Saturday, Dec 03, 2022

Harvey George Andersen

Harvey George Andersen

Harvey was born 3 May 1909 in Arbon, Idaho.  He was the son of Ezra Taft (“Ez”) Andersen and Sarah Eveline Arbon.  He was the youngest son, having two older brothers. 

His family suffered a great tragedy when he was two years old. According to the Bannock Valley book, his older brother was drowned in an accident involving his whole family while traveling home in the dark after a dance: “A community doesn’t always run smoothly. During the winter of 1910 and 1911, winter came early and snow fell most every day for weeks. About the middle of January, 1922, a thaw and a western Chinook wind began to blow. Snow melted rapidly and there were torrents of water in every creek and hollow.

“There had been a big house party at the Dalton residence and most of the neighbors were there. Water was running everywhere and at midnight Ezra and the Delbert Dalton families started for Ezra’s home. All went well until they were about home when they tried to pass over a gushing stream of fast water. It immediately flipped over the wagon box with everyone but Mr. Dalton pinned underneath. It took a few minutes to get the wagon box righted.  When it was turned back right side up, Mrs. Dalton and Eva (Sarah Eveline Arbon Andersen) were found holding onto some of the children by their feet to keep them from being swept away. It was discovered that two little Daltons (an eight-year-old boy and a two-month-old infant) and Ezra and Sarah’s little six-year-old Nicholas were missing.  The frantic fathers looked but could not find the bodies of their children in the dark until early the next morning.” This undoubtedly had an effect on Harvey’s family life, and by 1920, he had a new step-mother.

Even though the hard work of homesteading was over by the time Harvey was an adult and ready to take over the farm from his father, ready to farm on his own, there were still struggles in Arbon with crop failures, scarce money, and extreme weather. At one point when Harvey was just starting out, the Pauline store keeper, Tom Evans, gave him food on credit, even though Tom did not know him very well.  This store was located just north of where the Arbon Post Office now sits. Harvey always appreciated that kindness, as he surely needed the food! (Bannock Valley, p .63). 

Harvey took over the farm from his father, Ez. He married an Arbon girl, Annie “Virgie” Orison, on 14 July 1928 in American Falls, Idaho.  She was born in Logan, Cache, Utah on 12 June 1907, the daughter of Arbon homesteader, Charles Orison and Jean Anne McNeil Orison; her father homesteaded in Arbon Valley in 1909.

Harvey and Virgie had four children: Ted Mac, 1929; Harvey Reed, 1930; Larene, 1933, and Jimmy.  Harvey and Virgie were later divorced. In January 1954, Harvey married Alyce Neva Chapin in Salmon, Lemhi, Idaho. Unfortunately, she died about a year and a half later.

Harvey registered for the WWII draft when he was thirty years old, putting his next-of-kin as his father.  According to this document, he was 180 pounds, light complexion, blue eyes, and blonde hair.

Harvey’s oldest son, Ted, eventually took over the farm from his father, who sold it to him in 1972. Harvey continued working on his farm as his health permitted. Harvey died on 15 September 1989 in American Falls, Idaho, and was buried in Arbon.


Call, Laurie Jean, Bannock Valley (Providence, Utah: Keith Watkins and Sons, 1989).

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