Wednesday, July 1, 2009


Eirikur Eiriksson was born 12 May 1857 at Gjabakki, in Vestmannaeyjar; his parents are Eirikur Hansson, born in 1815 at Vilborgarstadir in Vestmannaeyjar; and Kristin Jonsdottir, born in 1811 in Eystri-Klasbardi, Sigluvik, Rangarvalla. Eirikur emigrated from Iceland to Spanish Fork, Utah in 1882. Jonina Helga Valgerdur Gudmundsdottir followed in 1885. Eirikur had known Jonina in Iceland. Eirikur joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-days Saints and was baptized on 8 April 1883; Jonina was baptized on 3 September 1885. They were married 11 September 1885.

Jonina Helga Valgerdur Gudmundsdottir was born 22 September 1867 in Vestmannaeyjar. Her parents are Gudmundur Arnason, born 25 September 1827 in Vestur Skaftafell; and Gudny Arnadottir, born 26 December 1834 in Vestmannaeyjar.

Eirikur and Jonina had eleven children: Rozetta Christine, born 10 November 1886, died 3 September 1959, married Lafael Hulet Royland 23 December 1908; Erick Elias, born 14 December 1888, died 21 May 1946, married Mary Ann Crump 18 December 1912; they were divorced and he married Ruth Koster; Hanna Jorun Vegalin, born 25 January 1891, died 3 January 1960, married George Swenson 10 December 1911; John Arthur, born 18 December 1892, died 16 October 1908; Nena Matilda, born 22 May 1895, married William C Beckstrom 24 October 1923; Lenard Goodman, born 2 February 1898, married Margaret Ann Griffith 23 April 1917; Lillian Ester, born 9 April 1900, died 8 August 1908; William Lawrence, born 2 May 1903, married Lyndall Huish 2 August 1924; Clara Mabel, born 27 August 1905, married Joseph Francis Redd 22 July 1926; Eldon W., born 18 January 1908, married Ruby Ludlow 10 February 1926; and Erma Lael, born 7 May 1910, married A. LeRoy Johnson 4 September 1929. Eirikur had changed his name to Erick Hanson, so all the children had the surname of Hanson.

Eirikur, a carpenter, made furniture, but he became known in Spanish Fork for his skill as a coffin maker; he was well known for the beauty and workmanship he put into this art. He learned to speak the English language and was an avid reader. He soon became known for his talent as a storyteller. He was the leader of the Icelandic choir in Spanish Fork and often played the organ and the accordion at their celebrations. He taught his fellow Icelanders at the Icelandic Church of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He would read the Book of Mormon and other church books in English and then explain in Icelandic what he had read.

Eirikur built a home in Spanish Fork, with his usual attention to detail and perfection. The home was lumber, painted light-blue with white trim. Stained glass windows and fancy scroll-work decorated the home. The scroll-work, or gingerbread trim, as it was often called, was made by Eirikur on an ingenious lathe that he had devised. The lathe, which was foot powered, along with his home-made planes, were donated to the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers Museum by his son Len Hanson in 1978.

After the death of his beloved Nena 18 December 1932, Eldon and Ruby moved into the home to help care for him. Less than two years later, Eirikur died of a heart attack while working where he loved to be, in his well equipped carpenter shop that he had built next to his home. Eirikur died 11 September 1934 and is buried in the Spanish Fork City Cemetery. He was known in Spanish Fork as Erick Hanson and is number 98 in Icelanders of Utah.

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