Monday, February 16, 2015

Grandmothers made/created their own washing soaps.

Several Groesbeck cousins are collaborating to transcribe and annotate great great grandmother Elizabeth Thompson Groesbeck's journal. In the course of gathering materials, cousin Karen M discovered the following recipes and receipts among her Grandfather Nicholas Groesbeck Morgan's papers:

These licenses and recipes belonged to Elizabeth Groesbeck
 and assured her rights to create and use the compounds.

Securing soap recipes in this manner was not unusual in Elizabeth's time.

G. W. Jackson and Company's Universal Washing Compound. The Baltimore company issued these certificates as a way to cut down on the infringement of their formula, which is included on this imprint dating from 1867. 

 Elizabeth's Family Right was dated February 1, 1868.

My Grandma Emily Rufi Frazier (1886-1972) was a famous soap maker. After our family moved from her Woodruff, Utah home in 1951 she continued to make and supply our family with her soap. I remember it as a dirty milk color. She set her boiled and brewed concoction in 9 x 13 dripper pans. After they set up she cut the soap into squares. My parents washed our laundry with those bars of soap. Upon the advent of the automatic washing machine, they shaved the bars and continued to use the soap to wash our clothes.

Emily and her descendants swore by her soap’s effectiveness to clean their clothes. I was trying to recall the smell of the soap. I can only come up with the smell of “clean.” That’s amazing when you think we collected drippings from bacon and mutton tallow in separate cans we kept on the back of the stove. They were not to be mixed for some reason I don’t remember. They were used to make grandma’s soap. Ashes and lye were the other two ingredients I am aware of. Whenever we’d travel to Woodruff, which was rather frequent, we’d take our cans of grease to Grandma. She’d send home bags of her soap whenever she finished a new batch, with whomever was traveling to Salt Lake City.

That's Emily's automatic washing machine in the front left corner of her kitchen. 
Her sons Elmer and Glenn Frazier, seated to the left, appear to be watching
 their wives and mother work at the kitchen sink
 and drainboard in the mid 1960's.

My parents, Glenn and Helen Rex Frazier (1913-1982), and I, 
used a twin tub wringer washing machine to do the family wash in the 1950's.
This 1961 photo is of Helen hanging up her clothes
 on the backyard umbrella clothes lines.
White whites was extremely important to Helen. 

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Susan Frazier (1951-2006) Loved Music!

1958 seven-year-old Susan Frazier with the family pet, Rebel.

Susan played the bass fiddle as a 6th grader, and on through
 junior high school. She also learned to play the piano.

Susan was a good record keeper and recorded each of her friends' names.
She was also a faithful journal keeper.

A song is a wonderful kind of thing,
So lift up your voice and sing!
Just start a glad song, let it float, let it ring,
And lift up your voice and sing!

We shall make music to brighten the day;
Music will help us to lighten the way.
Lift up your voice! Lift up your voice!
Lift up your voice and sing!

Children’s Songbook 252
Words and music: Richard C. Berg, b. 1911

D & C 25:12 For my soul delighteth in the song of the heart; yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with blessings upon their heads.

13: Wherefore, lift up thy heart and rejoice, and cleave unto the covenants which thou hast made.

A few of Susan's journal entries:
December 26, 1976  [a resolution] — "Memorize and sing songs while I’m driving. Scriptures, too"

March 27, 1977 “A lot has happened in the last 2 months. I really enjoy 306 [Nursing course] now. Dr. Hames is a great teacher. He teases me about being a Mormon, since he’s only been here 3 months from Michigan. I’ve learned so much in the last 2 months it’s incredible.

“State Board results should be coming some time now—I hope I passed!

A week ago we went up to Flora Lee’s homecoming, when we received word that Grandpa Rex passed away. When Aunt Flora came in to tell Aunt Marry, I knew what she was going to say. We will miss him but I think it’s wonderful that he can be with Grandma Rex (after 39 yrs.), Uncle Morgan, and his 12 brothers and sisters. His services were lovely! The granddaughters sang “The Lord is My Shepherd” and “Abide With Me.” Richard Lamborn and I played “Oh My Father” on the piano and organ. Richard is really a special cousin to me. Even though we tease each other miserably, I really love him!” [1]

Susan loved music! She loved to play it on the piano, on her bass fiddle, and accompany others perform. She listened to it always and collected it. She sang solos, duets, in quartets and always belonged to a choir. As a teenager she participated in roadshows. In junior and high school she was part of all of the musical productions. She and her friends, Pam, and Debbie, and Debby formed a quartet. In the style of Peter, Paul, and Mary and The Carpenters and they sang the music of their day—I’m Leaving on a Jet Plane —Rainy Days and Mondays Always get me Down—they harmonized beautifully.

The summer following her high school graduation (about 1969-70) Susan worked in Commissioner Garn’s office during the day “and performed in Promised Valley at night. That was a great experience with Nancy and Pam." [2]

At her passing I gave much of her music to those who could use it. A walk through what remains in her music file is heart warming:

Prayer of the Children
I am a Child of God
I Know that My Redeemer Lives
God Bless America
Lift Every Voice and Sing
Jesus Loves Me
Let us Break Bread Together
There is a Balm in Gilead
Peace, Peace
A Child’s Prayer
A Poor Wayfaring Man of Greif
As The Dew
As Sisters in Zion & We’ll Bring the World His Truth
I got Shoes (spiritual)
Joseph Knew (for mixed chorus)
How Beautiful
You’re Not Alone
Pachelbel’s’ Canon
Precious Lord Take My Hand
These Are the Days
Oh My Father
In Perfect Faith
O Come O Come Emanuel
Shine for Me Again
Star of Bethlehem
Ding Dong Merrily on High
Oh, Hush Thee My Baby
How Beautiful
Infant Holy Infant Lowly

On December 16, 2006 a memorial service was held for Susan in the Chevy Chase Ward, Bethesda, Maryland. The following note was left in her guest book.

"Susan, I remember many beautiful days of picnics under the azaleas with the young women at the Arboretum, and walks by daffodils and cherry blossoms. I remember baking apple pies with fresh picked apples in our kitchen with all the young women and you, who appreciated the good things of life. Many choirs and solos and duets we have done together, and talent shows at the Mt. Pleasant Branch. Your sense of humor, your wry observations, and your sensitivity to the Spirit always reminded me why we are really here on this earth. I love you and I will carry on, following in your footsteps, and always singing those beautiful hymns you loved. You will be a part of my music forever. Thank you for being a part of my life! Love, Natassya"  [3]

(to be continued) From time to time I will post parts of Susan's life story here.

Notes: 1. Histories of Percy Harold Rex, Bessie Morgan Rex, Mary Elizabeth Herbert Rex and Their Descendants, 2014, pg 162.
2. Ibid 156
3. Ibid 182

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Helen and Susan Frazier. Mother and Daughter.

John Morgan at October 1887 conference in Tennessee.

Mount Olivete Cemetery
 approximately seven miles from Nashville, Tennessee
 picture from Wikipedia, November 2005

Yesterday’s Amateur Mormon Historian’s post was of interest to me. The conference Bruce wrote about occurred in the midst of the following John Morgan 1887 Southern States’ Missionary posts. 


His map of the railways bordering the Middle Tennessee Conference is equally intriguing and illustrates John Morgan's use of the railways during his travel there.

From Chattanooga, Tennessee, Mission President John Morgan recorded in his journal:

October 7, 1887 — Made preparation during the morning and at 1:35 p.m. left for Murfreesboro over N.C. and St. L. Railroad to attend the East Tennessee conference.

At Decherd, met Elder E. S. Wright.  At Murfreesboro, met Elder H. K. Perkins and accompanied him to brother William Burks, four miles out at the Labanon pike [about seven miles from Nashville, Tennessee].  Arrived at 7:30 p.m. where we stayed tonight.

October 8 — After an early breakfast, started for the conference, fourteen miles distant. Arrived at 8 a.m. at Miss Simmons where we met all the Elders laboring in the East Tennessee Conference. Held Council meeting and at 10 a.m. met in Conference with a fair attendance. Had a dinner under the shade of the tree, and met again at 2 p.m.  A good spirit manifest. After meeting, held another council.

October 9 — Stayed at Mrs. Simmons last night. Held council at 8 a.m. and met in council [council was crossed out of typed journal transcript and conference written in its place] at 10 a.m. and increased attendance, and a good spirit manifested. Had lunch and held council between 12 and 2. Had another good meeting, after which Elder Wright and myself bid the Elders and saints goodbye and accompanied Brother Halfaen home. During the Conference the East Tennessee conference was divided and Elder  S. H. Head [Samuel Hugh Head  served SS Mission January 24, 1886 -  unknown release date]  was appointed to preside over the East half.

October  10 — Started at 5:30 a.m. for Lebanon and at 7 a.m. took train for Nashville, arriving at 8. Visited the Capitol Bridge Market, Vanderbilt, Penetentiary, [sic. penitentiary] and other points of interest about the city. At night attended the Theatre, Vendome, Keene in Marc Anthony.

John Hamilton Morgan journal, Special Collections, Marriott Library, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah  

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Susan's early RESOLUTIONS!

Continued from here.

Susan Frazier was a great goal setter. She is pictured here May 24, 1989 with good friend Finnette Walker Shupe and mother Mrs. Walker upon completion of Susan's masters degree from The Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health.

From Susan's journal: Her twenty-five-year-old goal list follows,

1976--I’ll list my goals. I have from attending Education Week:
  1. Memorize Articles of Faith
  2. Attend Temple weekly
  3. Attend genealogy library weekly
  4. Have good thoughts
  5. Don’t gossip
My Reading Goal List:
1976—New Testament Commentary ( first 4,000 years)
1977 Church History--comprehensive
1978 Journal of Discourses
Others: Gospel Doctrine
Doctrines of Salvation
James R. Clark’s collection
Biographies: Brigham Young, John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, Lorenzo Snow. Heber c. Kimball
I need to get a list of classics I want to read.

My next 5 years
(25) 1976-77    256-356
(26) 1977-78   406-456 work-ICU
(27) 1978-79   ICU-Israel
(28) 1979-80   Guatemala
(29) 1980-81   India 

1976--The day after Christmas—yesterday I worked but we had a nice party and then we watched Camelot. I’ve been thinking about my goals for 1977. two of them will be:
1)      Standard works
2)      Documentary History
3)      Comprehensive History
4)      Memorize and sing songs while I’m driving. Scriptures, too
5)      Mon. genealogy
6)      Thurs. – Temple

I really enjoy working as a GN. I hope I pass my state boards!!

1977--Well here goes with my 1977 resolutions: (I don’t want school to start again, oh well …)

  1. Read Standards works, DHC, CHC
  2. Temple - Thursday night
  3. Genealogy – Monday morning
  4. Perfect thoughts (pray continually)
  5. Memorize songs, hymns, scriptures
  6. Missionary emphasis
  7. Charity, service
  8. Weekly journal set goal entries 
1977--Goals Spring Summer
  1. Daily (morn-night) communication
  2. daily scripture reading
  3. weekly [bi-weekly added] genealogy, temple, exercise (bike x1, spa x3, walk x3)
  4. Daily novel reading
  5. Weekly journal writing
  6. Weekly charity (letter, visit, Janet, nieces)
  7. Weekly evaluation 
Perfect in
  1. physical fitness
  2. appetite
  3. dance
  4. thought control
  5. early rising-scripture reading 
1978 worked in Monument Valley as registered nurse

1979 studied abroad in Israel

I think I should make some goals for my stay here:
1)  Come to know Christ better
2)  Finish Old Testament
3)  Good thoughts
4)  Deeds of Service daily
5) Control of appetite
a) swim daily
b) no bread or potatoes, milkshakes or ice cream
6) Finding out Lord’s will in my life 

Picture of Susan holding niece Natalie at Lava Hot Springs family reunion 2001.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

ACTION! Susan Frazier, resolutions and reflections.

Susan Frazier (1951-2006) hiked the Zion, Utah Narrows 
at Glenn and Helen Rex Frazier Family Reunion in 2001

Susan and Finnette Walker Shupe (1947-2014), in the red,
 seated with unidentified friends in the Bethesda,
Maryland condo they shared in about 1984.

Susan with visiting niece and nephews on condo patio in about 1986.

A Salt Lake visit with nieces and nephews about 1985.

Note:  Scroll down on the Susan Frazier link to read her obituary.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Helen Melvina "Mellie" Groesbeck Morgan's Sister Wives.

A cousin recently shared some family documents with me.

Mrs. Helen M. Groesbeck Morgan, 359 Bryan avenue, widow of John Morgan, died early Monday morning as a result of injuries received in an automobile accident in Oakland, Cal., according to word received by N. G. Morgan of Salt Lake.

Mrs. Morgan was visiting relatives in California during the last three weeks.
She was born in Springfield, Ill., February 7, 1852, and crossed the plains with her parents, Nicholas and Elizabeth Thompson Groesbeck, in 1856. She had lived in Salt Lake since 1856.

Surviving are the following children: Mrs. Helen M. Austin, Mrs. Ruth Kunkel, N. G. Morgan, Mrs. Gail Clayton and Judge John H. Morgan, all of Salt Lake; Mrs. Percy Rex of Randolph, Utah, and G. E. Morgan of San Francisco; one sister, Mrs. Josephine G. Smith, and two brothers, Joseph F. and Samuel Groesbeck of Salt Lake.

The obituary doesn't name Mary Ann Linton Morgan as a family member.  The Deseret Mortuary Company Automobile List for Helen Melvina Groesbeck Morgan’s June 20, 1930 funeral shows Aunt Mary Morgan’s inclusion in the “second automobile.”

Very very little was written or said in my mother’s family [P.H. and Bessie Morgan Rex] about her grandfather John Morgan's polygamy. Only that it was and it included Aunt Mary and Aunt Annie. 

Some years ago when I found each of their grave stones far away from one another in the Salt Lake Cemetery I could not understand why and I was saddened.

I've since attempted to rectify some omissions. John Morgan’s headstone, placed at his Salt Lake City grave site by Southern States Missionaries several years following his 1894 death, had a blank side just calling for an explanation. I enlisted descendants participation in a project to add his wives names to his grave stone.  

Engraving added to John Morgan marker in 2012.

This post was triggered by James Tanner's post The Shadow Wife at Genealogy's Star this morning.

See also December 11, 2014 post The Shadow Wife - part 2.

And here I've contributed to Amy's cautionary tale  "Middle Name Creep"  posted yesterday. I do concur with Amy, I've never found an early source for John Hamilton Morgan.