born. Karen was only 37 years old when her husband died. What Karen Margrethe did after she became a widow and how she got along and how and when she became acquainted with the Mormon Church, we do not know.

Karen had five daughters: Mette Katrine, 27 October 1827; Hannah Marie, about 1831; Martha, about 1833; Christine, about 1835; and Axelina Marie, 20 August 1837.

(According to Von Christensen’s records Karen had five daughters: Mette Cathrine Petersen, born 25 October 1827; Hanne (Johanna) Marie Petersen, 9 December 1829; Martha Petersen, 20 August 1832; Maren Christine Petersen, 4 January 1835; and Axeline Marie Petersen, 20 August 1836.)

We find her listed on the Emigration Records of the Church in 1865. We find this notation:

Wessefgofel Conference 1865

Age Occupation Birthplace

Karen Margrethe Mathisen 64 widow Jutlan

Mariane Pedersen 70 widow Jutlan

Sailed 8 May 1865 on the ship B.S. Kimball

These two women, apparently, were very good friends and were traveling together. Why Karen dropped her married name of Hansen on the Immigration Record, we do not know.

The ship sailed from Hamburg, Germany on Monday, May 8, 1865 with 557 Saints aboard under the direction of Anders W. Winberg. It reached New York on June 15th. The crossing took 5 weeks and three days (38 days) so we assume that it was a sailing vessel. The group continued the journey by rail and arrived at the end of the railroad just inside Wyoming, Nebraska on June 26, 1865.

Karen traveled in train cars like the one above for the period of time she traveled.

Emigrants were usually met by wagon trains sent out from Utah to the “railhead”. Many times the emigrants had to wait for the arrival of the wagons. One history written at this time tells about the people seeking work while they were waiting. There was much work for the men in the building of the railroad and women might work at cooking, cleaning, and washing the clothes of the men. This particular woman had worked in a laundry with an unhappy result. Of course we do not know about our two widows but the only note we have found, so far, that might pertain to this company is one in Jensen’s Church Chronology that says, “Wednesday November 8, 1865 Captain Miner G. Atwood’s Company of Immigrants which had left Wyoming, Nebraska July 31st with 45 wagons and about 400 souls arrived in Great Salt Lake City.”

If this is the company that she traveled with to get to Salt Lake City, she had been in Wyoming at the railhead for over a month. That is from June 26th to July 31st. This is not improbably for this is the farming season and men and animals would be needed on the farms.

The wagon trains brought food supplies and things the immigrants would need to travel a great distance through mountainous terrain. When these people arrived in Salt lake City they were taken under the supervision of Church Officials and were found a place to stay and suitable employment and, no doubt, this is what happened to these two widow ladies, Karen Margrethe Mathisen and Mariane Pedersen. We have found nothing to tell us what these two ladies did nor how they fared.

On Wednesday, July 20, 1870, Karen Margrethe’s daughter, Axeline, together with her husband, Jorgen Steffensen and children, Steffin, Christian and Alvena left Liverpool on the ship Minnesota. This group consisted of 357 saints under the direction of Jesse N. Smith. They arrived in New York on August 1st. This crossing took only 12 days so we assume that it was a steamship. They boarded a train for the West and arrived in Salt Lake City on August 10th. No doubt they were joyfully welcomed by Karen Margrethe.

Not too long after their arrival in Salt Lake City, the Stephensen’s made their way to the new settlement of Levan. An Uncle of Jorgen’s had already settled there. (Soren Thompson and family).

The town of Levan had been moved from its first location to one closer to the mountains in the spring of 1868. The Stephensen’s arrived in the settlement late in 1870 and first lived in a dug-out.

Karen Margrethe joined the Stephensen’s in Levan. We do not know when or if she came with them when they first came in but in later years she occupied a room which had been built for her south of the main house. She has been described by a grand daughter-in-law, as one of the sweetest, dearest of ladies.

A man, Alma Dalby, told that when he was a young boy he often accompanied his father to the mountains for wood. One day he was with his father on the wagon and they passed the yard where Karen Margarethe was. She stopped them and said to the father, “Don’t take the boy with you today or he will be killed.” The boy was disappointed when he was sent home, however, that afternoon as the father started back down the canyon the load of wood overturned. The father’s leg was broken and, no doubt, if the boy had been with him, he would have been killed.

Karen Margrethe died in Levan, Utah on 16 May 1893 at the age of 92. She is buried in the Levan Cemetery and the name on her headstone is given as Karen Margrethe Hansen.

Sunday, May 8, 2011


Saturday, May 7, 2011


Relationship:  George Christian Stephensen and Axelina Marie Petersen are my 
great grandfather and grandmother

George (Jorgen) Christian Stephensen was born 3 February 1833 in Aasted, Hjorring, Denmark. He was the son of Ellen Kristensen and Steffan Jorgensen. Very little is known about his younger days in Denmark but we assume they were happy ones filled with work. His emigration record lists him as a laborer.

George (Jorgen) Christian Stephensen

He married Axelina Marie Petersen, 25 December 1857. She was born 20 August 1836 in Tolne, Hjorring, Denmark. She was the daughter of Karen Margrete Mathiesen and Peter Christian Hansen. Her father died 14 April 1838 when she was only two years old.
                                                             Axelina Marie Petersen
To this marriage was born a son, Stephen, 2 April 1858. Stephen was a healthy, robust baby. Then a lovely little girl, Margretta, was born 14 May 1860, and then two more boys were born, George and Peter. Margretta, and the two boys passed away while they were still infants. Not much is known about these three children.

A son, Victor, was born 28 April 1865 and a daughter, Alvina, was born 19 November 1868. This made six children that were born to them in Denmark.

It was about this time that the Mormon missionaries became very active in Denmark. At the General Conference of the LDS Church held in October 1849, Elder Erastus Snow of the Council of the Twelve and Elder Peter O. Hansen, a Native Dane, were called to do missionary work in Denmark. Elder Hansen arrived in Copenhagen May 11, 1850 and Elder Snow arrived on June 14. Together with Elder George P. Dykes, they started preaching the gospel.

The first baptism took pace August 12, 1850 when 15 persons were baptized by Elder Snow. On Sunday September 15, a meeting was held in the rented room in Vingaardsstraede, and on this occasion the first branch of the church in Denmark was organized with Elder George P. Dykes as president. Membership of the branch totaled fifty.

Missionaries were sent to all parts of the country. Different members of the Stephensen and Hansen families heard the message and were receptive to it. George and Axelina heard it too.

At this time George held a position as constable in the local police force. He and his deputy were sent to break up a meeting of Mormons that was being held. They came walking into the meeting with these intentions, prepared to disperse the group, but when George saw his wife, Axelina, sitting near the front holding baby Stephen in her lap, he decided that they should sit down quietly at the back of the hall and listen. The speakers were two missionaries of the Mormon Church. They were former residents of Denmark who had embraced the gospel and had come back to their native land to preach and convert others.

At the close of the services, George escorted his wife and baby home. Axelina told him that she believed what the missionaries had told them and persuaded him to allow the Elders to visit their home to tell them more about the gospel. As a result of these visits, the couple became converts of the Church and were baptized 25 March 1859.

The first Danish converts to emigrate left Denmark January 1852, another group left in March of the same year and a group of 294 left in December.

Axelina’s mother and another widow joined the church. The emigration records show that Karen Margrete Mathisen, age 64 and Mariane Pedersen, age 70, widows, sailed May 8, 1865 on the ship “B.S. Kimball”. Why Karen Margrete dropped her married name of Hansen we do not know.

George and Axelina must have been corresponding with her mother and an uncle, Sern Thompson, during this period, trying to make up their minds what was the best for them to do. Sern Thompsen and his family had emigrated to Utah in 1862 and Axelina’s mother had emigrated in 1865. George and Axelina finally decided to emigrate, too. They sold most of their worldly goods and borrowed money from Sern Thompsen in order to pay their passage. We find this entry in the Aalborg Conference records.

The ship “Minnesota” sailed from Liverpool on July 20, 1870. From the time, in Denmark, when they had decided to emigrate until they arrived in Salt Lake City, they were under the direct supervision of emissaries of the Mormon Church.

Someday we may find a journal or record that tells more about this journey but for now we assume that the trip was similar to others that have been recorded. On the ships provided by the Mormon Church living conditions were average for the time. The Saints were quartered in bunks and the rations were ample. One ship lists the following rations: pork, beef, peas, potatoes, beans, barley, rice, prunes, syrup, vinegar, pepper, coffee, tea, sugar, butter, rye bread, sea biscuits, water, flour, salted herring, salt, and oil for the lamps. A cook was provided by the ship that some of the brethren acted as assistants. It also said that the meals were nicely prepared in the following routine: Sunday, sweet soup; Monday, pea soup; Tuesday, rice; Wednesday, rice; Thursday, pea soup; Friday, barley mush; and Saturday, herring and potatoes.

Ship "Minnesota" which the Stephensen's traveled on

During the day, the children passed the time playing games. Council meetings were held each night at which time the problems which arose were discussed and plans drawn up for their solution. Sanitation and sickness were two of the main items. Details were assigned to scrub the decks three times a week and the ship was fumigated twice a week. Meetings were held so the Saints could worship and partake of the sacrament and where they could hear words of comfort and encouragement. In the morning and evenings the Saints assembled for prayer and most everyday they would assemble on the deck for dancing and exercise.

                                                           On deck of ship Minnesota 

The ship “Minnesota” was met in New York by Captain Jesse N. Smith who immediately took charge of the emigrants. They made the trip from New York to Salt Lake City by rail, arriving in Salt Lake City on August 10, 1870. The trip took 21 days from the time they left Liverpool to the time they arrived in Utah.

                                                        Ship Minnesota in background

We assume that friends and relatives met the Steffensens when they arrived in Salt Lake City and that they were encouraged to migrate to Levan to settle, for that is where the Sern Thompson Family had gone. We do not know where Karen Margrete had been but we do know that she lived with George and Axelina in Levan when they had settled there.

                                                                   Train cars of the 1870's

The Stephensens were among some of the first settlers in Levan in its present location. The first settlement of Levan was about four miles southwest of its present location. It was moved closer to the mountains to take advantage of the water supply. The first year the Stephensens lived in a dug-out located about where the Romaine Mangelson home stands today. One child was born while they were living there. It was a boy, Martinus, who was born November 16, 1871. George bought a lot one block east and two north of this home and he, with the help of Victor and Stephen, built an adobe house. This consisted of one room with the roof made of willows to support sods. There was a fireplace which supplied heat and a place to cook their food. George also owned the lot to the north of the house; this is where he had sheds for his animals.

When Martinus was about two years old he slipped and fell near the fireplace and his night clothes caught on fire. At the time Axelina was across the street in the shed milking the cow. The little boy was so badly burned that he died a short time later. The house was later rebuilt and consisted of two rooms. This house was also made of adobe. The ‘dobe was made of clay from clay pits northeast of town. The clay was hauled in, mixed with straw and water added by tromping it in with bare feet. The mixture was then shoveled into molds and allowed to dry.

Five more children were born to the couple. Joseph, 10 November 1874; George, 10 March 1876; Martin, 29 January 1879; James, 29 July 1881; and Caroline, 15 August 1884. The couple, as most of the early pioneers, saw extremely hard times. Axelina would glean wheat along the fences, they could hunt deer and usually had plenty of meat and bread. They owned a few sheep. They planted a garden and had a number of fruit trees and several hives of bees and a cow. Axelina carded wool and spun her own thread and wove cloth for clothing. George and Axelina used to shear sheep. The boys often went with them to help. They worked very hard to support their large family. Axelina worked right along with George milking cows, taking care of the animals and orchards. They both enjoyed good health and hard work was a way of life with them. All the children who grew to adulthood were strong, robust people. It is said that George could stand with both feet in a half-bushel measure and shoulder a two bushel sack of wheat with one hand.

Later on, all the boys went shearing sheep almost every spring. There was a large shearing shed down on Meades flat where many herds were brought for shearing each year. Axelina and a woman, Trina Larsen, would shear along with the men for $.15 a head. They worked hard to take care of their family and replay Sern Thompson the money he had loaded them.

George and Axelina went to the Endowment House and had their children sealed to them on 25 October 1875. In Church, one fast Sunday, instead of talking, they would bear their testimony by standing and singing a Danish Hymn. They both had clear beautiful voices.

Axelina’s mother, Karen Margrete Mathiesen, lived with them these years. She was 69 years old when they came to Levan. She had a little room built south of the larger house where she slept. She was a great comfort to her daughter, and helpful with the housework and care of the children. Victor’s wife, Annie, said Grandma Karen Margrete was the sweetest, dearest person she had ever known. She died in Levan, Utah on 16 May 1893 at the age of 92 and is buried by her daughter.

George owned the field just north of the home and there he had his sheds and stored hay. He had what he called a ‘hackle machine’ that was like a large knife in a frame. He used to push his hay in and out it so it made better feed for the animals. He owned a team of horses called “Jane and Billy”. He plowed an area around a homestead northeast of town but for some reason he never filed on it.

According to Inez Sorbe, a granddaughter, in order to file on land it had to go through a Bishop’s Court. The business was very “hush, hush” but it is believed that George and his boys couldn’t raise the money for the filing fee. The homestead George was going to file on later belonged to the Francom family. He did own a field of about 20 acres north of town and west of the highway.

They planted an orchard on the lot where they lived and had a few hives of bees. One day when George was plowing in the orchard he tipped one of the hives over. He was stung so badly he almost died.

Stephen and Victor went to work on the Railroad. Stephen married Ophelia Nielsen (Tillie). Victor was good to the family and bought cloth for dresses for Alvena. Stephen was the oldest son. He was killed 13 July 1889 while working on the railroad. Victor was then prevailed upon to quit the railroad for fear he would be hurt.

Many of the grandchildren remember the orchards, bees, and the good apples. Julia and Jim lived just a half a block away, and Cecil and the other children would spend much time with George and Axelina (Grandpa and Grandma), having breakfast with them. He remembers Grandpa and Grandma saying the blessing on the food in Danish. They taught him many Danish words and expressions.

George died on 17 November 1913 at the age of 80 and Caroline, their youngest daughter, and her family moved in with Axelina to take care of her. One day, when Axelina went to move one of the cows tethered in the orchard, she became entangled in the rope and broke her hip.

Later Caroline and her family moved to Garfield and took Axelina with them. It was in Garfield that Axelina (Grandma) died on 18 January 1921 at the age of 84. Her body was brought to Levan and she was buried next to her husband.

One son, Joseph Hyrum, went on a mission back to Denmark. Here he met his wife, Marie Nelson. She came to Utah and they were married. Joseph said that the spelling of “Stephensen” should be with the “en” ending. The Swedish people use the “ON” spelling and since we are Danish the “EN” ending is the correct one to use.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


1896 - 1979

Relationship:  James Peter Christensen is my Father
I was born September 18, 1896, in a one room log cabin, the second child of Soren Peter and Alvina Stephensen Christensen.

My father was born in Sindal, Hjorring, Denmark, January 16, 1866, and came to America alone at the age of 11 years. His father was already in America and living in the state of Colorado where he had employment as a carpenter. His mother remained in Denmark and came to America later. I was blessed on November 5, 1896 by George Gardner.

My father came to Levan with a group of emigrants and for several years was “pastured out” living with various families and working for his board and room, probably the longest stay was with the C. N. Lundsteen family (the mother and father of Louise Lundsteen Francom.)

                                                        ALVINA STEPHENSEN

My mother was born in Aasted, Hjorring, Denmark on November 19, 1868, and came to America with her parents at the age of 18 months, on a sailing vessel which took six weeks to cross the Atlantic Ocean.
Because of their poverty they were forced to stay in the lower levels of the ship and weren’t even allowed to come on deck during the entire voyage.

My father had built a two room home during the summer previous to my birth and moved into it when I was but two months old. Because of the dampness of the newly plastered walls and the extremely cold winter, I contacted pneumonia and was ill practically all winter. But due to the very good care of my mother, I survived.

Pneumonia was a very treacherous and dreaded disease at that day and time and many deaths resulted. There was an old saying that if a patient could survive past the ninth day, the danger would be over and the patient had a chance of getting well. Many didn’t reach the ninth day.

During my early childhood days my father operated his 20 acre farm and did carpenter work to keep his family fed and clothed.

I was the second child of seven children; my sister Lela was older than I, then came Alvin, Angus, Lyman, Vinnie and Leo. Lyman died on September 30, 1968 at the H.K. Porter Rubber Plant at Nephi of an accident. At this time and according to my recollection, all have died.

When I was about the age of eight years, I contacted chicken pox which resulted in the loss of the sight of my right eye and left me totally blind in that eye. I was baptized into the Church on August 5, 1905 by Hans Anderson and confirmed a member of the Church on August 6, 1905.
I received my grade school education in Levan School together with two years of high school. I went to the third year of high school at Nephi and that was the extent of my education. There was no school bus operating at that time and cars were very scarce, so I stayed with Mrs. Cowan during my third year high school.

I spent one summer in Idaho when I was 18 years old, first in Grace working on a farm irrigating, and then at a place called Cove about 10 miles below Grace on the Bear River, helping build a big power plant.

There I met Leo Hendrickson of Gunnison, a young man about my caliber so we decided to go to Idaho Falls to make a fortune working in the potatoes. We became separated in Idaho Falls and I have never seen him again. (I learned from his brother that he died quite young, a few years after we met).

From Idaho Falls I came to Shelley, where I worked in a potato warehouse for a couple of months weighing and checking potatoes and loading bagged potatoes on railroad cars for shipment. (I didn’t’ get my fortune so I came home when the job ended.)


For the next few years I worked at the Salt Creek ranch south of Levan doing general farm work, this was before tractors came into use and we did all the work with horses often with eight or ten horses on one plow outfit.

During this time I courted several girls and finally found one that took pity on me and married me. On April 27, 1921, a lovely girl by the name of Vera Mangelson and were married in the Manti Temple and have lived together ever since.

I was superintendent of the YMMIA (Young Men Mutual Improvement Association) and counselor to Russell Gardner in the MIA in 1935. Also, LeGrand Mangelson and Alma Winter served as counselors when I was superintendent.

My political career began in the fall of 1936 (age 40) when I was elected to serve on the Levan Town Board at the November 1935 election for a four year term.
                                  James and Vera's home in Levan

James and Vera's home now, 2011. 
It is now owned by someone else and has been added onto.

On January 4, 1942 I was appointed the Levan Ward Clerk. I was appointed Bishop of the Levan Ward on May 21, 1944 (age 48) and was released on December 12, 1948.

I was next elected Mayor of Levan (age 47) in the November 1943 election but had to give up this position in September 1945 (when Von was born), when I was appointed Juab County Clerk and Auditor, after having served as chief deputy County Assessor for the past seven years.

In the fall of 1946 I defeated Ralph Beard of Nephi for the office of County Clerk and Auditor in the November 5th election with a comfortable majority of 1640 votes to 1042 for Mr. Beard.

In the fall of 1950 I defeated Clarence Paystrup of Levan for the same office in the November 7th election with another comfortable majority of 1834 votes to 867 for Mr. Paystrup.

In 1953 I was Father of The Year for Juab-Sanpete-Millard Counties. I also served as P.T.A. (Parent Teacher Association) President.

In the fall of 1954 I defeated William Stowell of Nephi for the same office in the November 2nd election with a majority of 1834 votes to 802 for Mr. Stowell.

I was again sustained as Superintendent of the YMMIA on September 24, 1961.

In the fall of 1962 (age 66) I was unopposed for the same office in the November 6th election having received 1556 votes.

My political career finally came to an end in the fall of 1966 (age 70) when I was defeated in the November 8th election when I received 977 votes to 1129 for my opponent Andy Johnson.

I served for the first four months of 1967 as deputy clerk and auditor to Mr. Johnson, making a total of 28 years and four months as an elected official of Juab County.


Mom remembers a special story involving her beautiful watch. Dad had gone into Nephi (this happened before they were married) to get a load of lumber. Well, he saw this beautiful watch in the store window. He decided to buy it for Mom. They wrapped it up fancy and he started home.

On the way home, Dad forgot what the watch looked like, so he unwrapped the package and took another look at the watch. Then he wrapped it up again. He did this several more times before he got home.

He gave the watch to Mom and she still had this in her possession. Now Von has the watch in my possession.

James and Vera's 50th Wedding Anniversary

While Dad was on his way to Idaho Falls, they passed through Ft. Hall, Idaho. He remembers seeing lots of Indians gathered by the train; said it looked like they were having a celebration. They were all dressed in pretty costumes and he remembers that.

On this same journey with the young man going to Idaho to gain a fortune, they each carried a suitcase. In one was all the bedding, in the other was their clothes. In Idaho Falls they got separated and Dad got the clothes suitcase. He never did again see that man.

Dad worked up in Grace, Idaho watching an ice machine for some time. He would tend it during the night. In the same plant was a baker who would do his baking at night too. Dad would go and talk to him in English and he could understand, then the man would talk to Dad in Danish and Dad could understand. They were the only two working nights; the man would fix good pastries for them to eat and they had a good time together.

Dad would stay by the ice machine all night and sometimes if something went wrong with the ice machine, he would hear the change in the noise and go fix it. Sometimes he would sleep over by the machine and could wake up when the noise changed.

When Dad was out courting (this was before street lights) a particular girl, when it was about time for them to return home the mother would come and look for them with a lantern swinging in her hand. One time they saw her coming and walked around one side of a tree while she walked around the other. She went up in town looking for them and they were at home all the time.

* * *

Dennis nominated Dad for the honor of Father of the Year from the Juab-Sanpete-Millard County Area for the year 1953. The following is what he wrote on the Entry Blank. “I nominate Mr. James Christensen of Levan, Utah because he has always been unselfish and has taken from himself and given to his seven children and wife. He is always very active in the church and his family and religion come first. He is a friend to everyone and always has a kind and cheering word for everyone calling at his office or home. To know him is to respect and love him. As busy as he is he always has time to help someone in need or make calls to the sick.”

James ( isn't he handsome? )

Dad and Mom loved to square dance. They belonged to a club and would dance every week. They even danced in Salt Lake City at the All Church Dance Festival. Mom had numerous dresses, unlike today’s style, they were long and flared and multi-colored. They both loved to dance as often as they could.

* * *

Bishop Kennison (at Dad’s funeral) announced the opening speaker and he said he always associated Mom and Dad as Mr. And Mrs. Choir. They had been in the choir when he first came to Levan.

* * *

Scott Christensen, a grandson, gave a nice tribute to his grandfather. He told about the many times he had been here. He said he had only missed 4 Christmas’s since he was born that the whole family weren’t here to our place for Christmas. Told about going to Eureka to pass election supplies with his grandpa and some of Wesley’s boys went there also.

* * *

Following taken from handout noting info from each bishop of Levan.

“James P. Christensen served as a bishop of the Levan Ward from May 21, 1944 to December 12, 1948.

He enjoyed working with the public. He especially enjoyed working with the young people of the ward. He served during World War II, and always had high praise for the young boys of the ward that gave up several years of their lives to serve their country in the armed forces. He had three of his sons in the service.

Many of his Bishop experiences were quite interesting. He had an unusual one while he was Bishop and working as Juab County Clerk. At the time the court house was being painted gray, there was a man and woman who were both helping with the painting, they were both middle aged, they had been working several days when one morning they climbed down from the scaffold and came into the clerk’s office, still in their dirty work clothes and wanted to get a marriage license so they could be married. They had heard that he could marry them right there. So James went to another room and got two employees as witnesses and they all went into the “vault” and he married them. The two went right back to their work and finished off the day.

James loved people and enjoyed talking to everyone. He was never too busy to stop and talk.

One of his favorite savings was, “There is good in everyone no matter how bad they seem to be”. The preceding was written by Wesley, his son.

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Mom wrote in her journal the experiences leading up to the end of Dad’s life. December 4, 1978, Dad fell by the bathroom door. The ambulance came and took him to the hospital and he had a broken hip and was in the hospital for quite some time. He was later taken to Salt Lake to an extended care center. He was there for about a month and then passed away on February 27, 1979. The folks of Levan were very generous in helping Mom. See the following examples.

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Dad, Ross and Von would go camping up in the Levan Canyon on our Ward Fathers and Sons night. We didn’t have a tent but we would sleep out under the stars at the Canyon Park located about 5 to 10 miles up the Levan Canyon. There would usually be lots of guys camping that evening. There would be a program and we would eat together. I remember we had an old spring bed that the sides would fold down. We put this bed in the trunk of the car and take it with us, then upon arriving in the canyon we would put up the sides of the springs and make a bed. I think Dad slept on the bed and Ross and Von would sleep on the ground. That was a good memory.

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Dad had a beautiful ‘bass’ voice and he would sing in a quartet with men from Levan. They were asked to sing at a lot of functions and including church.

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I remember Dad’s beautiful gardens. He had two; one by the house and one in the upper lot. He would raise all kinds of vegetables and fruits. We also had apple, apricot, walnut, plum, and peach trees. Dad and Mom were ‘famous’ for their banana squashes. They would win first place prizes at the County Fair each year. Some of the pictures of the squash is as tall as mom and dad. They both loved to garden and work outside. During the fall they would ‘sell’ their produce or just ‘give it away’ to the folks of Levan. That made them very happy to be of service to everyone.

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Following is Dad’s Priesthood ordinance record:

Teacher January 9, 1912 by J. E. Taylor

Priest May 9, 1913 by J. E. Taylor

Elder April 21, 1921 by W. W. Beard

                                      Dad was ordained a High Priest but I don’t have the date.