Restoration and Church History
Danish Immigrants in Utah

Hide Footnotes


Danish Immigrants in Utah

In August 1876 a Salt Lake City Danish-language newspaper Bikuben reported on the arrival of another company of Danish immigrants. “Many hundreds of people had gathered at the station. … There was jubilee when the train pulled in,” the paper noted. Prior immigrants had prepared a feast for the new arrivals to be served at the city’s tithing yard. “The tables, some sixty feet long, groaned under [the food’s] weight.”

Before 1890 almost 80 percent of Danish converts emigrated to help build Zion in the United States. In the 1850s and 1860s Latter-day Saints accounted for nearly half of the total emigrants from Denmark. Some, like the artist C. C. A. Christensen, had a lasting impact on the faith’s culture. Others, like experienced midwife Hannah Sorensen, shared their expertise to improve their communities.

Many men were later called back to Denmark as missionaries, while the women remained in Utah. During Mine Jørgensen’s husband’s mission, she wrote to him about the challenges of caring for their farm and their five children alone. “Now I must be as both Father and Mother to these small ones,” she wrote. “You know, of course, that I have not been used to working outside since I became your wife.” Still, she pledged to press forward until their reunion. “I always felt so secure when you were with me,” wrote Mine, “and I hope that God, who is in Heaven, will grant that day unto me again.” By the 20th century, gathering to Utah had become less common, but the influence of Danish converts and their culture on Utah and the Church remains.