James Orson Lauritzen was born in Moroni, Utah August 20, 1882. He was born to Danish parents, Peter Jr. and Caroline Jensen Lauritzen. His parents were members of the L.D.S. Churchso he attended church and school in Moroni and was baptized in 1890 when he was 8 years old.
There were ten children in his family, six boys and four girls. The father was gored by a bull and died leaving the mother with nine children and the last girl was born six weeks after the father's death.
Orson came to Preston, Nevada along with others from San Pete County, and his oldest brother, Peter, came too. Orson got a farm and worked on it. He dated Emma Terry from Lund but there met Emma's sister, Marilda, and started going with her. He took the two girls to Preston to a dance and ended up with Emma going home with Willie Bradley and Orson taking Marilda home.
In the winter of 1901 Orson and Marilda, with her sister Mary Loanna Terry Lauritzen who was also Orson's sister-in-law, went to Utah. They were eleven days driving to Manti where on December 12, 1901 they were married in the Manti Temple. Travel was much slower then than today. They were married by Elder J. D. T. McAllister who was very happy to perform the ceremony as he had married Marilda's parents years before in the St. George Temple.
Orson was 20 and Marilda 16 at the time of their marriage. They spent two weeks in Utah where she met Orson's family and friends. There was a reception for them and they received many lovely and beautiful things to begin housekeeping with.
While there they bought the furniture for their Preston home. Orson's brother-in-law came home with them and drove a wagon too to help bring their furniture. They were sixteen days coming back.
They had a three room log house that Orson and his brother Peter, who was married to Marilda's sister Mary, had built for them. They lived across the street from Peter and Mary Lauritzen.
In July 1903 they had their first baby. He was a big dark curly haired baby and they named him Terry Ernest. Mrs. Horsley was the midwife. They were very proud of their son. Orson would work away from home some to help pay for their belongings. Whooping cough was going around and Marilda was afraid the baby would get it. Whenever she heard or saw anyone coming to the place she went out to inquire if they had whooping cough, as she did not want the baby toget it. Orson was working with the thrashers and gone a lot. One night Marilda heard the baby and she asked Orson to light the lamp as he slept nearest it. He did not answer and she got up to light the lamp. Then she found out that both Orson and Terry had come down with the whooping cough.
Their second son, Willis James (Bill), was born in November 1906. Margaret Windous was the midwife this time and he was the third child she delivered after she had taken a course in Salt Lake City. He was also a big baby, but he had lighter hair and blue eyes as Terry had dark hairand brown eyes.
The day Bill was a year old his father bought him a Teddy Bear that became so popular all the years since. It was named after our United States President, Teddy Roosevelt.
The family moved to McGill, Nevada where Orson was foreman of the McGill Ranch and meat market. Mr. McGill had two blooded horses and they got out and Orson and another worker went to find them. Orson's horse stepped in a gopher hole and injured him. He never came to and was buried in November 1907 in the Preston Cemetery.
Marilda moved back to her home in Preston where she met Hyrum Whitlock. Later they were married and Hyrum raised and was a father to Orson's two sons and raised them as his own with his four children.
Written and submitted by:
Vonda Whitlock Rogers