Hansen, Christian, "A Life History of Christian Hansen, Shoemaker...Convert...Handcart Pioneer, 8-10, 12.
- Related Companies
- Christian Christiansen Company (1857)
“In Iowa we received our handcarts and later traveled with them furthur. After pushing and pulling the heavy handcarts up hill and down dale, through sand, mud and water, enduring many hardships, it was decided that they would have to lighten their load if they were to make it at all. They held a council meeting and it was decided that they would leave on the camp ground anything they could possibly do without. It nearly broke their hearts to leave their prized feather beds which meant so much comfort to them. Many other articles of bedding which they would need in their new homes were left strewn about the camp ground as they pushed on until they reached Omaha.
Here Ole Petersen and family gave out and decided to drop out. Here also another council was called and it was decided that their carts were still too heavy. They all contributed what money they could spare and they raised $700.00 with which they bought a wagon and team of mules. They now loaded all of the heavier articles such as trunks etc. into the wagon and the journey was resumed. About a hundred miles out of Omaha Christian became sick and could no longer push the handcart. The captain thinking he would soon feel better assigned a man to help Inger, but after about 20 miles she was exausted also.
The little band of pioneers was camped on a branch of the Missouri River and on the opposite bank was a little settlement called Genoa. A man from Genoa which consisted mostly of Mormons with a few scattered cattlemen, came into their camp and asked to join the company headed for Utah. He had a 160 acre farm that he traded to Christian for his outfit and his place in the company. On 14 July 1857, the Hansen Family bid goodbye to their friends in the Handcart Company, and leaving their big trunk which contained all of their best clothes, and which was in the very bottom of the wagon in the care of a friend who was to care for it in Utah, they crossed the river for their first look at what was to be their home for the next two years. . . .
“We arrived in Gonoa 14 July 1857 and we lived here two years and had many trial to go through and the Indians came and drove us from here and we went 100 miles back to Kresen [Cresent] City 19 September 1859. Here we lived one year. Sunday 18 July 1858, myself and wife and Martin and Karen baptized by Dort Thommes and we received laying on of hands same day. Sunday 6 May 1860, my daughter Anna Hansen baptized by Elder H. . . . . We came to council Bluffs 23 May 1860.”
[The facts and stories contained in the foregoing history were taken mainly from the journal of Christian Hansen, which is transcribed within quotation marks and translated by Olaf Miller, a grandson.]