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.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Smiling Faces and Merry Hearts!


P. H. Rex Family Thanksgiving Celebration in the 1960's. Family gathered in P.H. Rex's Randolph home seated around wall to wall tables. 

Keepapitchinin's post this morning And there was Prayer and Thanksgiving

reminded me of this gathering over fifty years ago. 

Smiling Faces and Merry Hearts!








This last picture appeared here earlier.


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Eliza Ann Morgan Smith history concluded.



Eliza Ann’s family grew like her mother and father's did. She and Frank resided in Salt lake City and by 1913 they had ten children. That year James Frank Smith died, leaving Eliza Ann widowed with numerous small children. Not unlike her father, John Morgan’s, 1894 death left her own mother.

Eliza's children are:

Laura Smith (1895-    )
Eliza C “Lila” Smith (1894-1980)
James Pence Smith (1896-1962)
Helen Melvina Smith Buckley (1899-1992)
Alan Smith (1901-1901)
Richard B. Smith (1901-    )
Nicholas Smith (1903-    )
Alice M. Smith (1906-1925)
Clair Smith (1909-    )
Lillian D. Smith Ort (1913-1980)

According to Utah Marriage records Eliza Ann was married to John Robinson in Davis County, Utah on August 14, 1920.[i] Mr. Robinson was twenty-five years Lyle’s senior. He passed away in 1928.[ii]

It is not known when Eliza Ann moved to California. She was living there in 1938 when Bessie’s oldest daughter Helen Rex and new husband Glenn Frazier visited her family in early 1938. Helen explained in her January 20, 1938 letter to her brother Harold.

“A week ago last Sunday we went out to see Aunt Lile. We met her daughter Lila and husband where we got off the street car, and they took us to Aunt Liles. She has a married daughter and an unmarried daughter living at home with her. Then we met her son Jim. He reminds me a lot of Uncle Earl. Tall and thin.”

Eliza Ann was residing there in 1930 when her mother Mellie visited her and suffered a fatal fall. Mellie passed away on June 15, 1930. 

Eliza Ann  passed away in Solano, California on January 15, 1952. She and Frank are buried in her father’s family plot in the Salt Lake City Cemetery.

[i] “Utah, marriagaes, 1887-1966,” index, Family Search (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/F8GK-732: accessed 05 Nov 2014), John Robinson and Lila Smith, 14 Aug 1920; citing Davis Co., Utah; FHL microfilm 484357
[ii] State of Utah—Death Certificate File No 1044, 152, John Robinson, 18 No. Chicago St, Salt Lake, buried City Cemetery (Anna Robinson, wife, signed death certificate).

Friday, November 14, 2014

Eliza Ann Morgan married James Frank Smith in 1893.


James Frank and Eliza Ann Morgan Smith (daughter of John Hamilton
 and Helen Melvina "Mellie" Groesbeck Morgan) were married in 1893.

Recently I came across this history of the man who married Eliza Ann Morgan. He was certainly an industrious gentleman.

“James F. Smith one of the most prominent young lawyers in Salt Lake City, and who has already made an enviable career in his chosen profession, was born in this city in 1872. He is a son of James Smith, a native of Glasgow, Scotland, who came to Utah in 1869. His wife, Mary (Bowdidge) Smith, the mother of the subject of this sketch, was a native of the Island of Jersey, a British possession near the coast of France. She emigrated to the United States in 1865, in which year she arrived in Salt Lake City
.
“Their son James was educated in the public schools of this city and later took a course in All Hallows College here.  Owing to the limited means of his parents, and the necessity of earning his own living, at the age of eleven years, he secured employment as cash boy for the Zion Co-operative Merchantile Institution, where he remained for about one year, and then secured employment in a grocery business.  He later mastered the painting and glazing trade, and followed that occupation for five or six years. His next business was with the glass firm of G. F. Culmer Brothers, where he remained for about four years and then entered the employ of the Salt Lake Building and Manufacturing Company, remaining with this latter establishment for about two years.  He was early alive to the importance of increasing his store of knowledge, and with that end in view, took a course at the Salt Lake Business College, and was later a clerk in the Morgan Hotel during which time all his spare moments were applied to his studies, and in 1894 he began the study of Law, reading with the firm of Chas J. Pence. And C. E. Allen. He continued to work in the daytime and study late in the night during 1895. On September 15th  of the following year he accepted a position in the office of this firm where he pursued his studies until his admission to the bar of the Supreme Court of Utah. He then opened a law firm and struck out for himself. His first start was in a room about six feet wide and ten feet long. His equipment was, to say the least, as far as his books were concerned, of a very limited order. His application to his study and the ability he demonstrated in the successful conduct of the cases entrusted to him, soon led to an increase in his practice, and he is now one of the most successful young attorneys in Salt Lake City.

“Mr. Smith was married in 1893 to Miss. Eliza A. Morgan, daughter of Elder John M. Morgan , President [sic] of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. His wife’s mother was a daughter of Nicholas Groesbeck, one of the early settlers of Utah.

“In political life Mr. Smith is a firm believer in the principles of the Republican Party, and while he has taken an active part in its work, has never sought or held public office. He, like his parents, is a member of the Mormon Church, and has been a faithful worker in its behalf.   He has acquired a prominent place in the legal and social circles of Salt Lake, and enjoys a wide popularity.” [i]

(To be continued.)


[i] Biographical Record of Salt Lake City and Vicinity: Containing Biographies [over 500] of Well Known Citizens of the Past and Present, published in 1902 by the National Historical Record Co., Chicago. Pg 220.

Note: At the above "clerk in the Morgan Hotel" link scroll down to the second newspaper article, “The Ford Hotel Changes Hands.” Click on it to enlarge. Note the sentence. “Mr. Snyder, Mr. Morgan’s son-in-law tried in vain to keep the business afloat." I’d always wondered who Mr. Snyder might be.  I believe he was James Frank Smith. Familiar with the building industry Frank managed his father-in-laws hotel in those depressed times.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Samuel and Elizabeth Brough daughters of Randolph, Utah.


Samuel and Elizabeth Bott Brough are pictured in the center of this family picture. I'm going to attempt to identify the who and when of the picture I posted here in 2009 before I realized how essential it is to identify everyone you possibly can. 

Great great grandfather Samuel Brough passed away in 1911 at 71 years. It is not known the date this picture was taken. It was on an occasion when everyone dressed up and the sons wore a boutonniere on their lapels. It appears to me to have been taken inside of a home.  

I took a copy of this 8-1/2 x 13-1/2 inch Brough picture to Marion, Utah on a visit to my Aunt Winnie (Winifred Rex Andrus) in about 2007-8. She identified each of these people and I penciled their names behind their picture.  

Clockwise from the lady in the upper left corner are, 1-Adria Muir, 2-Will Brough, 3-Prud Weston, 4- George Brough, 5-Aunt Ema Longhurst, 6-Jane McKinnon, 7-Benjamin Brough, 8-Hanna Telford, 9-Mary Elizabeth Rex (my great grandmother).

These people are also identified on the Brough Family History Website. It’s possible my Aunt Winnie reversed the identity of Adria and Hanna. They do have similar looks and their names are reversed from what I've typed here on the Brough website.

About the time I was coming to understand who was who in the Brough family my Aunt Flora (Elizabeth Rex Lamborn) sent me a wonderful Christmas present—two Brough sister pictures—with everyone identified. In one picture the sisters are dressed in hats and coats, braced for the harsh Randolph, Utah cold. In the other they are enjoying a mild weathered day in Randolph together.






These matriarchs have mothered some of the finest families of northern Utah.


This Staffordshire cup and saucer is purported to be the pattern early Brough family members brought to Utah from their England home.

Thank you cousin Flora Lee for introducing me to the Randolph Brough descendant who showed us her pretty things. 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Bessie Morgan Rex. Letters to Harold. Mid August 1938. Mid June 1938


Bessie's sons: Maeser, Morgan, Harold.

The following pages are from two different undated letters. Readers might imagine how they fit in.

[undated, mid] August, 1938

My dear boy,

Here it is near the end of the letters I shall write to Brazil and I am sending a mere note. My it seems there is so much to do. The R.S. is putting on a program Sunday & I am held responsible for it. Then I put up beans and beets this week. I hope Winnie has told you all the news. She is a dear. We are going to wash today and it is getting late now. It was so cold last night. Nearly everything has frozen. This has been a poor season.

Time is moving slowly now. I do hope you are home by Thanksgiving. My wont we celebrate.

Am sending you David Kennedy’s address and Vash Young’s. Now I want you to be sure and call on Vash. He will be an inspiration to you. He gave me a very urgent invitation for me and my family if we were ever in N.Y. to call on him, so please put this address where you wont lose it. David would tell you a lot about Wash. Steve K. is there also. Well, I’ll write a long one next week. Your letters are scarcer now, but then I’ll soon have you here so, Auf Viedersehem Mother

2nd page of an undated June 1938 letter

By all means go down to Washington. I’ll get David Kennedy’s address for you. He can tell you about what chances you would have there. Young Steve Kennedy is there with him now. I’m sure he could help you.

What has changed your mind about school. Why the U of U. I’m not so keen about it, but then, you have been on a mission, and I wouldn’t worry so much about you.

Received a grand letter from Helen last night too. She is such a dear. Am enclosing newspaper clippings of Winnie’s graduation. It is a beautiful morning. But it has been quite cold. The gardens are slow but, it usually is like this the first part of June.

Am feeling so much better. I think the sunshine I am getting is helping. Am going to close this and get it off, only see your father once a week. He is wrapped up in that B. Q. We will get your money off around the first of August. Now please don’t write and say never mind then. We all send our very best love, and wishes for your success and happiness.


Lovingly, Mother

Thursday, October 30, 2014

1885 Groesbeck Masquerade Ball -- Salt Lake City


222 North West Temple
Salt Lake City, Utah

Cousin Karen M. comes up with the most fascinating items. The February 2, 1885 Salt Lake Harold article she recently sent me is my new favorite.

The Groesbeck Masquerade

The first masquerade ball held in Utah [1] was at the Faust Hall (an unfinished hay-loft over a livery stable in a brick building.) where "a fearful row occurred, in which Police-Officer Smith was considerably injured" on February 1, 1872. [2]

Masquerade parties in Utah only got better.

A couple of weeks before the Groesbeck's 1885 masquerade party the Salt Lake Harold  published an invitation to a Grand Masquerade Ball at the Walker Opera House, 34, 36 and 38 West Second South in Salt Lake.


The Groesbeck Masquerade was held at Mrs. Groesbeck's residence on First North Street. Perhaps that home had become Joseph and Sarah Groesbeck's residence following the passing of their parents Nicholas and Elizabeth Groesbeck. Elizabeth passed away in December 1883, her husband Nicholas passed away June 29, 1884. Or did another Groesbeck family reside on First North Street?

The party was held in February, 1885.



Could G. A. Smith be fifteen-year-old George Albert Smith? Could Mrs. S. F. Smith be his mother Sarah Farr Smith? Is Elias Wright the Elias Smith Wright who served in the Southern States Mission (1886-1888) under President John Morgan? 

This gathering reads like a who's who in the Groesbeck-Morgan family. Presumably Mrs. [Helen Melvina "Mellie" Groesbeck] Morgan, listed first, and masqueraded as  Dinah, is Mrs. John Hamilton Morgan. Her brothers John or Joseph, Hyrum, and Samuel and wives were there. Perhaps John's wife Ann or Joseph's wife Sarah was the hostess. 

Thank you Karen for this interesting piece of Groesbeck-Morgan family history.

Notes: 1. The Historical Record, Vol 9, edited by Andrew Jensen
2. Tullidges Quarterly Magazine of Utah, her founders. Vol. 1