4th Grade Essay Contest Winner for April 2017: Maya Christian
Each month the Newsletter features one of the essays from the Fourth Grade Pioneer Essay Contest sponsored annually by the Cotton Mission Chapter Sons of Utah Pioneers. This month’s essay is by Maya Christian about her ancestor Karen Christensen Nielsen.
KAREN CHRISTENSEN NIELSEN
Imagine your father is very wealthy and has land bordering the king's own property. You are engaged to the prince. You have a very happy life and you are the oldest child in your family. That is exactly how my great-great-great grandmother Karen Christensen's life was until, by chance, she went to a meeting held by the Mormon elders. She became interested and started coming more often. Karen decided that it would be a nice surprise if she was baptized and confirmed a member of the Mormon Church. Turns out, she was wrong. When her family found out they were furious. They disowned her, disinherited her and told her to go away and never come back. The wedding with the prince was canceled and she took refuge at a hotel run by the Larson's. They gave her a job in the dining room. She worked for them for four years. In that time she spent with the Larson's, Karen grew close to them and was treated like part of the family.
When some of the Larson's decided to leave Denmark and go to Zion she asked if she could come and was very excited when her request was granted. When they arrived in Utah the Larson's made her acquainted with a man named Jens Christian Nielsen. He was attracted to the beautiful black haired, brown-eyed girl almost immediately. Jens' first wife Anna Marie died and left him to take care of his daughter Annie who was very young, about four years old.
One night Jens and Karen wanted to go to a dance together but Annie needed to stay home. Finally, they came up with a solution. Jens would put Annie to bed in one of Karen's dresses. He would lay with Annie until she fell asleep then he would tie the end of the dress so she wouldn't walk off somewhere. The only problem was that Annie overheard their plan and was not happy about it. She tried to stay awake but Annie eventually dozed off. When she woke up an hour or so later she began calling for her father. When he didn’t answer she untied the gown and climbed out of the wagon. Annie arrived at the dance hall and started to search for her dad. A kind woman picked her up off the ground with the intention to keep her. Annie did NOT agree with her and started yelling, “I want my daddy” over and over. When Jens heard her it was not long before he was next to his daughter, taking her. Later he and Karen were married and had a happy life together.