Madsen-Lauper Reunion - October 11-12, 2002

This Is The Place Heritage Park, Salt Lake City, Utah

The gathering commenced with the dedication of the Madsen Furniture Company store replica at 6:00PM on October, 11, 2002. The large crowd could not entirely fit in the modest one-room building and spilled out through both the front and back doors. Music was provided by a string-quartet of granddaughters. Words were offered by both Frank and Richard W. Madsen (brothers and great-great-grandsons to Hans Madsen). They quoted from P.W. Madsen (Hans Madsen's son) in his "Instructions to Employees".

[Admittedly, I failed to record more specific details about the dedication. If anyone can provide more information, it would be appreciated. (]

The following is an excerpt from the information published by This Is The Place Heritage Park in their newsletter(thanks to Michael Lauper, great-great-grandson to Hans Madsen, for transcribing this).

Originally built on the west side of Main Street in Salt Lake City (where the Crossroads Mall now stands), the first Madsen Furniture Company opened in the late 1870s. The store was founded by Hans and Louise Madsen, emigrants from Denmark whose forefathers were furniture craftsmen made famous for their "perlemorkiste" (hand-crafted chests inlaid with mother of pearl.) Converts to the Mormon Church, the couple arrived in the Utah Territory in 1875 and eventually had eight children. One son, Peter William Madsen (or P.W.), was especially interested in the business and developed the skills of a first-class merchant under his mother's tutelage. The P. W. Madsen Furniture Company was in business for 125 years before its 4650 Highland Drive site closed in 2000. Prior to closing it could claim that it was the longest, same-family owned and operated retail furniture store in the nation at that time. Seven generations of Madsen's had been employed there.

Madsen Furniture Store page at the This Is The Place Heritage Park site.

[You may note that the account's statment that "they eventually had eight children" is somewhat in error. For more details see Hans Madsen Family.]

The dedication was followed by a dinner. Since the turnout was large (surprisingly large), the group had to split into two locations for dining: the Hunstman Hotel, across the street from the Store, and the Social Hall, further down the street. Afterwards, in the Social Hall, there was some entertainment and a triva game (recorded below) whose prize was a huge tin of Danish butter cookies.

Nearly 150 family members were present at some time during the gathering.

The following morning began with a breakfast at the Hunstman Hotel, followed by a family meeting that included a report of Family History research and anecdotes from Frank Madsen.

Following the meeting, family members were free to explore throughout the park's Old Deseret Village.

Hans Madsen Trivia Contest

Hosted by Richard W. Madsen at the Social Hall, following dinner. The winner was David Peterson, great-great-grandson to Hans Madsen. He attributes his success to having read the Hans Madsen History on the way to the Reunion.

(Thanks to Michael Lauper for transcribing.)


  1. Where was Hans born?
  2. When was Hans born?
  3. When did Hans die?
  4. Where did Hans die?
  5. Where was he buried?
  6. How many others are buried in the same plot?
  7. What is Hans’ first wife’s name?
  8. What is Hans’ third wife’s name?
  9. What year did Hans immigrate?
  10. Was Hans Christian Anderson a contemporary?
  11. What was the family business in Denmark?
  12. What was Hans’ Father’s surname?
  13. What was Hans’ Mother’s name?
  14. Where did Hans join the Church?
  15. Did it take Hans many years to be converted?
  16. What was the 1st foreign language edition of the Book of Mormon?
  17. What did Hans distribute by way of assignment?
  18. What was the name of the ship Hans sailed on to immigrate to America?
  19. Passenger manifest listed Hans and Peter as what craftsman?
  20. How did the family travel from NYC to Utah?
  21. Who was the president at that time?
  22. What specific act helped Hans find a home and a business site?
  23. Hans in 1880 served a mission to where?
  24. Where did Hans and Maria 1st live?


  1. Born in town of Orsbjerg, county of Odense, Denmark
  2. Born in 1826
  3. Died in 1902
  4. Died at Lehi, Utah
  5. Buried in Salt Lake City
  6. Four others are buried in the same plot with Hans
  7. First wife named Louisa
  8. Third wife named Maria
  9. Immigrated in 1875
  10. Yes, [HCA lived from 1805-1875]
  11. Furniture-making, jewelry boxes
  12. Pedersen
  13. Nielsen
  14. Joined in Denmark
  15. Yes [about 6 years]
  16. Danish was the first language after English.
  17. Pamphlets
  18. Idaho
  19. Polisher, cabinet-finisher
  20. Traveled by train
  21. U.S. Grant
  22. Prayer
  23. Hans served in Denmark
  24. Salem, Idaho

Instructions to Employees

P.W. Madsen's "rules" for employees of the Furniture Store.

Our Business Code

Store open at 7:00 a.m. and close at 8:00 p.m. except on Saturday; then store open at 7:00 a.m. and close at 9:00 p.m. This is in effect the year round. This store will remain closed each Sabbath.

Duties of Employees

Sweep floors, dust furniture, office shelves and show cases. Remember, “Cleanliness is next to Godliness.” Trim wicks, clean chimneys and fill lamps. Make your pens carefully (but you may whittle the quills to suit your individual taste). Open the windows for fresh air. Each clerk should bring in one bucket of water and one scuttle of coal. These things are necessary to prepare us for the day’s business. Any employee who smokes Spanish cigars, uses liquor in any form, gets shaved at the barber shop, or frequents pool halls or public dance halls will give his employer every reason to suspicion his integrity, worthy intentions and his all around honesty.

Each employee is expected to pay his tithing, that is 10% of his annual income to the Church. No matter what ones income might be, you should not contribute less than $25 per year to the Church. Each employee will attend Sacrament Meeting and adequate time will be given to each employee to attend Fast Meeting. Also you are expected to attend your Sunday School. Men employees will be given one evening off each week for courting purposes. Two evenings each week if they go regularly to Church and attend to Church duties. After any employee has spent his 13 hours of labor in the store, he should then spend his leisure time in the reading of good books, and the contemplating of the Glories and building up of the Kingdom of God.

P.W. Madsen

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.