Anna Johanna (Hannah) Nielsen & Christian Christensen Brown: Births, Illnesses, Deaths, Growing Up & Growing Old

The children had to help on the farm.  When Manilla was five years old, she went with them to the fields to haul hay.  It was a hot day, so Manilla would lie down under the wagon in the shade.  As the wagon moved along she followed, staying the shade.

One time she got too close to the wheel and was run over, breaking her leg.

Hannah lost her oldest son, Christian, during an epidemic of Diphtheria and tonsillitis.  He was twelve years of age.

A small daughter, Hannah Dortha, drowned at age two in a ditch near their home.  Hannah Dortha was following her father and while attempting to cross a bridge over the ditch, fell in.  The water had to be turned out of the ditch so they could find her. Her body was found two blocks down stream.

Hannah’s third son, Hans, died at age eighteen of Typhoid Fever, Sept. 1902.

Kistie Marie, died of child bed fever two weeks after giving birth to a baby girl.  The baby’s name was Christal Gray.  Hannah raised Christal as her own.

James’ wife died after the birth of their daughter Annie.  This left James with five daughters to raise.  At the age of Seventy, Hannah left her own home and moved into her son James’ home, where she took care of his five motherless daughter’s.  Annie was just a small baby.  She lived there for one and half years.

Christian and Hannah were married for 30 years.  Hannah became a widow in 1909, and remained  a widow for 31 years.

At the time of Christian’s death, James was on a mission to Denmark.  Christian hadn’t been feeling well so he just sat in the old rocking chair all day long not wanting to do anything. He died 12 Jan. 1909.

A poem written by Dora Brown, August 1971:


I remember well our old rocking chair

As it stood by the big round stove

That gave heat to the house.


I remember well one way it was used

Each night after his days work was done,

Our father would sit and rock in that old rocking chair.


I remember how the little girls would sit on his lap

And comb his hair to cover the top of his bald head.

He enjoyed it and so did they

In that old rocking chair.


And so whoever has that old rocking chair in their

possession, Remember to be kind to it

Keep it looking nice for it carries a lot of memories

As if it were a part of the family,


That old rocking chair that stood by the big round stove

That gave heat to the house.

That Old Rocking Chair.


With Christian gone, Hannah was left with a big farm to take care of.  There were cows to feed and to milk.  Help was badly needed. A nephew who was attending BYU, Erastus Nielsen, came to attend the funeral.  He decided to stay with Hannah and the family for the rest of the winter to help with the farm work.  Another cousin, Ed Simpson, from Kamas, also spent the winter helping out with the farm.  They both stayed until Jim came home from his mission.

During the twenties and thirties, there were a lot of sugar beets raised in Sevier County.  So many, in fact,that a sugar factory was built at the crossroads between Monroe and Elsinore.  A small town grew up around the Sugar factory called Austin (or Frogtown, as many people called it.)  It housed many of the employees at the factory.  The sugar beet industry brought employment and steady paychecks to many people in the valley.  James, Hannah’s son, owned some farm land in Austin, near the sugar factory.  On this land he grew sugar beets.

On the farm, almost all of the work of raising sugar beets was accomplished using either horsepower, or hand power.  The ground was plowed, leveled, and planted using a team of horses.

By June, green lines showing in the field, signaled that the beets would soon be ready to thin.  The thinning was done by hand.

When you became 10 or 12 years of age, you were old enough to thin beets.  You were paid ten cents a row for each row of beets you thinned.  This was a good way for kids to earn their spending money.  Some fast thinners made as high as 10 or 12 dollars during the thinning time, which lasted about 2 weeks.

This story about Hannah happened during the beet season.  The beets were being harvested in Jim’s field in Austin.  During the beet harvest, Hannah prepared a noon meal to take to the field for the workers.  She would then hitch up the horse and buggy and be on her way.  On this particular day she decided she needed a stick to tap the horse with to make it go a little faster.  It sometimes lagged along if it was not prodded a little.  She went out into the orchard to find a stick and while she was looking, a voice said to her very clearly, “take two,” so she took two sticks, climbed into the buggy and proceeded on her way.  After traveling a short distance she dropped one of the sticks.  She stopped the buggy and climbed out to get the stick that had fallen.  As Hannah turned around to climb back in, she missed the small step on the side of the buggy.  This caused her to fall under the buggy wheels.  The horse became excited, pulled the buggy ahead, and a wheel ran over Hannah’s head.  The result was a large cut on Hannah’s head.  In describing this cut the daughter said it looked like she had been scalped.

She had been warned to take two sticks, and as she had a long distance to go when she lost the first one, she thought she must have those two sticks with her all the time.

Vivian Tuft, Hannah’s neighbor, found her and brought her home.

The accident happened on a Saturday when Dora was home so she called Nellie Gould, another neighbor, who cleaned her wound as best she could and put her to bed.

Dr. Loring came later and put a tight bandage around Hannah’s head to make the wound stay together.  Later while she was mending she got Erysipelas and her head became so swollen, the girls had to feed her with a knife.  A spoon would not go into her swollen mouth.  Hannah had many serious accidents and ailments during her life.  She credited her healing to her faith in God and the power of the priesthood.

Hannah sent her children to school and gave them many advantages she never had.

Hannah was not active in Church work during her younger life, but devoted most of her time to her home duties and family.  In her later years she spent much time working in the Relief Society, where she accomplished many things.

Sister Laurine Larsen, as president of the North Ward Relief Society, selected Hannah Brown to be the chairman of the work committee.  At the time the Relief Society was short of funds and needed money badly.

Hannah told of how she went to everyone in the ward asking for old overalls, discarded woolen suits, and coats, to make camp quilts to sell as a fundraiser.  Those who had sheep donated wool which Hannah washed and corded by herself.  Using these methods they were able to make the quilts without expense.  They tied the quilts at different homes.

Many of the quilts were sold to sheep men and a considerable sum of money went into the treasury.

With the aid of other sisters, she put on the first and largest bazaar ever held in Monroe. It was a regular holiday.  Mrs. Larsen secured the services of the high school band.  Everyone in town was there, supporting the activity.  Lunches were sold, as were cakes, horseradish, plants, quilts,and clothing of every description.  They bought the piano that is in use in the chapel and paid for it in one year’s time.

When released from this position, Hannah was put in as a block teacher, a position she held until just before she died.  She had a record of 100% Relief Society block teaching.  The sisters she visited were always glad to welcome her into their homes and enjoyed her visits very much.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.