Grandma Freeman’s mother wrote the following:
Nekolai Sorensen Weibel, Son of Frederik Sorensen Weibel and Ane Marie Jensen was born 28 January, 1861 in Tilst Sogn, Denmark. Received his education in Aarhus, graduated at 14 and entered into apprenticeship of four years where he learned the trade of locksmithing. His masterpiece was a miniature scale that could weigh a hair, for which he was awarded a merit card and was given his reference travel book. The custom of the country was to travel about the country for six months, visiting different towns and county seats, registering their craftsmanship. Traveling light with only a knapsack on their backs. On entering a town or city, went to police station and registered and showed their credentials and was given 24 hour stay in towns; in large cities, 48 hours. Finally went to work at Silkeburg, Denmark at a foundry or ironworks. My father was small of stature, dark hair, slightly curled, dashing brown eyes, a ladies man. At Silkeburg, he met my mother in the fall of 1881. A young girl of 15, fresh from the country, tall and slender and a blonde, with sparkling blue eyes, and a mass of beautiful golden hair. She was a daughter of Lars Peter Boelstafte and Mette Yuline Kjerstine Jensen. She was born in March 17, 1866 at Norre Sogn, Denmark. She had come to Silkeburg to visit her maternal grandparents. Through a friend of theirs met my father and it was love at first sight. They were married in Silkeburg, 11 November, 1882. 11 children were born to them, I being number four born 23 July, 1887. Through friends, met the missionaries, and both investigated the gospel about 2½ years unknown to both of them. Meeting by chance one evening was quite surprised, but rejoiced together and were both baptized 9 February, 1885. Late at night far away from prying eyes, as in those days Mormons were shunned and people were not mingling with them. Walked two miles into a wood to a little lake. My father ran ahead, broke the ice, and amid ice and snow were baptized. Two others were baptized the same evening. Then they hurried home to an elder of the church, sat around a warm fire and enjoyed hot chocolate and cake.
When I was five years-old my parents moved to Aarhus, quite a large city. My father was doing well, but anxious to leave for Zion. They talked and planned and prayed and an answer came one day. A group of Saints were leaving soon and a sister Christensen wanted to take me along. Plans were made and I left Aarhus 11 November, 1895 at the age of 8½ years. It was my parents’ 13th wedding anniversary. What a sacrifice never will I forget. That night had a supper and knelt in prayer before leaving for the boat which left at midnight. I between my parents, my one hand held by my father the other held by my mother. The president of the mission offered up a prayer and promised us a safe journey if we would have faith. Kneeling on a bench by the rail of the boat, the last I saw was my mother’s face and pale blue feathers of her hat. A couple days out from Copenhagen, a terrible storm arose. We were on an old boat that was loaded with horses and cattle. It had been condemned for passengers for quite some time but the Saints got lower fares and felt secure in God’s care. About 2am I and another child was rushing on board and tied to the mast. The waves were rolling high and were flooding the ship. Men and women manned the pumps amid prayers and singing the songs of Zion the night wore on and by sunrise the sea was calm again. At breakfast, the old sea Captain, with tears streaming down his face, said he had never seen such a storm. He also said he had been on the sea since he was a small cabin boy and knew for a surety that we had been saved because of the Saints aboard. What a testimony to me. We sailed on with no further trouble and arrived safe and sound 4 December, 1895.
We arrived at Salt Lake early in the morning. How we cried and rejoiced. Seeing the spires of God’s holy temple, gave all renewed courage. We arrived in Moroni, Utah about 2pm the same day. In the fall of 1896 sent a second child, Elise, coming alone with a company of Saints at the age of about 7. She was seven a few days before coming to Moroni, sent to be companion to me. Through sacrifice they were able to prepare for my mother and four small children to come. They arrived in Moroni on the glorious 4th of July, 1898. The kids were 1, 2, 4 & 7. That year mother struggled along with her six children. Finally on 16 November, 1899 my father and oldest brother, 16 years old, arrived in Moroni. Through faith and prayers and friends, our family was finally reunited here in Zion. August 1900, a little brother was born. And in the spring of 1902 they moved to Salt Lake and made their home in the 25th Ward of the Pioneer Stake. Another brother arrived February 1904. 22 September, 1927 they took out their endowments and were sealed for time and eternity in the Salt Lake temple.
My father was a member of the high priest quorum and in good standing when illness overtook him. He moved to California in November 1938 living at Glendora. June 1939 made a trip to see a son in Rupert, Idaho. While visiting there was stricken, and suffered with stroke 3 August 1939. I nursed him there for 11 weeks. Business called me away and due to illness myself, I could not go back. In April 1941 had him moved to South Gate to my home where he passed away Sunday morning 25 January, 1942. A member of the South Gate Ward, a full tithe payer, faithful member, had a burning testimony of the gospel to the last. Patient always during his long illness, asked about his welfare, always said, “Oh, pretty good.” Tried to convey to us his desire to see the bishop, Bishop Magnusson, Bishop Jacobson came in response to our call, dedicated him unto the Lord. Passed away peacefully and was laid to rest at beautiful Rose Hills Memorial Park 31 January, 1942.
He was a great soul, my dad.
Great souls must walk alone.
So much they have to give.
In solitude they rise,
Expand that they may live.
With brush or pen or song.
Like flowers they face the sun,
Inspire the souls of men
until their lives were done.
He died three days before his 81st birthday.