Sunday, October 4, 2015

Nicholas Groesbeck purchased a corral and horse stables in Salt Lake in 1861.

Nicholas Groesbeck (1819-1884)

Amy at the Ancestor Files has been researching Wills and Probate and gave us a link to Ancestry's new collection. She is using it to gather information for several projects. In the midst of her work she located the following document and knew I would be interested. Thank you Amy.

The tedium and discipline necessary to work my way through the document evidences her skill and patience in gathering facts from this kind of record. It contributes to more than one fascinating story.

It seems my great great grandfather Nicholas Groesbeck stepped in and purchased a mortgaged coral [corral] and horse stables in Salt Lake following the 1860 misfortune of two Salt Lake business men. Thomas S. William and Palmanio A. Jackman mortgaged their properties for a venture to California where they were killed by Indians. The following year N. Groesbeck paid $1238.31 for their mortgage and interest, "in which is included one hundred dollars which I hereby agree to pay to the widows of the said William & Jackman part in gear and part in flour as they may severely need the same."  He also agreed to pay their delinquent taxes. 

This is an example of one way Nicholas Groesbeck acquired real estate in the 1860's.

William descendants include an account of this unfortunate incident on their grandmother's find a grave memorial.  

Utah State Archives Series 1621 Case 67 P A Jackman Probate 

Saturday, September 26, 2015

P. H. Rex Family Reunion, September 12, 2015.

Elizabeth Thompson Groesbeck's 1875-1883 journal.

Saturday, September 12, 2015, the Randolph Ward whiteboard we rolled into the cultural hall there looked like this. As we began discussing Nicholas and Elizabeth Thompson Groesbeck' family tree, Nancy added  names and connections on the white board, and we had a wonderful family history discussion--Nicholas Groesbeck Family 101--if you will.

It all began when Flora Lee asked PH  Rex family members gathered in Randolph for this year's reunion to share our favorite memory of our grandmother Bessie Morgan Rex. She was a granddaughter of Nicholas and Elizabeth Groesbeck and the 9th child of their daughter Helen Melvina and her husband John Morgan.

I enjoyed listening to each cousin's memory as we passed around a skein of yarn and each cut off a length. It determined how much time we'd have to share. 

Everyone was anxious to learn and understand how four Groesbeck descendants recently came up with our great great grandmother Elizabeth Thompson Groesbeck's 1875-1883 journal. It is quite an incredible story. And it isn’t easily explained. Charting her family history on a whiteboard helped.

Cousin Claudia’s prologue in the front of the newly transcribed and annotated volume clearly explains how it happened. 

This year's P. H. Rex Family Reunion proved as wonderful and happy a gathering as any I've enjoyed throughout my life. Thank you to everyone who came and made it happen. We missed everyone else.

If you are interested in purchasing a copy of this volume, you can contact me in the comment section below, or send me an e-mail at b.sanborn @ [typed all together].

Sunday, July 19, 2015

April 13, 1876, There appears to be a different atmosphere here [Indiana].

A stained glass window from
the new  Indianapolis, Indiana Temple

As an early 1876 missionary John Morgan spent some time with his parents who lived in Illinois. He and his companion, Joseph Standing, traveled from there towards the southern states mission. They worked hard during their stay in Illinois, attempted to hold meetings, and found many doors closed to them. After leaving Illinois the atmosphere changed.

Morgan wrote on April 13, 1876: We are now in Indiana and have been well treated and kindly received by all. There appears to be a different atmosphere here to what there is in Illinois. Am in hopes that we shall be able to do a good work in the neighborhood.

John Morgan’s birthplace of Greensburg, Decatur, Indiana is about fifty-miles from the new Indianapolis, Indiana Temple.

Monday, June 22, 2015

MELL Mellie Groesbeck Morgan ephemera. 1887.


Ephemera[1] from Great Grandmother Morgan’s life and times
 In 1887 she was 34-years-old

I've always just driven our DUP company histories over to the museum because it is so convenient, and I enjoy walking through the displays into the history department. Last week as I left I began looking in a case that frequently changes--presently filled with memorabilia of various nationality emigrant gatherings. It occurred to me I might spot some evidence of Swiss gatherings at Saltaire. And I took time to look. Thus far in my years of wondering I've yet to see those gatherings written about. 

Grandma Emily Frazier told me that her father Jacob Rufi used to sing and yodel at Z. C. M. I. employee gatherings at Saltaire. The display case was filled with ephemera from various gatherings, even at Saltaire. They didn't mention any Swiss yodeling competitions.

But my eye was caught by a beautifully printed dance program that attendee's would have received at the door with a tassel and pencil.

Grand Select Ball, Fri ev'g Feb 11 '87
Fourteenth Ward Assembly Hall
[My Morgan grandparents, John and Mellie, lived in the 14th Ward.]

It was a dance program, and some of the numbered dances had a name penciled in beside them. I presume it was a gentleman's dance program, because Dance #21, Pop Goes the Weasel had penciled in MELL, followed by Morgan written in cursive.

I know that great grandmother Helen Melvina "Mellie" Groesbeck Morgan was known as Mell on Fourteenth Ward Relief Society records. I've seen her name written that way there. 

Could Mellie have worn this gown t the ball?
Whose dance card did she write her name on?
How does one dance to Pop Goes the Weasel?
From Helen Melvina, to Mellie, to Mell!

I was so pleased to learn that grandmother enjoyed her life at home in Salt Lake some of the times her husband was at work in Tennessee in the Southern States Mission. That's where he was the night of this ball.

1. Ephemera: (Wikipedia) items of collectible memorability, typically written or printed ones, that were originally expected to have only short-term usefulness or popularity.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The People We Remembered Today!

This collage from my daughter last night summed up our Memorial Day 2015.
Thank you Elizabeth.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

73rd Anniversary of Broome's One Day War

Mr. Dion Marinis of the Broome, Australia Historical Society sent this picture on March 3, 2015. It was the 73rd anniversary of the Japanese attack on Broome and the loss of so many innocents. John Morgan Rex, and the entire crew (save one) of the B-24 Liberator they were on, and the wounded and citizens they were attempting to evacuate to safety, were lost in the sea.

Thank you for remembering these patriots with these beautiful flowers.

Note: Until I get the size of my blog view fixed, these flowers will fill the screen nicer than my grandmother's soap recipe did.

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.