Oluf Larsen (Larson)
Memories of Oluf Larsen (Larson)
By Dick Mitchell
Uncle Oluf: Grandpa Larsen's oldest son by his second wife and Mom's half brother.
Oluf seldom came to our house but I remember him as the old uncle with a black claw on his right thumb instead of a nail. He had lost part of his thumb in a threshing machine. He didn't get to Salt Lake very often from his ranch in Wyoming. (He actually lived in Woodruff, Utah but you had to get there through Evanston, Wyoming.) He once brought Mom a hind leg of Elk (he claimed) we later found out it was actually from a horse with a broken leg. Mom claimed it tasted pretty good but it was tough. We were poor and appreciated the meat.
Not seeing much of Oluf I have very few memories but later on in life I have come in contact with others that knew him and worked with him. Roger Peart of Randolph, Utah worked with him on Church projects as the Woodruff and Randolph Wards were in the same Stake. He told me of Oluf, who had no children of his own, hiring young boys to help him on his ranch. He wouldn't hire you if you smoked (always taking breaks to roll Bullduram cigarettes), wore a straw hat (would always be chasing the hat because the wind would blow it off) or wore pants with belts at the waist (would always stopping to pull pants up) overalls only were worn.
Roger explained that everyone in the Stake respected Oluf because he had no children he always supported kids going on missions. He left his ranch to the Stake to set up a continuing missionary fund. Among others funded there was also an entire family of a widowed woman with four boys, one of whom was Monte Brough who became a General Authority in the LDS Church. Roger further explained the headquarters of the Church in Salt Lake has since removed the funds from the Stake and put it into the General Missionary Fund.
Oluf also provided funds for the schooling of a famous pianist, Grant Johannesen when he was living in Europe. Mom resented him for doing this when he didn't contribute any support for Grandma Johannah. Grandma was the youngest and final wife of Grandpa and she was left to take care of an invalid old man in his final days. Since Oluf was from Grandpa's second wife he was not interested in his half family.
[Dick Mitchell is the son of Sarah Larsen Mitchell and Walter Edward Mitchell. Sarah Larsen Mitchell is daughter of Oluf Christain Larsen and Johannah Christensen Larsen]
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