Father Groesbeck gave John and Mellie a block of ground located on the north side of First South between West Temple and First West, later known as 144 West First South. John Morgan built a new college there in 1870. A building was constructed large enough for the school and a large apartment on the top floor in the rear. It appears that this is the home Mellie is living in with her two daughters, Helen Melvina and Eliza Ann, when she welcomes John home from his mission in December 1877. There is a picture of the college on the Phelps Family History website.
[From the John Morgan Journal, Marriott Library, University of Utah. Southern States Mission]
21st - Started on the M and C. road for the West with a company of about 80 Saints. All Well. Changed cars at Corinth. Took Ohio and Miss. For Columbus, Ky. Where we crossed the Mississippi on a boat in the cars.
26th - Began to make arrangements to get permanent winter quarters. Rode over to South Pueblo with Dr. Shelburne, who showed about town and we secured a location to erect barracks. At night we held a meeting and took some steps to organize into the U. O. Bro. Moyers and Dennington kicked out of the traces and showed a bad spirit.
December 1st, 1877
Worked all day at our barracks. In the afternoon moved into them. Got in by dark all O.K.
5th - After bidding the camp goodbye, I went up to South Pueblo and at 2 P.M. boarded the train for Denver, where I arrived at 8:30 at night and I stopped over night at that point.
6th - At 8 A.M. took the Kan. Pacific for Cheyenne where I arrived at 1 P.M. and in one hour took the U.P. train for Ogden, traveled all day, slept well at night.
7th - At daylight we made Laramie for breakfast. Cold and unpleasant. Travelled all day and at night arrived at Ogden. Bro. Zeb. Jacobs, Drove home over the U.C. to Salt Lake where I arrived at 8:20. Came up home and met my dear wife and children after an absence of 2 years, one month and ten days. My family all well.
8th - About home all day which I enjoyed very much. My wife had a new suit of clothes for me, which I needed very much. The rooms of the house were nicely fixed up and everything looked cosy and neat. I feel very thankful to God for His mercies and blessings.
15th - December. At the invitation of Bro. N. V. Jones, I preached at the 13th Ward Assembly room at 2 P.M. to a full house of Saints, who paid strict attention. Met many old acquaintances and friends. At night went to the 17th Ward where I preached again at Bishop John H. Smith’s request. A good feeling.
16th – Spent part of the day in writing and went with Dr. Williams of Chicago to the President’s office, The Temple, Tabernacle and other places.
20th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd and 24th. December
Have employed the time for the past few days in reading and enjoying home. The weather has been very pleasant and warm. Have met many of the brethren and sisters who appear glad to welcome me home. While out on my mission I felt much anxiety to know how my mission would result and the Lord saw proper to show me that I should do a good work and return home welcomed by all the Saints. My mind was at rest from that time on.
25th - Christmas Day. Snowing and cloudy. The first snow fall I have seen during the season. Three years since I had the opportunity of being at home on Christmas day. Santa Claus visited our house last night and brought a supply of candy, dolls and nuts for the little ones. Had an invitation to John G’s [perhaps John Groesbeck, Mellie’s brother] for dinner, but had rather stay at home and enjoy the society of my wife and little ones.
January 1st, 1878
Was at home today the first New Years spent at home for three years. Bro.[Nicholas] Groesbeck and Bruce Taylor came in and spent the evening. Bro. G. [probably Nicholas Groesbeck] went away to attend the meeting of City Council, while Bruce remained and we had a long talk upon matters pertaining to religion.
(To be continued.)
I took the picture of the greenery with red berries at the Chevy Chase Ward, Bethesda, Maryland, 2008. History of Helen Melvina Groesbeck Morgan by granddaughter Marjorie Morgan Gray submitted to Daughters of the Utah Pioneer Museum 9 Jun 1977. The Life and Ministry of John Morgan, Arthur M. Richardson, Nicholas G. Morgan, Sr., 1965, p.46.