When John E. Forsgren brought his brother and sister to Brigham they spent some of their first years in what is noted below as the "Fort at Box Elder" That is where Peter Adolph's first child was born - Sarah, the first white girl born in the settlement. William Davis was already there with wife Sarah McKee and his daughter Sarah Bell Forsgren, John E's wife who had returned to live with her parents while John was on his mission.
Brigham City has rich history
Brigham City's history of pioneer settlement begins late in 1850 when William Davis and Simeon Carter came to Box Elder and selected a site on which to build homes, then returned to Salt Lake City for the winter.
In March 1851 Davis, James Brooks and Thomas Pierce returned to Box Elder Creek where they built a row of log rooms known as the "Davis Fort" and located in the northwest part of town. Within the year they were joined by several other families, including Carter.
Henry G. Sherwood surveyed farms of 40-80 acres at the Box Elder settlement, extra-large because the rocky nature of the soil meant larger plots were needed to sustain a family.
Families were glad, in the spring of 1852, to move from the cramped and bedbug-infested fort and begin building cabins and farming their plots.
In 1853 settlers received an order from Brigham Young to move into forts because of increasing Indian hostilities in some areas of the Territory. A second fort was built at Box Elder, formed of low houses close enough together to enclose the area on three sides, with the south side open and a larger log building erected as a meeting house and school.
A stone monument at 300 North and 200 West shows the approximate location of this fort. [I looked in vain for a stone monument there on a trip to Brigham City in Sept. 2011. They have either hidden it very well or I don't know what to look for. It is currently a vacant lot with remnants of a school that used to be on that corner].
That same summer the first LDS immigrant company composed entirely of Scandinavians arrived in Utah, led by John Forsgren whose wife was the daughter of Bishop William Davis. Many of those settled in Brigham City.
LDS Fall Conference in 1853 was an important one for Box Elder, with Elder Lorenzo Snow directed to select 50 families to colonize the community. As was the custom, these families were to include various types of craftsmen in order to make the community self-sufficient.
Elder Snow wanted Box Elder to be a model Mormon village, so directed Territorial Surveyor Jesse W. Fox to divide the large farms into smaller parcels, mostly five-acre lots, in order to make room for the newcomers. Most of the contingent of new settlers arrived in the spring. "
(Copied from the Box Elder News Journal website: www.benewsjournal.com/bc.html)
A few years ago I was at the Brigham City Museum to see a Forsgren item that had been donated. The curator told me there were other Forsgren things I had not known about. One of them was the following model of the Fort, made by "Mr. Forsgren." It seems to match the description of the 2nd Fort in the article above. I am unsure WHICH Mr. Forsgren would have built it, but most likely Peter Adolph who would have lived there and had memories of it. (Unless it was built from a drawing or sketch made by someone else, in which case it could have been made any time by any of the Forsgren men. Oscar Forsgren, Peter's son, was also a wood craftsman).
The model was not on display in the museum. It was located in a storeroom - and complete with oversize model horses! Just kind of a cool thing!
The sight of the Old Fort as it appeared Sep. 7,2011. The old 3rd Ward Meetinghouse is in the background
After entering the above information and photos the Forsgren Family Association purchased a copy of the History of Box Elder County, now in a limited re-printing. It was created by the Daughters of Utah Pioneers organization and Lydia Walker Forsgren had a significant role in the collection of data and writing of the materials. On one of the last pages (p. 388) of my copy is the following photo, under the heading, "Outstanding Accomplishments of the Daughters of the utah Pioneers of Box Elder County" Under the photo is the caption "The Relic Hall, containing 500 or more relics" [which at the time would have still been housed on the 2nd floor of the Courthouse building]. The caption also draws attention to the "Miniature replica of The Old Fort".
I am intrigued with the phrase that it was an "accomplishment of the DUP of Box Elder Co." This suggests it was a work commissioned by them. The DUP in Brigham was not organized until 1915. (Work on the Box Elder Co. History was begun in 1918). That does not necessarily shed light on who the Mr. Forsgren was who built the replica, but it could well have been either Oscar Forsgren or John Heber Forsgren both of whom were born during the time period of the Fort and would have some memory. Peter Adolph Forsgren died in 1908 so he could not have built it if the work was commissioned after the formation of the DUP. Maybe I am only engaging in complete speculation but it seems a mystery that cries out to be solved, don't you think???