Annice McArthur Frandsen

Washington Perry McArthur immigrated west from Pennsylvania, crossing the plains in 1849. They were headed for Oregon. After arriving at Fort Hall, Idaho, they decided to visit his father Duncan McArthur in Utah, they ended up being converted. This is what brought them to Mount Pleasant, Utah, and also to the Latter Day Saint way of life. She lived in Mount Pleasant, Utah, They lived in the crudest, very humble of circumstances. Her father was a very kind and gentle man. He was the first person resembling a doctor that Mount Pleasant had ever had, or known. People came from miles around when they were sick. He traveled many miles around when they were sick. He traveled many miles to help those who needed care.

Annice McArthur was born April 1, 1863 to Washington Perry McArthur and Urania Gregg in Sanpete County, Utah. She was the 10th child of 11 children. She was christened Annice McArthur, and red hair was a dominant mark in the McArthur family. “Her mother died when she was four years old... Before she died she had a dream and it was told to her that she was given to Joseph of old. With this, a promise that her lineage would assist in the building of the kingdom of God in the last days.

“After my mother's death I stayed in my father's home until I was 13 years old. I stayed at my various brothers and sisters’ homes and help them in any way I could.”

She taught school as a young girl, was a good Relief Society teacher (She joined the Relief Society when 11 years old), had a talent for taking care of the sick and injured, and was a leader in the community. She learned much from her father who was the town physician and went with him on many calls. She had a lot of wisdom and good judgment. She made a special salve that was really good for healing, made with mutton tallow, beeswax and Rosin.

“I went to District school. My first teacher was Charlotte Hyde, a wife Apostle Hyde. She used to call the children to school by yelling 'To books! To books!...”Whenever any of the children got into fights she would lick them with a pair of stress. Later I attended the Wasatch Presbyterian Academy when it first opened(I was 10 or 11 then) and completed the eighth grade, and then to algebra, Latin, and history as high school subjects. I was recommended to go to Oberlin College in Ohio, but was unable to because of lack of financial support. The next year I went to teach at Milburn. I started to teach school when I was 16 years old, and taught two terms there. I was the first teacher at Milburn.

Before going home to my father I had been drawing the line in my mind between the LDS church and the Presbyterian Church and comparing them and wondering which one I would prefer to join when a prompting came to me which seem to say, 'What authority have they?' I had been leaning toward the Presbyterian Church because they had treated me so nice during my schooling at the Academy. I can say that after receiving this prompting I have thoroughly enjoyed the Gospel. Mr. MacMillan, the man who first establish the Presbyterian Church at Mount Pleasant, said to me while I was in the eighth grade, 'You are one that I will not be able to get in my church.' He later succeeded in getting all the eighth-grade class into his church except me.”


“After my father’s death I became very discouraged. We stayed on the ranch part of the time. We, my half-aunt Laura, and I, had to milk eight cows. It was during this experience that I became very efficient in the art of lassoing cows. I could rope a calf as good as any boy. I didn't have the strength of the boys, but I was many times quicker. I used to hurry with my housework so that I could get outside and practice roping and riding.

My favorite indoor job was taking care of new mamas and their babies. I must have been somewhat talented in this line because every time my brothers had a blessed event I was called upon to take care of the mother, baby, and family. I was 14 years old when I took full responsibility of a family. This included cooking, care of the mother and infant for 10 days. The washings were really something. Every article was scrubbed on a scrub board; and most of the time we had to melt snow for our water, or carry the water for a great distance. Sometimes we packed great barrels of water by horse and the wagon. Even with all of this to do I was still a child. I could work all day and still have enough energy to lay awake at night and think of what it would be like to have a home of my own. I used to wonder if the children that I would have in the future were looking down at me and wishing that I would hurry and get married so that they could come down to earth. Most of the time my thoughts would turn to my mother, and I would try very hard to remember her. Just the feeling that she was near me at times helped the loneliness and confusion I felt during my adolescence. I loved children. I noticed all of the cute little things that they did. Nothing pleased me so much as to see how intelligent a child could be with the right kind of coaching. I had a natural patience and desire to teach children.

Later, I had to shift for myself and was unable to get any support or any kind of help from any of the members of my immediate family. I thought I would leave home and go to George Q. Cannon’s home in Salt Lake City and then on out to Aunt Polly’s at Portland, Oregon.”

“We believed that we should never hold hands unless engaged, and to kiss before we were married was never heard of… you married after much striving with our Heavenly Father, and holding hands, kissing, and marriages were sacred.”

“I met Erastus Frandsen. His size to me meant protection. He was 6 feet and 2 inches tall, and his weight was 230 pounds. He could lift his arms out at his side and I could stand under it. I noticed many traits that I had always admired. He was very generous, he loved children as I did, and at times we found ourselves talking about our individual futures and what they might hold. He was a hard worker. He had a drive about him, not in a stubborn way, but more in a determined way. As time went on, I could see that he had characteristics of a wonderful man and father. I could also see that he was lacking in the fine side of life, such as manners, courtesies, and things that most girls look for. I watched him and prayed that my mother would help me make the right decision. We were married on October 28, 1880. We went to Salt Lake and were married in the Endowment house by Daniel H. Wells.”

We lived with my husband's folks the first winter, We lived at Mount Pleasant, Utah, for 23 years, and during that time we built our home and through a lot of hard work and hardship we were able to bring eleven sons and four daughters into the world, fed them and gave them the best latter-day teaching that we could. As I said before, religion meant a great deal to me, and I was interested in the truth and in teaching it to my family. We lived too far away from Sunday school and I was too busy having babies to participate in many church activities. Pa was a hard-working man. He farmed raised cattle and horses and in the winter he cut timber for wood and cleared land.

Pa and I were blessed with good health which we were always thankful for. Pa was rough in his ways and yet very gentle at times, especially with his little girls. He was strict with the boys, especially when they were sloppy in doing their work. He checked their work and he expected it to be finished in a proper way. Rass helped me a great deal by seeing that the children were washed and their hair combed every meal, and if I asked the children to help me he saw that my wishes for carried out.

Pa's life had always been hard work. His education amounted to a fifth grade level, he couldn't read very well and his education in life came from the school of hard knocks. He always wanted his children to have a better chance in life than he had. He knew that it took work to get anywhere in life. I liked to read, and when I had the privilege and time, which at the beginning of my family was seldom, I read mostly from the Scriptures. Pa and the children love to listen and would become so enthralled with what I was reading that you could hear a pin drop. Pa would never comment too much on the finer teachings of the church, but he knew the basic principles well, and his strength shined out in charity, honesty, and many other teachings of his boyhood. I don't think he ever killed an animal or harvested a mouth of food, but what he saw that the widows and the poor were taken care of, sometimes more than we could spare. I think that every tramp and his buddy knew where we lived. We were crowded for sleeping space, but Pa never turned anyone away from my door. Many times I have washed bedding and fought lice after some poor soul left my children's clean bed. My children slept on the floor when we had guests. We all felt more thankful than ever for what we had in the way of material blessings.

I was always busy making quilts, clothes, straw and feathered ticks. I raised ducks and chickens for this purpose. Mount Pleasant was a home that we dearly loved. Our family was getting old enough for marriage, and we felt it best to move to another place, everyone was so closely related. We did a lot of prayerful thinking about it. Erastus and the neighbor decided to go to Canada and check on some land. Erastus was gone almost 9 months and in that time I wrote him one letter. I knew he could not read or write, and I was too modest to write a letter telling of all our coming events when I knew another man would have to read it to him. Erastus arrived home a short time before our twin girls were born, Odella and Olea. Odella was stillborn because of the previous fall I had from our back porch. Erastus had inquired about land from Mount Pleasant to Canada, and he felt that the offer of homesteading land in Idaho was the best for us. On his travels he passed through Bountiful, and he mentioned how someday he would to live there, but he did not feel that this was the time. We arrived in Kimball, Idaho, by train. We stayed at the neighbor's until we could clear enough land to pitch a tent, and two tents became our home. A large family tent where we lived, and a smaller tent where the two older boys slept. Dad and the two older boys cleared enough land to plant crops. We were thankful to be at least partially settled. I was unusually tired, perhaps through the hardships and my neglect, Olea, my three year old darling became ill with pneumonia and only too quickly she died. She died May 18, 1903. After the planting was done we started making adobe bricks to build our house. Pa hired a man to make brick and with the help of the four older boys, the area that we were clearing for the house began to look like a miniature Egyptian city. We mixed clay with straw and stacked them in the pyramid shaped piles to dry. We moved into our house which was only partially plastered, and on February 5, 1904, Allen McArthur was born.

House just outside of Firth, Idaho

A few small tribes of Indians lived around us, and although they were friendly tribes, there were always a few renegades. I kept a dog on our place all of the time. Our dogs could smell an Indian at least a half a mile away and I could smell them the minute I heard the dog whining and barking. The old story of Indians taking a bath in the cold river every morning was not true in their case. In fact, I believe those old bucks thought water was a curse to let it touch their body or lips. Indian incidents were rather common, but one stands out in my mind.

It was a crisp cold morning about 10 AM. Pa, the older boys, and the men in the neighborhood were many miles away getting wood. I was standing at the stove doing dishes, the children playing quietly. Bob, our German Shepherd mongrel, was half dozing. I noticed the hair on his back bristle. At the instant he was on his feet growling. The cold gust of wind hit me, and there at my doorstep one of the biggest, ugliest, smelliest bucks I have ever encountered. The children were frozen with fear, and so was I. I swallowed my heart and very firmly, but politely, ask him to shut the door. I ordered the dog to be quiet and asked my caller what his business was. He answered with a typical grunt, Indian style, and stated: “Me want flour.” I went to my poor flour barrel and brought him some. “Me want more flour.” I told him I had babies to feed and I wouldn't give him any more. “Me want bacon.” This went on for about a half an hour, and I could see that he wanted my whole house and perhaps a red scalp as well. My heart was in a state of constant prayer. I edged over to the stove poker and stood as tall as my five feet would allow. Very firmly I said, “You go now. I'll give you no more.” He gave a grunt and I motioned toward the door with the poker. Old Bob was ready to spring. Old smelly took the hint and left. It took me about 15 minutes to collect myself. I looked outside and I could see that he was headed to Aunt Carline's. Poor Carline would give him everything she had and then have a heart attack. I left the older children in charge, and old Bob, my poker, and myself marched over to and Carline's. We arrived in time. Old smelly took one look at me. Bob growled, and our friend left. Many Indians have been turned away because of Old Bob. We lived closer to the center of the community in Kimball, than we had done in Mount Pleasant, in fact we felt the church spirit was much better in Idaho. One time Pa was given a new set of hammers after a burnout because of his willingness to help others in the same predicament. Before Primary was established in the LDS church, the church had a religion class which taught gospel principles. Teachings from the Bible and the Book of Mormon were taught to the young children. I taught this class which was held in the schoolhouse and known as the Kimball Ward. I also taught Sunday school and Relief Society. There was a warm, special feeling within me when I heard the teachings from Joseph Smith and Brigham Young. I look forward to the future, of seeing some of Joseph Smith's prophecies fulfilled.

Our stake conference was held and the Relief Society separated for our classes. One of the sisters stood up to talk. She began to speak in tongues. I have heard of this many times but this was the first time I had ever been present. Immediately a special thrill raced through me and as if envelope in an unseen power, I knew what she was saying. This only lasted for a short time, but I was able to translate part of her talk.

How thankful I was for my good health. I have mentioned this before, however except for my red hair and good health how else could I have had eighteen children and extracurricular activities.

My father had a wonderful salve recipe. I use it for everything that needed medical help, from animals to my own children and neighbors. One time Earl burned his hand. We made a very hasty visit to the doctor at Firth. When we returned home I took care of it by soaking it, and then using my salve. When we visited the doctor again, he could hardly believe how well it looked, and he remarked to me, “Whatever you've been doing, keep doing it, I couldn't have helped it more myself.”

Broken bones of the neighborhood by one of the good men of the community, then I used a special oil on them that I made from angle worms, This was a long process to extract the oil from the worms. The worms were sealed in a light container and put into the sun. As the worm decayed the oil rose to the top of the container. I massaged this oil into the broken limb. I really didn't understand the psychological aspect of the oil. Maybe it was the strong odor that helped heal the bones so that they were straight and strong.

My life was full of tragedy. My son Irvin hurt his knee while herding sheep. We took care of it as best we could. In spite of everything we did his leg became worse. Doctor Middleton from Salt Lake and our local doctor amputated his leg above the knee, on our kitchen table. Irvin died a short time after. What adjective can a mother use to describe the funeral for her son? Such a final empty ache. When we returned home from the funeral we had a telegram bringing us the almost unbearable news that Ralph, our sixth child, had died in Los Angeles, of typhoid and pneumonia on October 29, 1909. Irvin had died October26, 1909. Ralph's friends wrote to us and asked us if we knew anyone by the name of Irvin. He told us that just before Ralph died he called, “Irvin, Irvin.”

My memory takes me back to many critical situations. Of helping in the neighborhood with typhoid, diphtheria, and influenza. When those I cared for had high fevers, I took sheets and blankets and saturated them with cold water and rolled my patients up in them. When I took the blanket off, it would steam from their high fevers.

My dear husband died on June 20, 1916 of heart trouble. My youngest child Lyle, was just ten years old. Earl was my only son who fulfilled a mission. He was president of the immigration party at the close of his mission. He died of influenza February 27, 1920.

There were many times in my life that I could see the opposite forces trying to discourage me from having my family, large as it was. Along about the time I was having my 13th or 14th child, one of my nieces asked me if this wasn't going to be the last one. “Oh no,” I said, “I'm going to have a quorum of boys, ever if it takes me two more girls to get them. That will give me six girls, just half as many as boys.” And the Good Lord was willing. He helped me in many ways, and I did get my six girls and twelve boys. I am thankful for every one of them even though some were called back to God while still wee infants.

A lifetime is so very short when you live it, and yet there are not pages enough to write about it all. I was so lonely, so very lonely, after Pa died. I lived alone for twelve years, spending most of my time visiting my married children. Then I married Jimmy Nielsen for companionship. He was my daughter Thera's father-in-law. He needed someone to look after him, and I needed someone to look after. Several years later Blenda and Ernie lived with us. I used to delight in teasing my son-in-las, especially when they thought they had something to tease me about. Ernie and Bill used to feel the victor when I would go out into my flower garden and pull weeds. “You can tell Grandma's mad now, look at the weeds fly.” I suppose if my hair was still red, they would have recited the red headed gingerbread poem.

My life was coming to an end very quickly. I was blessed with a clear mind up until the last which I certainly appreciated. I moved to Bountiful and lived with Perry's and Thera's families. I had found a new way of life, a life in which I was able to live freely, all my time, my talent, all that I was or ever hoped to be. I was able to do some of the things that Joseph Smith and Brigham Young had talked about.

Annice McArthur Frandsen expired, after a three-day diabetic coma. She left ten children living… Aurella, Victor, Perry, Thera, Loomis, Burke, Mac, Beulah, Blenda, Lyle. Of the ten living children six of her children Joined the Order in 1935. Perry #7, Thera #18.1, Burke #3, Mac #11, Beulah #6.1, Blenda #20.1



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