Bryner Pioneer Museum

68 South 100 East, Price, Utah 84501



E-mail Us
Skip Navigation Links.


By Rosella B. Anderson and Lilly B. Frandson (his daughters)

Original copied with some comments (in brackets) by Merne L. Livingstone 15 Nov 2007

He was born 22 April 1827, in Illnau, Zurich, Switzerland. He was a butcher by trade and won several gold medals in a contest butchering a hog, killing, scalding, scraping hair off and dressing it, cutting it up, curing the hams, bacon, making sausages, and utilizing everything. He was also an artist. He was a lover of horses and painted many pictures of them. He painted a life-size picture of his wife, Anna Maria Dorothea Mathis and others, but when they came to America in 1856, they were left in Switzerland. They could only bring a few small ones with them.

When he was 16 years old he was very sick and was afraid he was going to die. During his sickness he dreamed he saw two men, one taller than the other. The short one had dark glasses on and father noticed he had a peculiar eye. He dreamed this man led him half round the earth, and thought it must have been a long dark night, as he couldn’t see anything. All was dark—no houses, no wagons, the guide said, “This is an ocean, this is the prairie, and the mountains,” and Zion was shown to him. At this time he did not know he was going to be blind. He worried about that dream quite often, but in 1856, he did cross the plains, the sea, and travel the same road he saw in his dream. The two men were Mormon elders. Elder Haselar was the tall man from Mt. Pleasant, Utah. The short man that had the dark glasses was Elder George Meyer from Manti, Utah

Father had an accident the winter of 1853, while dressing a hog. The hoof of the pig slipped off the gamble pin, striking him in the left eye, bursting the pupil. His brother, Casper Bryner, working nearby him saw the accident and led him to the hospital on the banks of the Seal River in Zurich, Switzerland. He lay in the hospital six weeks. Infection crossed to the right eye, typhoid set in and ruined the right eye and caused total blindness in both eyes. While in the hospital, father heard that there were two missionaries from America preaching a new gospel and they were going to preach in Bern on Sunday. Bern was a two-hour walk from Zurich, so when his wife and sister Barbara came to visit him, he told them that if he could see and walk, he would go hear them talk. On Sunday, his wife and her mother, his mother and sister Barbara went to hear them preach. When they returned, grandmother Mathis, his wife’s mother, came to him and said, “Tell me again about the men you saw in your dream. How they were dressed and about the man that wore dark glasses.” So father told them again that the one man was taller and the other man shorter, who wore dark glasses and had a peculiar eye, and that they were dressed in long-tailed clothes.

She said, “Can you think of two men you knew before you were blind that looked like the two men you saw in your dream? I saw two men and know that if you can describe these same two men to me, I’ll know your dream was true.” Father did describe the two men to her just as they were when they were preaching to her and the others.

One night about a month later his wife was caring for him, they heard a knock at the door, so father called her and asked her to go see who was at the door. She said it was late, but father told her to go see. When she opened the door she was surprised to see that they were the same two men that were preaching in Bern. They asked if they could stay there that night. When she told father, he said to take them upstairs to the bedroom that used to be his, and tell them he will see them in the morning. So she did, and they made the Bryner home their headquarters while in Zurich.

Father was converted, and was the first one to be baptized in Switzerland, March 16, 1854. At that time, six Bryners and six Mathises were baptized.

In1856, father and his wife and some members of his family immigrated to Utah and were called by Brigham Young to settle St. George, Utah. His father died there and was the first person to be buried in the St. George Cemetery in 1862.

Soon after his father’s death, he took his wife and family to New Harmony, Utah. He was living there when he wrote to our mother, and after they were married, he brought her to Toquerville where he bought them a home. He spent his time between New Harmony and Toquerville, Utah.

Our mother, Margaretha Kuhn Bryner, was our father’s second wife, whom he married after they had come to Utah. She was born in Switzerland on October 23, 1839, and was the daughter of Hans Ulrich Kuhn and Regula Gut Kuhn. She was married to a man by the name of Kuhn and had one son. Her husband was killed in the war. (Note added: Family members now say that there was a family tradition that her son was fathered by her older brother, and that she was not married in Switzerland.) She worked in a knitting factory, but being a very trustworthy employee, was permitted to do her knitting at home where she could care for her baby.

She heard the gospel and joined the church in 1861. Her family treated her cruelly because of this, but, being favored by her father, he gave her money and told her to go with the Saints if she wished. She lived with an LD.S. family by the name of Wintsch until they left the country and emigrated to Utah.

Mother left Zurich, Switzerland, in May 1863 and landed in New York ten weeks later and walked across the plains with an ox team, arriving in Utah in September. She married Casper Wintsch in Lehi, whom she knew in the old country. His wife had died while crossing the plains and had left him with four children. She had three children from this marriage and lost two while very small. (Note: Research has since established that she had two children by Casper Wintsch before he died. Then she married David Bjork in Lehi and had a little daughter Susanna who died when she was two weeks old, following which David died. So here she was, a widow again at age 28, having lost two husbands and two children.)

Our father heard of her husband’s death, so he wrote to her and on November 1, 1868, they were married in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City, Utah. She sold her home and 10 acres of ground and left Lehi, Utah, with her two children, Henry G. Kuhn and Mary Wintsch (children from former marriages) and went with father to Toquerville to make their new home. Their children born in Toquerville, Utah, were: John Ulrich, George William, Helen Josephine, James Levi, Barbara Ann, Enoch Conrad, Rosella Elizabeth, Lilly Agnes, Jacob Alma, Edith Margaretha, and a baby that died. They had eleven children. (Family information in Family History International Genealogical Index names this baby, born 1844, Jacqueline Elaine Bruno, which is probably a typing error.) Father had to divide his time between two families—one in Toquerville and one in New Harmony.

In the year 1884, Church authorities called father to come to Price, Utah, and help settle this territory. So our farm in Toquerville was sold in April 1884 and we left for Price, Utah.

The older boys, John, Jim and Enoch, drove the cattle, and mother drove our wagon team, with father sitting on the side to help with the brakes when necessary. When we reached New Harmony, father’s other wife, Aunt Mary and her family joined us. Brother Henry drove their wagon with a four-horse team and Frank helped the other boys with the cattle.

Aunt Susan, father’s other and third wife who had lived with us in Toquerville and whom we all loved, was also with us on our move from Toquerville to Price, Utah.

With the cows and the little calves, we had to travel very slowly. At night the calves were taken care of so the cows could be milked in the morning. We often put the milk in a wooden churn and tied it to the side of the wagon, and by night there would be a lump of butter. It seemed months to us from the time we left Toquerville in April until we arrived in Price, Utah, on July 23, 1884. We drove to our farm which was one mile west of the station.

As we drove along the tracks that evening, we saw a train for the first time. It was after dark and a long freight train came puffing and spitting fire from the pipes. It frightened us and the horses, and they jumped and reared up, but we watched it until it was out of sight. The next morning we went to see the track and were told that the two narrow gauge rails were for the train to run on. We marvelled at the passenger train with people riding in the cars.

The day after we arrived was the 24th of July and there was a big celebration down by the river near the pump house where they pumped water into a high tank for the trains. Everyone was invited to come and stay all day. There were logs for the tables and benches, and some spread their lunch on the ground. People were there from miles up and down the river. There was a tub full of pies made from wild currants and bull berries, and stacks of sandwiches. They made a big swing in the trees for the grownups and a smaller swing for the children, which we all enjoyed. We had celebrations there for years after. The log meeting house was just finished and the first dance was held that night, July 24th.

The families that were living there when we came were Henry Empy’s, George Robbs, Tob Whitmore’s, John Mathis;, the Warrent’s, Peterson’s, Grames’, McIntires’ and Downard’s, Bob Powell, John Powell, the Meads and Horsley’s.

The Powells had a large potato patch, and that fall, 1884, we all helped them dig their potatoes and took some for pay. John, Jim and Enoch helped with the hay, grain threshing and all harvesting that fall, and we were glad to take some for pay for our winter supplies.

At that time the town was located around the depot. Fred Grame had the post office and the first store in a one-roomed building. The station was called “Castle Valley Junction” then, and later it was changed to the “Price Station.”

The log meetinghouse was built in the center of the town-site. The first meeting was held in it on April 13, before it was finished, and the first dance was held July 24, 1884, just after it had been completed.

George Frandsen was the first Bishop, Kalob Rhodes and John Mathis were his counselors. Peter I. Olsen was the first Sunday School Superintendent. Sally Ann Olsen was the first school teacher and she taught school in her home. T. M. Pratt taught school in the log meetinghouse after it was finished.

In the summer of 1884, our brothers took the cattle on the mountain and brought back logs to start our home in town.

That winter on February 11, 1885, our George William, died at the age of 14. He was buried up in the Mead Cemetery on the side of a hill east of town. After 46 ½ years, our brothers moved his body to the Price Cemetery and all who saw his body marveled at how well it had been preserved. The casket had been made by E. S. Horsley and Samuel Cox. No water had reached the casket, but the screws had rusted and the lid was loose, but the clothes were in perfect order. A new vault box was made for the casket and he was buried in the family plot in the Price Cemetery.

The fall of 1884, J.H. Pace, his wife, our sister Pauline Bryner Pace, and Samuel Cox came from Bluff with their families. They had been called by Brigham Young to come and help settle the territory. Bro. Cox was a carpenter and made most of the caskets for the dead. He also organized our first choir. All who could sing, both old and young, joined his choir. We were about 10 years old when we joined it.

Brother Cox’s wife, Sarah B. Cox, and Sarah Jane Warren were also of great service to the community. They were nurses and mid-wives, and were ready to go at any call where there was sickness, whether it was disease of any kind, or to bring babies into the world. The weather would never stop them. They always came at a call in snow, rain or summer heat, walking or riding.

Our mother was gone nursing a big part of the time too. Sometimes she would be gone for days and we would not see her. She also kept herbs of all kinds tied up in a bag, hanging in the attic. She made a very good canker medicine from herbs and barks. It was considered the best medicine for both children and adults, people from all around would come to buy it.

Whenever there was sickness or death, our mother was there to help in any way she could, and when she came home she would stay in the granary and change her clothes, being very careful to not bring any germs home to her children. In those days we wore a little bag of assifedity around our necks to kill the germs.

In 1891 there was an epidemic of diphtheria. The Marsings lost all of their eight children. At two different times they had to put two children in one casket to bury them. Frank Nickerson and wife lost five children, and Joseph Anderson and his wife lost three with the scarlet fever. Other families were affected by the epidemic too.

Bishop Frandsen would send help or go himself carrying food to the sick. He carried flour, bacon and hams from the tithing office, and sometimes from his own bin. At one time he carried scarlet fever home to his little granddaughter, and after that was more careful.

Our new log house had been completed and the winter of 1886 we had to move into it. It was the first big log house to be built on the new townsite.

The next fall our brother Henry took his mother, Aunt Mary, to New Harmony to live with her daughter, Verena B. Redd, and to be with Henry when he and Isabell Birch were married December 1, 1887 in the St. George Temple.

All that spring and summer the men worked hard to build a canal to get water to the townsite. It was finished in 1888 and soon after there was a terrible cloud-burst and the canal broke, flooding the town and doing great damage. We had to haul water in barrels from the river until the ditch was fixed.

Josephine came home on August 3 from Woodside where she had been working in the section house for the railroad Company. Her clothes and all the money she had earned were in the house when it burned, and on August 5, it rained again. The water ran down the stove-pipe and then we could not bake the bread, so Mrs. Beager, who was helping in the home, stuffed rags around the stove-pipe and forgot to take them off when the rain stopped. That night when Mrs. Beager went upstairs, her room was full of smoke, so she opened her window, and the draft blew the smoldering rags, causing them to catch on fire. It was very warm, and everyone was sleeping outside. Edith and Lilly were sleeping in a wagon near the side of the house. They slept in one end and Aunt Susan in the other end. During the night, mother screamed “Fire, fire!” Johnny heard her and came, then Ras and Lars Frandsen, Ralph Horsley and Dave Smith came from the Frandsen home across the street.

Father rushed upstairs to get a box that contained their money, deeds, and mortgages from the sales of their home in New Harmony and Toquerville, but because of his blindness he could not see and the fire was too bad. He was burned about the hands, his whiskers were burned off his face, and his face terribly blistered, but he had picked up what he could before turning back.

The wagon box with Lilly and Edith in it had been picked up and carried away, and because mother didn’t see them with the other children, she thought they had been burned, and she had a nervous breakdown. For weeks they could not quiet her. She was in the hospital in Salt Lake and away from home for two years. There was no water to fight the fire, and so it was weeks before anyone could go near to look for the gold and silver that was in the tin box.

All of Aunt Mary’s belongings were stored upstairs. When they could finally get through the smoldering ruins, they could see the edge of $20.00 gold pieces melted together, and when it was minted again, the lump contained $350.00. The big lump of silver contained more than that. The green backs and other receipts were burned.

Where Josephine’s trunk had been burned, they found a lump of silver dollars melted together. It amounted to several hundred dollars when minted again. The total loss was never estimated, and could not be replaced.

The granary was fixed up and the family lived there until another house was built. Father directed the building of the new home as he had seen it done in Switzerland. It was built of mortar, lime, sand and cobblestone rock. He told them how the mortar was to be filled in with rock, so as to not touch the frame, and after three days to dry, the forms were taken off and raised to make another layer. It was a warm house in the winter, and cool in the summer. It was torn down in 1945 and stood where the new J. C. Penney store now stands.

Mother had been a weaver of fine silks while in Switzerland, and now all of her relics, pictures, records, savings and addresses to Switzerland were burned and she could not write to her parents or anyone in Switzerland until 1893, the time of the World’s Fair in Chicago, when our brother Albert, went to Switzerland on a mission. His cousin Carl Boshard came to America to the World’s Fair, from Zurich, Switzerland. They passed each other on the ocean and did not see each other until Carl returned home after his visit to America.

His mother, a sister to Albert’s mother, gave him an extra thousand dollars if he would come to Price to visit her sister, Maria Mathis Bryner. So he came direct to Price before going to the Fair and had a wonderful visit with his aunt and her husband, Ulrich Bryner (our father). Then Carl took our father, his uncle Ulrich Bryner who was blind, to Dixie, Utah and other places to visit with his other uncles, John Mathis in New Harmony and Henry Mathis in St. George. Then they went to Salt Lake City, Utah, to visit Swiss friends, but word came for them to return to Price as Aunt Maria had taken seriously ill. She died September 1, 1893.

Carl went to the Fair in Chicago and then back to Switzerland, where he met his cousin, our brother Albert. They found our mother’s, Margaretha K. Bryner’s sister, Anna Hardmyer and other relatives and sent the addresses to our mother. She was so happy to write to them again.

While Carl was in Switzerland, he joined the L.DS. Church. He gathered genealogy on his father’s and mother’s family lines. After a few years, his parents died so he returned to America, coming to Price, Utah, in 1900. Later went to Salt lake and did Temple work for his kindred dead. He lived there until he died in the St. Mark’s Hospital and was buried in the Price Cemetery several years later.

Brother Jens Peterson had a farm two miles from town. He had the first loom in Price. He and his wife made rag rugs and carpet by the yards. They also had the first molasses mill and they made molasses from cane juice. Everyone took their cane to him. He made their molasses, then with the last of the molasses in the boiler, he would let everybody come to make molasses candy. He also made tubs, buckets and barrels out of wood staves. He was on a mission to Denmark in 1875 and he was the one who converted the Frandsens in Copenhagen, Denmark. Bishop George Frandsen was living in Mt. Pleasant, Utah when he was called to be the first bishop in Price in 1888.

Mother and father had the first bees. They started with just a few hives and increased till at one time they had 300 stands of bees. The children all had to help father as he was blind, but he could turn the extractor and even help build the bee boxes and frames for the honey.

He could help on the farm with lots of the heavy work, and could bind the bundles of grain. The younger children would lead him around. Along the river he would cut bunches of willows and we would help him sort them, taking long ones out to make baskets. The children would strip the leaves off and pile them up, and the older boys would haul them to the house. He made many different kinds and sizes, and was very accurate. His baskets were considered true to measurement. He made 1 peck, ½ bushel and bushel sizes. He could hardly supply the demand for these baskets. He also braided rope from cowhide. With the help of his children he could do most anything with his hands.

They brought fruit pits of all kinds from Dixie. We cracked them and kept them until they began to sprout. Then we planted little fruit trees. Father also had grapes. We had the first grape bowery in Price. He made some of the best wine that could be bought.

With the help of others, father made a spinning wheel and mother spun yarns, washing the wool and carding it, and made yarn for the knitting of socks. We sold many quilts to mining camps, sheep herders and freighters. Mother had owned the first sewing machine, but it was burned in the fire. Mother made men’s suits that were bought at the Washington factory in Dixie.

We always planted a big garden and raised vegetables of all kinds. We had a lame brother, Henry, who never married and he was a great help to mother, both with the garden and with the bees.

Enoch freighted for many years, taking his freight to the Unita Reservation and bringing asphalt back. John worked for Mr. Sharp, a surveyor, and Jim worked in the coal mines.

Josephine clerked in the S. S. Jones store where George Adelbert Fausett worked as a clerk. She went to B. Y. U. one fall and on March 31, 1893, she was married to George A. Fausett.

Anna worked in a boarding house, then went to gilsonite mine at Duchesne Co. where she married Albert McMullin January 1, 1894. At their wedding dance we learned that brother John had been married the same day, January 1, to Martha Smith at Meadow, Millard County, Utah.

Enoch would tell the girls, Rose, Lilly, and Edith to stay at home and help mother, and he would buy their clothes, but sometimes when someone needed help, mother would let one of us go. But we did our share of helping in the garden and with the bees and in the home.

Alma would drive the team with mother to the camps to sell vegetables along the road between Price and Castle Gate. They stopped at the Ladd home to sell their goods and learned that two of their children had been badly burned while making a fire with kerosene. Mother immediately grated raw potatoes and put all over their burns. Mother stayed there several weeks and helped to care for the children.

Once Abraham Owen Woodruff came to Price to a Mutual Conference. He stayed over a day to visit with brother Albert as they had been on missions together. He wanted to help take the honey out of the hives, so he put on the gloves and bee bonnet, and helped in the honey all forenoon.

The fall of 1894, sister Anna came to stay with the family so we could all go to school that winter, while mother and father were in the St. George Temple working. Joe W. Davis and his sister, Pearl, were the teachers.

The following September, 1895, we all started to school again. Mother let Minerva Van Wagner and her brother Dell stay with us and go to school. Annie had moved back to Wellington, and Edith was living with her going to school there, but she came home and slept with Minerva and Lilly. She did not feel well, and wanted to stay home, but Bert would not let her because Annie needed her while he went on the road to take the Christmas freight to Vernal and other places, so he wrapped he up in a quilt and took her back to Wellington. He carried her into the house, and when he unwrapped her, she was all broken out in measles. She had exposed us all, so we spent Christmas of 1895 with the measles. Rosy did not take them, so she was our nurse. Our nephew, Willie Bryner, took the measles and died that winter.

Annie and her family came down with the measles and on January 22, 1896, Annie’s second baby Flavo was born. Annie was all broke out with the measles. So Lilly was sent down to help Annie until they were well and then Edith came back and went to school there. We all went back to school on February 22, Washington’s birthday. The school had a program. We were all dressed in costumes to represent the flag. A picture was taken of all the costumes we students made.

On February 27, our sister Mary B. Neagle died from child-birth. At this time her husband, Heber L. Neagle was in the Swiss German Mission. Mother was very sick at this time too, so mother kept Rosy home to help with the family, as she was older. Lilly went to help Heber’s mother, Rosanna Neagle, care for their five children. Heber was released and came home. The baby died in June, after that he brought the children and Lilly home. They visited in Price until September, then he went back to Toquerville, taking three of his children and Rosy back with him. He left his little girl, Ruby, to stay with her grandparents and Lilly.

Then June 8, 1897, Heber L. Neagle married Emma Anderson who worked for them at the time of Mary’s death. Rosy visited with her relatives a while in New Harmony and Cedar City. Then in July, Heber and his family went to Lehi to visit folks and Rosy came as far as Provo with them. She came home to Price a few days later.

Rosy and Lilly took Ruby, Heber’s little girl, to Salt Lake City to meet her father and family who were coming from Lehi to attend the John C. Neagle reunion on July 23, 1897, at Calder’s Park, Salt Lake City, Utah. We met some of the cousins. One of John C. Neagles wives, Verena Bryner Neagle, was our father’s sister. We then stayed over in Salt Lake for the 24th of July celebration which was the 50th Jubilee of the arrival of the pioneers in the Salt Lake Valley.

In April 1898, sister Annie McMullin came home to Price to live while her husband, Albert O. McMullin, went to the Southern States Mission. She lived in the extracting house where we extracted honey. When we had so many bees, she took in sewing to help for the family and her husband on his mission, and after school we girls helped sew. Our cousin, Henry C. Mathis, went to the Southern States on a mission about the same time that the missionaries were killed in the southern states. There have been 23 missionaries out of the Bryner family go on foreign missions and some to the states.

Our home was just across the street from the log meeting house, so we could go and watch the dances. We learned to dance really young. Our brothers were among the best dancers. Jim took the prize for the best waltzes many times. Jim married Jane Babcock and lived on a farm he had bought at Helper, Utah. They lived there several years. He and Jane were separated and on December 8, 1919, he married Ethel A. Larsen in the Salt Lake Temple. Enoch married Ella Zabriskie in 1901. They moved to Sunnyside where Enoch had the typhoid fever and almost died. They then came back to Price when he was better.

In the fall of 1897, the government called for volunteers to go to the Spanish American War. There were 10 or 12 young men who enlisted, and on a Friday night a big banquet and dance was given in honor of these boys. Everyone came out and it was a very big affair. People came from all over the country. These boys were to leave the following Tuesday, but on Sunday night, a man knocked at the door of Tob Whitmore’s home. Rosy answered the door as she was working for Mrs. Whitmore at the time, and he told them that the robbers were out on his ranch beating up his hired men and were stealing his cattle. So the sheriff, Charles Allred, was notified and he immediately organized a posse to go after the robbers. He deputized two of the boys, Jack Gentry and Niels Peter Anderson, who were among the volunteers for the Spanish American War, so they left with the posse and did not get back in time to leave on Tuesday with the other boys, as the posse was instructed to bring them in, dead or alive.

The posse was gone a week or more, but they located the men, and a lot of the stolen cattle were returned to their rightful owners. Two of the men were brought in dead, and the others were brought in and placed in jail. This stopped the stealing of cattle and horses, and other properties for a few years. After the incident, Niels Peter Anderson was appointed sheriff/city marshall. He served in that capacity until 1900.

On November 15, 1899, Rosy and Peter Anderson were married by Bishop Ernest S. Horsley. The town was quarantined for various diseases, so there could be no public gathering and their wedding dance was postponed until the epidemic was over.

On January 2, 1900, Lilly and Rasmus Frandsen were married and then they went to Salt Lake for a short visit. In March, Rosy and Peter moved to Sunnyside, Utah. While there, Peter was appointed deputy sheriff.

In October, 1902, Rosy came back to live in the home and take care of our older brother, Henry, who was a cripple, while father and mother, Edith and Alma, the two youngest children, went to work in St. George in the temple on the records of the Bryner line, also mother’s family line, the Kuhns, and also the Mathis line, father’s first wife’s family. Alma stayed in St. George one year and then came back home to live with Lilly until mother came home.

In 1907, April 4, Alma was married to Ethel Porter in the Salt Lake Temple. Edith came home with mother and was married to Thomas Sheppick June 29, 1904, in the Salt Lake Temple. Father stayed in St. George and worked in the temple until he had a stroke and died February 11, 1905, and was buried in the Price Cemetery, Price, Utah. (Cemetery records of St. George, Utah say he was buried there, and died 8 Feb. 1905. The 11th must be burial date.)

By Lilly Bryner Frandsen and Rosella Bryner Anderson.