Thursday, Feb 02, 2023

Andrew & Sophia Andersen

Andrew Andersen Life Sketch

by Catherine Gibbons (daughter)

Andrew Andersen born in Denmark 1833 and died 1922 in Mendon, Utah. He was a prominent figure in Mendon from 1860 until time of his death. He worked in the church, civic and industrial affairs.

He had charge of the Scandinavian saints in the early days of Mendon’s settlement, as there ware quite a number of them at that time, who couldn’t understand or speak English. He was a carpenter and a proficient one too. He engaged in farming, stock raising, merchandising, molasses making from cane and even worked watermelons into syrup. In fact engaged in every kind of work at one time or another, carried on in the community. Was for part of one winter at least one out on the Promotory north end of Salt Lake herding and caring for stock belonging to the people of Mendon. That in those days were wintered there so as to save feeding hay during the winter. About 1890 went to Bannock Valley, now Arbon, ldaho and aided in locating his six sons on homesteads which proved to be a good investment for the family as the home and farm in Mendon which he retained, was not sufficient to furnish a living for all of them.

From the early settlement of Cache Valley until 1875, military organizations were formed in each town to guard against Indian attacks and recover stock when possible if stolen by the Indians. Andrew Andersen having taken training as a soldier in Denmark was in charge as captain of all local military matters in Mendon in which all able bodied men were required to take part in drilling occasionally and being equipped with arms and ammunition the best they could procure. Such measures were then absolutely necessary for the safety of the people. He built two houses in Mendon, both good sized and substantial.

A rock house in 1873 and a frame house in 1877 where his wife now resides. Also improved the livestock of the town by purchasing and breeding as chickens. pigs, cattle and horses and was one of the first in town to keep burros. His skill as a carpenter got him a job in making coffins when a death occurred, as the first coffins not home made was used here 1880. Bear in mind he made coffins and did not charge a cent for his work. And no doubt at times furnished all the material to make them.

He served as first counselor in the Bishopric of the ward for nearly 30 years and much more work involved the holder of that office than is now required in it. In civil affairs he served several years as school trustee on the board in and for Mendon precinct and arduous labor. As at that time taxes for maintenance of schools were collected by the trustees in each district, served also several times in Mendon city council, in fact took an active part in everything spiritual or temporal undertaken in Mendon during his lifetime.

In person be was of medium height, dark hair, blue eyes, strong and compact in built, weighing when in his best physical years about 180 lbs.

I am not aware that he was sick during the last 60 years of his life and death came peaceably and quietly like going to sleep. In disposition was genial and benevolent, always willing to help others in a material way as well as by giving advice. All in all he was a valuable asset to the community. A true friend and benefactor to all with whom he had occasions to associate.

Other information:

Call, Laurie Jean, Bannock Valley (Providence, Utah: Keith Watkins and Sons, 1982).

The links provided here will lead to information on other family members.