Margrethe Christine Teslie 1874 - 1962

Links for Margrethe Teslie

Margrethe Teslie History

Margrethe Christine Teslie was born June 11, 1874 in Trondheim, Norway to Oluf Iversen Teslie and Anna Larsen. They were living at 1685 Øvre Møllenberg, Trondheim, Norway at the time. The street still exists today and the houses from that time are still there. Likely renovated on both the inside and outside. Sometime in the past the street numbering system was changed so I have not been able to identify which house it was yet.

Øvre Møllenberg Street, Trondheim Norway
Photo taken October 2014

Margrethe was christened at the Bakke Church in Trondheim on August 2, 1874.

Bakke Church, Trondheim
Photo taken October 2014

It is very likely that Margrethe was named after her grandmother (her father's mother) who was also named Margrethe. It was common practice in Norway at that time to name children after their grandparents.
There are various spellings for Margrethe's name that can be found. Her christening record written by the priest spells her name as "Margrete Christine". I have in my possession a card that is the size of a modern day business card that has on it "Margrethe K. Tesli. Throndhjem." It appears to be a presentation card of some sort.

Margrethe Teslie Card

In the letters and documents that I have she is called "Maggie" or "Mrs Ethan Allen". In Norway Margrete and Margrethe are both common spellings for her name and would be pronounced mar-greht-ah with an accent on the second syllable. In her mother's book, which is in my possession, her name is spelled "Margrethe". The signature below her picture at the top of this page is the earliest document that I have that she signed (1913), she signed her name as "Margretha Allen", using her married name. I have chosen to use the Norwegian spelling of "Margrethe" here and in other documents. Her last name is spelled either "Tesli" or Teslie", pronounced Tess-lee. Her last name comes from the Tesli farm.

Christening record for Margrethe Christine Teslie ( source )

At the Norwegian census in 1875 Margrethe was 1 year old.

1875 Census for Trondheim, Norway ( source )

On March 16, 1880, when Margrethe was almost 6 years old, her mother joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Trondheim. In her personal history written for her by her daughter-in-law Isolene Allen, I believe sometime not too long before Margrethe's death it says: "Her mother had the Mormon missionaries come to her house often and they accepted the gospel."

Her history says of her as a young girl: "She was always kinda mischievous, and often got into her mother's flour and ate the flour. She said it tasted like candy does to us now. Her mother used to buy her apples and to make them last a long time she ate just one quarter of it at a time. Dishes were very scarce at that time and her mother had given her one and she dropped it and broke it. It nearly broke her heart to see the dish in two pieces. She would put them together and say, "Mother this is the way it used to be" but that didn't mend the dish. She started to school when she was about 6 years old. School started at 8 in the morning and let out at 12. Then another started at 2 until 6. She went from 8 until 12." (Source: Margrethe Teslie's history)

Sometime between 1880 and 1885 Margrethe moved with her mother to Christiania (now Oslo), Norway. Her father stayed behind in Trondheim. Her parents were never married and separated sometime between 1875 and 1885. Because of the requirements for baptism into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is seems likely the separation occurred before Margrethe's mother joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1880.

In the 1883 census for Christiania, Anna and Margrethe are not listed at Strandgaden 22, which is where they are living at the 1885 census. Several people at Strandgaden 22 in 1883 are listed with them in 1885, so I know I found the correct entry. I don't know if that means they didn't move to Christiania before the 1883 census or if they had moved to Christiania by 1883 and were living somewhere else. My guess would be they hadn't moved there yet. The 1883 census is not searchable yet and is almost 6,000 pages, so it is too large to check by hand to see if they are in Christiania then or not.

In the census of 1885 Margrethe was 11 years old. She and her mother were living at Strandgaden 22, Christiania (Oslo) Norway.

1885 Census for Christiania, Norway ( source )

At age 16 Margrethe posed for this photo.

Margrethe Christine Teslie at Age 16

Here is another photo of Margrethe taken in Christiania (Oslo) Norway. Best guess is that she 17 years old based on that she looks older than the age 16 picture and she left for the USA about 3 weeks after her 18th birthday. Perhaps this was taken just before she left?

Margrethe Christine Teslie at Age 17

From my mother, Darlene Allen's (Magrethe's granddaughter) personal history (pg 3):

    "She (Margrethe) and her mother Anna Larsen joined the church there and was told by the missionaries that some day people would travel to America by riding “like on the back of a big bird and would fly through the sky to America.“ Each time grandma would tell me that story she would laugh and say they all thought the missionaries were crazy but the first time she saw an airplane she knew it was just a 'big bird'."

July 1, 1892, 3 weeks after turning 18 years old, Margrethe and her mother emigrated from Christiania Norway. They left on the ship "Montebello" for England.

Emigration Record for Kristiania (Oslo) ( source )
Personal emigration record

Note in the Emigration record above that her mother Anne Larsdatter is listed right above her and two above her mother is listed an Edv. Berg who's occupation or work (Yrke) is listed as "missionary". It seems likely that Anna and Margrethe were part of a contingent of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints headed to Utah including a returning missionary.

Margrethe and her mother caught the ship "Alaska" from Liverpool, England and arrived at Ellis Island, New York July 18, 1892.

Immigration Record - Manifest of the ship Alaska ( source - note a login is required to view this )

On July 23, 1892 Margrethe and her mother arrived in Paradise, Utah (source: Anna Larsen's book)

Margrethe's (and her mother's) passage to America was paid by someone in Utah in exchange for her hand in marriage. From Darlene Allen's (Magrethe's granddaughter) personal history, pg. 3:

    "Margrethe's passage was paid for by a gentleman from Utah. She was to marry him upon arrival, but she told me “she didn’t like his looks“ and married Ethan instead. I was never brave enough to ask if she had to pay the money back."

Dean Allen, One of Margrethe's grandsons:

    "When I asked her (Margrethe) how she paid back the money she would just smile and change the subject. I was about 13 at the time I asked her"

One bit of family lore is that her future husband Ethan Allen stepped in and said he would pay for her passage instead. This doesn't seem likely given the timing of when she met Ethan and married him and the fact that he would have been 17 years old at that time. Another bit of family lore is that the man who paid for her passage was "old" and she didn't want to marry an old man. We can't know for sure since Margrethe didn't (or wouldn't) speak of the matter to anyone that is alive today (2015). From speaking to her grandchildren she didn't speak much about Norway and coming to America. In Anna Larsen's history I detail how Anthon Skanchy is the person who loaned the money to the person that paid for Anna's passage and how Anthon Skanchy is very likely the person who arranged for both Anna's and Margrethe's coming to America.

Small (about 3" tall) vase that Margrethe brought with her from Norway

On September 4, 1892 Margrethe (age 18) was baptized and confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by Samuel Oldham (this person I believe or perhaps his son of the same name). In her personal history it says that after she and her mother came to Utah "she hadn't been here long until she fell in love with Ethan and was married". Margrethe was married to John Ethan Allen December 28, 1893 in Logan, Utah by William Goodwin. She was 19 years old and he was 18. They lived in Paradise, Utah. Margrethe later wrote in the Allen Family LDS Family and Individual Record Book. (pg 26), that she weighed 115 lbs and had blue eyes and medium brown hair. Unfortunately she didn't list her height but she was not very tall. Judging from her height relative to her daughter-in-law Isolene Tolman Allen (in photos together) she was about 5 ft tall.

Margrethe (age 19) and Ethan Wedding Picture

Margrethe Teslie & Ethan Allen Marriage ( source )

Margrethe and Ethan had 3 children born to them before 1900.

Margrethe 1900 Census ( Entire page )

March 28, 1900 Margrethe received her initiatory and endowments and was sealed to her husband at the Logan Temple, Logan Utah.

Ethan L Allen

Alfred L. and M Dolph Allen

Margrethe and Ethan had 4 more children born to them between 1900 and 1910 while they lived in Paradise.

In the USA, $1 in 1913 = $24 in 2015 based on the US Department of Labor's (USDL) Consumer Price Index (CPI). I used the CPI (inflation calculator) to figure out 2015 costs which I have listed in parenthesis next to the original cost like this: $1 (2015: $24). The USDL began keeping the CPI in 1913.

In 1904 Ethan and Margrethe purchased 2.5 acres of land in Paradise from Margrethe's mother Anna Larsen and step-father Samuel Holbrook for the sum of $250 (2105:$6,000). The land was lots 1 and 8, Plot 2, Platt B, of Paradise townsite, Cache County Utah. The two lots are adjacent to each other and totaled about 2.5 acres. The lots are on the corner of 9200 South and 2nd East in Paradise, Utah. Here is a link to the warranty deed. The first tax receipt is from 1905 (you can see all the tax receipts for this property at this link. The 1905 receipt lists the value of the property as $465 (2015: ~$11,000) with a tax assessment of $10.93 (2015: ~$260). In 1906 they took out a mortgage on the land for the sum of $75 (2015: ~$1800). The mortgage was to an Alfred Picot. The mortgage was dated 20, November 1906 and the interest rate was 12%. It was witnessed on 7 January, 1907 and was notarized 16 April 1907. The mortgage is marked as "Paid". I have no information about a house on the property. Today the corner lot (lot 1) is empty and lot 8 has a house on it which is a newer house and is certainly not the house they lived in.

Erwin, Clyde and Selma Allen, about 1908

Selma, the only girl, died in 1909 at age 6. "Selma died when she was six of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. She had heavy thick hair that she wore in braids. When they were getting ready to wash her hair one time they discovered a wood tick had bitten her at the back of her head and was hidden by hair. The tick had been there long enough to be swollen with her blood to the size of a fifty cent piece. Lots of sagebrush in the area and the tick had come from the sage (Source: Darlene Allen's personal history, pg. 12)."

Margrethe 1910 Census ( Entire page )

In the spring of 1911 Ethan and Margrethe moved to a 40 acre farm in Wapello, Idaho, which is 7 miles north of the town of Blackfoot (see Ethan Allen personal history). There was a house on the property made from hewn timbers. It was two stories with two rooms upstairs. Even after moving to Wapello the ties to Paradise remained close, however, as Anna Larsen, Margrethe's mother lived there, along with some of Ethan's family. Additionally Ethan and Margrethe still owned the land in Paradise.

The family in front of the original house probably early spring 1911
Margrethe (age 36) on the far right, Ethan Sr. in the middle in the back
The boys from left to right: Ethan Jr., , Erwin (in front of the wagon), Alfred, Clyde (in the wagon) and Dolph. Donald asleep in the house.

In June, 1911, Alfred the 2nd oldest child died of complications from Rheumatic fever. He died in Paradise, Utah. The photo above would had to have been taken before May 1911 as Alfred, who was quite ill with Rheumatic fever, was (back?) in Paradise as early as May 1911 (based on postcards that were sent to him that I have in my possesion).

There is no tax receipt for the Wapello farm for 1911. The Wapello farm tax receipt for 1912 lists personal property of 1 cow worth $30 (2015: $720), 2 work horses worth $100 (2015: $2,400) each, 1 wagon worth $40 (2015: $961) and harnesses worth $15 (2015: $360). No acreage is listed.

Sometime in the spring before April 1913 Ethan and Margrethe sold their property in Paradise to Ethan's sister, Belva Allen and her husband James Housely for $650 (2015: $15,615). The warranty deed for the sale is recorded on April 4, 1913.

On April 5, 1913 Ethan and Margrethe signed a mortgage to buy the farm in Wapello from John C. Millick . This mortgage was for $1,742.50 (2015: $41,800), due five years from the purchase date with an interest rate of 10%. The tax receipt for 1913 lists 36 acres of "range". The tax receipt for 1914 lists 36 acres of "range", personal property of 1 cow, 3 horses and 6 hogs (worth $6 each).

The Wapello ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was created by a split from the Kimball ward in 1909. Sometime not to long after Ethan and Margrethe arrived, in 1911, a church was finished in Wapello for the members of the Wapello Ward. It was equipped with gas lighting and in 1912 a leak or an open jet resulted in the building being destroyed by fire. Lavern Merkley narrowly escaped death when he walked in and lit a match. The building was replaced in 1914 with a $5,000 (2105: $120,174) building. The general church treasury furnished half of the money and the community the rest. Each boy over fourteen gave $5 (2015: $120) and each one over eighteen gave $10 (2015: $240). Adults were assessed from $25 (2015: $600) to $80 (2015: 1900) each and many of them donated labor besides. It is likely that Ethan and Margaret contributed to the church building fund. You can read a short history of Wapello here (pdf).

Wapello building - Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1914

Ethan and Margaret took out loans called "Chattel Mortgages" against their horses for $200 in 1914 (2015: $4,759) and in 1915 for $150 (2015: $3,534). Since the loans were in the spring my assumption is they were for money to plant crops. It is interesting to look at the descriptions of the horses on these loans.

In November, 1916, Ethan, the oldest boy died from heart problems caused by Rheumatic fever. He died in Logan, Utah.

Ethan Allen Jr memorial card

Margrethe 1920 Census ( Entire page )

In 1920 Ethan and Margrethe purchased a phonograph for $300 (2015: $2403). This phonograph is in the Allen family today.

On April 8, 1924 Dolph passed away at Wapello of "leakage of the heart" caused by Rheumatic fever. He was buried in Paradise, Utah. Here is a document showing some of the funeral costs.

Recipe card with Margrethe's muffin recipe

On February 12, 1925 Margrethe (age 50) received her patriarchal blessing from Orson Hyde Hinckenlooper, Patriarch of the Blackfoot, ID stake.

Margrethe and her husband Ethan, probably in the mid 1920's

Margrethe 1930 Census ( Entire page )

In 1931, Margrethe's husband Ethan became quite ill. They thought he just had a stomach ulcer but he had cancer (stomach, colon or such). He died February 15, 1932 at their home. Margrethe started her diaries in January of 1932 and it is heart wrenching to read her entries before and after his death. In her diary on the day of Ethan's death she wrote (note: punctuation and spelling maintained):
"Ethan past away at 12:15 this morning. oh it is awfull. he didn't deserve it. I'll miss him so. took him to town at noon. house so empty. how will I ever get on." (Source: Margrethe's diaries). Here is a document showing some of the funeral costs.

Margrethe (age mid to late 50's) with her three sons Erwin, Donald, Clyde
Probably early to mid 1930's

In November 1935 Donny, the last son at home was married and moved leaving Margrethe alone on her farm. On March 1, 1937, Margrethe (age 62) sold the farm to her son Erwin for the sum of $4,000. The agreement was for Erwin to pay Margrethe $400 at the time of the sale and $200 on December 1, 1937. Erwin was then to pay off first the mortgage of $2,072.72 first and then pay to Margrethe the balance of $1,927.28. As part of the sale a plot of 1/20th of an acre (33'x66') remained the personal property of Margrethe for "as long as she may live". Margrethe's sons Clyde and Donny were witnesses to the sale. (Farm Sale Agreement)

Sometime around the sale of the farm, probably shortly after in the spring/summer of 1937, and certainly before November a (very) small house, was built for Margrethe on her personal property. Note in the picture 2nd below, taken on Thanksgiving day in November 1937, the house appears either unpainted or painted a dark color. Early on the house was painted white but later on it was painted a light blue color and became known to all her descendants as the "blue house". According to her grandson Dean Allen, the house was primarily built by her son Donny.

Margrethe (3rd from left, age 63) with Erwin (son), Isolene Tolman Allen (Daughter-in-law), Donald (son) and grandchildren Dean and Erwin Allen
Fall 1937

Erwin, Margrethe (age 63), Isolene, Erwin L., Dean
Thanksgiving Day, 1937 in front of Margrethe's house

Separator Butter

In the above photo is a wrapper for one pound of "Separator Butter". I have not been able to find any mention of this enterprise but clearly Margrethe made butter and sold it. I have several of these wrappers. They were amongst Margrethe's card collection of the late 1930's and early 1940's. I'm not sure when she did this however.

In April 1939, Margrethe's youngest son Don, contracted pneumonia from exposure and died. Margrethe outlived her husband and all of her children except Erwin and Clyde.

Margrethe 1940 Census ( Entire page )

From Margrethe's personal history:

    "They (Margrethe and her friends) used to have fun and having dinners after meetings. They also went to dances some of them at Firth (Idaho). They used to dance the one step, waltz, two step and other popular dances at that time."

Margrethe (age 68) with Isolene Tolman Allen (Daughter-in-law),
April 19, 1942

In the above picture note the band on her head. It held her hearing aid in place behind her ear. The wire runs down to (large) batteries clipped below the neck. The source of that information is a note on the back of the picture by Margrethe's granddaughter Darlene Allen (Baird). Her grandson Dean Allen also remembers her hearing aids and said the batteries were large when compared to today (2015). Margrethe speaks in her diaries in 1932 of not being able to hear what was going on with groups of people and being frustrated with not hearing.

Margrethe drank green tea and for her grandchildren she would "read the tea leaves" predicting future events. Her grandchildren were amazed at her accuracy as she predicted future events that she knew about such as the grandchildren's parents going to town. Listen to the audio of Margrethe's grandson Dean telling about her reading the tea leaves for him.

Margrethe's "Hot Chocolate set"
(In possession of Dean Allen)

The above is a "Hot Chocolate set" owned by Margrethe which she used on special occasions. Dean describes in this audio about the set. In this audio, Margrethe's grandson Erwin L Allen, along with his brother Dean, describe the special apple treat Margrethe would share with them.

In this audio, Erwin, Dean and Verlene, describe shopping for hats with Margrethe and her dealings with a young pharmacist.

From Margrethe's personal history:

    "She had the privilege of riding in all the different ways of transportation from a boat, to wagons, buggies, automobile, trains and airplanes. But I don't think she ever rode a bicycle. She has worked in different organizations especially the mutual, she helped to teach the girls at that time to crochet and do fancy work."

An example of Margrethe's "fancy work"

Margrethe shown with her "fancy work" in the "blue house"

Note that in the picture above she is working on the doily shown in the previous photo. The radio on her table is discussed a little further down by Darlene Allen. In this audio Erwin and Dean are looking at the above picture and talking about the things in her kitchen and what they remember.

Another example of Margrethe's "fancy work"

In this audio Erwin and Dean reminisce about their grandmother. Various memories and stories.

Below is a picture of Margrethe in front of her house. In early photos the house is white, but later it was painted blue and is known to those of us that remember it as the blue house. Next to the blue house was a shed that was called her "shanty" in which she kept her sewing machine and her mother's trunk among other things.

Margrethe early to mid 1950's (age late 70's) in front of her blue house

From Darlene Allen's (Magrethe's granddaughter) personal history (pg 3):

    "Grandma Allen lived in a small house through the garden. When I say small it was really small. Two rooms...You opened the door and you were in the kitchen area.She had a very small drop leaf table on the wall with the door all that fit on that wall was the table and it sat right next to the kitchen cupboard. If you wanted to get into that bottom cupboard you had to move the table.The kitchen cabinets were only two doors on each side of the sink and cabinets on the bottom. The sink wasn‘t really a sink no drain, but just a place to set the dishpan to do dishes. The dish pan hung behind the water bucket that sat on a green chair that the back had been sawed off and of course hanging on the wall behind the bucket was the green water dipper.. A water dipper is a cup with a long handle so you could dip into the bucket and get a drink and of course hang it back up when you were done drinking. She had a hot plate to cook on. There was a small stove for heat and the only other furniture in that room was a wooden kitchen chair always tucked under the end of the table and a rocking chair that sat by the window. I keep thinking that room was only about 10 x7. The bedroom had her bed, dresser and dressing table. The closet was at the end of the bed of course the 30“ door would not open all the way because the bed was to close to the wall. The only standing room was the small area by the bed were you turned down the covers to get into bed. Under the bed was her “POT“ to use as a bathroom during the winter. This “POT“ was taken out every morning and dumped in the outhouse. Grandma‘s outhouse was so tiny a grownup had to back in to sit down and she always had a lot more spider webs in hers. The door was always open to grandma‘s bedroom and it made the perfect place for me hide behind. And..the very best thing about hiding from Erwin and Dean there was the mirror on the dresser. I could watch their every move as they would come to find me. Grandma never told them where I was. She didn’t have to...On the wall behind the door hung Uncle Clyde's army picture. A long picture with all his army unit standing at attention. Uncle Clyde drove a tank during World War two. Grandma would sit in her rocking chair and crotchet. Oh, I must not forget one of the most important items that sat on her kitchen table. Her radio. At night she would move her rocking chair over by the table to listen at 9 o‘ clock to 'One Man’s Family', a continued drama every week day night. She listened to soap operas during the day. One was called 'Our Gal Sunday'. On Saturday morning I would run over to grandmas and she would let me listen to 'Sergeant Preston of the Yukon'.
    Outside in grandma‘s yard by her rocking chair window was a 'Japanese Rose' bush that had pretty white flowers. By her kitchen window and at the corner of the house was a Bridal Wreath bush. Robins always nested there every spring and you could sneak very carefully up to the bush and watch the mother robin feed her babies. Grandma wore a hearing aid and the batteries were clipped to the front of her dress and when she hugged you your face was smashed into the batteries. Grandma had tiny, tiny hands and big ears (when I started having children the first thing I would check was their ears). She could lay a silver dollar on her ear lobe like an earring. At church she would make a mouse out of a 'hanky' and somehow she could make it run up her arm. Dad told me grandma was a very strict mother and you only was allowed to eat what she put on the table. If you even suggested getting something from the cupboard to add to the meal that was the end of your meal."

Margrethe Teslie 1956 (age 82)

Margrethe Teslie

Margrethe Teslie 1960 (age 86)

Margrethe Teslie not to long before she passed away

As Margrethe's health failed in later years she was moved to a rest home in Lava Hot Springs, Idaho. In April of 1962 (age 87) she fell down at this home and broke her hip. Her son Erwin and daughter-in-law Isolene had her moved to another rest home in Downy, Idaho at that time because they didn't like the way her current rest home was taking care of her. However she died several days after moving to the rest home in Downy on April 15, 1962 (Source: Dean and Verlene Allen). Margrethe was 87 year, 10 months old when she passed away. She was buried in Paradise, Utah next to her husband.

Margrethe Teslie's Obituary Picture

Margrethe Teslie's Funeral Program

Margrethe Teslie's Funeral Newspaper Notice

Margrethe Teslie's Gravestone