Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Obituary for Christena Akeson Christenson

I have had fun with the recipe mode of the day, but have probably worn out any appreciation there might have been for the project. So, I have moved on to the following gem.
The writing styles of the times (1930) were certainly different than what we find in today's obituaries (most of the time). I had not seen this before, that I can recall, and thought maybe there are others who have never read it. For those who are a little puzzled, Christena Akeson Christenson is the mother of Tilda Wasden who is the mother of Minnie Blood and grandmother to the six children of Russell and Minnie Blood.

(Obituary for Christena Akeson Christenson Jan 2, 1930)

Mrs. Christena Akeson Christensen, resident of Gunnison for 64 years, died at her home in this city Monday evening at seven o’clock. The end came peacefully and her only living children, Mrs. Minnie Taylor of Gunnison and Mrs. Tilda Wasden, were at the bedside when the last spark of life fleeted away, carrying the soul of the beloved woman to the great unknown. Until some ten days before her death, Mrs. Christenson, though in her 94th year, enjoyed unusually good health. She was forced to her bed and remained until the final call. She died at the home where she had resided for 57 years.

Mrs. Christenson was born at Farlof, Christianstand, Sweden, August 4, 1836. When 15 years of age she removed to Copenhagen, where she remained for ten years. She was converted to the Mormon religion in her native country, being baptized in 1856. In 1861, alone, she came to America and was among the pioneers who walked across the country. She fought the hardships and trials that the early pioneers encountered when a company walked all the way from Omaha to Salt Lake City. November 2, 1861, she was married to John Christenson, the ceremony being performed at Salt Lake. Four years after the marriage Mr. and Mrs. Christenson removed to American Fork and in 1865 they came to Gunnison where Mrs. Christenson had resided continuously since[should this say prior to?] her death. In 1903 Mr. Christenson passed away.

Mrs. Christenson was a devoted mother and a kind and loving neighbor. In her religious work she was ever active during her younger days. She served as a Relief Society teacher for 47 years in the Gunnison ward, and she will always be remembered for her loving sacrifices and kindness during distress, sickness, and want, never faltering to give aid where needed. Notwithstanding her advanced age Mrs. Christenson was noted for her active mind and she was keen in learning of civic and religious doings up to the time she was forced to her bed.

To the kind mother and respected citizen who has been called, four children were born, two of whom survive. Mrs. Minnie Taylor of this city and Mrs. Tilda Wasden of Penrose, Wyo., are the surviving daughters. Thirteen grandchildren and eleven great-grandchildren, besides hundreds of warm friends, are also left to mourn the death of the grand old woman.

Funeral services will be held Sunday afternoon at one-thirty, from the Gunnison Valley high school. Bishop Chas. E. Embley will be in charge of the services.

Mr. and Mrs. J. B. Wasden of Penrose, Wyo., and Mr. and Mrs. Fred Taylor of Salt Lake, have arrived and are at the home of Mrs. Taylor. The relatives will remain until after the Sunday services.


Judy said...

So many details to consider! First where was this obituary published? Newspaper or? (And where did you find it?) The style of writing and expressing sentiment is so different from today. 1930 would have been a hard trip for Grandma & Grandpa Wasden. After leaving Utah, our Grandma saw her mother so little.

Judy said...

I am also curious as to the correct spelling of Akeson. That is the way our records have it spelled. Kindred Saints spells it Akesson.

Elizabeth said...

The headline is interesting. Christena did not travel in a handcart company, but in the John Murdock oxen company. However, she did walk the entire way, except for once when she was allowed to ride in a wagon over a river. Also, it is important to note that there is far more to the story, including the fact that she made the acquaintance of John Christenson and his sister, Magdalena in Copenhagen, where they were trying to make money to come to America (to Zion). Magdalena became very ill, and Christena helped nurse her back to health. They did travel together, but did not marry until they reached the Salt Lake valley.
Ann, can't wait for the answers to Judy's questions.

Ann said...

I wish I knew the origin of the obituary. It is obvious, from the copy, that it is from a newspaper. The Gunnison newspaper? Did they have one in 1930? There is no indication as to who wrote it, or anything else that would give us a clue. As to the spelling of Akeson, it is puzzling. Could the double "s" be an Americanization of the name or vice versa? We need to keep looking on that issue. It is spelled with a double "s" in the Wasden history booklets, as well. I happen to have the copy quite by accident. Elizabeth let me take some of the genealogy files last summer, and I was reading through more of the letters, etc., and came across this. I am quite sure Mother had this copy because on the same page is a note from Ivin (Bishop) to Dad that says:" Dear Russ, I want to take this opportunity to congratulate you for the fine prayer you offered. It couldn't of been better and more complete with a months notice. We appreciate the efforts you put forth in our sunday school. Ivin - This is a neat insight for me because when I was baptized Dad wanted to confirm me. As we gathered in the Bishop's office and hands were placed on my head, Dad tried so hard, but his voice quivered, his hands shook, and finally he turned to the Bishop and said he couldn't do it. Praying in front of others was something that was very hard for Dad in those years.