Rasmus Rasmussen was born in 1853 in Denmark. Rasmus’ family joined the Mormon church in Denmark and as a young man he immigrated to Utah. While selling fruit on the train to Ogden, Rasmus saw Hannah Sophia Hansen Zobell sleeping in her seat and knew that he was going to marry her. Hannah was also born in Denmark in 1854. They married six weeks after meeting on March 28, 1878, in Salt Lake City, Utah. While Rasmus and Hannah were living in Clarkston, Utah and were called by the church to come to Magrath to help with the irrigation system in 1899. The Rasmussen family arrived in Alberta the first week of May in 1899 according to their son Henry Edwin. The Parley Carter family came with them as Hannah Ceceila Carter was Rasmus and Hannah Sophia’s eldest child. That summer the Rasmussens built a long barn on the side hill of the corner lot north-west of the headgates and in true Danish style they lived in one end of it. Rasmus and Hannah lived in Magrath until 1920 when they retired to Cardston. Rasmus died in a riding accident on October 22nd, 1921 at 68 years of age. His wife, Hannah, survived him more than twenty years, dying in 1944. Hannah Sophia is known as the first woman in Magrath.
Rasmus and Hannah had 11 children. Hannah Cecelia (Carter), Camilla (Basset), Andrew Rasmus, Marion Joseph, George Albert, Henry Edwin, Peter Wilford, John Moroni (Jack), Mary Ane Catrine (Clifton), Ruth Elizabeth (Wessen), and Rachel Jane. Camilla did not come with them to Canada as she was recently married. Most of their children moved away from Magrath after they were married. Their son John (Jack) took over the family farm after Rasmus and Hannah retired.
OCCUPATION AND SKILLS
Rasmus had the contract to construct the first portion of the new irrigation canal below the headgates in Magrath. With these funds he purchased a farm, which is southwest of Magrath which the Rasmussen family still own. He brought horses, sheep, cattle, chickens, trees and bushes from Utah to have on his farm. Rasmus Rasmussen was apparently quite the horseman and in his later years, said the family, was reluctant to admit that he was not still a cowboy. Hannah worked on their farm with Rasmus and was noted for her fine spinning. Her son John (Jack) said, “She could shear sheep, prepare the wool and spin it into yarn as fine as you buy at a store.” She was also remembered for her dedicated work at the Cardston temple up until her passing.
A favorite story tells of the Rasmus Rasmussen family and their neighborly buck sheep. One morning, while the Dudleys were at church, he decided to make a visit. Dorothy had brought with her from Utah a folding bed with a large mirror on the front of it. This being a very valuable luxury in a frontier town. The sheep saw himself in the mirror and rushed in to attack. There was not even a small piece of glass left intact when Dorothy returned home from church.