Personal Histories of Krey Family Members

(Letters found in the possession of Gayle / Hilda Krey. Copied and translated from the original German by Kent Price in 1985.)

Marie Zimmerman Krey

- taken from a handwritten autobiography when she was 40-50 years of age (original spelling preserved.)

Marie Krey was born in Bern Switzerland December 28, 1884. In 1900, February 14, I was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ by Lewis Cordon of Logan Utah. The night was beautiful with full moon shining full and clear about two feet of Snow covered the ground. We walked 3 miles to the River and walked bak home never feeling the cold but happy and contended feeling like a new being. My Testimony was so strong within me that I soon felt the desire and urge within to go to Zion and gather with the people of the Lord.

The scriptures tell us that all Isrial shall gather to gether in Zion. My desire to be where the Temple of the Lord is standing was so great that soon a way was opened to me and in 1902 I came to Ogden Utah and made my home here ever since.

Here is an Incident of my life.

There lived a girl in the same Branch as I did in Bern and she was so anxious to go to Utah that when I was talking about going she cried and expressed her desire to come a long with me, my folks were very much against my going but after pleadings of my sister who was allready in Utah They finally decided to let me have the mony to migrate. It was while we in our home were discussing plans for me to leave that this good sister sho is considerble older than myselve came to me one day with the happy news that she was left some mony by a Brother of hers and she wanted me to take enough of her mony to pay my way to Utah. She thought it would relieve her of carrying to much mony along well ~e begun to make plans and it took us 4 to 6 weeks to get ready. In the meantime this Sister was tempted to loan her mony to a good Friend of hers what seemed to be in desperet need of some mony, without letting anyone know she let him take it all but $100. of course this Broth. in the Gospel promised faithfully to return this mony in time for us to use it.

When the day of our departure came the Brother could not return the mony, frantic the Sister came to me with her tail of woe and we both cried we did not know what to do, we did not think it wise to tell my Folks because they did not belong to our Church. We were so unhappy and sick at heart but we had eneugh mony to take us as far as Holland. The Brother came to the Depot to see us off and swore to us he would Telegraph the mony to us in Holland. We left home brokenhearted and in fear. one Missionary was with the two of us and as we neard Holland we told him about it. Well the anxieties and fear that gripped our hearts can never be told. The case has made clear to the Pres. of the Mission and he cabbled to our home town for information and finally we were given a tiket and could go on. Of course the Brother never sent the mony. I had some mony on me and we arived safe in Ogden Utah in Octob. The Sad Arival:

We sent a Telegr. to my Sister from omaha telling her when we would arrive. The last letter I had from my sister was full of Joy because of a new Baby girl that was born to them in Aug. and my Sister wrote to me so full of happiness because she was going to meet me at the Depot with her two Children one of which I had never seen.

We arived here in Ogden about 9 in the evening and walking along with a crowd of Hollanders into the waiting room we were so sure that we too would have someone to meet us as well as all these others.

One by one the Crowd left and no one we know was in sight then the Depot Master took pity on us came and talked to me got the address of my Folks and their name. He did not knuow what to do when he noticed a young man who was a Hollander standing around, he called to him to take us there. Well we walked up to Jackson Ave 20 Street. to the School of the Deaf mud Blind. There he called a girl friend of his and told her in Holland who we were Ect. and she in turn called a girl who could speak German and she took us up one block to my Sisters house.

We came into a house of mourning for their new Baby Girl had died and three days before her passing they had moved for this reason the Telegram we sent from Omaha did not reach my Sister and they were broken hearted over loosing this beautiful Baby.

My stay with my Sister was short I soon went to work. The following Winter I went to School in the Weber Acadamy. I then took up sowing Dress making and worked at it until I was married.

I lived in the 4 Ward in the Weber Stake. From there rec. my Recomend and was united in Marige with Paul F. Krey who also lived in the same Ward.

We lived with my Sister for 6 months and then went to house keeping. I worked for some time and the following year our first Baby was born Robert Paul. We were happy and contented in our Mariage. My Husband had many different jobs before he got started for Railroad. He worked hard to better his position.

After Robert Paul was six months old we lived close to the third Wd. meeting house. I was asked to work in the Mutual Improvement Assosiation. I taught the Senior Girls. We moved out to Fife Prints to the 15th Ward. There I continued in the same work and later was put in as 1st counselor and had the responsibility of a President. From there we moved to Grant ive. 23-29 Str. and from there to 28 Str. Mrs. Anna Schulz and her Daughter lived in the same house with us. Hilda was about 6 month old then. Then we later moved up to 272 S Gramecy and I worked in Mutual again. Ralph was born and soon after I took up a class in Mutual again, always enjoying it so much. I had one more Baby, Kenneth, who was only three months old when I went back and taught again. When he was three years the Seventeenth W. was organized and I was asked to be President of the Primary Organization. Many wonderful experiences came into my life faith promoting and I worked with many fine women in this organization.

I was very much disapointed when asked to work in the Primary because of the many years of Mutual Work I had been in Mutual for 15 years when I was set apart as President of the Prim.

I learned to love the Children and the work connected with them. The Bishop oftem would tell that I was very successful. He had never seen anyone like, I know how to handle the Sisters - the workers as well as the Children. I know this that I was inspired many times to keep unity, peace, and loyalty among us. I truly love the Gospel. I love to teach it.

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Clara Krey Mortensen - Dictated in Ogden ca. 1965 in her thick accent

How did I meet the missionaries? At that time my mother had just passed away and I felt so lonesome and so longing for her. "And this mailman, he found me like this and he said you come to my" house and my wife will give you some literature to read. And so I put him off and put him off and every time he came to leave a letter I felt guilty because I hadn't gone to his wife and I didn't want to see him unhappy. And so with that intention I went to his house. I went upstairs and knocked at the door and I expected to see his wife there but instead I was this tall fellow standing there and I said is "Mrs. __vander home? And he said, "No, she just went to the store." "You'd better come in." And so came in and he took me to the dining" room and had me sitting on a chair and he was sitting on the edge of the table and he taught me about Mormonism.

Now if I had come at any other time I would not have found that Mormon missionary there. But I put it off and put it off and "like I say, I felt embarrassed, but just that day something prompted me" to go that morning and there I found Thomas E. McKay and Dr. Morrison and two younger missionaries. I didn't know them but they were from Logan. Thomas E. McKay didn't lose any time to start to teach me Mormonism. He began with the vision of Joseph Smith and I just sat there spellbound. I can never forget it. And about two months later I asked for baptism.

And I had two brothers and since my parents were both gone I kept house for the two boys. And every Sunday after Dinner I would go to their meetings. I would wash my dishes and disappear and one day my brother said, "Clara, where are you going every Sunday?"

You just disappear and I can't find you anywhere." And I told him the ladies house and he said, "Oh, that's the Mormon." He was the reader, he read this and he read that. He was not ignorant. He said "Don't you ever go back there again. They will try to take your head off and put it back on again. That is what he had been reading about the Mormons. And I said, "There is no such thing. Come on with me and see what they have. And the next Sunday after dinner, Robert got ready and came with me and he never stayed away from the meetings. They kind of depended on me, those two boys because I was the oldest and my parents were gone. Robert was about 5 years younger than I and Paul about 7. And one night about six months later he said, "Clara, I'm going to be baptized." And I could have jumped for joy. And I didn't force him. I just let him find out for himself. But I did find him reading the Book of Mormon evenings after he'd gone to bed. I could see through the crack in the door. (it wasn't all closed) that he was reading. And I didn't let him know that I was watching and the next morning there was the Book of Mormon on his bed and he had been reading it. Gustav wouldn't have anything to do with the Mormons. Also Paul wouldn't have anything to do with the Mormons at first. He was employed by the post office and went to high school. But when he was ready, he had the ice cut in the Czar River and was baptized. I had the missionaries to dinner every Wednesday evenings and then they stayed and had a meeting.

Isaac Tuckett, he baptized me and Leo Woodruff confirmed me. I was baptized in the Czar River in the darkness of the night, The Mormons were not permitted to preach in the town I lived in. So they had to do it at night. I can still see myself standing at the edge of the river and saw that the water was really coming down so fast. That kind of scared me. But they took me down to the bathing area where the people used to go to swim. They took me down the steps into the water and I felt kind of embarrassed because my nightgown kind of floated on the water but it wasn't so bad because it was dark It was cold of course but I didn't feel the coldness only the water coming toward me. There was a big stream you know.

I was baptized in 1903 and I came to America in 1905. And in 1907 I got married and then the boys came the year after. I kept house for them before I was married. When I knew they were coming I rented a place and we bought furniture and I had a nice home for them. Gustav wrote after and said "You Americans you don't get a penny from me." He would never join—he liked to drink and he like to smoke. But I brought my two brothers over—I’ll get that much credit when I leave.

How I met my husband was at home where my husband was boarding there, he said, "May I take you home?" My heart just jumped with joy. Then he said, "May I kiss you?" Not the first time. He took me home many times. He didn't just take advantage of me. He asked me, "May I kiss you?" See, I was a member then--61 or 62 years ago. He was a member too. I wouldn't even think of marrying anyone outside of the Church. A few years ago, he was a little sickly and couldn't get out of bed. He was lying on his bed and he says, "You used to be good looking." You see, it means I took him because I must have been good looking then. And I said, "So did you."

Paul married a Swiss girl. He met her in my house. There were two Swiss girls and I was German—in the first Ward in Ogden. I met them in church—those two girls. Her name was Marie Zimmerman. She came from Switzerland about the same time we did. She had a sister, (Morgenegg), and they came from Switzerland. They had missionaries in Switzerland teach them the Gospel. So I had two Swiss girls living with us.

We came over by boat and then by train in 1905. I’ve seen lots of things happen—even men walking on the moon. One day I heard it—Man landed on the moon. And I was always looking forward to that.

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KREY, LAURA LETITIA SMITH (1890-1985). Laura Krey, author, was born in Galveston on December 18, 1890, the only child of Fort and Lettie (Bains) Smith. When her mother died a few months later, Smith took Laura to live with his wife's relatives near Brookshire, Texas. The child was educated by tutors until age twelve, when she went to live with her grandmother near Staunton, Virginia. She attended Mary Baldwin Seminary in Staunton and earned her diploma there. She entered the University of Texas in 1909, excelled academically, and wrote for several campus publications. Upon graduation in 1912 she married August C. Krey, a history professor. He soon joined the faculty at the University of Minnesota, and the couple moved to St. Paul.

The Kreys had a daughter in 1918 and a son in 1923. While raising the children, Laura Krey wrote essays that were published in southern literary magazines. In her mid-forties, she drew on family stories to write the historical novel And Tell of Time, published by Houghton Mifflin in 1938. Reminiscent of Gone With the Wind, the book romanticized Texans' struggles against federal occupation during Reconstruction.qv Krey's descriptions of the land and the rhythms of rural life enhanced the book's appeal. With sales of 146,000, the novel went through fifteen printings. In 1940 Houghton Mifflin published her second book, On the Long Tide, a Texas colonial story of American and Mexican conflict told from a Texas landowner's perspective. Though a male plantation owner was the central character, the novel's well-drawn female characters and domestic scenes attracted more critical praise.

During the 1940s and 1950s Krey did research on explorer Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vacaqv and on colonial Virginia in hopes of writing novels about them; but she never completed these. She and her husband returned to Austin upon his retirement in 1955. While caring for him and her son during their illnesses in the 1960s, she put writing on hold. Laura Krey remained in Austin until her death on November 6, 1985. Her remains were buried in a family graveyard at Fulshear, Texas.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Houston Chronicle, August 28, 1938. Proceedings of the Philosophical Society of Texas, 1985.

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Paul Frederick Krey wrote the following letter to his sister, Clara, in late 1905. Clara had immigrated to Ogden, Utah and Paul was still in Germany with his brother, Robert. (Translated from German.)

"My Dear Clara,

I received your long awaited letter that brought me so much joy. I thank you so much for the letter for as you can imagine in my present situation I need the uplift. I hope you will forgive me for having to wait so long for an answer.

For the time, I am in school (Hauptschule). It is a very exemplary institution. If one is very diligent, one can obtain a good education in business except that I believe it is difficult to find the first position. Maybe it would be better if I volunteered for a quarter year.

My dear sister, I would be very happy if Robert and I could come to America next year but there are several situations that stand in the way. For one thing, I am not yet free from military service. I don't think I can dismiss my duty to my Fatherland and I have a hard time understanding how converted Mormons who should be an example to others can ignore the words of the Savior, "Give unto Caesar that which is Caesar's." I hope you understand me.

Also my knowledge of the English language is not sufficient for me to get a position there. And there are also a few points about the Mormon doctrine that I am unclear about. But when I receive light on those points, I will receive the covenant.

I am now at the end of my letter and I hope these lines find you in as good health as when you left me.

Many greetings,

Your faithful brother,


P.S. Robert sends his greetings and will be writing you in the next few days.

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Letter written from Paul Frederick Krey to his sister, Clara, from Germany around 1906.

My dearest Clara,

You have probably been longing for a letter from me. Excuse my great neglect but to make up for that I have much to report to you that I think you will find very interesting.

First of all, I rejoice to tell you that I have been received into the covenant of the Lord. On the l9th of September, Elder Bertock baptized me. The president of the Frankfurt Conference confirmed me. (Do you remember him?) I have to tell you that I would describe this day as the most beautiful day of my life as I had such a heavenly feeling. In joyful consciousness I knew that all of my sins were forgiven. I feel like I am as new born and have noticed that I feel more peaceful than ever before. I wish I could express it in the words of poets! I wish I could say how deeply I felt the power of the Almighty come upon me. I hope you will also share this joy.

And now some more news...Elder Bertock has been transferred. He was with us for three weeks. He suffered from rheumatism and was so afflicted that he couldn't move his legs. I had to attend to him and became so concerned that I asked the Elders to give him a blessing. A few days later he felt much better. He hasn't had a doctor and to me it is a sure proof that it is through the power of God and his priesthood that he recovered so quickly. And I feel very thankful to our Father in Heaven...

I must now close for today, And I hope that this letter finds you healthy and happy.


Gruesst u. Kuesst dich aus der Ferne.

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Letter - Paul F. Krey - June 24, 1941 to Hilda Crandall's family

My Dear Children,

Things have been kind of exciting since Kenneth has been called to fill a mission in the Eastern States. Last Friday was Kenneths's farewell party. They put on a lovely program. Ken, Mama, and I were requested to speak. According to the compliments we received we must have performed beyond their expectations. But then Mama and I worked hard for it. I do not think we could do so well extemporaneously. Last Thursday we went through the temple with Ken and again on Saturday we had the privelege to be taken through the temple and were shown all the rooms and sights. This was the first time I had the good fortune to enjoy this treat and the things I saw and the things I heard made me marvel. Surely wonderful are the things of God. When we were through with the inspection of the temple we gathered in the temple chapel and the president of the temple gave the missionaries a lecture; in order not to miss anything he was going to say I sat down on the first bench. Hardly had I been seated, when I was called on to offer prayer. Never had I a greater surprise in my life, and I had to ask twice if it was really so. But then I am still alive, if it was not so, this letter would be unwritten. We were fortunate to get passes for Kenneth to New York City. This saves us $28.60 for this money was turned over to Ken. So the Lord has been good to us so far and our financial burden has been eased somewhat. Kenneth is leaving for his destination tomorrow evening on the Challenger and we all dread the time when we have to say good-bye but there is one consolation that he will be in the Service of our Redeemer and that he will return in due time a man better in every respect for the time he has dedicated himself to the service of the Church. I could go on and on to write but due to the fact that we will be in Oakland before very long it will not be necessary to continue and til that timereceive

our love and affection,


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Marie Zimmerman Krey

Journal entry - July 1, Monday

Kenneth arrived home in the night so it is his first day home. He spent two years in the Eastern States Mission. He drove home in a car from Albany N.Y. Kenneth is fine and good. It's a great joy to have him home. He has a testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. To me that means everything.

Nothing is so important than to live according to our understanding of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is our religion and to me there is nothing dearer or better. It is part of me and cf my life. I have sacrificed in my early youth that I might have a home in Zion and that my children might be born under the everlasting covenant.

Notes from the funeral service, December 12, 1945:

The spirit I felt there today dwelt throughout the building. Sister Krey did her share - her impression lives on and brings a desire to live closer to that other life to which she has gone. It was like she was sweetly smiling and saying "I'll be waiting with a world of sunlight just shining in my face.

The prelude music reminded us of her pure, sweet womanhood.

The first speaker, Burdette Smith remembered her when she was baptised. In closing he said, "As she was then, she had remained and lived - sweet, pure, gentle. In her kind, helpful way, she was a true example of love thy neighbor as thyself. She possessed a great humility of spirit. She did all that she undertook well - in Primary or Temple work or whatever it mlght be - and did it with a cheerful spirit.

A brother Robins said, "For 38 years, this pure, clean woman to whom we pay our respect today, was a good and beloved wife and became a wise and understanding mother. The memory of a spirit such as she possessed, can never be forgotten."

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