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Hans Christian Hansen

Question: What special talent had Hans Christian Hansen developed that brought enjoyment to the early pioneers of Utah?

Answer: Hans Christian Hansen was born November 23, 1806 in Copenhagen, Denmark, to Ole Peter Hansen and Martha Margarete Osmundsen. He went to sea as a boy and during some of his voyages visited America.

On one of these occasions, during the summer of 1842, he became converted to the restored gospel and was baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Boston, Massachusetts, by Elder Freeman Nickerson. Hans sent a letter to his brother, Peter Olsen Hansen, in Denmark who, not finding any Mormons in Denmark, set out for America. Upon his arrival, Peter was baptized by Hans, becoming the third man from Denmark to join the Church.

In 1843, Hans migrated to Nauvoo, Illinois, where he became well acquainted with the Prophet Joseph and worked on the Temple. He received a Patriarchal Blessing by Hyrum Smith on November 26, 1843 in Nauvoo. He was endowed in the Nauvoo Temple on December 13, 1845. He was a member of the Seventies Quorum while living in Nauvoo. Afterwards he suffered with the rest of the Saints during their exodus from Nauvoo in 1846 to Winter Quarters.

Hans was skilled as a musician, was a hard worker, and was chosen to be in Brigham Young’s Vanguard Company of pioneers in 1847. The log of the journey tells of his playing his violin in the evening for the travelers. They arrived in the Salt Lake Valley on July 24, 1847.

Hans’ brother, Peter, went to Utah in 1847 in the Abraham O. Smoot Company. In 1850 he was sent to Denmark, as the first Mormon missionary, with Erastus Snow soon following. Peter labored there five years, and translated the Book of Mormon into the Danish language. He had many converts, and was instrumental in bringing many to Utah. In 1858 he went to Sanpete County and resided in Manti, Fairview, Mt. Pleasant and Richfield. Peter died at Manti on August 9, 1895. He was the father of six children.

In 1863, Hans was called on a mission to Denmark, earning his passage across the Atlantic both going and returning as a sailor. After his return to Utah, he played in the orchestra at the Salt Lake Theater. Hans rendered not only physical service in the early days of the settlement of the Great Salt Lake Valley, but because he was an expert violinist rendered great service with his music. He was known as “Fiddler Hans.’ He was one of the earliest fiddlers of Utah.

Hans eventually made his home in Salina, Sevier County, Utah. For a number of years Hans was a resident of Salina, Sevier county, Utah, where he died at age 83 on October 10, 1890. He was buried in the East Side Cemetery in Salina. Some records indicate Hans was never married, and no children are listed for him. Ordinance records indicate that in July 1892, after Hans passed away, someone sealed him to Maria Jordan and Elizabeth Escox in the Manti Temple.

Source: Conquerors of the West: Stalwart Mormon Pioneers, Vol. 2,;

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