Gottlieb Blickenstorfer was born July 31, 1845 in Affeltern, Zurich, Switzerland to Solomon and Anna Barbara Meier Blickenstorfer. When he was fifteen, he and his parents emigrated to America. Crossing the plains was difficult for him since his father was sick in bed most of the way and his mother was crippled with rheumatism. He not only drove the wagon all the way, he also had to provide their food and other necessities. He did this by carving dainty jewel cases and sewing boxes.
After reaching Salt Lake City, the family was called to join the Swiss Company in moving to Santa Clara. Soon after their arrival, Gottlieb’s father died, the first man buried in the new little settlement. In addition to his carving, Gottlieb also earned money by playing his harmonica and accordion with the Swiss band.
He fell in love with a Santa Clara girl whose parents were moving to California. When he asked her to marry him, she agreed on the condition that he help move her family to California first. She changed her mind, however, after they reached California and he was forced to return without his bride. On the way, his wagon broke and he had to abandon it, along with his dreams, riding one mule, while leading the other home. Although he was hurt and disappointed, his mother was very pleased with the results of his trip. She hadn’t felt good about the arrangements, and felt this was the answer to her fervent prayers.
Following his return, he married Eliza Knecht, and was very happy in this marriage until about a year later, when Eliza and their child died during its birth.
He later married Rosina Stucki, August 4, 1873 and although he was ten years older, 27, it was a “perfect match.” They traveled with Rosina’s sister, Mary Ann and her fiancé, John Reber, to Salt Lake to receive their endowments.
Upon their return, they joined the United Order in Price, a community just south of St. George. They put everything they owned into the community which only lasted a short time.
After its disorganization, they returned to Santa Clara, where Gottlieb found work as a carpenter. They also owned land in Santa Clara and a small farm near Beaver Dam, Where they raised cotton and cane, which they hauled to the Washington mills. He, like many Santa Clara men, drove freight, hauling it from Milford to Boulder Crossing, or Boulder City, Nevada. He died December 12, 1883 when only 36 leaving his wife and two children, Rosena Eliza and John Henry.
On one of Gottlieb’s trips to Boulder Crossing, he camped at Littlefield, Arizona. While there, he woke up during the night and saw a woman sitting on the front of the wagon. He then recognized her as his mother, who had been dead for many years. She spoke to him and told him to be good, that she would soon come for him. He told her that he would rather stay here, that he was happy, but she wouldn’t listen to him. She”. . .made it clear that it would not be long until she would come and get him. . .” It was not long until he became ill and never recovered.