Johanna Christine Larson Jones, Biographical information relating to Mormon pioneer overland travel database, 2003-2017.
View this source online
This is a short sketch of the lives of my parents. I want my children and their children to remember at least these things of them.
Father and Mother were born in Malmo Sweden. They were of the poor working class of people, but honest.
They heard and embraced the gospel in 1854. Mother was the first to hear it and thought it the most glorious thing she had ever heard. Father was a little slow to accept but finally did. Then trouble began, their people turned against them and placed all the blame on Mother. When they got ready to leave father’s mother would not shake hands with mother, but spit at her and said she had disgraced her son. Mother had only one living brother and he died soon after father had. Father and Mother, one sister and two brothers, sailed in the fall of 1854. It was nine weeks crossing the ocean, and they landed in New Orleans. We went into Missouri and stayed there and worked in a shingle mill, Mother doing house work. They had myself and brother Karl –six years older.
They had earned a yoke of oxen, a cow and wagon. The people had been very kind and were very fond of my little brother and would ask mother to let him stay overnight. She thought no harm would come, but when they found out they were planning to leave, she came one day, and they had him hid. She came day after day and they still kept him out of the way. Finally they told her if she would give up her religion she could have her boy. She said, "No, I will not." They said "He is too smart a boy to go to Utah and be a slave for Brigham." They set the dogs on her. They drove their cattle away and said if Father ever came near they would shoot him. For that reason Mother would not let him come but always came herself. They said they would not hurt her. Some of the Saints advised her to go to court. They told her the law would give her back her child. So she went to court. The small room was filled with men. She could not understand much of what they said but felt they were all against her. Then one grey-haired man arose and told the court the child was hers and there was no law that could take it away from her. So they decided to let him go. A policeman offered to go with her. As she had quite a distance to go and she had spent all her money, she thought they would be perfectly safe. She took the boy by the hand. The the path led thru a piece of woods with thickly grown underbrush. They had gone about half way when a shot from a gun was fired nearby. It startled her so that she did not know how or where the boy went, but he was snatched from her. She could see no one, but could hear them running through the brush. She stood paralyzed for awhile. Finally when she came to, a man stepped up to her, offered her a quarter for the boys coat which she was carrying on her arm, and offered to show her the way out of the woods. She refused to give him the coat, and he left. She said she never knew how she got through the woods. Father had become alarmed at her long absence and met her on along her way.
That was the last time she ever saw her boy. They sent word for them to get out, or they would murder them. Neighbors helped them get away the next day. That night the mob surrounded the house. They went into Nebraska and stayed a while in Omaha where brother Hyrum was born. They then were counseled to go and help make a settlement on Wood River. There they started to farm and built a dugout. The second summer when their corn and melons were ripe, the Indians came and claimed the land and the crops, so they had to leave all and go back to Omaha. There they stayed until they earned means and equipment to come to Utah. That consisted of one yoke of oxen, two cows and half a wagon. Another family owned the other half and one yoke of oxen. That is the way they crossed the plains. I was then six years old. I had to walk most all the way as there was no room to ride. Brother Willard was born three weeks before we reached Salt Lake. From there they went to San Pete. Within one or two years they were called on a mission to Dixie where they remained the rest of their lives.
Though they passed through many hardships they always felt content because they felt they were performing a mission. Mother never got over grieving for her lost boy. When a number of years had gone by they tried to find him. The answer had come that he had grown to be a fine man, and had married quite young. When his baby girl was born the mother died. Later he got into some trouble and was shot and killed.
I thought it would be right for my children and grandchildren to know what their ancestors passed through for the gospel.