Berg Ellingson: Some of the Life Story of Berg Ellingson
Some of the life story of Berg Ellingson Berg Ellingson son of Ole Ellingson and Abigail Ann Evans was born 3 May 1881 Lehi Utah. He was the 3rd youngest child of a family of 12 children. He had all his schooling in that town. He went to Alberta Canada in the early 1900’s with his brother Ole, taking with them a herd of cattle. He married Mary Elizabeth Hall 19 May 1905 and they had 7 children. Malcolm Berg, Ora Mary, David Elling, Sherwood Orson, Clarence Roland, Earl Hugh, and William who died at birth. Mary also passed away at that time and Berg was left with six children to care for. On 5 Aug 1920 he married Eva Margaret Sorensen and they were also blessed with 7 children, Eva May, Melvin Lee, Erma Dorene, Ronald Dee, Wayne LeRoy, Ralph Eugene, and John who died at birth. Berg had a wonderful voice and took much pleasure in his singing. But his greatest pleasure was when he could stand by the bedside of a sick person and cheer them with his singing. He was frequently asked to sing on the radio, which was still in its infancy and listeners heard the radio by use of earphones. On one occasion when he sang on CFAC Calgary the radio station received a card from some one in Australia saying they heard his singing very clearly. He was the first bishop of the Calgary Ward. It had previously been a branch of the Cardston 2nd ward. President Heber J. Grant ordained Berg Bishop 26 Aug. 1923. When the news came out in the papers the next day Berg was fired from his job. He was working at that time for the Heintzman Music Company and his boss was a Catholic. He said that he would not have a Mormon bishop working for him. While Berg was bishop for 6 ½ years he also had may wonderful faith promoting experience. President and Sister Hugh B Brown have eaten many meals in out home. We also had the pleasure of having Apostle John A Widtsoe and Pres. Brown for dinner at one time, and Apostle Talmadge stayed one night in our home. When Berg told him of some of his experiences he said: “The apostles of old had no greater experiences than these.” Through the power of the priesthood he had been able to heal the sick, and sometines rebuke evil spirits, etc. I will mention here just two of his experiences. Once while Berg was on a business trip several miles north of some farm machinery had hurt Calgary he knew a brother Hyde who lived on a farm up there and him. His leg had been slashed open. Berg decided to go and visit him. While they were talking Berg wondered if he should offer to sing to him, but he decided not to mention it and soon left. But some time later Brother Hyde came to Calgary and visited our ward. He was on crutches and Berg asked him to speak in church. He said; “ You know the Bishop was up to see me some time ago, but he didn’t sing to me. But as soon as he left our house, the lady who lived next door came rushing in and asked me whom that man was that just left our house was. We said it was our bishop. Then she said: ‘ From the time he put his hand on our door knob until the time he left, Her house was filled with the most beautiful heavenly music. So although the bishop didn’t sing to me he did some good next door. The bishopric used to meet with one of the auxiliary organization officers every Monday night in our home and on the night I will mention it was the Sunday School Officers turn to meet. A few days before this we received a telephone call from Claresholm where I lived as a girl, saying that sister Hatch, whom I knew very well, was very sick and had to have an operation. She also had yellow Jaundice. Her Doctor was coming on the train with her and we were asked if she could stay in our home and her doctor would come the next morning and take her to the hospital for tests and an operation. She was in our home the night the Sunday School Officers came. During their meeting she asked me if I thought they would administer to her when they finished their meeting. which they did. Then she retired for the night. The next morning when she came down stairs, she said she was well and didn’t need the doctor. Her complexion had cleared and she felt fine. When the doctor came to take her to the hospital she told him she was well and didn’t need an operation. The doctor looked at her and couldn’t understand what had happened and insisted she go with him to the hospital for some tests anyway. All her tests proved negative and she went back home completely well. At the time of this writing she and her husband Leo Hatch are living on a little farm close to Riverton, Utah. We had many wonderful experiences while Bert was bishop in Calgary, which was the farthest north ward in the church, and there were church members living over 100 miles from Calgary. The presiding Bishops office in Salt Lake City could never seem to understand why he couldn’t have 100 per cent of his ward teaching done each month. He also had two dependent branches of the ward over 40 miles away and one 60 miles away. Sometimes when there was a funeral to take care of in one of those far away places even though the weather was 40 degrees or more below zero people always expected the bishop to take charge because he could both sing, pray and preach. Those small communities didn’t have many to call on. He was subject to the terrible cold of winter so much and had a bad spell of Rheumatism and was in the hospital for a while so his doctor advised him to go to a warmer climate. So we decided to come back to Salt Lake City. After moving down here in 1927 he started working for the Consolidated Music Company until the depression his in 1931 when all the salesman were taken off the road. Then he worked a while at Wolfs Department Store and his health began to fail him and he found he had diabetes and learned to live with it for a while but passed away 3 April 1954. Berg was the only one of the boys in his family to leave sons to carry on the Ellingson name. He was the father of 9 sons and 3 daughters all wonderful people.