Historical Details

Jensen, J.P.

Courtesy of Our Heritage: Niobrarans and Neighbors, 12/18/2020


by Ella & Anna Jensen

J.P. Jensen was born in Jutland, Denmark, Nov. 5, 1872.Anna Gorgina Johnson was born at Manistee, Mich. Oct. 26, 1873. They were married in Racine, Wisc. Sept. 15, 1892, where he worked for the J.I. Case Company as a bobbin-winder at a weave mill.

They had 13 children, nine being born in Wisconsin and four at Hat Creek, Wyoming.

They moved from Kansasville, Wisc. in Oct. 1910. J.P. came out alone to file a claim, finally locating one at the home place at Hat Creek. Returning to Wisconsin, they sold out what was necessary. Then they loaded five head of horses and eight cows plus the household things and machinery in two box cars, and the family rode on a passenger train to Wyoming. They stayed for several days at the Northwestern Hotel until the wagons were loaded. The first night out, they stayed at the Percival ranch and the next night at the Matlick ranch, where they stayed until they got logs out of the brakes for the house and barn, using the sawmill there for the lumber. The barn was built first, then the homestead shack. They moved into it in January. The children could look through the logs on the first night. The next day they put up tar paper. This old house still stands today, being used for a grainery.

In 1926, they built the two-story house now being used. The carpenters were Joe Sieffert and another man known as Francis. They had a dance in it after it was completed.

The first lights were kerosene, but in the new house were carbite lights and for a short time, a wind charger was used. Later came the electric lights.

Some of the old keepsakes are in the family today, such as a new Singer sewing machine bought by Anna before they were married, for $18.00. It is still operating. Some of the old bedsteads that came on the train with big high headboards, are still being used. A phonograph with the big horn which played the old round cylinders, and a collection of "Uncle Joshes" can still be heard.    There is still an old surry with the fringe on top.

Arthur was the oldest child. He was a carpenter and mechanic. He served in the War, and when it was over moved· from Florida to New York to Missouri.   He and his wife settled in Joplin, Mo.   They had no child­ren. He passed away in 1946.

Joe Jensen served in the War also, and came back to settle in Pennsylvania. He married and raised a family there. After the passing of his wife, he returned to the home place to help for a few years, finally moving on to Texas where he sells camper trailers in San Antonio.

Albert moved to Scenic, S.D. working as a blacksmith for many years and then retired to a ranch life near Farmingdale,  S.D. where they still live. They had two boys.

Anna Jensen lived at Keeline, Wyo. where she is a rancher.

Verna married a businessman, who was a salesman for Rexair vacuum cleaners.They had two children at Yakima, Wash. She passed away there in 1967.

Earl has worked for 18 years at the lumber yard at Lusk, where he and his wife has raised five children. He is now retired.

Edith married Harry Lorenzen in Lusk and was a Western Union operator until she retired. They separated and she now lives in Modesto, Calif. She has six children.

Gladys married Robert Beesley in Denver. They had one son. She passed away in 1971 at Antherton, Calif.

Elmer and his wife sold their farm and have since worked on ranches. They have three children.

Marvin "Bud" Jensen and his wife live on the home ranch. They have no children.

Leroy was the baby of the family and he passed away in Lusk in 1943.

Joe and Anna went to school for three months after moving to the homestead.  School was at the Charles Thomas place and was taught by Miss Clara Larson. The school­ house was half of the ice house. Then they had no school for two years. Finally  Mrs. Al Bryant volunteered to teach Zelda and Sylvinia Howell, Wilber Bryant, Verna and Anna Jensen. The Jensen children drove a sled and horse to school with Mr. Bryant taking care of the horse and harnesses. In good weather they rode horseback. Finally they got a school one mile from home.

They traveled from home to home for Saturday night dances or box socials, taking the family along.

In the spring of 1928, they lost nearly all their cows in the blizzard that started one afternoon about 2 p.m. and raged all that night and for two days, drifting the cows to Indian Creek and covering them with snow.

In August Anna was burned in a fire, giving her third degree burns. Dr. Reckling didn’t think she would live, but she pulled through with a badly burned arm and hand. Later she got cancer in it and had the arm removed.  Even handicapped, she made beautiful quilts and was still a wonderful cook.

In 1944 J.P. was mowing with a team.The bridle on one horse got caught in the yoke. When he got off to straighten it, the horses ran over him.  The cutter bar cut off fingers on both hands and gave him other cuts and bruises.  But due to Dr. Recklings care, he was soon home again.

The M.P. Vollmers were their closest friends, coming to Lusk about the same time. Many good times were seen by these two families, along with some bad.

J.P. Jensen and Anna had a very large 50th wedding celebration in 1942 with all the usual trimmings. All the children were home but Joe and Gladys. They had their ups and downs like all families.   In April of 1961, J.P. passed away in his sleep.

Ten days later, Anna passed away of pneumonia. At that time Dr. Reckling paid the following tribute to J.P. Jensen family:

"I never attend funerals except some­ times in a professional capacity. I don't like to see my friends under the artificiality of embalming fluids, cut flowers, weepy music and all that. I like to remember Mr. Jensen for the chap he was. I like to see him stop a threshing machine hulling alfalfa.  I can see him yet saying 'Doc, this machine cleans pretty good for as old as it is.' I remember talking to him in my office about sowing more alfalfa seed this spring.  'I want to sow more seed if we just get the moisture.' This was only a few days ago when he was discussing farming. 'Doc', he says, 'we can sure have some bad storms in April.'   I think I have been with him on some of the major problems in life. Unlike many men who give up, lie down on the job, moan and groan about their failures, J.P. (I 
always called him Pop) had a new idea for the next day.    At 89, he was younger than many I know at 30. He used to tell me, 'I can't stay in the hospital, my little women needs me at home.' I have always felt that Pop was a great guy and lived a good life.   I was genuinely fond of him. It was so nice that he could live a long life and the end came peacefully in his sleep.  What man could ask for more.  I knew Pop as a honest man whose word was his bond.   Surely an honest man leaves memories which will not be forgotten."

Since then Dr. Reckling has passed on too (September, 1964) a wonderful country doctor and a close friend to all the Jensen family.

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Related/Linked Records

Record Type Name
Obituary Jensen, Jens (11/05/1872 - 04/04/1961) View Record
Obituary Jensen, Anna (10/26/1873 - 04/14/1961) View Record