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History of Daniel John Jacobson

An excellent history written by Paul Jacobson. The full history/document can also be found on this website. Courtesy of Paul Jacobson

Daniel John (Johan) Jacobson was born on March 13, 1875, in Ephraim, Sanpete County, in the Utah Territory. He was blessed in the Ephraim Ward on June 3 that year by J G Nielsen.1 He is the son of Ole Johan Jacobsen and Caroline Fredericksen (Neilsdatter). Her name also appears as Nelson on some records. Daniel was joined by his brother, David Olius Jacobson on November 27, 1876. These two sons are the second family for both their parents.

He married Anna Sophia Schwalbe in Ephraim on November 23, 1898.2 Sophia had moved to Ephraim from Illinois as a child after the death of her father in an industrial accident. They must have grown up together but not much is known about their courtship.
According to the 1900 Census, they were living in Ephraim with their daughter Vera, who was born January 7, 1900. She later died in Salt Lake City on February 18, 1915 of a heart condition. Peter Schwalbe (Jake) was born on April 28, 1901. He died May 24, 1934 of cancer in Montrose, Colorado. Little Mae Helen was born September 1, 1903 and died a short time later on January 7, 1904.

The family moved from Ephraim to Salt Lake City where the twins, Keith David and Curtis Daniel were born March 6, 1905. Keith died on October 18, 1983 and Curt on December 11, 1985, both of cancer. After a move to Vernal, Richard George was born on October 19, 1908. He died on August 8, 1985 of cancer. Virginia Mae was also born in Vernal on November 9, 1910, and died on July 25, 1982 of cancer.
Just a couple of weeks after Virginiaís birth, on Thanksgiving Day, November 24, Daniel went to work at a logging companyís site on Taylor Mountain and was killed by a falling tree.3 In those days, there were no family relief plans in place when men were killed on the job. They were on their own, depending on family resources, other family members or charity. Those must have been terrible years for Grandma and her family. Her brother-in-law David and his family helped a great deal as did her step brothers, but they were still very poor, with the oldest son only about 10.

There is some confusion as to Danielís death date. His headstone in the Pleasant Grove Cemetery shows November 23, 1910, but the death certificate shows November 27, 1910. According to the date calculators, Thanksgiving Day was on November 24 in 1910. The doctor states on the certificate that he attended him from the 24th to the 26th and that he died at 12:30 a.m. on the 27th. To further complicate the situation, the doctor stated that he died at 1:30 am, 13 hours after the accident, which would have put the death on November 25th. The Vernal Express carried an article about the death being on the 25th.4 I donít know how to clear up this confusion.

My brother Dick relates his experience when Danielís remains were moved to Pleasant Grove:

ďMy dadís father was killed at a Lumber mill on Taylor Mountain north of the town of Vernal, UT when dad was just two years old. Grandmother never talked about him because his death was very tragic. The mill was closed for the Thanksgiving holidays, but because they needed the money she insisted he take the opportunity to go to the mill over the holidays as a guard. On Thanksgiving morning grandfather was killed in a tragic accident when he and another man cut down a tree. They were parents of a new born baby girl, my aunt Virginia. However, in November of 1948, not long after my cousin Donny drowned, Dad and my two Uncles, Keith and Curt, decided they wanted to move their dadís body from Vernal to the family plot in Pleasant Grove where they had just buried Donny. This was some thirty-eight years after grandfatherís death. Donís older brother, Robert, and I went with them. They had hired a professional company from Orem to actually exhume the casket and body.

ďThis was my first trip to Vernal. The Maeser Cemetery was unkempt and overgrown with weeds and sagebrush. A year or two before, the canal had broke and flooded through the area where my grandfather had been buried. While the professional grave diggers began to dig the grave we went to the courthouse to get the proper documents to remove the grave. Even though the area had been flooded and after thirty-eight years, the original shovel marks when the grave had been dug were still visible. When they got to the tender box that held the casket it had rotted and their shovel when right through it. They wanted to just make an opening and shovel the remains of casket and body into the cement vault they had brought with them. My dad became very angry, and told them to get out of the way. The three boys, dad and Uncles Keith and Curt, then carefully moved the dirt covering the decayed tender box. They found the casket inside, which had sprung apart allowing the lid to settle down over the body. Carefully they opened it and inside found the remains of the body. Even though only the skeleton remained you could still see the outline from the settled dust of the suit he was buried in and a flower that was in the lapel of the suit. You could see the large fracture of his skull that had killed him.

ďAn old man came by who actually had been with my grandfather that Thanksgiving morning he was injured. He described how they had decided to cut down a tree since there was nothing else to do. When the tree fell it snapped off a sapling about the size of a shovel handle that flew high into the air coming down and striking my grandfather in the head. He later that day died from the injury. Carefully the boys slipped a blue bedspread they had brought from home under their fatherís casket, and the three of them hoisted it from the grave and carefully placed it in the cement vault. They then let the grave diggers fill the grave site back in. Uncle Curt insisted they not seal the vault until their mother could see how carefully they had taken care of the remains. When my grandfather was killed my grandmother was left with six children the oldest not quite a teen yet and my Aunt Virginia just two weeks old. Grandmother never remarried.Ē

Written by Paul Jacobson

Linked toCurtis Daniel JACOBSON; Daniel John JACOBSON; Keith David JACOBSON; Mae Helen JACOBSON; Peter Schwalbe (Jake) JACOBSON; Richard George JACOBSON; Vera Antoinette JACOBSON; Virginia Mae JACOBSON; Anna Sophia SCHWALBE

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