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Nikolai Dorius 1804-1872
(This spelling is from a book written by his children)

Was born September 21, 1804 at the Royal Maternity Hospital in Copenhagen, Demark. His mother was known as Dorthea Rebecca Dries. She either died giving birth to him or abandoned him.  No records were kept as to the name of his father. All records of this type were not kept so as to keep the privacy of individuals. It is assumed that even before he left the hospital, he was dropped and had significan spine injury. He was kept hospitalized for 2 years and had significant spine curveature.

Upon release from the hospital- he lived with Soren Mogensen and his wife, Larsdatter in the village of Stenlille. They were very strict. He was a good student in school so that he would be able to learn a profession and support himself in spite of his disability.

At 14 he graduated from the common school and sought an apprentiship as a shoemaker. His master was harsh and the situation was very difficult but he managed to become proficient in his trade. He was certified as a "First Class Shoemaker".

At 17 and 21 years of age, the military examined him for conscription. The reports stated, "His back was very bent, and he was 60 inches tall." (that is 5 feet).

He was a kind man and charming. "He was religious at heart, with a faith in an over-ruling providence; he prayed often, hanking God for his blessings and asking for light and quidance to direct his destiny."

He moved back to Copenhagen on June 29, 1825. While there he met Ane Sophie Christoffersen. She was 6 years his junior. They married in the Trinity church on February 27, 1827. They had 9 children. There was much love and affection in this family.

Nikolai continued working for several years in the Royal Vare Depot. This provided sufficient income for his large family. He decided to open his own shop in Christianshavn, on Kings Street near "Or Savior's Church: and not far from the King's Palace. The family lived upstairs and the shoe shop was downstairs. After a time, they added a room at the front of the shop for a delicatessen that Ane would run. As Ane's success in her shop increased, discord in the family inceased as well. Nikolai began looking for help and comfort from God. The Luthern church did not satisfy this need. He sought out and was baptized into the Baptist faith in July 1850. Four Mormon missionaries had come to Denmark from America in the spring of 1850. When Nikolai heard the teachings of these men, he chose to be baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints on Nov. 14, 1850.

Ane Sophie divorced Nikolai for this decision.  

An exciting episode happened with Erastus Snow:  Carl Christian Nikolai wrote the following in his journal:

"The first meetings held in Christianshavn near Copenhagen were in the same building where father lived and had his shoe shop. Father was downstairs. The meetings were on the second floor. My friend Sorensen told me he and fourteen others had been baptized, and that he was entirely healed of tuberculosis by his faith in God and repentance.

HE went on to explain that meetings were filled to overflowing. Many were joinging the Mormon Church, but not without conflict and strong resistance from hostile citizens. One evening a mob gathered outside a meeting and broke down the door leading upstairs. They wanted to seize Erasus Snow and persecute him. The Saints, trying to protect him, put out the lights while Apostle Snow walked with the other members unrecognized, until they had cleared the building. It was evident that the mobs were out to defeat Brother Snow in his effort to open the first Scandinavian Mission. However, the Lord held a protecting had over him."

Nikolai, after performing some missionary work in his homeland, emigrated to Utah in 1854. He left Denmark on Nov 24, 1854 with his three small daughters, Rebecca, Caroline, and Nicoline on the steamer ship "Cimbria". The journey was one of the harshest on record. When they finally reached Liverpool, England-they embarked on the "James Nesmith" with Captain Mills and sailed on January 7, 1855 to New Orleans. They arrived on February 18, 1855. Shortly after arriving in America, a cholera epidemic broke out while sailing up the Mississippi River. Caroline and Nicoline became ill and died from the disease.

Nikolai and his surviving daughter Rebecca traveled with
Jacob F. Secrist/Noah T. Guymon Company (1855)
 Departure: 13 June 1855
Arrival in Salt Lake Valley: 7 September 1855

For more information regarding the specifics of their overland pioneer trek, please follow this link: http://www.lds.org/churchhistory/library/narrative/0,18046,4981-1-263,00.html

Nikolai met and married Johanna Rasmussen Olsen after she, too had been abandoned by her husband. Her son , Lewis, by her first marriage assumed the Dorius name. The Dorius family called Johanna their "Grandma by the creek".

Son John wrote of his father's final illness: "On Sept 7, 1872 our beloved father Nikolai Dorius became ill with a bad case of inflamation of the kidneys. He suffered excruciating pain during his sickness. Three days from the onset of this attack he died. This was one of my greatest sorrows. He was loved by all who knew him, and he died in the full hope and confidence of a glorious resurrection.

Son Carl wrote: "Father's children gathered around his bedside before he died. He blessed and advised every one of his family. We knew we would miss his counsel. He was always cheerful and comforting. Like a patriarch, he lived and he died, with a prayer on his lips. We children gathered around and with a prayer on his lips. We children gathered around and laid our hands on his head, and he just slept away. At his funeral Apostle Orson Hyde and President John Van Cott spoke. They told of the wonderful character of this grand man. May we ever follow in the footsteps of our beloved father, Amen."

He lived first in Salt Lake City and then in Ephraim. He died in Ephraim on July 10, 1872 at 68 years of age.

He was buried in the old Ephraim Cemetery.

This is only a snippet of information on his life. If you would like to read more about his life, and those of his entire family, read  "The Dorius Heritage" by Earl N. Dorius  copyright 1979

To order copies of the book, write:

Earl N.Dorius
2549 Blaine Ave
Salt Lake City, UT 84108