John Frederick Oblad Biography

John Frederick Oblad was born November 10, 1841 in Osteraker, Odermanland Sweden. He was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) April 1, 1859. In Sweden the family name was spelled Äblad with the meaning “leaf green” or “new leaf”. After emigrating to America the spelling was changed to Oblad because umlats do not exist in the English alphabet. He arrived in New York on May 8, 1865. He crossed the plains with one of the companies of Mormon pioneers and arrived in Great Salt Lake City valley November 8, 1865.

Upon immigration to the United States, he learned English quickly, but it remaind somewhat broken until his death.

He married Mary Magdalena Larsen (January 19, 1867), a daughter of Hans Larsen and Elena Dorthea Benson who were among the first 15 baptized in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1850. He fulfilled a mission to Sweden in 1873-74.

John Frederick and Mary Magdalena had 11 children, four of whom died in childhood.

He was a blacksmith and worked as a traveling, wagon repair man and horse shoe scraper for Wells Fargo Express Company.

He was a progressive and ambitious man. He liked outdoor sports, fishing, hiking and hunting. He patronized the shows at the Social Hall, Salt Lake Theatre and Walker Opera House.

Religion was always first. He never missed church on Sunday and would tend to church work during the rest of the week. He had a strong belief in paying tithing, and contributed liberally to church buildings and charity offerings. He often gave emigrants jobs to assist them.

He was interested in mining and other kinds of businesses. He promoted and partially financed many a ward social and other gatherings. He associated and attended all Scandinavian meetings and socials.

He died June 17, 1904 of pneumonia after having been sick three days.