Monday, August 3, 2009

John Hamilton Morgan, his work.

After my most recent post, a John Morgan descendant asked two reasonable questions. When did he work? What was his occupation? I submit the following, with the reference following in each case.

“The tempo of Elder Morgan’s life increased as did the variety of his duties in 1884.
He was chairman of the Legislative Committee on Education,
Superintendent of the Salt Lake County District Schools,
Chairman of the Committee to Memorialize Congress on the Political Situation in Utah,
a Regent of the University of Utah,
a member of the Territorial Legislature,
the 2nd Assistant General Superintendent of the Deseret Sunday School Union,
and President of the Southern States Mission.”

The Life and Times of John Morgan, chapter 19, “Missionary Double Murder,” by Arthur Richardson, copyright 1965, Nicholas G. Morgan, Sr., p. 375.

On October 8, 1884 he became one of the seven presidents of the Quorums of the Seventy. John Morgan served as a general authority for the last 10 years of his life. John Hamilton Morgan from wikipedia.

[1884] … “Six weeks later, John was able to give his son a name and a blessing, on December 25, but departed in the dark of the night soon afterward. He had taken a second plural wife that same year, and the office of the U. S. Marshal had a warrant for his arrest issued from the U.S. District Court. Along with hundreds of others suspected of u.c. (unlawful cohabitation), he was in hiding. A good place to hide was across the continent, so on January 2, 1885, he left for Chattanooga, Tennessee, to take over once again the acting presidency of the strife-riddled Southern States Mission. This time he was gone eleven months, arriving home December 6, 1885.”

Nicholas Groesbeck Morgan, The Man Who Moved City Hall by Jean R. Paulson, Press Publishing Limited Provo, Utah, copyright 1979 by Marjorie Morgan Gray, p. 48.

At Amy has posted over fifty articles about John Morgan, his life and work. Her July 27, 2009 post lists John Morgan’s family; wives and children.

Of John Morgan, the New Georgia Encyclopedia suggests his most important accomplishment was the establishment of a Colorado colony for emigrating southern Latter-day Saints.


  1. Wow. That was a great question and a great answer. (I've wondered myself how he managed to support even one family with all of his extensive church travels!) Like you mention in the second paragraph, he would have considered himself primarily an educator, and later a politician.

    John Morgan also had ranch land in Colorado and when he was there, he participated in various farming activities, but the land would have had to be left mostly for his wife Annie to run.

    Eventually he established the Morgan Hotel in Salt Lake City. I don't know how successful that was, and his business interests were severely affected by the repeated economic panics and depressions in the 1890s. See, for example:

    And, as a side note, another reason (besides the warrant) for John Morgan to return to the Southern States Mission to take responsibilities over from B.H. Roberts was to deal with the aftermath of the August 1884 Cane Creek Massacre, when two missionaries and two members of the church were killed in mob violence.

    Thanks for the great post!

  2. Thanks Bessie and Amy. It makes for some interesting thoughts during the day. What a different world we live in today.