Herman August Thorup

herman August Throru p bestWebHerman August Thorup was born to Chistian Larsen  and Johanna Holm 11 August 1826 Copenhagen, Denmark

The following is an edited exert from " History of The Thorup Family" by son Herman F. F. Thorup

His father Christian, at a very young age and yet old enough was apprenticed to a harness maker named Magnus where he learned the harness trade. He served Herr Magnus 46 years and became his foreman and leather cutter. In due time he married, but we do not know the name of his first wife.


All we know is that she died and left him childless. He married a second time to Johanne Katrine Holm, the daughter of Kasper Peter Holm, who was a Master Joiner by trade, and who migrated from the Island of Bornholm to Copenhagen In the year 1801 where he became a citizen, and conducted his business there up to the year 183l, But after this date his name is no longer found in the Business Directory of Copenhagen. "To Christian Larson Thorup and his good wife Johann Katrine Holm were born 3 sons."Their first child, a son, Christian Lauritz Thorup, was born some time in June 1816. His brother Carl Edward Thorup was born in 1819. Seven years later August 11, 1826, a third son was born to them, your illustrious grandfather, Herman August Thorup. (We positively know of these three, but as noting the above, Herman August stated there were 9 other brothers who died early. But as was pointed out previously a search of the parish records did not substantiate this claim.) At the age of eleven his mother died. Three years later he finished his schooling, and was confirmed a member of the Lutheran Church, as was the custom and became a full fledged Christian. His father then apprenticed him to a furniture establishment where he learned the furniture and Joiner trade. An apprenticeship in those days lasted four years; four hard years with little opportunity for anything but work. He was only permitted to visit his father once a week on Sunday afternoon. His father died before he finished his apprenticeship. He was not allowed to see his father because of the strictness of the apprenticeship laws. Young Herman’s work was very satisfactory and when he had served his apprenticeship he received a diploma stating that he was a proficient Cabinet Maker and Joiner, which also included French polishing at which he was expert. He then set out as journeyman cabinet maker and joiner.

In order to find work he found it necessary to go to Germany. Here he learned the German language. In 1846 he returned to Denmark and found work as a cabinet maker in Nestved, a city in western Zealand. Here he became acquainted with Marie Christine Christensen, who later became his wife. The following year he returned to Copenhagen where he set up In business for himself, and on the 25th of February 1848 he was married in the Lutheran Church. Their first child, a son they named Herman Frederick Ferdinant was born to them the 19th of April 1849.

In June 1850 a great event took place in Denmark that was to play an important part later in the lives of this family. On that date Erastus Snow, an apostle of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, brought the Gospel to Denmark, and the Elders of the Church began preaching it to the Danish people. Herman August Thorup and his good wife heard the message, investigated it and were baptized into the Church the 10th of April 1853. In 1864 war broke out between Denmark and Germany, over Southern Jullands Slesvig, which extended to the German border. This of course reacted on business and many business men went bankrupt. Herman August Thorup had to lay off his men and close his business, because the Danish Crown was only worth half it’s former values Where fore he was forced to sell below the cost of production, and was therefore forced to hire out as joiner again. From 1864 to 1867 they endured many hardships. His good wife first took sick with Gastric Fever, and then with typhoid, and for six weeks lay in a delirious condition. He himself suffered with rheumatism, but continued to work. On one occasion he was very sick from a bad case of tonsilitis. The President of the Branch called on him a Saturday morning and administered to him and promised him that he would attend meeting the following Sunday. This actually came to pass and was a testimony to them that there was something to Mormonism.

When he became a Latter-day Saint he was ordained to the Aaronic Priesthood . April 2 1857 he was ordained an Elder in the higher or Melchizedek Priesthood. He served as Secretary of the Copenhagen Conference for a number of years, and also as a block ( home ) teacher.

He desired to emigrate to Utah with his family so he sold all he had. But it wasn’t sufficient to take them there, so he had to go to work again. In the fall of 1867 they became acquainted with a Norwegian family who knew that Mormonism was true, but did not have enough stamina to embrace it. They were prepared to go to America, but felt that the journey across the water would be safer if a Latter-day Saint family went along with them. So they came to Elder Thorup and offered to loan him the money necessary to take him and his family over if he would only come along with them. He consulted his Mission president who readily granted him permission to emigrate, and also released his son Herman F.F. Thorup from his missionary labors so he could go along with them. Herman August Thorup and his family left their native land the second week in May 1868, crossed the North Sea to England, and from there crossed the Atlantic Ocean on a large steamship to New York City, where they landed May 26, 1868. The family consisted of Herman August Thorup and his wife and their six children. In the order of their age their names are:

1. Herman Fredrick Ferdinant Thorup       4. Christine Veronika Thorup

2. Laura Augusta Marie Thorup                5. Hyrum Emanuel Thorup

3. John Theobald Charles Thorup             6. Joseph Thorup

They left behind them two daughters who had died when but two years old. Laura Christine who

died in 1853 and Marie Constance who died in 1862. One of those daughters died when Copenhagen was ravaged by a plague. Consequently many of the dead were buried without a casket. Herman August Thorup could not endure this thought, so he worked all night on a casket to put her in. He was thus able to turn his daughter over to the death wagon properly laid away when they called for her body in the morning.

From New York they went by rail to Chicago, and the Norwegian family departed for Wisconsin. It was fortunate for Herman August Thorup that he had mastered the German language; otherwise It would have been difficult to find work. Here in Chicago he found work in an organ factory where he was employed to put in stops that resembled the human voice. By July 1869 he had earned enough money to pay off his debt to the Norwegian family and take himself, wife and family the balance of the way by rail to Ogden, Utah ever the newly completed Union Pacific Railroad. When they arrived at the railroad station they found they were several hours later but the station master was very good to them and sent them to Council Bluffs, Nebraska on a flier, Here they waited 3 or 4 days until the train was ready to take them the balance of the way. According to my father, to whom I am indebted for most of the information given here, they came across the plains in the first Immigrant train that left Council Bluffs over the newly completed railway. Their children could therefore not become members of the Sons and Daughters of the Utah Pioneers organization unless they happened to marry one who came to Utah before the advent of the railroad

On August 8th they saw the mountains for the first time, and that date they arrived in Ogden Utah. The rain was coming down in torrents at the time so they had to make the best of it on the bare ground because there was no place to seek shelter. The next day a mule team arrived from Salt Lake City to take them to Salt Lake. They stayed two days in Salt Lake City and then vent to Provo, Utah.

There was no home for them to go to. They found temporary quarters in a blacksmith shop, but this was not to the liking of Herman August’s wife, because Hyrum, the next to the youngest son was sick with mountain Fever

President Smoot had a home that he let them occupy until they could build one for themselves.

While in Provo, Herman August Thorup found work in the woolen factory and helped build the beautiful pulpit in the Tabernacle there. They did not stay long in Provo, however, but moved to Salt Lake City in 1873, and located in the First Ward. They there lived in a dugout which was comfortable and served as their home until they could build a better one.

Herman August had no difficulty in finding work. He was a skilled craftsman. He worked several places, did finishing work in the Assembly Hall which was under construction at the time and made the winding stairway that leads to the tower of that building. He made the beautiful doors that adorn the East and West ends of the Salt Lake Temple and kept working in the Temple until it was completed. When the First Ward wanted new pews or benches for their chapel, several artisans submitted samples in competition. Yes you guessed it-- Herman August Thorup submitted the one that was accepted and they are still in use in the First Ward. They were comfortable because they were made to conform or fit the human anatomy, and are more comfortable than the pews which now adorn their present chapel.