Marie Wilhemina Krause Madsen
When we talk about pioneers I frequently hear people speak of the toughness of a people who could endure such physical demands, and that is true, but there is another dimension to that toughness that is equally, if not more important—Faith—spiritual toughness!
Mina was born to a mother with great faith in the restored Gospel who taught her well. And though her father was never converted, he supported the desire of his wife and family to immigrate to Zion. However, it was expensive to move a large family and it was decided that one child would stay behind to make the journey later. Mina, at 8 years of age, was designated to remain behind.
On that journey, Mina’s mother and two little sisters passed away from cholera near Mormon Grove, Kansas, and Mina’s father never went on to Utah. He settled the family in St Louis, Missouri.
Meanwhile, unaware of the tragedy, Mina made ready to come on to Utah with the Frandsen family, but when vicious rumors spread that Mina was being kidnapped by the Frandsens, she was taken away and placed in an orphanage. The Frandsens went on without her.
Determined to go on, Mina joined with the Madsen family and started the journey. In Iowa City they became part of the Hodgett Wagon Company. This company along with the Hunt Wagon company are often forgotten in the heroic struggle for survival in the Wyoming snows of 1856, but they ought not to be. They would not get to the Valley until December 1856, two weeks after the Martin Company.
At Devil’s Gate, Lars Madsen, Mina’s protecting father, collapsed in the snow. She clung to his side, but he pushed her away and told her to leave him. By the time she got back with help, Lars was gone.
Mina remained with the Madsen family and eventually married one of their sons. They settled in the San Pete Valley and had 11 children.
But what of her family? Unbeknownst to Mina, her father had started a plumbing business in St Louis and had become very wealthy. Mina wanted to know what became of her family, and eventually she ran an ad in a newspaper in St. Louis, Missouri. That ad reached Johan Krause, Mina’s father, and he and Mina’s sister Augusta traveled to Utah.
Finally, after 32 years the family was reunited. After a time, Mina’s father returned to St Louis contending that the Mormons had stolen his daughter. She would never see him again. It is said the family offered Mina every material comfort if she would renounce her faith and come back with them to Missouri. Mina refused. She would give up her immediate family for an eternal one and would forgo a mansion on earth for her place in a heavenly one. It is said that Mina loved the Book of Mormon and would read it every day to her children.
Sister Mina served as a relief society president and died in the faith in October of 1900, beloved by all and an example to generations.
Family records from Mandi Brady
Jolene Allphin, Tell My Story Too, p. 348-9
Artwork by Julie Rogers