Andrew Lars Anderson – Losing it All, Finding Better

Andrew_AndersonIn 1869, Andrew’s mother died before his 1st birthday. His father, Lars Anderson, with baby Andrew, made the trip from Sweden to Utah in just 30 days, on steamship and railroad. Andrew was left in the care of Lar’s sister, in St. Johns, Idaho, while Lars took work 150 miles south in the Utah Bingham mines. By 8 years of age Andrew was driving oxen and working the cornfields in Idaho. For the next 8 years, Andrew lived with or near his father in Utah who took him to his first store and bought him clothing and a suit. In Utah, Andrew earned meager wages herding sheep and cattle and working in the mines. He attended school for six months and learned to read the Bible. At age 17 he returned to Idaho continuing sheep herding. At age 23, his sick father asked him to come back to Utah. Shortly after Andrews arrival, Lars died of miner’s consumption, and Andrew paid for the burial. Andrew joined the LDS church at age 25 and had $800 from successful sheep herding. He was called to serve a mission, but declined indicating that “those better off should go,” wishing later, “that he had accepted the call.” Instead, he spent the $800 on more sheep, and he took a bank loan for horses and equipment. In a major spring snowstorm, after “the sheep were sheared and had lambs by their sides,” he lost them all in four feet of snow. He honorably reported to the bank, whereupon they took all his assets except for one saddle horse. Broke, and broken hearted, he returned to Idaho, obtained work shearing sheep, started over, and met the girl who would take him to the next level.

(By Kenneth R. Hardman, based on Losee, Ferril A., South, Betty, The Anderson and Josephson Family History – Ancestors and Descendants of Lars Anderson and Anna Andersdotter, Lars Charles and Anna Isaacson Josephson, 1999, pages 14, 53-55, photo from family files) #AncestorClips

About Kenneth Richard Hardman

AncestorClips are very short stories about very real people. Each clip nurtures awareness of a time, a place, and the character of a man or woman who cultivated a path for our life. The reader feels the good, the obstacles, the happiness, the sadness, and the overcoming. They cheer us, make us resilient when challenged, give us purpose, and connect us to our multi-generational family. Each story is followed by reflections from the author and readers sharing how the story strengthened or inspired them. Ken Hardman is a son, a brother, a grandson, a great-grandson… He is also a husband, father and grand-father. Ken is a professional engineer, engineering mentor, technical writer, and associate technical fellow at a major aerospace company. He is a writer of engineering and family history stories. Please join Ken in reading, reflecting upon, or writing #AncestorClips
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