Wednesday, August 31, 2011


1846 - 1942

Relationship: Emma Elise (Eliza) Nielsen is my Great Grandmother; her son, Charles Adolph Mangelson is my grandfather; his daughter, Vera Mangelson Christensen is my mother.
              Elisa was born March 27, 1846 in Oolt Sogon, Lindru, Hjorring, Denmark.  She was the first child of Carl Christian and Maren Christensen Nielsen.  She was born at the home of her grandmother, her mother’s mother.  Her parents had lived there since their marriage.  Because Eliza’s grandmother was a widow and lived in a large house, she urged Eliza’s parents to share it with her.

            When Eliza was three or four years of age, her parents were able to secure a home of their own, so they left the grandmother’s home.  Eliza’s grandmother was very good to her, but she didn’t believe in children being idle.  She had a large house and a good sized farm.  She owned quite a number of cattle, so there was plenty for all to do.  Since no fences separated the farms in Denmark, it was the responsibility of each farm owner to keep his cattle on his own land.

            Herding the cattle thus became the responsibility of the children.  The cows were milked at four o’clock in the morning.  The children then herded them until noon, when they were milked again and then herded all afternoon.  The cows were milked a third time just after dark.  When Eliza was six years of age, it became her job to herd the geese.

            Eliza’s grandmother was a devout Lutheran as were her uncles, so Eliza grew up in that religion.  Her grandmother really took her religion seriously.  She would not allow any of the children to work on Sundays or holidays.  The house and farm work had to be completely arranged for the day before.

            In spite of all the work that had to be done on the farm, Eliza’s early home life was very pleasant.  The home, located in the beautiful Danish countryside and known as “Horse Haven”, was always a scene of much fun and frolic on holidays.  New Years was the big celebration of the year in Denmark.  Dancing went on all during the night of New Years Eve. Young boys of the town would go around playing pranks on their neighbors and friends until they were finally invited into homes for beer and cake.

            Christmas was a time of feasting and visiting with old friends.  Eliza’s home was always a gathering place for the young folks of the town at this season.  Much emphasis was given to Christmas Eve in the celebration.  It is likely that Eliza’s traditional celebration of Christmas Eve in her home at Levan, Utah, later on found its origin in these celebrations of her childhood.

            At the age of seven she entered school.  She had to walk a mile to and from school every day.  Eliza attended school until she was fourteen.  The lat year of her schooling she took her lessons from the local priest and studied the Bible.

            Sometime just prior to 1860 Eliza met a young man by the name of Carl Frederick Mangelsen.  His birthplace was in Dronninglund, Hjorring, Denmark.  How long she kept company with Carl we do not know, but she had promised to wait for him until he could be released from the Danish army.  He served as a soldier in the Schleswig Holstein War for four years before he was released to return home.  In the meantime, Eliza remained on the farm with her grandmother and waited impatiently for his return.
                                                       Carl (Charles) Frederick Mangelson

            The young couple was married March 27, 1864 at Colt Sogon, Lindrum, Denmark.  Eliza’s grandmother gave them a big wedding that lasted for two days.  The bridal party rode to the church in carriages, and four horsemen rode by the carriage of the bride and groom.

            The marriage ceremony took place in the Lutheran Church.  People who were invited marched in couples up the center aisle of the Church to the alter where the priest and dean stood.  There they donated what money they could spare to the priest and dean for their services in performing the marriage and in furnishing the music.  After this was taken care of, they returned and took their places on the benches on each side of the center aisle.

            The bride was dressed in a black Damask dress.  She wore a wreath of orange blossoms over her head.  The bridegroom wore a dark suit.  Music for the occasion was provided by the dean, and the young couple was married by the Lutheran priest.  The ceremony took place in the morning.  Immediately afterwards, the company left the church for the bride’s home where the wedding supper was served.  On the way home the horsemen had a race to see who could reach there first.  The winner was to become the best man.

            The wedding supper took considerable time to serve because of the many courses.  A woman had been hired to cook for three days to help prepare the mean.  Many of the eatables were sent to the young couple before the marriage.  No wedding gifts were sent, so no doubt food took the place of gifts.

            After the supper was over everyone went into a room prepared for dancing.  Here they danced until about midnight; then tea, coffee and cake were served.  The dancing continued all night.  In the morning breakfast was served.  If by this time some were tired of dancing, they went into still another room and played cards.  In this manner the celebration lasted until the night of the second day.

            Eliza had many fine clothes, but she was especially proud of her beautiful wedding dress.  She treasured it all of her life; took it to America with her when items to be packed had to pass pretty stringent justification, and kept it for fifty or sixty years as a prized possession.

            Her husband’s uncle gave them a home for a wedding present, and her grandmother gave them a cow and plenty of furniture.  Carl had a good job, so they began their married life in relative comfort and security.

            Soon after their marriage, Eliza’s mother and father joined the Mormon Church.  Because their new religion meant very much to them, it was natural that they would want their daughter and new son-in-law to hear about it.  They were successful in persuading Carl and Eliza to sell their home and move in with them, where they could all study the Mormon religion together.  While living in her parent’s home, Eliza’s first child, a daughter was born August 5, 1865.  She was given the name of Amalie Marie.

            Thus far all had been rosy and happy for Eliza in her married life, but now on the eve of their making the important decision to join the Mormon Church, tragedy struck.  The baby had lived only four months when she was stricken with whooping cough.  Nothing they could do in any way seemed to give relief.  The child died.

            Soon after the little one’s death, Carl’s uncle also passed away and sorrow came to the young couple for a second time.

            In her loneliness, Carl’s aunt who had done so much for him, asked her nephew and his wife to come and live with her.  This they did.  While they were living in the aunt’s home, Eliza’s second child, again a daughter was born January 28, 1867.  They named her Emelia.

            The devotion of Carl’s aunt to her Lutheran religion caused her to be very bitter against the Mormon faith.  She saw it as a challenge to all she believed.  Continued study of the new religion in her home became extremely difficult for the young couple.  Nevertheless they did manage to go on with their search of the Mormon scriptures in spite of the opposition.

            Finally the time came when they were ready to join the new church.  Being baptized while still living in the aunt’s home was out of the question.  It was a difficult situation for them.  They were torn between their loyalty to Carl’s aunt and their determination to become Mormons.  After much soul searching, they moved from the aunt’s home to join again with Eliza’s parents in their home.  Here they would be free to follow their own desires concerning the new religion.  They were baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints on February 2, 1867.  One source indicates that Eliza was baptized February 2, 1863.  Anyhow, as soon as they actually became members of the church, the young couple began to think about immigration to America.  Their interest in such a hazardous project was partly due to the information they were receiving about the church and its headquarters in Utah.  But perhaps the desire was fed more by the bitterness of former neighbors and friends toward them.  At any rate, they made up their minds that they wanted to live with those of their new faith in far away Utah.

            As soon as the big decision had been made, Carl and Eliza lost no time in beginning preparations for the journey.  They had to sell their cow, furniture, household goods, and most of the little things that had come to mean so such to them for almost nothing to secure funds necessary for transportation.  With all they could raise, it was still not enough, so they went to Carl’s employer to ask for a loan.

            Eliza could thank this employer for her being enabled to make the move with her husband.  Their plan at first was for Carl to go alone to Utah and then send for Eliza and little Emelia when he had earned and saved enough money for their fare.  But the employer strongly advised against this plan.  To back up his objection, he offered to loan them enough money for the family to make the trip together.  It is likely that the young couple didn’t need much persuading to make this change.  Separating the family would have been extremely difficult and was accepted in the first plan only because there didn’t seem to be any possibility of securing sufficient funds for all to go at the same time.  They were to repay the debt to the employer out of the first money earned in the new country.

            Finally the family set sail for England in the middle of May of 1869.  Here they were to board a steamship for America.  In the little party to embark were Carl, Eliza, little Emelia, Eliza’s oldest brother, Frederick, and a young convert, Christian Fracult.  The first leg of the journey to England was made in a sail ship.  Weather conditions over the North Sea turned out to be extremely bad and after three days of buffeting a rough sea, they had to turn back to Denmark.  Everyone the ship was very ill.  When the weather was better, they finally made the crossing to England.

            The trip to America was a pleasant one.  The weather was good all of the way and one of the party suffered from sea sickness.  They were thirteen days crossing the ocean.

            The ship landed at New York City where Carl and Eliza spent a few days before starting west by train.  They accompanied the first train load of immigrants bound for Utah.  Eliza soon found that opposition to Mormonism was not just concentrated in Denmark and England.  On the trip from New York to Utah people all along the way mocked and jeered at them.  At one time men on horses rode along by the train shouting and cursing the Mormons.  One of the party shot at the train.  The bullet went through the window where Eliza was sitting with the baby in her arms.  The glass from the broken window fell on the seat to the side of them.

            Eliza and Carl were especially worried about their luggage.  That luggage represented all their earthly possessions.  Everything was new and strange to them, and they imagined all kinds of things that could happen to their luggage.

            Each time the train stopped they would rush out to get something to eat.  It was with one of such meals that Eliza tasted her first pie.  She thought it was terrible.

            The railroad journey across the continent ended at a place in Utah called Ogden Hole - - just a short distance from Ogden city.  Here they were met in July of 1869 by friends from Denmark who knew they were coming.  They rested in Ogden for a few days and then headed for Brigham City by team.  Their first job in their newly adopted country was for a man by the name of Jim Hansen.  They lived right in with the family and it was Eliza’s job to spin and weave while her husband worked on the farm.  At the end of one year of hard labor for both of them they received the sum of one hundred dollars which they promptly sent to Denmark in payment of the loan to Carl’s employer.

            All of the family dressed in home woven clothes.  Eliza had occasion to be especially thankful for the good home arts training she had received from her grandmother in Denmark.  This training was especially valuable to her now.  During the first year in America she wove over a hundred and fifty yards of cloth along with her numerous other duties.  She wasn’t feeling too well either during this time, because on July 5, 1870 another child, a son, was born to her.  He was given the name of Charles Adolph.
                                                            Charles Adolph Mangelson

            After the debt in Denmark was paid, the young couple had just enough money left from all they had accumulated to buy a stove and a homemade bed.  They rented a small place and for a time tried to support themselves by odd jobs.

            A man by the name of George Mason offered them a job in his ranch.  They felt confident the Lord was looking out for them.  Mason’s ranch was near the Idaho line, so Carl and Eliza moved again.  Here Eliza found still greater application for all she had learned while growing up with her grandmother.  Each day there was forty pounds of cheese and also butter to make.  The responsibilities were much the same as those encountered in dairy farm life in Denmark.  Good food was plentiful at the ranch and Eliza had a separate room in which she could care for her little family.  For their pay, they were to share in the produce of the ranch.  The big drawback to this arrangement came in turning their share of produce into cash which was always in short supply.

            During the two years Carl and Eliza worked at the Mason ranch another son was born to them on September 16, 1872.  They named him Lorenzo.

            Grandmother and Grandfather had been more satisfied with their work at the Mason ranch than they had been with their first assignment.  The reason they left it after two years was to accept a position at the Stage Coach Station located nearby.  This position offered them and provided a wage of sixty dollars per month; paid in actual money.  It was almost as much monthly as they had received in a whole year on their first job.

            Carl’s new work was to care for the stage horses and to exchange teams during the stage coach stops.  After they had worked at the station for about one year, the schedule changed, and the passengers were to stop at the station for lunch.  Now Eliza had a job too, in addition to caring for her family.  She was assigned to cook meals for the two to three passengers that usually came in on each stage coach as well as the driver.  The passengers were charged fifty cents for their dinner.  There was no fancy cooking.  It was meat, eggs, potatoes, hot biscuits, custard pie and coffee.  By this time Eliza had gotten ore her aversion for pie.  Cooking quarters at the station were rather cramped.  Meals had to be cooked and served in the same room.

            Most of the family’s clothing was home made, but securing articles of clothing such as shoes often presented a problem.  On one occasion Eliza sent to Corinne with a stage driver to get a pair of shoes for Emelia.  When the stage driver brought back the shoes, they were too small.  His comment:  “These damn Mormons, they never can get enough for their money.”

            In 1874 Eliza’s parents came to Utah from Denmark.   (Carl Christian Nielsen and Maren [Mary] Christensen).   They stopped at Sale Lake City to determine where they would try to set up their home.  Since Eliza had not seen her folks for six years, she was anxious to see them now.  Her parents had never seen her two boys.

            Carl and Eliza were fortunate in being able to get a week off from their regular duties, so it was decided the two families would meet together in Salt Lake City.  The young couple took with them the stove they had purchased since they were now using the one at the station.  They also took forty pounds of cheese and a quilt as presents for their parents.  It was a happy reunion and the parents were glad to get the stove, cheese and quilt as it was hard to get started in the new country.  The families visited together for one week before Carl and Eliza had to return to their work at the stage coach station.

            On February 8, 1875, a daughter, Mary Eliza was born.  Now there were four children for Eliza to love and care for in the cramped facilities of the stage coach station.  But she was proud of her fine family of two boys and two girls.

            That spring (1875) the railroad across the continent was completed, so the day of the stage coach was over.  Carl and Eliza were again out of work, but this time they had accumulated a savings account.  In fact they had saved nearly all the money they had earned at the stage coach station.  This money was intended for use in buying a home.

            In the meantime, the Nielsen’s, Eliza’s parents, had settled in Levan, Utah.  They wrote to Eliza and Carl urging them to come to Levan and make their home.  Grandmother and Grandfather wanted to be near their folks, so it was decided they would set up their home in Levan.

            To make the move they purchased a fine team of horses, harness and a wagon.  Then as they passed through Salt Lake City, they purchased as much furniture as they felt they could afford.

            Just across the street from Eliza’s parents in Levan they bought a four-acre lot and a log house.  Now Grandmother at last had a permanent home in the new country.

                                                   Carl and Eliza's Home in Levan, Utah

            But their savings were gone, and there was no work to be had.  The family’s needs for money was real and urgent.  This was a period of severe trial for the young couple, but in spite of their discouragement, they went on with plans to take up land in preparation for a permanent home in Levan.  Carl went back to the Brigham City area to secure temporary employment in order to supply family needs that had to be met.  Eliza stayed in the new home to care for the family during his absence.

            In spite of hard work and times of discouragement, Grandfather and Grandmother always looked upon their newly adopted country as a land of opportunity.  Carl wanted to be American all the way.  In keeping with this desire, he wanted to Americanize his name, so he changed the name Carl to Charles.  He felt this sounded more American.  He also changed the spelling of his last name to Mangelson from the German spelling of Mangelsen.

            The following children were born in Levan:  Charity Matilda, September 23, 1877; Martin Wilford, February 23, 1880; Dora Otilia, July 6, 1882; Edna Christince, December 12, 1884; Fred Vance, March 3, 1887.
                                                           Edna Christince Mangelson

                                                                     Martin Mangelson

            When Emelia or “Millie” as she was known, had the sad misfortune of losing her husband who was killed by lightening, she was left with two small children.  Millie was Eliza’s oldest daughter.  After a few years Millie married Peter Wankier, a man with seven children.  In order to help her, Grandmother took one of her children; a boy named Eric, and raised him in her home until he became a man along with her own nine children.

            Eliza spent most of her time in her home, especially while her children were young.  There was much work to be done in the home for a large family living under pioneer conditions.  She washed and carded wool, made quilts and wove much of the cloth she made into clothes for the family.  She even made suits for her husband and sons in the family’s early days.  There was a total absence of conveniences we know them now, and very few of the family’s needs could be met by purchase.  For the most part these needs were dependent on home production.

            In spite of these obstacles, Eliza was determined to do as well as her American neighbors.  She wanted her children just as neat and well dressed as other children.  Often she sewed most of the night to make this possible.

            During the years her family was at home, Eliza was parent, doctor, nurse, teacher, and counselor to her children.  Even though home duties of preparing food and clothing for a large family must have made heavy demands on her, she still found time and energy to assume these other duties.  The health of her family was a vital concern for Eliza.  It was not possible to hurry off to a specialist with every ailment that came to her children.  She was the family specialist, and in assuming this responsibility she developed all kinds of preventatives and cures to protect her family.  One of her favorite remedies for many ailments was a cup of hot ginger tea.  She justified its use by saying, “If you’re warm on the inside, you’ll be warm on the outside too.”

            Her children heeded and valued her counsel and teaching is attested to by their frequent visits back to the home after they had families of their own. 

            Grandmother was always supportive in the help she gave.  Her sons and daughters-in-law had full confidence in her.  They knew she would never stoop to undermine them in any way.  She was welcome in her children’s home, because she always left a wholesome influence each time she came.  Both Grandmother and Grandfather seemed to understand instinctively the differences between giving encouragement to their children and interfering in their lives.

            By the time Grandmother’s own children were gone and had families of their own, Eliza had become quite proficient as a nurse; although experience was her only teacher.  Her motherly instincts now began to extend into the new families as grandchildren were born.  The hours she spent in assisting at births, no one will ever know.  We do know that her devotion and nursing ability was relied upon and greatly appreciated by her children and their companions.  She assisted at the births of most of her older grandchildren and more than once was alone with the mother at that time, since doctors were often late.  It was a common sight to see Grandmother traveling to and from different parts of town with a shawl covering most of her face.  She had considerable trouble during these years with her eyes and could not stand direct contact of cold or wind on her eyes.

            It was truly a marvel the way she was able to extend herself into the lives of a growing number of grandchildren.  To this younger generation she was knows as “Little Grandma”.   There was a very good reason why she was such a favorite with her grandchildren.  Always interested in whatever they were doing, she was never too busy to spend time individually with each one whenever she was in their homes or when she met them else where.  She was especially concerned about their education and proud that so many of them were getting to college.

            Grandmother had always been a firm believer in education and had urged this need upon her children at a time when there was little concern for schooling among most of her friends and neighbors.  Her children attended school as much as was possible, and two of them became school teachers.

            Both Eliza and her husband, Charles, had mastered the English language to the extent that both wee able to speak the language and also to read and write if effectively.  This achievement opened up the world of learning to them, and they appreciated very much the resultant broadening of their abilities and activities.  Grandmother became a great reader and spent whatever time she could spare in her front room with a book or a magazine.  In later years when her eye sight became too impaired for much reading, she was able to get her granddaughter, Audrey Hansen, to do the reading for her.  After Grandfather’s death in 1923, Audrey spent the nights with her grandmother until finally her family moved into the home.  During this time Audrey did a considerable amount of reading aloud.  One of the books she read was the novel, “A Lantern in Her Hand” by Bess A. Aldrich.  Grandmother especially liked this story because many of the events pretty well paralleled those of her own life.

            She was very much involved in both the fortunes and misfortunes that came to her loved ones. 

“In 1917 when the flu epidemic swept the country, the Gardner families were all seriously ill except Dad.  He was doing his best to care for the stricken family, including Mother.  During this time Grandmother walked across town each day with cooked food planned and prepared to help us toward recovery.  Even more important was the counsel and encouragement she brought to Dad to help him in the difficult role he was trying to assume.  She would meet him at the gate to deliver the food, to learn first hand how we were getting along, and to give whatever help she could.  On each of these visits with Dad she would say, “I think I had better come in today and help,” but Dad would not hear of it.  He was afraid that she, too, would become afflicted.  I do not know how many other families she helped at this time, but many were ill.  It was characteristic of her to put the dangers to her own health in the background.  Her children needed help.  That was all that mattered to her.”

Grandmother’s desire to help others did not stop with her own kin.  For fifty years she served as a Relief Society teacher.  She was a counselor in the Relief Society for many years.  In assuming these responsibilities, she extended her labors of love to many beyond her children and their families.  Children all over town came into the world under her care.  This was no small service because if meant assuming control in the home for a period of ten days until the mother would be permitted to assume her duties.  And this service was almost entirely free.  Most people had no money to pay for the help they received.  When her children at home questioned her being away from home so much in this service, Grandmother’s only reply was, “Well, some one has to do it.”

Often she would be called out in the evening or would have to return home during the night hours.  Then, so she would not be alone in passing homes where dogs were kept, one of her boys was detailed to accompany her home.  It was Christ who said, “Let him who would be great among you be your servant.”  While this injunction was preached regularly from the pulpit, Grandmother lived the doctrine.

In the year 1910, Eliza and her husband completed the sealing of their four eldest children to the family unit for time and eternity.  The sealing took place in the Manti Temple.  All of the younger children were born in the covenant since their parent’s were sealed together in 1875.

            The Mangelson home, like Eliza’s childhood home, was a gathering place for relatives and friends on holiday occasions.  This was especially true at Christmas.  A modified version of old country observance of Christmas Eve was continued in Charles and Eliza’s home.  Their children grew up in this tradition with all it implied.  Gift giving that involved all members of the family, even in the most difficult time, was part of this heritage.  The Christmas Eve festivity continued in the Mangelson home even after the children had moved into homes of their own.

As a child I remember our family traveling to Grandmas in our large bob-sleigh.  In contrast to the bitter cold outside, the house always seemed warm and cozy as I remember.  When we arrived, Grandma’s living room would already be filled with relatives.  Warm Christmas greetings followed the entry of each family, with Grandma going among the guests in her charming way to make everyone welcome.  Great amounts of food, including loaves upon loaves of homemade bread and sweet rolls was always prepared for this occasion.  A delicious banquet was served to the large group that came each time.  After the Christmas meal was cleared away, Grandma would usher us into her parlor where a beautiful Christmas tree was loaded with gifts for all.  The families then enjoyed an evening together until it was time for them to return to their own homes for Christmas observance there.

Finally the time came when the family completely outgrew Grandmother’s home, and the big Christmas festivity had to be discontinued.  But the tradition had been established and the event was simply carried on in each of the children’s homes after the occasions had been adapted to needs of new family units.

Observance of anniversaries found an important place in Grandmother’s life.  She was nearly always present at birthdays of her children and their companions.  A record was kept of the birth dates of her grandchild, and she showed up at their homes on these days whenever she could.  When Grandma came, then each grandchild felt his day had been given its proper attention.

Her own birthday and that of her husband were occasions of considerable importance to Grandmother.  As soon as Christmas was over, she began giving thought to these coming events.  And her birthdays were something to remember.  Not only was the house filled with children and grandchildren; but many neighbors and friends came.  In her later years when each birthday was over, she liked to spend time recalling individually all of those who had come to honor her.
                                                                  Eliza's 95th Birthday

On her last birthday, her ninety-fifth, she met her guests, shook their hands and chatted with each one as they came in.  Then during the party she went among those present to make sure no one felt neglected.  To one she would show an album, to another she would ask a question concerning the health of a loved one.  She was genuinely happy in the love she felt for all present and at the same time secure in the knowledge that all loved and revered her too.

Grandmother had a real appreciation for beautiful things.  As her wedding dress was the pride of her younger days, so a brown dress she had made for herself was the pride of her later years.  This dress was the necklace she wore with it was well designed for her and became a favorite for dress up occasions.

She had always been a lover of flowers.  Geraniums were blooming the year round in the windows of her home and two large ferns added a homey touch to her front room.  Outside, flowers were planted to the north and west of the house.  Grandfather cared for this garden and kept the flowers blooming during most of the summer.

Grandmother enjoyed her trips to Salt Lake City for the purpose of visiting her daughter Dora and her son Martin.  Her youngest son, Vance, lived in Idaho, but that was too far away for her to visit.  She could, however, get to Salt Lake City even in her later years, and she availed herself of this opportunity as often as was possible.  Usually she came back from such trips with material for dresses to be given to her daughters.  It was characteristic of her to comment when she returned home, “It was good to get back, even though I have had a very good time.  I guess I enjoy my own home more than any other place.”

Over the years many gifts had been given to Eliza and Charles.  These gifts were prized possessions and Grandmother always enjoyed showing them to relatives and friends who visited her.  One of the oldest of such gifts was a set of silverware with the letter “M” engraved on each piece.  This gift was given them by the company when they left the stage coach station.

Grandmother enjoyed remarkably good health until she was ninety years of age.  After that there was a gradual breakdown in her body strength and endurance, but she remained active until just a few months before her death.

The only major accident of her long, active life came when she was 85 years of age.  She had opened the door that led to the cellar intending to go down for some materials.  However, something happened to keep her from doing as she had intended.  The door to the cellar was located on the floor of her small kitchen.  A few moments later, having completely forgotten the open door, she walked right into the opening.

Her leg was broken at the knee.   Dr. Beckstead instructed Aunt Edna, who was caring for her, to make Grandmother as comfortable as possible.  At the age of 85, he felt sure she would never walk again.  As the days passed Grandmother grew very tired of the chair to which she was confined, but she wouldn’t hear of getting a wheel chair.  That, she felt, would be an unnecessary expense.  Howe3ver, he son, Lorenzo, did rent a wheel chair for her.  She wasn’t too happy about this at first, but she soon learned it helped her to become much more comfortable.  Besides it made it possible for her to move about and thus pass time without so much difficulty.  Each day when weather permitted, she would get Aunt Edna to wheel her to the long porch at the south side of her living room where she could rest outside and enjoy the open air.

When Dr. Beckstead concluded that Grandmother would never walk again, he failed to take into consideration her particular brand of determination.  One day she said to her granddaughter, Audrey Hansen, “If you will hold to the back of my chair, I think I could stand up.”  The foot rests were moved to the side, and Grandmother did get to her feet.  Then after a moment she took a trembling step or two.  By her direction, the wheel chair was then moved out of the way, and with the help of her granddaughter, she held to the table and slowly worked her way around it.  In the days that followed, she repeated this painful action many times until she could get control of her legs. 

When the doctor came to see her later on, she greeted him from the wheel chair and then remarked, “Dr. Beckstead, I’ve got something to show you.”  She then repeated her routine of walking around the table for him.  He could hardly believe his eyes.  This event took place 11 years before her death.  Sometime after she had been walking again, she slipped on the same cellar steps and slid clear to the bottom.  This time she was not injured seriously.

When the time came that Grandmother could not care for herself, her youngest daughter, Edna and her family moved into the home to care for her.  Thus the desire of Grandmother’s heart was realized, and she was able to remain in the home that meant so much to her until the end.  Aunt Edna cared for her with a love and kindness that must have brought a deep sense of happiness and contentment to Grandmother after having devoted a life time to helping others.

In the fall of 1942, Grandmother began to lie down every day for several hours, something she had never done before.  During this time all of her children came in regularly to visit with her and to help in whatever way they could.  She still insisted upon walking about the home, inside and out.  She would also walk to the neighbors and ever to her daughter, Millie’s, who live a few blocks away.

On December 20, 1941, she became confined to her bed, and from that time on she was never left alone at night. Her daughters, daughters-in-law, and older granddaughters took turns staying with her at night.  Of course, the greatest respo9nsibility fell to Aunt Edna who was with her practically all of the time.  Grandmother knew that her time was ebbing out.  She spoke calmly of things she wanted done after she was gone, of personal belongings she wanted individual children to have.  Her bed was in her parlor, a room she particularly loved.  In one of her conversations with Aunt Edna, she reported to have said, “You will want to keep this as your front room.”  The thought that this room would be used by her daughter as she had used it, gave her an apparent sense of satisfaction.

During the last few days of her life the children living in Levan were with her practically all of the time.  Those from out of town all came to spend as much time with her as they could.  Grandmother passed away peacefully as she had lived, February 28, 1942.

All of her living children were at the funeral.  The chapel was a mass of beautiful flowers and packed to capacity with grandchildren, relatives and friends.  Services honoring her life of devotion to others were carried out as follows:

Invocation                               H. R. Francom

            Musical Selections                  Levan Ward Relief Society Chorus

            Tribute                                     G. Grant Gardner

            Speaker                                   Christian Christensen

            Instrumental Duet                   Elbert Gardner & Maynard Wankier

            Speaker                                   James Anderson

            Speaker                                   President Will L. Hoyt

            Closing Remarks                     Bishop Erastus Peterson

            Vocal Duet                              Willard Shepherd & Barbara Winter

                                                              Accompanied by Olive Taylor

            Benediction                             Niels Lundsteen

            Graveside Prayer                     LeGrande Mangelson

And so death came to Eliza Nielsen Mangelson as a period of rest after a busy, useful day.

The following history was written by George Grant Gardner, grandson in 1974.  Sources of information:  Histories prepared by Mary Eliza Mangelson Gardner and Audrey Hansen Dalby.  Taped and Written Tributes by:  Lorenzo Mangelson, Edna M. Hansen, Reuben Mangelson, Norma G. Bailey, Esther G. Connelly and Byron F. Christiansen.

Also, most of the photos were furnished by Heidi Shuler.  Thank you Heidi.


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