Peter Legind Christenson History
Grandfather of Elroy Christenson
Peder "Pete" Legind
b. May 18, 1882 Søndbjerg, Thisted amt., Denmark
d. June 25, 1962 Grand Prairie, TX [Texas Death Index #35171]
buried: St Olaf's Church, Cranfills Gap, TX
1st m. Cora Rohne,
Aug. 12, 1906 St. Olaf Church, Bosque Co. TX
b. Nov 8, 1886 Neil's Creek, Cranfills Gap, TX #
d. Oct 22, 1922 of child birth
buried: St Olaf's Church, Cranfills Gap, TX
her father : Evan Paulson Rohne (Nor.)
her mother: Marianne Olianne Egeberg (Nor.)
2nd m. Evelina
Majeane Johnson, June, 1922
b. June 27, 1899 Bosque Co, TX (29th accord. to tombstone)
d. Jan 2, 1986 Dallas, TX. [Texas Death Index]
buried: St Olaf's Church, Cranfills Gap, TX
her father: Bernt Fredrik Johansen Egeberg (Nor.)
her mother: Karen (Carrie) Nielsen (Den.)
his father - Paul Møller
his mother- Anne Johanne Pedersen (Den.)
|Children with Cora Rohne|
|Emroy Princeton Christenson||b. 12 July 1907 Possum Trot, TX||d. 17 Jan 1996, Kermit, Winkler Co.,TX at home, buried Kermit, Winkler Co.,TX cem. had Alzheimer's disease||m. Lois Lorraine Fellers 1 Sep 1940 Cranfills Gap, TX|
|Marie Johanna Christenson|| b. 4 May 1909 Heinchman Ranch, Jonesboro, Hamilton Co.,
||d. 29 August, 1999 Clifton Lutheran Sunset Home, Clifton, TX, Alzheimer's disease||m. Herman Reesing|
|Clarice Pernella Christenson||b. 24 Nov 1911 Heinchman ranch, Jonesboro, Hamilton Co., TX[Texas Birth and Death Index, 1903-1993]||d. 7 Apr 1999 Christus St. Hospital, Dallas, TX of
buried: St Olaf's Lutheran Rock Church, Norse, Bosque Co., TX
| m. Alton Bradley Witte -
(b. 6 Nov 1914 d. 12 Jan 1999 Paris, Lamar co., TX)
|Christian Monroe Christenson||b. 2 Sept 1913 Heinchman Ranch, Jonesboro, Hamilton Co., TX[Texas Birth and Death Index, 1903-1993]|| d. 26 July 1989 Grand Prairie, TX of Alzheimer's
buried Boggy Cem. Cranfills Gap., TX
|m. Violet May
|Anne Tomina Christenson||b. 18 Feb. 1915 Cranfills Gap, TX [Texas Birth and Death Index, 1903-1993]|| alive in 2008 at age 93
||m. Dr. Wrenn - div.|
|Jacob Bernhart Christenson||b. 25 June 1918||d. 9 April 2002 Clifton, Texas after prostrate
cancer and Alzheimer's
buried Rock Church, Norse, Bosque Co., TX
|m. Margie Lou Harrison 6 Oct 1970 Dallas (div.)|
Children with Evelina "Eva" Johnson
|Burton Paul Christenson||b. 13 Sept. 1926 Hamilton Co, TX||d. 31 Oct 2005 Seymour, Baylor Co., TX
||m. Mosel Chandler Neskorik, 3 Nov., 1948 (b. 24 Aug 1920 Baylor Co., TX d. 18 Mar 2001 Seymour, TX) widow of George Neskorik, killed by a truck in 1940's, no issue with Burton, one daughter, Beth Ellen Neskorik, died 17 Dec 1942*|
|Leldon Dale Christenson|| b. 1 May 1928 Hamilton Co,TX
[Texas Birth and Death Index, 1903-1993]
|d. 11 Feb 1997 Texas
buried Boggy Cem., Bosque Co., TX
|m. Bette Lou Wimberly in Cranfills Gap, TX (her 2m. N. D. Hopkins)|
1882 - Peder Legind Christensen born in Søndbjerg, Denmark on May 18th as the sixth child of nine births with four surviving to Paul Møller Christensen and Anne Johanne Pedersen. His parents operate a bakery in this small farming community in the center of the Jutland peninsula in Hvidbjerg, Denmark.
1890's - He learns the trades of baker, bricklayer and
blacksmithing but because of economic pressures of a large family
and little possibility of prospering his oldest brother, Christian
Anders, goes to the United States by 1891 [interview by EC
1901, Feb 18 - Peder Legind Christensen, age 18 is registered to
emigrate from Copenhagen. Destination is listed as
Clifton. Last residence in Sandbjerg, Contract #39900
Occupation: Bager "Baker" [Statens Arkiver Dansk Data
1901- Peder L. Christensen, at age 18 boards the ship SS Numidian
of the Allan Line in Esberg, Denmark for the trip via Liverpool.
It leaves Liverpool on Feb 23 and arrives at Portland, Maine on
March 18th. He travels by himself from Portland with $10 and is
scared by the stories and having to travel through Indian country.
[ March 18, 1901 SS Numidian manifest / immigration/naturalization documents]
According to the Danish emigration web site his contract #39900
lists that he was supposed to have emigrated on 18 Feb 1901.
His occupation was listed as "Bager" or baker with his destination
listed as Clifton, Texas. Last residence: Sandbjerg. Ship
listed as "Indireckte" ID #10001C1907
S. S. Numidian of the Allan Line. photo courtesy of Jerry Longstrom
He arrives in Meridian, Texas about 28th of March, 1901 by
train. He is met by a black man who speaks perfect Danish. He
introduces himself and tells him that he is there to pick him up
and take him to meet his brother, Christian Anders Christensen.
Pete looked a bit puzzled at a black man speaking perfect Danish.
The black man said with a smile, "You seem confused about my
color." He says "don't worry, we all look like this after
we've been here for a while."
[story as told to Elroy Christenson by Pete Christenson]
1906, Aug. 12- Pete L. Christenson gets a marriage license 8 AUG
1906 in Bosque Co., TX. He marries Cora Rohne in St. Olaf Church,
Cranfills Gap. She is the sister of Minnie Rohne, the wife of
Pete's brother Anders. Cora's family had done very well. They were
very successful farmers and Grandmother Marianne Rohne had urged
the education of the children even hiring a live-in school teacher
for the brood. All the kids were given the choice of a college
education or land when they became adults. As a wedding present
Pete and Cora are given 500 acres in Jonesboro, Bosque Co., TX to
farm, the Heinchman Ranch. He does blacksmithing, bricklaying, and
dry land farming of wheat, and grains. [story as told
by Violet Christenson]
1907, July 12 - Emroy Princeton, their first son is born in Possum Trot, Tx( I have no idea why, but that is what Clarice says).
1909, May 4- Marie Johanna their first daughter is born. They are living on the Heinchman Ranch between Cranfills Gap and Jonesboro, Hamilton Co. TX. This ranch used to be part of a large Spanish land grant which was divided by a rock fence, supposedly built by Indian slave labor. When Pete and Cora first lived there they could still see the Indians periodically gambling on horse races held in the fields below the house. According to Clarice, the third child,
|"Our 'ranch house' home
was a historical place. The lumber was hauled from East
Texas by ox wagon. It was a two-story with ten rooms,
six fireplaces and a open air sleeping porch on the
second floor. We children had many happy hours sliding
down the mahogany bannister on the staircase. There was
a storm cellar under a hinged trap door on the porch
area; also a hand dug well as part of the "Ranch House".
The kitchen was a separate rock house with root cellar
and storage. Mr. Heinchman raised thoroughbred horses
and had a race track west of the 'ranch House'. I'm sure
many of the deaths attributed to the place was the
caused by this fact. My father said he would stand on
the porch and see the Comanche Indians race and wager on
their horses as they passed by on their way to the Texas
(Bosque County: Land and People, p. 208)
Violet Christenson says that this house was very large and drafty. It had a large front porch that was torn off in the photo left. It had a fireplace in most rooms with a large open sleeping room on the 2nd floor. With no insulation it became a full-time job to keep it warm with firewood in the winter. They finally took off the whole upper floor to make it more efficient. The house stood for many years in this remodeled state after the land and house was sold off so Pete could keep his family alive during the Depression. [interview by EC 2008]
US Census, Justice Prect. 3, Hamilton Co., Texas, Roll: 1558 Page: 187
"Jake"Jacob is listed here with his brother P. L. Christenson, the different spelling in the census makes it tricky to track these individuals. He indicates he arrived in 1908 and is a farmer at this time.
His brother Christian Anders Christianson is on the previous
page with his wife Minnie, (27), their children Ervin (m 7) ,
Jennie (f 5), Paul (m 2)
[US Census, Hamilton Co. TX.. roll 1558, ed 67, sheet 13 ]
1911, Nov. 24- Clarice Pernella is born on the Heinchman Ranch. [Texas Birth and Death Index, 1903-1993]
1913, Sept. 2 - Christian Monroe is born on the Heinchman Ranch,
Hamilton Co. The crops are prosperous but he is doing well mostly
on blacksmithing. [#30124 Texas Birth and Death Index, 1903-1993]
1914 - Pete is doing more work and making more money by doing blacksmithing, bricklaying and well drilling so they decide to move to Cranfills Gap, TX nearer to work, where they build a house across the street from the cotton gin.
1915, Feb. 18 - Anne Tomina is born in the new house in the Gap,
[Texas Birth and Death Index, 1903-1993]
1918- Sept. 18 - Pete Legin Christenson registers for the
draft in Jonesboro, Hamilton Co., Texas.
He is 36 years old, born May 18, 1882. His occupation is listed as Farmer, wife is Cora Christenson of Jonesboro, Hamilton Co, Tex. He is described as "medium" height, "slender" build, "gray" eyes, "light" hair. [draft card image on Ancestry.com]
1918, June 25 - Jacob Bernhart is born in the Gap.
1920- Jan 28 - US Census, Precinct #8, Bosque Co., Texas, enum.
dist 49, sheet 58, Roll: 1781 Page: 225
Pete and family are living in the town of Cranfills Gap, Texas. He lists himself as having immigrated to the USA in 1901 and year naturalized as 1912. His parents are Danish and hers are Norwegian. He is spelling his name with an "son".
1920, June 17- Peder L. Christenson applies for a US
passport. stamped Certificate
Naturalization Seen. (italicised words below were
I intend to leave the United States
from the port of New York
sailing on board the American-Scandivian Line on July 20, 1920.
He signs an Oath of Allegiance.
number 11262 [US Passport applications]
1922, Cora, who is pregnant again, goes into labor but this time something goes wrong. Pete and some others load her into a Model "T" car for the long fifty mile ride into Waco for the doctor. She hemorrhages and dies on the way. Pete has a tough time taking care of six young kids and doing his work to support the family. He falls apart and starts to drink heavily. Chris, Anne and Jacob, the youngest of the kids went to Grandma Rohne's for a couple of years, and the rest of the kids were kept much of the time by the Johnson brothers and sisters. Pete finally pulls himself together and moves everyone back the Heinchman ranch where Eva, the youngest Johnson sister, became the housekeeper for Pete.
[story told by Eddie Johnson]
Sept.13 - Burton Paul is born.
1928, May 1, - Leldon Dale is born.
1930, The Depression caused low prices on products and no one
had money. He sold half the farm to pay the taxes and keep the
US Census, Texas, Hamilton County, Justice Precinct One. enum.
dist. 97-4, sheet 10A.
1938-45 -The war brought prosperity back with good prices and
1940 - US Census, Texas, Hamilton County, enum. dist. 97-4, sheet
Christenson, Pete. L. head m w 57 mar H4 Denmark farmer farm
" , Evalina wife f w 40 mar 7 Texas
" , Burton son m w 13 s 5 Texas
" , Leldon son m w 11 s 4 Texas
1942- Burton Christenson serves in the merchant marines during the war. He returns to meet and marry the widow Mozelle Chandler Neskorik. Mozelle Chandler Neskorik, the wife of George Neskorik gives birth to a daughter who died shortly after birth in Seymour, Baylor County, Texas. George is apparently killed after being hit by a truck sometime afterwards. After Burton and Mozelle marries he works for the oil companies in west Texas for the remainder of his life and makes periodic trips back to Cranfills Gap to see his parents. [Denise Neskorik 7/11/02]
1948- The war over, the military started to tear down structures that they had used. Pete built a new house out of Ft Hood barracks and put in electricity because Leldon was working for the Tennessee Valley Authority at the time. [story told by Violet Christenson]
1948-58 Pete and Eva lived and worked the farm raising sheep,
about 100 chickens and, about six head of cattle. Eva would milk
the cows by hand and churns the cream into butter as well as feed
the chickens and all the relatives when they come. She was
renowned for her homemade bread and four inch high sweet rolls
with butter icing. Pete has an Allis-Chalmer three point tractor
which his grandson's learn to plow with during the summers.
Harvesting of the wheat and oats is done with a Trashing Bee of about 25 males
from the nearby farms and 6 or seven women who would do the
cooking for the hands. Two or three hays stacks 20 feet high would
be created each year by moving the thrashing machine to various
locations on the property. Picking up the shucks of wheat out of
the field had to be done with some alertness because of the great
number of diamond back rattlesnakes in the region. A worker could
accidentally pitch one onto the wagon where another man was
[Elroy's personal experiences]
1958- He leases out the farm land to neighbors but lives on the property raising a few animals. Eva continues to milk the cow and feed the chickens although he is basically retired from farming. Various grand kids come and spend a few weeks during the summer doing chores such as plowing or helping with the harvest. He goes fishing periodically with relatives. On one occasion he allowed me, his 14 year old grandson, who can hardly reach the pedals of the '39 Chevy to chauffeur he and Eddie Johnson, his brother-in-law, to a nearby river. Ed gave remedial instructions on the cluch, brakes and gas pedal. They both climbed into the backseat and I drove scared to death down the dirt road to the river. [Elroy's personal experiences]
1960 - He starts to lose his memory so that Eva can't keep track of him. He is put into a nursing home in Grand Prairie and Eva moves in with Leldon. Chris, Marie, Leldon, Jacob are nearby with their families. Most of the relatives of the area are working for Temco Vought Aircraft company. They visit him frequently but he recognizes them seldom. [Elroy's personal experiences]
1962, June 25 - Pete dies in a nursing home in Grand Prairie,
TX. He is buried in the Rock Church Cemetery, outside of Cranfills
(l to r) Violet and Chris Christenson, Anne Christenson Wrenn(back), Clarice Christenson Witte, and Marie Christenson and Herman Ressing. I think the photo was taken in Merdian right after Herman had a cataract operation about 1980-85.
2005, Oct 31 - Burton Paul Christenson, 79, died in Seymour,
Baylor Co., Texas. According to the obituary Burton
had owned and operated Eastland Auto Service for 30
years. His only surviving relative was his sister Ann
Wrenn of Orlando, Fla. He is buried in Riverview
Cemetery. [obituary Nov 1, 2005, Wichita Falls, TX]
2012 - A plaque listing the names of Scandinavian immigrants is
engraved with Peder Legind Christensen's name on a "runic" or
picture stone which is placed in the Leif Erikson Memorial at
Shilshole Bay Marina in Seattle, Washington subscribed to by Elroy
Christenson. This memorial is sponsored by the Leif Erikson
International Foundation which "Symbolizes the courage to venture
to a new land" and so far contains 1767 names.
Leif Erikson Memorial, Shilshole Bay Marina, Seattle, Washington and the new "runic stone"
Photo Elroy Christenson, 2012
Cranfills Gap, TX || Trashing Bee
Ancestoral Chart #1 || Egeberg lineage chart
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