Anders Peterson 1814-1890 / Ingelov Anderson 1820-1865
Hilda Sophia Peterson
LIFE OF ANDERS PETERSON
Anders Peterson, father of Hilda Peterson Williams, was born in Torsas, Kalmar, Sweden, 20 Dec 1814.
As a young man he was employed for some time in construction of roads. His fellow workers told him glowing stories of a fine young girl who lived on one of these roads they were constructing. They suggested that he go to her door and ask for a drink of water in order to become acquainted. The girl came to the door, and gave him the water, and he found she was all that they had said, and he went back over and over. To make a long story short, they fell in love and were married. Her parents were well-to-do people who owned their own property, which was very unusual in Sweden.
The grandfather of Anders Peterson had fallen in love with a girl who was very beautiful, but was socially beneath him. According to the law in Sweden one must not marry beneath their social level, or they lost their inheritance, which of course, happened to this man when he married the beautiful peasant girl.
So, Anders Peterson, being their descendant, had no inheritance left to him, but worked hard all his life. He and his wife, Ingelof Anderson, became the parents of seven daughters and three sons. He rented land from a nobleman and raised vegetables, fruit, and had cows, etc. His wife, Ingelof, was a wonderful seamstress and sewed beautiful clothes for wealthy people, who paid her well. All other women in the community worked with the men in the field; so, as she always stayed in the home and sewed she was known as "the Lady." She was very much loved by everyone as she was very sweet and friendly. Her health, however, was never too good, and she spent hours sewing late at night, when she should have rested. Her husband begged her to be careful, but she loved her work and would work too long until her health failed and she died when she was forty-four years of age, leaving her husband and ten children. The youngest was only a year and a half old.
Anders Peterson was a student and lover of the Bible. When he came in tired out from his work, he would study his Bible while he rested. Often he had his children read to him, and tears would come into his eyes as they read some of the beautiful stories, such as the story of Joseph who was sold into Egypt. But many things in the Bible puzzled him. In the Bible he read of the organization of the Church in the days of the Savior.
Where, now, was a church having twelve apostles at the head? He read that the Savior was baptized in the River Jordan, after which "He went straight way out of the water." Anders Peterson had not been immersed in water; he had been sprinkled with a little water from a bowl. He finally joined the Baptist Church because they baptized by immersion, but he asked to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands. He was told "We have no authority to confer the Holy Ghost."
He and his wife (dearly loved), Ingelov, had been very happy together, but now, according to the teachings of the churches, they were forever parted. The marriage ceremony had said, "until you death doth part." He could not understand how he could be right. To him, no place would be heaven without his wife.
One night he had a dream in which his wife came to him smiling and lovely. He was very glad to see her, and the dream was so vivid that he reached out his arms to embrace her. She moved away, however, but as she went, she told him that there was a way provided whereby they might be united forever.
Several years passed. He found it very hard, going all day to work for a nobleman, keeping up his own rented ground, and taking care of his very normal, rather mischievous children.
He finally married another young lady, several years his junior. Her name was Christina Swenson. She was very pretty and very industrious, and made life more easy for him; but not many years passed before she died during an epidemic of smallpox. They had four children, all of whom died in childhood.
But in the meantime, he and his wife, Christina, had heard and embraced the gospel. It came about this way: Anders Peterson was always industrious and thrifty and always was considered rather well-to-do by his neighbors. One of his neighbors had always cared for the L.D.S. missionaries when they were in that community, but when they came to her home unexpectedly one day, she was quite unprepared to feed them, so appealed to Anders Peterson for help. In those days the "Mormon" missionaries and converts were considered the scum of the earth. No one would willingly associate with them. But as Anders Peterson had heard so much evil about them, he didn't see why they would cross the ocean to teach such nonsense, so he was glad to take them in for the night and hear what they had to say.
He and they stayed up all night, asking and answering questions. At last he had found what he had sought all those years. Some of his children also joined the Church. The missionary who converted him and his wife and his daughter, Hilda Sophia, was a Brother Rosengren.
Later a missionary named John Olson converted more of the family. John Olson had a brother in Utah who asked John to look around for him while he was on his mission, and find a fine Swedish girl to come to America and become his brother Andrew's wife. One of Anders Peterson's daughters, a charming and vivacious young lady named Emma Charlotte, decided to come to America and meet Andrew Olson. To make it short, they met and were married, and strange as it seems, were very happy. Andrew owned a ranch in Beaver Co., Utah. His home was in Beaver City.
When Anders Peterson and his daughter, Hilda Sophia, decided to come to Utah, they, of course, came to live at the home of the Olson's at Beaver.
On the "S.S. Nevada" with Anders Peterson and daughter Hilda, came his daughter-in-law, Fredrika, who was the wife of his son, Carl August. Carl had preceded them to America, and living in Murray [Utah] had sent for his wife, Fredrika, and his children, Alfreda, Martin, Ernest, and baby Jacob. His daughter, Annette, had come over with her father.
When they were crossing the ocean, a terrible storm came up, which lasted three days. No one was allowed on deck. There was much seasickness. People had to hang onto ropes and straps to keep them from being thrown out of bed. There was a great clatter among the dishes and banging as the trunks and baggage was thrown back and forth in the compartment where they were stored. But Anders Peterson and Hilda often said that they never once doubted that they would come over safely to Zion.
Fredrika and her children went to their new home in Murray; later they lived for some time in Taylorsville. They moved a few years later to Beaver Co., Utah, where the sons, Martin and Ernest, were employed on the ranch of Andrew Olson.
At the time of his departure from Sweden, Anders Peterson had risen by his industry, thrift, and honesty, to the position of overseer on the estate of a nobleman by whom he was employed. The nobleman trusted and loved him, and they spent much time discussing the Gospel. The nobleman admitted "Well, you are probably right," but could not give up his wealth and social position for anything as despised as the L.D.S. Church. He pleaded with Anders Peterson to stay with him, as he was one of his valuable overseers.
But nothing meant so much to him as going to Zion to be with the true Church, now that he had found it, so he left his kindred, friends, and native land and came to America. He never regretted the step he had taken. He availed himself of the privilege of going through the St. George Temple, where he had his wives sealed to him for time and eternity.
He loved this country and was happy living with his daughter, Emma Charlotte Olson, the wife of Andrew Olson. At the time of his death he was seventy-six years of age. He is buried in the Beaver City Cemetery in Beaver Co., Utah.
ANDERS PETERSON and INGELOV SVENSON
Taken from the writings of Pearl Williams Hood & Edith Williams Pendleton (compiled by Laurie Williams.)
This is a love story. We don't know the real beginning of the story because family records and memory can't carry us back that far. But we are told that Abraham Anderson (grandfather of Anders Peterson) was very much in love with a beautiful girl. Abraham was born in Kalmar, Sweden and christened in January, 1729. There were few in Sweden at that time who were privileged enough to own land, and Abraham was fortunate to be born into just such a well-to-do family. Swedish custom and law dictated the responsibilities and limitations of each level of society. The boundaries had been in place for generations. A person was born into a particular social class and no amount of talent or hard work could be rewarded with elevation into a higher standing in the community. It didn't take much, however, to be relegated to a less favorable social tier.
It would be nice to know how Abraham came to meet and learn to love the peasant girl whom the pedigree charts identify as Ingrid Persson. We do know that while the fledgling American Colonies were severing umbilical ties to their English motherland in one part of the world, the unpopular romance in Sweden between Abe and Ingrid culminated in marriage in 1776. He was 47 years old and she was 22. Society frowned on their union, and part of the punishment was that Abraham lost his inheritance. In exchange, he gained a sweet companion and a numerous posterity. Abraham was blessed to live to the age of 88 and to know his grandson, Anders, for three years.
Abraham was born a nobleman, and fell in love with a commoner. Because of Abraham's choice, his grandson, Anders, was born a commoner who was destined to love the daughter of a nobleman. This ironic twist may be the reason the story relating the sacrifice made by Abraham to secure the love of his Ingrid was even preserved and handed down to us.
As a member of the lower class, Anders was doomed to a life of hard physical labor. He found employment in road construction. On one stretch of road, his fellow workers told glowing reports of a lovely girl residing in a nearby house. They dared Anders to go to the door of the home and ask for a drink of water on the chance he might catch sight of her. To stop their unrelenting teasing, Anders did approach the door and ask for a drink. The young woman who answered was as beautiful as she was reported to be, and consequently Anders developed an unquenchable thirst. Unfortunately, the only written record of this romance made the long story short. So all we know is that 25-year old Anders, the son of the peasant Petter Abrahamson, eventually married 19-year old Ingelov, the daughter of the well-to-do landowner, Anders Svensson.
In casting her lot with Anders, Ingelov gave up the comforts and privileges she had enjoyed since birth. They rented land where they raised fruits and vegetables and probably had the usual assortment of animals. The other women, whose husbands were also farming the noblemen's land, worked alongside their men in the fields. But Ingelov was talented and had been trained in the art of needlework. She spent her days sewing lovely dresses for wealthy women, perhaps her former neighbors, who paid her very well. Because she stayed at home to work while the other women labored in the fields and became as sunburned and calloused as the men, Ingelov was affectionately referred to by them as The Lady. Perhaps this title was also a reflection of her standing in the community prior to marriage.
Ingelov did not enjoy good health. It is recorded that she spent hours sewing late at night when she should have rested. Her husband begged her to be careful, but she loved her work and would work too long, until her health failed. It is more probable that there was some other underlying physical condition that caused her early death. She gave Anders three sons and seven daughters, the youngest of whom was only 18 months old when Ingelov died, six days before her 45`h birthday. Anders and Ingelov had spent nearly twenty-three satisfying years together and he was devastated by her loss. He could find no comfort.
Anders was an avid student of the Bible. He loved to study from the Holy Scriptures after a tiring day in the fields. Often he asked one the children to read to him while he rested. They noticed silent tears streaming down Anders' cheeks as they read from some of his favorite passages about Joseph who was sold into Egypt or the love story of Jacob and Rebecca. Many things puzzled Anders about what he read in the Bible compared with the teachings of his Lutheran religion. He had questions no one seemed to be able to answer. Where was there a church having twelve apostles at the head, patterned after the one established by Jesus? Why was it that the Bible recorded the adult Jesus was baptized in the River Jordan where He went straightway up out of the water, and yet the predominant local church baptized infants by sprinkling a little water out of a bowl? Anders eventually joined the Baptist Church because they baptized by immersion, but when he asked to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost by laying on of hands afterwards, he was told, We have no authority to confer the Holy Ghost.
The most troubling question of all had haunted Anders since his wife died. Were they really separated forever as the marriage ceremony proclaimed, until you death doth part? That didn't seem logical. To Anders, no place would be heaven if he could not be with his sweetheart.
One night Anders had a dream in which his wife appeared to him. She was smiling and more lovely than he even remembered. Anders was so glad to see her and the dream was so vivid and real, that he reached out his arms to embrace her. But Ingelov moved away. Before disappearing from his sight, she told Anders that there is a way provided whereby they might be united forever. That experience calmed his fears and gave him hope.
Anders' older daughters worked hard after their mother died to keep the home functioning and take care of the younger children. Still, it was lonely and difficult for him to hold the family together without a wife. Eventually Anders married a young, industrious woman by the name of Christina Swensson. She stepped into the role of mother for Anders' ten children, and together they had four more babies, each of whom died in childhood.
Anders was honest, industrious, thrifty and well-respected by his neighbors. These qualities had earned him a position of responsibility as overseer on the estate of a nobleman. The opposite opinion was held by the community towards the American missionaries representing the new Mormon religion. The Mormon elders were ridiculed or held in contempt, and at best shunned. They were literally considered the scum of the earth and the local residents would not willingly associate with them. Anders had heard so much evil about the LDS missionaries that he couldn't figure out why they would come such a great distance across the ocean to teach the nonsense that was attributed to them. A close neighbor, however, had taken pity on the missionaries and would occasionally feed them when they were in the community. One day the elders showed up unexpectedly, and the neighbor lady was quite unprepared to take care of them. She asked if Anders would help. He welcomed the opportunity to hear first-hand how these foreign visitors would explain themselves. It was not quite what he expected. Much to his surprise, Anders heard the answers to all the spiritual questions that had been troubling his mind for years. That first conversation lasted nearly all night. Like most Swedes, Anders chewed tobacco. After his all night discussion, he threw away his tobacco and never touched it again, even though he was ill for several weeks from withdrawal. On April 17, 1871, Anders and his new wife, Christina, were baptized members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Anders shared these new religious discoveries with his employer in a series of long conversations. The nobleman finally admitted, Well you are probably right, but he was not disposed to give up his wealth or social position and become associated with a people who were as despised as the Mormons. He pleaded with Anders to remain in Sweden and continue to work as his valued overseer. But when Anders learned about the restoration of the gospel, his burning desire was to join the body of the Saints in Zion. Before he realized this dream, however, Christina died during a small pox epidemic in 1874. But this is a love story. And Anders' love for the Lord and his new-found religion led him to a new desert home in Beaver City, Utah. There he was sealed for all eternity to both his wives in the St. George Temple on September 18, 1884. Thus, when 76-year-old Anders died six years later on 13 November 1890, we can be confident that he found himself in heaven, because his beloved Ingelov was there.