Sunday, June 28, 2009

John Hamilton and Helen Melvina Groesbeck Morgan Part 3

On October 24, 1868 John Hamilton Morgan and Helen Melvina Groesbeck were married in the Endowment House. The following evening, a reception was held in their honor at the Groesbeck home at 222 North West Temple.

Mellie’s mother, Elizabeth Thompson Groesbeck, had insisted that Mellie learn to sew. And she became an accomplished seamstress.

Mellie made beautiful christening outfits with shawls for many of her grandchildren. Granddaughter Marjorie Morgan Gray wrote that, “when my father graduated from law school, Grandma could not afford a present for him so she embroidered a beautiful pink rose and had it mounted on a tray. She did the same thing for her son John, when he graduated from law school.” Her handiwork would win many first place ribbons at Utah State Fairs. When her eyesight diminished in later years, family members attributed her vision loss to the fine needle work she’d done for so many years.

On 8 October 1875 President Brigham Young called John Morgan to serve a mission to the states of Kentucky and Tennessee. On 27 Oct 1975 he left Mellie and their two little girls for his mission.

The first three entries that begin the typed version of John Morgan’s journal follow.

Normal, Illinois, November 15, 1875
Remained in Bloomington last night and wrote a reply to the Editorial of the “The Leader”, which will be published Saturday. I spent the afternoon in conversation with parties who are anxious to learn the truth and they appear to be honest of heart. I gave them some passages of scripture to read and think about. I was at my father’s home in the evening and listened to an argument between father and another man, and was struck with the utter lifeless character of the argument. Surely I have abundant reason to be thankful to God for the knowledge he has bestowed upon me and for the friends he has raised up to me.

Normal, Illinois, November 20, 1875
Have been very busy during the past few days bearing my testimony to different individuals, talking and conversing upon the scriptures and have enjoyed myself very much indeed. I have felt the good influence of the Spirit of God made manifest to me in numerous ways and on various occasions. I have met with many friends and found that the promises made to me are being fulfilled to the letter for which I feel thankful indeed and especially as to the fact that my faith can be proven by scripture and that those who try to sustain themselves by the wisdom of men fail.

Normal, Illinois, November 28, 1875
It is Sunday, and I have just finished writing to Mellie and a letter to the Deseret News. Have enjoyed myself much during the past week. My way has been opened up so that I could talk and teach to a large number of people. My faith has been increased and the goodness of God has been made manifest to me in many ways for which I feel very thankful. My heart has been made to rejoice in the Gospel and the principles thereof. I trust that God will continue to bless me with the great gift of his Holy Spirit.

This picture of Elder George Palmer’s family, and the writings by Ben E. Rich at the end of The Ancestor Files, March 4, 2009 post, More on The Southern Star, reflect the times.

(To be continued.)

"To My Mellie," Memories Never to be Forgotten, Copyright 1971 by Nicholas Groesbeck Morgan, Sr., pgs. 11-12. Portrait family sheet, and picture of Mellie from Helen Rex Frazier collection.

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