Arnold Asael Beckstrand 1891-1966

Arnold Asael

Arnold was born on 7 May 1891, in Meadow, Millard, Utah. He was the youngest child of Elias August and Henrietta Cecilia Ahlquist Beckstrand.

He was raised on the old family farm. His recreation consisted of riding horses, book reading/studying, and athletic activities like playing ball and foot racing. School occupied a major portion of his life. After attending high school in Fillmore, he found a way to finance attending the University of Utah.

Arnold was married to Anna Effie Smith on 26 August 1915, in the Salt Lake Temple. They were the parents of three children: Donald Smith (21 October 1916), Venice Effie (5 October 1917), and June (23 October 1919). Anna Effie died on 26 March 1922. Arnold married Bertha Grace Smith on 2 April 1924, in the Salt Lake Temple. They were the parents of three children: Robert Lynn (11 April 1928), Karen Jean (27 May 1937), and Linda Kay (5 December 1946).

He worked as a salesman for Pacific National Life Insurance Company for forty years. He was a member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. He also taught school in the Jordan School District in Salt Lake County, Utah.

Arnold died in Long Beach, Los Angeles County, California, on 16 April 1966 and was buried in Midvale, Salt Lake, Utah.

The following was taken from "Events in the Life of Arnold Asael Beckstrand" written by his son, Robert L. Beckstrand.

"My first recollection of Dad was during my very young childhood. It seemed like he was always either going outside to care for his animals or he was dressed up in his suit to go meet with someone to sell life insurance. My father was an avid family man and he did everything that he could to provide for us and care for all of us as well as he possibly could. Although he didn't really enjoy attending church meetings, he married both of his wives in the temple, kept the Word of Wisdom and tried to live the Lord's commandments as best he could.

"He had purchased twenty acres of farm land on Tenth East in Sandy, Utah. He also purchased a frame home in East Midvale, Utah. I was born there to my mother Bertha Grace Smith Beckstrand, who was my father's second wife. We lived in the old Midvale home until my marriage. It was cold in the winter because we heated only the kitchen with an old coal stove which heated our water too.

"We did light farming on the twenty acres and raised animals for our own use. Dad was very good at raising most varieties of animals. We raised hay and grain on the farm and sometimes we grew a variety of vegetables for our own use and for market. Some of the best animals were show quality and we made regular trips to the annual Salt Lake County Fair in Murray, Utah, with our entries.

"My Father was a man of manu interests and he involved himself fully in all of them. I have heard him tell of his running abilities when he was young. He was a winner in "foot racing" both in Meadow and in later life. He told me a few of his experiences going to the University of Utah. He said that finances were very scarce. He graduated with a degree in the arts from the University of Utah. He then began teaching music in high school. He later began selling life insurance and there he stayed until he stopped working at a very ripe old age.

"Dad was an accomplished pianist and could play ragtime with abandon. He was also blessed with an excellent quality tenor singing voice. He was a soloist in the Tabernacle Choir and a "paid" tenor soloist in the St. Mark's Cathedral. I remember one Christmas Eve he sang carols on KSL Radio and we spent some time that night listening to him

"Dad made our lives very interesting every fall, because he didn't care for the cold weather, especially in later life. We would pack up in October or November and go to California for the winter. He could take his life insurance job with him to California so employment wasn't a problem. We would return home in about April. You can imagine what that did to my school year. I would just get a good start in the fall at Jordan High School and then have to transfer to Fullerton Union High School in Fullerton, California. and then finish the year in the spring back at Jordan High. The California high schools were always ahead of Utah so I struggled to catch up in the fall and coasted when I came back to Jordan High.

"Dad was a very good provider and we never went without anything even during the depression years of the thirties. We always had our own beef, pork, chickens, turkeys, lamb, etc., and he taught me how to raise and slaughte some of them in the fall for our winter meat. We didn't take it to a butcher and we didn't need a freezer. We simply hung the meat on our own screen porch after it was cold enough to cure it and by the time it was cured it started to freeze. I remember that it was my job to go out onto the cold porch with a butcher knife and a hack saw to retrieve a roast or some steak from the frozen carcass for my Mom to prepare for dinner.

"Dad and Mom moved to Fullerton, California, in 1959, to live in the old home there. They loved living in sunny California. Life was good until the day that he was diagnosed with colon and prostate cancer in 1962. His health wasn't good after he had to undergo surgery and a colostomy. He and Mom lived in their small Fullerton home until 1966, when he became very ill and passed away on 16 April 1966, in a Long Beach hospital."

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)