The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 32, July 1928 - April, 1929 Page: 70
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
with good results so far as the yield was concerned, but the price
was sometimes as low as four cents a pound.
In those trying days the strong group sense of the people was
a source of strength and comfort. They felt, as one of them later
wrote, "as one big family far away from home," and the lean
years (fattige Tider) left in spite of all "bright and beautiful
memories" of mutual aid and encouragement. This impressed
itself so deeply upon the settlers that some of them have later
doubted whether the so-called good times are really preferable to
the hard times if prosperity makes people self-sufficing and averse
to congenial social intercourse.
During the hard times the payments due on the land could not
be met. The banking firm which held the contracts sent a rep-
resentative to look over the settlement. He was so favorably im-
pressed with the thrift and industry of the Danish farmers that
they had no difficulty in obtaining extensions on the payments.
When this representative was asked by an outsider why he didn't
drive the defaulting settlers away he replied that he would not
kill the goose which in time would lay golden eggs. His predic-
tion proved correct. The Danevang settlement prospered after
the few terrible pioneer years and became a synonym for what
great things could be done even by northern people on southern
land. Danish dairy farmers in time became successful cotton
farmers and better cotton prices brought the deserved economic
The purpose of the settlement was to create the economic pos-
sibilities for a rich religious and social life. The Grundtvigians
were a sincere religious folk as well as ardent nationalists to whom
an idealized Denmark seemed but little less delectable than para-
dise itself. Sociability was a part of their very lives, and they did
not wait for the coming of teachers and ministers to direct it, but
began, in addition to much visiting, gatherings themselves both of
a religious and social (folkelig) character. A great event of the
year 1895 was the visit by F. L. Grundtvig. In August the same
year the settlers were happy to secure as their first pastor, Reverend
L. Henningsen, a typical representative of Grundtvigianism, who
stayed until 1898. Reverend Mr. Henningsen was a man of many
interests, being, for instance, an ardent student of all forms of
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 32, July 1928 - April, 1929, periodical, 1929; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101089/m1/74/: accessed March 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.