Sunday, August 30, 2009

Glenn Frazier, Part 1

Glenn Frazier
Dec 27 1909, Woodruff, Utah
p. Frank Union Frazier, Emily Rufi Frazier
m. Helen Rex, 20 Nov 1937, Oakland, California
m. sealed in the Salt Lake Temple, 18 Nov 1938
d. 4 Jul 1992, Salt Lake City, Utah
b. 8 Jul1992, Elysian Burial Gardens, Salt Lake City, Utah

Glenn Frazier is Frank Union and Emily Rufi Frazier’s middle child, born December 27, 1909 on the Frazier Ranch in Woodruff, Utah. His siblings are Delora, born1907, and Elmer. born in 1913. Growing up on the Ranch, Glenn worked with his father, grandfather, brother, uncles and cousins. They were his teachers, friends, and task masters.

Union, Utah was at about 7200 South State Street, in the Salt Lake Valley. Their family lived there for a few years while Glenn was a boy. In 1917 they packed all of their belongings into a horse-drawn wagon, and walked back to Woodruff, driving their herd of milk cows with them.

The Fraziers raised sheep in Woodruff. Glenn learned branding, breeding, feeding, herding, lambing, sheering. They planted alfalfa. And he irrigated, then mowed and stacked it. In the winter he loaded horse-pulled hay racks with the hay. He drove the racks across frozen fields and pitch-forked hay out to waiting livestock. When spring came the cycle started again. Glenn was always a hard worker, a son and a father you could count on to get a job done.

The Woodruff School that Glenn attended had the world’s largest slippery-slide in its yard. Once you were brave enough to go down it, you didn’t ever want to stop.
Glenn finished high school in Woodruff, before high school was moved north to Randolph.

Upon graduation he worked for a company paving the gravel road between Woodruff and Evanston, Wyoming. He enjoyed the freedom of driving a pickup truck back and forth with supplies for the workers. And he liked receiving money for his work for the first time in his life.
In 1928 he enrolled at Utah State University in Logan as a freshman. Thinking he’d become a veterinarian, he was surprised when he fainted in class at the sight of spaying a dog. Butchering livestock on the ranch for meat was common place. This was different. A dog is an essential companion to a sheepherder. Glenn always had a dog on the Ranch.

Helen Rex was still in high school when Glenn met her at a town dance. It must have been in Randolph. He asked her if he could take her home after the dance. And she told him, “no,” she’d be going home with the person who brought her to the dance, her father. They courted for a long time. He’d ride the ten miles from Woodruff to Randolph on horseback to see her. When she ran for Rich County fair queen, he bought enough “tickets” to win her the title. Bessie Morgan Rex, Helen’s mother, ultimately agreed to let Helen marry Glenn when he was able to beat her at checkers. These tales, retold so many times, are somewhere between truth and family legend.

Glenn went to Salt Lake City and worked for Dooley/Bamburgers. They owned Antelope Island [in the middle of the Great Salt Lake] and kept sheep out there. He worked for them driving herds of sheep down 21st South out to Saltaire, and across dry land [in the 1930’s] to the island. He lived over there in a sheep camp, herding the sheep for a “long time.” There were canyons and valleys, fresh springs, and fields of alfalfa on the island, and he ran into buffalo. It was a noisy place then. He said there were lights on the island to guide the airplanes into the airport before the use of radar.

He homesteaded on Monte Cristo, now part of the Wasatch-Cache National Forest Mountains. He built a cabin, finishing it in 1936, and herded sheep up there.

In 1936 Glenn went to California where he got work and attended diesel engineering school. He graduated from the Hemphill Diesel Engineering Schools at Los Angeles, California, on February 2, 1937.

He planned on working in the engine room of a large ship. Helen came to visit him in May of 1937. He changed his plans and moved to Oakland, California, where his Uncle Bill [William Rufi] was superintendent of the largest steam laundry in the United States (according to Glenn) and gave Glenn a job driving trucks.

In November of 1937 Helen traveled to Oakland, California where she and Glenn were married by Bishop Shields on November 20, 1937. Their first home was at 4180 Opal Street, Apt. 5., Oakland, California.

(To be continued.)
This history was written in 1993 from interview notes with Glenn Frazier. The 1929 Buzzer, Published by Student Body of Utah Agricultural College, Volume XXI, pg. 53. Pictures from Helen Rex Frazier Collection; Glenn Frazier about two years old. Glenn Frazier and Bernice Clayton Purchase on the slide at the Woodruff School yard in 1936. Glenn's high school graduation friends, left to right, [unknown[, Lynn and Myrtle Huffaker (cousins), Vance Moss, and Glenn Frazier. The cabin Glenn built on his homestead at Monte Cristo, 1936. Glenn Frazier and Helen Rex in Los Angeles, California, Spring, 1937.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

John Hamilton Morgan Journal; Trips to the Temple concluded.

[Note: Sometime between May 24th and June 27th 1890 Mary Ann Linton Morgan moved from Nephi, Utah to (Preston), Idaho.]

June 27
About town attending to business. In the evening left on the 5 p.m. train for Idaho where I arrived at 11 p.m. and found all well.

June 28
Remained quiet all day. Brother Sol. [Solomon H.] Hale and George [C.] Parkinson called to see us. Cool.

June 29
Left on the 6 a.m. train for home. Arrived at 11:00 and attended Tabernacle Service. Addressed by brother R. McCallister and myself. Attended Ward Meeting and spoke in the evening.

June 30
Left for Manti on the 7:10 a.m. train in company with Mellie. Had dinner at Auntie [perhaps Ida Hunt] Udalls at Nephi, she going with us to Manti. At Chester, a team met us in which we rode to Manti, arriving at 6 p.m.; stopped at the Temple Hotel. Called and had a visit with Brother and sister A. C. Smith [unknown].

July 1
Went to the Temple and spent the most of the day there, witnessing, searching genealogies, etc. Had lunch at brother Smiths.

July 2
Mellie was baptized for her health and took an endowment for a friend of sister Williams’. We spent a most enjoyable day and had a pleasant visit with brother and sister Smith. President Wells was in the Temple and extended every courtesy and treated us very kindly.

July 3
Engaged most of the day in copying names in Mellie’s genealogy in the Temple. Spent the evening in the Temple.

July 4
Left for home at 6 a.m. and took train at 9 a.m. at Chester. Had dinner at Aunties [Udall] and met sister Lester [unknown]. Arrived home at 7 p.m. three hours late and very hot. The Gentile celebration was a flat failure as were their fire works tonight.

(Journal entry concluded.)

This is what The Life and Ministry of John Morgan by Arthur Richardson, Copyright 1965 by Nicholas G. Morgan, Sr., pg, 488, says about these journal entries.

“We find him in the Manti Temple with his daughter Mellie on July 2nd at which time she was baptized for her health and he later ‘took an endowment.’ The following day he spent in ‘copying names in Mellie’s genealogy in the Temple.’”

That really confused me. However, I don’t have access to letters and additional writings that Nicholas G. Morgan and Arthur Richardson would have used in writing their book.

I had seen no indications in the journal that Mellie, John Morgan’s daughter, is accompanying him on this occasion. He last mentioned her in his April 20, 1890 journal entry: … My daughter, Mellie gave birth to a boy [Wallace J. Burt] last night at midnight, our first grandchild. Rained during the night and a part of today.

A kind distant cousin sent me a copy of (daughter) Helen Melvina (Mellie) Morgan Burt Austin’s obituary. I learned from it that for a time she acted as her father’s secretary. Sometimes she accompanied him when he traveled. I’ve since recognized incidents where that is the case. And perhaps that is the case here, however, I didn’t have a clue until I looked into the Richardson book. And now I can see a number of possible scenarios.

Nevertheless, it appears to me that John Morgan is taking care of that promise he made to his dying mother-in-law in 1883.

Possible R. McCallister:
McAllister, Richard Wesley
(son of William James Frizen and Eliza Elizabeth Bell of Philadelphia, Pa.). Born Oct 15, 1825, Pottsville, Del. Came to Utah Sept. 13, 1861, Joseph Horne company.
Married Elizabeth Elenor Bell in Philadelphia (daughter of James Bell of Delaware). Their children: William James Frizen; Joseph W.; Susanna Bell; Mary; Lillie; John; James; Rich.
Married Emma Wallen.

High Priest. Deputy marshal in territorial days for a number of years. Died in 1905.
Pioneers and Prominent Men of Utah, by Frank Esshom, Utah Pioneers Book Publishing Company, 1913, p.1054.

Picture of another summer bloom on the Church Plaza, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

John Hamilton Morgan Journal; Trips to the Temple.

In John Hamilton Morgan’s paper, “The Passing of Nicholas and Elizabeth Groesbeck” posted here John writes about his promise to Elizabeth on her dying bed. Speaking of Elizabeth, he wrote in his journal on 27 Dec 1883She gave all of her children good advice and seemed perfectly resigned to die. Made me promise to remind Harmon and Mellie of their promise to do a work in the Temple for her father and mother and relatives

I’ve looked for evidence of the fulfillment of that promise as I read and study John Morgan’s journal.

17 May
, the Logan Temple was dedicated by President John Taylor, John and Mellie Morgan attended.

17 May
, the Manti Temple was dedicated by President Wilford Woodruff. John Morgan was in attendance. [From John Morgan's journal (not posted on this blog). The following is from John Hamilton Morgan’s journal, Special Collections, Marriott Library, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah.]

July 12
[In Salt Lake City] At work about the place. Attended Sunday School Union Meeting and at 4 p.m. in company with Mellie and baby [probably daughter Gail Morgan born April 3, 1888], started for Manti by U. C. train. Arrived at Nephi at 8:30 p.m.

July 13
Went out and got shaved and at 12:30 p.m. took train for Chester, our party consisting of President J. Gates, myself, Mellie, baby and Mary [this would be John Morgan's 3rd wife Mary Ann Linton Morgan (married 1888)]. A team met us at Chester and took us to Manti. Drove to the Temple and after an hours visit with brother D. H. [Daniel Hammer] Wells, went through all the rooms and out on top. After this we drove to brother Daniel Henries, Mellie, Mary, and I, brother Gates going to brother Benches.

July 14
Met in Seventies Conference at 10 a.m. Called on the Senior president of 7 Quorums and reported the condition of their various quorumns [sic]. President Gates and I both spoke a while. Had dinner at Brother S. C. Smythes. Conference met at 2 p.m. Brothers Gates, Morgan, and Maiben were the speakers. After meeting we drove to Ephraim and put up with Bishop Donius.

July 16
Started early for Chester. A rain last night laid the dust and made the trip delightful. Took train at 9 a.m. Dinner at Nephi and home at 6:40 p.m.

Daniel Henrie

Seventies in the Eighties, post and this one at The Ancestor Files, further explains John Morgan's responsibilities.

(To be continued.)
Picture by author, flowers by construction barrier in front of the Joseph Smith Building, Salt Lake City, Utah, this summer.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Percy Harold and Bessie Morgan Rex, Part 7

June 5, 1936, Randolph, Utah, letter to Harold Morgan Rex (serving a mission in Brazil) from home, written by Helen Rex and Bessie Morgan Rex. Bessie mentions every member of her family in this letter. On a Sunday afternoon 73 years later may it warm your heart as it did mine.

Randolph, Utah
June 5, 1936

Dear Harold:

Win just said she had written to you and that some of the rest of us should, so I guess I should proceed. We are having one grand time having sis home, surely wish you could be here too, but am very glad you’re down there, because you are doing and seeing things few of us have a chance.

For the past week we have had grand storms. The country surely looks good and all of the farmers are smiling. Our dear friends the mosquitoes are here in abundance too. The pests. Well I am still laboring for all I am worth. The first of July we are to be reappointed. We have received a lot more money, so I guess we will be.

So sorry you aren’t getting our letters, because our hearts are in the right places. We write every week, and I even sent you one air mail. We don’t get yours very often either. It has been two weeks since we heard from you.

They are wrecking the Opera house and meeting house. Things will more than likely be pretty dead here this summer, but it will be grand to have a new dance hall a nice church.

Glenn has been up to his homestead this past week getting it ready for final proof in July, then he will be footloose. I do hope he can get something, so he can be just a little bit independent.

Here comes daddy, so we must be getting some supper on. Win and Flora have gone visiting. Mother is going to write in the letter too.

LeMare was married yesterday. So were Elgie and Clayton. They are on their honeymoon up in the North West.

Will have to finish later. We have had supper and have been sitting talking. Sis is going to give Mother and I a back rub. She surely is strong and can give such good ones. [Bessie] Well she got her back rub & it must have put her off entirely. She cant wake up this morning, so I shall use the rest of the sheet of paper, as this letter must go off. We are delighted to have Winnie with us for a short two weeks. Have had a lovely storm & now it is clearing up. Things should grow. [Helen wrote note in margin—Oh nuts. She got in too big of a hurry.]

No letter this week. I am so disappointed. I wonder if it would do any good for you to 

put on the envelope “via Evanston, Wyo.” Winnie gets her letters. There is much doing here right now. The church is planting gardens, building an amusement hall & fixing the church. It will be so nice. Last week was commencement. Dr. Sidney Sperry came to speak to the graduates. I wasn’t there, but first thing he said was he always wanted to come to Randolph because  Bessie Morgan married & came here. He came to see me after the exercises. He is certainly a grand man.

Wayne is leaving for the Southern States or at least for the mission home on the 12th. Nine missionaries from Randolph. We should prosper shouldn’t we. I read the piece in the Era bout Brazil. I hope you find many things that are broadening & uplifting. I hope all is not a hundred years behind times. Floyd was sitting by me, & he surely envies you. He thinks that would be the most interesting mission in the world.

I am trying to write while Maeser is singing, Flora talking, Daddy washing, Helen writing to Glenn. Too much to distract me. So this is jumbled.

Did we tell you a bus comes right thro’ Randolph, to Jackson Hole. It makes it very handy. It might be handy for Evanston as it comes thro’ early in the morning. I mean for some.

We have no picture show or dance hall for a while. The town will be dead but it is a good thing as far as dances are concerned. The last one was terrible. The devil can cause quite a bit of hadin with a glass of liquor.

I think of so much to tell you & then it all leaves me when I sit down. I do hope we hear from you today or Monday. It seems so long between times.

Today is Sat. & we must clean up as Helen is getting dinner tomorrow for Uncle Will & Aunt Agness. They were so nice while we were in quarantine. Morg has gone air crazy, & is building airplanes all the time. Well I must close so we can get this off. I know the Lord is with you, my dear, or I should worry much more about you. Be a good boy, study hard & enjoy your labors. I do hope your experiences will mean much to you all your life, & that ambition & industry will help you to attain a bright place in the sun. Love & kisses from all.

Lovingly Mother

(To be continued.)
Picture of Lion House flowers, Salt Lake City, by author. Letter from author's collection.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Percy Harold and Bessie Morgan Rex, Part 6

Percy Harold Rex’s Hereford bulls 1950’s.

A 1932 letter to the editor in the Utah Farmer caught Bessie Morgan Rex’s eye. The “Lament of a Cowman’s Wife” appears to have moved her to write this poetic response. “Everybody to His Notion,” by Bessie M. Rex was also published in the Utah Farmer.

Last year I took a picture of a “sample page” from Grandmother Bessie’s scrapbook. She clipped and saved thoughts and poems and treasures. I didn’t realize then that she’d pasted “Lament of a Cowman’s Wife” in the bottom left hand corner of this page. Had I known, I would have gotten a better picture.

Bessie wrote and directed plays that were performed in her Randolph ward [A congregation of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint members.] and Relief Society. Sometimes she and the cast traveled to Woodruff or Laketown to perform. About 1928 she wrote The Light Eternal, a Drama in Six Reels.

The structure of this story/play puzzled me. I hadn’t read a play like it before. Eight or nine years ago I pulled it out again and started asking questions. My aunt [Winifred Rex Andrus] said it was one of her mother’s plays that she’d hoped to publish, but she didn’t know why she called it “a drama in six reels.”
A little research led me to learn that Grandmother Rex wrote “The Light Eternal” in about 1928 for the silent screen, hoping to have it produced.

In the beginning of film everything shot was a “short,” and one minute long, because that was all the cameras of the time could accommodate. When this technical difficulty was overcome a short became the length of one reel, running ten minutes. The running time of most silent films was seldom given in hours and minutes. An hour film would be six reels long. All silent films were projected by hand. They could run a bit shorter or longer, depending on the pace of the projectionist as he turned his machine.

Her drama is historical fiction, typical of Church magazine articles of that time, e.g. Young Woman’s Journal, Organ of the Young Ladies’ Mutual Improvement Association, July, 1927: “Dramatic Episodes From The Book of Mormon,” Episode II, and “Famine,” a Book of Mormon Story, suggested by Helaman, Chapter Eleven.
The Light Eternal is a drama of intrigue, romance, and faithful devotion. Based on biblical history, her twenty-three page handwritten manuscript evidences her talent, knowledge, and devotion to her faith

If you are interested in seeing more of this, please contact me.

Some of the short stories Bessie wrote are Sammy and Sue in the Land of Delight, A Lesson for the King, Plain Jane, The Story of the Magic Drop, The City of Dreams, The Green Frog, and The Enchanted Rose. Among the things she left were several untitled handwritten scripts.

Bessie had a beautiful alto voice, she enriched the choirs she participated in. She sang in many quartets with Aunt Bess [Elizabeth Smith] Rex, Earnest McKinnon, and Adelbert Fackrel.

(To be continued.)
Pictures and documents from author and Helen Rex Frazier collection. History, Descendants, and Ancestry of William Rex & Mary Elizabeth Brough of Randolph, Utah, compiled and edited by Ronald Dee Rex, 1999, p. 270.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Percy Harold and Bessie Morgan Rex, Part 5

Percy Harold and Bessie Morgan Rex family members in Randolph, Utah in 1937, left to right; are John Morgan, Bessie, Percy, Helen, in front, Flora Elizabeth and Maeser Morgan.

Harold Morgan Rex is on the left. It appears he is with a companion while serving his mission in Brazil, 1936-1938.

In 1938, after three years training, daughter Winifred graduated from the Salt Lake General Hospital in nursing. That is her on the right.

Percy and Bessie wrote to Harold nearly every week while he was in the mission field. Their newsy letters were encouraging and kept him abreast of the family. Harold kept all of the letters he received from home. His wife, Diana, and then his children preserved them further. Thanks to their family, I have copies I will share here from time to time. This letter from Percy to his son Harold was written in November 1936.

[The following is part of a letter Bessie typed to Harold.]

At home, Sunday evening.
May 30, 1937.

My very dear boy,

… Your sister is some tap dancer. You’ll see when you come home.

Floyd Kennedy is leaving this year. He didn’t get a contract to come back. I am sorry. I wanted her to take music from him. Oh, between Helen getting her English lesson, and Flora trying to write you a letter I am all mixed up. Daddy and the boys have gone to the field to milk. I do hope they wont
[sic] get too wet. They were soaked this morning. Morgan had a new pair of gray trousers and white shoes to wear today. I think he will surprise you when you get back. He has grown so.

I think Winnie is coming home for the 12th of June, our wedding day. I shall be so glad. She hasn’t been up for some time, and I surely get homesick to see the pair of you, but that is all the good it does for you. Well, the time is flying by, when you look back, but an awful long time to look forward. I can’t get any inspiration from the weather today. It gives one the blues to look out at gray dripping skies. I always do think of this little verse of Longfellow’s.

“Be still sad heart, and cease repining.
Behind the clouds the sun is shining.
Thy fate is the common fate of all;
Into each life some rain must fall,
Some days must be dark and dreary.” …

(To be continued.)

Pictures are from Helen Rex Frazier collection. Copies of letters to Harold Morgan Rex are from his descendants.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Percy Harold and Bessie Morgan Rex Part 4

The Randolph Recreation Hall on the corner of W Church Street and Main Street in Randolph, Utah was completed in 1938. I believe this may be the picture Bessie Morgan Rex talks about sending her son, Harold, in the quotes from her letters below.

While Percy Harold Rex was a counselor in one of a number of bishoprics he served in, he was assigned to oversee the building of a new town cultural hall. From July 1936, when they first tore down the old opera house, until January 1938, when the new town hall was completed and paid for, Percy oversaw the building work-crews. He “was in charge of labor.”

Those were difficult, economically pressed times. “Must we do it during this Depression,” community members asked. “Perhaps this project might help rather than hinder our circumstances!”

“At one time during construction it was so cold the mortar had to be kept warm with a fire in a tub while the men laid brick around the entrance hall.”

[Nov 1936 letter written by Bessie to her son, Harold, in the mission field.] It is so cold out today. Daddy is working on the amusement hall. Oh it is a beautiful building. If we can get a picture of it we will send it to you. The whole corner is occupied. I am on the finance committee. You would be surprised to see the way they raise money these hard times.

[Undated letter written by Bessie.] We are sending you a picture of the new Recreation Hall. Isn’t it nice? But, oh boy raising the money. We are having some time, but we’ll have it. It just comes some how. I do hope it is taken care of after it is finished. It is going to be a beautiful hall. Daddy says it is 101 ft long—50 ft wide. People find fault and grumble, but wait.

In 1975 Percy Harold Rex’s children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren are enjoying the recreation hall at a family reunion.

As of 1981 the term “Recreation Hall” was dropped and the building is now properly referred to as the “Cultural Hall.”

Would someone out there reading this blog be willing to snap a current picture of the hall and e-mail it to me?

(To be continued.)

Picture of the Recreation Hall from Helen Rex Frazier collection. Reunion pictures by the author. Randolph, A Look Back, Written and compiled by Steven L. Thomson, Jane D. Digerness, Mar Jean S. Thomson, 1981, pgs. 151-154.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Percy Harold and Bessie Morgan Rex Part 3

Percy Harold and Bessie Morgan Rex had six children. This is the only picture of Bessie I have with one of her babies, she and Helen, 1913.

She wrote each of her children’s names and birthdates on her application for membership in the DUP (Daughters of Utah Pioneers) in 1935. I hope you enjoy reading their names and birthdates written in her handwriting below.

It appears that Bessie wrote this card to her mother, Helen Melvina Groesbeck Morgan in Salt Lake City, thanking her for the beautiful clothes she’d made and sent for Helen and Harold. It appears those are the clothes they are wearing in the picture that follows.

Bessie liked to write plays, stories, and poetry. She enjoyed studying and learning. And she always had a book to read when she sat down to feed her babies. She enjoyed teaching. For many years she was the Ward Relief Society Literary Leader in the Randolph Ward. Well versed in current affairs and politics, she enjoyed discussing the same, and entertained visiting political aspirants.

She motivated her children to read and learn also. She enjoyed poetry and memorized poems with a son to help him in a school assignment. She recited the books of the bible while washing dishes with her daughter to help her memorize them. And a Christmas book, Stories of the Bible, was promised to the child who could finish reading it first.

The Rex brothers, left to right, are Arthur Henry, John Oseland, Alfred George, William Thomas, Percy Harold, and Samuel.

Percy Harold was always a rancher, with his father, his brothers, independently, and for others. He was steadfast and dependable. He served his Church and community and provided well for his family. In 1914 he purchased the house on East Canyon Street and he and Bessie moved into town with their baby. He also purchased a four cylinder Buick, his first automobile. Six years later he sold the house and the car to purchase the home on West Church Street. Identified as a Sears and Roebuck pre-cut, crated house, it arrived on the railroad at Sage, Wyoming, and was hauled to Randolph and assembled on site.

See a picture of their Church Street house in Helen Rex Frazier’s 1979 autobiography here.
(To be continued.)

Pictures and document from Helen Rex Frazier collection. History, Descendants, and Ancestry of William Rex & Mary Elizabeth Brough of Randolph, Utah, compiled by Ronald Dee. Rex, 1999, pgs. 267, 269.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Percy Harold Rex, Part 1

Percy Harold Rex
30 Sep 1889, Randolph, Utah
p. William Rex, Mary Elizabeth Brough
m. Bessie Morgan, 12 Jun 1912, Salt Lake City, Utah
d. 20 Mar 1977, Salt Lake City, Utah
b. 25 Mar 1977, Randolph, Utah Cemetery

Percy Harold Rex was the youngest of William and Mary Elizabeth Brough Rex’s six sons. William Thomas (1875), Alfred George (1878), Samuel (1883), Arthur Henry (1884), John Oseland (1887). His only sister is Ada Estella [Jackson] (1892). Six of his siblings died as infants or children; Charles, Mary Elizabeth, Olive Celeste, Myrtle, Alfreda, Hyrum Mack.

Percy Harold was born in a three room log house in Randolph, Utah. His mother kept a large south window full of flowers. He and his brother Ose slept in a trundle bed in the bedroom under their parent’s bed. When Ose grew out of the bed, Ada was moved in to share it with Percy.

Percy’s favorite school teacher was Mrs. Rhoda Cook from Logan. The year she taught him he played the part of George Washington in a school production. His hair was curled with a curling iron and he dressed the part in a long tailed coat, with vest, knee pants, and long white socks.

At twelve he was ordained a Deacon in the Aaronic Priesthood and was secretary of his quorum. He was president of his Teacher’s quorum, and ordained an Elder by his brother Samuel.

Percy helped his father on the farm from the time he finished the 8th grade until he was eighteen years old. On one winter day Percy was helping his father take a load of grain to Laketown to have it chopped. His father always let his children drive the team and Percy was driving. They were going on the “old road” west from Randolph and he was trying to keep one of the runners on the snow. He got a little too far up on the hillside, tipping the load of grain over. The team was frightened and broke loose, running away. Father William Rex was completely buried under the grain and sleigh box and Percy was pinned under from his knees down. In some miraculous way his father pushed him free and Percy ran for help down to the McKinnon home. Uncle Arch McKinnon was in the house for breakfast and ran with Percy back to the overturned sleigh. He was able to free William Rex from the accident. The sleigh was up-righted, the grain reloaded, and the trip to Laketown began again. Father William Rex showed signs of being quite stiff and sore for some time.

When he was eighteen years old Percy joined his five brothers and bought the Ford Sheep Company along the foot of the Crawford Mountains. It was comprised of 3,700 acres of ranch land, 14, 000 acres of range ground, 1, 025 cattle, 300-400 head of calves, and equipment.

In the beginning many big grey wolves ran in packs on their land. The wolves were vicious and killed the cattle. One Christmas time Percy and Ose and Sam had been into Randolph for the Christmas dance and were riding back to the ranch. Percy rode Dutch, a roan-colored saddle horse, Ose rode a little brown horse named P.R. (the brand) and Sam rode a bay horse named Jake. It was a beautiful bright moonlit night.

As they approached the Randolph-Sage Creek canal they heard the wolves howling. As the brothers started down the road they could see the wolves' eyes shining in the moonlight. There was a pack of 8-10 wolves, each could weigh 200 pounds.

As they rode on down the lane, one of the wolves went through the fence into a field and Ose went through the gate after him. His horse was the fastest, and he hoped to lasso it. Percy rode on down the lane through the wolves, scattering them. Sam’s horse was slower, not sharp shod, and the road was very slick. Down by the river gate, two wolves came back from the south and Ose and Sam started to chase them. Percy went on over to the adobe house where they were living to get the three greyhound dogs they had there to come and chase the wolves. He couldn’t get the dogs to follow him.

When Percy went back to help his brothers the wolves ran south into the fields and were lost in the cattails. For that night the brothers gave up the chase and went on home to bed. That winter they trapped and shot six wolves. Everybody carried his rifle. In a few years the wolves moved on.

(To be continued)
Picture of Alfreda, Percy, and Ada Rex from Helen Rex Frazier collection. History, Descendants, and ancestry of William Rex & Mary Elizabeth Brough of Randolph, Utah, compiled by Ronald D. Rex, 1999, pgs, 206, 207, 266.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Bessie Morgan Rex Part 2

Today the Assembly Hall on Temple Square is nestled beneath the rising City Creek skyscraper south of it in Salt Lake City, Utah. Bessie Morgan’s graduation exercises were held here when she graduated from the eighth grade [about 1906]. J. Spencer Cornwall played the organ for their march. He was just a fourteen-year-old boy playing the pipe organ and she was always so impressed.

In 1906, when Bessie was 15-years old, the Y.L. M. I. A officers and teachers remembered her at Christmas time. And Bryan Avenue was still York Street.

The R. K. Polk Directories for Salt Lake City list Bessie as follows.

1907 bds 359 York, student U of U
1908 bds 359 Bryan Ave, student U of U
1909 b 359 Bryan Ave, Stenog Warm Springs Foundary
1910 b 359 Bryan Ave, Steno State Dairy and Food Commr
1911 b 359 Bryan Ave, Stenog W V Tel Co
1912 b 359 Bryan Ave, Steno MST & T Co

Bessie became a stenographer. She told her children she worked in Governor William Spry’s office [republican governor 1909-1916].

During the summer of 1910 Bessie’s brother, John [Jack] Hamilton Morgan and cousin Glenn Smith [John Henry and Josephine Groesbeck Smith’s son] worked for the Rex Brothers in their Randolph, Utah hay fields. In 1911 brothers, Percy Harold and John Oseland Rex, visited their friend Jack Morgan in Salt Lake City while attending the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Say Saints’ June Conference at the Tabernacle. During their visit Bessie met Percy. She always called him Perce. On their first date they went to Saltaire where they had supper, bowled, and danced.

After Percy returned to Randolph he and Bessie corresponded. That fall he invited her to Randolph for a visit. She traveled by train to Evanston, Wyoming and Percy met her at the station with his horse and buggy. They spent the night in separate hotel rooms in Evanston. And the next day he returned to Randolph with Bessie, in his horse drawn buggy. They must have enjoyed her 8-10 day stay. He and his brother Oseland came to Salt Lake City to attend the LDS High School that fall and boarded for a time with Bessie’s mother, Sister Morgan.

Bessie and Percy were married in the Salt Lake Temple on June 12, 1912. The newlyweds lived first on the Ranch [Uncle Sam Rex’s] twelve miles north of Randolph. As remote as Randolph might appear, Bessie’s cousin Elizabeth [Bess] Smith [John Henry and Josephine Groesbeck Smith’s daughter] was already living in Randolph. She had married Percy’s older brother Samuel earlier that same year

I took the picture of the Assembly Hall this week. Bessie Morgan postcards from Helen Rex Frazier collection. R. K. Polk Directories, Utah State Historical Society. History, Descendants, and Ancestry of William Rex & Mary Elizabeth Brough of Randolph, Utah, compiled by Ronald D. Rex, 1999, pgs. 221, 266, 267, picture of horse & buggy p. 113.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Bessie Morgan Rex Part 1

Bessie Morgan Rex
11 Jan 1891, Salt Lake City, Utah
p. John Hamilton Morgan, Helen Melvina Groesbeck
m. 12 Jun 1912, Salt Lake Temple, Percy Harold Rex
d. 12 Nov 1938, Salt Lake City, Utah
b. 15 Nov 1938, Randolph Cemetery, Randolph, Utah

At the time of Bessie’s birth her mother was 39 years old. Her father was 49 years old. Her living siblings were Helen Melvina (21) married Andrew Burt 1888, Eliza Ann (16), Ruth (13), Nicholas Groesbeck (7), Gail (3), and Bessie (newborn). Two younger brothers would follow, Gerard Earl (1892), and John Hamilton (1894).

[These portions of John Morgan’s journal entries mention Bessie. On January 3, 1891, after a twelve-day stay at his Manassa, Colorado home, John Morgan returned to Salt Lake City.]

January 10
… Mellie was confined tonight and a girl born. Very cold.

January 11 At home during the day. Took care of Mellie.

June 27 … Arrived at home this a.m. and found that Nicholas [born 1884] and the baby had the measles during my absence.

June 30 … Our baby very sick today.

July 5 … children improving slowly from the measles and the colds that follow.

July 6 [John Morgan took the train to Ogden for political business, stayed the day and night, returning the next morning.]

July 7 … found Mellie’s baby quite feeble and growing weaker.

July 11 … Sent Mellie and two children to Granite to see little Mellie and baby [probably Wallace J. Burt born 1890], the latter being sick.

August 8 Obtained some money this morning and met a lot of my debts, which was a perfect Godsend to me. Arranged to start to Colorado tomorrow. In the evening assisted by brother B. H.[Brigham Henry] Roberts blessed the baby with the name of Bessie.

March 27
[After a two week stay in Colorado.] ... Arrived home at midnight and found Bessie quite sick with whooping cough and pneumonia.

March 28 After working with Bessie a while, went to the office and afterwards to the President’s office where I met President Woodruff and Smith, Afterwards met John Henry [Smith]. At Groesbeck office and with Hyrum [Groesbeck] talked over the situation. Administered to Bessie a couple of times today. Cold and snowing all day.

March 29 Bessie very sick today. Spent most of the day and night working with her. ...

March 30 Bessie better today. …

The final entry in The John Morgan journal [Marriott Library, University of Utah copy] is for November 20, 1892. He died August 14, 1894 in Preston, Idaho when he was 52 years old. His death was unexpected.

Read the scanned article about John Morgan's death by Nicholas Groesbeck Morgan, published in 1964 here. When Mellie was told of her husband’s death, she already knew they had lost her entire Groesbeck inheritance and the home they were living in. Following John Morgan’s death his family experiences multiple moves and poverty. I will post about them later under Helen Melvina Groesbeck Morgan history.

In 1900 Bessie's brother, Nicholas, describes himself working with his siblings.
“… glancing into the adjoining field at his crew of farm hands and business

“Two of them were his sisters, Gail, twelve, and Bessie, nine, whose long gingham dresses were dirt-smeared. Two were his brothers, Earl, nearly eight, and Jack, six. The fifth was his nephew, Wallace Burt, now living with the Morgans. Jack was a game little worker—at times. At the moment he was threading one dandelion stem into another. Bessie was watching fascinated.

“The small clod was thrown underhanded, but the aim was
true, and Jack squalled as it hit him on the side of the neck. He stood up and
yelled, strangely enough, “Ten cents! Ten cents!” Bessie, looking down at her
dirty, folded hands, chimed in, “Yeah, you’re cheap, Nick. We oughta get more
than ten cents a day.”

“Nick cleared his throat, marshaling his patience, It was nearing sunset and he’d been up since five. “Look, kids, you want to eat next winter, don’t you? You want potatoes and beans and corn and pumpkins. Pumkin pie. That’s why we’re working for ten cents a day. You know that. So we can eat. NOW PICK THOSE BEANS!”

Bessie and her siblings attended the Waterloo School and the Farmers Ward District School. They attended two wards of the church; Farmers and Waterloo (1623 South 5th East).
You can find Bessie by counting children left to right from the upper lefthand corner (return to the left after each row). She may have written her friends names in as she remembered them in 1936. The names below are written on the back of this picture in what appears to be her hand. The picture was copied by Shipler photo service in 1936.
This 14” by 17” certificate below was folded and pasted in Bessie Morgan Rex’s scrapbook. It reads:

Certificate of Graduation Salt Lake County Public Schools.
This is to certify Bessie Morgan has pursued and completed in a satisfactory manner the course of study prescribed for the first eight grades of the public schools of the Salt Lake County, Utah and is entitled to this certificate.
In testimony whereof we have hereunto appended our signatures, given at Farmers District No. 40, this Sixth day of June
Edwin S. Sheets Principal,
John W. Smith County Superintendent
[The year is not written or printed on the certificate.]

(To be continued.)
Picture of Bessie abt. 18 yrs. and school children from Helen Rex Frazier collection. Graduation Certificate scanned from Bessie Morgan Rex scrapbook. Nicholas Groesbeck Morgan, the Man Who Moved City Hall, by Jean R. Paulson, copyright, 1979 by Marjories Morgan Gray, p. 59.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

John Hamilton Morgan Journal 1887, Aug 8-14

August 8
At home. This is my Forty-fifth birthday, which I spent most agreeably with my family.

August 9
Wrote and read during the day, at home. In the evening, went to William Burbidges [perhaps William Burbidge in the 17th Ward] where I stayed tonight.

August 10
Remained at B’s [probably Burbidges] during the a.m. At noon, Mellie drove up and took me to brother H. [Horace] Eldredges to attend Seventies council. Presidents Eldredge [Horace S. Eldredge], Gates [Jacob Gates], Cannon [Abraham H. Cannon], and Young [Seymour B. Young], also clerk Campbell [unknown]; considerable business was transacted. After adjournment, went home.

August 11
Made preparation today to leave that city. Had my valise packed, and at 4 p.m. boarded the Utah Central train and safely made my way to Nephi where I landed at 8 p.m. in heavy rain. Drove to Bishop [David King] Udalls where I stayed tonight.

August 12
After breakfast, walked out and M. Charles Andrews [unknown] took me in his buggy about town. Called on brother Jackson [unknown] and had dinner at Bishop Udalls and at 2:25 p.m. boarded Central train for Springville, where I arrived at 4 p.m. Drove up to N. H. [Nicholas Harmon] Groesbecks where I met my family.

August 13
Spent the day with the folks in the house one or two parties called on me. In the evening visited Cornelia Groesbeck [Nicholas Harmon Groesbeck’s 2nd wife 1869].

In the p.m. drove to Spanish Fork and called on brother Neil Gardiner [unknown].

August 14
Most of the morning was spent with brother O. Huntington [perhaps Oliver B. Huntington]. At 1:30 p.m. boarded D. and R. G. train for Colorado. Got a sleeping berth and made myself comfortable.

(This post concludes an 1887, Jul 25-Aug 14 portion of the John Morgan Journal, Marriott Library, University of Utah.)


The Happy Birthday Father birthday card was for a different father (Percy Harold Rex (1889-1977). I scanned it from the card in John Hamilton Morgan's daughter's (Bessie Morgan Rex 1891-1938) scrapbook. Note: it is approximately 85 miles from Salt Lake City to Nephi, Utah.

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.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

John Hamilton Morgan Journal 1887 Aug 1-7

August 1
Election day in Utah, for members of the Legislature, and some county offices. Sister Burbidge [perhaps Sister William Burbidge of the 17th Ward] spent the day with us. Uncle [perhaps Morgan Hamilton] left on the 8 a.m. train for the North.

In the evening, drove out with sister Burbidge and later with sister Sarah Smith [unknown].

August 2
At home reading. In the evening drove out with Mellie, called at sister O. Pratts [perhaps a widow of Orson Pratt, he died 1881] and met sister Holt [unknown], tried to assist in settling a difficulty between she and her husband, but could not make much headway. Called at brother Burbidges for Mellie.

August 3
Started early this A.M. and drove to East Bountiful where we called on and had breakfast with sister Cowley [perhaps Matthias F.] and family, after an hour or two pleasant visit, drove to Brother B. H. Roberts and stayed the day with Sister R. [Roberts] returning to the city late in the evening. Deputies Frank [unknown], and Cannon [unknown], drove to south Bountiful just ahead of us and arrested Bishop Brown [unknown] of that Ward.

August 4
At home quiet all day. Sister Jennie Whipple came down in the afternoon and remained until dark when I drove her out to the Hot Springs.

August 5
Jno. And Kate Groesbeck came while we were at breakfast and remained during the day. In the p.m. they and both Mellies went out to the Lake. Drove down to brother Sprys [perhaps William Spry] during the evening and had a short visit. The evening paper contains a letter from President W. Woodruff in behalf of the Twelve, giving good advise and counsel to the saints.

August 6
At home today reading.

August 7
Brother George Goddard and William Willes called on me today and we spent two or three hours conversing on Sunday School matters.

In the evening, Mellie and I drove out to Frank McDonalds [unknown], had supper, and short visit, and returned home after dark.

[The letter from President W. Woodruff in behalf of the Twelve appeared in the 1887 Mellenial Star, vl. XLIX, and follows.]

Jennie Whipple: 1. John Hamilton Morgan Photograph Collection, Marriott Library, University of Utah, Box 1, folder 4, item #8, Jennie Whipple, convert of Elder Morgan. 2. Life and Ministry of John Morgan by Richardson, Nicholas G. Morgan, Sr., pg. 361, “Another visitor he was happy to see, came to town on the 20th, Jennie Beeso Whipple from Illinois who had been his first convert to the Church while serving as a missionary in that state in 1876. On the 25th he baptized her at 11:30 a.m. at Warm Springs with George Reynolds serving as witness.” I couldn’t determine for certain when this baptism at Warm Springs occurred.

Jno. And Kate Groesbeck: Trying to determine who is who in the Groesbeck family in these entries, it appears that none of Helen Melvina Groesbeck Morgan’s siblings have a wife or child named Kate or Kathryn. Her brother Nicholas Harmon Groesbeck’s 3rd wife is Katheryn (married 1882). In her 1929 obituary she is “survived by daughter Miss Katheryn Groesbeck.”

[Any information or suggestions to further clarify these entries will be appreciated.]

Journal entries from John Hamilton Morgan Journal, Marriott Library, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah.