Enok Mortensen


Jorgen Juul, immigrants


Editors learn about potential articles in many ways. Last spring my wife and I were participating in "volunteer week" at the Danish Immigrant Archive - Dana College. During one of the twice daily breaks for coffee and kringle, Marilyn Juul Hanson, a volunteer from Cedar Falls, Iowa, shared some anecdotes about her great uncle, an itinerant peddler named Jergen Juul. When I expressed an interest in the story of Jergen Juul, Marilyn and her husband, Roger Hanson, a retired professor of physics at the University of Northern Iowa, gave me a copy of an article in English about the peddler written by Enok Mortensen and published in Volume II (1946) of YULE, for many years the annual Christmas publication of the Danish American Young People's League of The Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Two days later we stopped in Ames, Iowa, to visit with DAHS president Jim Iversen and his wife, Marge. During a conversation over coffee about The Bridge, Jim mentioned that he had been contacted by Inge Prytz Johnson, a federal judge in Alabama and a new member of the DAHS board of directors. Johnson had recently returned from visiting her mother in Denmark. While there her mother had given her an article in Danish by Enok Mortensen about Jergen Juul and explained that the peddler was Johnson's great grandfather's brother. Shortly after her return from Denmark, Johnson had written Iversen to see where she could find out more about the peddler.