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

Monday, October 27, 2014

Bessie Morgan Rex. Letter to Harold August 8, 1938.

This picture is titled haying on the Rex ranch.
 It could just as well be at the B.Q.

Randolph, Utah
August 8, 1938.

My dear son,

It is 4:45 p.m. and I am sitting across the table from my graduate nurse. She is writing genealogy. My girls are heavy on that. I have a cake in the oven, and if it is good you may have a piece. How will that be? We just had a lovely shower, and everything smells so fresh.

We received your very welcome airmail letter. We send it to Helen. I know your letters are rather scarce. We have discussed you pro and con, have decided what you must be and what you must not be. Have decided you will be changed.

(Say Winnie has so much to tell me I cant get this written. Now she must be quiet) She has had some experiences sure. My children are gaining so much worldly knowledge, their mother is quite dumb.

page 2-- It is so nice to have Winnie home, but of course she will have to go again unless she gets this co. nurses job. In some ways I should like her to get it but oh dear there is nothing here for a girl.
Daddy said to tell you he thinks of you, but they are very busy, at the B. Q. haying. 4000 tons of hay to be put up. Oh so much hard work.

I’m so glad you appreciate your mission.—and it is no drain. I’m sure you have had experiences that will influence your whole future life.

So you were rather a stiff Romeo were you? I have mentioned to the folks several times that the girls do not seem to have bothered you much down there.

Oh dear, somebody keeps interrupting me, and then my mind wanders. Fancy you going to a R.S. quilting. Even our bishopric never dare come near our R.S.

I am taking charge of the drama in Mutual this winter. It might prove

page 3--too much for me, but I’ll try it.

Here it is Tue. Morning. This must go this day sure. We had a practice last night and nobody got to write at all. Morgan has gone to milk. He has a milk route too. He makes a little and it all helps. My how these boys are planning, so you fellows can have money to go to school on.  Maeser  figures out to me each week how many steers you will need and how many he will have. It is a very good idea for them. Something to work to.

Well dearie, I think you will have plenty of letter for this time and I have a report to send in for the R.S. so better close now. I must try hard to write better letters to you, more inspiring, as it is nearing the end. Oh my dear, it will be a happy day when we have you home with us again. It seems so long since you went down there. We all send our best love and prayers that you will soon be with us again so until then, piles of love from Mother.

Note on B. Q. “Father continued working at the B.Q. Ranch. (B.Q. stands for Beckwith and Quinn. It was a large ranch north of Randolph.) He would come home on Saturday night and go back Monday morning. Some weeks he’d come on Wednesday night for an overnight.” "Mary Elizabeth Herbert Rex History," Histories of Percy Harold Rex, Bessie Morgan Rex, Mary Elizabeth Herbert Rex and their descendants," published 2014, pg 64. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

PH REX Family History Book. October 2014.

A couple of very nice pictures surfaced following 
the completion of our P. H. Rex Family History Book.

Here is Percy Rex with his horse Margo (I presume)
 in the driveway to the northeast of his home.



Five Rex Brothers at William's 50th Wedding Anniversary in 1949
Alfred, Percy, William, Sam, Arthur
from page 114 William Rex History Book

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Dearest Helen! A brother's loving concern for his sister.


                                         Helen Rex                 Harold Morgan Rex
                                        (1913-1982)                    (1915-1988)

Last week's Men and Women of Faith lecture "My Dear Sister: Joseph F. Smith's Letters to His Sister, Martha Ann Smith Harris" by Dr. Richard Neitzel Holzaphel was excellent. I was grateful to be in the Assembly Hall. The loving and caring relationship President Smith and his sister shared was reflected in the letters they wrote one another. They reminded me of my own mother's relationship with her brother Harold.

Harold saved all of the letters Helen wrote him during his 1936-1938 mission to Brazil and his family gave them to me. I've yet to read and study through all of them.

The following counsel from Harold in this Fall 1937 letter is an early favorite.

Harold and Helen had written each other about the biggest problem they each faced at the time. Harold's was, shall I borrow some money before returning home so I can travel in Europe? Helen's was, how much longer shall I wait to marry Glenn Frazier, who had moved to California for work and education?  

Harold wrote:

Jaragua do Sul, Sept. 27, 1937

Dearest Helen,

You asked wether I had things planned for my return. I certainly have. I have no other idea in my head than that, that I am going to school immediately upon returning. I know I can, if I try hard enough, and I shall surely try. I guess you read the letter wherein I asked about the trip to Europe. What do you think I should try to do, even if it is possible to borrow the money? I don’t know whether I should or not. I am almost afraid that $150.00 is too much to load upon a persons shoulders where he is trying to get an education. I am going to ask Pres. Howells when he comes two weeks from now.

The only thing is that the chance will probably never come again at least for quite a few years. Right now I need that experience. Traveling is really a wonderful experience. That would be something that very  few people get to see. I am very much in doubt though, as to whether or not I should try to borrow the money. Maybe you could give me an idea or your opinion as to what I should do.

Helen I think your idea about getting married is a very good idea. That is the only thing for you and Glenn to do. You have gone together long enough. You would both be much more happy. I hope the climate down there helps you. Write and tell me if it does.

My advice not long ago to Winnie is that we should all be married in the Temple. Helen if it is at all possible get married in the Temple. If you just can’t make it, then go down to California and get married. Then as soon as possible get through the Temple, but by all means do it just as soon as possible, and use no procrastination about it.

Not long ago I read an article written by President Grant. He said that it was his first intentions with his first wife not to get married in the Temple just at the time they were to be married because they lived down in Southern Utah, and would have to have made the trip with team and wagon, and that would have taken to much time. At which time he was very busy. But they finally did decide to be married in the Temple instead of putting it off until the next year. They were married and shortly after they were married his wife died. Had he not married in the Temple when he first got married, he wouldn’t have been able to go through the Temple with that wife. He would have had the work done for his wife. He is a Prophet of God and he advises all people to be married in the Temple. So Helen if it possible get married in the Temple. But if it is not at all possible then go to California and get married.

I hope that you and Glenn will be happy and I am sure you will, if you keep active in the church.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Bessie Morgan Rex. Letter to Harold. July 29, 1938


Crawford Mountains and Randolph, Utah as dusk approaches. 
From cemetery hill.
2nd week of September, 2014

Randolph, Utah
July 29, 1938

My dear son,

My conscience is at work and I am feeling guilty. These three letters a week seem to come very often. I mean when I have to write, but far far between when received.

We received your airmail letter saying you had changed your mind about Europe. You are certainly “off again, on again, gone again;” aren’t you. I enjoyed your letter very much, and sent it to Helen to read, so if you don’t get to write to her, I will send yours on from here.

Winnie will be home next week, so you can write to both of us together. Oh my dear, when you get this it will be getting down to weeks. Or what is this I hear? Pres. Howell better not come home and leave you there.

Wayne got home last Sat. He put on his old crushed hat & boots, & you would never have thot he had been away. Just the same Wayne. Thinner is all. Did I tell you Bob W. & his missionary companion talked in church. His companion was a fine fellow, and has learned much from his mission.

Jack Clayton saw Fred out to the Lake. He didn’t treat his girl much like a

Pg 2
gentelman should & Jack ran across him by a beer stand with a bottle of beer in his hands. I cant think much of him.

Myron gets his release next month. He is going to travel some before coming home.

Oh dear, nobody writes but I, but really dearie I suppose every body is too busy. Daddy & Maeser are at the B. G. Up on Sundays is all. Morgan milks the cows, and hauls milk for the creamery. Busy bunch around here.

I am doing some painting. I didn’t clean house this Spring so am taking all summer to do it. I’m just going to visit when Winnie comes home tho’. In one way I wish she could get this co. nurse job here, but there is nothing here for her, outside of home. I should love to have her home for a while, but I don’t want her to settle down here.

This has been such a cool summer some of my flowers haven’t done much. We work so hard for so little here.

Well, I thought I could fill two pages, but I’m wondering. This is a very quiet place, & I dare not discuss world news with you. Received your Brasionian yesterday. Are you trying

Pg3
like the donkey to live on the last straw, or do you sponge a little. 61$ for the quarter not much. We have missed sending you one 15$, but we will make it up when we send you money to come home.

We all thot of you on your birthday Sunday. Wayne spoke for the first time, and Carrie M. reminded us it was just one year since they received word their missionary was so sick. He doesn’t come out much now. Anniversaries bring joy to some and pain to others, certainly.

Dallas’ wife has a baby girl. He is another who is not emotionally grown up. Nothing like his father.
I am tending to the water and haven’t done much with it yet so must be closing.

I feel content with the thot that you are doing well, or you would not be where you are. I am always so very thankful for my children. They have given me nothing to worry over much so far, and ever pray the Lord will keep them in that straight path. Our best love & wishes for your continued success and soon a safe journey home to us all again.


Lovingly Mother 

Note: My scanner won't accurately scan these letters, so I'll complete them this way.

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.