Life History of Amasa Davidson, author unknown
Amasa Davidson was born in Pleasant Grove, Utah Co., Utah March 29 1863 His parents were Hans Christian Davidson and Annie Marie Jensen. His father was born at Hørup, Alsen Island, Schleswig, Holstein, Denmark (Also known as Aabenraa-Sønderborg district, Danmark) and his mother was born at Mommark, Lysabild Church District, Denmark. They came across the plains to Utah September 20, 1858. They had two small children at that time. Amasa was the fifth of nine children having four brothers and four sisters. Their names were: Mary, Hans Thomas, Isabell, Lorenzo, Ephraim, Sarah, Lucinda and Joseph.
When Amasa was a very small boy, about two or three years old, he would take his bowl of bread and milk outside to eat it. His mother wondered about this and sent an older sister to find where he had gone. She saw him sitting on a low rock feeding a snake with his spoon. If he didn’t give the snake the food soon enough, the snake would stick its tongue in the bowl of milk. Amasa would hit the snake on the head with his spoon and then continue taking a spoonful of bread and milk and then giving one to the snake. After learning of this incident, Amasa’s mother made sure that her little boy ate his bread and milk in the house.
Amasa had a twin brother and sister who were born on the 4th of July in 1866 when Amasa was three years old. Sometime between the birth of Amasa and his twin brother and sister the family moved to Mt. Pleasant, Utah where Amasa’s father, Hans Christian Davidson, was the first dentist and also the first newspaper editor. He studied astronomy, also, and made a perpetual calendar.
When Amasa was a young boy, he herded cows for the towns people; as many of the other young boys did. Many times the Indians would drive the cows a number of miles away and the little boys would follow to get their cows and it would be late at night before they would finally get back home. Sometimes the Indians would only take the little boy’s lunch and scare them.
One day, while Amasa was herding cows, he painted his legs with the juice from some wild berries. He wasn’t allowed to lie on the ground while he was herding cows because of snakes and such things so he used to lie on the fence poles. And so lying on the fence in the hot sun the poison from the berries was driven into his legs and he was poisoned. He became violently ill and nothing that was done for him seemed to help. Finally the doctor pronounced him dead and wanted to have his body taken away. His mother didn’t want to give him up and she asked to keep him a little longer. She tried different ways to see if there was still life in his body and at last she held a mirror to his lips. A tiny bit of steam came on the mirror so his mother breathed into his mouth and worked with him until his breathing was restored. Surely a mother’s faith and prayers were answered when Amasa began to improve. It took a long time for him to fully recover however and he walked on crutches for seven years. As soon as he was able to use his crutches fairly good he went back to his job of herding cows but of course he couldn’t run and play like the other little boys.
He wasn’t able to go to school very much when he was a boy but he had a strong desire to learn and he used to study by himself. He felt bad because he didn’t know his multiplication tables and had a rather unique way of learning them. When he would be talking to another boy, he would say, "I’ll bet you don’t know 5x5, etc." The boy would tell him the answer and in that way he learned them.
When Amasa got a little older, but while he was still using his crutches, he began herding sheep. The sheep camps were often located a great distance from his home and he would be away herding sheep for almost a year at a time. He used to study his arithmetic and spelling while he was at the sheep camp. He wanted to get a herd of his own so he used to get a few sheep at a time until he finally had enough for his own sheep herd.
When he was a young man he became engaged to Celestia Hansen but she died a short while before they were to be married, and he grieved her passing very much. A few years later on June 12, 1889, he married her sister, Annie Elizabeth Hansen at the Manti Temple. They made their home at Fairview, Utah where ten children were born to them. Their names were Amasa Alonzo, Hans Arthur, Peter Edward, Emery Labanon, Beatrice Marie, Marion N., Vennes Kercil, Vay Anna, Amber C., and Kermit.
During the first few years of his married life Amasa Davidson was away from home a lot with the sheep but he finally sold most of them and bought some farming ground near Fairview. He had two pieces of property called the north field and the south field and he also rented a farm on shares. There was a pond at the south field and it was so well stocked with fish that often the relatives would come for a fish fry. He bought a binder and cut grain for different farmers; he hauled coal; and also had some bees and extracted honey.
In the spring of 1910, when his youngest son was one year old. Amasa Davidson and his family moved to Fort Bridger, Wyoming where they bought a 320 acre farm. Amasa felt that he needed more land with such a large family so he went to Milburne, Wyoming to the home of his brother Hans and made arrangements to buy the farm. Later he took his two oldest sons to Wyoming with him to start the spring farm work. On May 3, 1910, the rest of the family left Fairview to go to their new home. They went on the train as far as Carter, Wyoming; where they were met by the eldest son Amasa who took them the remaining 12 miles in a buggy. The cattle, horses, farm equipment and household belongings also had to be taken the twelve miles from the railroad station at Carter to the new farm; and it was quite a job for Amasa Davidson and his sons to get everything transferred.
There was a great deal of work to be done on the new farm; especially since the greater part of the ground had never been tilled before and was still covered with sage brush. Each year Amasa Davidson would clear more ground and of course his children all had to help. They would grub out the sage brush and put it in large piles during the day, and then have big bon fires at night; carrying torches from one row to another. The children considered these bon fires as a reward for working so hard to get the brush piled up.
The ground was extremely rocky and each spring there were rocks to be picked up. They were put in big piles and then put in the wagon and hauled away. The job of picking up rocks went on for years and years and for a long time it was entirely the job of the three girls of the family.
Amasa Davidson raised cattle and usually had a large herd of dairy cows. At first, milking was almost a family affair; with Amasa, his wife, and the older children all helping with the milking. Later, the milking was mainly the job of the three girls. Sometimes there were as many as thirty cows to be milked night and morning.
There were many experiences on the farm and one concerned a neighbor who lived on an adjoining farm who came and accused Amasa Davidson of leaving his gate open and letting his cattle out. The neighbor was a quick tempered man and he had been drinking. He came with a gun and two or three other men and he threatened to kill Amasa Davidson. His companions kept urging him to shoot and they wouldn’t believe that the gate had not been opened by their intended victim but had been closed whenever he saw that it had been left open by someone else. The family was terrified and Annie Davidson prayed silently but earnestly that the men would leave without harming her husband. Eventually they did go and a few days later the neighbor returned and said he was sorry for his actions. "It was the drink, Mr. Davidson," he said, "and you will never have any more trouble from me."
Another experience was in 1917 when two Federal men came to arrest Amasa Davidson and his son Edward on a false charge. They were accused of threatening the life of President Wilson. They were taken for questioning and then released on bond but had to appear in court at a later date, to answer the charges against them. When they went to court, the man who had made the false charges against them failed to appear; so they were released. Annie Davidson had prayed earnestly for the safety of her husband and son and once again her prayers were answered.
One of the exciting experiences was when Amasa Davidson bought a car. It was the first car the family had ever owned; the horse and buggy had always been their mode of transportation before this time. He bought a new Dodge in 1917 for $1000.00 and was able to pay cash for it.
Amasa Davidson was of slight build, about 5’8" in height and usually weighed about 150 pounds. His health was generally good but shortly after he moved to Wyoming he had Mountain Fever and was very ill for a long time. He finally recovered from the fever but it left its effect upon him and his general health was greatly impaired.
In February 1929 he and his wife left the farm in Wyoming and bought a home in Mt. Pleasant, Utah. He lived here until his death January 5, 1930 which was less than a year. He was buried at Mt. Pleasant in the same cemetery where his parents had been buried many years before.
Amasa Davidson was baptized August 3, 1873 when he was ten years old, by J. Christisen. He was ordained an elder June 2, 1889 by Christian Cruser.
He had worked hard during his life and provided well for his family.. He always thought of his wife and children before he thought of himself. He had sent two of his ten children on missions; Hans Arthur to France on a mission in 1913 and Kermit to the Northern States in 1931.