Sine's Story, in Her Own Words

(Eline Hansine Larsen Lambert)

"Copy of an account written by my father's mother when she was eighty years of age or near it. The paper was a loan from May Young Lambert [Sine's daughter in law], at whose request the sketch was written."

(The above comment is attributed to Alta Lambert Hurley, granddaughter, and is dated June 13, 1926)

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My father, Hans Larsen, was born July 8, 1806 in Lundby, Lyderslev [Søgn], Præstø Amt, Danmark. His father, Lars Petersen, born in same place 1766, died Nov. 26, 1833. Father's mother, Maren Hansen Petersen, born in same place 1770, died March 20 1839. Father had two sisters, five brothers.

When father was a boy he worked for the farmers in the daytime and in the evening carded wool for his mother. They made their own clothes. She had made all the bed ticking that we had and I don't know how many pairs of stockings she had knit for father - great long ones.

[p. 2] When he [father] got old enough he had to be a sailor or train for soldier, so he took to the sea. He went to many lands. He kept up going to sea till he was married. Once after that he worked on the water. He came nearly being drowned several times. They had there [in Copenhagen] what they called a "Pram," a little like a raft, to carry goods from and to the ships (they called father "Pram Sticker Larsen") where the canals were too shallow for big ships.

On Aug 5, 1836, he married Elina Dorothe Bentsen in Holms Church, Copenhagen. (Danish Holms Kirke.) Mother was born Dec. 27, 1810, in Copenhagen, Danmark, died Mar. 9 1877 [in Salt Lake City].

On the 14 of June 1850 three Mormon Elders arrived in Copenhagen, Erastus Snow, George P. Dykes, and John Forsgren [who was] to go to Sweden. [p. 3] P.O. Hanson, another elder, had arrived some days before. My parents belonged to the Baptist Church at that time. That's where the Elders made a start. They soon had some converted. Fifteen asked for baptism. My parents being with them, they were baptised by Erastus Snow, Aug. 12, 1850, in Øresun, a water by that name [the sound between Denmark and Sweden]. It was a beautiful summer evening. On the 18th of Aug 1850 the converts were confirmed in Hans Larsen's house. On the 25th of Aug. the Sacrament was administered for the first time in Denmark in Hans Larsen's (my father) house. Father was a Teacher [in the Priesthood].

It was not long till mobs began to come to our meetings. They would sing, yell, make all kinds of racket that would break the meeting up. One night [p. 4] when there was no meeting they got in and threw the benches and table out of the windows. We had to stop meetings for awhile, they got so mean.

We emigrated to Utah with the first regular company of Latterday Saints that left Danmark, Dec. 20, 1852. We crossed the North Sea in a fearful storm, arrived in Hull, England, Dec. 28, 1852, much to their surprise, as we had been reported lost with 150 other ships.

We left there and went to Liverpool by train. We left Liverpool Jan. 16, 1853, in the ship Forest Monarch. After a voyage of ten weeks we arrived at New Orleans, buried our sister there, three years old. From there we went up the Mississippi to St. Louis; from there to Keokuk, Iowa. It was nice [p. 5] sailing up the river, no seasickness, could see land on each side. Arrived in Salt Lake City Sep. 30, 1853, after a long tiresome journey.

The first winter in Utah we stayed with a family, old friends, that came to Utah the year before. In the spring father bought a lot on 9th South between 3 and 4 East, built a house the shape of a tent out of willows and sand. Then later on he bought an adobe house on 8th South. Father worked on the State House in Fillmore. After that he worked on the [Salt Lake] Temple Grounds the rest of his days.

Father was a High Priest. He belonged to the Silver Grays [a Utah military group consisting of men over age 50]. He and mother received their [p. 6] Endowments Mar. 28, 1856. They went through the grasshopper war, lived on greens till their skin was green. Father died Feb 27, 1876.

Mother's father, Christian Bentsen, was born in Sweden about 1780, died Feb 1839. Mother's mother, Kirstine Margrette Falkenberg Bensen, born about 1783 in Copenhagen, Danmark, died Oct . 1826. Mother had two sisters, one brother. Mother worked for a lady for ten years and got married from there.

Mother was sick all the way over the ocean. My baby brother was sick all the way to Utah.

I, Elena Hansene Larsen Lambert, was born Sept 13, 1836, in Copenhagan, Danmark. I went to a Baptist school a couple of years. On Sept. 6, 1850, I was baptised [p. 6] into the Church of Latterday Saints, emigrated with my parents to Utah in 1852. I was pretty sick crossing the North Sea, enjoyed good health the rest of the way to Utah, walked most of the way.

Some few accidents in our company, none fatal. We had an excitable time one day. We were getting ferries over a river and one wagon with a yoke of young steers in lead run off the ferry boat into the river. The bed swam [floated] off with a half blind woman. It was only a little way above a big dam. They got it out all right with everything wet. The steers swam out with the running gears. That happened some way this side [west] of Keokuk.

While we were in Keokuk the apple trees bloomed. A couple [p. 8] got married there and had a wreath made of the blossoms. The girl was a cousin to Minnie Snow. We lived in tents there. It rained quite often.

We got fitted out there for our journey over the plains. I don't know the date of our leaving Keokuk, but while traveling from there we camped one night outside a settlement and stayed there. The next day some men came and told us to get or they would serve us like they did the Mormons in same year.

I have forgot, our President had gone to town and a storm had been gathering all day. Our camp was just below a bench. They wanted us to go up there. It was nearly evening. Our ten wagons were the first to move out that day. So we got up on the [p.9] bench before the storm and got our tent set up. The storm broke, the lightening flashed and the storm thunder roared and the wind blew. Father had to help herd the cattle and it was so dark they could not see them only when it lightened. There was no supper that night and not much sleep.

We had Indian visitors some times. They would ride up in front of the head team and stop them and beg for everything. One time they wanted to buy mother and give horses for her. We did not want horses, no I guess not! Well, we are in Utah now.

On June 10, 1855 I was married to John Lambert by Pres. Brig. Young, the year of the grasshopper war. The big grasshoppers came in the fall of 1854. In the spring of 1855 their eggs hatched and the young [p.10] hoppers ate everything up. We had wheat put in. The hoppers ate it up clean in June of the same year. After the hoppers had flown off we put in corn and raised a crop so we had plenty of corn bread, but no flour. People lived on roots and pig weeds and were glad to get a little bran for bread. Bread was worth something at that time.

The winter of 1856 and 1857 was the time of reformation. You had to repent of your sins and make restitution where you had done wrong, and be rebaptised. I was rebaptised in Feb. 1857. It was an awful cold, cloudy day. We had a covered wagon (ice on the creek). I had my endowment that same month. The endowment house was not finished when I was married.

In the spring of 1858 was the move [p.11] south. That was a busy time. Teams came up from the south to help the people down. One of our oxen was good enough to stray off. He was twined out to drink at the corner of the house and we hunted for him all over. At last we heard of him being in Cash [sic] Valley.

The team that helped us was from Lehi, so I was left there. I stayed in a building that was about half finished with some others. After awhile I went to American Fork where my parents were. They had a place built up against a straw stack. It was pretty good. The rest of our family went to what was then called Provo bottoms.

The cause of the move was that an army of Uncle Sam's Soldiers were coming to Salt Lake City [p.12] and if they stayed in the city the Mormon people would set the city afire and burn it up. They had straw all ready in their houses, but the soldiers passed through and camped on the other side of Jordan [River] and we were permitted to return to our homes. There were men left in the city to watch it. I believe we had some grain in. There was lots of potatoes that the people could not take, so we were told to make flour of them, what some call starch.

Our next move was to Kamas, then called Rhodes Valley. I went there in June 1861 with a baby 3 months old and 2 older ones. The oldest, 4½ years, (Jos. H.) and a brother a little older younger drove pigs all the way.

Jack Frost froze our grain for [p.12] several years. The winter of 1864-5 the snow was about 4 ft. on the level and we could not get to the mill to get our grain ground so we had to grind it on a small coffee mill for bread or boil the grain. There was no meat or butter. That was almost worse than the grasshopper war. We had grasshoppers here [Kamas]. One year they covered the house half way up, got in the house and every where.

In the spring of 1866 the Ute Indians were on the war path and we had to move to Peoa and join in with them in building a fort, and live there. We had to ford the river and it was high (the month was May). I had to ride on top of a load and had two children to hold to. It makes me shiver to think of it! We got across all right.

It rained a good deal. At first all [p. 14] the shelter we had was a wagon box tipped up on one side. After a while some of our men went to S.L. City to see Pres. Young about going back home. He said they might go back home if they would build a fort and live there so they did. The Indians did not bother us.

I have been raking [sic] my brain for several days but I can't think of any more of any consequence.

I have always had something to eat, if it was not very good, so I can't say that I have been starved. I know what it is to want for clothes for myself and children. That day is past, Thank the Lord. That was in the early days years of the valley. After we got a little start of sheep we sent the wool to the carding machine [p.15] to get carded and we spun it and hired it woven. We made a little cloth that way. Later on we traded the wool for cloth.

I have raked and bound grain till my hands were all sore. I have raked and pitched hay. I have watered grain. I don't know what I haven't done. I am a mother of twelve children. The Lord has seen fit to take half of them. I ought not to complain, but it is rather hard. I have been blest with good health all my life I ought to be thankful for that. I am getting old and have lots of aches and pains and stiff joints.

I guess you will find lots of bad spelling. You will have to correct it and excuse it. I thought you would typewrite it and correct all the mistakes.


More about Eline Hansine Larsen Lambert:

Eline Hansine by her daughter, Emeline

Eline Hansine's Emigration to Utah

The John E. Forsgren Emigrant Company

History of Hans Larsen, father

History of John Lambert, husband

Larsen Photos and Other Documents

Lambert Photos and Other Documents

Headstones, Kamas Cemetery


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