Anne Marie Hansen – A Young Mother in Richfield

Screen Shot 2018-04-22 at 3.38.50 PMAnne Marie gasped as her knees buckled. She sat down immediately on the rough porch covering her mouth with one clinched hand, holding her chest with the other. She widened her beautiful gray eyes to prevent tears from falling, which eventually spilled to the ground. She had married in Denmark, leaving her “quaint Danish home…dirt floor and thatched roof,” and set sail with her new born child promising to work hard and send money so her husband could join them in America. Her mother and brother had immigrated earlier and by their toil had saved and sent enough for Anne Marie to come. “She crossed the North Sea,” where she and the child suffered terrible sea sickness. Now in Richfield, Utah, “she scrubbed floors and cleaned to…take care of her little son. When she had saved enough…, she sent it to her husband…so he could join them…” But that was not to be. ‘Tell me again what he said,’ she asked. “During the voyage [to New York,] he heard so many derogatory things about the Mormons, and about the Indians killing people in the west, and he got frightened. When he arrived…he turned around and went back to Denmark.” More tears fell from her eyes. She never heard from her husband again. A few years later her child died of typhoid fever. Even so, she retained here kindness and faithfulness as a member of the church. She married again, had seven children and cared for several more. Her youngest child, Harvey, later said, “My mother was a wonderful person…she just couldn’t see anything bad about anyone…my parents never had anything…they gave it all away…we had a happy home…she just loved everybody and everybody loved her…”

(by Kenneth R. Hardman, based on the reference below) #AncestorClips

Reference: The Hansen & Gulbrandsen Family History: Ancestors & Descendants of Edna Violet Gulbrandsen & Harvey Ralph Hansen, compiled by: Jana Greenhalgh, Dona Losee, Ray Hansen. Excerpts by Ray Hansen and Harvey Hansen

Authors Note: Anne Marie Hansen is my wife’s (Joan Losee Hardman) great-grandmother and the 2nd great-grandmother of my children. It is not known whether Anne’s 1st husband communicated with Anne directly by written correspondence about his decision to return to Denmark, or if he sent word by other travelers. It is also not known exactly how Anne learned of his decision. Therefore the opening lines of this story are from the authors imagination; however, whether she learned by messenger or written message, the emotion described in this story seems appropriate for the pain she must have felt. Regarding her ability to read, according to her grandson, Ray Hansen, “She commented later in life that she learned how to read by reading the Bible when she was out herding cows on the beautiful Danish hillsides. Being very familiar with the Bible, when she heard the missionaries teach, ‘It just rang true in my heart.'” I am inspired by her faith, determination, and kindness.

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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