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Monday, 10 December 2018

Autobiography of Louisa Harris Hansen
Written by Dolly Stocker   
Autobiography of Louisa Harris Hansen

      July 28, 1880 at Mound Valley, Idaho, daughter of Alexander Harris Sr. & Martha Craner Tanner.  I was the 3rd child of a family of 6.  They are Daniel Hanmer, Frank Albert, Louisa, Charles Eli, Annie Jane, and Darcus.

      My mother also had a family of 9 children by a former marriage to George Tanner Sr.  Thus making 14 brothers & sisters, and then too there were 10 brothers & sisters on father's side by a former marriage to Harriett Craner, my mother's sister.  I was baptized a member of L.D.S. church when I was 9 years old.  I recieved my education at Mound Valley.  The teacher stayed at our home most of the time.

      The old home where I was born was later purchased by a brother John A. Tanner.

      Homes were few in the Valley at this time and we lived a long way from supplies and sometimes the children had to go get them when the men were busy in the fields.  Ways of travel then was on horse-back or buck-board or stee-tired wagons.  One time my sister, Minnie Harris, then 14 and 2 then 6 years of age drove one horse buck-board to Richmond, Utah for twine for the binder.  This took 2 full days.  At that time there were only about 2 or 3 homes on the road between mound valley & Richmond.

      Fourteen years after my Mother's 2nd marriage, my father died (I was then 8 years old) and Mother was left alone to raise her family.  Many trials & hardships came as we were then left to help make our own way and earn a living and help our mother as best we could.

      Sometimes we worked for 50 cents a week from that up to $2.00.  When I was 15 years old, my Mother took up a place for brother Charles.  This was just West of Grace on the West side of the Bear River.  Wild animals were numerous at that time.  A panther came to our house one night & Mother pushed the head of the wooden bed against the window for protection.  There were only about 2 or three places West of the river then.  Rattle snakes were thick in the rocks and they would crawl in thehouses sometimes.  One day my sister Ann was playing on the floor, one rattled and we found it behind a cleet in the bedroom.

      When I was 17 I went to work for Lars & Matilda Hansen where I met Joseph Lars Hansen, whom 2 years later I married.      Our first home was 1/2 mile West of Grace.  We hauled logs to build our first house and carried water from Bear river for domestic use.  Two of my 5 children were born here, Offer Lars & Lowell Alexander.  When Lowell was 10 months old, we sold our place and moved to Goose Lake 4 miles North of Henry, Idaho.  This was a hay ranch.  My husband and hired help put up about 450 to 500 ton of hay and fed it to the cattle in winter time.  We lived her for 10 years.  Three children were born here, Louisa,Charles Alton (died in infancy), and Ralph.

      Winters were quite severe and children had to go 4 miles to school by sleigh.  The roads were kept open with a large roller.  Men teachers stayed at our place and drove the sleigh for the children.  The closest neighbor was 4 miles.  There was a small store & school at Henry.

      We had frequent visits by Indians who came to fish in the creek that ran by our place.  Prospectors who came to prospect on old Caribou Mountain, and trappers (rat trapping was excellant there in the swamp land) and even sometimes by outlaws.

     In the fall of 1915 we moved to Thatcher, Idaho to make our home. This place (after a homestead was taken up) consisted of 400 acres.  It was situated just 1/2 mile West of the Grace Power Plant.  We lived here until my husband died in 1934.  Then my sons took over the place and I went to live by my daughter.  I am now 81 years old.

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