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.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

John Morgan's "Old Beat." The Haywood Valley and surrounding mountains. April 2014.


 Today's roadway through Haywood Valley


This old roadway is no longer used, it was closed thirty years ago. In 1876 John Morgan probably walked into Haywood Valley on it.


 The Armuchee Creek runs through Haywood Valley today very much like it has for years.


 Foundation remnants of a church John Morgan taught at in Haywood Valley were found near this site on Armuchee Creek.


Some Armuchee Creek spots were dammed up to form pools for baptisms.

October 16, 1877, Haywood Valley, Georgia. - Went to Uncle Jeter's where we remained part of the day and stayed all night at Bro. Marshalls'. Uncle Jeter came over and informed us that he had some folks to baptize the next morning. 


This is the Fork in the Road. 
Traveling south from Chattanooga on present day Highway #27 will take you to Rome, Georgia. This fork to the left led into Haywood Valley until thirty years ago. Its now closed off.


Dirt Town was John Morgan and Joseph Standing's first Georgia stop on October 5, 1876. The only Dirt Town, Georgia we found is this deli and market.

October 5, 1876, Dirt Town, Chattooga County, Ga. - Left Covington, Indiana about the 20th of September and came to this locality to preach. Have been quite sick, but am better at present. 

October 28, 1876, Haywood Valley, Georgia - Have been preaching here in this locality and with a good prospect for doing good.

December 3, 1876, Haywood Valley, Georgia - Have been very busy preaching and teaching since I wrote my last entry in my journal. Baptized sixteen persons and have a good prospect for the future.


Country roads roam and roll away from Haywood Valley as we traced our way to the Mannings.


Early plantation lands continue to be farmed today.


Mannings Mill Road is presumably named for the family John Morgan frequently stayed with.


This stream and falls once powered the Mannings' Mill.


I got wrapped up in the beauty of this water and did not take a picture of the nearby home. It may or may not have belonged to the Mannings


This similar early home was a mile or two away from Mannings Mill Road and its history posted beneath.


John Morgan very well could have passed this way during his Civil War days. He certainly did during his missionary service to the Southern States.
(To be continued.)

Monday, June 9, 2014

The final leg of our trip into Haywood Valley, Georgia. 2014.

We stopped on Highway #27 before reaching the Haywood Valley Road turnoff because I was attracted to the  beauty and charm of these old structures in the morning rain.


No longer inhabited, the property owners chose to keep and preserve these old buildings.


They were in the woods across the road from the Living Waters Ministries at Little Texas Road  and Highway #27. 




I took the picture of the street sign below to help me later remember and identify where we were when we discovered these buildings.


Later when Mr. Campbell of Haywood Valley talked of this intersection, gave me a copy of his Georgia Church History map, and explained how to pronounce the word Armuchee [Ar-moo-chee], I realized we'd stopped at the site of the earliest Armuchee branch on our drive into Haywood Valley Road that day.                        


We were met at the intersection below by a kind friend of my Rex cousins who drove north from Atlanta that morning to chauffeur us into Haywood Valley and the Campbells' home there.


The Haywood Valley Road looks exactly like the pictures cousin Geraldine M. sent me in 2008 and I posted here and here.


This is the land Thomas "Jetter" Lawrence's, Haywood Valley, Georgia, home stood on in the late 1870's.


All that remains of Jetter's home site is the large rock in the foreground that marks his well. The Campbells presently own and live on the land Jetter Lawrence frequently welcomed John Morgan to during his years in the Southern States Mission.

The Campbells' map illustrates their knowledge and respect for John Morgan's service in their valley and the northwestern Georgia hills. The map is immensely helpful as I recall our travels to Georgia and Tennessee coupled with the history I've learned from the John Morgan journal.

Armuchee, Georgia is first mentioned in John Morgan’s journal on May 7, 1877, Armuchis [sic] Branch: Returned to Chatooga County, crossing some terrible rivers on the way, swift and rapid. Held a general conference of the North Georgia and Alabama Saints [see History of the Southern States Mission here] at Haywood Valley Church. Well attended and good spirit prevailing … Brother Lisonbee and I started on a trip to this branch [Armuchee] and the Beechcreek. Found the brethren generally  enjoying the spirit of God and feeling well the spirit of emigration is taking hold upon the Brethren generally and I am much in hopes that all will try and emigrate this Fall.

"Armuchee, was for a time a part of the Chatoogee District of the Cherokee Nation. In 1832, however, the Georgia Legislature made this area a part of Floyd County, Georgia as a matter of law. Thereafter, in defiance of the United States Supreme Court, it became exclusively a part of Georgia as a matter of fact by military might. Government troops forced the Cherokees to travel the “Trail of Tears”, or more literally “The Trail Where We Cried”. Over the Trail of Tears in 1838 the Cherokees were removed to the Arkansas and Oklahoma Territory." 

Note: According to Mr. Campbell's research and the deed of the land he purchased and the people who lived on it in Haywood Valley, the land originally belonged to Thomas Lawrence, who was called Jetter. The nick-name Jetter was given to his grandfather, a "fine shooter" whose grandson, Thomas, was also an excellent shot and was called Jetter"Uncle Jetter"by John Morgan. An extra "thank you" to the Campbells for their hospitality and permitting my use of their map here. The John Morgan Journal and papers are now a part of the MWDL. Click John Morgan's picture in the right hand column of this blog for a link to the MWDL site.

(To be continued.)