Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Helen Melvina Groesbeck Morgan, little girl's white dress 1921

Another of Helen Melvina [Mellie] Groesbeck Morgan’s great great great granddaughters will be baptized this weekend. Emma will wear the white dress Mellie made for her granddaughter, Helen Rex Frazier, on the occasion of her baptism in 1921.

This embroidered white pinafore and dress, with scalloped tiers, and sashes tied at the sides, is typical of Mellie’s work. Her granddaughter, Winifred, guesses it might be the last dress her grandmother made. Mellie received this prize for it in the Utah State Fair that year.

Some years ago I laid the dress on a copy machine and got the following picture.

I’ve tried to put together in my mind Helen Rex Frazier’s baptismal day. Her lovely white dress and the canal on the south side of Randolph. When we traveled, as a young family, from Randolph towards Woodruff, we crossed the bridge spanning the canal. Helen frequently reminded her children that it was in that canal where she was baptized. According to family records it was on September 4, 1921.

Recently reading her cousin, Amy Rex Gerber’s, account of her own baptism the following year, helped me see how it could have happened. Amy Rex Gerber (1914-1998), daughter of John Oseland and Edna Josephine Brown Rex was born 1 May 1914.

Amy wrote, “Since the death of cousin Helen, I have been the oldest living Rex granddaughter [of William and Mary Elizabeth Brough Rex]. … I was baptized 2 July 1922 by Henry Hoffman and confirmed the same day by Bishop John C. Gray. Dad took me on a horse to the canal south of town, after Sunday School, to be baptized and then home, all wet, to prepare to go to Sacrament Meeting for the confirmation at 2:00 p.m.”

Cousins Helen Rex, Amy Rex, and [unknown] in their Easter bonnets in Randolph, Utah.

History, Descendants, and Ancestryof William Rex & Mary Eliabeth Brough of Randolph, Utah, compiled and edited by Ronald Dee Rex, 1999, pg. 245. Pictures from Helen Rex Frazier collection.


  1. I enjoyed this post so much. What a good idea of likening your mother's baptism to Amy's. They probably were very much the same. How wonderful to still have the dress.

  2. Amy Rex Gerber is a sister to my children's paternal grandmother Ada Rex Pugmire. I am working on a family history book for them and I am having difficulty locating a picture of John Oseland Rex and his wife Edna. Any help you could give me would be appreciated. Thank you Marianna Pugmire