Tuesday, August 19, 2014

P. H. Rex Family History Books available!

(These are some of the descendants who wrote the book.)

This is the last call to purchase your volume. 
Payment needs to be to me before August 26, 2014.

Contact me here in the comment section (or at the e-mail address below) if you are interested in purchasing your 600-page volume, including 120-color-pages, and have not already placed your order. 

Percy Harold Rex
Bessie Morgan Rex
Mary Elizabeth Herbert Rex
Their descendants 

The next P. H. Rex Family Reunion will be held in Randolph, Utah on the first Saturday following the Labor Day weekend in 2015.

 William Rex  (1844-1927) as a missionary in England.

At this year's P. H. Rex Family Reunion held Saturday, July 26 in Randolph, Utah
3rd great grandson Michael modeled William Rex's long-tailed coat.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Sarah Austin Rex Fielding. May 1, 1810 to May 7, 1877

New gravestone (about 2012) in the Salt Lake City Cemetery.

Deseret News
May 16, 1877

Sarah's gravestone is to the left of this new Amos Fielding headstone. 
I happened upon them a couple of years ago, soon after they'd been set there.

Back side of Amos Fielding's grave stone above, indicates he was the Church's emigration agent in Liverpool England in 1851 the year Sarah sailed to America with her brother, William Rex's family.

The history of William and Sarah Rex's family and their trip to America is included in these six posts.
Part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6.

I recall my mother, Helen Rex Frazier, being concerned because she didn't know what had become of William Rex's sister, Sarah, following her brother's untimely death.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Leon Morgan's empty bible.

Leon Morgan, son of Leonidas and Mary Rice Morgan

Four months ago I shared what I’d recently learned about John Morgan’s nephew Leon Morgan.

His friend, Mary Robak, wrote me back and asked if I would like Leon’s bible. My answer was a resounding YES!  She didn’t know anyone else who might be interested she said, and she included other memorabilia and papers to fill a small thirteen pound box. Leon’s interest in a variety of things filled the box.

She'd searched the bible and said there didn't appear to be any family history information.

During the years of their friendship Mary said Leon told her he was engaged at one time, but never married.
My guess is this back street filled with snow and car tracks was the one Leon Morgan used to reach his Chicago, Illinois home. That may be him standing with a cane partway down the alley. It was the only snapshot among his things.

Besides his bible and a copy of the book he wrote, which I posted a picture of earlier, the box was filled with papers and pamphlets, his college writing assignments, a World War I enlistment form, and a variety of his advertising and publishing projects.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Early Family Dugouts.

I hiked up Pioneer Village Main Street on Monday to have a look at the dugout at the top of the hill.  The Ashby Dugout is on the northern edge of the This is the Place Pioneer Village and is representative of the many dugouts pioneers built following their arrival into the Utah Territory.

In the spring of 1864 my great great GrandfatherSamuel Brough built a dugout in the Porterville, Utah hillside for his family. Writing of that family, my mother, Helen Rex, wrote,

“On 15 Aug 1863 they started across the plains in the Samuel D. White Company. Snow had fallen before they reached Salt Lake City on 15 Oct 1863. It was cold and miserable. They lived in Bountiful, Utah the first winter and in the spring, moved to Porterville, Utah in Morgan County. There they lived in a dugout in the hillside. It was lined with adobes, and there was a fireplace in one end. In the spring when the snow started to melt, the frost came out of the ground and the water washed down the chimney and part of the wall caved in.”  [1]

My husband’s ancestors lived in a dugout when they moved to Paradise, Utah. 

Sarah Jane Smith Sanborn was born in Iowa in 1856 while her parents were in route to Utah.  Upon arrival they lived in Draper for two years before moving to Paradise, Utah where their first home was a dugout.  In 1935 Sarah Jane recorded, recalling that early home,

“The pioneer living in dugout were obliged to keep a fire in the fireplace all night or the wolves would come right down the chimneys. They could be heard on the roof howling and scratching trying to get into the dugouts. They would keep a fire all night so the smoke going up would keep the wolves from coming down the chimneys.”  [2]

This dugout in the side of the Stephen Vestal Frazier Ranch hillside in Woodruff, Utah may have been lived in during its earliest years. In the late 1870’s when the Fraziers moved onto their homestead land they would have needed shelter while great Grandfather Stephen Vestal built his “long log home.” I’ve yet to find an account to substantiate my speculation.

In the late 1940’s while our family visited and lived on the ranch the dugout housed large farm equipment and potatoes. It was reported that in the early years of life on the ranch that dugout housed a large enough cache of ice blocks cut from the Woodruff Creek during the winter months to stock the family’s summer long refrigerator needs. And they churned home made ice cream for every birthday celebration.

1. The History of the Broughs of Staffordshire, England, and their English, American and Australian Descendants, compiled by Robert Clayton Brough, Catharine Ann Brough Hind, Richard Brough Family Organization, 2004, “History of Samuel Brough and Elizabeth Bott,” pages 117-122. Histories on file at the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers Museum in Salt Lake City, Utah written by daughters MarJean Thomson, Randolph Utah; Vendla K. Roberts, Ogden, Utah, Jan 1986; and Mary McKinnon Crompton, great granddaughter, November 1970. And Helen Rex Frazier family records.

2. Daughters of Utah Pioneers, Sarah Jane Smith Sanborn, a Utah Pioneer of 1856 by Da. Fla Barton Nov 1936, Camp 25 Salt Lake County.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

July 4th Woodruff, Utah ancestors' observance.

Albert Orlando Frazier was Stephen Vestal Frazier’s thirteenth child. He was three years older than my own grandfather, Frank UnionFrazier, who was born August 3, 1884.

Albert Orlando wrote:

“Father built a long log house on his homestead and reared his family. My father held the first 4th of July celebration on the ranch. I was a very small boy at that time and in commeration [sic] of the day of independence the stars and stripes waved in the breeze in the large hill close to the ranch. Father had just finished some large cattle sheds which were used for a bowery to help keep cool and an ice stand for we little ones. I can remember that day very well and loved to listen to the brass band playing during the program."

“Patriotism was a deep seated characteristic of the people. The 4th of July was a tradition of older citizens. First raising of the Stars and Stripes, next a parade led by brass band led by W. K. Walton family they contributed so much music and dramatics. Afternoon spent in old Bowery where lemonade was served from large wooden Barrels. Baseball main sport and a few saddle horses races to top off the day, with a big dance at night. “

The long log house Stephen Vestal Frazier first built on his Woodruff, Utah land later became his blacksmith shop which I well remember roaming through. At that time it smelled of old—fire, wood, metal, and dirt. It is pictured beneath the tree to the left in the picture below (about 1990).

Twenty-five years ago my two youngest children and I climbed to the top of the hill across the roadway from Stephen Vestal Frazier's Woodruff, Utah ranch. In the picture beneath we were standing about where my great grandfather would have unfurled his American flag on those early 4th of July mornings.

Note: These two paragraphs were preserved by A. O. Frazier's daughter, who gave a copy to my father, Glenn Frazier. The second paragraph sounds like he was recalling the celebrations later held in Woodruff township proper. The picture of the Walton family band is from the First 100 Years in Woodruff green history book.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Elizabeth Groesbeck's first Salt Lake home became the Deseret Hospital.

Elizabeth Groesbeck (probably 1883)

I was asked the other day if any of my ancestors’ homes are represented in the This is the Place Heritage Park.  I’ve decided I can answer that question with “yes.”

When I first visited the replica of the Deseret Hospital that was rebuilt in the heritage park, I realized that though it was the Deseret Hospital, my Groesbeck great great grandparents called that building home. Soon after their 1856 arrival in the Salt Lake Valley they moved into the three-story adobe brick structure that then stood kitty-corner across the street from Pioneer Square where West High School is now located. 

Great great Grandfather Nicholas Groesbeck purchased that building three weeks after his family arrived in the Valley on October 3, 1856. There he unloaded the wagons of merchandise he carried with him from Springfield, Illinois as a member of the John Banks Company. He established his family in part of the building and housed a mercantile store in the other part.  Their time in that home was short-lived because they had to pack everything up and move south the following October when Johnston’s Army threatened the Valley.

There isn’t record that their family lived there again. Nearly thirty years later in 1884 after it had been used as the University of Deseret and Union Academy the Groesbecks’ financial success and generosity may have helped open the new Deseret Hospital.  When it was established on August 1, 1882 Eliza R. Snow was president of the Deseret Hospital Association with Zina D. Young as Vice President. Elizabeth Groesbeck was listed as one of a ten member finance committee. [1]

Presently the lovely air conditioned 2003 Deseret Hospital houses a model of the original with early medical memorabilia and an extensive quilt collection.

1. Our Pioneer Heritage Vol. 6, compiled by Kate B. Carter, 1963, Daughters of Utah Pioneers, “Pioneer Women Doctors, ‘The Deseret Hospital,’ ” Pgs 413-414.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Tunnel Hill, Varnell Station, and Dalton, Georgia. April 2014.

Trip to Georgia and Tennessee concluded here. Entries from John Hamilton Morgan's journal are included.

Tunnell Hill, Whitfield County, Georgia.

September 16, 1878 - Wrote a little, read some and drove over to Varnells station and beyond where I got my boots fixed.

September 17, 1878 - Went to see Mr. Huffaker today. Held a long talk with him on the principles of the Gospel. Meeting tonight, full house and good attention, and I think we are moving something. 

Tunnell Hill, Georgia was abloom with flowers, sunshine and a clear blue sky the morning we visited. The slow moving pace of life there didn't call for guard rails at this train crossing.

Unnamed church at Tunnell Hill

September 18, 1878 -  Wrote and visited among the folks and held meeting on the 20th, stayed all night with Mr. Henry Holstine, P. O. Varnells Station, Georgia. Drove to Tunnell Hill and feel that things are moving up.

Tunnell Hill, Georgia. 

September 22, 1878 - Held meeting at 11 a.m. Good attendance and the spirit of God to lead us; a good impression made.

September 23 - Drove over to the station and visited some.

Varnell Station rail road crossings were the only in the area I saw with crossing arms. Slow paced with numerous churches, I snapped pictures of the few indicators of where we were.

Varnell Station was important in Joseph Standing's missionary service in 1878-9 and is further explained at the Ancestor Files and here on earlier posts.

The following pictures were taken at the Joseph Standing Memorial Park in Dalton, Georgia. Without our kind friend chauffeuring us, we'd have never found it. Notwithstanding the wonderful directions on the Amateur Mormon Historian, which I had with me.

A beautiful sacred spot in the midst of woods and confusing, winding roadways. 

We considered it miraculous we arrived and could visit there.

This memorial park and monument honor the memory of Elder Joseph Standing of Salt Lake City, Utah, a missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) who was killed here by a mob July 21, 1879. His companion, Elder Rudger Clawson, who later became President of the Council of the Twelve Apostles of the Church was unharmed.

The cooperation of W. C. Puryear and family who donated the land and were most helpful in other was, made this memorial possible.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints May 1952

The site is presently well cared for and must serve members in the area
 and visitors like us with a beautiful destination and retreat.

A clump of watercress was growing in a tiny drainage stream running across the park.

This old broken marker must be as old as the tragedy itself.

Joseph Standing's body was purportedly taken to the Stover family home near Dalton where it was cared for, and prepared for the journey back to Salt Lake City, Utah and home. This cove housing an old pond and mill may be where the Stovers were living at that time.

The roadway below led us out of the cove and our wonderful Tennessee/Georgia adventure which is concluded here.   

John Morgan was in Salt Lake at the time of Joseph Standing's murder. His 1879 journal pages from mid-April to mid-August are missing, so he is silent on the tragedy. He and his wife had James Standing to their home in Salt Lake City for dinner on January 11, 1881.