Anna Marie Pedersen Larsen

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A Biographical Life Sketch








LDS Church Archives

Microfilm No. MS6840.

Transcribed by:  Lois F. Larsen, Checked By:  Annette Larsen

Date:  29 September 2005  

Anne Marie Pedersen born in Skelum, Aslberg, and Denmark the 14th of April 1847 was the seventh child and fourth daughter of the family of nine children born to Niels Peder Pedersen and Johanna Pedersen.


She was a quiet religious girl in her youth.  When she first heard the Mormon Elders she knew their message was from God, and so was baptized November 5, 1857, by Christian Pedersen in Denmark, at the age of ten.


On Tuesday the 15th of April 1862, with her father, mother, four sisters and four brothers, she set sail on the Franklin and arrived in New York, May 29, 1862, after six weeks and five days on the ocean.  There was no contagion on the voyage, but they were subject to the usual hardships and trials of such a trip.  There was sickness and death, 48 died of the 413 saints which sailed.


The Civil War being on, railroad transportation to Florence, Nebraska, the end of the railroad, brought some disagreeable inconviences.  Real hardships now began, waiting for weeks for belated teamsters from Salt Lake City, because of severe rains and swollen streams; and travel across the prairies for city bred Europeans was no pleasure trip.  The pouring rains filled their tents with ankle deep mud and water; bedding, clothing, cooking utensils, etc., floated in the mud and slush, and then the hot sun sent clouds sky high from the steaming earth.


There were about seventy-five wagons with fifteen or sixteen persons and one tent to each wagon.  Luggage had to be limited and a great disappointment came when a third or half of the belongings had to be left on the prairies.  Their select spinning wheels and the Danish and Dutch wooden shoes of which they had an extra supply, had to be left as wood was plentiful in Utah.

She came in Christian A. Madsen’s Company, walking all the way from the Missouri River to Salt Lake City, fifteen to eighteen miles per day.  Being only fifteen years old she greatly enjoyed the trip, even the daily bacon and flour rations tasted good after a day’s walk.  In the evenings they danced, had programs, and told stories.  What a joy when they arrived in Great Salt Lake City and camped on the Eighth Ward Square almost the journeys end.  They had left Florence, Nebraska on the 14th of July and reached Salt Lake City the 3rd of September 1862.  Fourteen more deaths had occurred since they left Florence, making the total death since the company left Denmark 62.

After the October Conference, 1862, they settled in the Old Rock Fort in Fort Ephraim and in 1863, moved to their own two-room rock house.  Anne Marie said: “One summer evening, mother, myself and three sisters looking out of the window, saw a dirty, ragged, tired looking young man going past the house and mother said, “There goes the husband of Anne Marie.”  The girls giggled and laughed and I turned red and watched him.  My sisters often teased me about my future husband.  We were often at parties together, but never spoke to each other.  I shyly watched him and saw him glancing at me.  Late in the fall he came and asked father and mother if they objected to him proposing marriage to me.  Mother told him the above mentioned incident and December 23, 1863 we were married.  So Anne Marie Pedersen became Mrs. Oluf Christian Larsen.


The young couple, amongst others, were called by Apostle Orson Hyde, to go south to locate and build a settlement.


 Being an early spring, February 4, 1864, a company of men under the leadership of Wm. Allred, traveled south seeking a place to settle.  A few families had preceded them, some squatted on Saline Creek; some on the west side of the Sevier River, now called Richfield.  Further south, four or five families had settled on a little creek called South Bend, now Monroe.  Farther up the river the party located a round valley they called Circle Valley, and started a settlement they called Circleville.  Here they built, sowed and watered, raising an abundant crop of wheat, peas, oats and gardens.  Wives, children, cattle, sheep, pigs, chickens and etc., came in the fall and the families moved into their little log houses and dugouts, which were snug and warm for winter.  Men, woman and children helped harvest their bounteous crops.  All winter, thrashing with flail, oxen and horses, winnowing the grain went on.

Anne Marie’s little log house was the best, if not the biggest in Circleville, furnished with furniture made of hewn logs.  How happy they were.  From their three sheep and a little cotton from St. George, ‘Utah’s Dixie,’ she carded and spun to get yarn for a pair of trousers and shirt that her husband needed so badly.  Then she was expecting.  What could she do?  She had no nice cloth, or thread for the momentous event.  From her nice white slips she took ravelings for thread, made her own design, and with skilled needlework, made a most lovely baby dress.  Neighboring families later borrowed it when their babies were to be blessed.  Three o’clock A.M., the 16th of February 1865, she became the mother of the second child born in Circleville, a son, Oluf Larsen.

Before spring, the settlements supply of flour gave out.  The Ephraim gristmill was a long way off, so whole wheat, cracked wheat and peas were cooked in different ways.  An old coffee grinder was kept busy from family to family to get enough graham flour to make a loaf of bread.      


The summer of 1865, the Ivy Quarrel in Manti with Indians over a shirt, started the Indian War that covered the whole of Utah.  The summer of 1866 the Indians came down East Canyon, terrorized the town while others gathered up the cattle, driving them off up the canyon.  After the raid, they found old man Flygard riddled with bullets and arrows, and stripped naked.  They also found Jens Hansen and two small boys each in different place but in the same condition as Flygard.  A little ray of sunshine came at midnight when Mads Nielsen and his wife who had been to Ephriam’s gristmill with a convoy of teams came in without flour or team, but when they had given up as dead.


Daniel H. Wells, Commander-in-Chief of Utah Militia, came to Circleville and gave orders that all settlements in the Sevier, south of Manti, should move back to strengthen northern settlements.  He said Circleville had been settled ten years too soon, they must move at once, and all together or there would be little chance of withstanding the Indians.  How hard to bid good-bye to the prospects of a prosperous home.


The last of October 1866 they were back in Ephraim again living with Anne Marie’s parents until they could get something of their own.  May 20, 1867 another

boy, Niels Lewis, was born to Anne.  Early in April 1868 Oluf Larsen was called, under the leadership of Bishop Sealy, of Mount Pleasant to carry provisions by ox team to the immigrants.  While ferrying the teams across the Green River the oxen backed on the ferry breaking the cable, four of the teamsters were drowned.  Two days were lost before the bodies recovered and sent back to Utah.  What anxiety when word of the accident reached the families, until names of the drowned were received.

The Union Pacific Railroad had reached Laramie (Wyoming) and in a few days the immigrants were bound for Utah.

The Grasshopper War was in 1869, when the fields passed over by the hoppers were left bare as if a fire had passed over them.  Men, women, children and chickens were fighting them.


On 27th of January 1870, the third child, a little girl, was born whom they named Emelia Marie.  September 8, 1872 Anne Marie was blessed with another girl, whom they named Johanna Elenora.


The fall of 1871 her husband was hired by Brigham Young to take charge of the

telegraph lines of Utah at $90.00 per month, and with farm and cattle they were prosperous.  Their new house with four ground and one upstairs room was very comfortable and Anna Marie always had a hired girl.


During this time the Priesthood preached and urged plural marriage.  Anne Marie always felt and said she was one of Abraham’s daughters and although it would bring trials upon her she urged her husband to obey.  They mutually agreed that he should propose marriage to Amelia Anderson, a sweet, good girl, who had been in the household a long time.  She gladly accepted and they were married in May 1874 and lived happily together in the same house. 


On December 3, 1875 a third girl was born to Anne and was named Olivia Christina, and about one month after, January 22, 1876, Amelia gave birth to a little girl who named Maria Caroline.  In 1878 Amelia gave birth to her second child and died.  The little girl was named Alvilda and Anne Marie cared for both of Amelia’s children as her own, but Alvilda died when a little over a year old, during teething.  Anne Marie’s last child, Anne, was born December 13, 1879.


After Oluf, her husband, returned from a two-year mission, she again shared her home with another women, this time a young Danish lady, Hannah (Christensen) Larsen who married Oluf the 16th of July 1884.  Then prosecutions, hiding from the marshals, imprisonments and suffering followed.  November 5, 1888 her husband along with one hundred and fifty leading brethren of the Church, including President George Q. Cannon and Apostle Francis M. Lyman, was sentenced for unlawful cohabitation to the Utah Penitentiary.  Oluf was released on month early because of good behavior March 29, 1889 and never returned to Ephraim again to reside.


In 1891, Anne and her family and Hannah and her family moved each into their own home in Salt Lake City.  Her husband prospered in the grocery business for many year and they were all happy.

Anne’s life was of unselfish service amongst the sick and needy and especially amongst growing children.  Old Mother Beal, the only doctor Ephraim had for years, knowing she would soon pass on, selected, instructed and advertised Anne Marie as her successor.  A preparation and combination of drugs for Cancer Medicine given Anne by Mrs. Beal became famous in Ephraim and near by communities, even after physicians located in Ephraim.  A supply was always ready and much used in Salt Lake City.

Anne Marie was very much loved by all who knew her, and a wonderful just, impartial, loveable and loving mother to the motherless; a wise, faithful, unselfish wife and friend even to her enemies.


Anne Marie Pedersen Larsen died the 10th of September 1916, at the age of sixty-nine years and six months.



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