Lars Christian Jensen and Jensine Wilhelmine Jensen -- 59 years

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Lars Christian Jensen and Jensine Wilhelmine Jensen -- 59 years.

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Lars Christian and Jensine were married in Denmark on March 24, 1874. They immigrated to the US in 1884 with five children in tow and one on the way. Everyone was seasick during the three-week-long voyage. Shortly after arriving in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, Jensine gave birth to a third daughter. They remained in Perth Amboy for about a year, suffering much hardship, including severe bouts of scarlet fever, diphtheria, and whooping cough. Complicating their situation was the fact that Lars Christian was away from home, working where he could as a carpenter and turner, frequently leaving his non-English-speaking wife to cope with daily life on her own. ~~ Lars Christian was unable to find permanent employment, so the family moved to Hutchinson, Kansas, by train, and then later to Hays, by oxen-drawn wagon. But no place pleased Lars Christian. From there in rapid succession they moved on to Hastings, Nebraska, Sioux City, Iowa, Mankato, Minnesota, and Pierre, Rausaua and Yankton, South Dakota. Lacking schools in Rausaua Jensine’s daughters rented a small house without conveniences in Pierre so they could attend school. That winter it was so cold that before the girls could cook their meals they had to thaw water over a fire. On weekends they would walk 13 miles down the railroad tracks to be with their parents, and then walk back again on Sunday evening. Needless to say, school lost its charm and they dropped out. The family later moved to Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, and then to Houston, Texas. ~~ Lars Christian’s wanderlust and discontent with his situation created many difficulties for his wife, who tried hard to please him and help others. Her great pleasure was handwork. Cross-stitch on gingham and knitted lace for sheets, pillowcases and aprons using white or ecru crochet cotton were among her favorite arts.

  • hotograph courtesy of great-granddaughter Kristi Johnson, Bethesda MD.

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