Sunday, July 26, 2009

Nicholas and Elizabeth Thompson Groesbeck Part 6

Conclusion of The Passing of Elizabeth and Nicholas Groesbeck by John Hamilton Morgan

In “Latter Day Saints Millennial Star,” published in Liverpool, England, under date of Monday, January 21, 1884, appeared the following concerning her passing:

A Good Woman Gone
Our readers will, we feel sure, sympathize with Sister Josephine Groesbeck Smith, of this office, in the sad bereavement she is called to suffer in the death of her mother, Sister Elizabeth T. Groesbeck, wife of Elder Nicholas Groesbeck, who died at her home in Salt Lake City on the 28th last.

Sister Groesbeck was one of the noble women of Zion. Her chief pleasure in life was to do good to others; to comfort the distressed and to relieve those who were in want. Her’s was an unostentatious generosity. She did not give “alms before men to be seen of them” or to get praise; she did not invite the rich to her feasts, that she might be invited by them in return, but she sought out “the poor, the maimed, the lame and the blind,” and relieved and feasted them without any parade of her charity. In fact, she was one who was of the kind who: “Do good by stealth and blush to find it fame.”

She was born in Pennsylvania, August 16, 1820; embraced the Gospel at an early day; has ever been a zealous and staunch defender of the faith; has lived a consistent life, and now that she has gone, she will be missed and her memory will be blessed by hundreds of people who have shared her bounty, as well as by a host of relatives who loved her devotedly.

The death of his wife was a great blow to Nicholas Groesbeck. He had always been a strong, dynamic personality, but the loss of his helpmate seemed to change his entire attitude, health, and personality. From the day of her passing, he seemed to have lost interest in life and his many and varied interests and responsibilities.

Six months and four days after the passing of his wife, at 3 o’clock p.m. on June 29, 1884, he was taken seriously ill while visiting at his son, John Groesbeck’s home at 133 North West Temple. John Groesbeck was at that time, Sheriff of Salt Lake County.

In the daily Journal of John Morgan, his son-in-law, is found the following account of the last illness and passing of Nicholas Groesbeck:

June 25th. I Walked up with Mellie to see Brother Groesbeck today. We found him quite low and with little prospect for recovery. In company with Will, I sat up all night with him.

June 26th. I slept part of the time today and then attended to a little business and then at the request of Brother Groesbeck, I sat up with Harmon again all night with him.

June 27th. Endeavored to catch up with some sleep. Brother Groesbeck appears to be growing gradually feebler.

June 28th. Attended to some business about town and then, with Hyrum, sat up during the night with Brother Groesbeck. He appeared worse last night than at any other time.

June 29th. I slept during the forenoon and then Mellie drove me in the carriage up to John’s home where Brother Groesbeck was reported to be dying. We found him unconscious, in which condition he remained until 7:35 p.m. when he peacefully passed away. I then went to the Sextons and made arrangements for him to care for the body.

June 30th. I went up early this morning and had a talk with Harmon and John about the funeral. At their request, I called at the “News” Office and gave the Reporter some facts about Brother Groesbeck’s life. I then called on President George Q. Cannon and asked him to attend the funeral as a speaker; also arranged for the choir, etc.

July 1, 1884. We were busy during the morning and until 3 p.m. getting ready for the funeral. We all met at John’s home and then followed Brother Groesbeck’s remains to the 17th Ward School House where a large congregation had assembled. Bishop John Tingey presided and prayer was offered by Bishop F. Kesler. Counselor John W. Young and President George Q. Cannon addressed the people. President Angus M. Cannon dismissed the assembly. A lengthy procession was formed and followed the remains to the Cemetery where his body was laid away alongside of sister Groesbeck.

And thus closed the earthly career of a good and great man—Nicholas Groesbeck.

Picture of the grave markers for Nicholas and Elizabeth Thompson Groesbeck at the Salt Lake City cemetery [J_21_10_2E], taken 2008.

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