Niels Peter Jensen, third Bishop of Preston Ward, St. George Stake, was born November 4, 1868 in Moroni, Sanpete County, Utah; the oldest son of Jens Jensen and Kjesten Maria Hansen. He was baptized September 23, 1877 by Lars Larsen in Moroni, Utah. Here he was raised an deducated. On October 4, 1891, he married Ida Lauritzen, daughter of Lauritz Lauritzen and Matilda Dorthea Johnson, in the Manti Temple. This union was blessed with three children, namely: Clarence Peter, Devona Maria and Ida Matilda. Ida Lauritzen Jensen was the first president of the Primary Association of the Preston Ward.
When the Church bought the land which became Lund and Preston and started to colonize it, Niels Peter came out first by horseback to buy land and get a house started. He stayed with his half-brother, John Sorensen, while there.
In 1899 he brought his family out by wagon, driving some cows. It took them two weeks to make the hard laborious trip. They arrived tired and dirty. Andrew Jensen and his family came out at this time. Devona tells of how she liked to ride in Uncle Andrew's wagon because Aunt Marie had baked a whole flour sack of cookies which appealed to the young traveler. They also had a baby which she liked very much. They lived with John Sorensen until their house was finished. Other settlers already in Preston were Zephaniah R. Bradley and family, Albert Geeand Wife Martina, Oliver Cloward and family, Dan Nicholas and Riley Draper.
After coming to Nevada two children died at birth and Niels Peter's wife Ida died May 20, 1905 of childbirth.
He filled a mission to Denmark from 1909 to 1911. He labored in the Copenhagen Mission which included Aarhus and the island of Bornholm.
During his mission Niels met Jensine Marie Jensen, daughter of Jorgen Peter and Ellen Margrethe Jensen. She had been a convert to the Church for a few years. After he returned from his mission she came to America and they were married February 12, 1912 in the Salt Lake Temple. Both Jensine Marie and Niels were good friends of Mission President Andrew Jenson while in Denmark and he and his wife went through the Temple with them. Andrew Jenson later became the Church Historian in Salt Lake City.
This second marriage was blessed with three children: James George, Ida Margaret and Elsa Kirsten.
Niels Peter Jensen was one of the settlers who took an active part in building up the town. From 1901-1906 he was second counselor to Bishop Hyrum S. Arnoldson. From 1912-1918 he was second counselor to Bishop Christian Hermansen. He was ordained and set apart as the third bishop of Preston Ward, September 22, 1918, and served in that capacity until September 19,1926. He was set apart by Apostle David 0. McKay. At some time he was first counselor to Bishop Henry Behrmann.
He served three years as a member of the High Council of the newly organized Nevada Stake. He spent six months as a stake missionary in the Nevada Stake.
His second wife, Jensine Marie, passed away April 20, 1940. He continued being active in the Church. He was first counselor to Bishop James Nielson and first counselor to Bishop Lloyd Oxborrow during 1946-1947,then the Preston Ward was joined with the Lund Ward in 1948.
Bishop Jensen was a farmer by vocation. Jensine Marie Jensen operated the Preston Cash Store from about 1926 until her death in 1940. She was active in the Relief Society.
On September 5, 1943, Niels married Helena Petersen Ames Christensen of Moroni, Utah. She was a very faithful wife for him in his declining years. His wives have taken an active part with him in his ecclesiastical and secular affairs which has contributed much toward his successful career as a public officer.
He was a kind and loving father, a hard worker and a good provider. He was public spirited and an advocate of education, a good neighbor and was always ready to help in sickness or death. He took an active part in founding and upbuilding the town of Preston where he lived until his children moved him and his wife Helena to Ely.
Here in Ely he had the misfortune to fall and break his hip. He never recovered from this injury and passed away in the White Pine County Hospital May 30, 1949.
He set a good example for his fellowmen. He raised a family to be proud of and handed down to them a good name.
Clarence Peter was the oldest child of Niels Peter and Ida Lauritzen Jensen, and was born in Moroni, Utah, 4 October 1892. Clarence came to Preston when he was 6 years old. He attended school in Preston, took vocal lessons from his mother and violin lessons from George F. Morley, Sr. When his mother died his formal education ended. Several years later when his father went on a mission to Denmark, Clarence helped operate the farm. After his father returned Clarence began working away from home at various jobs.
He met and courted Rebecca Elnora Hermansen in Preston and they were married in the Salt Lake Temple. Their children were: Hope, born 17 April 1916, married Rawson Prince (Hope died 1 January 1971); Clarence Dee, born 20 September 1918, married Elizabeth Yvonne Horton; Bernard born 16 March 1920 (died 17 March 1920); Fae, born 29 March 1921, married Harold Clifford Anderson; Clair H., born 23 June 1923, married Etta Maria Fowler; Norma June,born 10 June 1925, married Robert Vernon Simon; Richard Christian, born 22 August 1926,married Georgia Joann Jennings; and Donna Gay, born 19 November 1935, married Donald D.Clark (Donna died 23 August 1969).
Clarence and Rebecca moved to Ely in 1927. Some years later Clarence sustained serious injuries to his body while helping a friend put out flames that were consuming the friend's body. This caused a severe toll to be taken on Clarence's health; however, the family all chipped in and worked hard to keep the family going. They grew together and loving memories of those hard years remain though Clarence and Rebecca have long passed away. Clarence died 5 April 1946. Both are buried in Ely.
Devona Maria, daughter of Niels Peter and Ida Lauritzen was born 15 January 1895 in Moroni, Utah. She came to Preston when she was 4 years old and had no one but boys to play with until the Tom Windous family came. Lily and Violet Windous, Devona, and her sister Matilda were almost inseparable. One time they were taking care of Uncle Hy and Aunt Anna Arnoldson's chickens, cat and bird. The four girls were frightened by a cow with a new calf. Their prayer offered while kneeling in a wagon helped them to get past the cow unharmed. Talk about the faith of little children!
Devona was active in Church, being secretary of the Sunday School when 12 and secretary of the Y.L.M.I.A. when 13. Her brother Clarence was secretary of the Y.M.M.I.A. at the same time. She attended high school in Moroni and after graduating she attended a six-week summer school course at the University of Nevada at Reno, Nevada where she had many interesting experiences which included meeting Governor Broyle, visiting the capitol building and the governor's mansion, riding on a street car, and visits to the state prison and the Stewart Indian School. Devona taught school one winter at the Gardner Ranch. Here she met and on 15 July 1918 married Victor B. Gardner, the son of Erazma Jane Burgess and Amos Gardner. After 45 years(18 May 1963) they went to the St. George Temple. They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary 15 July 1968.
They lived at the Gardner Ranch and then moved to Preston where they lived for many years and where most of their children were born and grew up. The children born in Preston were Victor Harrison, born 14 August 1919; Levon, born 12 January 1921; Derral Niels, born 26 September 1922; Helen Ida, born 24 February 1924; Amos Daniel, born 2 August 1925; Jane Marie, born 6 February 1927. Those born in East Ely were: Iris Devona, born 12 December 1928; Lynn Jensen, born 12 December 1930; Don Lavar, born 17 November 1932. Clarence James, born 3 October 1934, and Merle Maxine, born 12 February 1927, were both born in Ely.
Victor was employed by the Forest Service so the family moved to Ely in about 1943. They have had sons and grandsons serve their country in the armed forces; their oldest son being wounded in World War II. Victor and Devona have spent many winters doing temple work in the St. George Temple. They have truly lived a worthwhile life. Devona passed away 24 July 1977 in Ely and is buried in the Preston Cemetery.
Ida Matilda, daughter of Niels Peter and Ida Lauritzen Jensen, was born 28 July 1897 in Moroni, Utah. She was educated in Preston Elementary School and Moroni High School. She married Alma Emerson Blackham in the Salt Lake Temple, 12 June 1918. They lived in Moroni and their family consists of five children: Coy Emerson (died 13 December 1959), Ida Lucy, Bernus Jensen, Alma Rheta and Betty Joan. They have eighteen grandchildren and eleven great grandchildren.
James George, son of Niels Peter and Jensine Marie Jensen, was born 14 January 1913 at Preston, Nevada. He married Virginia Wakeling, daughter of James C. and Ida Mathis Wakeling of Lund, Nevada, 1 January 1941. They lived in Preston and operated the family farm until 1948. They lived in Las Vegas for a short time where their first child, James Lamont, was born. After accepting employment with the University of Nevada as County Agricultural Agent, they movedto Fallon, Nevada and then to Tonopah, Nevada where they now make their home. While living in Preston three other children were born: Yvonne, Raymond George, and Marie. Jim is retired and has a mobile trailer park in Tonopah. They have twelve grandchildren.
Ida Margaret, daughter of Niels Peter and Jensine Marie Jensen, was born 3 August 1914 atPreston, Nevada. She taught school in Preston, Elgin and East Ely, Nevada. She married RalphGubler, son of J. J. and Agnes M. Horsley Gubler of Lund, Nevada in the St. George Temple, 2 January 1942. They made their home in Ely, Nevada where Ralph operated a barbershop until May 1978. Ida was a housewife for thirteen years then she returned to teaching until she retired in 1974. They have two children, Dwala and Ralph Jacob (Jake).
Elsa Kirsten, daughter of Niels Peter and Jensine Marie Jensen, was born 27 May 1919 at Preston, Nevada. She taught Home Economics two years in Bunkerville, Nevada and then entered the University of Southern California and studied to become a registered Occupational Therapist. During World War II she worked as an Occupational Therapist in Army and Veteran's Hospitals. She married William Edward Cooley 13 January 1950 in Phoenix, Arizona. They have one daughter, Anna Kirsten. Ed is retired and is now a university instructor and a consulting psychologist. Elsa is director of the Resocialization Center of Mental Health Association of Ventura County, Ventura, California. They live in Ventura, California.
Ida Jensen Gubler
Devona Jensen Gardner and others