Zipporah Elizabeth Nielsen Lofgreen

by
Mary Lofgreen

Zipporah Elizabeth Nielsen was born 19 April 1858, in Halen, Denmark, daughter of Lars Nielsen and Sarah Marie Jespersen. Her childhood days were spent very much the same as others. I've heard her tell how she had to help in the field as she was the next to the oldest. She has told us often how she had to learn to knit her father a pair of woolen socks before they would send her to school. Her parents belonged to the Church before she was born.

She was three years old when the family came to America. They came in March of 1861, on the ship called "Monarch of the Sea," crossing the North Sea. They crossed the plains in Erastus Snow's company, arriving in Salt Lake City the 22nd of September, 1861. That same fall they went to Brigham City and lived there until the 11th of July, 1879, when they moved to Huntsville.

Mother lived in Huntsville from then on. She took part in the Church work, and all her friends were there. I've heard her tell of knowing President David O. McKay when he was young, and saying what a fine man he was.

On the 31st of July 1878, mother married Peter Anderson Lofgreen and was sealed in the temple. She was his second wife, and that same year they started for Arizona to make their home there, but winter set in so they stayed in Richfield, Utah.

In the spring of 1879 father was called on a mission to Sweden so they returned to Huntsville. While he was on his mission, a daughter, Emma, was born, and his first wife passed away, leaving mother to care for her three children. I can imagine in those days how hard it was for her to make a living and care for the children. Father returned in May 1882 from his mission. On the 6th of November, 1883, they went to Arizona by team and wagon.

They went through many hardships and trials in the years that followed.. Mother was always patient and willing to do her part. She had children one right after the other. I don't know how much that happened during the first years. Father was always active in church work, and was Bishop for eighteen years.. Mother had the biggest load in raising the family. During the time he was bishop, many Stake officials would come and stay. Mother always found a place for them to sleep and something to eat. They lived in a rock building until an earthquake came and destroyed it. They moved to St. David on a farm in a small community where most of their children were born. Mother did washings and ironings for other people to help support the family, besides making cheese, butter, soap, drying fruit, vegetables and many other things, but she always found time to do her Relief Society teaching and go to Church. We always had clean clothes.

I remember about a month before her last baby was born, she went to sit on a chest and the lid fell in and a blood vessel burst. She was in bed until after the baby was born. It was the first time she had ever had a doctor. She was the mother of thirteen children. Her life was spared to us through the power of the Lord. She was a tiny little thing with brown eyes and black hair.

Her last years were spent in visiting her children. After Father passed away, she sold her home to our half-brother, Edward. I never heard her complain of being ill and the only way we knew she was sick, she would go and take a dose of salts.

She was living alone in St. David when she fell and broke some ribs. My sister, Nelly, took her to Bisbee, Arizona and took care of her. She passed away on 28 November 1941 at the age of 84.

Her life was one of service to others, never thinking of herself. She was mother to thirteen children, seven girls and six boys. She also raised a son of the first wife, and three grandchildren.