(Note: This autobiography of John Felt is dated 22 Jun 1909 – scribed by an unkown person)
LIFE OF AN ORPHAN CHILD
STORY OF JOHN FELT, OF HUNTSVILLE, WEBER COUNTY, UTAH
“I, John Felt, was born June 22, 1819 in the city of Hjo, Sweden. When ten months old, I was taken from my mother by an old couple who had no children. No parents were any more loving than they. The man died when I was ten years of age.
From the age of 12 to that of 20 my pathway was not strewn with flowers. No relatives known by me save my remembrance but three times. I had one half sister, older than myself, and only remember seeing her twice; also, a half brother whom I never saw until old enough to hunt him up. The latter died of consumption when I was but 12 years of age.
In 1831, as nearly as I can remember, my mother and sister moved to Jonkoping. The Cholera broke out in that place, and hundreds of people died from the dreaded disease, and it is believed that they were among the victims, so I never heard from them afterwards..
In 1840, I enlisted in the Army and thought I was in Paradise----nothing to worry about, also food, raiment and clothed in a glittering uniform, I felt equal to the highest. In the three years of enlistment, I perfected my trade as a shoemaker.
At the end of three years, my time being up, I left the Army. Getting acquainted with a young lady by the name of Bretty Eliza Johnson, she became my wife, she being as well off as myself, having only the clothes we wore on our bodies. Now there was something to think about besides pleasure. She was my equal, we worked together, and the Lord blessed us with the comforts of life. We had six children; of whom only three are living. I worked in the country three years at my trade, but could not make much headway. I again enlisted in the Army to better my condition. I received better pay for my labor and I soon got a very good position. I was soon ordered as a body guard with a big arsenal named Lends. I had plenty of work and good pay. I then purchased two houses in a sea-port village named Rodersind. One I occupied myself, the other I rented out.
In 1854 I was out of debt and built great castles in the air, but one day a stranger visited my home. I inquired his business and he began preaching the gospel to me, telling me he was an Elder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I had never heard of this religion, or that such a people as the Latter Day Saints existed. The things I heard worried me a great deal, and many times I wished I had never heard it. But as time wore on, myself and wife, wife’s sister and a young man all joined the church.
In 1855 my time expired in the Army. I then sold out my belongings and started for America. I had money enough for the immigration of myself and wife (and children) and her sister and my father-in-law. We left Copenhagen the latter part of November and arrived in Kiel, Germany, the first of December. Before landing, my son William was born on the sailing vessel, ‘Leon’.
Before arriving at New York, my father in law died and was buried in the ocean. After we had been on the ocean about ten weeks we landed safely in News York, about the middle of February, 1856. I had means enough to take us to Burlington, Iowa. Arriving there, I was entirely out of money.
With economy, after fifteen months stay, I had money enough to buy me an outfit to take us on a 1300 mile journey. We arrived in Salt Lake City about the middle of September, 1857. In the spring of 1858 all the people living north of Salt Lake City, as well as those living in Salt Lake, were called to move south as the United States Army was coming. Peace was again restored, and all were allowed to return to their homes.
About a week after returning to our home, in the month of September, my wife died and left me alone with five children. That was one of the hardest blows in life.
I am now 90 years of age and the father of 22 children, 12 of whom are living, seven sons and five daughters—five sons and five daughters dead; also 67 grand children and 14 great grandchildren living.”
Dated June 22, 1909
John Felt’s parents: Johan Trogen and Sara Asberg (Essgren)
Also added after this is the following:
After coming to Grantsville, Utah, I married Kiza Eliza Stromberg. She was born May 2, 1835 Skhafalla (Kyrkefalla). To them were born in Grantsville, Maryett Felt, June 17, 1864, John Felt, May 29, 1867, Joseph Felt, Jan. 20,1869 and Anna Elizabeth, Apr 25, 1871. Julia Felt and Clara Felt were born in Huntsville, Utah.
He established a home in the mouth of North Willow Creek Canyon (now known as the House Ranch). Here he had an orchard and took up sheep raising. He had other homes in the town of Grantsville, Utah.
(He moved to Huntsville—there were other wives)
Born Nov 21, 1844 at Carlsberg, Sweden
Came to Salt Lake City, Utah in Sept. 1857 after arriving in New York in 1855 and spending two years in Burlington, Iowa
Married Rachel Matilda Ferguson December 12, 1871 in Grantsville, Utah
George D. Felt
Nina E. Felt Herron
Charles Edward Felt
Matilda May Felt Roison Trimble
Stanley Felt (deceased)
Blanch Drucilla Felt West (deceased)
Died: December 23, 1939, Lehi, Utah, at the home of daughter, Nina Herron
Buried at Salt Lake City, Cemetery
In 1864 he drove ox-team to Jewelsburg, Missouri (railroad terminal) for immigrants, and again in 1868 he went to Jewelsburg for immigrants. Neither trip did they have any encounters with Indians, but found some stations still smouldering from the attacks. Except for one year of schooling and a short correspondence course, he was a self-educated man and became a successful rancher, stockman, store operator, Post Master of Ibapah, Utah and real estate owner thoughout Utah.
Rachel Matilda Ferguson
Born April 2, 1846 at Wellington, Ontario, Canada
Came to Ibapah, Utah (Deep Creek) in the late 1860s
Died November 5, 1914 at her home in Salt Lake City, Utah
Buried in Salt Lake City Cemetery
She came to Utah to help her sister in law Elizabeth (Lizzie), care for the Overland Stage passengers at the Ibapah Telegraph Station which her brother, James Ferguson, ran having been sent from Camp Floyd to relieve Major Egan
( Note: these biographical notes on Charles and Rachel are signed below them by Rao Bateman of Ibapah)