Please know that this blog is very much a work in progress. I will be adding information to each blog post as I have time and as new information or photos are, please, come back often to see if anything new for your particular ancestor has been updated. I welcome your participation in fleshing out each post. There are some descendants about whom I have a great deal of information and some about whom I know very little.

I have served as the Secretary/Archivist for the Forsgren Family Association for many years and have acquired a lot of material. It is my desire to make it all available through this blog so that all may benefit. But I am only one person and there are thousands of Peter A descendants. Please contact me and help by notifying me of errors or clarifications or to submit information and photos you might have.

Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on your point of view, all the descendants of Peter Adolph Forsgren have been very the task of uploading all the photos, data and documents for this branch of the Forsgren siblings will be a very time-consuming process.... so...

Thank you so much for your patience!! ENJOY!!!

Monday, July 19, 2010

WIFE #1 - Anna Christine Knudson

This photo hangs in the Daughters of Utah Pioneers Museum

BIOGRAPHY: Biography of ANNA CHRISTENA KNUDSEN FORSGREN "PIONEER" written by Olivia Forsgren Andersen, grand-daughter, July 11, 1916. Submitted [to DUP] by Jneil Andersen Madsen, Provo, Utah.

Anna Christena Knudsen was born 6th October 1830 at Mohn, Denmark. She was the daughter of Jens Knusen and Julia Jensen Knudsen. They were honest, upright people and devoted believers in the Lutheran Faith. They kept a small store in the town where they lived.

In the year 1851or 1852 the glad message of truth as taught by the Prophet Joseph Smith and his followers was brought to their home by H.P. Jensen, the mother's brother. They heard the message of the great Latter-day Saint Gospel with joyous hearts, and became converted to the truth about Chritmas 1852.

This worthy couple and two children, William and Anna Christina left their native land together with the Saints of God. They sailed in Brother John Forsgren's company. They had a hard sea voyage. A severe storm came up and it seemed for a time their ship would be engulfed, but He who calmed the turbulent waters of the sea of Galilee had a watchful care over that little company of Saints. They united together in faith and prayer and once again through the power of their mighty faith was the fierce sea made calm. The remainder of the sea journey was more peaceful. They arrived safely in America and gathered with the Saints while at Keokuk, Iowa.

Anna was married to Peter Adolph Forsgrn, May 8th, 1853. [ By John Erik Forsgren, his brother, in Keokuk, Iowa.  John was the leader of the company of Saints that immigrated from Scandinavia].  She was a fair and beautiful bride. Because of her beauty some Indians desired to buy her for a pony and a sack of sugar. Soon after their marriage, they came to Utah by ox team. The journey was full of trials and hardships. Had not the Father chosen men and women of heroic wealth we would not be enjoying our beautiful homes. They arrived in Utah and came to Brigham City, October 3rd, 1853.

They lived for a time in the old fort. Although the saints were now free from oppression of their enemies, yet they had many hardships to endure. It was very difficult to get food enough to eat. At one time a man from Salt Lake City drove some cows to Brigham City to try to get food for them. One old cow was so starved that she kept nibbling at the bull rushes that covered Brother Forsgren's dug out. He asked permission of Bishop Nichols to shoot it. Brother Nichols said that he might get into trouble if he did, but if he saw that it could not possibly live, then he might shoot it. This he did when the cow dropped from utter exhaustion and starvation. That together with a little bran furnished them food for some time.

Brother Forsgren built a log house on 1st East street between where Forest and 1st South now are. They had neither doors nor windows in the house. It was necessary to use an umbrella over the bed to keep the rain off. Their first daughter, Sarah, was born July 23, 1854.

At one time Sister Forsgren made two loaves of bread from the little flour and bran. They ate one loaf for supper and she told her husband that she was glad they had something for breakfast. She had no sooner spoken the words than an Indian Squaw and her papoose came to their door and said they were hungry. She made some tea from some leaves she had dried and gave them their last loaf of bread to eat with it. This act of unselfishness of character was one which actuated our pioneers. God was with them. They wre sacrificing to do His will and were elected to high thoughts and nobel deeds. If future generations would reach the same lofty heights then they must willingly sacrifice to do God's will. On that principle alone can great things be obtained.

One day Brother Forsgren came home with some good news. he said that down in the fields they had found many large segos which were very good to eat. These the people used for food for some time, but after sufficient grain and other things were raised to supply food for the people the segos never grew so large or so plentiful. Surely God provides for those in need. When their second daughter, Olivia, was born February 10, 1856, they had 10 pounds of flour in thehouse, and this was ll they had until after harvest.

Their first son, Adolph, was born March 25, 1858. News that Johnston's Army was coming reached Brigham the day before he was born, and the Saints were ordered to move South. Brother Forsgren was weaving some cloth. This he cut from the loom and when their boy was only three days old Sister Forsgren had her dress cut and sewed. When he was but ten days old she took her three little ones and walked part of the way to Salt Lake, driving a cow and calf. Brother Forsgren had to stay in Brigham for a time to help guard the property.

He afterwards joined his family. They lived in a dugout at Payson for some time. Here they had many trials with the Indians. One day an Indian came and was determined that Brother Forsgren should trade his new gun for an old one. This he of course refused to do. The Indian was trying to compel him to make the trade when Sister Forsgren felt inspired to go out and call the name of some man, although she new no man was near. This she did and the Indian, thinking some other man was near, left the house. The family afterward moved back to Brigham. They found all their grain and foodstuff had been taken by the Indians.

Five other children besides the three already mentioned came to bless their union. They are Oscar, Eli, Mary, William, Lenora. The two girls, Mary and Lenora died in their youth.

When the first Relief Society was organized Sister Forsgren and Sister Susannah Boothe were chosen as teachers. When the city was divided into wards, Sister Boothe was chosen President and Sister Forsgren as first counselor. She had a splendid ability in advising ways to get funds for Relief Society work, and was a wise counselor. She was a very industrious woman and the first to take hold of the silk industry in Brigham. She, together with Brother Forsgren and his plural wife, wove 150 yards of silk. They also wove many yards of cloth and carpet.

One day when Sister Forsgren had been out gleaning wheat she came home and told her husband that if he ever married another wife she had seen the girl she would like him to marry. This was Elise Thomassen who afterward became his plural wife. They lived happily together weaving and working to each other's interest. Anna Forsgren died March 11th, 1895, sure of a well-earned place in the Father's Kingdom. (Written July 11th, 1916).
This pioneer stone no longer stands in the Brigham City Cemetery

This information is found on the back of the [modern] stone for Peter Adolph Forsgren

This stone is the marker for Anna Christine's actual plot  (Brigham City Cemetery B-18-20-4)

This is a photo of the Peter Adolph Forsgren/ Adolph Peter Forsgren family plot as it would have been after 1907.  The small stones visible are infant children of Adolph Peter Forsgren, Peter A's third child.  Those stones were excavated and reset in 2009 by the Bott Monument Company and now stand in their former locations.

Saturday, July 17, 2010


This photo was taken in 1996.

This photo was taken just before the Forsgren Reunion in 2008 after some renovation was begun by David Ericson of Salt Lake City

59 South 100 East, Brigham City, Utah

The following information is extracted from a document labeled “Utah State Historic Preservation Office Structure/Site Information Form. It was prepared by Researcher Larry Douglass of the Museum,  March 1987.

Name of Property: Marilyn P. Pierce home

Street Address: 59 S. 100 E. Brigham City, Box Elder County, [Utah]

Current Ownership: Private
Site No: [blank]
T. 9N R. 2W S. 24
Map Name/Date: Brigham City Quad/1969
Tax #: 03-121-0033

Legal Description with acreage: Beginning at the SW corner of Lot 4, Block 14, Plat A, Brigham City Townsite Survey, thence N. 6 rods, E 10 rods, W 10 Rods to the beginning. .375 acre.

Property Category: building
Evaluation: eligible/potentially eligible
Condition: fair
Alterations: minor
Photo Data: prints, Mar 1987

Research sources: Abstract of Title, plat records/map, tax card & photo, Sanborn maps, obituary index, census records, biographical encyclopedias, newspapers, city/county histories; LDS Genealogical Library

Bibliographical References:
Improvement Era v.II, p. 483; Also June 1950 p. 474-5
Deseret News: Mar 2, 1908
Box Elder Journal: Dec. 27, 1962
Box Elder News: Mar. 5, 1908
Brigham City Bugler: March 16, 1895
DUP Histories: Peter A. Forsgren; Christena Knudson Forsgren

The Peter A. Forsgren home is described in great detail in a Univ. of Utah College of Architecture & Planning Publication (#10) of 2005.  "Polygamy in Lorenzo Snow's Brigham City: An Architectural Tour" wirtten by Lowell C. Bennion, Alan L. Morrell, and Thomas Carter.  The book also includes brief biographical sketches of Peter A. and Christina Erika Forsgren.  The publication is on sale at the Brigham City Museum and other locations in town.   The following elevation sketches are from that publication:

The home is described in the publication as probably dating from the late 1860s.  It is described as being very fashionable for its time and "one of Utah's finest Gothic Revival cottages."  It was made of unfired brick, or adobe, which was light grey in color & durable.  It was probably unplastered until at least the 1920's.

In Oscar Forsgren's short history of his father he makes this statement about the home:
     "When they could afford it, they built an adobe house.  It was a room about 14 X 16 feet square.  Later a lean-to was built for the loom, Father being a weaver.  Next they built a kitchen, then added a granary.  North of the first room, separated by a hall, was the bedroom.  There was an upstairs used as a bedroom and as a place where they kept silk worms."   

     In January of 2007 the Peter Adolph Forsgren home was in danger of being demolished.  While away on our Senior mission in Chile I was contacted  by Larry Douglass, Museum Director and Historic Preservation Coordinator for Brigham City Corporation, informing me of the death of Marilyn Pearce who owned the home and was its sole occupant for many years.  She had left the home to her son and daughter who were willing to let Mr. Douglass see if he could find a buyer to preserve the home.   He was inquiring if there was any possibility that the Forsgren Family Association might be able to purchase the home to save it since it has such historical significance.   After a minor survey I was able to ascertain that we would not be able to come up with sufficient money.  
     We were so grateful to hear, a few months later, that David Ericson of Salt Lake City had purchased the home and was interested in renovating it to be used eventually as an office of some sort.  He has renovated multiple  homes.  Together with his son (who currently lives in the home) they worked hard - first gutting & demolishing weakened floors and timbers and walls, then shoring up and fortifying important support beams.  David allowed attendees of the 2008 Forsgren Reunion to walk through the home, observe its multiple layers of paint and wallpaper, its tiny doorways and steep stairs to the 2nd floor.  It was quite an experience to get to go through the home and photograph it before they began the renovation in earnest - staying with it even through an economic downturn that could have brought the work to a  halt.   They complied with requirements of homes listed on the Historic Register to retain as much of the original structure as possible, so that now, even after passing modern kitchen equipment, you will step onto a threshold that has been hollowed out with years of use and will still open doors that were hung during the era of Forsgren family inhabitants. 
This  SW corner photo shows the carriage house-turned garage.
The back of the home taken from the SE. Corner.

Back view from the East showing the renovation started on the carriage house/garage.  Note the new horizontal roof support beam in place
Close up of the front upstairs balcony and door and railing which has been replaced by Mr. Ericson.  Later on part of this railing had to be removed in order to place furniture in the upstairs rooms that would have been impossible to bring up by way of the very steep stairs.

Exterior side view from the South.  Notice where roof lines have been changed to add to the original structure that would have been built by Peter A.

The original front door opens off a very warn threshold and stoop

Front door closed, taken from inside the entryway looking out.

Standing at the front door looking into the entry way back towards what was the kitchen.  The indoor kitchen would have been added on in later years from the original structure.  That is a coat closet just to the right.  Large rooms open off just to the left (would have been the parlor) and to the right - later used as a bedroom.

The coat closet in the entryway.  You can see it is beneath the stairs leading to the second story.  Note the original adobe bricks and the wooden pegs in the upper right of the photo which would have been shaped and placed by Peter A.

Close-up of the original hand carved pegs and the wood of the staircase

North room and window taken from the entryway.  The house looks particularly rundown because the work of removing old wallpaper and stucco has already begun.  For some reason I could easily imagine an upright piano in this room.  I don't know why that came to my mind when I entered since I have no idea if the Forsgren's owned a piano or not.

In the North room looking back towards the front entry

Standing inside the kitchen looking back at the doorway leading into the entry way of the house.  Notice the worn threshold and the now-exposed original bricks.  A variety of wallpapers and paint graced this room over the years as noted above the lintel of the door.
Wallpapers detail in kitchen

Three doors side by side.  The left door leads to a bathroom, the door in the middle leads to the upstairs.  You can barely note the opening of the door from the entryway at the right.
A view in the kitchen.  Doorway from entry hall on the left;  doorway on the right leads out into a utility/work room and stairs to a cellar.  Beyond that room is the garage/carriage  house.

Kitchen foundation and floor, original to the house, had to be taken up and re-laid for safety.  Anyone but me remember this type of linoleum???

Another view of the kitchen looking at what must have been a pantry before it was torn down.  Also note the two windows and the exposed floor beams.   The bathroom & stairway doors are in the extreme right of the photo.
A door from the bathroom leads into the front South West facing room.  Most of the window glass is original to the cabin
Another view of the South room.  Note hole for stovepipe denoting that this room might have also served as a sitting room.

It was a fairly daunting task to go upstairs to see the three bedrooms up there.  No handrail (nor evidence that their ever had been)  Steps are quite high and ascent is very steep.

Whew!  I made it!  Upstairs looking back down.  I am standing in a small entry by the door that leads out onto the balcony above the front door.

I hope none of the Forsgrens were tall!  My husband, Victor is 6' 1". 
And here I am standing at the same doorway.  I am 5'6".

Upstairs South facing bedroom

We need to be glad the house never burned down!  Some of the electrical wiring was a little scary!
Looking back to the front upstairs door and the stairway down - from the East bedroom.  All the upper rooms were essentially the same with the slanted roof/walls.  I felt right at home since my room in our family home in Boise was the same.  I thought I was the only one in my group of friends who could lie on her bed and put her feet on the ceiling!   There is a coziness to an attic bedroom.   These rooms are now occupied by the Ericson children.  Hopefully mom and dad don't have to go up and down the stairs too many times during the day.

Back downstairs to the utility room/storage room/porch that is on the back North side of the house.  Dave Ericson believes that these hooks in the beams of the ceiling were probably used for the weaving looms that Peter and Ana Christina used.  They wove silk, but also wove some of the rugs that were used in the Logan Temple.
So there you have it!  A little flavor of 59 South 100 East, the new home (built after they left their log cabin located on First East between Forest & First South which they had moved to after leaving the fort) of Patriarch Peter Adolph & Anna Christina Knudson Forsgren and their 8 children.  Only 6 of the children lived to adulthood.  Rebecca died just after her 7th birthday.  Mary Magdalene died two months after her 16th birthday. 
The home in August 2012 as they continue to update & improve it!  Lovely