Hans Moller and Christine Jorgene Norr Miller

 

Hans Jorgen Moller met and married Christine Jorgene Andersdtr Norr (Georgina) in 1871 in Clarkston, Cache, Utah.  It was interesting to discover that Georgina’s mother, Fredrickke Pedersen, Ole, and Mary, (her siblings) came in the same 1870 company of Saints as Hans mother, Caroline Moller and siblings, Emma and Joseph!  Did they know each other?   

 

From Georgina’s autobiography that was in part published in “Our Pioneer Heritage” we learn that her family belonged to the Lutheran church. When she was barely 10, her father died. Georgina worked to help her mother support the family.  In the winter she knitted stockings and did hand work for others.  In the summer she herded cows for farmers in her area.  She enjoyed watching the ships out at sea as she waded in the water near the shore.  She also remembered the beautiful field of flowers that grew in the summer.  They were very poor.  She remembered what a treat it was to eat the white bread that neighbors would give them during the holiday season.  Flour was expensive and they couldn’t afford it.

 

Here I will insert some history about life in Denmark that was written by Georgina’s brother, Olef J. Norr.  Their father worked for different farmers as a day laborer in the summer and in the fall he threshed grain using a phail.  A phail was two sticks tied together, one a little heavier than the other.  One stick was a handle and the other a beater.  They beat the grain back and forth on the threshing floor to separate the grain from the chaff. 

 

Their family of six children lived in a 2-room home with a straw thatched roof.  Times were hard so as soon as the children were old enough they would work away from home.  Such was the case for the three oldest siblings of Georgina. 

 

Another sorrow came to the famiy just six months later when Peter died.  About a year after her fathers death, Georgina’s mother, was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  So many rumors were spread about this religion that right away neighbors began to treat them differently but in spite of the persecution, her mother lived her new faith and always defended it.  One time when the saints were meeting in a home a mob interrupted and threatened to kill every woman in the place.  Fredrickke was kneeling in prayer.  Georgina remembered thinking that as long as her mother was praying she felt no harm would come to them but when she arose the ruffians jumped over the table and chairs.  They seized the elders and tried to force them to drink some liquor.  They took the elders from the house.  Later that night the elders escaped and came to the Norr home.  Fredrickke hid them in her attic.  A short while later the mob came demanding to know where the elders were.  She refused to tell them so they threatened to kill her.  She told them to go ahead.  They shouted more angry threats but left.

 

Georgina was baptized 12 Jun 1866.  A good friend of her mother volunteered to pay the passage to Utah for one of her children.  Georgina, who was 14 and the oldest one at home at that time, was chosen.  It was hard for her to leave her family but she respected the wishes of her mother and she was somewhat relieved to be free from the taunting of her schoolmates.  I do not know what ship she came on or exactly when she left home but she came with a company of saints in 1867.  When they reached England some of the baggage was missing including hers.  Unfortunately this was shortly before steamships crossed the ocean so she was about 7 weeks at sea enduring the bad food and water. 

 

On washday Georgina had to borrow the clothes of another child so she could wash her only outfit.  She described washday as quite a chore aboard the ship.  They filled a tub with water and used soft soap.  Clothes were rinsed at the end of a long stick that they held over the side of the rail into the ocean.  One time she lost her balance and would have fallen overboard except that a fellow passenger saw her plight and grabbed her by the feet and pulled her to safety.  She probably hoped that the worst part of the journey was over when she reached New York but this was not to be. 

 

Crossing the plains was the most difficult of all.  Towards the end they had to ration food very sparingly and so many nights she went to bed weak and hungry.  The weather was getting very cold at nights.  Her shoes totally wore out so she had to dry her stockings each night near the fire.  One morning she discovered that her stockings had fallen into the hot ashes and burned.  She asked others in the company if they had any shoes or socks to spare but finding none she had no choice but to wrap her feet in rags.  Many times her feet were so sore she could hardly stand to move them.  She was glad that the captain of the company allowed her to ride on his horse sometimes.

 

One night she and a friend asked a sister if they might sleep in her tent.  There was a man already asleep in the tent.  The next morning they laid in bed thinking that since the man was still sleeping there was no great hurry to get up.  A little while later the woman called to them and told them that the man had died and would be buried that day.  The girls didn’t take long scrambling out of the tent upon hearing that news!

 

She must have been grateful to reach journeys end but there was no family to meet her at the tithing office and the man who had paid her passage must have concluded that his obligation to get her to Utah was finished and she was on her own.  Another man who had come for an older sister told her that she was welcome to stay with them until she could find something better.  She really appreciated his kindness.  They made their way to Brigham City and Georgina did find work in the home of Adolph Madson and family.  They were also kind to her.  To spare her mother of any trauma, Georgina never told her of the hardships she had suffered on her trip to Zion.  

 

Georgina was happy to have her family arrive almost 3 years after she left her home in Denmark.  Her brother, Olef, wrote that they started for America about 10 Jul 1870.  He was 13 at the time and it seemed a grand adventure to him.  Having spent his whole life in the country he was quite impressed with all the buildings lining the narrow streets of Copenhagen.  They next boarded a ship to cross the North Sea to Hull, England and then by rail they went to Liverpool to board the “Minnesota.”  The ocean voyage took just 12 days then they rode the transcontinental railroad all the way to Ogden.  From there they went by team to Brigham City on 12 Aug 1870.

 

Fredrickke Norr was very anxious to do her duty to help in the Lord’s work.  She was also very poor so when everyone was asked to contribute to the temple fund she would walk out and collect bits of wool from the sage brush where the sheep had been take it home and wash card and spin it.  She knitted stockings and sold them for 50 cents a pair. 

 

According to one account, Georgina was 17 when she married Hans Miller the following year in 1871 in Clarkston, Cache, Utah.  She had moved to Logan to work for a family there and that is how she and Hans met.  They moved to Salt Lake City and that is where their first child, Almina, was born. 

 

It is interesting to note that on the ship roster Hans name is Hans Jorgen Moller.  In Georgina’s autobiography his name is Hans Koford Miller.  The name discrepancies make me a little crazy!  Olef tells it this way.  When his parents were married his mother didn’t care for the Norr name so she convinced her husband to name their children with the Andersen name for a sir name to follow the custom in that country.  When she joined the church the Elders told Fredrickke that the children should be given their father’s sir name so from that time forth they were known as Petersen because Fredrickke never told them about dropping the Norr family name at the time of their marriage!  At some point Olef decided to use the Norr name.  See what I mean?  Back to the story….

 

Hans moved his family to Brigham City a couple years later.  Two children were born there, Hans Oscar in 1875 and Peter William in 1876.  Both sons died just a few days later and are buried in Brigham City.  The loss of these little sons troubled Georgina and she wondered if their deaths came as a consequence of her and Hans being careless about not getting to the temple. 

 

She said that it was a dream that she had that prompted them to move to Mayfield to participate in the United Order about 1878.  It brought her comfort to be closer to the St. George Temple, which was the only temple in operation at that time besides the Endowment House.  Their son, George, was born in Mayfield.  Georgina had been given a blessing and was promised that she would have a son who would be a living miracle.  She said that when George was 28 he was scalded and was not expected to survive but he did thus fulfilling the blessing that she had so many years before.

 

During that time a tragedy occurred that Georgina called the saddest funeral she ever attended.  At a 4th of July outing some of the attendees chose to go boating on a small lake.  A sudden storm arose and those on the lake probably panicked at any rate the boat capsized and all 11 on board were drowned.  Some of the sisters, including Georgina, who were nursing their babies, took turns feeding a little babe whose parents were among those drowned.    Things did not work out as planned so the order was dissolved and they headed back to Northern, Utah pretty much destitute of worldly goods. 

 

In August of 1877 the Brigham City Stake was created.  The city ward was divided into four wards and about the same time Snowville Ward was established.  The call went out for anyone interested who would like to help establish the Snowville settlement.  Hans and Georgina must have decided to check it out for that is where they are listed in the 1880 census, taken in mid June.   Hans was working as a tanner.  Georgina’s mother and brother lived there too.  Olef wrote that he moved his mother there in 1879.  I was unable to find the Hans Miller family in Snowville church records.  Maybe they were just there visiting at the time of the census. Brigham City is where Casy was born in Aug 1880.  He died 10 months later from lung trouble.  He is also buried in Brigham City and that is listed as his place of death.  The family was found on the Brigham City 2nd Ward church records.

 

Hans mother, Caroline, was living in Brigham City and working as a servant.  His sister, Emma, and her two sons lived in the Honeyville area where her husband ran a mill. His brother, Joseph, had married and was working as a laborer in Bear River City.  He and his wife, Josephine, had one little daughter.  Georgina’s mother, Fredrickke, and younger brother, Ole, were living in Snowville and also her oldest sister, Caroline Christensen, was there with her family too.  Caroline came sometime after 1870.  Her younger sister, Mary Bunderson, was still in Mayfield with her husband and family and another sister, Hansine, older than Georgina chose to stay in Denmark.  (I think)  That’s where we find everyone in 1880!

 

In her story, Georgina wrote that they moved to Idaho but from a family group record we learn that Hans and Georgina’s second daughter, Emma, was born in Snowville in 1883.  Snowville is very close to the Idaho border so they could have been living there and still had a baby in Snowville.  In that same record it gives Arthur’s birthplace in Mullan, Shoshone, Idaho in 1886.  That is in the panhandle of Idaho several hundred miles north of Snowville.   Georgina doesn’t mention that in her story so this probably needs further research.  She did say that while she was expecting Arthur she was thrown for a wagon loaded with seven hundred pounds of salt and two of the wheels ran over her stomach.  She was taken home and thought to be dead but after being given a priesthood blessing she recovered.  No one expected her child to be born alive but he was just fine and grew to manhood.

 

They were back in Southern Idaho when their daughter, Mabel, was born in Jan 1891 at Elba.  They might have tried homesteading in that area.  Their last two daughters were born there too.  Of life in Idaho, Georgina wrote that they endured many hardships but were happy.  She said they felt rich if they had 25 cents of sugar in the house.  She took in sewing to help out and in those times it was common for the women to take their babies in arm and go glean wheat in the fields and then do their housework at night.

 

I’m sure that it was discouraging to learn that they could not get title to the land they had been farming so they had to move their house to some ground seven miles away. 

 

In 1898 Hans took up mining.  The work was hard and Hans did take his family with him at times when he could but other times he had to be away but the pay was good.  The family may have moved back to Brigham City or possibly Ogden.  Just how long they lived in Elba I do not know. 

 

I’m guessing this photo was taken about 1899. Mabel (1891), Illa (1895), and Leona Miller (1898), and Hazel Wight (1894).  Hazel was Minnie’s first child. 

 

Hazel Wight wrote an article about a trip the Miller Family took to California.  She said her Grandpa came slowly up the street dressed in miner’s clothing.  The girls ran to meet him but he pushed through the group to first give Grandma a hug  and kiss, then  it was the their

turn! 

 

On 18 May 1907 Hans, Georgina, Mabel, Illa and Leona left early to begin their adventure.  They got to Salt Lake about noon.  They visited the Salt Palace, Temple Square and other sites.  They visited with a friend at the station until it was time to board the train.  They slept in sleeping cars and arrived in Milford about 8am the next morning.  They saw the road that led to the mines where Hans worked and the mountain that contained the ore.

 

The next stop was Calienta Station.  (in Nevada) They passed through several tunnels and at this stop they met Arthur, (son and brother) who continued on with the family to Los Angeles.  They had traveled all through the night.  (Arthur must have been mining too.)

 

The next morning they saw acres and acres of orange trees.  It was a beautiful sight.  They were in LA for lunch.  They went to San Pedro Station and crossed over on a ferryboat, spent the night and then boarded a steamer the next morning for the Catalina Islands.  On the steamer everyone was sea sick except Hans and Illa!

 

They rode in a glass bottom boat and saw all kinds of fish and flowers.  They climbed Sugar Loaf and that evening took the steamer back to San Pedro.  They saw seals and flying fish.  The next morning they went to Long Beach where they had fun at a skating rink.  The next day was spent at the beach collecting shells, playing in the water and sand.  It was a beautiful beach and they spent the night there in Long Beach. 

 

The next day was spent in Los Angeles taking in the sites of that city.  They took a balloon ride, and visited sites in surrounding cities.  Hans took them to a 14-story building to visit his brokers office.  The mining work must have paid well.  On 4 Jun they were heading for home.  When they got back to the Calienta Station Hans put on his mining suit and bid his family farewell for a few weeks.

 

Arthur got off in Milford.  He was happy to get back to where it was quiet.  (Spending a couple weeks with little sisters must have been a bit much for their big brother!)  Georgina and the girls were back in Ogden the next day glad to be off the train and get back to home cooking.  They missed the oranges but had many happy memories and keepsakes.

 

Little did they know that just a couple months later Hans would be badly injured in a mining accident in Milford.  From the description of his injuries that included, cerebral hemorrage due to head injury, a broken collarbone, arm and thighbone and other internal injuries, the tunnel he was working in must have collapsed.  I can only guess that because of the seriousness of his situation he was transported to Ogden to be near his family.  He lived just over a week and died 4 Sep 1907.  Hans was buried in Brigham City near his infant sons.

 

About Han’s accident Georgina stated that several days before she had been feeling that a cloud hung over her.  The accident occurred on the 24th of August.  Apparently she suffered from some nervous condition and some of her friends came and stayed with her.  As they prayed one friend looked up and saw a woman with long black hair and at the same time saw Hans accident.  Georgina mentioned seeing the woman in dreams and she wondered if she was a guardian to her.

 

Georgina and her children:  Leona, Emma, Ila, Arthur, Mabel, George, and Minnie taken about 1907

 

Georgina decided to move back to Brigham City after Hans death.  She and her two youngest daughters are in the 1914 LDS Census, living in the Brigham City 4th Ward.  It listed Arthur age 26 then scored through his name, Illa age 21 and Leona age 18.  Georgina was listed as a widow and she was recorded in the following years living in the same place but alone for years 1920-35.

 

I do know that Georgina opened her home to the Jacob Hansen family when tragedy struck them in the fall of 1935.  Three of their sons were in a car accident in Brigham City.  Two were seriously injured and were in the Cooley Hospital there.

 

On 12 Apr 1941 Georgina fell and broke her left hip.  She was taken to the hospital in Ogden and died there 19 Apr 1941 after bronchial pneumonia set in.   She lived a good long life and was nearly 88.  The account in Women of Faith and Fortitude includes the photo to the left.  Georgina wrote that “Through all my trials, God had been with me, has guided and led me, and I have had many testimonies of the truth of the Gospel.  I know that we are here to go through certain trials… until our Father calls us home.”  Her greatest ambition in her youth was to be married to a good man, have a home and children.  All that was realized and she rejoiced in the goodness of the Lord.