The Madsen Family History

A book by W. Dee Halverson of Heritage Associates

Published 1994

NOTE: There may be copyright issues with this book. Until those issues are defined and resolved, this online copy only includes the Acknowledgement, Introduction, Table of Contents and first few pages of Chapter 1.

Comments about the scope of this book

Children of P.W. Madsen and Elise Larsen Madsen

Table of Contents

Chapter 1
Hans Peter Madsen and His Family in Denmark (1826-1875)
Chapter 2
Starting a New Life in Zion (1875-1902)
Chapter 3
The Third Generation: Dealing with Success (1902-1927)
Chapter 4
Richard W. Madsen and the Challenges of the New Era (1927-1948)
Chapter 5
Francis Armstrong Madsen -- The Tradition Continues (1948-1985)
Chapter 6
The Fifth Madsen Generation and Beyond

Comments about the scope of this book

As shown in the Acknowledgement, this work was the result of a project initiated and supported by the siblings who are the children of Francis A. ("Bill") Madsen (who in turn is the grandson of P.W. Madsen and great-grandson of Hans Madsen). Consequently, its major focus is their particular sub-branch of the Madsen-Tetzner family. It contains a great wealth of information, particularly about the lineage from P.W. Madsen to his son Richard W. Sr. and then to his grandson Francis A. (Bill) Madsen.

P.W. Madsen
P.W. Madsen

Although the book does not give the same detail of information about them, it does identify some other family members, and makes several references to them:

  • the siblings of Richard W. Sr. (the other children of P.W. Madsen, see below)
  • the sibling of Francis A. Madsen, Richard W. Madsen, Jr. (the other son of Richard W. Sr.)
Only scant information has been made available to this site about these other family members and their descendants. It will be a challenge for the future to further identify these cousins and introduce ourselves.

Recently, we have contacted the Poulsons, grandchildren of Florence Camilla Madsen (the seventh child of P.W. and Elise Madsen, listed below). They have shared a number of photos from their family tree. Some of these will shortly be seen at this web site.

Children of
P.W. Madsen (1852-1922) and
Elise Larsen Madsen(1855-1927)

Richard William Madsen (Sr.) (1877-1948)
spouse: Mary Hannah Armstrong (1875-1932), Lareta Creer (1905-1988)
William Emil Madsen (1878-1947)
spouse: Eugenia Meyer (1879-1962)
Louise Christine Madsen Lund (1880-1951)
spouse: Sophus Lund (1879-1967)
Laura Mirenda Madsen Hardy (1882-1943)
spouse: Oscar Hardy (1878-?)
Viggo Robert Madsen (1883-1948)
spouse: Frances Ashment (1889-1974)
Hans Harry Madsen (1885-1937)
spouse: Dora Godfrey (1887-1952)
Florence Camilla Madsen Meredith Evans (1887-1978)
spouse: Oliver Meredith (1884-1938), Clarence Evans (1883-1949)
Peter William Madsen, Jr. (1895-1918)
spouse: Annie Ash (1896-1971)
Elise Madsen
Elise Larsen Madsen


(by W. Dee Halverson)

Researching and writing this history of the Madsen family has been especially satisfying because of the rich abundance of documents, recollections, photographs and artifacts. Individual members of this great family have come alive through the various accounts of their lives in Denmark; conversion to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; emigration to the deserts and mountains of the Utah Territory; and persistence in carrying on the tradition of the furniture trade in the face of many difficulties.

Many thanks to the the dozens of Madsen family members who shared their time, memories, photographs, family records and keepsakes. I would especially like to acknowledge the cooperation of Frank Armstrong, Edna S. Madsen, Mary M. Ellsworth, Marilyn M. Hunsaker, and her father, Peter W. Madsen. [Is this possibly an error? Other records indicate that Marilyn is the daughter of Viggo Robert Madsen, Jr. -- In general, these persons appear to be members of the Madsen family outside of the direct line from P.W. to Francis A./Bill Madsen.]

Most of all, my thanks to Francis A. Madsen, Jr., Mary Lou Madsen Rawlings, Robert A. Madsen, Richard H. Madsen, and Peter W. Madsen for extending their trust and support in making this written history possible.

W. Dee Halverson
Salt Lake City, Utah
March 1994


(by W. Dee Halverson)

This chronicle of five generations of the Madsen family during the course of nearly 200 years brings into focus several basic truths. Our ancestors, like ourselves, faced significant problems during their lifetimes. Their personalities, like ours, were comprised of unique talents of strength and glaring wart -like faults. Their challenges, like ours, were combinations of spiritual, physical and financial difficulties.

Looking back through this "window on the past," we have the unique perspective on the reasons and results of many of the most critical decisions that these forbearers made. Hopefully, this vantage point will allow us to understand and appreciate the individual acts of courage and faith demonstrated by members of each generation. More importantly, we will also be able to measure the impact of these earlier decisions and sacrifices on our own lives.

The men and women of the Madsen family have left their mark on the pages of this history. They were real people. They knew heartache and joy; poverty and prosperity; persecution and popularity; disappointment and excitement; rejection and love. To be familiar with their personalities, accomplishments, trials, courage and faith is to have companionship on our life's journey.

A recent Utah Business article posed the very appropriate rhetorical question, what would Utah life have been like without its rich business history, without "the Rosenblatt family's enterprises, or the Bennetts, or the Garffs, or the Madsens?"

The most lasting legacy provided by the early Madsen generations to those of today, as well as to those yet to come, is to be found in the examples of faith in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, traditional family values and just plain hard work.

Come Again!

Please return to this site for regular updates and more items of family interest.

Upcoming items will include:

  • more reunion schedule details
  • more and better pictures
  • more items of family history
  • registration to attend the reunion
Check the What's New page for a listing of what has changed.