Hans Madsen Funk

Here is the brief yet fascinating story of my second great grand uncle, Hans Madsen Funk (1839-1892).

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Hans Madsen Funk

Hans Madsen Funk was born on May 15, 1839 in Eskesgård, Pedersker, Bornholm, Denmark. If you recall, he was one of thirteen children born to Diderik Espersen Funk and Kirsten Madsen Hansen.

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Hans Madsen Funk’s birth and confirmation record in the Pedersker Parish records of 1839

On November 4, 1855, Hans was baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) by Christian G. Larson. He immigrated to America in 1861 and by 1872 had set up a homestead in Lewiston, Cache County, Utah.

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Hans listed as a passenger of the Monarch of the Sea, which arrived in New York in 1861

In April of 1865, Hans, his wife Christina Swensen, and their children along with Hans’ brother Christopher Funk, his wife Annie Kofoed, and children were in the first group of pioneers to settle the town of Weston, Idaho.

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Monument erected on April 15, 1941 in front of the LDS Church on the main street of Weston, Idaho

On October 11, 1875, Hans was called to serve a mission for the LDS Church in “the region of the Colorado River.” His mission call was signed by Brigham Young and Daniel Wells of the First Presidency of the LDS Church.

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Mission call to the region of the Colorado River, dated October 11, 1875 and signed by Brigham Young

In 1879, Hans accepted a mission call to Scandinavia. He arrived in Copenhagen on November 29, 1879 and was assigned to preside over the Copenhagen Conference. In 1880, he and his companion held Church meetings on the island of Samsø (Holbæk County). They were arrested and imprisoned for three days. After his release, Hans baptized and confirmed a family living on the island. As one historian observed, “It seemed that every time the civil authorities undertook to hinder the progress of the work, they only helped to arouse the feelings of the people and further the good cause.” Hans departed from Copenhagen on August 29, 1881 aboard the steamer Pacific.

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Samsø, Denmark

A few months after he returned to Utah, Hans was ordained a bishop by William B. Preston. He served as bishop of the Newton Ward in the Benson Stake from 1884 to 1892. During his tenure, he was arrested for unlawful cohabitation (i.e., polygamy). In November 1887, Hans was fined three hundred dollars and sentenced to six months in prison. The following May, he was released.

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Portrait of Hans Masden Funk

Hans Madsen Funk died in 1892 in Newton, Cache County, at age fifty-three.

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Headstone of Hans Madsen Funk, Richmond City Cemetery

MEMORIES OF MY MOTHER by Erma Funk Lundquist

The following was written by my grandma, Erma Funk Lundquist:

To most of you here, she was Grandmother … to me she was Mother (Naomi). She lived to be 84 years of age.

My Great Grandmother, Naomi Roxana Holman

These are a few of the wonderful memories I have of my childhood with her. She was a proud lady in every respect.

I can remember first living in the Toomb’s house in Benson. A lot happened there. One year the pigs were to be killed for winter meat. I remember the big barrels with liquid in them and they put the pigs in the barrel and swished them back and forth to clean them. My Dad wanted to help so he took the pigs tail and pulled it right out. We all had to hide our faces to laugh.

I remember my brother – he was a dear. They all went to Trenton each week to farm. Then they would come home on the weekend. A good time was had by all – especially me. My brother, Bill, always teased me with gum. I had to kiss his one-week of whiskers in order to get the gum. My mother always had lots of goodies – pies, cakes and fresh bread for all.

Can you imagine being cooped up in one room for three weeks with a brat like me? Yes, I had scarlet fever, which at that time was bad news. The keyhole and around the door had to be taped. We had an outside door to that bedroom. Our meals were brought and left on the door step. We ate our meals and put the dishes in the pan. They brought boiling water to put on them before they were washed. My mother held me in her arms. She furnished tons of Sears catalogs to fill shoe boxes full of paper dolls. Dr. Merrill was a dear and he and Mom would visit while they gave me 3 tablespoon of caster oil every morning. Fortunately no one else got scarlet fever.

I remember the meetings my Dad used to have and invite the men in. They all had boots on and were covered with ice and snow. I embarrassed my mother for as it melted it bothered me so I got the mop and cleaned it up right under their feet. Good teachings – cleanliness!

One day in early Spring, Inid and I were playing in the kitchen on the floor. We looked up and a big Indian Chief had his nose flattened on the screen door looking in. My mother instantly took us out into another room out a door and told us to go to one of the outer buildings and gave us instructions what to do. We did exactly what she said and a little more. We locked her out there with the Indian. However, we did pray for her safety. She was left out there to do battle with him, but instead, she made friends. They camped down by the river every Spring and every Spring my mother had visitors. She gave them a loaf of bread or whatever she had.

My Grand Aunt, Inid Funk (1905-2002)

I remember the big round table she used to feed many people on. No electric lights in those days – wood alcohol ones. She kept the liquid in a quart jar to fill the lamps, then sat the jar by my plate. Inid and I was out in the leaves and I got thirsty so I went in and took a drink of alcohol. After I had done it, I ran outside to Inid. She, of course, ran and told Mom. Needless to say, everyone got busy. Jerome called Dr. Reese and Bill called Dr. Merrill and both got there at the same time. Fortunately I had disobeyed for I had gone to the orchard and eaten green apples. They absorbed the poison in the alcohol and it helped me – it saved my life.

Well, of course, Mother probably had bad breaks and good things happen to her. I don’t remember. But I do remember when Bill went away to war. She was not too happy about it. He was in Camp Kearny. I remember the parade down Center Street, bands playing and a train waiting at the end of the street. Some kind man picked me up and put me on his shoulders. The last time I saw Bill alive was on the back of the train waving a white hanky. He got sick. We fasted and prayed a lot but he had double pneumonia. My mother use to say, “If I could get to him I could make him better.” She was a great nurse. His funeral was held in our new home which was not completed. It was pretty hard on my Mom, too. She insisted on his casket being opened and that he be redressed to her satisfaction. I remember I sat on her lap on the way to the cemetery, kicked her legs and screamed all the way. Mother understood though. I wanted to be with Bill. He was special.

My Grand Uncle, William (Bill) Orlando Funk (1891-1918) in His Uniform

Moving across the street to the new place waiting for its completion was something else. We lived in a big tent and when wash day came, I wanted to leave. It took a lot of muscles to push the agitator back and forth. We had a huge boiler on the top of the stove. The clothes were put in boiling water before they were clean enough for my Mom.

One day my Dad fell down our hill. My Mom and I stood at the top and laughed. It made Dad angry when we laughed and he said, “You damn fools, you’d laugh if a guy got killed!”

In the living room and dining room Mom had hard wood floors and Benny Lundquist was the painter. She watched him work and got exactly what she wanted. She was a good supervisor for Benny.

She took great pride in her garden and flowers. She always let the neighbors know when she was digging potatoes. Her screams were heard far and wide when she would get a toad instead of a potato.

She also sounded the alarm when Rex would push a cat towards her. To keep things running smoothly and keep me out of trouble, she used to send me to the fields to herd the cows. She always knew what to do.

I’m sure she was a fun loving young woman. For many Saturday nights my wonderful Dad would come home from work and ask, “Do you have a date for the dance?” If the answer was NO, he would say, “Get your mother ready and I’ll take you.” We would stop in Smithfield and pick up Afton Greene and we were on our way. Dad knew how much I loved to dance – and Mother enjoyed watching the young people. It was great fun. When Mother went to Salt Lake to see her Mother, Dad and I were at home alone. He loved a fire in the fireplace, so when Mom went away, we had one. She didn’t like a fire because she said it was too messy. We cleaned it up good before she got home. My Dad would sit in his chair reading the newspaper. I couldn’t see his face, but I had the most wonderful feeling – contented and secure.

When I was left alone with a six-week old baby boy, my Dad and Mother took me in. At that time I felt it an imposition, but since then I feel it was good for all. My Mom marveled at the attention my Dad gave him. She had seven children and he had never changed a diaper. He did Eddie’s. There was a relationship that grew there that was an inspiration – love for all.

Unfortunately in 1936 I moved to California. I didn’t get to see Mother much after that, maybe every two to three years. Whenever I did, there was always welcome and plenty of love. She didn’t ever have much money but was always willing to share. In days past, I always remember her getting her check cashed and 10% went to one side for tithing. That never failed. She was faithful in her religion. She was kind and devoted to her family.

Mom, if you are listening, I must thank you for all the things you did for me. I had a wonderful childhood and always help when I needed it. It’s sad when one gets to be 80 and just realizes a few things, but I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately and now I know how lucky I was to have a Mother and Dad, brothers and a sister, like you.

I love you all, but most of all I love you, Mom and Dad.

Do you want to hear more?! In the past few months I have written many books in my mind (between 3 AM and 5 AM in the morning) – rehearsing and remembering all the good things that have happened. I’m sure that Inid has all the details and statistics.

(Note: These memories were recorded for the grandchildren of William and Naomi Funk who meet together each year for a “Cousin’s Reunion” on the Saturday evening before Memorial Day.)

My AncestryDNA Results

About a month ago I decided to take a DNA test through ancestry.com. I had heard a lot about the test and became fascinated with the idea that technology could assist in your genealogical research. So, I received the DNA kit, spit into a clear plastic tube, and sent it off not knowing what to expect.

Well, I got really excited when I got the email this morning informing me my results were in. I must admit that my results were not very surprising – they pretty much confirmed what I had known all along.

The greatest percentage goes to Scandinavia (the Lundquist’s and Funk’s), closely followed by Great Britain (the Hunley’s and Stafford’s). The 12% attributed to Ireland was somewhat puzzling, but it is very plausible the Irish comingled with the English.

And look at the small percentages attributed to the Iberian Peninsula and European Jewish – highly interesting.

Although the test confirmed what I already knew, I am still fasctinated that DNA can tell you so much about yourself and family history. 

The Funk’s

Funk family history takes us to Denmark – specifically, the Island of Bornholm. Bornholm is situated in the Baltic Sea, approximately 100 miles southeast of Copenhagen. Curiously, Bornholm is closer to Sweden and Poland than mainland Denmark.

Picturesque Bornholm

The Island of Bornholm to the East

My third great grandfather, Diderik Espersen Funk (1800-1874), was a farmer in the small village of Povlsker; however, he soon moved to the town of Pedersker. It appears Diderik was also connected to the sea for in one account he is described as a “sailor who made several trips to Iceland, Greenland, and to other countries." Diderik, however, was foremost a farmer. In fact, the "Diderik Funk Farm” is still a familiar spot on the island and is known for its beauty.

Diderik Espersen Funk

On November 12, 1825, Diderik married Kirsten Madsen Hansen (1801-1875). They made Pedersker their home.

Kirsten Madsen Hansen

The Danes generally believed that the more children they had, the more luck and blessings they would enjoy. It appears my ancestors definitely adopted this philosophy. Diderik and Kirsten had 13 children, which included two sets of twins. Their names were Elia; Elia’s unnamed twin brother who was stillborn; Jorgene; Christopher Madsen and twin Cecelia Kirstine; Jacobena; Hansmine; Kirstina Matilda; Hans Madsen; Didderikke Helena; Marcus Espersen; Hannah Eliza; and Willard Richards (more on that later).

Marcus, my second great grandfather, was born on December 3, 1842 and was baptized two months later in Saint Peders Church on February 4, 1843.

Saint Peders Church, Bornholm, Denmark

Copy of Marcus’ Birth and Baptismal Certificate

In 1851, missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) arrived on the island. In February of 1856, Diderik was baptized into the church. Kirsten was baptized three months later. Marcus was baptized in January of 1857 at the age of 14.

It turns out the LDS missionaries may have played a part in naming Diderik and Kirsten’s youngest child. It appears the missionaries were called to the Funk home to give the new baby a blessing, but the parents did not know what to call him. The missionaries suggested “Willard Richards,” after the latter-day apostle.

Willard Richards Funk (Post 1909)

Not long after Marcus’ baptism, Diderik and Kirsten decided to leave Denmark and travel to Utah. On May 29, 1857, the Funk’s boarded the Tuscarora under the command of Captain Richard M. Dunlevy. On board were 547 LDS immigrates, of which 185 were Danes. The ship arrived in Philadelphia on July 3, 1857.

On August 29, 1859, the Funk’s arrived in the Salt Lake Valley. They had traveled with the James Brown ox train. Willard Richards Funk described their arrival:

We arrived and camped in the public square. The people were very good to us and brought us all kinds of vegetables and bread. They brought us a large squash and mother asked what it was. They told her and said to cut it up in strips about two inches long and boil it like potatoes. We cooked it and tried to eat it, it was the first time we had ever tasted it and we could not. Mother cried because we had to throw it out.

Later, most of the Funk family moved to Richmond, Cache County, Utah. On October 22, 1864, Marcus married Magdalene Olsen Westenskow. Magdalene had also joined the church in Denmark and had immigrated to Utah.

Marcus Funk

Magdalene Olsen Westenskow

On January 20, 1867, Magdalene gave birth to William Jacob Funk, my great grandfather. William eventually married Naomi Roxana Holman, who gave birth to my grandma in 1910.

William Jacob Funk (1867-1935)

Naomi Roxana Holman (1870-1953)

My Grandma, Erma Funk (1910-1997) with her son Richard (my youngest daughter looks exactly like him in this picture) 

Harold Edwin Lundquist: The Labor Missionary

In the summer of 1956, my grandfather and grandma Lundquist were called to serve a labor mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS). Their mission? To assist in the construction of the Church College of Hawaii (now known as BYU-Hawaii). Most of my information comes from a fantastic book I found online called “Church College of Hawaii and Its Builders.”

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On February 7, 1921, LDS President David O. McKay attended a flag raising ceremony at a church elementary school in Laie, Hawaii. It was then that he decided to build a school of higher learning: “Here on the island where the power of God has been shown to man to a greater degree than upon any of the other Islands, it has been resolved to build a school at Laie, Hawaii.”

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President David O. McKay and his wife, Emma Ray McKay

On September 1, 1955, the LDS Church established a labor missionary program throughout the Pacific Islands for the purpose of building chapels and schools. In December of 1955, labor missionaries began working on the campus of the Church College of Hawaii.

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While on his mission, my grandfather supervised the painting and decorating of the college, as well as the LDS temple. My grandma took care of my mom, who attended Kahuku High School, and worked in the visitor center of the Hawaiian temple.

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The Lundquists: my grandfather, mom, and grandma

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The labor missionaries in front of the Hawaiian temple; my grandfather and grandma are highlighted in red

My grandfather’s paint crew was comprised of a group of young Polynesian men who were described as “rowdy” and “unruly.” It turns out that none of them had ever seen a paint brush prior to this.

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My grandfather (far right) and his paint crew in front of the Hawaiian temple

One particularly challenging task my grandfather faced during his mission was the hanging of the murals in the foyer of the administration building. One of these, entitled “Kapiolani Defies Pele," depicts the first Christian missionaries who arrived in Hawaii in 1820. The mural is quite large (32 feet by 12 feet) and had to be hung in sections. My grandfather had learned the art of hanging murals from his dad, Eric Benjamin Lundquist. The paste my grandfather used to adhere the murals contained white lead, linseed oil, and other ingredients.

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"Kapiolani Defies Pele”

After being gone for more than three years, my grandfather, grandma, and mom returned to Los Angeles.

As you would imagine, Hawaii is a very special place for my family, not only because of this experience, but because my family moved there in the 1970’s. In 1978, I was born at Queen’s Hospital in Honolulu.

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Church College of Hawaii: when naming the school, President David O. McKay said, "This is the Church; so this college should be named THE CHURCH COLLEGE OF HAWAII, not Mormon, not Latter-Day-Saint, but THE CHURCH COLLEGE OF HAWAII.“