Samuel Peter Nilson
Colaborador: lizzybelle Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
HISTORY OF SAMUEL PETER NILSON
(Written by his daughter, Fern N. Smith in Oct. 1958)
Samuel Peter Nilson was born 13 July, 1863 in Smithfield, Cache Co., Utah; a son of Peter Nilson and Svenborg Tufveson. His parents joined the church in their native land of Sodra Rorum, Sweden and emigrated to America. They came to Smithfield in 1860 and were married in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City in 1861. The following children were born to Peter and Svenborg Nilson: Samuel Peter (my father), Emma (Casier), James R., John Nephi, Eliza, Ellen
(Wright), Zina Matilda, and Daniel. Three of the children died real young. Little John Nephi died when he was two years old by falling in a pan of hot water and was scalded to death. This was a great tragedy for the family. My father said he could never forget it.
My father worked very hard helping his father on the farm and he helped to manage the farm while his father went on a two-year mission to Sweden in 1879. They used to cut the grain with a scythe and plowed the ground with a hand plow pulled by an ox team. In the Fall, he and Uncle Jim would go to the canyon and get wood for the winter to keep them warm. One day when Father was chopping a hard dry pine tree, the ax glanced off and went down into his foot and almost cut his toe off. He nearly bled to death before they got the bleeding checked. He was taken to the doctor in Logan and his toe was amputated. He remained in Logan for two weeks while he convalesced. Then on his way home from Logan, he had another close call. The horses ran away and Father fell out of the back of the wagon and the spring seat fell on top of him but he wasn't scratched. It was necessary for him to use crutches for over two months.
The following year, my father attended the Brigham Young College in Logan. When he gave his lesson, he had to stand on one leg. In fact, he never regained strength in his leg until he went on his first mission to Sweden in 1883. It seemed that his leg kept on hurting him more all the time. He was afraid he would have to come home before his mission was finished. One Sunday after conference, he asked the Elders to anoint his leg with oil and administer to him. From that day on, his leg commenced getting stronger until he was entirely well.
Father always exercised a lot of faith in the Lord. He was a wonderful missionary. At the time my father left on his mission, he was engaged to my mother. He said he used to worry about her quitting him. Mother taught school while he was away. Soon after he came
home, they were married in the Logan Temple on Friday, 9 October, 1885. Father always said that was his lucky day. The following children were born to this marriage union: Samuel Ivan,
Alta Loretta, Lucinda Fern, Earl, Ruby Sena, Mary, Miles Ruthven and Truman Wesley. Earl and Mary died soon after they were born. John H. Peterson, a student of Mother's said, "What a handsome couple they were and as good as gold."
My father always had a good influence with him. He was kind hearted, humble and sincere, a hard worker and a very religious man who feared the Lord. He was a good tithe payer and honest in all his dealings. He was charitable and good to the poor. He would take the shirt off his back and give it to a friend in need. Father was a prayerful man and we always had family prayer in our home.
He was good to his family. Every time he went to the store, he would bring home a big sack of candy. He took us up to the ranch up the canyon and saw that we had little ponies to ride so we could help herd the cattle and horses. We sure had a lot of fun.
My father was a good violinist and played in an orchestra for the dances. But he didn't keep his violin for his young son, Ivan, he sold it to Mr. Harris in Hyde Park for a load of cedar posts. He was always sorry that he hadn't kept this instrument.
He was quite 'well-do-do' at one time. He owned a lot of cattle and property up the canyon and was prospering in the cattle business when our Bishop, George L. Farrell, persuaded him to go in the sheep business with him. This was the mistake of his life as the Great Depression came after he bought the sheep and they took a big drop in price. My father lost most everything he had. He grieved a great deal over this transaction as their entire life was changed. At times, all
he could do was pay the interest on the taxes of the ranch.
At this time, my father was called to be an officiator in the Logan Temple. He enjoyed this labor very much. He drove to the temple in a buggy or rode horse back up through Hyde Park. The roads were very rough and muddy.
My brother, Ivan, fulfilled a mission in Canada from 1908-1910. It was in 1916 that my father accepted another call to fulfill a mission to Sweden. He left home in January and the snow was about two feet deep. We took him to the railroad station on a hay rack. Father surely had the spirit of Elijah in his heart. He fulfilled an honorable mission and converted many souls. Some of the Saints likened him to the Savior. He was in Sweden four years and five months 1916-1920. The latter part was spent in gathering genealogy of our ancestors. He was very successful and had many experiences. The first World War was on and food was rationed and the Influenza was raging. The Saints were stricken and some taken to the "Flu" hospital. Father was called to administer to them. He seemed to have the gift of healing.
When my daughter, Maxine, was critically ill in the Logan hospital, Father stayed there day and night ever praying for her recovery. I feel that through his faith and prayers, she is alive today.
He was often called upon to pray in religious gatherings. He gave discourses on the Book of Mormon, his favorite book, in the various wards. I remember hearing him quote passages of scripture word for word. He worked in the Genealogical Society for quite some time and was a Stake Missionary, a ward teacher and went to the Temple as long as his health would permit.
One of our Bishops, W.L. Winn, said that my father was one of the best versed men that he ever knew. He was thoroughly versed on the organization of the church and the principles of the gospel.
I always enjoyed hearing my father bear his testimony for he knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that the gospel is true and that Joseph Smith was in very deed, a Prophet of God. Father was blessed with good health most of his life and worked hard on the farm. He always liked to do the farm irrigating for his sons, Miles and Ivan.
Father and Mother's life was not a path or roses. They endured many trials and hardships but they never complained.
It was in 1920 that Ivan's wife, Letitia, died in childbirth leaving four children under eight years of age. My parents gladly took them in and cared for them until Ivan remarried in 1922.
Tragedy struck again when my husband, George D. Smith, died in March 1923 leaving me with three little children under six years old. Father welcomed me with open arms. I shall never forget how good he was to me and my children. He instilled in their hearts the love for the gospel of Jesus Christ and the desire to always do what's right. He was the only Grandfather my children ever knew. He enjoyed my children. George S. and Hollis helped him on the farm and one
summer when George was about 9 years old, my father took him to Shelly, Idaho to help him herd sheep for James Anderson. While they were herding sheep, Father read the scriptures to George.
On Aug. 28, 1937, my Father was called to part with his devoted companion and wife. They had spent many years together. Father came to live with me at 120 N. 100 E. in Smithfield.
Early in the Spring of 1944, we noticed that Father's health was not good. His heart was bad and other complications set in. He worried about not getting all of his genealogy done and so he finally turned it over to his grandson, Dale Ivan Nilson. He was also worried about being ill a long time and being a burden on his children. I believe his prayers were answered when he was confined to his bed just two weeks.
He was a good kind father who loved his family and grandchildren. He loved life and the gospel. I have always had a great deal of love and respect for my father. God bless his memory.
A few years before he died, Father wrote his own history. He died Oct. 5, 1945, at my home at the age of 82. My sons George S. and Hollis were in the service of our country at this time.
George was in Texas and was given permission to come home for the funeral. Father's earthly remains were buried in the Smithfield cemetery.