Thursday, July 30, 2009

John Hamilton Morgan Journal; 1887, July 25-31

[From John Hamilton Morgan’s journal, Marriott Library, University of Utah.]

On April 7, 1887, from Manassa, Colorado, John Hamilton Morgan wrote in his journal, ... Todays “News” gives an account of a raid made on my house in Salt Lake by Deputy Marshalls on the morning of the 2nd instant.

On July 11, 1887 John Morgan arrived in Salt Lake City from Manassa, Colorado after an absence of many months. His journal entry that day ... [ended with] and found family all well except wife who has been unwell and quite miserable for several months.

July 12
About home all day, reading and resting enjoying myself intensely.

Mellie [daughter, Helen Melvina (17)] not well today, and her mother only feeling a little better. Went to William Burbidges [perhaps William Burbidge of the 17th Ward] tonight.

July 25
Today was quite generally observed as Pioneer Day, stores closed etc. Owing to the precarious condition of President Taylor’s health no organized observance here was attempted. The people went to the lake and other pleasure resorts.

July 26
Rumor was this p.m. officially confirmed of the death of President Taylor, who passed away last evening at 8:15. The evening News contains an official notice from President George Q. Cannon and Jos. F. Smith of his demise. He died in some secluded spot, near the city away from the most of his family and hunted to the last by vicious and wicked enemies of the law.

July 27
At home today. Arrangements are quietly being made for the funeral of President Taylor at noon on Friday. The people feel their loss heavily, but are quiet and collected. A good feeling seems to prevail, and all true Latter-day Saints feel, that all is well in Zion. Stayed at brother Burbidges tonight.

July 28
Received quite a number of letters this a.m. and wrote some in reply. Returned home in the evening and found Uncle G. M. Hamilton [perhaps Morgan Hamilton] at our house. He having called while enroute to Portland Oregon. During the evening, brothers George C. Parkinson and M. F. Cowley came in and spent the evening.

July 29
The city was crowded during the day with people attending the funeral of President Taylor. 25,000 are supposed to have viewed the remains. The day passed off quiet and peaceable. In company with uncle Morgan, called on Ann Groesbeck [probably Hyrum Groesbeck's wife] during the evening. H. H. G. [probably Nicholas Harmon Groesbeck] and Rhoda [Groesbeck], and sister Crandall [unknown] had dinner with us.

July 30
At home until late in the day when Mellie and I went riding south of the city. Uncle and daughter Mellie went to the Lake.

July 31
Mellie and Uncle went out to the Hot Springs this a.m. Hyrumn G. [Groesbeck] came up and I accompanied him to Mountain Dell Ward where we attended meeting which was addressed by Hyrumn [Groesbeck], brother D. C. Young and myself.

Returning in the evening, drove to Hyrumns [Groesbeck] and was soon after joined by uncle and Mellie. Later in the evening, Uncle and I drove out, after I returned home, went back to Hyrumns, he having been taken sick to administer to him. Met Willard Burton who walked up to the house with me.

Famous Warm Springs, 19th Ward

Mountain Dell Ward

Carlos D. C. Young

Calder Park Lake, or the Great Salt Lake

The Historical Record, Salt Lake Stake of Zion, Willard C. Burton, edited by Andrew Jenson, p. 273.

Picture of President John Taylor from Temples of the Most High, N. B. Lundwall, Compiler and Publisher, 1941, p. 91.


  1. Wonderful! Thank you. You've mentioned the fact that his diaries are never very specific about his wives; I suppose the first entry here could explain that!

  2. I was wondering to if the raid was because of polygamy. Are there any more details about it?

  3. Great links. I liked being able to make a connection between President Taylor's life and Great Grandpa Morgan's.

  4. Yes, Nancy, it appears the Marshals raided John Morgan's SLC home in April in hopes of finding and arresting him. I do have two further posts to follow shortly, which I think affirm that, and will further clarify what his life was like at this time. The link here on John Taylor (B.H. Robert's account of President Taylor's funeral and those attending) helped me better understand their times.