My name is Mary Ann Whitehead Overson and this blog is dedicated to all the amazing men and women who came before me: my ancestors. I also want to acknowledge my father, Armand Toyn Whitehead, who is the person responsible for a lot of the content in this blog; my dad has spent countless hours collecting and preserving photos and histories, and preserving them on the computer so that they can be handed down for generations. Thank you, Dad!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Reese Jensen Photos (full name: Ernest Maurice)

I was recently reunited with some of my cousins on Facebook, and they asked if I had any photos of Reese and his kids.  Well, I am happy to say that I do (thanks to my mom!) and here they are.

(NOTE:  The information that I post with the photo is the info that my mom labeled for each picture.  I'm sure there may be some mistakes and if you catch these mistakes, please let me know so I can fix them.  Thanks!)

Ernest Maurice Jensen - aka Reese:
Birth:  31 Dec 1929 in Goshen, Utah County, Utah, USA
Death: 2 Dec 1984 in Mt. Pleasant, San Pete County, USA
Reese Jensen, School Photo
Reese, c. 1941

Clockwise from Top:  Billy, Reese, Afton, Emma.  Standing in front of Charlie and Emma's home in Provo. c. 1941
Another school photo.  He attended the Franklin School in Provo, Utah.

Reese, on the front porch of Jensen House in Provo. c. 1947
Reese, chopping wood by the shed. c. 1947

Reese,  February 1962

Michael Jensen, Reese's son, c 1956
Bobbie Jensen, Reese's son c. 1954

Michael Jensen, as a baby

Michael and Bobbie, Reese's sons

Afton holding Bobbie, Reese's son, and Reese. c. 1952

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veteran's Day: Honoring Andrew Leslie Jensen, WWII Veteran

Andrew Leslie Jensen
Born:  13 Nov 1919 Goshen, Utah
Died:  7 Apr 2007 Glendale, Maricopa, Arizona
Buried:  13 Apr 2007 Salem, Utah, Utah
Married Lilly Mignon Johnson:  11 May 1948
Ely, White Pine, Nevada, USA
Parents:  Charles Christopher Jensen
and Emma Louisa Bale Jensen

Andrew Leslie Jensen is the third child born to Charles and Emma Jensen.  He was my mother's older brother, and one she stayed very close to as the years went by.  I knew him as Uncle Les, but many knew him as Andy, outside of the family, so I will refer to him as Andy.  As you can tell from his pictures, he was quite a character!

When he was 22, he was enlisted in the U.S. Army, Infantry Division, as a Private.  The information I have about his service is secondhand from my mother, and since she has passed away, I am having to delve into my seriously malfunctioning memory to recall his service.

I do know that he served in France during the war.  He wasn't out for very long when he was wounded and sent to a hospital in England to recuperate.  He brought back some mementos of his service:  Embroidered emblems, such as the lapel bars, and the swastika and Eagle emblem from a Nazi soldier's uniform; a silver stick pin from a German soldier's uniform; some German money; and, to me most special of all, a bracelet that he made from old English silver coins.  After he recuperated from his wounds, he stayed in England and out of combat.

I remember that he worked at several jobs, but he had no education beyond grammar school, so they were menial jobs.  Before the war he worked for the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and helped to terrace the mountainside above Utah County.  He said that they made up stuff for men to do, useless jobs that had no meaning, no rhyme, no reason.  It was a job, though, and he was glad to have it.

As he got older, he worked at full service stations, one of which was Larsen's, a gas station very near to where I lived with my parents in Orem when I was a senior in High School.  One day I went to gas up my car, the snow coming down like crazy and so cold I could barely stand it - I was shocked to look up and realize that the man cleaning my windshield and gassing up my car was my Uncle Les!  He was definitely past 70 years of age, but he was spry and witty - always had a smile!  He didn't like just sitting around, and enjoyed hard, physical work.  When he got older, though, he became ill, and had to slow down.  He went to live out of state with one of his children for a while.

Emma Louisa Jensen and Andy, circa 1980

Andy, on his mother's back porch
His funeral was well attended.  My sister and I went, but my mom was on a mission and couldn't be there.  It was such a treat to see all of his family.  His daughter took us out to her car after the luncheon, and there were bags of hats that he had collected over the years.  She was giving them away to anyone who wanted one or two.  She told me that he wore a hat every day, and that he wore every single hat he had!  At the graveside their was a 21-gun salute, honoring his service, and his casket was draped with an American Flag.

Thank you, Uncle Les, for your service to our country.  Thanks to ALL who now serve and those who have served - my father, my sister-in-law, and my nephew included.  Thank you for your willingness to protect our freedoms and the rights of this country that we often take for granted.  I pray for you and your families, and thank God for all that we enjoy in this, still the greatest country in the world:  The United States of America!

Andrew Leslie Jensen Obituary:

Andrew Leslie Jensen departed this world on April 7, 2007 in Glendale, Arizona where for the last 7 years he made numerous friends and enjoyed bowling.
He was born on November 13, 1919 in Goshen, Utah. He was preceded by his wife, Mignon Johnson and oldest son, Kent, 2 grandchildren and 1 great-grandchild. He is survived by his daughters Angie Jensen and Kathy Morrow and his sons David Jensen and Doug Jensen. Additional survivors include a sister Afton Whitehead, 13 grandchildren, 7 great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.
Andrew served his country in the U.S. Army and his God in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He retired from Geneva Steel Corporation after 28 years and spent his spare time camping, fishing, hunting and all things mechanical.
Funeral services will be held on Friday, April 13, 2007 at 11 a.m. at the Knoll Park Ward Chapel, 160 South 460 West, Salem. Family and friends may call Thursday evening from 6-8 p.m. at Walker Mortuary, 187 South Main, Spanish Fork and Friday prior to services from 9:45-10:45 a.m. at the church. Interment will be in the Salem City Cemetery.
Published in the Daily Herald on 4/9/2007.

Buried in the Salem City Cemetery, Salem, Utah, USA

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Patronymic Naming and Other Research Helps

In Denmark, as well as other Scandinavian countries, patronymic naming was the norm.  This means that a child took their father's first name as their last, and added sen - or son - and datter - or daughter.  For example,  Johan Christensen's children would have the last name of Johansen, if it was a boy, or Johansdatter if it was a girl.  This is both helpful, and frustrating!  Because of this, we can infer that Johan Christensen's father had the first name of Christen or Christian, but we have no idea what his last name would have been. 

This is not ALWAYS the case, though.  Sometimes a family will add another last name, but this time it is the name of the area that the family is from.  So, Johan Christensen may have been born in an area called Fautin, so he will add that name after his last name:  Johan Christensen Fautin.  All of his children, though they may have the last name of Johansen/Johansdatter, will aslo have Fautin after their name.  This makes it a little easier to track ancestors.

Another tip that I have learned, though it applies more to people from the Great Britain, is that sometimes you can gather a clue as to the name of a man's father because it was tradition to name the eldest son after the father's father.  So, if I need to find John Smith's father but don't know what it is, I can look at John Smith's children to see if perhaps he named one of them after his father.  It is usually the firstborn, but not always.  So, if John has a son name Michael Snow Smith, then I can look for a Michael Smith who fits the area and time period belonging to John's father.  Here is another clue, though!  Michael's middle name is Snow - this is usually the mother's maiden name.  I have found MANY a ancestor through this technique.

Happy Hunting!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

James William Nixon, I

James William Nixon, I, circa 1880

of James William Nixon Sr. 1836-1882

            I was born on the 17th of January 1836, in Liverpool, England. My parents, William Abraham Nixon and Bridget Degnan were born in Ireland. Father in Dublin in 1816, and mother in Langford in 18[04]. When I was two years old my parents moved to Bangor in Wales, where we lived until 1850, when we moved to America, first to New York State, and then to Ohio, then to Minnesota. I have one brother and three sisters, namely: William Nixon, Catherine Stuart, Matilda Gregory, and Jennie Maria. My parents afterwards separated, then my father married Mary Elizabeth Perine, by whom he had six children, Mary Elizabeth, Agnes Nixon Rathbun, Clarence, Frederic, and Harry.
I was in business in St. Paul, Minn. from 1853 to 1856 when our establishment took fire and burned up. In May 1859, I started across the plains with a Mormon ox train, arrived in Utah on the 2nd of Sept. On the 26th of Nov.
I was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of L. D. S. in the rear of Pres. Brigham Young's residence in City Creek, by Elder Robert Martin, and confirmed by Dunbar X Allen, 20th ward. In Dec. I received my first endowments and was enrolled in Brigham Young Jr. regiment of cavalry called the Standing Army.  Served 2 months in Echo Canyon, then was disbanded and organized into John Sharp regiment of infantry and again sent out to Echo Canyon, serving until May 1858, when Gen. Johnston's army was moving into Salt Lake, we moved in ahead of them, remained in company with John Wheeler, about Provo.  In employ of Levi Stewart, herding sheep and cattle.  Moved back to Salt Lake, when by counsel of Bishop John Sharp, who fitted me out.  
I started to camp Floyd working at chopping wood, driving team, and during the winter of 58-59 I done some trading, cleared about $1500., bout two span of mules, a wagon and three cows.
On Oct. 26th 1859 I married Johanna Marie Schultz, and worked during the winter of 59 and 60 for Dustin Amy at tin smithing. In the spring we moved to East Weber opened up a farm and made considerable improvements. In 1864 I rented my farm and moved to Salt Lake City and bought a house and lot in the 9th ward and worked at my trade part of 64 and 65 for Alfred Bean.
In Oct. 1865 I was called to St. Geo. on a mission. I sold my farm, house and lot and other property. I started on the 14th of Jan. 1866  for Dixie with two wagons and two span of mules. We had at this time three children. We arrived in St. George on the 14th of Feb. I bought a lot pitched my tent and started next day for Los Angeles to buy a set of tinners tools, machine and material to start a business with in St. Geo. I returned on the 14th of May, 1866, had a good trip. During the summer of 1866 I built a house and worked in the basement at my trade during 67-68. In 69-70-71, I was teaming principally.
In the fall of 71 I bought a place in Pioche [Nevada] to do business and continued until March 15th, 1873, when having sold out, I returned to St. George, where I had a store built, and commenced the tin smithing and hardware business; continued until the 16th of May, 1874 when I turned in myself and property into the United Order. I was first appointed 2nd Vice Pres., then Treasurer, then President and Treasurer in the fall of 1875 and still acted as such during 75, 76.
Feb. 21st 1876 I married Hannah I. Fawcett, Jan. 1st 1877, the St. George Temple was dedicated. I was called to labor there giving endowments to the living and for the dead. In Feb. and March I had been acting for some of my wife Johanna's folks. On Mar. 27 I, Johanna M. and Hannah F. received our second anointings under the hands of Wilford Woodruff in the temple. On Sept. 2 we fitted up _____ rooms for the Seventies. April 6-7-8 conference was held in the temple, all the Twelve except _. Carrington were present. All spoke freely in favor of the United Order. They adjourned to meet in the new Tabernacle on the 6th of Oct. next in S. L. C. A violent dust storm occurred at the close of Conference. Apr. 16th, Pres. Young and others bid us good-bye and started north. Oct. 17, I was ordained Bishop of the 3rd Ward, St. Geo. with C. A. Terry and A. P. Winsor councellors in the Temple under the hands of Wilford Woodruff and John D. T. McAllister. May 11th, I started in company with J. G. Bleak and Sister Nixon and Emma to Mt. Trumbull to organize the company there as a United working Co. in Lumbering, farming and manufacturing of lumber, organized them as a branch of the Church with Eli Whipple as Presiding Elder. June 26th sending teams with supplies to Trumbull. 27th still laboring in the Temple. Aug. 22nd had Mary Anne, Emma Amelia, and Hannah M, our children, who were born out of the covenant sealed to us. On Aug. 28-29, we held Prayer circles meeting in behalf of Pres. Young who was very sick, at 4 P. M. he died on the 29th,. Sept. 2nd funeral was held. We had a large attendance from the other settlements. The Tabernacle was draped in mourning. He left the Church fully organized. Sept 25th, we started to Trumbull with A. Nelson to look for water. Arrived on the 26th found all well, explored for water and was satisfied we could get more water by digging. Sept. 30th, attended meeting in Trumbull Big House. Oct. 5th started home with Hannah F., Bro. Nelson and my son James W. Arrived 7 P. M on the 6th. On 22nd started in company with T. J. Jones to Sebits Mt. sheep herd, with load of salt, arrived home on the 29th.
Nov. 28th, I married Zephyr Kelsey. Jan 10th, 1878, I was baptized for 5 g. fathers and uncles. 22nd I was baptized for 9 more relatives and friends. On 23-24-25 endowed for 3 more. I have continued to labor in the Temple as a missionary from the time of its opening until the present time. May 7th, 1878, I have moved my family out to Trumbull, I having with others bought the Trumbull property, including live stock. Arrived on the 9th, planting corn and potatoes and taking care of stock. Mill running, sawed about 200 feet per day, planted corn, peas and rutabagos. June 1st started to St. Geo. with Sister Nixon. On the 7th [started back to Trumbull arrived on 8th at 7 P. M. Oct. 7,] met with board of United Order at St. Geo. 12th started with Zephyr to Trumbull arrived 13th, digging potatoes and moving mill timbers, hauling ash poles, working at the barn, hauling planer and other mill property down to the houses. 28th fitting up wagon for Dan Sill to go to Panguitch. 31st Dan and Walter started. Nov. 2nd I started for St. George with Hannah F. and Geo. A. Nixon attending to business in St. Geo. My father who arrived on the 8th, going out to Trumbull with me and Hannah F. and J. F. Deluche. We arrived on the 15th at 9 P. M. and found all well. On the 19th McArthur and Orson Foster arrived at Trumbull with their mill. I assisted Deluche to fit up a logging truck to haul logs. Nov. 20 I went up to the mill and measured out lumber. On 22nd took down smoke stack and timbers from mill, had a talk with Perkins and Blake and Co. I made a proposition to them to let them half of all the timbers on the mts for $1000, or all of it for $2000. Canaan or Winsor which they refused to accept. On 23rd worked on tank. 27th worked on spring. T. Hancock came out, we worked at mill laying sleepers until 20th of Dec. then started to St. Geo. Attended to business until Dec. 28.
Started back to Trumbull Jan. 7, 1879. Arrived 9th. 10 inches of snow had falled up to this date. Jan. 21st started to hunt for Dan Sill. In Panguitch we found he gone to Sanpete. I followed him there Feb 1st and after talking to Dan, I decided to sell the oxen he had for wheat. I stored it at the mill until Spring. I returned home, St. Geo. Feb. 16th to attend to business until 27th. Arrived at Trumbull March 1st with Chidester, Boggs, and Harmon and Howard Deluche working at the mill fitting it up. On 16th started to St. Geo. with father, Boggs, and Chidester. On 24th took father to Washington to go to York with T. J. Jones on his way to St. Cloud Minnesota. I remained in St. Geo. until 27th. I arrived on 31st in Trumbull with my son J. W. Jr., worked about the mill and farm 14-15 April making smoke stack for mill.

(This is the last father wrote—Mother finished it as follows):
During the summer they finished the mill and began to saw lumber. Boggs, the engineer got angry and left so Bro J. W. Nixon tended to the engine himself. His health had been poor for some time but still he labored whenever he was able until winter when owing to illness in his family they had to come to St. Geo and left him out to Trumbull with his son G. A. Nixon. He was taken very sick and thought he would die. He gave his little boy instructions what to do. He said that if he should die, to drag him out and bury him in the snow. As soon as the weather cleared up so that his son J. W. could travel he went out to relieve his father and let him come in to be doctored. He remained in St. Geo until Spring then he took part of his family and went out and commenced to run the mill, working as engineer himself. His health was very poor, but he was anxious to saw out the bill of temple lumber before he quit, but they had to haul water to finish it. He kept up till they sawed out the bill, then he had to give up. It was the last work he did. He suffered a great deal of pain in his shoulders and sides. He had a large tumor growing under his right arm and some small ones on his left ribs. He stayed out to Trumbull until Oct, then through the persuasion of his family he came to St. Geo to get medical assistance, but found he would have to go to S. L. C. for an operation to cut out the tumors. He started Dec. 7th, 1881. After he arrived in S. L. C. the Doctors advised him to wait awhile until he was rested before undergoing the operation. He waited until Jan, 17th. One tumor weighed a pound, the others were smaller. He seemed to get considerable better for awhile and came home, but his blood had become so poisoned with the tumors that they started to grow again. He suffered very much. Warm weather came and he decided to go out to Trumbull again. He was quite poorly for a while. When Sister Nixon learned of it, she came out to him. He was advised to use some powders which seemed to help him and he felt a good deal better. Then he began to be restless and wanted to go to Panguitch for a few weeks, so on the 8th of July he and his daughter Hannah started. They were gone about two months. He got very much worse while he was gone, but his son J. W. Nixon had gone to S. L. C. with a load of wool so he had to wait until he returned before he could start for home. When he did start he was so feeble that he had little hopes of getting home alive, but when he arrived at Kanab Bro McAllister and Bleak were there and took him in their carriage and brought him home as he was too weak to travel in his wagon to Trumbull. Sister Nixon had gone to St. Geo so she was there to receive and care for him. They got Dr. Higgins to care for him. He rallied a little but soon his leg began to turn black in spots and he suffered a thousand deaths. His family worked faithfully with him, bathing his leg with herbs until it was better, then a hard cough set in; He coughed with every breath, then dropsy commenced to set in. The Doctor worked faithfully but finally gave up and he died a few weeks after, Feb. 19, 1882 at his home in St. Geo and was buried on the 20th. Funeral services held at 12 noon in the Tabernacle, a very large crowd in attendance.

Submitted by Elizabeth Jane Nixon Foster, Nov. 20, 1935

James William Nixon I headstone, St. George City Cemetery, Utah

Monday, November 7, 2011

Johanna Marie Schultz Nixon

Johanna Marie Schultz Nixon, circa 1880;  artist's rendition of a damaged B&W photo.

This may Seem like a random posting, but I was asked to provide some info about Johanna and her family.

Before you read further, an explanation must be made about the Schultz family - with patronymic naming being the norm in 19th century Denmark (see my post on patronymic naming on this blog),  Johanna's Father's name was Christian Ludwig Johansen.  When he moved to America, he kept the last name of Johansen, BUT he also had another last name of Schultz (perhaps because his ancestors were from Germany, and then adopted patronymic naming when they immigrated to Denmark.)  When doing my research on the Schultz family I found that they were documented with the last name of Johansen on the Tuscarora ship's manifest.  This name was misspelled, though, on the 1859 Overland Travel manifest of the Pioneer Company Johanna and her sister traveled with.  With these little discrepancies, I am so grateful that I even found their names.  I thank the Spirit for helping me with this!

Here is a life sketch of Josephine from our Family History Records:


            Picture a little, old-world village named Honsinge, in Denmark; picture the comfortable, respectable home of the prosperous, well-loved village blacksmith, Mr. [Christian Ludvig Johansen] Schultz; picture this happy family: the capable, happy-hearted mother [Ane Dinesen], the contented hard-working father, and their only child, the little girl, Sidse; and you have a picture of the home into which baby Johanna Maria Schultz was ushered on April 1, 1844.

            Little Johanna led the carefree life of any normal child until she was eleven years old, when the great change came. By this time there were two other members in the family, little Ferdinand and Mary. This family of six, like all the other families in the village, was of the Lutheran religion. But when Elder H. P. Lund and Elder L. Erickson from the Mormon Mission at Copenhagen, about fifty-six miles from Honsinge, came to the village and presented the religion of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to the inhabitants, the Schultz family were the first to recognize and receive the Truth.

            Of course all the friends and relatives immediately became the enemies of these brave advocates of the new religion. One Sunday the old Lutheran priest of the village was invited by Elder Schultz to come to his home where Brothers Erickson and Lund were staying, to debate the question of Lutheranism vs. Mormonism with the Mormon Elders. Eleven-year-old Johanna was a silent but interested spectator. The priest, a short, heavy-set, important old gentleman, became steadily angrier as he found that he could not overthrow the arguments of the Mormon Elders. Finally, in a tottering rage, he threw reason to the winds, declared Mormonism to be worthless, and enforced his statement by bringing his hand down with all his strength upon the Bible, lying on the table. Elder Lund, not realizing the remark he was about to make would remain with one of his hearers, little Johanna, the rest of her life, reproved the old priest by saying: "It is not becoming in a servant of God to give such a slam on the Bible."

            That evening, after the meeting held in the Schultz home, the mob tried to break into the house to kill the Mormon Elders, but the Elders managed to escape through the windows. The lawless men then threw rocks at the building, broke the windows and tried to climb through the chimney, but becoming discouraged, finally left the offending inhabitants in peace.

            Soon after this, Brothers Lund and Erickson blessed Elder Schultz, making him a priest, and sent him to preach in the city where he used to buy coal, iron and steel for blacksmithing. While there preaching to his merchant friends whom he thought would at least listen to him, they sent for the police. When Elder Schultz returned home he described the outcome of his adventure thus: "Today I have received the greatest testimony of the Gospel I have ever had. I expected to be imprisoned, but when the policeman came up to me, face to face, God blinded his eyes so that he didn't see me."

            After two such years filled with trouble, chaos, misery and danger, life at Honsinge became unendurable to the Schultz family, so with a certificate from Elder Erickson recommending any member of the Schultz family to the Mormons in Utah, Johanna and her loved ones, with about three hundred other Scandinavians of the same faith, set sail in April, 1857, for America—the long promised, long dreamed of "Land of the Free." The father had a very small amount of money which he had luckily been able to obtain from the sale of his prosperous farm and his home. Johanna was then thirteen years of age.

            This little colony of Mormons, of whom Brother Funk was put in charge, were six weeks on the ocean. Many of the company died from typhoid fever. Johanna's father died ten days before they landed. Realizing that he would never see the land for which he had waited and prayed so long, Brother Schultz called Brother Funk to his bedside and left him this charge: "Please see that my wife and children are safely delivered in Zion."

            Brother Schultz was wrapped in his feather bed, weighted with a sack of coal, and sunk into the sea without any funeral services.

            After landing in America, two more sad, trouble-filled years followed for Johanna, in Burlington, Iowa, where she and the rest of the family spent their first summer in the new world. The health of the Mother and two younger children, Ferdinand, three years old and Mary, five years old, steadily failed. By the kindness of a noble lady, Mrs. Lawrence, who heard of the penniless state of the unfortunate family, Johanna obtained work in her hotel, and Sidse obtained work from a certain widower, a friend of Mrs. Lawrence. Every day Johanna would bring a basket of goodies given to her by her kind employer, home to the hungry little children whose wistful, pinched little faces were always flattened against the window pane. But one day the little faces were missing and Johanna and Sidse, with the aid of the kind Mrs. Lawrence buried little Mary and Ferdinand. The mother, broken down with grief, followed them about Christmas time. Before she or the younger children died she prophesied their death, and also said that Johanna and Sidse would reach Zion successfully.

            After the mother's death, Mrs. Lawrence and her friend wished to adopt the two orphaned children, but remembering the wishes of their parents, Johanna and Sidse finally obtained passage for the journey to Utah with a Mormon company from Fairfield, a town a short distance from Burlington. The company was composed mainly of the people who had been on the ship which had carried the Schultz family to America. The same Brother Funk was in charge. This company, consisting of seventy-five wagons or more, each drawn by about three yoke of oxen, started in 1859 for Utah. Johanna was then fifteen. Captain Brown was sent from Salt Lake as a guide and they left Fairfield in the spring. Johanna and practically all of the other members walked all the three months it took them to reach Salt Lake City. The wagons were filled to capacity with provisions and so no room was found for riding.

            Johanna was one of the thirteen people belonging to Brother Funk's wagon. Among the thirteen people were two very old persons, the mother and father of Brother Funk. They also walked. The greatest share of the members wore thin moccasins purchased from the Indians. But the days of the journey were peaceful, happy days. At night when they had found a suitable, water-furnished camp ground, the men would drive the wagons into the ring used for protection, the people and animals when inside being safer from possible Indian attacks. After the occupants of each wagon had supper, prayer followed. Then, if the ground was an especially level piece, the people would sometimes enjoy a dance, as there were a number of musicians in the company with violins or other instruments. In these dances young and old participated, and out on the green grass, under the starry sky they would frolic in happy, carefree abandon.

            The only death Johanna remembers was that of a fine, strong-looking man who ran a prickly pear thorn in his foot. Blood poisoning set in and he died in a few days. A simple grave was dug at the side of the road with a rude board for a head stone, to which a piece of paper bearing his name, etc. was attached. Here, in the hot desert sand, with the coyote, the lizard and the horned toad for company, and with the vast dreary stretches of cactus, sand, sagebrush for a graveyard, the lonely sleeper slept on. Encountered on the way were many such graves, grim evidence of the hard struggle. Then, one could read the names on the crosses; now, unrelenting nature, in her fight against man's invasion of her precincts, has long since obliterated every trace of the last resting places of her victims.

            One day, while walking along, Johanna received a stone bruise in her heel which soon became festered so badly that she was unable to walk. Captain Brown simply lanced her foot with his pen-knife. She rode in the wagon that afternoon, but the next day walked with the others.

            During this journey many people drove cows. At night, after milking, they would put the milk in churns, and after a day's jolting in the wagons, the milk would be churned to butter. The people always slept on the ground—under the tent if the weather was stormy. Many times Indians would come up. Then the white men would sit with their red brothers in a circle and smoke the Pipe of Peace. Often, for the sake of peace, the white men would have to give food to the Indians in groups of from fifty to one hundred. Therefore, when the company was within one week from Salt Lake their food gave out and each person received only a biscuit a meal. But finally they reached their destination in safety. Johanna says now that she would not mind having this experience over. She spent a very happy three months, for, because they were in God's care, the people united and peaceful, and their watchword was always: "Something better ahead."

James William Nixon I
            In Salt Lake City Johanna and her sister were taken care of by Erastus Snow. Then Johanna met Brother Nixon, a young Mormon boy, and married him. She was then fifteen years of age. After her sister's marriage Sidse lived with a certain Squire Wells.

            Brother Nixon purchased a small farm in wild, unsettled East Weber valley. A rude log cabin was Johanna's home, six miles from nearest neighbors. The cabin, originally one-roomed, was made two-roomed, and a small, six-paned, front window of glass put in. After a time Johanna was able to afford narrow bleach cloth curtains for the window. The tiny house originally had only the ground for a floor, which was carpetless, however. There was a dirt roof, and in bad weather the rain and mud would stream into the room. Milk pans were put under the places that leaked the most. The furnishings of the home were three-legged stools—slab tops with holes for the legs—made by Brother Nixon, a huge chest, which held every odd thing, for a table and homemade, lumber bedsteads, cumbersome and awkward. In the logs of the walls holes were bored and wooden pegs fitted in these. The pegs, on which clothes were hung, constituted the wardrobe, when Johanna's first baby was born, (she was then seventeen) her husband hewed her a rude cradle out of a log.

            Johanna's next pioneer home was in St. George, where she and her husband, responding to a call for volunteers to come to Dixie, moved after four years in Weber and two in Salt Lake. This was the greatest trial of Johanna's life to leave her happy, comfortable home in Salt Lake where they had moved after renting their farm in Weber, and to come to the barren, unfertile southern country whose reputation had already been spread afar. But Brother Nixon, being a tinner, was requested to come to St. George and make tinware—plates and pans, etc. So, during the cold winter, riding over the snow part of the way on sleds, they came and were three weeks on the journey. Traveling with them were some emigrants going straight through to California, as was Brother Nixon, as he intended to purchase there tools for his tinning business with the money he had received by selling his East Weber farm and home. So it was that his wife's first home in Dixie during the three months that he was gone was simply a tent with straw on the ground. He barely had time to place Johanna and her three children in this tent before he had to leave for California with the emigrants.

            Besides being a Tinner in Salt Lake, where he made his living by furnishing the people with pans, kettles, tin plates, etc., Brother Nixon farmed, built his house, and was somewhat a "jack-of-all-trades." In building he used mainly an augur, a hammer, a saw and a ax. The tools were brought from the East. Wooden pegs were used in place of nails. Rawhide was used for almost every purpose.

            The clothing Johanna and her small family wore was of any kind of material to be obtained. Johanna's first dress in Utah was a blue denim dress made by herself. Calico at fifty cents a yard and factory at one dollar a yard could be purchased in Salt Lake. A spool of thread was twenty-five cents. The stockings were home-knit. The wool was taken from the sheared sheep, washed, dried, then carded with hand cards and made into rolls, after which it was spun on the spinning wheel. Cotton came in skeins that were woven on the loom. The dresses, some of them home-knit and woolen, were died by cochineal bought in the stores. One dress Johanna made for herself was composed of the black wool of a sheep and the white wool, died four different colors. She wove it herself into a beautiful piece of cloth.

            Shoes were made by local shoemakers. The hats in style then were called "shakers," being simply painted paste-board shaped like sunbonnets. The slat sunbonnet was also worn. Only the cheapest kinds of food was used. Tea was five dollars a pound, molasses was used for everything that called for sugar, especially for preserving fruits. Molasses cake was the main dessert on Johanna's table. The meat was jerked.

            The only education Johanna received after leaving her native Denmark was during the first year after she was married, when she went to school to a certain Bishop in the Eleventh Ward in Salt Lake. Teaching was very slow. Almost a whole winter would be spent in simply learning the letters. At best only the "three R's" were taught.

            After her one year of schooling when Johanna lived in East Weber, she had a strange experience with some Indians. "Now don't get frightened, but if they should come my revolver is under the pillow and my gun is on the wall." There had been a rumor that Indians, without their squaws, which meant danger, were coming up the valley. Frightened, seventeen-year-old Johanna was sitting in her little log cabin rocking her tiny baby in its rude rough cradle and looking out of the small window trying to realize that her only neighbors were six miles away. The Indians wouldn't come, of course. But suddenly her staring eyes saw them, painted and in battle array, coming up the road. There were only two of them, but that was enough for Johanna. One slunk away, but the other, more bold, made straight for the defenseless cabin with the blue smoke curling out of its chimney. Johanna grasped the revolver with nervous fingers. The door was locked, but with only a simple catch. The Indian tried the door and called to her to let him in. Then he tried to force his way. Johanna was almost fainting from fear. Then suddenly another voice mingled with the guttural grunts of the Indian, and Johanna, recognizing the voice of a neighbor boy, knew she was saved. The boy, who had seen the Indians and had guessed their intention, finally pacified the redman and persuaded him to leave.

            In this incident, as in all her life, Johanna says she feels as if she has been under God's care. All her hardships are over now, and she is living peacefully and happily in St. George. But no matter what her trials may have been, she has always been cheerful and hopeful, and, like the rest of our noble, fast-disappearing pioneers, her watchword has always been: "Something better ahead."

James W. & Johanna M. Schultz Nixon Children:  James William Nixon II, Josephine May Nixon Whitehead, George Albert Nixon,  Della Maude Nixon Price, Johanna Marie Schultz Nixon, Emma Nixon Mathis   c. 1900

Johanna Marie Schultz Nixon, c. 1920

Johanna M. Nixon, widow of James W. Nixon, and one of Utah's pioneers, died at her home in Provo, March 13, following a protracted illness.  Mrs. Nixon was a native of Denmark, born April 1, 1844.  When 11 years of age she immigrated to America, accompanied by her mother, one brother and three sisters, Her father was buried at sea.  Soon after the family's arrival in Iowa her, mother, brother and one sister died leaving only one sister, Mrs. Sena Barton of Salt Lake, who now survives.  In 1859 Mrs. Nixon, with her 11-year-old sister, joined an ox-team company and walked across the plains.

In 1860 she was married to James W.  Nixon and moved to East Weber,. and later back to Salt Lake.  Then, with other volunteers, the family moved to St. George, where she lived until August, 1921.  In 1882 her husband died.  Last August she purchased a home in Provo, in order that she might be near her children who live there.  Mrs. Nixon served as president of the Relief society at St. George for many years.

She is survived by the following sons and daughters: Mrs. E. Mathis of Salt Lake, J. W. and G. A. Nixon and Mrs. Josephine Whitehead of Provo, Mrs. Delia Lynn of El Paso and Mrs. Della Price of Storrs; her sis[t]er, Mrs. Barton, and thirty-three grandchildren and twenty-three great-grandchildren.

At the time of her death she had three grandsons fulfilling missions, St. Clair Nixon in Missouri, Thomas Price in California, and LeRoy Whitehead in Canada.

Funeral services were hold in the Sixth ward chapel, Provo, on, Wednesday, Mar. 15, after which the remains were shipped to St George for interment.

Funeral Services

Funeral services were held March 17 at 3 p. m. in the Stake tabernacle.  Services opened with a song by the choir, "When The Mists Have Cleared Away." Opening prayer by Elder R. A. Morris.  Vocal Solo Dilworth Snow, "I Do Believe."

Pres. David H. Cannon said that Bro. and Sister Nixon had identified with the Dixie Mission for a. long time.  Soon after the opening of the St. George temple Sister Nixon was called by Pres. Wilford Woodruff to labor in it.  She was a very faithful worker there for many years.  Bro.  Nixon worked here In the United Order under Pres. Young and was a good true worker.  Sister Nixon was a great aid to him.  Prayed the Lord to bless Sister Nixon's children.

Sister Zaidee Miles said she was pleased to respond to the call to speak of Sister Nixon's work in the Relief Society.  Said she had been spiritually acquainted with her for a long while and bore testimony to the good faithful work done by her while president of the Third St. George Ward Relief Society and at all times.  Had always enjoyed hearing Sister Nixon talk to the Relief Society and tell experiences of her early life.  She has left a rich heritage and it is her children's privilege to carry the good work on.  Hoped that we would all remember her good work and her sweet refined nature.

Vocal solo, Sister Nellie Brooks.  Elder D. H. Morris said he was pleased that the children of Sister Nixon had brought her remains here to bury.  Said he had known her for 50 years; knew she had great faith in God for he had heard her bear her testimony of His goodness.  She left her native home with her parents when 11 years of age; her father died while crossing the ocean and her mother and all of the family but one sister and herself died of cholera when crossing the plains with ox teams.  Her husband died about 40 years ago leaving her with a family of small children.  Said he had never heard her say a word against anyone.

Pres. Geo. F. Whitehead bore testimony to all that had been said of the deceased.  Said it would be hard for anyone to live the faithful life she has lived.  Asked the Lord to bless her children.

Pres. Edw. H. Snow Said he was pleased that Sister Nixon's earthly remains had been brought home for burial.  He was pleased to see the love that her children had for her.  Had known her for a long time and had always thought her a wonderful woman.  Thought her children would understand the sacrifices made by her and live better lives for that knowledge.  Hoped we would always honor the pioneers of this country.

Bishop F. G. Miles said he knew Sister Nixon was true and faithful, a good mother and a good member of the  ward.  She had always been faithful with her tithing and fast offerings.

Choir sang, "Beautiful Home." Prayer Pres. Thos. P. Cottam.

The casket was opened so that friends and neighbors of the deceased might have a last look.

The floral decorations were very beautiful, wreaths and flowers having been brought from Provo for the occasion.  Interment was made in the city cemetery.

Funeral Services Held For Mrs. Johanna M. Nixon**

PROVO, March 16.—Impressive funeral services were held in the Sixth ward chapel this afternoon for Mrs. Johanna M. Nixon, who died here Monday following a prolonged illness.  John W. McAdam of the ward bishopric presided.  The opening prayer was by Andrew Knudsen.  Appropriate musical numbers were rendered by F. L. Hickman, Murray Roberts, Violet Johnson and Norma Bullock.  The speakers included John W. McQuarrie and John W. McAdam.  The benediction was by W. Monroe Paxman.

Following the services here the body was sent to St. George where interment will take place in the family plot.

* U., Salt Lake City, No. 12 - 1922 [Original in possession of LeRoy Whitehead]
**  1922, possibly published in the Daily Herald, Provo


The above Death Certificate states that Johanna was 77 years old, almost 78, when she died.  Her COD was carcinoma of the stomach, or stomach cancer, with a secondary cause due to bronchitis.  She must have been in tremendous pain when she died.  It looks as if she was admitted for treatment in Provo in the middle of January, 1922, and stayed for three months until her passing.

Her husband, James, had died in 1882, when he was 46 and Johanna was 38 years of age.  At the time of her husband's death, she had given birth to 9 children, the oldest living child was 20 years old, and the youngest was 3 years old.  James and she had buried their first child, Mary Ann Nixon, in 1867, at the tender age of 6. After James died, Johanna buried her second child, Sena Lenora Nixon, when she was just 16.

The following pictures depict 3 sides of the same 4-sided marker.  It is unknown when this marker was placed or who placed it.
Johanna Marie Schultz Nixon's headstone, St. George City Cemetery***

James William Nixon, Sr.'s headstone, St. George City Cemetery***

Mary Ann & Sena Lenora Nixon's Headstone, St. George City Cemetery***
She, like many other women in St. George at the time, shared her husband with two other women, as he later married when he was called to polygamy by church leaders.  This couldn't have been easy for her.

Johanna suffered so much loss in her lifetime.  All in her family but Johanna, and her sister, Sidse, died on the voyage to Utah.    She lost two children in their youth, her husband died, leaving her with many young ones to care for.  And yet, through it all, she seemed to look at what she had gained, rather than what she had lost.  She had the gospel, which told her that all the loved-ones who had passed on would surely be with her again; she had loved a man so deeply that she was sealed to him and supported him in his callings; she had been given the gift of motherhood, and had the fortune of seeing the majority of her children marry and have children of their own.  Johanna was a remarkable pioneer woman, indeed, and her watch cry was

"Something better ahead!"

NOTE:  I have, since posting this, learned that this statement I wrote, which I have since edited from my post, is wrong:   
"Apparently, Sidse went back to Denmark shortly after arriving in Utah, for records indicate that she married a Rasmus Jeppesen in Denmark in 1866 and had children with him.  This would leave Johanna the only member of the family in Utah."   
Johanna's sister did not leave Utah.  But here is where things are complicated.  Sidse Schultz either changed her name when she arrived to Sena, or the child named Sidse never came accross with the rest of her family - she either died before they left, or she stayed in Denmark, and then married Rasmus Jeppesen in 1866.  There is no record of a girl of her name and age traveling with her family on the Tuscarora in 1857, but the names of the oldest two children are also a little different.  Here is the record I have found on BYU's Mormon Migration website:

Standardized: Christian JOHANSEN


Origin: Sealand

Occupation: Smith

                  30 May 1857 – 3 Jul 1857

Voyage Accounts:

Family Members

 So, Marie Johansen has to have been Johanna Marie, her birth year being 1844, and Sissa must have been the sister who survived, who was called Sena when she married in Utah, but I don't know why she would be written as Sissa, except that Sidse is pronounced like Sissa in Danish.  Sidse the eldest sister is NOT listed in any of the voyage manifests I have found so far.  I do know also that Johanna had a daughter whom she named after her sister, Sena. [ Sidse is incorrectly transcribed as "Lissa" in Mormon Migration's website.  On the actual handwritten manifest, her name is written as "Sissa"]

Sena Schultz, Johanna's sister, born in 1847 in Denmark, married a man named George Barton in Utah and had several children with him.  She died in 1928.

So, there is the info I have gleaned thus far.  I hope to get a copy of Sena Schultz Barton's History from the DUP soon, and hopefully this will clear up a few things.  I'll keep you readers apprised!