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William Christensen
Nellie Christensen

Stirling - Its story and People
pages 27 - 28
by Barbara Christensen Mondor

William Christensen was born January 18, 1881 in the county of Wensusil, Denmark. He had one brother, James. Their father and mother separated when she joined the Mormon Church and she and her two boys came to America and lived in Elsinore, Utah. The church in Salt Lake City called people to go to Alberta, N.W.T., Canada, to settle. At 18 years of age, William and others of the first group left Utah by train with machinery, horses, cows and all belongings, to open up the prairies. At Great Falls they had to transfer everything to the narrow gauge railroad cars and they arrived at Stirling May 5, 1899. As the horses were unloaded, they acted crazy with their freedom. They would run and grab a bite of grass and run again. There was no Raymond, but Magrath was being established. They soon broke ground near the coulee and planted potatoes and dug a well.

A second group of Saints came. James Christensen was probably one of those. The two brothers were re-united with much joy and they began working together on the canal at Pot Hole, near Magrath. With their pay and land scrip they soon started their own farming projects.

A few years later, Bishop F. D. Grant called William to serve a mission in the Northwestern States. It was felt it was a real honor to go. His brother James stayed home and farmed and helped out, although some money had already been saved up. It was in Washington, while on his mission, that he met Nellie Barrow. He thought she was the prettiest person he had ever seen and after serving two years and being released they began to correspond. In 1907 he went to see her and decided she was the one for him. On October 3, 1909 they were married. They continued their pattern of life on the farm. Sometimes they would have complete crop failure but always the spirit of hope and faith prevailed and they would try again. To them were born four children.

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Mary Tollestrup