Albertina Sophia Beckstrand 1867-1959

 Albertina Sophia

Albertina Sophia was born 4 March 1867, in Deseret, Millard County, Utah. She was the third child of Elias August and Anna Sophia Hegglund Beckstrand. When she was two years old, the family moved to Meadow. With the exception of a few years, she lived her entire life in Meadow. As a girl she helped in the fields with the farm work since her mother was ill most of her life. They would also card wool from their own sheep, spin the yarn and knit stockings for the family. She also helped to dry apples, peaches and plums.

She joined the Relief Society when a young woman and was an active member until her death. She joined the Primary in 1880 as one of it's very first members.

At the age of sixteen, Albertina was married to Joseph Henry Fisher in plural marriage. Her father always bought his year's suppy of food from Z.C.M.I. in Salt Lake City. At this time he took care of two worthwhile ventures at the same time. He and his second wife Henrietta, made a trip to Salt Lake City by team and covered wagon with Albertina and Joseph Henry. They left on the first day of December, taking six days for the journey. Albertina and Joseph Henry were married in the Endowment House on 6 December 1883, by Daniel H. Wells. Joseph bought a new wagon and after a day or two stay in the city, they put one team on each wagon and started home to Meadow.

Albertina lived with her mother for a year before moving a block north into the home with her husband's first wife, Elizabeth Emma Bennett Fisher. Here they lived for about two years. Joseph and Albertina's first child, Ida Sophia, was born on 4 December 1885. The tiny baby was barely three months old when the deputy marshals began hunting for polygamists. This was a very strenuous life for both the husband and the second wife as there was much moving to be done. Joseph moved both wives to the top part of town where he built a home. Here the two wives and their children lived for nine months. About this time, Joseph was asked to be the stake president of Manassa, Colorado, to come out there and build a grist mill. Joseph went to Colorado and took Albertina and Ida with him. He built a small home for his wife and daughter where they lived for about a year until Joseph was called home to Meadow because of the sickness of some of his children there. Albertina stayed in Colorado for about three months and then returned to Meadow to live with her mother until Joseph built her a log room on the same lot as his first wife.

On 1 July 1888, a baby boy, Asael Henry, was born in the new log cabin. When Asael was four days old, the deputy marshals were again after Joseph and Albertina. She had to be moved to the home of her sister, Anna Judith Beckstrand Duncan. Later Joseph took her to the sawmill in Meadow Creek Canyon where they lived until fall. In the spring they moved to Salt Lake City where Joseph worked on the Templeton Hotel and then later for George Cannon. They had lived in Salt Lake City for just one year when Albertina saw in the paper that her mother, Anna Sophia Hegglund Beckstrand, had died, 8 July 1890. Her mother had been buried for ten days before Albertina knew of her death. The letter informing her of her mother's death had been lost. Joseph and Albertina and family later returned to Meadow to live.

In January 1893, Albertina, at the age of 26, with her half-sister, Rachel Beckstrand, went to Salt Lake City to learn dress-making. Ida and Asael were left in the care of Elizabeth, the first wife. For six months she trained diligently and skillfully under the tutelage of a French seamstress at the Walker Building. In April 1893, the Salt Lake Temple was completed and dedicated. Both Albertina and Rachel had the privilege of enjoying the wonderful experience of being at the dedication. Many of the people from Meadow went to Salt Lake City for this great occasion. Among them was Joseph who took his two children, Ida and Asael, so they could see their mother. Albertina came home to Meadow to stay two months later. For the next twenty years, she did dressmaking for the ladies of Meadow, often sewing late at night by the light of a coal-oil lamp to complete the numerous pleats, tucks and ruffles required to be in style in those days.

In January 1898, Joseph was called to serve a mission to build meeting houses in Hawaii. He took leave of his two families and served until January 1900.

In 1910, Joseph built new homes for each of his wives. Elizabeth died 26 February 1940. Albertina's home was one-half block east of Main Street where they lived for fifteen years. Eleven years of this time she was the telephone operator for the town of Meadow. In 1925, she and Joseph were called to the Manti Temple as ordinance workers. They rented a house where they lived and worked in the temple for five years. In 1930 they were released and moved back to Meadow. Joseph immediately started to build a new home for Albertina on Highway 91 just one-half block north of Center Street. Here they lived happily together until 21 November 1940, where Joseph passed quietly and peacefully away. He was buried in the Meadow Cemetery.

In September 1944, Ida, and her husband, Earl, moved to Provo to work at Brigham Young University. Albertina went with them and stayed for four years. At this time, she was losing her eyesight and she wanted to return to her home in Meadow. Earl and Ida brought her home and took care of her until 10 October 1959, when she passed away at the age of 92. Albertina worked in every auxiliary of the church all the days of her life. She served in the Relief Society for many years. At the time, the Relief Society presidency usually served as the mid-wives, the undertakers, and made the clothes for burial. Albertina was known as "Aunt Teen" to everyone who knew her.

Histories Compiled and Edited by Sue Anne Beckstrand Thompson
Our Beckstrand Heritage: Christina Beckstrand Pehrsson, Karl Johan Beckstrand, Elias August Beckstrand and their families
(Logan, Ut., self published, 2003)