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James Christian Christensen

By Gladys C. Nelson
Stirling - Its Story and People" pages 24 - 25

My father, James Christian Christensen, was born February 8, 1867 in Dyrehen, Hjarring, Denmark. He came with his parents from Denmark to Richfield, Utah, in 1877. On November 5, 1890, he married Mary Rozina Hirsche and they continued to live there until they left for Canada, arriving May 5, 1899. They had four children at this time; Alfred, Emran, Dora and Eugene. They came to Canda because of irrigation and better working conditions. the LDS Church also was encouraging the settlers to come and help settle the area. They travelled by train from Elsinore, Utah, and settled in Stirling, Alberta. They lived in a tent for a time until a house could be built. They had two rooms at first, then added more as they could. Money was very scarce at that time. While living in Stirling four more children were born, Leona, Lloyd, Irvin and Gladys. Mother suffered a stroke at this time from which she never recovered completely. Dad was a very thoughttul husband and father during those difficult years. My dad was a blacksmith and wheelmaker by trade. He was known as Jim Wheelmaker; his father was also a wheehllaker and was known as Peter Wheelmaker. This was a very exacting trade. My dad was handy at most things. I have been told that Earl and Leo Nelson, when they were small boys, liked nothing better than to hurry after school and stand in the door to watch dad make wheels. We moved from Stirling to Taber in 1911. Dad set up a freighting business with his sons Alfred and Emran and was engaged in this until 1914. At that time, we moved to the Wrentham area where Dad had purchased the Spengler place situated on S.E. 1/4 16-7-16 W4. He farmed, and also owned a threshing machine and did custom work for people in the district and surrounding area.

My mother was a real homebody. I don't think she ever went any place that she didn't say just before they left. 'Now we are not going to stay very long.' She loved her home. My folks continued to live in the coulee lowland and fixed the house up to be very cozy. My dad passed away very suddenly December 17,1933 at home. Mother still lived there tor a time George and Fern Christensen lived with her for a time. then she moved to live with Eugene on his farm. Later Eugene built a house in Taber and she continued to live with him. Mother was in bed four months before she died, then on June 27, 1950 she passed away in the Taber hospital.

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Mary Tollestrup