Back to Stories and Photos

Christian Peter Thomsen – Walter Thomsen’s Father

1883 November 11th in the very early morning, I made my appearance in a little town, Hadsund, Denmark [section 1 has a map showing the location of Hadsund and a picture of their home]. I was given the name (Kresten) Christian P. Thomsen and promptly introduced to my brother Marius and sisters Martha and Rasmine. My childhood was that of a very humble circumstance; my Father (Lars Thomsen, a butcher) died when I was nine years old. It then became a great problem for our mother [Bodil Marie Hansen] to find ways and means to support the family,

1899 Our family moved to Aarhus, a large city, for better opportunities for all of us. I was placed in a leading grocery store as an apprentice, to learn business and bookkeeping, for a period of 4 years. I was to receive room and board, also free night-¬school education, but no wages. It was at this store that I first met Helena.

1903 In the later part of May, I was ready to join my brother and sister ¬in America, which had been made possible by our Uncle Anton Thomsen, who had a meat market at 23rd & Leavenworth in Omaha Nebraska. I embarked in the City of Esbjerg, Denmark for Grimsby, England. Thence, I traveled by train across England to Liverpool. In Liverpool, I boarded the Ocean Liner S S Germanic on June 3, 1903, as a steerage passenger. The trip was anything but glamorous. I arrived in New York on June 12, 1903. The same day I passed inspec¬tion as an emigrant on Ellis Island, with two silver dollars in my pocket. Life began in a new and strange land. I was escorted to an emigrant train going west. I spent one dollar for a bag with some rolls and sausages to eat in the train. A few days later, I arrived in Omaha, Nebraska, owing 50 cents for a cab driver.

[Ellis Island On-Line shows the arrival under the name Christen Peter Thomsen.]

In the month of June, for two weeks, I stayed with my uncle and his family; they were very good to me. I felt very much at home. My Uncle secured a job for me with the large grocery at 13th & Jackson St. I was to be a stock clerk and stableman; the main purpose was to learn the language and the American way of life. Work started at 7 A.M. and ended at 8 P.M. Compensation was room and board and one dollar per week. I was a very good student; in the course of three months, I was able to speak enough English to make a demand for a more reasonable deal, which was granted. I stayed with them for some time. Also, I had several other emigrant jobs in 1904 and 1905.

1906 My uncle again helped me get a job; this time as a bookkeeper with the Danish Brotherhood (a national fraternal and insurance organization). I spent four happy years in that job.

1908 I joined the Masonic Order in Omaha, St. Johns Lodge Number 25, and some time later in the Royal Arch Masons, Chapter #1. I spent many happy hours in the Masonic club room, reading newspapers and magazines, and became acquainted with a lot of nice people.

1909 November 8th, I became a naturalized citizen of the U.S.A. I felt very proud to be a voter in my new home town, Omaha, Nebraska.

1910 The month of June was the beginning of a new adventure to Salt Lake City, Utah; where in 1908, my dream girl had arrived from the old country. We had been corresponding together for several years. The time had come to get better acquainted. We spent a pleasant summer together in Salt Lake City, much of the time with the Danish People in the Mormon Organization, a new kind of life for me. It seemed worth while, and I became an easy convert to the Mormon way of life. My work was with the Union Pacific Railroad, checking carload lots in the yard (12 hour day at $65.00 per month proved unsatisfactory). So after Christmas, I left for Seattle, Washington to seek a better work.

1911 January arrived in Seattle, Washington. I secured a job with the Seattle Electric Co, as a street car conductor. On account of the death of Helena’s Sister Petra, I returned to Salt Lake City in the month of August. I stayed with Helena’s folks for a while and lived with Jens Valdemar Jensen at 1317 West 4th South Street. Helena's mother was a very sweet woman. She was always busy doing nice things for all of us, including the neighbors. She almost forgot the wel¬fare of her own self. At this time, I was working for the Denver Rio Grande Railroad Yard Office (12 hours per day at $75.00 per month). Helena's brother Christian received a call for a mission to Denmark. He was employed by Z.C.M.I., and through his effort, I obtained a job with Z.C.M.I. in the grocery department as a stock clerk, at $65.00 per month and reasonable hours. This was considered a solid and steady job. So, Helena and I could now begin to layout our plans for building a home and getting married. A building lot was secured across the yard from her folk’s home. The following two years, Helena and I worked and saved as much as possible for our future home to be built at 1314 Pacific Avenue. We also spent much time in church activities.

1914 July 14th, we were married in the Salt Lake Temple. Our modest five room bungalow was complete, and 20 dollars was left over which we used for our honeymoon at the Hermitage Inn in Ogden Canyon. On our return, a more serious life started: $1300 mortgage on the home and easy payments on furniture and a coal stove. Z.C.M.I. gave me a $10.00 raise for a wedding present.

1915 July 15th, at an early morning hour, we were blessed with the arrival of a son. He was given the name of Walter Christian Thomsen. At this time, I had a better job, stock clerk and salesman in the Wholesale Stationery and Grocery Department at Z.C.M.I. Whenever Helena had a few days to spare, she went to work as a dressmaker, remodeling and making new cloths for some of the rich people in the city. Everything looked favorable, except we were apprehensive of the war raging in Europe, which was later known as World War I. At the end of the war, in November 1918, a great flu epidemic was sweeping the country. Helena and Walter were both sick with this dreaded disease, and I had my first experience in the role of being a nurse, cook, and housekeeper. Doctors were overworked; nurses at a premium; there was not enough help to be had, either for the rich or the poor.

1920 I had finally secured a job in the office at Z.C.M.I, and for the following ten years served as Assistant Cashier. During the years 1917 to l921, I attended the University of Utah, Extension Division, improving my education in my chosen filed of Ac¬counting and Auditing. Classes were held in the winter months. Helena's brother, Christian, was appoin¬ted Bishop in the LDS 32nd Ward, and I served with the Bishopric as Ward Clerk for 4 years. Helena was active in the Ward Sun¬day School. With our 1923 Model T Ford automobile, Helena enjoyed traveling around to her dressmaking customers for her appointed work.

Walter was busy selling Saturday Evening Post, in his spare time. Later he secured a Deseret News paper route. This route paid a premium on account of the large territory to be covered in our sparsely populated neighborhood. Walter was at this time attending Jordan Junior High School, located at 6th South Street, by the Jordan River. During this 10 year period, our family had a small measure of prosperity.

1930 Several years thereafter, we experienced the Great Depression. Many millions of people were without jobs. A fee¬ling of unrest and discontent was manifest. Hungry men made a march on Washington D.C. demanding work and a chance to make a living. With a new Administration in 1932, President Frank¬lin D. Roosevelt provided ways and means to bring order out of chaos. l also found myself out of a job, and in 1930 with our savings, we bought a small neighborhood grocery store at 578 So 3rd East Street, that had a small apartment in the back of the store. At this time, I was in poor health and very much discouraged with it all. Helena proved to be a good trooper; she carried most of the burden. Walter also was a good helper. After finishing at Westside High School, he attended the University of Utah. He made his own way by working at the campus in the early morning and handling a newspaper route after school. In 1934, I again secured a job at the Z.C.M.I. in the Accounting Office. In the spring of 1935, we sold the little store, and moved to our new duplex home, located at 1245 East 6th South Street, which we had acquired by trading our Pacific Avenue home. Our recommends were promptly transferred from the 8th Ward to the 33rd Ward, and that brought us back to our usual way of life. In 1938, Walter graduated as a Chemist, married Marjorie June White, and began his career as a Chemist with Utah Oil Company.

[In loosing his job at ZCMI, Grandfather’s story became a great challenge. He had caught the President of ZCMI embezzling money. In reporting this problem, the president reversed the story and accused grandfather of embezzling money. Grandfather immediately lost his job. He must have suffered emotionally from trying to make sense out of the implausible and must have had righteous indignation. The result was a nervous breakdown. He left Salt Lake City and regained his health while living with his uncle, Anton Thomsen, in Long Beach, California. Two years passed, the truth surfaced; the president was released from his job; a new president was added. The new president was Mr. Bennett, who was a friend to grandfather, knew the truth, and reinstated grandfather back to his previous position as accountant. Also, the grocery store had been unprofitable because grandfather was unable to turn away hungry neighbors during the depths of the Great Depression.]

1939 We had our first real vacation, together with a group of friends. We attended the World's Fair in San Francisco; it ¬was a most enjoyable experience. From San Francisco, we drove by the coast line to Los Angeles and Long Beach, where we visited with Uncle Anton Thomsen and family. Thence back to Salt Lake City, with a brief stop in Las Vegas and Boulder Dam.

Our dream of a peaceful world was again shattered. World War II was started by Germany, and two years later, the United States was drawn into a full scale war. All our young and able were in uniform and sent to many different parts of the world. At home, our economy was strained to the utmost. Gasoline was rationed for civilian use; also, the rationing of butter, sugar, coffee and other items occurred. Helena was active in the Red Cross making bandages for wounded soldiers. She earned a button as recognition for 1,000 hours of voluntary work in this civil program. The government had an extensive campaign, selling War Bonds in small denominations to the workers. At ZCMI, I was assigned to handle the bonds, purchased by the employees and customers. At this time, I was President of the store’s Federal Credit Union for the employees. I was very happy for the trust and confidence of my fellow workers. During the war period, we sold our Chevrolet automobile. The war ended in August 1945. Our son, Captain Walter C. Thomsen, returned from the Pacific area of war just in time to join his family for Xmas.

1946 Our country was now at peace and trying to get back to normal. There was a certain degree of prosperity in evidence. I felt secure in my job in the Z.C.M.I. department store, accounting office. Helena and I were now able to enjoy a little traveling and sightseeing. For a summer vacation, we explored our Utah National Parks. Also, the Grand Canyon in Arizona and Yellowstone National Park were visited.

1950 Our summer vacation in 1950 was a 2 week tour with Greyhound Bus to the Northwest. We visited Portland, Oregon, Seattle Washington, Vancouver City and Nanaimo and Victoria in B.C. From Victoria Columbia, we returned to Seattle, Washington by boat. From Seattle, we returned home by Spokane, Coeur d’ Alene in Idaho, and Butte. This was a very enjoyable vacation.

1952 Our next project was the planning of a trip to the old coun¬try (Denmark). It was realized in 1952, when I retired from Z.C.M.I. on May 1, 1952, at the age of 66. Upon my retirement, I was honored with a breakfast party, attended by about 200 fellow workers. Helena and I were presented with a Polaroid Camera from the employees. The management gave us a two months salary check for a going away present. We left S.L.C. on May 10th. We spent 5 days in New York City, and it was 5 wonderful days. On the 16th of May, we boarded the Ocean Liner M/S Stockholm, and after 8 pleasant days on the Atlantic Ocean, we landed in wonderful Copenhagen. In the evening of May 24th, we were met by my Sister Ras, her daughter Ellen, and other relatives and friends. We stayed with sister Ras for two weeks. She and Ellen made us acquainted with some of the good restaurants, department stores, and shops, especially the shops with fine Copenhagen porcelain and figurines.

After two weeks in Copenhagen, we started our family visits in the rest of Denmark. First on the list were Helena’s Uncle Herman and Aunt Helga Villumsen, in Fredericia. They had a nice home and Chevrolet auto. They were glad to see us. They gave us a delightful time. They made us understand what was meant by Danish hospitality. We also visited Helena’s 3rd cousins in the City of Horsens. We stayed 2 days with each of the 3 families. They also entertained us, and needless to say, the food was the best in the land.

On June 25th, we arrived in our favorite seaport city, Aarhus, a city with a population of 100,000 people. Helena’s Aunt Johanne and Cousin Nina made us welcome. Nina gave us the key to her modern apartment. It has a kitchenette and shower; so we started light housekeeping. Our home town is surrounded by the sea and the beautiful beech forest. The city had progressed with the modern times. Nina was a great help to us and 2 weeks passed very quick. From there we went to the Rebild Hills National Park to celebrate the American 4th of July, together with about 40,000 other people, tourists from America, and a population of friends of USA. It was nice to see the American flag together with the 48 State flags all waving in the breeze, indeed a fine celebration. The following day, we were on our way to Copenhagen, to attend a golden wedding of our friends.

July 8th, we left for a little trip by boat to Lands¬krona, Sweden to visit my cousin Johanna and her husband Axel Swenson. Another little boat took us from Landskrona to St. Ibb, on a little island between Denmark and Sweden. It was 3 delightful day of sightseeing and hospitality.

We left Copenhagen July 11th for Slagelse, to meet our friends, William and Elly Slottboe, with who we had arranged for a trip on the continent in their Volkswagen (auto). On July 13th, we crossed the border into Germany, and as we rolled along on the great Auto-Bahn (Super-Highway) and stopping where and when we liked to, just like tourist with no timetable. We saw what the Blockbusters had done to the bombing of the great cities of Hamburg and Hanover. We also made a stop at the big American airbase at Frankfurt. Then past old Heidelberg to Oberrammergau in Austria, the little town made famous with the Passion Play. Thence to Innsbruck where we attended an opera (Tosca) and then to Zellem Sea, a beautiful City by an inland sea. Austria is a beautiful country. Its people were happy, full of music and song. It took us a day to cross over the Grossglockner Alps. We enjoyed our luncheon in the Franz Joseph Hotel, looking down on the glacier. Later in the evening, we stopped for the night in a mountain inn at Iselberg, Austria. The following day, we were down from the beautiful Tyroler Alps, and about
Noon, we were at the Italian border. We had a nice and interesting ¬drive in northern Italy. We reached Mestre in the evening and were lucky to find a hotel (Alherge Bologne) who had knowledge of our language. We enjoyed an Italian dinner. Next day, we commuted by bus and motor taxi to the great tourist city of Venice, surrounded by the Grand Canal and the splendor of its own. On July 20th, we crossed over the northern part of Italy to Genoa and on to Areenzano by the Italian Riviera. There we enjoyed the comforts of the Grand Hotel.

July 21st, we passed over the French border, and were now rolling along on the beautiful Riviera in Monaco, France. We looked over the Monte Carlo Casino and the luxurious hotel. At Nice we were introduced to bikini bathing suits and had a good time in the blue Mediterranean Sea. Helena was forced to rent a bikini bathing suit since she had not brought a bathing suit along; she was embarrassed and quick to get into the water. At our hotel at Miramar, we had a private beach for the guests. After enjoying a good rest and a good breakfast, on the veranda overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, we were ready to start our homeward journey through Southern France. Avignon was our first stop. It appeared to be a medieval city, also a modern city. It was an excellent city for buying perfume. We reached Lyon, a city of ½ million people. We found a hotel with American service and roast beef dinner. Our sightseeing in France was limited on account of time and language. On the way out of Lyon, we got lost; with the help of a French Policeman and a map, we managed to get on a highway going north. The next day, we passed through some very nice country. In the evening, we made Baden, Baden, Germany. We stayed at the Badisher Hof Hotel. It was a little rich for us, but it was nice while it lasted. The next day, we rolled up a lot of miles on the German Auto-bahn, along the great Ruhr Industrial Center. In the evening, we reached Moorhmule. We found a 3 class inn that could take us for the night. We enjoyed a German hot dog and a cup of coffee, then to bed. The next day, we reached the Danish border and home to Slagelse. We stopped there a couple of days, and were back in Copenhagen on July 27th. In Copenhagen, we secured a small apartment with light housekeeping, and for about 2 weeks, we spent our time shopping, sightseeing and visiting some of our relatives and friends.

On August 14, 1952, we boarded a large Steamboat for Aarhus and from there we toured the rest of the country, for a second call on our relatives and friends, prior to leaving for our home in USA. We also visited the northern most point in Denmark (Skagen), where two oceans meet, and where the angry waves meet and splash the spray sky high. We were back in Copenhagen on Sept 1st, and now getting ready for our return journey. Our problem was more luggage and bundles than when we landed.
On September 11th, we boarded the same ocean ¬liner, M/S Stockholm, and except for one stormy day, we had another 8 pleasant days over the Atlantic. We arrived in New York late in the evening September 19th. We spent a few pleasant days in New York, and by way of Washington, D.C. and Chicago.

We arrived home in Salt Lake City on Sept. 25, 1952. It was good to see our family and after being on the move for about 4½ months, 20,000 miles, 6 foreign countries, and 12 states in USA. It had given an idea of how other people and nations live. It was a most pleasant and educational trip; and besides, it had taught us to relax and made our retirement adjustment much easier. It was good to be home. The balance of the year was spent, mostly by sending thank you letters to our family and friends in the old country, in appreciation for the hospitality received during our visit to our homeland.

1953-1954 I spent considerable time in painting our brick duplex at 1245 East 6th South Street, which by now has served as our home for the last 18 years. I also had some part time office work and when not busy, I studied my Danish printed (1926 Family Book) known as Adslev Slaegten; descendants of Peder Jensen & Margrethe Rasmussen. It contains about 350 pages, about 2010 family names, and about 200 pictures of persons and of places where our people come from and a little history of where and how they lived. Because this is the only copy of this book in U.S.A., I asked our Church Genealogical Society to microfilm this book, so that the information can be available to other members or researchers that might have an interest in a branch of our family. It can be found in the Church archives under description as follows: F Denm. F.H.11-8500, in the name of Peder Jensen & Margrethe Rasmussen.

In the month of March, I was ordained a High Priest in our Douglas Ward, Bonneville Stake. Helena was active in the Ward Relief Society and active as a Director on the Board of Directors of the University Mothers Club. I finished the year by slipping on the cellar steps, broke the small bones in my right leg, and for the next 2 months, I was homebound.

1955 Found us much in the same routine. In the month of September, we had an opportunity to join the Apartment-House Association, of which I am a member, to their convention in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and also a trip to old Mexico. On September 4th, together with about 30 associated members, we left Salt Lake City on a chartered Greyhound Bus bound for great adventure. As far as Helena and I were concerned, we had a very inspiring trip over the Rocky Mountain pass at about 14,000 feet, to Cannon City, Colorado, and to Pueblo, Colorado, our first overnight stop. The following morning, we picked us up at the hotel, and we were soon rolling along the highway to Dodge City, attending the convention and some sightseeing, both of which was most enjoyable. We left Oklahoma City, and after a long ride through Texas, we arrived in the City of San Antonio, Texas, where we stopped overnight. Before leaving in the morning, we visited the historic Alamo. A few hours later we were at the Mexican border at Laredo, Texas. The Mexican custom officials were helpful and helped us find the Mexican Greyhound Bus, and fortified with some Mexican Currency (Pesos) and an American speaking driver, the bus was going south. In the evening, our bus deposited us at our hotel with American speaking service, in the City of Monterrey. It so happened that the city had a celebration in the evening called "The Promenade”, which meant that the young people in their colorful clothes, would all meet at the city plaza. There they would dance with each other. They would get acquainted with each other, perhaps fall in love. It was all very beautiful, both the dancers and the tourist had a good time. Our next stop was in Valles and the hotel of the same name, typical Spanish style. It was surrounded by papaya and banana trees. We had a feeling of being in the tropics. The next day we rolled along a flooded highway with bridges out of sight. The water reached the floor of the bus. We had to stack our baggage on our seats while crossing a bridge, which the driver hoped would be in its usual place. We got over in good order and our baggage arranged in its proper place. We rolled along, and at Hotel Geneva in Mexico City late in the evening on September 13th. It was an excellent hotel with American speaking services, and with American speaking guides. We toured the old Aztec’s pyramids, Guadalupe-Acolman, and the City of Puebla, and the Pyramid Cholula, and other archeological remains of the Aztec people of many years ago. We also made a trip to the famous tourist city, Acapulco; we traveled in a 4 motor airplane, a new experience for Helena and me. We saw the sights of this beautiful city, and sailed in a modern wind-jammer in the Bay of the great Pacific Ocean. In and around Mexico City, we visited many fine and beautiful churches and museums. Also, the Palace of the Presidente, the Palace of Fine Arts, and the Plaza Mexico, the largest bullring in the world. We attended a bull fight, with all its fan fare and glamour. We felt there are better ways to spend a Sunday afternoon. We left Mexico City on September 19th, a wonderful city, with much old history and a modern city with friendly people. Our next stop was another big city, Guadelajara where we arrive in the evening. The following day, we had an excursion to Lake Chapala, a famous resort, particular for honeymooners. We were more interested in picking coffee beans on the hillside, and a nice dinner. Our next stop was scheduled for Durango, but on the way our Mexican Driver lost control of the bus, and with baggage raining down on our heads, we ran down an embankment, right side up, and no one hurt. We spent several hours on the highway before another bus arrived to bring us back to a small City Zacatecas, where we spent the night in a small old hotel, four persons to a room. At the time we were not particular, we were tired and needed rest. After a good breakfast in the morning, we made Durango for an overnight stop. The following day, we arrived in the City of Chihuahua in the evening, one day late; so our hotel accommodation was lost. Another hotel was located to take care of our group of 30 people, and of course an extra expense for all of us. The next day we reached the City of Juarez by the Rio Grande; and after checking out with the Mexican custom officials, the Mexican driver with the Greyhound Bus took us across the bridge directly to the Hilton Hotel in El Paso, Texas. In the evening, we looked over the shopping center. In the morning, the American Greyhound Bus was at our service outside the Hotel, and we were bound for the Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico. We arrived there about noon; the caverns are indeed a wonder. We walked miles on the trails in the cave, to a dept of about 800 feet. In the big room with a cafeteria seating for about 1000 people, we enjoyed a nice box lunch. Later, we returned to the top and daylight. We spent the night at Carlsbad City. Next morning, we arrived home in Salt Lake in the evening of September 27th. It was a wonderful trip with a wonderful group of people. The balance of the year was just regular routine.

1956 I was appointed to serve with the Ward Genealogical Committee as a Home Teacher, which duty it was that I together with a partner should spend one evening a month, calling on ward members, encourage them and instruct them how to prepare a Book of Remembrance, and in general get them interested in genealogical research and temple activities. In August, I was appointed to serve as Secretary to our High Priest Group in the Douglas Ward, Bonneville Stake. During the year, I spent much time in research at the Church Archives. I found that my 1928 Family Book omitted information than I needed for my family group sheets, such as children who died in infancy, and also place of birth was omitted in many instances, and because the Church Archives have films of Danish parishes only up to about 1875, it leaves much work for the future. Helena also had a busy year, she being the President of her University Mothers Club.

1957 This was also a busy year. I had served as Democratic Chairman for our neighborhood local district #248 for several years, delegate to our County and State. I found that politics was not exactly what I wanted for a pastime, so I resigned from this assignment, so as to have more time for my church assignments and for more research in the Church Archives. I completed many of my family groups, which was sent to church record office and processed for temple ordinances.

In the month of September, Helena and I decided to visit my family in Nebraska and a little sightseeing in Colorado. We left September 24th on the Greyhound Bus by way of Denver to Colorado Springs, where we spent a couple of days, such as the Garden of the Gods, and by Cadillac Tourist Automobile; we had a nice drive to the top of Pikes Peak, 14,110 feet. It was all very interesting. We returned to Denver for a couple of days. We reached Omaha. I was well acquainted in Omaha, having spent the first seven years (1903 to 1910) of my emigrant life there. It was a treat to look over the old places which I knew about 50 years ago. We also visited Winter Quarters; a historical monument to the Mormon people. On October 4th, we left Omaha for Scottsbluff, Nebraska for a short visit with Sister Martha and her husband and family. James Fullen was also an emigrant from Denmark and now a well to do and respected business man (President of Fullen Construction Company). We had a pleasant visit with them and their children. We were back in Salt Lake City on October 8th and settled down to our usual routine.

1958-1959 These two years found us doing the usual church assignments, only more time devoted to genealogical research and temple attendance. In the month of May, I received a letter from G. Haugaard, Parish Priest. He informed me that the family organization had assigned him to contact me, for information concerning the Thomsen family in USA to be brought into a new book to be published in the summer of 1959. I was very happy to be of assistance on this project. Pastor Haugaard lived in Harritslev, near Hjorring, and as I understand it, he had Lutheran parishes under his jurisdiction. The new family book was to be known as the 1959 Adslev Slegten, was to include all the names in the 1926 edition, but eliminate some of the less important history and then of course bring it up to the present, also to secure pictures of deceased members. I set to work on this assignment at once, and through much correspondence, I secured much information which is now incorporated in the new edition, including also a few pictures. So now the Thomsens in America are well represented in the Danish Family Book, see pages 65-66-67-76-77-78-79. I would very much have liked to attend the family reunion which was held June 7th, in Horning near Skanderborg, the area from where the Adslev family had its beginning. But due to a long and expensive journey, I was unable to attend. The new book (1959 Adslev Slaegten) was not finished until September 1959. I purchased several copies. I presented my son Walter with a copy. I also presented a copy to our Church Genealogical Archives, and purchases of this edition were also made by my sister Martha Thomsen Fullen in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, and my cousin Elna Thomsen Pickard in Santa Anna, California. This new family book gave me much new information, in its 455 pages, about 5000 names and about 300 pictures, together with a lot of history of many of the members of the old and large family. With the help of this book, I was now able to complete many family groups for my own direct family beginning about 1644 and up to the present time (see Book of Remembrance and Family Book 1959 Adslev, our branch of the family is known, as Melballe Slaegten, found from page 55 through 136 in the old 1926 Book and in the 1959 book, from page 63 through 186). There still is a lot of genealogical work waiting to be done.

1960 This year found me with the same church assignment, Secretary and Ward Teacher and my own personal genealogical research is the Church Archives and attending the temple duties more often. During the summer, I had the misfortune of a tumor on my ankle of my left leg. It gave me some trouble. However, I did not give it much concern. In the latter part of July, a distant cousin, Mrs. Ulla Thorn, (Family Book page 419) gave us a visit. She is a retired school teacher and treasurer of our family organization. She was visiting her family in the Eastern States and on her way to California. She contacted me and was promptly invited to spend a week or so with us in Salt Lake City. She was a very pleasant and interesting person. We have a fine time together, visiting the Temple Square. Walter took us all for a trip to Timpanogos Cave. Helena and I kept her busy with our usual tourist attractions. She left here to visit the Utah national parks and the Grand Canyon. On her return from California, she again stopped with us for a couple of days. But the day before she left, August 22, our Doctor Max Sharp had ordered me or rather had made arrangement with the LDS Hospital, for an operation on my leg. This put me out of circulation for a while. But as the blood circulation improved on my leg, I was on the move again and called at the doctor’s office in the Medical Arts Building, once a week for some time. By November 1st, I was released with this advice: have a little patience, give it time, you are not so young anymore. At the end of year, I got around okay, only with less speed and hoping for the best.

In 1961, Mrs. Thorn returned to Denmark; she wrote a little history of her American visit. In a small addition to our family book, it gave the changes that had occurred to the family history for the year 1960. She was especially pleased with her Salt Lake City visit. I feel sure she caught the spirit of the ideal, which the Mormon people live by.

1961 This was a good year. Helene and I enjoyed fairly good health. Most of my activities were in our LDS Douglas Ward. In the month of February, I was released as Secretary of the High Priests, after servicing 4 and one-half years. And at the same time, I was appointed to serve as Secretary in the ward genealogical committee, which was a new pleasant experience. During the year, I also devoted much time in writing family group sheets from our Danish printed Family Books. At the end of the year, I had 3 binders with about 700 family group sheets, of which 55 family groups had their ordinances performed in the temple and 50 group sheets have been checked by the Records Office and sent to in temple for ordinance work. Several family group sheets have been checked in the Records Office. During the year, I spent 459 hours of research in family books and attended 30 sessions in the temple. The Danish microfilms in the Church Genealogical Library extend to only about 1865-1875. There is now some prospect of more Danish microfilms to be released. This would be a great help to me in checking the generations in which I live.

This year, USA had a new President, John F. Kennedy. He brought new life into our political and economic life. The American Press declared him the Man of the Year. He is the 9th president during my life in U.S.A. During the year, the Old Timers, retired fellow salesmen from ZCMI, met several times for a luncheon in some downtown restaurants, and as we called it, to shoot the breeze, or to relive some of the stories of the Knights of the Road. I was on the road for a short time in 1920 as a traveling salesman. During the Christmas holidays, Helena and I joined the Esther James ¬Tour, 5 chartered bus loads, about 190 people for the Rose Parade in Pasadena, California, including some sightseeing in and around Los Angeles, such as Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm, and Lawrence Welk’s Dinner Dance, in the beautiful Palladium in Hollywood. We also visited San Diego and Tijuana in Mexico. We enjoyed it all very much.

1962 I started the year in fairly good health, except for minor trouble incidental to old age (79 years). The same could be said about wife Helena. This year, I served as Secretary for the Douglas Ward Genealogical Society. I was also a Ward Teacher in a regular small district. I did a great deal of genealogical research, attended 10 temple sessions, until the temple closed in July, for extensive repairs and remodeling. In the month of August, we were invited by some friends to join them in a week-end trip, through the Uintah Basin to Vernal. There we found excellent accommodations at the Dinosaur Motel. The following day we visited the Museum of Natural History. In the afternoon, we went by auto to the Dinosaur National Monument. There we saw the workmen engaged in digging out the huge bones of dinosaurs, which have been buried in the mountainside of solid rock about 140 million years. The workings on the mountainside, was enclosed and part of a unique museum building. The next day, also by auto, we traveled through the Ashley National Forest in the high Uintah Mountains. We reached the Flaming Gorge Dam, which was under construction. It was all very interesting. The next morning we started for home with a few cans of Vernal’s famous honey. We had a very enjoyable and pleasant trip for the weekend.

During the spring and summer, I found it necessary to make several calls to our family doctors office, Dr Max W. Sharp. He later turned me over to an Urologist, Dr. Jay H. Henderson. In November, I landed in the LDS Hospital for a prostrate gland operation. I came home from the hospital Thanksgiving Day. I was practically home bound for the balance of the year. I was not really sick, so had plenty of time for genealogical activity and through correspondence with the Fullen family in Scottsbluff, Nebraska and Watertown, New York. I was able to complete their family history, my sister Martha’s family, in time for inclusion in the 1962 Family Book. At Xmas time, I had a letter from the President of ZCMI, H H Bennett with notification of a grant of 75 dollars, monthly pension, and for which I am very grateful.

1963 At the beginning of the year, I was still homebound more or less from my operation last November. I found it necessary to discontinue my temple and ward activities. In the month of July, I had a heart attack, Coronary Occlusion. I spent 10 days in the ho¬spital and two months at home in a rented hospital bed. The balance of the year was at home, with an occasional visit to Dr. Keith M. Pearson’s Office for checkup and treatment. Helena spent 24 hours a day, giving loving care and service in my behalf. Our family also gave assistance whenever needed. Our bishopric, friends and neighbors also expressed a concern for our welfare, all of which we appreciated very much. At Christmas Eve, Walter brought us up to his home, 2436 Emerson Avenue. Marjorie had a nice Xmas dinner prepared for us and the rest of the family. We received several Xmas presents, had a very enjoyable time, and we felt that the old year had a happy ending.

During the year, our oldest grandson, Roger graduated from the University of Utah as a Ceramic Engineer. He had previously secured employment with the Ferro Corporation, Cleveland, Ohio. In the month of July, Roger, his wife Claudia Ann, and daughter Catherine left Salt Lake City because of a better opportunity to work in his chosen profession. We of course miss them very much. I am sure they will miss their home by the Wasatch Mountains.

November 22 our beloved President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. Our nation was thrown into a sudden mourning. We thought of our President as an intellectual and a humanitarian. When inaugurated he said, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but ask what you can do for your country.” At our home, we felt that we had lost a friend for the cause of the underprivileged in the greatest and richest country in the world. Our new president, Lyndon B. Johnson, promised the people to carry on, and if possible, to finish, the unfinished business of President Kennedy, tax reduction, civil rights, and the Medicare Bill in Congress.

Written by Christian Peter Thomsen
Written by Christian Peter Thomsen

1964 On March 14, 1964, my dear husband passed away in the LDS Hospital, after a six day illness of a heart ailment, at the age of eighty. The 17th of March, services were held in the Douglas Ward Church Chapel at 2:00 P.M. There were three hundred or more friends and relatives in attendance who paid their respect and admiration for my dear Chris, for more information refer to Cherished Book of Memories.

I am grateful for the eleven years of Chris’ retirement which we both enjoyed very much. I am also grateful for his accomplishments in genealogical work. I am grateful for all the kind thoughtful things he did for me, and the wonderful memories I possess. My life seems so empty. I miss Chris so much. I hope I can carry on as I know he would want me to until the happy reunion with him.

Written by Helena C. ThomsenWritten by Helena C. Thomsen

Memories of Grandfather:

Grandfather would frequent the delicatessen at Z.C.M.I. and bring home fancy treats from around the world, most often from Denmark and often strong smelling cheese. These treats would be shared with his family around the small kitchen table where we all sat on small stools. The family frequently got together for coffee (a Dane’s life blood) and dessert. Anna, Dorothy and Helena all lived within a block of each other. Grandfather liked to argue politics with Oluf, his brother-in-law; Anna would ask Chris not to do this because it upset Oluf. In these family settings, I thought of Grandfather as the happiest and most content man that I had every met. Often, Grandfather would say in a regal tone, “Nothing is too good for the Thomsens.” Though royalty was not in our blood, Roger was referred to as the crown prince. Grandfather had whit and charm.
A favorite quote of grandfather’s was “It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy what we have that makes us happy.”

Chris had many friends at Z.C.M.I, a department store in Utah. People were fond of grandfather because of his kindness, patient, and happiness. I remember his funeral; the chapel was over flowing with his friends.

His patience allowed him to hand water his grass during the summer months. He taught his parakeet to speak several phrases; Topper would often say “Topper is a pretty bird” or “Love Topper.” On one of my grandparent’s extended vacations, Walter taught Topper to say “Topper is a dirty bird.” Upon returning home, Grandmother was shocked to hear this phrase; the rest of us had a hearty laugh. Grandfather had many serious health problems in his last few years of life. I do not remember him being too ill, just a little slow in his gate and jovial in his hospital bed. His handling of health problems showed patience.

Meals always included a prayer, often provided by Grandfather indicating his faith in God. His family group sheets stalk up twelve inches high; this shows his commitment to temple work and his LDS faith. The Danes “live to eat”; around his table we lived very well and were loved very well.

Written by Richard W. Thomsen

Chris, age 14, in Hadsund, Denmark
Chris, age 14, in Hadsund, Denmark
Chris and Helena in Salt Lake City
Chris and Helena in Salt Lake City
Chris, age 22 in Omaha, Nebraska
Chris, age 22 in Omaha, Nebraska
Chris, Walt, Sebo and1923 model T-Ford
Chris, Walt, Sebo and1923 model T-Ford
Dining Room at 1314 Pacific Ave.
Dining Room at 1314 Pacific Ave.
Living Room at 1314 Pacific Ave.
Living Room at 1314 Pacific Ave.
Home at 1314 Pacific Ave.
Home at 1314 Pacific Ave.
Chris and Jens Jensen and 1923 Model-T Ford
Chris and Jens Jensen and 1923 Model-T Ford
1245 East 600 South – Living Room
1245 East 600 South – Living Room
L to R: Roger Thomsen, Topper, Walter Thomsen, Helene Thomsen, Chris Jensen, Dorothy Smith, Marjorie Thomsen, Anna Nielson, Edith Jensen, Oluf Nielson, Chris Thomsen, Ruth White
ZCMI where Chris worked most of his adult life, picture from turn of century.
ZCMI where Chris worked most of his adult life, picture from turn of century.
Chris and Topper
Chris and Topper
Chris and Helena in 1963 at Walter Thomsen’s home on Emerson Avenue
Chris and Helena in 1963 at Walter Thomsen’s home on Emerson Avenue
Trip to see the Rose Parade in 1962-3
Trip to see the Rose Parade in 1962-3
Picture taken at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, California