Autobiography of Rebecca Elnora Hermansen Jensen (written 1940)
I am the tenth child in a family of eleven children; my parents are Christian and Karen Hermansen. They belonged to the Lutheran church in Denmark but were converted to the L.D.S. church by Mormon elders, and came to the United States where they could live their religion without so much ridicule. My father later filled a mission in his native land.
I was born in Elsinore, Utah on March 4, 1896 but have lived the greater part of my life in Nevada.
I lived in Elsinore until I was about six years of age when the family moved to Lane City, Nevada, a mining camp where my father was a blacksmith. It was there that I spent my first three years in school, after which we moved back to Utah. I was baptized the 22nd of October 1904, the same day as my sister Carrie; we were baptized in the Elsinore canal by Brother D.W. Woodard.
We later moved by to Ely, Nevada and were living there when Ely was just a tent city. We saw the first train come into Ely in 1907. My father was in the real estate business until the slump came in 1910(?). Father then bought a ranch in White River known then as the Barnes Ranch six miles …
I attended school at Ely for a while but later moved to Preston where I finished grammar school and also where I met my husband, Clarence Jensen, the eldest son of Niels Peter Jensen. We were married on August18, 1915 in the L.D.S. temple at Salt Lake City, Utah.
We lived at Preston for ten years where my husband farmed and where six of our children were born: three boys and three girls. We moved to East Ely on November 11, 1926.
In October 1929 I was chosen to work as a second counselor to President Anna Aljets whom I loved most dearly. Although my children were all small and I had a lot to do at home as well as in the Relief Society, I think they were the happiest years of my life. Sister Millie Strou was first counselor, and I think that our work was made easier with the joy we had out of our association with each other.
It was on November 8, 1931 I was chosen as President to fill Sister Aljets’ place as she had been chosen to work in the Stake, but we still had her in our ward and went to her for help and advice many times, which she always gave most willingly. I was given two very good counselors to work with, Sister Mary E. Horlacher as first counselor and Sister Frances Shallenberger as second counselor, and I could always depend on them for everything that was asked of them. Sister Mary Vowels was our secretary/treasurer and a very good one; she was always there and her books were always in good shape.
Sister Vowels said that my hobby was quilting, and I quite agree with her as our L.D.S. Relief Society won the prize that was given for the club or organization making the most quilts for the Red Cross. We turned in sixteen quilts which won the prize of two turkeys; we sold them and put the money back in our funds. Forty-four quilts were made during the time I was president. Sixty articles of clothing were turned in by ward members, fourteen were given out in the ward and forty-six were sent to the stake board.
We raised funds for our society by preparing and serving banquets for different lodges and organizations and also by bazaars. Our money was all kept in the First National Bank. On March 2, 1933 the bank closed its doors along with all other banks, but as the old saying goes, “Where there is a will there is always a way,” and the Lord always seems to open up a way for us to carry on.
Sister Horlacher was released on October 24, 1933. Sister Shallenberger was then chosen as first counselor and Sister Lena Oxborrow as second counselor. We three continued on with the work until September 23, 1934 at which time we were released. On November 19, 1935 another little daughter was added to our family.
I am now acting as a visiting teacher with Sister Kate Larsen, a very sweet little sister who I have learned to love and who sets a shining example for everyone she meets.
I love Relief Society work and pray the Lord it may ever continue to grow and prosper.
(Karen Haynes has the original copies. All are incomplete.)
Last updated Saturday, November 21, 2009