Sunday, January 3, 2010

John Hamilton and Helen Melvina Groesbeck Morgan, Part 12.

This is the inside of a shadow box I put together to display this baby slip and robe made by Great Grandmother Helen Melvina (Mellie) Groesbeck Morgan for one of her granddaughters. Description of the picture inserted with the dress is found on an earlier post here.

John and Mellie lost baby John (pictured on Mellie’s lap above) to illness December 4, 1881. Daughter Flora was born September 1882. At the time of this account their family consisted of daughters Mellie (12), Eliza (7), Ruth (4), and 3 month old baby Flora.

I enjoyed this glimpse into John Morgan's family life in Salt Lake City the Christmas and New Year season of 1882-83. On December 21st John Morgan said, gone shopping with my wife and bought coats for the children. He reminisced that, sixteen years ago today I landed in this city.

On Christmas day he wrote, With my family waded through the snow to the depot and took the train for Springville arriving at 10:30 a.m. and met the friends and relatives at Harmon Groesbecks and had our Christmas dinner at his house.

December 26Spent the time from 27 to Jan 2, 1883 in a visit to Springville among relatives, enjoying ourselves very much. Attended Theatre twice and one party. Also preached twice. Returned home on the evening of the 2nd.
January 3
Attended to some business about town. Met Mattie [Mathias] Cowley and walked up to brother Gs [Groesbeck] at night with Mellie.

John Morgan’s Church assignments permitted him to be close to home and family the first month of the New Year, 1883. January 5, Assisted my wife about the work for an hour or two.January 7, Attended meeting this a.m. In the p.m. Mellie had the toothache so that I could not go... January 9, assisted Mellie with the children to her mothers. Had supper at brother Groesbecks. January 10 … Bought clothes wringer for wife. … January 15, Assisted my wife about the washing …
January 18, One of the coldest days of the season. Addressed the Y.M.I.A. at the 14th Ward and then attended the Masonic Ball at the Opera House.January 19, The coldest day in my recollection. Went to the Social Hall to a party. Took wife and Josephine [Groesbeck Smith, Mellie’s sister].

January 20If anything, colder today than yesterday. Went up to town a time or two, but too cold to be out. …
January 22, About town today. Called at Instructor Office and arranged for three Vol. of the Instructor. [Perhaps like the one posted here.]

January 23Called at the Pres. Office and in the evening went with Mellie to have her teeth pulled…
January 24 … Sister Groesbeck presented me with a fine gold watch…
January 26
Called on Joseph Parry and arranged for cards to be printed for the Elders.
… January 31, Early this a.m. called on Pres. Taylor and had a long talk relative to my labors and what he desired. He gave me much good counsil [sic] and advised me to continue my labors in the missionary field to a limited extend and to also look after my private affairs at home as opportunity may present. Wrote some letters.
From John Hamilton Morgan Journal and collection at the Marriott Library, Special Collections, University of Utah.


  1. A beautiful dress. I guess about all you could do for a tooth ache in those days was to pull it. I'm glad for these personal enteries in his journal.

  2. Oops! In the Jaunary 3, 1883, JHM journal entry in this post, I erroneously suggested [Matthew 1897-1953], for Mattie Cowley, when in fact he is [Matthias 1858-1940] Cowley. Thank you, Amy!