From the time I was a young child I have heard the stories of the Forsgren siblings: of John Erik's missionary journey back to Sweden, of how he found his very ill brother Peter Adolph whom he blessed and healed, of how his sister Christina Erika had had a vision that a man would come bearing books that she was to look at and pay attention to...and, of course, the very common reference to Peter Adolph being the first baptized convert to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in all of Scandinavia. The stories have been repeated in Church media for years, particularly on the anniversaries of various Scandinavian events.

John Erik Forsgren was a great force for good and growth for the early burgeoning church membership. It is stated by those who knew him then that he embraced the doctrine with great zeal and preached firm and fiery sermons. He led a group of Saints across the ocean and into the Salt Lake Valley, encouraging them and admonishing them all the way. He served in the Mormon Battalion.

It is also true that later in his life, for reasons we don't totally understand, he became disenchanted with the Church - or more accurately, with some of its leaders. He began to be very vocal in his statements against Brigham Young whom he felt had cheated him out of a land inheritance due him from his service in the Battalion. At this point people said of him that he became cantankerous and a religious fanatic. He set up a tent on the East Bench of Salt Lake City and began preaching his own form of religion. At first he had followers, but over time lost the attention of local residents and was ignored. Tragic events occurred in his life which are referred to in other blog posts. He died in great poverty after living for a time in Idaho, then wandering homeless in Utah - a nonmember of the Church he had earlier embraced with such zeal.

This part of the story is, of course, very distressing to his descendants who for many years did not want to talk about the last years of his life. But I feel that accurate history is honest history. Not addressing an unpleasant event does not change the event. What was, was. What OUR responsibility is is to not judge. We did not walk in his shoes or live inside his head. It is our job to look at the entirety of the life of this unique man, admire him for the incredible contributions he made and not be overly critical of things we don't know much about. John E. kept a huge journal of his life. The greatest tragedy for us is that that 720 page manuscript has disappeared and we can't know all that he related in it.

This blog was created for the purpose of setting forth all the information about John Erik Forsgren that I have been able to glean from as many sources as I could. It is very much a work in progress. It is my hope that his numerous and wonderful descendants might contribute, correct, question and help verify any data I have included here...and, that ultimately this be a means of reaching out to others who want to know more of this man. I have come to reverence and respect him as I have worked on details of his life and the individuals connected to him by blood and marriage. As keeper of the Forsgren Family Association Archives it is my great pleasure to offer up what information we have. Believe me, there is nothing that better "turns our hearts to our fathers" than researching details and events of their lives. Enjoy!

Adele Manwaring Austin, July 2010


Monday, June 21, 2010

DESCENDANTS OF JEF - John Heber Forsgren

 JOHN HEBER FORSGREN - Third child of John Erik and Sarah Bell Davis Forsgren
(born 7 Oct 1856, Carson City, Nevada;  died 4 Aug 1946, Salt Lake City, Utah)

 John Heber Forsgren and 2nd wife Cynthia Marie Thorne
  Married and sealed 16 Dec 1885 in the Logan, Utah Temple;  (His first wife, Ann Jane Evans had passed away shortly after the birth of their daughter Sarah Cleofa Forsgren just two days short of their 1st wedding anniversary 12 Aug. 1881.)   Marie died in 1900 after 15 years of marriage, leaving 6 children. 
I have no photo of his first wife, Ann Jane Evans.

 Lydia Walker Forsgren - Third wife of John Heber.  
They were married in 1903 and got to be together for 43 years when JH passed away.  Five children born to this marriage.  Lydia died in 1961.
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH OF JOHN HEBER FORSGREN: Written by Maurine Guymon and delivered at the Forsgren Family Assn. Reunion 29 July 2006
     Sometime in the middle 1850's John Eric Forsgren and his wife Sara Belle Davis were sent by Brigham Young to Carson City, Nevada on a colonizing expedition.  At that time it was an unsettled area but considered part of Utah.  They traveled with two children:  Charles William and Sarah Alice.  After settling in this barren land John Heber was born on Oct. 7, 1856.  He is said to be the first white child born in [what is now] Nevada.  [I wish to interject at this point the following comments that are included in the blog post about Sarah Bell: "Shortly after their return from Carson, Sarah and John have separated. Niece Alice Mariah Forsgren makes a confusing statement in her written memories about John Heber's birth. . . . she states: 'Uncle John was born a few years later and Roy [Alice's brother Samuel Leroy] said they called him Johnny Crocker. She married John Crocker later.' This is a confusing statement on two accounts. She is not remembering the surname correctly. It would have been Clapper.... and is she suggesting that other people felt that John Heber was really the son of Joseph Clapper whom Sarah later married on 11 October 1859?  Or were people just speculating and being unkind if she was seen to be keeping company with Mr. Clapper??  I am inclined to believe that John Heber IS John Erik's actual son for two reasons. He is named John, probably after his father, and Heber, probably after Heber C. Kimball who was very important in John E's life. (It is possible, of course, that John Erik only thought he was the actual father of John Heber and would have named him accordingly). Another consideration is that a close examination of the photos of John Heber appear to show a genetic trait present in many of the Forsgren siblings and their descendants - a slight eye abnormality which I have seen in photos of Peter Adolph, Pehr Johan, Milda, Elias Peter and others.] Shortly after Brigham Young recalled them to Utah because Johnston's Army was approaching.  Soon after their return to Salt Lake, Sarah left John Eric and moved to Brigham City with the three children.  When John Heber was only seven years of age his mother  passed away.  He and his siblings were reared by his maternal grandmother, Sarah M. Davis whom they revered as a  "sainted mother."
     About the age of twelve John was hired by the co-op cabinet shop and learned the trade of cabinet making.  He worked for a number of years here until the shop went out of business.  The lumber mills operated by the Brigham City Cooperative Institution gave him employment and here he perfected his trade as a carpenter.
     On Aug 12, 1880, John married Ann Jane Evans.  Only one year after this union Jane Evans died, leaving an infant daughter, Sarah Cleofa, known as Cleo.  In June 1908 Cleo Forsgren married Victor Emmanuel Madsen.  After giving birth to three sons (one dying in infancy) Cleo lost her husband and had the difficulty of rearing two young boys.  These two sons grew up, married and presented John Heber with many grandchildren and great grandchildren.
     In Dec. of 1885 John Heber married Cynthia Marie Thorn.  Their first child, a son, died at age two.  Only three months after his death Cynthia gave birth to a daughter, Annie.  When she was only two years of age her father departed for Sweden on a mission.  Annie lived only four years, her death taking place three months before her father arrived home from his mission.  After these many sad events Cynthia Marie and John had four children, 2 girls and 2 boys that all grew to be adults.  Another calamity befell John when Marie died in Nov. 1900, leaving him with four small children:  Ethleen 7, Eugene Richard 5, Virginia 3 and Charles Victor, 1.  These four children grew up and married.  Eugene had only one child before he perished in a hotel fire.  His son, Eugene Richard Jr. was killed in North Korea in Nov. 1950.  This death would have been a double tragedy for John Heber because this was the only child with the ability to carry on the Forsgren name.  However, the other three children have had large families and now his descendants number in the hundreds.
    Three years after the death of Cynthia Marie, John married Lydia Ann Walker.  She reared the four children mentioned above as well as five of her own.  None of the children from this marriage married so all of his posterity can be traced to his first two wives.
    The Forsgren family, now consisting of Lydia and their four adult children, moved to Salt Lake when John Heber retired.  He was a great gardener and his beautiful roses, along with other landscaping, were the talk of the neighborhood on 15th East and 18th South.  He lived a quiet life there with his family and the many children and grandchildren visiting  him.  He had a Bible written in Swedish and kept up his knowledge of the language by reading it.  He enjoyed his many visits to Brigham City and especially the cemetery on Memorial Day where he had laid to rest so many of his family.  He was buried there after his death, 4 Aug, 1946, in Salt Lake City.

NEWS ARTICLE: A DESTRUCTIVE FIRE:   Box Elder News Apr. 16, 1908  [
     John H. Forsgren, our former townsman, now residing at Elwood, had the misfortune last Saturday to lose his home and furnishings by fire. Mr. Forsgren and his little boys were working in the field near the house, sowing lucerne seed and as evening drew nigh one of the little fellows was sent to build a fire in the stove preparatory to the evening meal, as they were "batching it" Mrs. Forsgren and the little girls being up in Idaho [this would be a reference to Lyda Walker Forsgren, his third wife]. The lad made a good fire and returned to his father, who had a premonition that all was not right, but continued with his work and soon smoke began pouring out of the windows and the building, which was frame, burned like tinder. The heat from the stove must have ignited the wood box which stood close by. Only a few articles from the celler were saved.
     Mr. Forsgren considers his greatest loss that of his splendid library and valuable papers which money cannot replace.
     We sincerely sympathize with Mr. Forsgren in his misfortune. His experience has been that troubles do not come singly, and he has certainly had his share of them. As there was no insurance on the property, his loss in this case is a total one.  

BURIAL: Brigham City Cem. B-18-7-3
DEATH:  Certificate No. 1296, Registrar No 1413 (available through Utah Death Certificates 1904-1956 online)
John Heber Forsgren
died at age 89 yrs, 9 mo. 27 days, August 4th, 1946, Salt Lake City, S.L. County at his residence 1897 South 15th East of Coronary oclusion/ arteriosclerosis
Lenth of residence in community:  21 years
Not a veteran, no social security number
Male, white,married to Lydia Walker, age 73
Born October 7 1856, Carson City, Nevada
Usual occupation:  Retired, Lumber man in retail lumber
Father: John Eric Forsgren,  born Sweden
Mother, Sarah Bell Davis, birthplace unknown
Informant signature: [hard to read, could be C O Forsgren?)
Removal to Brigham City Cemetery 6-7-46;  Taylor memorial Mortuary

OBITUARY:  Salt Lake Tribune, Monday, August 5, 1947 (with photo); and funeral notice 8/6/1946 p. 10
     John Heber Forsgren 89, 1897 15th East, prominent early Utah businessman and active LDS church worker, died Sunday at 7:30 p.m. at his residence of causes incident to old age.
     He had been a resident of Salt Lake City for the past 21 years and previous to that time resided in Brigham City, where he was active in business, church and civic leadership.
      For many years he operated a lumber and hardware business in Brigham City.  He is credited with being instrumental in the establishment of the first public library in Brigham City.  During his lengthy and active career in the LDS church, he was superintendent of Brigham City Third LDS ward Sunday school; stake superintenedent of Religion classes, Bear River stake; member of the stake Mutual board, Box Elder Stake, and was former city councilman.
     He was born Oct. 7, 1856, in Carson City, Nev., a son of John Eric and Sarah Belle Davis Forsgren.  He moved with his family to Brigham City when he was one year old.  He married Lydia Walker.
     Surviving besides his widow are three sons and five daughters.  Donald E. and Waldo W. Forsgren, Bellingham, Wash.; C.V. Forsgren, Mrs. Cleo F. Madsen and Mrs. Virginia F. Larsen Brigham City; and Afton and Barbara Forsgren and Mrs. Ethleen F. Burnham, Salt Lake City; 13 grandchildren and two great- granchildren."
      Funeral Services for John Heber Forsgren 89, 1897 15th E. will be conducted Wed. at 12:15 p.m. in Edgehill LDS Ward Chapel, 15th E. & Blaine Ave.
      Friends may call at the family home Tuesday from 4-8 p.m. & Wed. from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.  Burial will be in Brigham City Cemetery.

An obituary and funeral notice was also published in the Deseret News Aug 5, 1946 p. 14 and Aug.6, 1946 p. 14.

WIFE #1 - Ann Jane Evans, born 6 Dec. 1859 in Genoa, Monroe Co., Nebraska.  Died 10 Aug 1881 in Brigham City.  Buried in the Brigham City Cemetery.   [Though the state is listed as Missouri in the Ancestral File, Elias Peter's FGS for her lists Geneva, Monroe Co, Nebraska; Brigham City Sexton's recs say Genoa, Nebraska; Nebraska is the birthplace of mother listed on Cleofa's entry in the 1900 Census ]
Her parents are John Evans (born Jan 1829, Utah) and Elizabeth Davies (born Feb 1825, Utah)
BURIAL: Brigham City Cem B-15-11-2   [I do not yet have a photos of either Ann Jane or of her headstone 8-2011]

John Heber and Ann Jane had only one child, Sarah Cleofa Forsgren (known as Cleo).  Cleo was born 11 May 1881 in Brigham City.  She died 25 Mar 1960 in Brigham City and was buried on 29 Mar, 1960 in the Brigham City Cemetery.  On 24 Jun 1908 Cleo married Victor Emmanuel Madsen in the S.L. LDS Temple.   I have no photo of  Cleo.

Victor Emmanuel was born 17 Mar 1879 in Brigham City, the son of Peter Fabricius Madsen and Emilia Cecilia Magdalena Dahlgren.

PIONEERS & PROMINENT MEN OF UTAH: (Photo, shown above, is on page 497)

     Married Beatrice Winnifrid Midgley April 23, 1902 Salt Lake City (daughter of Benjamin Midgley and Sarah J, Midgley, former pioneer May 1855, Milo Andrus company, latter of Nov. 2, 1864, Warren Snow company). She was born Aug. 28, 1877, at Nephi, Utah, died Oct. 6, 1902. Family home Brigham City, Utah. Married Sarah Cleofa Forsgren June 24, 1908, at Salt Lake City (daughter of John H. Forsgren and Annie Jane Evans of Brigham City, Utah). She was born May 11, 1881. Their children: Victor Earl Madsen b. April 14, 1909; Irwin Denton b. Dec. 16, 1910, died Dec. 18, 1910. Family home Brigham City, Utah. Missionary to Scandinavia 1905-07; high priest; chorister in 3d ward since 1900; leader of tabernacle choir. Manager of Box Elder creamery 1900-05. Editor Box Elder News, Member 32d ward bishopric.

SKETCH: Utah Since Statehood Vol. II
     Victor E. Madsen, managing editor of the Box Elder News of Brigham, was born March 17, 1879, in the city which is still his home, a son of Peter F. and Emelia M. C. (Dahlgren) Madsen. The father was born in Sjaeland, Denmark, August 10, 1843, a son of Neis and Martha M. (Hansen) Madsen. He came to Utah in August, 1860, with an independent company. On the 10th of November, 1873, at Salt Lake City, he married Emelia M. C. Dahlgren, a daughter of Jacob Jorgen Ulrik and Anne Sophia (Basse) Dahigren. She was born June 16, 1848, in Skjelskor, Denmark. Peter F. Madsen became the first telegraph operator in Brigham and filled the position for eight years. He was also justice of the peace, county clerk and recorder and likewise filled the offices of county commissioner and probate judge. He was the first man to subscribe to the Edmunds-Tucker oath in Utah and voted in 1887. Actively interested in the work of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he was a missionary to Europe for three years and also served as bishop's counselor and high councilor and for some time acted as bookkeeper in the tithing office. At the time of his death, which occurred July 16, 1913, he was a high councilman in the church. To Mr. and Mrs. Peter F. Madsen were born the following named: Waldemar P. F., born August 19, 1874, married Adah Nichols in November, 1901. One child, born January 9, 1876, died unnamed. Emelia Maria, born August 21, 1877, became the wife of Frank Welling in June, 1911. Victor Emmanuel is the next in order of birth. Roland Adolph, born October 2, 1880, married Abbie Reese on the 24th of January, 1906. Lillie May, born March 19, 1882, is the next of the family. Leo Dahlgren, born February 1, 1884, was married June 19, 1912, to Albertie West. Another child, born July 23, 1887, died in infancy. Sterling Dahlgren, born April 4, 1890, wedded Lois Peters, a resident of Brigham. Constance, born June 12, 1892, is the wife of Perry D. Peters also of Brigham.

     Victor Emmanuel Madsen was educated in the public schools of Brigham and for a year was a student in the Agricultural College at Logan. When fifteen years of age he started out to earn his own livelihood and was first employed in the Cache valley, where he engaged in the creamery business until 1905. During the period from 1900 until 1905 he worked his way steadily upward until he was made manager of the Blackman & Griffin creamery. In the latter year he was called on a mission to Denmark, where he served for thirty-three months and during the latter nineteen was secretary of the Scandinavian mission and had charge of the choir during the entire time. In his labors there he was very successful.
     Mr. Madsen has been married twice. In Salt Lake Temple, April 23, 1902, he wedded Miss Beatrice Winifred Midgley, a native of Nephi, Utah, and a daughter of Benjamin and Sarah J. (Jackson) Midgley, representatives of an old and prominent family of Nephi. Mrs. Madsen passed away October 6, 1902, at the age of twenty-five years. On the 24th of June, 1908, Mr. Madsen wedded Sarah Cleofa Forsgren, a daughter of John H. and Annie Jane (Evans) Forsgren, of Brigham, Utah. She was born May 11, 1881, and they have become parents of three children: Victor Earl, born April 14, 1909; Irwin Denton, who was born December 16, 1910, and died December 18, 1910; and Harold Lee, born July 26, 1913.
     Mr. Madsen has membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the third ward of Brigham and is first counselor in the stake presidency. He went on a mission to Scandinavia covering the years from 1905 to 1907 and for many years prior to going on the mission had charge of the music of the ward and also of the tabernacle choir of Brigham. He served in the third ward bishopric for two years and came into the stake presidency on the 18th of March, 1917. He has also been active in Sunday school work as a member of the board and is an ex-superintendent of the Young Men's Mutual Improvement Association, while in other organizations directed by the church he has likewise been active. During the period of the war he was a member of the County Council of Defense and a member of the central committee on War Savings Stamps. He owns a pleasant residence at No. 116 North Second West, where he and his family reside. He is a progressive business man, taking the keenest interest in all that has to do with the welfare and progress of city and state, and has made the Box Elder News the exponent of all plans and projects which have for their object the uplift of the individual and the betterment of the community at large.

[The information that Victor had a previous marriage was new to me. Winnifred's  death predates a lot of available on-line records so I do not know what the cause of death was. She is buried in Brigham City Cemetery in plot B-3-12-1. [I do not yet have a photo of that headstone]. There were, of course, no children born to this marriage. ]

CENSUS: 1910 U.S. Census of Brigham City, Box Elder, Ward 3; ED7 Sheet 3-B, Taken 25 & 26 April.
Madsen, Victor E, head, md, age 31, his 2nd marriage 2 yrs., newspaper manager born Utah Madsen, Cleopha, wife, md, age 28, her first marriage 2 yrs., mother of 1 child, 1 child living. Born Utah, father born Nevada, mother born Nebraska,
Madsen, Victor Earl, son, age 1, born Utah

Victor E. Madsen was editor of the Box Elder News and is given part credit for organizing the first "Peach Day."

HONOR: Ogden Standard Examiner, Wed Evening, Sept 20, 1922.

     "Brigham's First Peach Day staged 18 years ago". Many people ask the questions: "How was it started?" "Who originated the idea?" "When was the first one held?
     The honor of holding the city's first festival in great part is due to two men: S. Norman Lee and the late Victor E. Madsen.
      With the idea in mind of advertising the Brigham City country as an ideal fruit growing section and at the same time granting an oppotunity of staging a festival and carnival they staged the first Peach Day 18 years, ago in the fall of 1904. . . .
     . . . These two men worked hard and late at night to make the event a success and they accomplished their end. So successful were the first festivals that it was decided that the day should be made a community even and the celebration was then turned over to the city. For a year or so the fruit growers of the vicinity took charge and later, when the chamber of commerce was formed, was given into the hands of the organization. . . .

MISCELLANEOUS: Ogden Standard Examiner, Oct. 26, 1921
     Judgment was awarded Victor E. Madsen against the Utah-Idaho Central Railroad company in the sum of $15 with interest at 8 per cent from Nov. 19, 1921 for the killing of a milch cow by one of the railroad company's passenger trains at what is known as the Wilson cossing a mile north of this city. This case was heard in the city court during the summer, at which time the court found in favor of the plaintiff and the defense appealed to the district court.

DEATH: Ogden Standard Examiner, June 4, 1922
   Victor E. Madsen Succumbs to Complications Following Operation
Special Dispatch, Brigham, June 3 - Victor E. Madsen, editor and manager of the Box Elder News died at 11:30 o'clock Saturday morning. Mr. Madsen was operated on Tuesday noon for appendicitis and was apparently getting along as well as possible until Friday evening when he took a turn for the worse.
   Mr. Madsen had been the editor and manager of the Box Elder News since 1909. He had also held the position of first counselor to President Norman Lee of the Box Elder stake since 1917. He served a mission for the LDS church to Scandinavia, 1905-1907. He is survived by a widow, two children, 12 and eight years old. Funeral services have not been arranged.         

Ogden Standard Examiner, June 6, 1922
   Brigham, June 6 - Memorial services for President Victor E. madsen, editor of the Box Elder News, who died Saturday, were held Sunday afternoon in the stake tabernacle. President Madsen died following an operation for acute appendicitis.
   The following speakers paid tribute to President Madsen: Jess W. Hoopes, Bishop Brigham Wright, Bishop H.W. Valentine, President Norman Lee of Brigham City and President Charles H. Hart and Apostle George A. Smith of Salt Lake City.   President Madsen was characterized as the "friend of humanity," the "man who loved." The choir rendered special numbers undert he direction of Professor Mann.

FUNERAL NOTICE: Deseret News, Tues June 6 1922, p. 3
Brigham City- June 6-At the quartrly stake conference Sunday only one session was held and that in the afternoon. After the opening exercises and sustaining the officers of the church and stake, the meeting was turned into a memorial meeting in honor the late Prest.Victor E. Madsen. The speakers were Elder Charles H. Hart, Elder George Albert Smith,Bishop Brigham Wright, Bishop H.W. Valentine and Prest. S. Norman Lee.   Beautiful tributes were paid to the character of Mr. Madsen and a special musical program was rendered.
Brigham City, June 6- Announcement is made that funeral services for the late Victor E. Madsen, who died Saturday, will be held in the stake tabernacle Wednesday afternoon commencing at 2 o'clock. All business houses will close between the hours of 1:30 and 4:00 on Wednesday so that all who desire may attend the funeral.

BURIAL: Brigham City Cem B-3-12-2. Sexton's recs list d.o.d. as 5 June 1922

Sarah Cleofa Forsgren & Victor Emanuel Madsen were the parents of three children:
           #1) - Victor Earl Madsen, born 14 April 1909, Brigham City.  Died 30 Jan 1993 Brigham City and buried 3 Feb 1993 in Brigham City Cemetery plot B-3-12-6  Victor Earl (known mostly as Earl) married Elizabeth Romney 7 August 1939 in the Salt Lake Temple.  Elizabeth was born 3 Apr 1907 in Colonia Juarez, Mexico.  She died 9 Feb 1993 in Brigham City and was buried 13 Feb 1993 in the Brigham City Cemetery plot B-3-12-7

 DEATH: Social Security Death Index
   Name: Elizabeth R. Madsen
   Last Residence, Brigham City
   Born 3 April 1907; Died 9 Feb. 1993.
   SSN issued Calif, before 1951

BURIAL: Brigham City Cem B-3-12-7; Sexton's records list her parents as Miles Archibald Romney and Elizabeth Burrell; IGI lists Mile Romney and Elizabeth Burrell.

Victor Earl Forsgren is listed as part of the Family Tree of Kristin Glass 03-06-2011 on submitted by Douglas T. Anderson. No death information is listed

MILITARY: Utah Military Records, 1861-1970
Military Service Cards, ca. 1898-1975
Local Board No. 3
Madsen, Victor Earl (wh), Rank: Sgt. Ser. # 399 158 25 Army
Commissioned 6/5/43 Salt Lake City, Utah
Termination of Service 10/11/45, Ft. Bliss, Texas
Date of Birth 4/14/09, Brigham, Utah
Parents Victor E. Madsen, deceased; Cleo F. Madsen, 116 N. 2nd W., Brigham (also nearest kin)
Marital Status: Married. Wife Elizabeth Romney 22 E. 1st N. Brigham

MILITARY: U.S. World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946
Name: Victor E Madsen
Birth Year: 1909
Race: White, Citizen (White)
Nativity State or Country: Utah
State of Residence: Utah
County or City: Box Elder
Enlistment : 15 Jun 1943 Salt Lake City, Utah
Branch Code: Veterinary Corps or Service - For Officers of the Veterinary Corps and for Enlisted Men of the Veterinary Service Term of Enlistment: Enlistment for the duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law
Component: Selectees (Enlisted Men)
Source: Civil Life
Education: 1 year of college
Civil Occupation: Retail managers
Marital Status: Married
Height: 89 ;  Weight: 104

APPOINTMENTS: Ogden Standard Examiner, April 28, 1946
      Brigham City, April 27 - V. Earl Madsen, returned army veteran and Brigham City businessman, is the new secretary of the Box Elder chamber of commerce, it was learned today from the chamber's board of directors. Mr. Madsen replaces Carroll B. Williams who resigned to enter private business insurance.
Mr. Madsen will take office on May 3. He is a son of the late Victor E. Madssen and Cleo F. Madsen
       Before entering the army, Mr. Madsen was manager of a Brigham City clothing store. His wife is the former Elizabeth Romney, a former faculty member at Box Elder high school.
      Mr. Madsen's father was editdor of the Box Elder News for 14 years and served in the LDS Box Elder stake presidency for a number of years before his death.

DEATH: Social Security Death Index
Name: Victor E. Madsen
Last Residence, Brigham City, Utah
Born: 14 April 1909; Died 30 Jan 1993
SSCard issued Utah before 1951

BURIAL: Brigham City Cem B-3-12-6

Front and back of their headstone

Victor Earl Madsen and Elizabeth Romney had two sons:  #1 Richard Romney Madsen (born 30 Sep 1946, Ogden, Weber Co.  Died 20 July 2002 in Weber County.  Buried in Brigham City Cemetery plot B-26-15-6.  [I have no information if Richard married or not or how many children they might have had.  I also have no photo of him]

   #2) Alan Romney Madsen, born 2 Aug 1951, Oakland, Alameda Co., Calif.  Died 13 April 1987 in Garland, Box Elder County.  He is also buried in Brigham City Cemetery plot B-26-15-6W.  Alan Married Janet Johnson , and they have three children

From (submitted by Sarah Argyle)
Birth: Aug. 2, 1951
Oakland  Alameda County   California, USA
Death: Apr. 13, 1987
Garland, Box Elder County, Utah, USA
"Alan was the son of Victor Earl and Elizabeth Romney Madsen. He was married to Janet Johnson and had three loving children James, Alison and Sarah. He worked for many years for the Union Pacific Railroad. Alan was a kind and loving man. Everyone that met him loved him. He died too young to meet any of his six wonderful grandchildren. He has been dearly missed."

Victor Emmanuel and Sarah Cleofa Forsgren Madsen's
          Child #2) - Irwin Denton Madsen, born 16 Dec 1910 in Brigham City;  Died 2 days later on 18 Dec. 1910 in Brigham.  Buried in Brigham City Cemetery plot B-3-12-8

Victor Emmanuel and Sarah Cleofa Forsgren Madsen's
          Child #3) -- Harold Lee Madsen , born 27 July 1913, Brigham City;  Died 7 April 2004, Salt Lake City.  Body returned to Brigham City Cemetery for burial on 14 Apr 2004.  Harold married LouVell Roberts on 5 Aept 1942 in the Salt Lake Temple.  LouVelle was born 21 Sep 1906 in Monroe, Sevier Co., Utah, the daughter of Walter Roberts and Millie Elizabeth Nebeker.  She died 28 Feb 1979 in Walnut Creek, Contra Costa Co., California and was buried 2 mar 1979 in Hayward, Alameda Co., California.  Harold and LouVell are the parents of two sons:  John David Madsen and Bard R. Madsen

(Harold's Obituary photo)
In 1960 Harold was living in San Lorenzo Calif

CENSUS: 1930 Census of Brigham, Box Elder, taken Apr 4, ED 2-7 Sheet 3-B, North 1st East, Family #69
Madsen, Cleofa G, head, age 48, own home, widow, age 27 when md, born Utah, father born Nevada, mother born Nebraska, stenographer for Farm Bureau
Madsen, V. Earl, age 20, born Utah, minister for Latterday Saints Church
Madsen, Harold L, age 16, born Utah, salesman at Shoe Store

MILITARY: Utah, Military Records, 1861-1970
Name: Harold Lee Madsen
Birth Date: 27 Jul 1913 Brigham City, Utah, age 29
Father: Victor E Madsen   Mother: Sarah Madsen
Military Service Year: 1942

U.S. World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946
Name: Harold L Madsen , white, citizen
Birth Year: 1913 Residence Box Elder Co., Utah
Enlistment Date: 2 Sep 1942 Salt Lake City, Utah
Branch: Branch Immaterial - Warrant Officers, USA
Grade: Private
Term of Enlistment: Enlistment for the duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law
Component: Selectees (Enlisted Men)
Source: Civil Life
Education: 4 years of college
Civil Occupation: Teachers (secondary school) and principals
Marital Status: Single, without dependents
Height: 68 /  Weight: 130

OBITUARY: Contra Costa Times, Apr. 19, 2004 (also published in Box Elder News, 19 Apr 2004, Deseret News Apr. 19, 2004 (with photo) Walnut Creek, CA paper, & S.L. Tribune -all on April 19)
     Harold Lee Madsen passed away Wednesday, April 7, 2004 in Salt Lake City, Utah from causes incident to age. Hal was born July 27, 1913 in Brigham City, Utah to Victor E. Madsen and Cleofa Forsgren Madsen. He was raised in Brigham City in the Third Ward. He graduated from Box Elder High School and was pleased to attend his 73rd class reunion last year. He graduated from the University of Utah and returned to Brigham City to teach art at the High School there. He married LouVell Roberts on September 5, 1942 in the Salt Lake Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They were the parents of two sons, John David Madsen (Peggy) of Brigham City, Utah and Dr. Bard Roberts Madsen (Adele) of Salt Lake City, Utah. Hal served in World War II in the Air Force receiving special training at Yale University. After his honorable discharge, he and LouVell moved to California to pursue his career in apparel design. They lived most of their lives in the San Francisco Bay Area in San Lorenzo and Martinez. After his work in the apparel industry, Hal joined the faculty of Diablo Valley College teaching apparel design and history of design. He left a legacy of creativity and appreciation for his craft among his students via fashion shows, and trips to fashion centers in the U.S. and abroad. Among his avocations were painting landscape watercolors, gourmet cooking, gardening and landscaping, furniture building, stained glass work, attending the symphony and the opera as well as traveling home and abroad. Hal had a special talent in playing the piano which he enjoyed and shared with others most of his life. He his survived by his sons and their wives and grandchildren: Greg Madsen, Brigham City; Nate (Amy) Madsen, Chicago, Illinois; Joanna Siddoway (Lex) Bellevue, Washington; Josh (Jessy) Madsen, Boulder, Colorado; Kasey Later (Steve) Provo, Utah; Scott Madsen, Salt Lake City, Utah; Jane Madsen and Annie Madsen, Provo, Utah. Graveside services are Wednesday, April 14, 2004 at 3:00 P.M. At the Brigham City Cemetery under the direction of Gillies Funeral Chapel, Brigham City,UT.   [I do not yet have a photo of Harold Madsen's headstone]

JOHN HEBER FORSGREN'S WIFE #2 -  Cynthia Marie Thorne, born 4 Sep 1864, Three Mile Creek, Box Elder Co. Died 14 Nov 1900 in Brigham City;  buried 19 Nov  1900 in Brigham City Cemetery. She was known as Marie or Maria in her lifetime.

DEATH: There is no death certificate for her on the Utah Birth and Death Certificates online database
Obituary Deseret Evening News: Friday, Nov 16, 1900 p. 7
    Brigham City, Box Elder Co., Nov. 15- Mrs. Maria T. Forsgren, wife of John H. Forsgren of the Third Ward, died of typhoid fever last night at about 6:15. She was stricken down with the dread disease about two weeks ago and has suffered severely ever since until her death. Mrs. Forsgren is the daughter of Richard Thorn of Three Mile Creek and has been prominent in society in this city for some years. She leaves a husband and four small children to cherish her memory. This is the second time that Mr. Forsgren has been called upon to part with a young wife, his former wife having died suddenly about fifteen years ago leaving one child, a girl."

BURIAL: Brigham City Cemetery B-18-7-4 - listed as Maria Thorne Forsgren with death 16 Nov 1900

WIFE #3 - LYDIA ANN WALKER , born 27 Aug. 1872 in Perry, Box Elder Co.  Died 18 August 1961 in Salt Lake City; buried 22 Aug. 1961 in the Brigham City Cemetery
NEWS ARTICLES: Ogden Standard Examiner, 22 July 1928

      "Mrs. John H. Forsgren of Salt Lake is visiting relatives and friends in Brigham City. Mrs. Forsgren is compiling a history of Box Elder county and is here in the interest of same."

Ogden Standard Examiner, 7 April 1932
     ". . . Mrs. Ella Bingham, chairman of the Box Elder county history committee. She presented Mrs. Lydia W. Forsgren of Salt Lake City, wife of the late John Forsgren, a former hardware merchant of Brigham City, who has written and compiled a book of the history of Box Elder county. The plan of the book, which is now being published, was shown. It will be bound with a bronze leather covering, showing ox teams. Colored plates and pioneer pictures will be featured. This book when released will be of much interest to Box Elder people and the daughters were asked to pledge their support in co-operating with the history committee in the sale of these books. . . ."

Lydia Walker Forsgren was apparently a Democrat. She was a delegate to the state Democratic Convention in Sept of 1908 (Box Elder News)

Below is a sample of Lydia's handwriting.  Along with being the historian for the Box Elder County history she seemed to also have immersed herself in genealogy.  This letter would have been written probably to Olivia
Forsgren Lee who was also very interested in the family genealogy from the Peter Adolph Forsgren side.

OBITUARY:  Salt Lake Tribune Saturday, August 19, 1961 p. 29 (with photo) & funeral notice 8/20/1961 p. B-9
     Mrs. Lydia Walker Forsgren, 89, 1897 15th East, former teacher and active church worker died Friday at 3:30 p.m. at her home of causes incident to age.
     Active in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Mrs. Forsgren taught in Utah schools shortly after 1900. She was also the author of a history of Box Elder County, sponsored by the Daughters of Utah Pioneers, of which she was a member.
     Born Aug. 27, 1872, in Perry, Box Elder County, she was a daughter of Dan Wray and Barbara Ann Walker.  She was married to John Heber Forsgren July 1, 1903, in the Salt Lake LDS Temple.  Mr. Forsgren died Aug. 4, 1946.
     Survivors include sons and daughters, Waler W., Miss Barbara, Miss Afton and Donald W. Forsgren, all of Salt Lake City; step-children, Charles Victor Forsgren, Mrs. Leland Larsen, both of Brigham City, and Mrs. Ethleen F. Burnham, Salt Lake City, and two sisters, Mrs. Jack Davis, Ririe, Idaho, and Mrs. Wallace A. (Maude) Laury, Denver, Colo."

The home on the corner of 15th East & 18th South where John Heber and Lydia Walker Forsgren lived

     Funeral services for Mrs Lydia Walker Forsgren, 89, 1897-15th East, who died Friday at 3:30 p.m. in her home of causes incident to age, are scheduled for Tuesday at 10 a.m., at 260 E. South Temple, where friends may call Monday, 6-8 p.m. and Tuesday prior.
     MRS. FORSGREN was a former teacher and was author of a history of Box Elder County.  Burial will be in Brigham City Cemetery Tuesday at 12:30 p.m.

An obituary was also published in the Deseret News Aug. 19, 1961, p. B-5

BURIAL: Brigham City Cemetery : B-18-7-2


  1. Thank you for posting this.
    I am a student of my beloved teacher, Harold Madsen, from Diablo Valley College, 1978-1980. He was my favorite teacher, and a huge influence in my life.
    Best wishes, Juliette Rose Mortimore-MacLam.

  2. IMG_1700.PNG

    Annie Jane Evans is one of my pioneer ancestors who was married to John H Forsgren.