Tuesday, October 19, 2004

A Short History of the Round Carved Table in the Manti Temple

It was made by Jens J. Hansen, who was born in Manti, June 19, 1863. He was a son of Jens Hansen and Sophia Charlotte Dorthea Pederson. His parents were converts to the (LDS) Church from Denmark. They were among the first settlers in Manti.

He (Jens J. Hansen) lived three block west of Simmons furniture store on the north side of the street, southwest corner. In the east part of the lot, was a small adobe house with a large fireplace. This one room adobe cottage, or home, at one time was the workshop where this table was built.

In those days, tools were not plentiful. He had a foot power saw which had many blades. This he used at all times. He operated the saw with a pedal with a big wheel on the side and, I believe, my father made that. He bought the saws; they were about this long (indicating from 12-14 inches). He had different kinds of saws and they were so they would fit in the same and then he would work that pedal and it had a wheel on the side that worked with the pedal. I've watched him so many times.

He drew his own patterns for birds and other objects on the top of the table. The dark wood he used was taken from an old Howe sewing machine, brought from Denmark to Manti by his parents.

In those days, it was impossible to buy glue so he made his own glue by boiling the feet of animals in a large brass kettle in the fireplace, letting it cook and straining it through a cloth. It could be that he learned this method of making glue when he worked on the Temple, as he worked there from the time the Temple was started until it was completed. He was the one who assisted in building the spiral staircase.

This history is authentic as it was written by his eldest daughter who lives in Ephraim, Utah, and who watched as her father made may parts of the table.

This history was given to me by Mrs. Maggie Hansen Sorensen, who signed the original copy on 2 March 1977. It was retyped to make corrections but the corrected copy was not signed.

Linnie T.M. Findlay

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