Emma Anderson Liljenquist

Emma Anderson Liljenquist was a native pioneer, born in Salt Lake City, Utah 9 November, 1862. She was the daughter of Gustave and Mary Haroldson Anderson, pioneers of 1857. In 1866, the family moved to Hyrum, Cache Valley, Utah.

The following is taken from her diary:

When I was sixteen I became the wife of Oscar O. Liljenquist, son of Bishop Ola N. Liljenquist. We had been married two years without having any children and we were very concerned over this and decided to make it a matter of prayer. Our prayers were answered with a fine son, whom we called Oscar Eugene, born 15 September, 1880. On 2 November, 1882, another child, a lovely little daughter, was sent to us and we called her Mary Agnes. On New Year’s day, 1 January, 1885, another fine son was born, and we called him Hyrum Royal.

When Royal was two years of age (1887) I was called by the Church to take a course in obstetrics and nursing. Leaving my three children in the care of Anna Anderson, my father’s third wife, I left for Salt Lake City, where I stayed for six months. Dr. Maggie C. Shipp was the instructor. She lived just east of the Salt Lake Theater on the corner, and I lived with a Mrs. Jorgensen on 7th West. Every day I walked to the doctor’s office, except part time I lived with her. I never once took the street car.

I enjoyed my work very much, and after being set apart by Apostle John Henry Smith and several of the others, I returned home to do my work, having been promised by the Apostles that if I lived right, I should always know what to do in case of any difficulties. Six weeks after my return from Salt Lake, my fourth child, a girl, was born. She weighed nine pounds. We called her Clara Margetta.

Many times after having spent a night and sometimes part of the next day on a maternity case I have come home and given birth to one of my own babies, as I have had six children during my years as a midwife.

It made my heart ache when I had to leave my babies and very often I could hear them crying as I walked down the street, but I had to go with a smile on my face and bring happiness in to the sick room, for I have never refused anyone who needed my assistance. The snow was never too deep or the night too dark. My husband and my oldest daughter, Agnes, were very gentle and good to the children. You might ask why I left them, but I had been called by the Church to perform this service, and I felt that it was a special calling.

She passed away 2 March, 1952, age 89 years, mourned by her children and many friends. Her Church and civic duties included being a member of the Hyrum First Ward Choir, President of the Ward Primary for 15 years, and a counselor of the Relief Society. She also served as a registrar of births and deaths in that community.

–Trilby L. Rozsa in

Our Pioneer Heritage

Vol. 6, p. 444