Week 2 - the reunion

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

After driving the Interstate most of the day, we reach Boise and Steve's Aunt and Uncle. Of course, his Aunt Marilynn Frilling is actually a year younger than Steve. His Uncle Bjorn is from Norway and came to this country to ski for the University of Idaho. On this trip we finally got to meet Kristine, Steve's cousin, after knowing her only on Facebook. They are all really great people and the two K's seemed to be real soul mates.

About half way across Idaho we started getting e-mails from Anna Marie Boles, another Aunt, about visiting them and also attending the Rock Creek Pioneers reunion that weekend in Kimberly, near Twin Falls. After we agreed, she informed us that they had a conflict, so we went to the reunion with the Frillings.

Lars Larsen, Senior, was born May 1, 1831 in Denmark. He was a farmer, weaver and fisherman, but was also known as a musician who played the violin. He married Johanne Mogensdatter in October 1854. They had two children, Lars, Junior and Pouline Kirstine, but Johanna died when she was only 31. Three years later, Lars married Ellen Margrethe Nielsdatter and their son Hans Peter was born on February 25, 1861. The family sailed for the United States in April 1863 On the ship "John J. Boyd" to join Lars' older brother Mangus and his family.

They landed in New York Harbor on Sunday, June 1, 1863 and continued on by rail to Albany, NY. From family records, it looks like they intended to settle in Wisconsin, but somehow ended up in Mendon, Utah instead. There he homesteaded, farmed, and the family grew by five more children. After a few years, Lars entered into a polygamous marriage with Ane Elizabeth Nielsen and they had one daughter.

Now Ellen Margarethe laid down an ultimatum : "I'm going to Oregon on that wagon train, and you can come with me, but not that woman." So in 1875, the family (without that woman and her daughter) headed for the gold fields in Oregon. Crossing south-central Idaho, they stopped instead in the Rock Creek area and became the first permanent homesteaders in that area. The land was fertile and good for farming, so they built a split log house and homesteaded by the creek.

Hans Peter (or HP) Larsen worked on the family farm and worked for other farmers in the area. He and his older half brother Lars are the two boys sent into the mountains to find building materials for the house built by his father. HP was also a hunter, trapper, and during the spring salmon run speared fish in Rock Creek.

Eventually, HP became a farmer in his own right, owning over 260 acres of fertile land. In January 2, 1888 he married Mary Jensen, who was also a native of Denmark and her family had left Utah about the same time the Larsen family left. HP and mary had five children: Ellen, Anna, Howard, Florence, and Russell.

HP built a fine house for his family - the parts were ordered from Sears and the home was built on site. It still looks esentially the same except that an extension has been added on to the front porch.

Hans Peter and Mary are buried at the Rock Creek Pioneer Cemetary, only a few miles from the beautiful land they loved.

One of HP and Mary's daughters was Florence, who was born and raised in the house. She married Simeon Walton, and they raised a large family on the family farm. Of those children, Steve got to meet his uncle, George Walton at the reunion that we attended with his aunt, Marilyn Frilling. Also on this trip we got to visit with another aunt, Ann Marie Boles.

Marilyn remembers staying in the upstairs room that you can see in the picture of the house. There are pictures of her and Steve playing in the yard together when they were both less than 4 years old. Soon after Steve's family moved away and eventually his parents divorced. Steve and Marilyn finally got together again a few years ago in Albuquerque and we are glad to be part of the Walton family once again.

Alaska Next week

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Last Updated: 07/04/2013
K. A. Shearer 2013

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