Saturday, Jan 28, 2023

Annie Andersen Pett

Anna Amelia Andersen Pett and Charles “Bruce” Pett

Anna Amelia Andersen was born 17 January 1891 in Mendon, Cache, Utah, to parents Andrew and Sophia Andersen, as their ninth child (of ten). Her father Andrew and two brothers, Andrew Otto and John Christian, came to Arbon Valley to homestead in 1893.  The rest of the family did not come at that time, but eventually the Andersen family was the largest family to homestead and settle in Arbon Valley.  Every fall, as the nights got colder, father and sons returned to their family in Mendon and found employment through the winter.

As Annie’s siblings came of age, they filed on homesteads in the valley. Father Andrew and son Andrew Otto were able to file in 1893, and John filed in 1894.  The following is paraphrased from the book, Bannock Valley, by Laurie Jean Call Ward: “Lars Magnus settled on the 160 acres just south of John. Catherine Sophia filed on a quarter section west of John. George Lionel filed on the quarter section north of Catherine. Ezra Taft (“Ez”) filed on the quarter section north of John.”   Homesteading was a family affair for the Andersens; they all settled close enough to be helpful to each other.

Annie married Charles “Bruce” Pett on 15 December 1911 in Mendon, Utah.  Bruce was born and raised in Brigham City, Utah.  Anna and her new husband filed on the quarter section south of another neighbor, Jerry Baker, but close to her siblings and parents, and later bought out her brother Magnus’ homestead, where Lynn and JoAnn Andersen currently live.  At the time, there was a one-room log home on the place, into which all of their eight children were born: Catherine, 1913; Ezra Taft (“Taft”), 1915; Jennie Marie, 1918; Wilma, 1920; Gladys, 1922; Bruce Jr., 1925; Betty, and Karen. 

The valley was quickly filling up, with families on every quarter section.  That meant that churches, schools, and post offices would soon sprout up, even though a trip to town (Malad, American Falls, or Pocatello) still took at least two days. After a time there were five areas in the Arbon Valley with schools and post offices.

Annie was a practical nurse and midwife, a profession much valued in the valley. “One especially appreciated lady was Annie (Andersen) Pett. She delivered many babies and served as a doctor for many families, since the closest doctors were in Pocatello.” Annie had attended nursing school in Salt Lake City before her marriage. “She has often said the babies always came on the coldest, stormiest nights.  As there was very little money at this time, her time was usually free; at times someone would give her produce from their garden, eggs, and once a little pig.”

In 1940, Annie and Bruce moved to Parma, Idaho, where they bought a small acreage.  Bruce died in 1959.  She died on 19 December 1980 in Nyssa, Oregon.  They were both interred in the Nyssa Cemetery.


Call, Laurie Jean; Bannock Valley (Providence, Utah: Keith Watkins and Sons, 1982), pp 29, 32, 53, 72

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