Danish Mormon Monument
The Family Pioneer statue is a fund raising
project for Rebild Utah's chapter. Our Chapter took over
"Friends of Denmark" that originated the idea.
We are in the process of identifying a good
stone mason in the SkÝrping area that could engrave the names
on the bricks we already have in storage at Rebild. As soon as
this process is set up, it will go fast, and people will be
able to see results quickly.
- The process right now is for interested
parties to contact Rebild Utah with a request.
- I will then email a form that asks for
certain information, and request a check in US dollars of
$500 to be mailed to Rebild Utah, 890 North Sage Circle,
Pleasant Grove, UT 84062.
We plan to have a link on our
website in the future, where people can order and pay through
Pay Pal with credit card to make it easier.
During the period of 1820-1940, approximately
380,000 Danes immigrated to the relatively new land of the
America. Some left their homeland to escape unfortunate
or difficult living circumstances, some went in search of
their fortune, and others simply had a fervent love of
adventure. Regardless of their reasons, all had one
thing in common: the dream of a new life in exciting
Coupled with this dream, there was often slight
hesitation in the hearts of these brave emigrants. They
were leaving a poor but familiar home in exchange for strange
and oftentimes uncomfortable circumstances. The read to
success in America was paved with hard work, language
difficulties, economic hardships, and homesickness. In
spite of the difficulties, these determined Danes established
respectable, new lives in America, and were part of creating
the United States as we know it today. Over 500 Danes
fought in the Civil War, and many others laid railroad tracks
and were part of the efforts to lay the foundation for
American society. Several towns and states show signs of
their Danish heritage and many descendants of Danish emigrants
preserve the memory of their Danish legacy. Of all
states, Utah has the largest group of inhabitants with Danish
The Beck Family
The statue entitled "The Family" is a
representation of an actual Danish family on its way to
America. The Beck family was a part of the Mormon
emigration, with consisted of approximately 18,000 Danes in
the 19th and early 20th centuries.
Although the figure refers to a specific
family, one can read in their faces the stories of many
emigrants similar to them. The image depicted is typical
of countless other emigrants - mother, father and children are
standing with their eyes directed to their new home.
Each seems to be filled with hope and great expectations for
what lies ahead.
The grandmother appears to be looking back with
a wistful gaze; she may not have the same things ahead of her.
The new language might be too difficult for her to learn, and
her husband has chosen to remain in Denmark, so she may never
see him again. The baby in the arms of its mother will
not complete the journey, and is included in memory of the
many infants who lost their lives while their families crossed
The arrival on the East Coast of the United
States did not mark the end of the journey for the Beck Family
as many other Danish families. Four months after
departing from Hamburg, Germany, they arrived in the Salt Lake
Valley in Utah, where they were met with many more challenges.
For some time, the family lived in a one-room adobe home with
a dirt roof. Through hard work and perseverance they
overcame their hardships and descendants of the beck family
are found in the city of Alpine, Utah, to this very day.
One will probably never completely understand
what motivated these emigrants. Their joys and hardships
were very diverse and different from our modern-day lives.
Through tales and art, such as this sculpture, we might begin
sense what drove these people to succeed. By learning
about them we can appreciate their contributions to our life
ABOUT THE ARTIST
The artist Dennis Smith was born in Alpine,
Utah in 1942 to parents with Danish ancestors in Vendsyssel.
The sculpture "The Family" depicts his forefathers who
immigrated to America. He studied art at Brigham Young
University, and in 1968 he was admitted to Royal Academy of
Sculpture in Charlottenborg, Denmark. He learned to
speak fluent Danish, and he also spent 2 1/2 years in Denmark
as a representative for the Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints from 1961-1963.
Descendants and Friends of Denmark
Provo, UT 84602
Mormon contact in Denmark
Jesu Kristi Kirke af Sidste Dages Hellige
5000 Odense C