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Baltzar Hans Jacobsen Baltzar Hans Jacobsen Nee Philo John Smith

(This was taken from the "Book"History of the Jeremiah Woodbury Family" by his Grandson Angus Cannon Woodbury. Page 63-64)

Philo John Smith was born Dec. 17, 1879 in Harrisville, Wisconsin, to Anna Margrethe Friis Smith and John Moses Smith. At the death of his mother he was adopted by maternal grandmother, Anna Sorensen Friis Jacobson, and her second husband, Baltzar Jacobson. The boys name was then changed to Baltzar Hans Jacobson.

The family moved to Millcreek, now Wilford, and the grandmother taught the boy to read and spell and write in the Danish language, since his stepfather did not allow him to begin school. Young Baltzar worked on the family farm with his adopted brother Jacob and adopted sisters Lovina and Mary.

When he was about thirteen years old, he was able to attend the Wilford school, a grade school of two rooms, for one and one-half years, and transferred his Danish to English. He took the examination to enter the U. of U. and just barley passed. He graduated from the three-year normal course in 1897. He worked at the Salt Lake Press Brick Co. And in the Alta mines and on farms to obtain money for schooling. He was always thankful that Brother Jacobson was prevailed upon to allow him to attend school.

In 1897-98 Baltzar taught one year in Woodruff, Arizona, where there were boys larger and older than himself who had run the previous teacher out of School. He kept going by using his head and not his fists. He gained their respect by his athletic prowess at the high jump among other things.

Baltzar came back to the U. of U. and graduated with the class of 1901 with the degree of A. B. he made the highest grades of his class in mathematics and languages. He was historian of his class.

Baltzar taught one year and also acted as principal of the Moab High School, 1901-02. He then came back to the U. of U. to cram three years of Greek study in three months for the examination to enter Oxford University England. He took the examination in Jan. And was chosen the first Rhodes Scholar from Utah. 1904-07.

At Oxford Baltzar studied foreign languages, and during vacations he traveled extensively throughout Europe. He earned his M. A. degree at Oxford.

Baltzar returned to Utah in the summer of 1907 and planned to marry Rebecca, with whom he had kept company for about six years. They were married Thanksgiving Day. Nov. 28, 1907, in the Salt lake Temple. His grandmother (adopted mother) had died while he was in Oxford in Jan, 1906.

Baltzar then taught at the L. D. S. College from 1907 to 1930. He taught Latin, French, Spanish, German, and classes in religion.

Baltzar and Rebecca made their home in Sugar House, there their first five children were born from Oct. 1908 to Sept. 1914: Rowena Cecil, Dorothy, Joseph and Leo. Then the family moved to Wiford Ward on Highland Drive where four more children were born: Marie, Margaret, Catherine, and Phyllis.

During 1922-23, Baltzar took a sabbatical leave and studied for one year in Paris and Berlin to complete more work toward a doctorate in comparative philology. He had set a goal of the mastery of a different language every five years. At the time of his death in Oct. 17, 1930; he had mastered sixteen languages: Danish, English, Spanish, German, Greek, French, Latin, Sanskrit, Italian, Hebrew, Portuguese, Norwegian Dutch, Flemish and old Icelandic.
He was well known for the fact that he could speak French in Paris and German in Berlin without accent.

He was a Seventy in Wilford Ward and he loved his quorum, acting as teacher for many years. Another position he enjoyed was serving in the superintendency of the Sunday School in Granite Stake. He was active in the teacher training program in both ward and stake.

He was active in ward dramatics and loved to attend plays, operas, art exhibits, concerts, ect. He won prizes in high jump, cross country walking, and was on the Exeter Pawing Squad at Oxford. He enjoyed taking his family on picnics, sightseeing tours, long trips etc.


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