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Olof Anderson Andelin



 

OLOF ANDERSON ANDELIN

 

A Pioneer of 1864

 

History written by

 

Olof Anderson Andelin

 

And

 

Ruby Potter Valantine

  

            He was always a kindly man, my Grandfather.  Mostly his blue eyes were twinkling with fun and laughter, except when we took his precious shingles to build bridges and houses, then he could be stern.  He would scold us in Swedish but we weren’t afraid for he was always good to us.

            My three sisters and I lived with our Grandparents for almost seven years while our mother was working in Salt Lake.  I have very pleasant memories of our Grandfather.  He was of medium height, with blue eyes, brown hair and weighed perhaps one hundred and seventy pounds.  He always wore a beard and mustache.

            My Grandfather was born June 7, 1842 in Traa, Skone or Skane, Sweden, the youngest of seven children.  His father was Anders Persson and his mother Bengta Persdotter.  He added the surname, Andelin, to his name of Olof Anderson when he became a Journey Man Mason.  That was the custom in Sweden at that time.  As far as is known he and his descendants are the only ones to bear that name.

            Olof’s father was a farmer.  The family were devout Lutherans.  When Grandpa was fourteen, he was confirmed in the Lutheran Church and received the Sacrament for the first time.

            He was apprenticed to a glazier and glitterer but not liking the work, he changed over to the mason trade.  He was then living in Malmo, Sweden.  It was here he first heard of the Latter Day Saint Missionaries.  They made a deep impression on him.  Later he came in contact with them again and began to study the Gospel.  In a few months he knew beyond a doubt that he had found the truth and this testimony was his choicest possession all his life.

            He was baptized on May 10, 1862 and ordained to the office of Teacher in the Aaronic Priesthood.  When he was ordained an Elder, he was sent as a missionary to Garstanga.  In 1863 he was sent to preside over a district in Landskroma.  Altogether he labored for fifteen months.

            It was in 1864 that he left his native land and emigrated to America, the Land of Zion for all who heard the Gospel in other lands.  He went first to England where he took passage on the ship, “Monarch of the Sea.”  He left Liverpool 28 April 1864.  The ship carried nine hundred and seventy four saints all bound for the promised land.  Seven hundred of them were Scandinavians.  Grandfather was one of them.  The group was under the leadership of John Smith, John D. Chase, Johan P. R. Johanson, and Parley P. Pratt.  The ship docked in New York on June 3rd, after an uneventful voyage of about five weeks.

            From an account furnished by the Church Historians office, this company took the train from New York to St. Joseph, Missouri and went by boat to Wyoming, Nebraska; there a Captain William R. Preston took a group of four hundred on to Utah.  Grandfather was not listed among that number.  From his history he says he traveled by train to St. Louis, Missouri, from there by boat to Nebraska City, Nebraska.  He states that he came with a company headed by Captain Patterson and drove a team of oxen across the plains to Utah.  He suffered no hardship on the way and had plenty to eat and was given $10.00 when the company reached Salt Lake.  The Church has no record of this company so it is presumed that it was a private one.

            Grandfather was the only member of his family to join the Church.  Years later two of his sons, Olof and Herman, returned to Sweden as Missionaries (I think Olof went to Germany but visited Sweden).  His son, Willard, went there as a singer when President Heber J. Grant was touring the Missions.  Grandfather’s people treated his sons very hospitably and enjoyed Willard’s singing, but no one was ever converted.

            After arriving in Utah Grandpa did some cabinet work along with a former Missionary companion – Brother Engstrom.  In the spring of 1865 he went to Farmington to build a rock house for Truman Leonard.  Lack of material forced him to leave it unfinished.  With a Brother Morgen Richards he went on to North Ogden to work.

            One time, when scanning the newspaper for names of new immigrants arriving he saw the name of Maria Lofdahl.  He had known her in Sweden.  He made a trip to Salt Lake to see her.  They talked and walked for about three hours and felt sufficiently acquainted to become engaged.  They were married a few months later, on February 10, 1866, by Bishop E. D. Wooley of the Thirteenth Ward in Salt Lake.  The ceremony was performed in his home.  They had been counseled to wait until they learned to speak English better before they were endowed and sealed.  They had an exceptionally happy life together and were very devoted to each other.  They lived every principle of the Gospel and led exemplary lives for all who came after them to follow.

            After their marriage they went to Mountain Fort near Ogden, where Grandfather worked until fall.  On the advice of Anders Bonderson, they decided to move to Salt Lake.  Before leaving Grandpa intended to finish the rock house at Farmington but he took sick with typhoid or mountain fever and was unable to do so.  After he recovered Brother Bonderson moved them to Salt Lake and established them in Brother Tornberg’s home in the Ninth Ward.

            On January 28, 1867, their first baby, Olof Wilhelm, came to them to fill their hearts with love and rejoicing.

            Times were hard in Utah.  Grandfather was a steady worker but seldom could collect wages for the work he did.  He spent the next summer at Brighton in the canyon where they lived in a shanty he built at the end of Samuel Johnson’s log house.  He went to Ogden to work for the Walson Brothers in the woolen factory.  He was paid in flour and sent home a load that nearly filled their small room.  By winter they were back again in Salt Lake in a house rented from Daniel Spencer.

            The Union Pacific railroad had been building the road into Utah where it would connect with the railroad being built from San Francisco.  Every able bodied man and boy in Northern Utah worked on the railroad.  My grandfather worked for some months on it.

            Scarcity of food and the added influx of people sent prices sky high.  Flour was $14.00 a hundred weight, coal $40.00 a ton, wood $30.00 a cord, and other items accordingly.  Even with what he made on the railroad, Grandpa couldn’t even break even.  He decided he would move to the country where he could raise part of their food.  They moved to Santaquin in Utah Co.  On Sept 6, 1868, before they moved, another child was born; my mother, Olive.

            Grandfather purchased a lot and built a home.  He had a garden, chickens and a cow and they were very comfortable.  Commodities were cheaper also.  Flour was $6.00 a hundred pounds, wood was $2.00 a cord, and so on.

            In 1869 Grandfather filed his intention of becoming a citizen of the United States.  He became a citizen on August 6, 1873.  The papers were signed by the clerk of the Third Judicial District Court of the United States.  In them he swore to renounce all allegiance to his native land, Sweden, and to give loyalty and service to his new country – the land of his choice.

            The family lived in Santaquin for six years.  Three children were born to them while there: Herman Agust, born October 18, 1870, Amanda Melvina, Born September 17, 1872 and Mary Ann, born November 23, 1874.

            Many groups of people in Utah were endeavoring to live in the United Order.  One of these groups had started the Order in Richfield, in Seiver Co.  Grandfather desired to live the Gospel and every principle as far as he was able to do so.  The family decided to go to Richfield and join the Order there.  They sold their property in Santaquin for $150.00 and moved south to Richfield.

            A little girl, Ordena Henrietta, was born to them in 1876.  She lived but a short time and died November 28, 1878.  Mary Ann died December 8, 1877.  They are both buried in Richfield.

            My Grandfather soon found that selfishness is a human trait difficult to weed out of one’s heart.  Even in the order where everyone was supposed to share alike, it reared it’s ugly head.  There was bickering and arguments.  At one time Grandfather and a Brother Andrew Erickson went to Frisco to work in the mines.  They made $5.00 and $6.00 a day.  They were allowed $2.00 a day, and the rest went to the Order.  But when the Order was disbanded, those who had put money into it, received only 25% of the assets.  But Grandfather was satisfied.  He had cheerfully endeavored to keep this commandment as he kept all others.  He had no regrets.

            In the spring of 1879 he was called to work on the Manti Temple.  He was a stone cutter as well as a mason.  He cut and polished stones during the winter and laid them during the summer.  He worked on this magnificent edifice for seven years.  Grandmother stayed in Richfield for the birth of another child, Cordelia, born September 20, 1879.  Soon after she moved to Dover where Grandfather had purchased eighty acres of land.  The two oldest boys, Olof and Herman, did all the breaking up of the land with the oxen, planted, watered and took almost complete charge of everything.  The girls, my mother being the oldest, took care of the house, sheared sheep, spun the wool and all the other tasks of a pioneer home.

            Another baby was on the way.  Grandmother went into Manti to be confined.  The child, Willard, their youngest, was born August 15, 1883.  While Grandma was away in Manti, the children took complete charge of the farm and home and were very efficient.

            Grandfather married Caroline Erickson October 11, 1880, in the Endowment House.  She was from Sweden also and his same age.  She was never blessed with any children.

            They left Dover because the land had become full of salt and nothing would grow.  The family moved back to Richfield after Grandpa’s work on the Temple was finished.  Here Grandpa bought one fourth of the block that was three blocks north and three blocks east of the center of town.  It was on the main highway in and out of the town.

            The saints had been suffering severe persecutions for years because of polygamy.  A law was passed called the Edmunds-Tucker Act which forbade men to cohabit with more than one wife.  The men would not give up their plural wives so they were hunted down, as many as could be found, by the marshals and sheriffs.  Many men constantly were on the move to evade arrest.  Many second wives also were forced to flee with their little ones often in the dead of winter to find sanctuary with a kind neighbor.  Grandfather never tried to evade the law.  The marshall came to home in Richfield early one morning, pounded on the door and would scarcely give my grandmother time to dress.  She told him her husband was not there but he did not believe her.  He searched the house looking under beds, into closets and even down into the root cellar.  He realized Grandpa wasn’t there so went to where he was working.  After listening to the first indictment as read by the marshall, Grandfather said he didn’t understand it and would he please read it again.  This the marshall did, but very ungraciously as it was very long.

            Grandfather was tried, convicted and sentenced to six months in the Utah Penitentiary.  There was a little song he would sing to us that went like this;

 

                        “They shave your face and mow your hair,

                        And give you striped clothes to wear,

                        And see you have the best of care,

                        When you go into Limbo.”

 

            Grandpa had such a sunny disposition that all the guards liked him.  He was permitted to keep his pocket knife.  With it he carved out toys and rattles from cigar boxes which were given him.  He made many useful gadgets.  He painted and varnished them and they were works of art.  I remember a rattle which was in our family when I was small.  There was a handle on the end a curious, uniquely built up ball of many tiny squares of board all glued together.  All the precious relics are lost and gone, no one knows where.

            Grandfather never thought of himself, only his family.  He constantly sent letters to them to cheer them; letters of love and inspiration.  He decorated his letters with crayon pictures of horses, flowers and trees and numerous verses.

            While in prison President Wilford Woodruff called on all the Church to fast and pray that the persecutions which they had suffered so long would be lightened.  This prayer was answered for gradually the nation became more friendly toward them.  Many of the dignitaries of the Church were in prison while Grandfather was there.  They would visit while taking exercise in the yard.  Grandfather was released after four months because of good behavior.  This was March 17, 1890.

            After Grandfather returned home from the penitentiary, he began in earnest to build homes for his two wives.  There were two large adobe rooms and a shanty on the lot and he built his new house around this one room.  I was born in the old house in 1892.

            There were stone quarries in the mountains west of town.  Uncle Herman and Grandpa quarried stones and brought them into town for the new house.  There was a shed on the lot.  Here he cut and polished the stones.  He used them to build a square tower on the west side of the house.  Bricks were used for the main house which was two stories high.  The tower made the house very distinctive and it really was a beautiful home.  Grandpa built a home for his wife, Caroline, (we called her Auntie) to the east of the big house.  Only a lane separated the houses.  There were garden plots for each house, barns and coops for the cows and chickens.  There were large trees around and fruit trees in the back.  On the lot to the west was a croquet court.  Many good times were had there.  Uncle Willard had a pet talking crow which lived in a cage in the trees.  It was a peaceful, lovely spot, and they were very happy, with one exception: Auntie became sick in her mind.  Who can tell what causes the nerves to go haywire and the orderly processes of the brain to function in confusion?  She was kind part of the time.  Other times she chased the children, threw rocks at them, tried to burn the house down and did many other troublesome acts.  She claimed she was persecuted by all of us and was trying to get even.  This upset my Grandmother who suffered for years with nervous headaches from it.  My Grandparents were always kind to Auntie and treated her with consideration and love.  She was given a share of all Grandfather earned and had her own home and nice surroundings.  After Grandfather died she became worse.  Her sister finally had to take her to the Mental Hospital where she stayed until her death.  She always knew who she was and any of the family who visited her.  It was a trial for Grandfather but he was always able to calm her and steady her nerves.

            Grandpa gathered more property after he finished his home, several meadow lands for pasturage for the cows and a hay lot three blocks father east than the homestead and two blocks north.

            He worked at his mason trade in Richfield, in Provo, in Salt Lake and many other places.  At one time he went to Idaho to work on the sugar factory which was being built and received $4.50 a day.

            His youngest son, Willard, had been blessed with the divine gift of song.  He sang in Quartettes in Richfield and in Provo where he was going to school at the Brigham Young Academy.  He had a low bass voice – could sing lower than anyone in the United States, at that time, who was considered a famous singer.  He had an exceptionally long range, from high to very low.  He was the most vibrant, most thrilling voice I have ever heard.  A Mr. Tout in Ogden heard of Willard, and financed him to go to Europe to study, the initial help.  He studied first in London and then in Berlin, Germany.  While in Berlin he met and fell in love with Arvilla Clark, also from Provo, who was studying voice and piano.  They returned to Utah where they were married in the Temple in the spring of 1907.  They returned to Europe in the fall.  Grandfather helped them as much as he could for they were not making much money at that time.  He sold all his land but one small pasture and the hay lot, so he could send the money to Willard.

            In 1903 Grandfather had a fifteen pound tumor removed from his side.  Dr. Fred Taylor of Provo did the operation on our kitchen table and it cost $50.00.  He had another operation in the L.D.S. Hospital in Salt Lake in 1908.  This was for stones in the bladder and the doctor was Dr. Allen.  He seemed to recover completely but although the stones were removed, the cause wasn’t and they formed once more.  He suffered intensely when he had to void until sweat poured from every pore of his body.  Grandfather was forced to go to Salt Lake again for another operation.  This time he never regained consciousness and died on the operating table May 12, 1912.  His body was brought back to Richfield for burial.  His son, Willard, whom he loved so much, sang “Oh, My Father” at the funeral.  It was a beautiful tribute that touched every heart.

            Grandfather had served in the Sevier Stake High Council under Franklin Spencer from 1878 and 1879 but resigned when he went to Manti to work on the Temple.  He was alternate High Councilman in Richfield but resigned because he was hard of hearing.

            Grandpa was a true Latter Day Saint.  The Gospel was his entire life.  He lived it’s principles simply and unobtrusively.  It was as natural for him to do good as for water to run down a hill.  He was modest, he was gentle.  When he died it was so quietly many people were not aware of his passing.  His family missed him so much.  My Grandmother mourned him for years.  He was a kind, indulgent father, full of humor, slow to anger.  Always helping others, a steady, precise workman, a man most worthy to be an example to all.


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