The first gem, in Grandma's handwriting, was written on paper from a tablet like we used in grade school, so the quality is very poor. The pages appear dark, but it was the only way I could get her writing to show up.
This next gem contains something that was transcribed from Grandma's handwriting, by Aunt Sofe. Please note where it begins "Mama" appears to be Sofe's own words. Dates need to be verified, which I didn't do, and how John and Christena crossed the plains is incorrect.
Gunnison, Sunday evening
April 10, 1887
(Written in Tilda’s handwriting)
James would bet that in about 2 or 3 months Tilda would be married to some fellow.
Tilda said, “I will bet that I won’t be married when you get back and that I won’t be going with any boy in Gunnison.”
James said, “How much will you bet?” Tilda said, “A quarter of a dollar.” James said, “All right, that’s a bet.”
So that was settled as a bet.
James had a piece of paper with a name on it. He said, “I am going to keep this”. Tilda said, “Alright, I will bet you 25 cts that if you take that paper with you, that you can’t show it to me when you get back.” James said, “I will take you up on that too. I am going to take it with me, and I will bet 25 cts that I can show it to you when I get back home.”
So that was settled as another bet.
Mama, Tilda Christena /Christenson, was born in the old Fort at Gunnison, Sanpete, Co., Utah Jan 21, 1871. Her parents were Swedish. John Christenson and Christena Akesson met in Copenhagen shortly before coming to America and crossed the plains in the Murdock Handcart Company (that is incorrect). They were married Nov 2, 1861 in S.L.C.
So James and Tilda grew up in real pioneer homes. When they were about 27 years old, Mama answered a call to work as an ordinance worker in the Manti Temple. Papa received his call to a mission to the Southern States. So they were married March 9, 1898 in the Manti Temple. Papa departed for his mission and Mama continued to work at the Temple for a time. She was his financial support for the mission. At this time papa was about 5 ft. 9 in. tall, weighing 165 lbs, blue eyes and wavy red hair, rather slight and his health was never very good. Mama was 5 ft 3 inches tall and slender. Her hair was very dark brown and her eyes were calm and gray.
My parents were both children of folks who, having given up home and friends and comforts, had come to a strange land to make their home amongst a people who shared the same vision and faith as they.
Papa’s father, John Brooks Wasden, came from England, from Aston, at age 11, with his parents, Thomas and Mary Coucom Wasden, and his brother and sisters. A few years later, young John Brooks went to meet an emigrant train with supplies to help them on their way to Utah and there He met a beautiful young, auburn haired, Danish girl named Anna Sofia Olsen. With her parents, Ole and Marianne Danielson Jensen (or Olsen) and brothers and sisters she was seeking a home in the west. They were married Oct 5, 1869. Papa, J.B.W. was born July 16, 1870 at Scipio, Millard Co., Utah. His twin bro. Peter, died at birth and his Mother died July 23. He was cared for by his father’s first wife, Nancy Arrilla Herring who loved and raised him as her own.
Upon Papa’s return from his mission he built a little home half a block and across the street away from Grandma Christenson’s house. He moved his family into it shortly before daughter Sofe was born.
Our home was a peasant place, a 2 room log house. Papa hauled logs from the mountains and hewed them to make straight sides to build the house. Because lath was unobtainable, he put his ingenuity to work and substituted willows for lath, placing them close together and plastered them to the walls which were later white washed at house cleaning time. The plaster was a kind of mud or daubing which set very hard as it dried. With a food cellar underneath the house it was cozy and adequate. The floors were covered with a layer of clean straw over which hand-woven carpet was firmly tacked. Furniture was for use. In the kitchen was a small cookstove, the large woodbox, the huge flour bin which held a year’s supply of flour, the “coal-oil” lamp on a wall bracket, the dining table and chairs and 2 small rockers.
The bedroom was furnished with 2 beds with high, high head boards and the cradle and mama’s little rocker, whos creak, creak as she rocked a baby to sleep was a comforting sound to other small fry.