Friday, May 22, 2009

Elisa (Lise) Thomsen Poulson Stephenson

Elisa Thomsen Poulson Stephenson

Elisa's life sketch was taken from the records of her son, John C. Poulson, Jr. and daughter, Eva Merinda Stephenson Thompson.

My great grandmother Eva Merinda Stephenson Thompson's mother was Elisa Thomsen Poulson Stephenson. She was born 11 June 1842 in Mostrup, Mosberg, Hjorring, Denmark.
Elisa or Lise was the youngest of six children. Her son John C. Poulson, Jr. claimed she became a woman of great dignity and a quiet disposition. She was someone who acknowledged the Lord in all things--being strict in keeping the Lord's commandments.

Lise joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in December of 1863. Her sister Kristine [Stine] followed her in 1865. Elisa was 21 years old at the time of her baptism. She kept her conversion a secret from her parents for three years. They had expected her, being the youngest, to stay with and care for them as they aged. She knew her parents were bitter about the Mormons and would not permit her to attend the meetings held by the Mormon missionaries. But she attended secretly and gained a testimony of the Church's truthfulness.

Elisa met a young, D
anish LDS missionary, John Christian Poulson, who had been laboring with missionaries from Utah. John C. Poulson, recorded in his diary, "May the 9th 1866, I was married to Lise Thomsen 1866 [in Aalborg, Denmark]. President Christensen married us. May 16 we emigrating saints had our things taken aboard the steamer, and we sailed out from Aalborg at 5 o'clock in the morning."

This group of saints were on the ocean six weeks and arrived in New York City the last part of June 1866. They left New York City by train for Florence, Nebraska. The pair traveled with the wagon train company of Abner Lowry departing Nebraska 13 August 1866. They arrived in Salt Lake City 22 October 1866 and were met by Thomas Christian Stephenson [remember this name] who took them to Deseret, Millard, Utah by ox team.

At first, the young couple lived in a dugout where two of their four children were born. Their son John said, "They were in love and very much devoted to each other."

In 1876 John started to build a new home which was only partially completed when he died of black measles on 24 September 1876. A group of men including, Thomas Christian Stephenson helped complete the home for Elisa after John's death.

John also
remembered, "Since our mother had been left with a small family to feed and clothe, it was necessary for her to work very hard. She carded wool and spun the yarn to make our suits and dresses as well as material which she sold. She dried fruit, milked cows, tended her chickens and pigs in order to store food for winter.

Her greatest source of income was a small herd of sheep from which she had wool to weave cloth and meat for our needs.

Elisa needed help and assistance in rearing her children and was anxious that her boys be taught to work. She knew it was necessary that her boys should have the training of a good man, so she married Thomas C. Stephenson on 9 May 1879 in the St. George Temple. From this union, my great grandmother Eva Merinda was born in 1886.

Lise continued to rear her five children, and she served diligently in the Church throughout the remainder of her life.

She died on 8 December 1906 in Holden, Millard, Utah of asthma and dropsy or edema which was probably only a symptom of a disease unknown to them at the time.

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