Mary Andrea "May" Larsen Dandis

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The following letter was written by Mary Andrea "May" Larsen Dandis to her sister Sarah Larsen Mitchell on February 17, 1959.  This letter is in the collection of Sarah Mitchell's daughter Beth Mitchell Howe.





Richmond                                 February 17, 1959

Dear Sarah and Family:

This makes umpty letter I have started to you since Xmas.  I owe everybody thank you letters, but we have been building a house since last August so now it is finished I can let down some.  First, thank you for the box of good things to eat.

The cheese set me thinking about our darling Grandma Margrethe, at her home in Ephraim when I was eight years old she had her cellar full of cheese in all stages being made; the white cheese with caraway hanging from the rafters getting ripe.

She owned her own sheep, carded dyed and spun her own yarn. In her attic she had a big weaving machine or loom she would weave blankets and carpets on it.  I never knew any one get so much work done.  Just yards and yards of carpet and rugs, goods for wool petticoat and dress goods of all colors.  Did you ever hear that her father, mother and sister Hannah; sisters' husband and two children were with the very first emigrants to leave Denmark for Utah?  They sailed from Liverpool January 7, 1855 bound for New Orleans, up the Mississippi and across the plains by handcart to Utah.  Their home was Aalborg.  Grandma lived at Roskilda close to Copenhagen which was far apart and mail slow so grandma had not heard of Mormons when her father was already buried on the plains where he died of cholera as well as Mother's Aunt Hannah's husband and two children.  Aunt Hannah married John Dorius in Ephraim.

Johannah Christensen Larsen

Born:  15 January 1860 in Roskilda, Denmark

Baptized:  24 October 1881 by Elder H.J. Gustjansen in Copenhangen.  Converted by Hans Oluf Magelby.

Emigrated:  To America, 3 September 1882

Married:  Oluf Christian Larsen in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City, 16 July 1884.

Died:  21 December 1948 at her home, 1011 Wilson Avenue, Salt Lake City where she lived 54 years.

She and her sister Ane C. Magelby who emigrated with her traveled by train from New York to Ephraim, Utah to there Aunt Hannah Dorius who came across the plains in 1853 with her father, mother, husband and children with a handcart company.  Mother's cousin, the John Dorius family have a fine record of our great grandmother Anne Nielsen.  Mother and Anne went to Salt Lake to work for Apostle George F. Cannon he had five homes on his ranch where the Jordan River Park is now.  Mother worked for one wife, Aunt Ane another, they worked there nearly 2 years until they married in July 1884.  Then they moved back to Ephraim.

They lived together until Uncle Magelby built Aunt Ane a new house.  Grandmother Margrethe lived with them too until after their two Hanna's were born in July 15, 1887.  Mother moved to Salt Lake 1889 we lived at first in a house in Mill Creek on Bishop Gunderson's ranch.

I could go on and on but just one more thing.  When mother was married they were still building the Temple it was finished the year Orson was born August 11, 1893.  Grandma was in Salt Lake taking care of mother and father took her through the Temple and Hanna and I march with all the Sunday school children in the city.  We marched up Main Street and through the Temple. 

I am sure the sealing done in the Endowment House is just as binding as that done in the Temple later.  Father was 24 years older than Mother.  She was 2 years old when he immigrated to Utah. 

And father never was a missionary in Denmark but he did visit mother's family to bring them greeting from their Aunt Hannah's family in Ephraim.  Ships came and left always from Denmark and England so on his mission to Norway, March 18??, he made this visit.  Our Uncle Hans Oluf Magleby was the one who was a missionary to Denmark and he converted mother and all her family, all but the oldest sister Karen Marie Jensen.  When she married she lived in Copenhagen, she had two children Lawrence and Anne; they never did join the Church.

When mother was 19 and Aunt Ane 22, they went to Copenhagen to work for a rich family that is when they met the missionaries.  Mother's grandparents lived many miles north east of Copenhagen in Alstrup Fredriskborg.  Mother said it was so far and mail was not like now so they were converted by Canute Peterson and Carl C. N. Dorius and had come to Ephraim with one of the first handcart companies in 1854 before her family had even heard of a Mormon.

Mother had another Aunt who lived in Nephi, I cannot remember her name, she had one daughter that had a hotel on State Street in Salt Lake and another who lived in Spring City; Marie Jensen Madsen she had one son and eight daughters and a blind husband.  She died in 1938.  I am going to write Daymar and have her tell me the names of this family.

When mother's father died January 1, 1882 (maybe 1881), grandmother sold her home which was at this address Frikatage Foretning-Jyllinge Roskilda, Denmark. It is now owned by her great great granddaughter Ann Anderson.  She wrote to mother and sent her a picture of the place.  It had change hands many times; she said it had been a bakery once.

Two children came with more than two hundred others from Denmark that year and that was the year so many died form the cholera epidemic.  Aunt Hanna lost her husband and two children, she married Lewis Doruis and had one son who was the father of eight daughters,  mother cousins, Anna Dorius Anderson; Juila D. Thorpe:  Ellen D. Dunn; Maria Jensen; Clara D. Hermansen; Cordella Booth.

There was another daughter but I don't know her name and a son Lewis Dorius, Jr.  I am wondering about Grandma Margrethe's family we only know her two sisters Hanna Dorius of Ephraim and Stena Jensen of Nephi.  She had a daughter that owned a hotel on State Street in Salt Lake and one who lived in American Fork and had a blind husband and a real large family.  I do know that all these people were temple workers in Saint George and Nephi.

I had Aunt Maria's sister stay with me while she worked in the Salt Lake Temple; she was mother of Olene and Anna Anderson Larson.  I could just go on and on.

I just found the eight Dorius daughters name it is Hanna Dorius Allred of Ephraim.  Grandmother and her two sister were so much a like they fooled each other.  I was eight years old; Orson was a baby when Mother took a trip to visit her family in Ephraim.  That time Grandmother and Aunt Anna lived in Ephraim close to Aunt Stena, Trina, Uncle Christian and Jens and Grandmother went with us to Nephi to visit her sister Kjerstine Jensen they called her Stena.   Now these wonderful people are all gone and their children's children are more or less strangers. 

Even my memory doesn't mean anything to anyone but myself.  While we are young we are to busy trying to live our own lives.  Aunt Maria's sister showed me how to quilt while she did temple work.  I am full of stories about my people but to save my live, I can not remember her name.

Her daughter Olene and her husband spent two days at our house in Bryte.  Her son Glade Petersen belong to our ward. 

Lawrence's Betty wants me to get a tape recorder to save writing but who would find time to listen?  I don't know why Father could not remember any of his family but they lived in different towns to and did not have mail or railroads, just horses.

His father came from Liere and his mother's people from Dramen where he was born.  She was still there when he went on his last mission to Norway, 1881, and she died in 1884; but his father died 13 years after Dad left Norway, 1862.  In the year 1901, Oluf (she is speaking of Oluf, Jr.) went on a mission and I understood he came home with temple work for Dad's in-laws but could find none of fathers.

In 1915, Dad came to my house and I wrote a book of genealogy he wanted mother to have it; he let me keep the pieces of papers he had this names on that is how I have them.  He only had his father and mother; his wives and children.  Oluf (Oluf, Jr.) borrowed this book from mother after father died but never gave it back. Sigrid let Mille's girls copy it but the Johannessens must still have it but like I said it was just the family.  Uncle Magelby was the one to get together mother's family.

Mother and Aunt Stena each gave him $50 and Aunt Anna gave $50 too.  They sent to Denmark and got 3 hundred names of cousins from both grandfather and grandmother's side of the family.  The temple work was divided between mother and Aunt Ane if you look it up in Salt Lake look for Christian Jensen family from Jylline, Mother's Father's family and Niels Rasmussen of Alsonderup her mother's family.  Mother had a picture of a cousin from her father's side that looked like you.

So you can see which side you look like.  Uncle Magelby's Grandson was a bishop 35 miles from here at Pittsburg, California, he just died but his family still lives there.  Alfred Christensen's daughter lives there too and Luella Christensen Kenny lived there too.  She died last July 9, 1963 and Arnfred and his wife Elizabeth came from Shelly, Idaho to the funerals. 

Families are so large and scattered and careless of each other how can we do temple work?  Lawrence, Burt and Monty want father's records; Erma Graham and her man are free to do work and they want father records.  Alma's Margaret's family are going to start getting....

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