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. 

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