On the journey from Denmark to America, Hans’ mother and brother died of cholera. Shortly after arriving in New York City, Hans’ father and sister also died of cholera. Hans had cholera, too, but regained his health and continued on to Utah. Hans was 10 years old when he arrived in Salt Lake City alone in 1868.
While he was walking down one of the city streets, Hans recognized a boy he had known in New York. Hans hoped he would be able to stay with the boy’s family. Hans was devastated when the boy’s mother said “no” because they were staying with their friend Mrs. Porcher. Hans was devastated and began crying. A moment later Mrs. Porcher appeared and asked why the boy was crying. When she learned Hans was an orphan, she insisted he come home with her.
Hans eventually settled in Brigham City. He quickly recognized the community’s need for home-grown shrubs and fruit trees. Hans established a nursery and later introduced the famous Elberta peach to the area.
Also, Hans was interested in politics and served on the Brigham City Council and in the Utah State Legislature.