Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Groesbeck/Morgan Gathering. September 20, 2014

I met formerly unknown cousins at our recent Groesbeck/Morgan Gathering at the Evergreen Library, in Salt Lake City, Utah. Descendants of great great grandparents Nicholas and Elizabeth Thompson Groesbeck gathered there for a reunion on September 20, 2014 where we visited, shared histories, and a delightful afternoon.

John Hamilton and Helen Melvina Groesbeck Morgan descendants attending:

Nicholas Groesbeck Morgan [born 1884] grandchildren (4) great grandchildren (2)

Gail Morgan Clayton [born 1888] grandchildren (3)

Bessie Morgan Rex [born 1891] grandchildren (3)

John Hamilton Morgan [born 1894] grandchildren (3)

And (5) spouses

Cousin Karen M. shared a beautiful slide presentation with histories of our Groesbeck grandparents and uncles and aunts.

I shared slides of my Spring trip to John Morgan Country: Rome, Haywood Valley, Chickamauga Battlefied, Georgia, and Lookout MountainChatttanooga,Tennessee.

Those who weren't there were missed. We will do this again.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Bessie Morgan Rex. Letter to Harold. July 7, 1938.

 Randolph Recreation Hall, a couple of weeks ago.

I hadn't noticed this plaque on the corner of the building before. 
This family played a huge role in its construction.

Randolph, Utah
July 7, 1938

My dear boy,

So far this week, again I have had no letter from you, but I suppose anticipation helps to quiet any disappointment I might feel. Time is getting short now, and I surely am counting the letters I shall write or receive, the months left; & weeks too. Will it be Dec. before you get here? Everybody thinks it is such a grand opportunity for you, to travel I mean.

Here Roy’s father died a week ago yesterday and I haven’t written you. Roy got home about five minutes before the funeral. He was in the Northwest selling knit goods. He flew to S.L. They had such a time locating him. Broadcasted from three or four [radio] stations. You might write a letter to him and his mother. She could forward it to him. I think he is going back. She doesn’t want him to stay here.

We have had miserable cold weather for the past week. Frozen every night. A kind Providence kept our garden from freezing.

Didn’t you ever get my letters telling you that Lynn N. was in Sweden on a mission? Myron gets his release next month, but will travel a little before coming home.

Morgan has sent for a gas motor for his gas model plane. I wish you could see it. He is quite a builder. Maeser is going to the B. G. [The ranch they found work on.] Monday. Morgan will stay here & milk the cows, help me tend the garden, etc. They started haying down there today.

Well dearie, there isn’t much to tell you, so you know who will do the talking when you get home. We have the quiet life here.

Will ring off and do my ironing. We are all very fine here. I suppose your next letter will be from Sao Paulo. Love & best wishes for every success in your work, and I shall try to not be too impatient waiting for you to get home now.

Lovingly Mother

Did I tell you Arch McK. is going to marry Norrine Wahlstrom’s sister (the nurse) in Sept. She is a very sweet girl.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Bessie Morgan Rex letter to Harold. June 26, 1938.

Bessie Morgan Rex's Randolph, Utah home last week.

Randolph, Utah
June 26, 1938

My dear son,
I am sitting in the leather chair on the front porch, trying to concentrate my thot’s on a letter to you. No letter from you last week, but I don’t worry. Just like to get one tho’. Daddy is to a meeting of the Broughs to plan a reunion. I tried to turn the earth over yesterday. I am not much good today. But it is glorious to feel able to do a day’s work. The boys have gone to milk—as usual.

Have been reading a book “From Immigrant to Inventor” by Michael Pupin. What an inspiring book to any young fellow starting out in life. A Serbian immigrant landing in N.Y. with 5 [cents symbol] in his pocket and a thin suit on his back. I want my boys to read it—surely. He studied at Columbia UY., Cambridge & in Berlin, but he always found so much in science to enrich his own life, so much to keep his feet on the ground. He is a grand character.

Well, daddy came home, and I guess we don’t get the Brough reunion here. It is to be at Lagoon.

Main St. is being oiled. Fine gravel is piled high in the center of the street & oiling machine is here. Then they will put in cement curbing. It all helps.

Sanborn 1911 map of Lagoon from Wikipedia.

Pg 2. [This page appears to be from a different  letter.]
deciding. That Smith Hughs work in agriculture is a very fine field & Mr. Guymon was sure you would like it.

There – is that a sermon? Well my dear it all totals up – be yourself & don’t be a snob. Ina Jeane home, but she wouldn’t speak to the neighbors. Oh, such people make me sick.

The boys have gone to milk early. Tonight is the big fight & they wont get back to hear it.
I’m afraid this will be a cool summer. It freezes about one night a week. Rather discouraging to people trying to raise beans and posies. However, mine haven’t been hurt yet.

The Broughs are going to have a reunion here this summer. I think. They are planning it. Helen & Glenn, I’m afraid, are not going to make it home. Money is pretty tight right now all over the country.

Here it is the next morning. A beautiful morning too. I hope things grow better now. Such cold freezes and frosty mornings we have had.

Kennedys have been on a 2000 mile trip up thro Mont. & Idaho. And coming back this place looks bare & dry.

Pg 3. Suppose you have heard from Winnie & how she came out in state exams 90 is a good average isn’t it. I shall be so glad to have her home for two or three weeks.

Randolph seems much like the little Serbian village Pupin came from, but I believe our boys and girls can make a success of life if they try. People are so asleep tho’, in these small places. However the Mr. Cook, whom Mary Rex worked for, in Calif. Told her he thot he would have been happier on a small farm, and he is director of Skagg’s stores. Success brings money and sometimes money wrecks people’s lives. They have both forgotten their religions and drink & smoke, & go a pretty pace.

Well here it is Monday morning. Cloudy & warm. Here’s hoping it rains.

I’m also hoping this letter reaches you for your birthday. Getting up in years aren’t you. That is all right if the years bring added wisdom.

Your time is getting short. It will be hard to leave a land you are nearly certain you won’t see again wont it. I can just imagine. Well, it will always bring pleasant memories, I’m sure.

Must close now with a prayer for your well being and success in your work my son.

Lovingly Mother

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.