Elliott and Ann Nielsen
Elliott and Ann Nielsen
A couple who would help you with anything is Elliott and Ann Nielsen. Both of their families lived in Orem, but Elliott was born at Utah Valley Hospital and Ann was born at Payson Hospital. Elliott was the son of Leland O. Nielsen and Eva Mellor Nielsen. There were 5 boys and 2 girls and he was number 5 of the children. Ann was the daughter of William B. Holman and Idona Christensen Holman. There were 2 boys and 3 girls and she was number “1”. They have 6 children: DeAnn (Steve) Prettyman, Salem; Jennie (Brett) Earl, Morgan; Darrin Nielsen, Salem; Christina Kay (Clay) Allen, Kaysville; Carolyn (Michael) Owens, Heber; Margaret (Steve) Howell, Clinton. They have 19 grandchildren.
They met on a blind date while Elliott was home on leave from the military. They went to a drive-in movie in Provo. They wrote to each other over the next year and were married on February 2, 1968 in the Manti Temple. Ann said when she was younger her mother worked nights as a nurse and wasn’t home in time to wake them up for school. They lived by the railroad tracks and a passenger train would go by every morning at 6:00 AM – this was their alarm clock.
Elliott was drafted in 1965. He was a member of the Army 509th Paratroopers. He thought he was going to Vietnam but was sent to Germany.
Elliott has worked construction, starting with Thorn Construction, then Cleggs, then W.W. Clyde and finally self employed as a general contractor. Ann worked in the laundry at B.Y.U. just out of high school, then a store clerk at Cornets, was a Certified Home Health Aide, and retired as an Office Manager for several Home Health Agencies.
They moved to Salem in 1969, living in a trailer on property they purchased while they built their home. Ann said they were “testing their marriage” when they moved into their basement home because all she had was a pop corn popper, electric fry pan, card table and a book case they used for a cupboard. They did go back and forth to the trailer when needed. They eventually built their existing home on top of the basement home. At that time 100 East from 300 South to the cemetery was just a farm road, with only a couple of homes and passage for only one vehicle. They have seen a lot of changes in Salem since then. Elliott said he remembers nine men piling in the back of Paul Spencer’s pick-up with a sleeper on it to go down to the Manti Temple. You could never do that now.
Elliott has helped Salem City with several construction projects: He helped do the concrete footings and embankment for the foot bridge over the pond, helped with the stage that is used for the Salem Days Pageant, helped form and pour the footings and walls for the Community Center, and he used to help raise the man holes that were low after the streets were asphalted. He served on the Salem Volunteer Fire Department for 13 years and has been with the American Legion for 15 years. He has been involved in Boy Scouts for over 50 years. He said they would take canoes and clean the pond each year as a service project. He and Ann have been CERT Team leaders. Ann has been a 4-H leader, she reported the Salem news for the Spanish Fork Press and she makes and donates a quilt every year to the Library Auction during Salem Days. She belongs to the Daughters of Utah Pioneers, and loves to ride the Frontrunner train.
Elliott used to buy and raise horses to break and then resell them with Dave Brooks. He has enjoyed farming with cows, horses, chickens, dogs, cats, birds and KIDS. He says he also feeds and waters deer (as they come onto his property and eat his garden). Elliott enjoys wood carving, gardening, hunting and fishing and reading westerns (from his I-pad). Ann loves to quilt, read, do genealogy indexing, embroidery, garden and loves to be Grandma. She doesn’t like root beer but loves roast with vegetables. Elliott likes to eat everything; especially corn on the cob, salads with avocados, pizza and steaks cooked by his son, Darrin.
They are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and have served in several positions. Elliott was able to serve a Church Building Mission to San Jose, California in 1963-1964. They are currently serving a Church Service Mission at the Mosida Handcart Trek Site in Elberta, Utah. They love the people of Salem, the pond, the small town, good neighbors, being able to share gardens, feeling protected as they watch out for each other, and Ann loves having the library and store.
Thank you Elliott and Ann for your service to our community.
Salem City Newsletter Senior Spotlight, June 2016, page 3