Matilda Ann Dean was born on June 30 , 1881 in Woodruff, Utah. She was the second daughter of John Cope Dean and Elizabeth Howard Dean. She had nine sisters and one brother John Wilford. Her brother died when he was only a year and a half old leaving the Dean family with only girls.

Matilda was a beautiful girl and she grew up with many responsibilities of a farm life. While they lived in Woodruff, she lived among her many relatives- aunts and uncles and cousins. Her grandmother, Mary Cope Dean ran a store in her home and it was a shopping place for many people. John Dean owned pasture ground and raised cattle and the Dean girls had the responsibility of herding the cattle, and other chores associated with farm life.  Behind their home was a hill called the John Dean Hill and many children had memories of playing on that hill. The hill is next to the cemetery where many of Matilda's relatives, including her brother, were buried.

Matilda would have attended school and church there. The community was very close and they had many church socials and activities. Woodruff was noted for the plays that were produced by that small town. Matilda and her sisters had wonderful memories of Woodruff.

Woodruff had hard winters and the land had to be cleared of sage brush and other bushes. Lucy Dean Wilson wrote that the girls would get up before the sun came up to get their chores done. They worked hard and had many responsibilities. Even though life was hard and money was scarce, they also had fun playing together. The girls all remembered their father going to Evanston, Wyoming shopping and bringing home a bolt of material and their mother making their dresses all out of the same fabric. The Dean children were all born in Woodruff and Matilda and her sister moved to Blackfoot after they were both married. Matilda was just a young bride when she contacted typhoid fever and died. Her mother was too ill to travel but her father attended her funeral. It was another sad death for the Dean family and for a young husband. Matilda's father decided that he would sell his farm and move to the Blackfoot area and the family settled in the Porterville Area in Groveland where they farmed. They also moved hoping this would improve the health of their mother.

Matilda dated and had married Jens L. Sorensen, on 24 September, 1902. Her two sisters, Louella and Arlinda both married Jens's brothers. They only shared two short years of marriage and on 14 August, 1904, Matilda died of typhoid fever. She would have been only 23.

Jens Sorensen later married Marlene Hegland. They were blessed with four children. Their son Harold Sorensen was only three when he died in a run-a-way accident in 1912. Herbert Sorensen died when he was less than a year of age of whooping cough in 1912. Clarence M. Sorensen died at age 5, June 2, 1913. Marlene died a few years later on July 25, 1917. The family then was only Jens and his daughter Mildred Sorensen. Mildred later married Carl Fritjof Johanson. Jens Lars Sorensen was born September 25, 1881 in Denmark and he died October 8. 1961. Jens is buried in the Groveland Cemetery with his family that he loved.

The following information was shared by Evelyn Whyte

As we remember it, Aunt Tillie died of something like Typhoid fever not long after she and Uncle Jens were married. He then served a mission and I'm not sure where but I think he went to Norway. I remember him relating stories about how Tillie had appeared to him on many occasions while he was serving his mission and pointed out certain scriptures. The statement that remains with me and that strongly impressed me as a child was that she was "with him on his mission." Sometime after his mission, he married Karen Marlene Hegland. She came from Norway. They had 4 or 5 children. Four or three of which died at the same time as Marlene did.

My sister thought she had heard that they were in a run-away horse and carriage accident. Some of the rest of us thought it was an epidemic of some kind of flu or something. Mildred was his only surviving child and she went to live with Aunt Irene and Grandma Sorensen in Salt Lake City.

Mildred was a wonderful homemaker and mother. She married Carl Johanson and they had three children. Diane, Janet and son, Kim. Carl had served one or two missions to one of the Scandinavian countries before he married Mildred and later in their life, he and Mildred both went to Finland and served a mission. Uncle Jens worked on road construction for a long time and had a bad accident once that pulled him into a piece of machinery and his one ear was torn almost off. Veliene remembers that his shirt was completely drawn into the machine and all that was left was a small piece down the front and part of the collar. She remembers Mother having that remnant of his shirt for some time. I remember him having a little picture of Tillie with a mirror on the back side and a piece of her hair inside with the picture. He carried this with him most of the time. After the road construction jobs, he later worked at tending herds of sheep. And when the Idaho Potato Starch Company opened in Groveland, he was one of their first employees, I think. He worked as their gardener there for many years and kept the yards beautiful. He lived with Nephi and Lindy off and on at different times. When it became difficult to care for himself, Mildred persuaded him to come and live with them and it was there in Salt Lake City that he passed away on 8 October 1961. This was the longest time he had ever spent in the same home as his daughter. He was a kind hearted man.

Matilda Dean

Elder Jens Sorensen

Matilda & Jens Sorensen


Mildred Sorensen Johanson

Tillie Dean, John Corbridge & Lucy Dean

Elizabeth Dean & Children
Mary, Lucy & Matilda