Born 23 December 1878 in Huntsville, Weber County, Utah
Attended school in St. David, Arizona, completing the grades then taught. After returning from my mission I began teaching until the Spring of 1930 when I retired.
Was injured while working on the State highway on February 9, 1931, receiving a compound fracture a little above the ankle of my right leg. The wounds never healed and the bones are very crooked, leaving me a cripple for life.
Have held many positions within the Church, serving in my boyhood as secretary of the Primary, then assistant secretary of the Sunday School and finally, secretary of that organization. Also served as a teacher in the Sunday School and as Assistant Superintendent. In 1906, I was sustained as a Counselor to Bishop John S. Merrill of the St. David Ward, St. Joseph Stake. Held that position until I went to Bisbee to work in the winter of the same year when I was released.
I was sustained as the secretary of the first Deacon's quorum to be organized in the St. Joseph Stake. I have also served as a Ward Teacher, a secretary and teacher in Priesthood quorums and in the YMMIA. Also served as president of the YMMIA in St. David. Have been a teacher in Religion Class and was also Teacher Trainer while in St. David. I served as Chorister in both the St. David and Thatcher Wards of the St. Joseph Stake. When the welfare work was organized in the St. David Ward, I was chosen as Ward Work Director.
I served as Deputy Sheriff under Harry Wheeler and also Tom Volker in Cochise County, but had no real active duty as such being commissioned because of my position as dance manager in St. David.
I have had testimonies too numerous to mention in this brief article. The first I remember was an immediate answer to prayer. When I was a small lad of about nine years, I had to go for a milk cow which had broken out of the field and went to the hills with some wild cattle. I found the cow but could not separate her from the range stock. I ran until I was almost ready to sink with exhaustion, when I remembered the teaching of my parents relative to prayer. I kneeled beneath a large mesquite tree and asked the Lord to assist me in getting "Old Roany". I arose and went again in pursuit. She immediately left the wild herd and went leisurely home, with me following, a tired but happy boy.
I have seen the sick healed, evil spirits cast out from individuals. I have been led and directed by the Holy Spirit. Guardian angels have protected me and kept me from harm. I have had heavenly manifestations, and have seen visions, all of which came from God. I do not doubt but can say with Job, "I know that my Redeemer liveth."
As a Patriarch, I have enjoyed the Spirit of divination. I have felt the free flow of the Holy Spirit. I have seen the heavens opened and have received knowledge of heavenly things revealed to me from God above.
I have labored in the Temple for some of my kindred dead and have also spent time doing work for others who are not of my line, and could I but have my wish, it would be to labor in the Temples of the Lord for the salvation of the souls of men all my days, and that my days, even though I suffer much pain, would be extended here on earth until the Christ should come that I might bring souls unto Him.
I have met and clasped the hand of President Lorenzo Snow, Joseph F. Smith and Heber J. Grant. I have also met many of the members of the Quorum of Apostles, and am quite intimately acquainted with David O. McKay. He and I were lads together in Huntsville, Utah. His parents and mine were warm friends, and I have been in his father's home as a boy many times. I have known Elder Spencer Kimball for many years; have labored with him in Sunday School, have taught him in classes, and we were members together on the St. Joseph Stake Sunday School Board.
When Elder Alexander Schreiner was a missionary in Arizona, I entertained him in my home, as well as entertaining dozens of the missionaries, among them President Joseph E. Robinson and Joseph W. McMurrin of the California Mission.
I was ordained a Patriarch in the Southern Arizona Stake on December 7, 1941, by Elder George F. Richards, a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles and acting Patriarch to the Church. To date (July 17, 1943) I have given 226 patriarchal blessings. I rejoice in the work of the Lord. It is my stay and my support. Without the Gospel, my life would not be worth living.
I received the Melchizedek Priesthood, and was ordained a Seventy under the hands of Christian D. Fjelsted on January18, 1899. Brother Fjelsted was ordained a Seventy by William H. Walker on February 5, 1859, who was ordained a Seventy by Sidney Rigdon on February 28, 1835, who was ordained a High Priest by Joseph Smith who received the Priesthood from Peter, James and John in 1829 who received the Priesthood from Jesus Christ.
I was ordained a High Priest by Apostle George Teasdale on June 9, 1906, who was ordained a High Priest by Brigham Young on August 9, 1877, who was ordained an Apostle by Oliver Cowdery on February 14, 1835, who received the Priesthood under the hands of Peter, James and John in 1829, who were ordained Apostles by Jesus Christ.
My Father, Peter Anderson Lofgreen, was born in Orja, Sweden, on January 18, 1847. He resided there with his parents until he was one year old, when the family moved to Helstorp in Billeberga-Socken, Sweden, where my grandfather purchased and tilled five acres of ground and worked his trade, that of a mason. My father, at the age of ten, began herding sheep and geese to assist in supporting the family. Father had but six weeks of schooling in his life, but was taught reading, writing and arithmetic by his father.
When eight days old, father was baptized (sprinkled) into the Lutheran Church to which his parents belonged. At the age of eight my grandmother died and my grandfather soon married again. In 1860, my grandfather and part of his family joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, my father being baptized on April 8, 1860, by Niels Larson. In the spring of the year 1862, my grandfather sold his little farm in Sweden and left for the United States to gather with the saints in Utah. The family arrived in Salt Lake City September 27, 1862, and located in what was known as Sugar House Ward. Father worked in a paper mill for about three years. In the fall of the year 1865, my grandfather moved his family to Huntsville, Utah, after having lived in Mill Creek Ward for a short time, to which place he had moved while father was working in the paper mill.
On December 3, 1865, my father married Johanna Cathrina Antonetta Sandberg, who, on December 23, 1878, became my mother. In October 1866, my father and mother were endowed and sealed in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City.
In the spring of 1868, my father with his family left Utah for the east. They remained for a time at a place called Benton, on the North Platte River, and later moved to Cheyenne, Wyoming, where they remained for a little more than a year, when they moved to Omaha, Nebraska. They remained in Omaha until the spring of 1871 when they moved to St. Louis, Missouri. While in St. Louis, my father learned the upholstering and paper-hanging trade. and worked at that for about two years. In 1873, father went to work for the "St. Louis Globe" paper. This paper later combined with the "Democrat" and became known as the "St. Louis Globe Democrat". Father worked as mailing clerk and reporter on this paper for several years.
In 1877, father was arrested and spent two weeks in jail on the charge of inciting to riot. He was acquitted and released after due examination. This came about because of his active participation in labor organizations.
In September 1877, father was re-baptized into the Church, having, during his living in Missouri, rather grown skeptical and left the teachings of the Church. On March 17, 1878, my father and family left St. Louis and started for Utah, arriving in Ogden on March 23, 1878. He, a few days later, moved to Huntsville where he filed on a tract of land and started to build a home.
On July 31, father was sealed to a second wife, Zipporah Elizabeth Nelson. In the fall of 1878, father, with his family, started for Arizona. He got as far as Richfield, Utah, where he remained during the winter. While at Richfield, he received a call to go on a mission to Sweden. Not having any means, he took a trip to Salt Lake City to interview President John Taylor about his mission. After listening to father's story, President Franklin D. Richards, who was in the office, asked, "Are you willing to go on a mission?" Father replied that he was, whereupon Pres. Richards said, "The way shall be opened for you to go and you shall be blessed." Father returned to his family in Richfield and moved them back to Huntsville, and through the efforts of Bishop F.A. Hammond he obtained means and left for his mission on April 26, 1880. He arrived in New York on May 2, 1880, and sailed on the S.S. Nevada on May 4, 1880, arriving in Liverpool, England, on May 17, 1880. On May 22, 1880, he arrived at Malmo, Sweden, and after visiting his sister, Kjersti Mickelsen, in Billeberga for a few days, he began his active work as a missionary. On May 15 or 16, 1882, father received his release and after visiting with relatives and friends for a month, he set sail on June 14, 1882, and arrived in Huntsville on July 10, 1882.
On November 6, 1883, my father and brother, Louis, together with father's brother, Benjamin, left by team for Arizona, their destination being St. David, Cochise County, Arizona. They arrived in St. David on New Year's day, 1884. Father immediately set about to prepare a home for his family by purchasing a house and lot from J.H. Martineau, and some land from Hyrum S. Bryson. On April 6, 1885, my step-mother with the family except Herman and Hattie, arrived in St. David.
On July 7, 1884, my father was ordained a High Priest and set apart as second counselor to Bishop Wm. D. Johnson of the St. David Ward. On December 22, 1885, father was set apart as first counselor to Bishop M. Henry Merrill of the St. David Ward.
St. David was visited by a severe earthquake on May 3, 1886. Much damage was done to the Church and School House and to several other adobe buildings, our home being cracked from top to bottom.
On January 1, 1888, father was set apart as presiding Elder over the St. David Ward, Henry Merrill, the Bishop, having moved to the Gila Valley. On February 12, 1888, father was ordained and set apart as Bishop of the St. David Ward by Christopher Layton, which capacity he filled for fifteen years.
On July 18, 1888, a severe wind storm blew the east gable end of our house in, dislocating one of my sister Emma's hips, stunning and bruising my brother, Louis, and myself. We moved that night into the tithing office which was built by Bishop Johnson as a residence.
In May 1890, we moved to a homestead north of the old site of St. David, which place later became the Marcus School District, and still later, consolidation of the districts, St. David, Curtis, and Marcus, became the St. David Consolidated School District and the center of the ward.
Father attended the dedication of the Salt Lake Temple in April 1893, leaving home on March 30, 1893, and returning on April 30, 1893.
On May 20, 1896, while father was teaching school, I shot the forefinger off my left hand by the explosion of a dynamite cap with which I had been playing. Father was called home and I was taken to Benson and Dr. Gaff attended the injured member, cutting the finger off below the third joint.
On January 17, 1897, I was sustained as Treasurer and Librarian of the Mutual Improvement Association and on January 23, 1897, I was sustained as secretary and treasurer of the St. David Sunday School.
On March 9, 1897, the Ward was visited by Apostle John Henry Smith and Heber J. Grant. In the evening eleven couples were sealed in the holy bonds of matrimony for time and eternity by Apostle John Henry Smith.
On May 3, 1902, father was released as Bishop of the St. David Ward. The following evening a social gathering was held in the church in honor of father and the following resolution was read and adopted as the sentiments of the people:-
"A resolution of respect to our retiring Bishop, Peter A. Lofgreen.
"Whereas Bishop Peter A. Lofgreen has been honorably released from his labors as Bishop of the St. David Ward after fifteen years of faithful services in the Bishopric,
"Now, therefore, be it resolved that it is the feelings of the saints that Bishop Lofgreen has been a tried and faithful father of the saints of the St. David Ward, that he has been faithful in the performance of every duty entrusted to his care, that he has ever been a ministering angel to the sick and distressed, by whom he will ever be held in grateful remembrance. In fact that his has been a life welded to duty, and that he richly merits, and has the love, confidence, and esteem of every member of the St. David Ward.
"Be it further resolved that a copy of these resolutions be presented to Bishop Lofgreen and that they be spread upon the Ward records."
John J. Busby, Joseph N. Curtis, James N. Christenson, Committee