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Sketch of the Life of Johanna Lundblad

Pioneer of 1855

Written by Lourie Meeks Morrell

For Camp 2 D U P Orderville, Utah

Johanna Lundblad was born September 2, 1846 near Malma, Sweden, in a little town called Savado. Her father Hans Lundblad was born September 29, 1821, and her mother, Karste, was born September 10, 1821, a daughter of Andres and Anna Pharson Mortenson. Johnanna’s father was a tailor. He did his work so well that wealthy people had him do all their tailoring for them.

When Johanna was only five years old her parents became interested in the new religion called Mormonism. Her father was so busy with his work he didn’t have time to read so he taught little five year old Johanna to read. After that while he worked the little girl would sit beside him and read the Bible with her father helping with the hard words.

The Lundblads were the first people to be baptized in Sweden. Although a few Swedish people had previously joined the church in Denmark. When it became known that the Lundblads had joined the new religion, the wealthy trade stopped and persecution began.

Hans Lundblad was the first president of the Scandinavian Mission. The church services were held in their home with his wife leading the singing. One day they were holding services behind locked doors when the mob broke down the door and entered. Sister Lundblad immediately led the song, “The Spirit of God Like a Fire Is Burning.” The mob stood unable to move until the song ended. Then they left and the meeting went on.

At one time the mob seized Brother Lundblad and stretched him on a stretcher until he was badly ruptured. He was never right strong again. He and his wife were both arrested and sentenced to prison on a bread and water diet. They sent their three children, Johanna, Mary Christena, and Charlotte Elena to Denmark, and they, with the aid of friends escaped in the night and joined their children.

Then the year-long journey to Zion began. For eleven long weeks the ship on which they sailed was tossed about on the stormy sea. The Captain lost his way in the storm and it was with thankful hearts the sea-sick voyagers reached America. Preparation for the long journey across the plains began. At last all was ready and the little Lundblad family began their trek to the promised land. Their one cow did double duty. Besides helping draw the wagon, she furnished milk for their scanty meals.

Sister Lundblad was ill for a year, so a bed was made for her on ropes tied across the wagon. Little Johanna trudged along at the side of their father each day and they must have been a great comfort to each other.

In Echo Canyon the Lundblad’s first son was born. They named him John Willard. The mother was so ill and the road so rough, she couldn’t cling to the baby and several times they found the little fellow at the foot of the rope bed. To make matters worse, Johanna was taken ill with mountain fever. They arrived in the valley in 1855. The mother was too ill to care for her family so Heber C. Kimball and his wife Vilate took Johanna and cared for her until she was well. As long as she lived, Johanna never forgot how good they were to her and how wonderful it was to sleep in a real bed again. She was so grateful that she named one of her boys for Brother Kimball and a girl for his wife.

The Lundblads were hard-working thrifty people but they continued to have hard times for a number of years after they reached Utah. At one time Hans was working for a company as a carpenter. He received his rations as part pay. Food was so scarce at home that he received permission to take flour instead of the one biscuit he would have received each meal. He took the flour home so his wife could use it to thicken the milk their cow supplied. He was so weak from hunger that often he could only stand by leaning against his work bench.

Johanna said she would get so hungry and was too proud to beg, so she would pick up crumbs where more fortunate people had shaken their table cloths. One day she went to a neighbor’s house on an errand. The neighbor woman had just taken a big yellow johnny cake out of the oven, and Johanna looked so wistfully the neighbor cut out a big square and handed it to the little girl. Johanna didn’t even taste one crumb but ran home where she divided it with her family.

The family lived in San Pete County for some time and from there moved to Washington County in 1861, and later to Beaver, where they made their last home. It was here that Brother Lundblad died, June 29, 1868.

In Sweden Brother Lundblad had been an excellent tailor, but in the new country he became a builder. It was said that he could build, finish and furnish a home, throughout. His wife also worked. She wove beautiful carpets and after her husband died, she made a good living weaving.

Soon after moving to Washington County, Johanna met and married John B. Covington. To this union were born ten children: Johanna Elizabeth, Chastie Ellen, Mary Emily, John Lundblad, Robert Alexander, Malinda Vilate, Joseph Willard, Heber Chase, Emma Charlotte, Phoebe Elena. Johanna had always felt a little slighted because her sisters had two names and she had only one so she gave each of her children two.

The young bride suffered a great deal from the heat in Dixie so they moved to Cache Valley where they settled in Paradise. Here John and Johanna attended Professor Thomas’ singing school. There was no one to leave the baby, little three-year old Hannah with, so she accompanied her parents wherever they went. The little girl had a beautiful singing voice and could go as high as Professor Thomas’ tuning fork.

From Paradise they moved back to Washington but again ill health caused them to move again. This time they moved to Beaver where the Lundblads were living. From there they moved to Adamsville and in 1877 came to Orderville.

Sister Covington helped in the Order Kitchen, besides carding, spinning, weaving and helping make hats and men’s suits. While still a young woman she was stricken with rheumatism and for fourteen years she suffered from the disease. The last twelve years she was unable to stand on her feet. In all her suffering she was patient and cheerful and, although she couldn’t do hard work, she had a great influence over her children, training them to be honest and faithful.

Until her hands became so stiff she couldn’t use them, Sister Covington did a great deal of beautiful needle work. She passed away in September 1903. She is held in loving remembrance by her family who often quote her favorite maxim: “Beauty is only skin deep.”