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Andrew and Sarah Jane Christenson

Andrew Christenson Sarah Jane Christenson
Andrew B. Christenson

Andrew B. Christenson was born in Manti, Utah of Danish immigrant parents. As a young man he farmed and herded sheep in the Henry Mountains of south central Utah. While growing up, Andrew and his siblings were schooled mostly at home. He attended school first in Gunnison and later at Brigham Young Academy in Provo.

As a young graduate, he married Sarah Jane Bartholomew in 1896 in the Manti Temple. Their honeymoon was on a horse-drawn wagon headed for Andrew's first teaching position in southern Utah. He was principal and teacher in Kanab for two years.

Andrew moved his young family to Ann Arbor while he attended the University of Michigan. He graduated in 1901 with a BA in Literature. He served as a principal in St. George, Utah.

In 1903, Andrew went to Germany to study for a year while Sarah stayed in Provo. When he returned, he taught in Salt Lake City until 1910. Andrew took his family to England for a year while he studied. He returned and taught Biblical History and Literature at BYU for several years before coming to Ricks as principal. During his administration at Ricks, two years of college work was added to the curriculum, a library was established, campus grounds were landscaped and construction on the gymnasium was begun. Andrew always fostered the performing and visual arts and he determined to have the best departments in Idaho.

In 1918, after serving at Ricks, he went to southern Utah where he was involved with development and business deals during the 1920's. During this time he farmed and ranched, but economically times were hard and he did not do well financially.

Andrew and Sarah bought a home in McKinley in northern Utah where they settled until his death. His health began to fail as a result of diabetes and he died in McKinley in 1931.

This information was taken from Andrew B. Christenson: Mormon Educational Pioneer written by his daughter, Lucile Christenson Tate
Sarah Jane Barholomew Christenson
(1875-1966 )

Sarah Jane Bartholomew Christenson was born and reared on a farm in Fayette, Utah. As a young girl, she learned to work hard. This early discipline prepared her for future challenges.

She married Andrew B. Christenson in the Manti Temple in 1896. They would become the parents of eight children.

Sarah would move often in her life with Andrew. For their honeymoon, they packed their belongings in an horse-drawn open wagon and set out for Andrews first teaching job in Kanab, Utah. Two years later their young family moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan where he studied and received his BA. When Andrew went to the University of Berlin to study for a year, Sarah stayed in Provo, Utah with her young children. She boarded students, and took classes at BYU. The next six years were spent in Salt Lake City, where Andrew served as principal of LDS High School. Sarah and the children spent a year in Europe with Andrew while he studied at Oxford, England and Paris, France in 1910-1911. They returned to Provo where Andrew taught at BYU for several years.

In 1914, Andrew was called as principal of Ricks Academy and the family moved to Rexburg. After four years in Idaho, Sarah and Andrew moved their family to southern Utah where Andrew was involved in investments and development deals. These did not work out, and his health broke. In 1931, Andrew died leaving no financial resources.

Sarah turned to her sewing skill to provide her income as she still had children at home. She bought a home in Salt Lake City where she continued her sewing business and took in boarders for many years. In later years she lived with one of her daughters until her death in 1966.

Sarah was always an active member of the Relief Society and served as president in many wards. All during her life she had a sense of adventure and daring. She relished the many travels with her husband. In her seventies she spent a year in New York as a chaperone for a granddaughter studying there. Even into her eighties she enjoyed camping with her family.

This information was taken from a biographical sketch written by her daughter, Lucile Christenson Tate
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