Christian Hogensen (1830-1899) and Karen Petra Larsen (1830-1917)

Handcart Pioneers

Richard E. Turley Jr.

Christian Hogensen (1830-1899) and Karen Petra Larsen (1830-1917) were Norwegians who were married on board the William Tapscott as they immigrated to the United States in 1859. Iris Swensen Hancock, a granddaughter, wrote the following about their overland journey from New York to Utah:

From New York City to St. Joseph, Missouri was by train and then they travelled by steam boat up the Missouri river to Florence, Nebraska. The trip by train in those days was not much better than the cattle cars of today. The journey from there to Zion was by hand cart; leaving from Florence, Nebraska on June 9th, 1859. 235 souls, 60 handcarts and 9 wagons arrived in Salt Lake City on September 4, 1859. The usual experiences of such a company was theirs. The journey was not too severe although at times rations were very low. (Iris Swensen Hancock, "Mary Jane Hogensen Swensen")

Their trip from Florence, Nebraska Territory, to Salt Lake City, Utah Territory, was in the George Rowley company, the eighth of the ten Latter-day Saint companies to travel by handcart from 1856 to 1860. So far as is known, neither Christian nor Karen left a written account of the handcart journey. The database "Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, 1847–1868," at lds.org gives information about this company, providing excerpts from many sources that talk about the company. Click here to be taken to the list of sources.