Sarah Lena Hansen and Charles Henry Burgess

From the Autobiography of Sarah Lena Hansen Burgess.

I, Sarah Lena Hansen, daughter of Christian Hansen and. Karen Sophie Miller, was born in American Fork, Utah, 6 June 1869. I was born in a small two-room adobe house just north of the railroad tracks and about one and a half blocks from the L.D.S. Meeting House.

I was a small girl when I learned to mix bread. I had to have the pan on a chair to reach it. I learned to wash clothes on the wash-board by standing on a box so I could reach the tub. I was always kept busy with one task or another. I learned to weave carpets, as a girl, and could weave 15 yards a day. I also remember my mother raising silk-worms and taking the thread from the worms and weaving it into cloth. While still a young girl I bought my own sewing machine for $50.00.

I remember, at parties and picnics, my father always was asked to play his violin.

Then I met Charles Henry Burgess, whom I used to call Charley Drag Heels. When he came by our place I could always hear him before I could see him. Little did I think then that I would marry him. He was the son of William Burgess Jr. and Katherine Chamberlain and was born 15 October 1866 at Pine Valley, Washington Co, Utah. We were married 11 October 1890. We had four children born at American Fork, Utah.

Charley was a farmer, and he heard that there was a new land project opening up in Idaho. (It was at View which is near Burley.) In April 1904 he sold his farm for $500.00 and bought a team and wagons and went to Idaho with James Cunningham. They liked it so well they wanted to stay and make it their home. In June Mrs. Cunningham and I went to Idaho to look over our prospective new homes. We arrived June 18 at Minidoka, and camped there that night and left the next day for Utah.

There was much preparation in getting ready to move to Idaho. During my life in American Fork I had been active in Relief Society and this organization held a party and testimonial for me before we left.

On 18 August 1904, we put our household goods on the train and left Utah, this time for good. The drinking water on the new homestead was bad and there was no place for the children to go to school, so we moved back and forth from View to Albion for the next few years. We were always improving on the "Flat" as we called it. Our last two children were born here in Idaho. On 2 April 1908 we moved to the "flat" to stay there permanently.

My Patriarchal Blessing told me I would care for the sick and needy. I have helped to bring twenty-one babies into the world. Some with the aid of a Doctor and some when I was all alone.

On 17 November 1920 we went to the Salt Lake Temple and had our endowments and our children sealed to us, all except Althea who was married. (She was sealed later.)

I have always tried to attend to my religious duties, and some of the offices which I held included: counselor in Primary in American Fork and View, teacher in the Relief Society and in Sunday School. President of Primary in View and worker in the Genealogical Society and the DUP Camp was named Sarah Emma Camp in her honor.

She spent her life in doing good for others. Wherever she has lived she has been called upon to attend the sick which she always did willingly, and sometimes has worked far beyond her strength. She has truly given much of her life and energy to the service of her fellowmen.

On 31 May 1929, Sarah Lena suffered a stroke from which she never recovered. On June 10 she was called home to her Father in Heaven. The largest crowd ever to fill the View Ward Chapel for such an occasion, assembled there for her funeral service on 17 June, proving with what respect and esteem she was held in the town.

Her husband Charles died at the age of 79 years, on 2 June 1946 and both are buried in View Cemetery. He was the only original pioneer who kept his homestead and lived on it until his death.

The Burgess Family