Christian Jensen was born in Moroni, Utah on June 23, 1880 to Jens Jensen and Kjesten Maria Hansen. He was their sixth and last child. He lived and went to school in Moroni. When he was eighteen he joined the band of settlers in Preston, Nevada where his older brothers had settled. There he worked on farms and freight wagons carrying goods to Tonopah, Goldfield and other mining towns.
He met Mary Melvina Burgess and was married to her in the St. George Temple on January 29, 1902. They had two daughters: Kjesten Erazma, born October 23, 1902 in Preston and Eudora, born June 25, 1904 also in Preston. His wife, Mary Melvina, died on January 15, 1905 and Eudora on March 25, 1905.
After the death of his wife and baby daughter he left the older daughter with her maternal grandparents in Burley, Idaho and went on a mission in the Northern States Mission in Northern Illinois. He served from December 6, 1905 to August 28, 1907 when he was released and sent home due to illness. He married Magdalena Behrmann in the Salt Lake Temple on September 25, 1907. He met her when she came from Colorado (where she taught school) to visit her sister Annie who was married to his brother James. They went to Burley, Idaho and brought Kjesten home with them to Preston. She died on January 12, 1908 of pneumonia as so many did in the early days.
Their children were as follows: Mary Melvina, born September 16, 1908 in Lane City, Nevada. She married Carlyle Peacock of Lund, Nevada. She died after nine months. They had no children.
Blanche, born September 5, 1910 in Ely, Nevada. Married Legrand Allred. They had two boys. Legrand was killed when his horse rolled on him. Later Blanche married Edward Mabry. He died recently of a heart attack. Blanche died in November 1979.
Lena married Charles Ciciliano and had ten children, six of them living - four girls and two boys living and three boys and one girl deceased. Charles was killed at work. Lena Maggie was born May 9, 1913 in Preston, Nevada.
Erma, born August 22, 1915 in Preston, married Lorin Bardley. They had no children. He died recently.
Aris Christian, born August 22, 1917 in Preston, married Rose Zamberletti. They had one girl. He died shortly after her birth.
Rees Leon, born December 17, 1921 in Preston, never married. He died a few years ago.
Neil B., born July 14, 1923 in Preston, married Shirley Pearson. They had one boy and one girl. Their son Rick was killed in Vietnam.
Chris worked in the various organizations of the Church. At one time he was Superintendent of the Sunday School at Preston and served in the Bishopric for a time.
In the early days of their marriage they lived in Lane City where he operated a butcher shop. Later they lived in Ely and then moved to Preston where he and his brothers operated a large farm and ran livestock. Later they divided the land and livestock and each brother had his ownsmall farm. He and Magdalena had a small general store and later the post office.
After the birth of Aris, Magdalena was very ill and the family lived in Utah where she received treatment and was improved. During this time they lost the farm and Chris worked at what jobs he could find. He worked at Illipah drilling for oil, for the County Road Department, and operated the small Creamery in Preston. Later he operated a truck between Ely and Delta, Utah and bought and sold eggs, butter and meats. After that he worked for the State Department of Agriculture for about fifteen years when he retired.
His wife, Magdalena, died June 25, 1939 at Sparks, Nevada where they were living. Chris, a she was generally known, lived until June 14, 1955.
I wasn't born early enough to have too much information about the early days. I started school in the two-room cement block school house. I do remember with fond memories the good times we had on picnics and pinenut hunts, but what I loved best was those barbecues
the men used to prepare for the 24th of July celebration. I remember sitting on our cellar steps watching my dad and his brothers and Zeph Bradley prepare the meat and sew it up in unbleached factory bags and covering each large cut with burlap which they carefully sewed. They used several kinds of meat. One person fattened a steer, another a pig. They used bacon and ham already cured. They had a big pit lined on the bottom with flat white sandstone. They built a fire for so many hours in the pit. When it was hot the meat was put in and covered with soil and another fire was built on it for a certain time. The men took turns tending the fires night and day. How delicious that meat was along with the baked beans and other goodies the ladies fixed. We children really enjoyed this celebration as we seldom had ice cream and soda pop atany other time in the summer. Of course, in winter we had homemade ice cream.
At Christmas each organization in the Church took turns having dances with cake and sandwiches at intermission. What good times we had young and old alike. On New Year's day the men from Lund and Preston chose up sides and had a rabbit hunt. The losing team had to sponsor the dance. On one night the older people had an Old Folk's dance. I remember we younger ones felt left out on that night but I'm sure our parents enjoyed dancing without tripping over us youngsters. We all learned to dance by picking out an older couple and following their dance.
As there were no movies, radios, or television then, we made our own fun - candy pulls, corn suppers and card parties. We also went camping. All in all we had busy, happy times. I truly remember my childhood fondly.
Written and submitted by:
Lena Jensen Ciciliano