Henry Stenberg Family
Clarence c. 1908
Clarence c. 1908

The Henry Stenberg Family

by: Charles Young, Kent Stenberg, and I. D. Stenberg Farr

Henry grew up near Onawa, Iowa. Henry (H. L.) Stenberg married Ida Pines on November 2, 1899. He was about 25 and she was 22 years old. They were married in Ida's home town of Nevada, Iowa. They had 3 children. The photo on the left is of Clarence when he was about 4 years old.

Henry's granddaughter, Idabel Dare Stenberg Farr writes; "I guess it was about 1911 or 1912 that Henry and Ida homesteaded in Wray, Colorado where they intended to have land and raise their family. My brother Kent knows the exact area because our father Clarence took Kent driving with him when Kent was about 11 years old. They started about 4 AM and drove east about 200 miles. Our father showed Kent where his parents' (Henry and Ida) homestead had been, then Daddy spoke in an Adventist church somewhere nearby. Kent recently looked on Mapipedia.org and found the exact area.

Henry and his family moved from time to time. My father's (Clarence Stenberg) journal shows that the family lived in eastern Colorado at least twice, were in South Dakota at least once, and appear to have been in Iowa with their mother in 1914. It seems apparent for the times that most of these trips were made by horse and wagon. Train travel was available but it was costly.

H. L. (Henry) and Ida's second child was Clarence, my father, born in College Place, Nebraska on February 3, 1904. This is a part of Lincoln, Nebraska. My father (Clarence) was born while H. L. was attending Union College (an Adventist college established in 1885). H. L. became a Seventh Day Adventist minister, and spoke in and through the Seventh Day Adventist Church for much of his life. Our father, Clarence, witnessed H. L. preaching in church services quite a few times when he was a child. I don't know if H. L. was ever an ordained minister in the Adventist Church.

In my mother's papers she refers to H. L. (Henry) as a 'struggling minister.' My brother and I speculate that early Adventist preachers held camp-meetings or other services and accepted donations. I may be entirely off base here but I think they took their 'salary' from what was given by lay people and gave the rest to the church. I have seen documentation that in the 1870's the Adventist Church sent out 'Circuit Riders' to bring the message to the people, and that at least one of them lived with the believers for a period of time (at least four years). This was in the Nebraska area."

Henry's granddaughter and Idabel's cousin, Gloria Phipps Glosson, told me (Charles Young) that Henry eventually left the Seventh Day Adventist Church because his beliefs and preaching did not line up with Adventist doctrine. Idabel says, "I also had heard that Henry left the Adventist Church, and it took me awhile to pull the source of this information out of my memory. I recall that I heard my brother ask Daddy about this when I was about eight. Our father nodded yes. I was surprised."

Later when Henry's daughter Dorothy married and had children, she took her children to church when she could, but not to an Adventist church.

c. 1920
c. 1920
  These photos show Clarence, Dorothy, and Ida Stenberg.

Clarence, Dorothy, and Ida Stenberg c. 1926
c. 1926

Dorothy Stenberg c. 1919
Dorothy c. 1919
Henry's grandson, H. Kent Stenberg, sent this story of Henry Lawrence Stenberg's childhood as Henry recorded it 23 years later -- "the first story in Henry's notebook while he was studying at Union College, Nebraska 1904."

"Moving -- Feb. 8, 1904

My folks lived in Onawa, Iowa, until I was ten years old, when we moved nine miles east, in the country. A piece of land was purchased, a little house built, and in this house among the hills, with not a sign of a human being around, we were to live, Quite a change this was from living in town.

Father, with two of my brothers besides myself, drove out to the place the day before the actual moving of the family was to take place. Then father and my eldest brother returned to town, leaving my youngest brother and myself to stay all alone in the new house over night, and await the arrival of the family the next day.

It was quite a task for us to stay alone in this new isolated house (it was not yet a home) over night; but being tired, the night soon passed and morning came. We now waited eagerly for noon, as about that time we looked for the folks to arrive. The forenoon was long indeed, but worse than that, when noon came we were still alone. With aching hearts we scratched up something to eat for dinner and continued waiting. No one appeared. What should we do?

We ran around here and there for some time, at last starting off up on a high hill from which the road could be seen. We followed the top of this hill to the end of it, looking down toward the road, but no one could be seen.

Reaching the end of this long chain of hills, and coming down to the road, we started in the direction of town, expecting every minute to meet them, but in vain. On we went and still onward, until we reached the edge of the hills, where we could see a long way across the bottom, but we did not meet our folks.

We started across the river bottom, crossed the river after long trudging, and at last, at last we actually caught sight of two wagons with big loads, some cows and horses, etc. and it proved to be the long looked for procession. We were glad and they were surprised. This was fully half way to town and it was getting late in the afternoon. It was however in the month of May, and the days were getting long, and so we reached the farm house before night and began to get settled. It was home now for mother was there.

Henry Stenberg's hand writing
This is a sample of Henry's elegant hand writing.
Click the sample to view the entire hand-written story.

This home afterwards became very dear to us, but after some years, we had to move again, and so we have continued moving from time to time. We soon hope to move from this earth, with all its different experiences, to heaven. This time we shall travel, not by team but on the clouds, to a beautiful home prepared for all who will go.

But this is not the last move we shall make. After enjoying this beautiful place 1,000 years, again we expect to move back to this Earth, I say this earth, but it will be very different (than) its present condition. This time the Holy City, New Jerusalem, will come down from God out Of heaven, and we shall travel in the city as it descends. After that we shall settle down to live forever. O, glorious pro(s)pect! Let us all go."

Ida and Harold Stenberg c. 1901
Ida and Harold c. 1901
Henry and Ida Stenberg's first child. In loving remembrance of Herald A. Stenberg - Born April 10, 1901 Died November 3, 1905 Age 4 years 6 months 24 days. About a century later, Henry and Ida's grandson, Kent Stenberg searched on-line and found the death record and cemetery where Herald is buried in College Place, Nebraska. Coincidentally, when Kent had attended Union College in 1958 and 1959, he had worked in this cemetery.

The newspaper account of Henry's death published September 2, 1914

"Boulder Colorado sanitarium fire squad meets with first accident in death of H. L. Stenberg who fell striking curbing as he ran.

While participating in a practice fire drill at the Boulder, Colorado sanitarium Wednesday afternoon, H. L. Stenberg, an attachee of the institution, fell striking his head on a cement curbing. The injury caused a concussion and hemorrhage from which he died an hour later without recovering consciousness. He was not badly injured exteriorally but all the blood vessels in some curious way were ruptured and it was this that caused his death.

With Roy Long, Sylvester Bird, and Harold Quade, attachees of the institution, Stenberg was running with the hose cart when he slipped and fell, his head striking the raised curbing separating the road from the sidewalk. He and one of the other men were at the tongue of the wagon and were bracing for a turn when his feet slipped from under him. The brace forced the heavy hose car to swing on a curve and this prevented Stenberg from being run over. As soon as possible on the steep incline on which they were running, his three companions stopped the cart and ran to Stenberg's side. They carried him to the hospital ward where an operation was held in and effort to save his life.

It is customary once every two or three weeks for the sanitarium employees to hold a fire drill and it was while running through one of the exercised that the sad accident happened. The station where the hose cart is kept is located high on the hill northwest of the sanitarium and the run to the water plug is down a steep incline. Two men are all that are needed on the tongue of the cart and two others usually hold onto the cart from the rear, as brakes, and as plugman and nozzler. The accident was witnessed by a number of patients attracted to the north end of the porch by the excitement of the drill.

Stenberg was 35 (actually 45) years of age and is survived by a widow and two children residing at Nevada, Iowa. He had been here but a little over a year, coming from Iowa in April 1913. Mrs. Stenberg left for Boulder immediately after receiving word of the death of her husband and is expected to arrive today."

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