Saturday, January 9, 2010

John Hamilton and Helen Melvina Groesbeck Morgan. Part 14.

Continued from here.

Thirteen years after John and Helen Melvina (Mellie) Groesbeck Morgan’s 1868 marriage, and with four of their then six children still living, they entered into polygamy. John Morgan took a second wife. According to family history Mellie agreed.

From the John Morgan Journal, Marriott Library, University of Utah.
January 9
… While in company with John Houston and R. T. Clark, met Pres. A. M. [presumably Angus Mumm] Cannon who gave us quite a talking about our failure to obey the Law of Celestial Marriage. …

January 12
Attended to some business about town and called at brother Groesbecks to see Mellie … Mellie came down tonight and attended to washing, cleaning up the children. After going to bed we had a long talk about our family affairs and other matters that needed to be talked over.

January 13
At home with Mellie until 11 a.m. when I went up to the 14th Ward Sunday School for a short time … Attended meeting in the Assembly Hall at 2 p.m. and listened to Pres. W. B. Preston and Apostle Geo. Teasdale preach, the latter delivering a fine discourse treating on a variety of topics, bearing a faithful and strong testimony to the Gospel and its many principles. Had dinner at brother Groesbecks and returned home with Mellie and Eliza [presumably his daughters]. Went to the depot and met sister Smith who has come to attend to the housework. [I wonder if this is the Sister Smith, John will marry?]

January 14
Met the members of the Legislature in the meeting at the City Hall and canvassed the question of officers for the Assembly… Adjourned at 4 p.m. and came home and had a most unpleasant talk with Mellie and both felt very bad. Attended meeting at 7 p.m. where a variety of topics were canvassed. Returned home at 10 p.m. and Mellie and I had a talk that lasted until after 11 with a very good result and a much better understanding about many matters.

Mellie continues to watch over her widowed father. On the 15th John recorded … Brother Groesbeck and Mrs. Marsh were with us for dinner. … Mellie went up to her mothers tonight …

January 18 … in the evening attended a party at the Social Hall and enjoyed myself very much, returning and stayed all night at brother Groesbecks. 19th Mellie and the children came down tonight. January 20Had dinner at brother Groesbecks and attended the 16th Ward again in the evening.January 21, Came down from brother Groesbecks where I stayed last night and attended to some matters connected with the Legislature. Attended the 2 p.m. session and caucus (?) At 7 p.m. also a birthday reception party to sister E.R.S. [Eliza Roxcy Snow] Smith on her 80th birthday given at the Social Hall. …

January 24
Endeavored to see A. M. Cannon, but failed. Came up to the Hall and wrote a while. Attended p.m. session and caucus in the evening, took part in the discussion of the labors of the committee on Revision and Compelation [sic]. Rose Stratton called to be administered to, but we failed to see pres. Cannon.

January 25
Called on A. M. Cannon this a.m. relative to administering to sister Stratton [Sister Rose Stratton has not been mentioned before or since.] Went to the pres. Office with Victor Cram to obtain a small appropriation for him. In the Legislature during the p.m. A number of visitors at our house this p.m.

[According to FamilySearch, Adalina Annie Mildred Gwenolin Smith was sealed to John Morgan in the Endowment House on January 25, 1884. What a beautiful string of names. Some of them have been omitted in the Conejos County Church Records of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Members List 1909 (Book 1-M). See Amy’s post at The Ancestor Files for further informtion about their family.]

On February 2Made our arrangements and at 4:42 p.m. took train for Springville in company with my wife [Mellie] and two youngest children. Arrived at 7 p.m. and went to N. H. Groesbecks for the night. … Back in Salt Lake by February 11,Walked up to brother Groesbecks and saw Mellie and children. Sent back up and brought them home. Storming during the entire day.

February 12
Attended to quite a variety of business this a.m. and attended session at 2 p.m. and met with the special committee on a school law for Salt Lake City, Weather very cold. Flora quite sick. …February 14 Attended Theatre at night.

February 15
Attended session at 10 a.m. The School Bill up for discussion. At 1 p.m. accompanied the Wyoming and Utah Legislatures to Camp Douglas where Gen. McCook tendered a reception. At night took Mellie to a Grand Ball at the Theatre, remaining until 1 a.m.

February 16
Attended session at 10 a.m. … At 2 p.m. took train to Ogden in company with other visitors... Had a pleasant chat and a number of speeches on the platform at the depot. Storming terrible during the p.m. Walked out to Annies and stayed all night. Spent a pleasant evening, very tired.

February 17
At Annie’s all day. Storming some. Left at 3:30 p.m. and walked down to the Depot. Fell a very hard fall on the way. Took the 5:15 train and arrived at home at 7 p.m. Found Mellie quite unwell and administered to her. Terribly stormy tonight.

… February 20, Came up to the hall and wrote a number of letters … Attended a party at the Social Hall and took Mrs. M. [presumably Morgan] and Mrs. Homer Clayton. Elders Wiles, Hunter, and Davidsen just returned from a mission to the southern states and stayed all night with me.

With the help of Mattie Cowley, John located a house in the 10th Ward in Salt Lake. By March 26th, he’d arranged for a kitchen range, carpets, and hot water to be hooked up there. Annie resided in the 10th Ward throughout the year.

March 28
Attended some business about town. Wrote some and in the evening took Mellie and daughters to the 14th Ward Hall to a party got up by the Relief Society. ...

General Conference brought many visitors to town. Apr. 2, Cornelia and Katie Groesbeck with brother G. [Groesbeck] came to dinner with us. Apr. 3, Attended the Theatre tonight with Mellie and Katie G. … on April 6thAt meeting all day and at Priesthood meeting at night. During the day Pres. Cannon, Smith, and Taylor spoke to the people and at night the same ones spoke in great plainness at the question of Celestial Marriage and urged the saints and especially the Presiding Priesthood to obey the commandment.

April 7
Attended the setting apart of the missionaries and gave those going to the south instructions as to the journey. Attended Stephen Concert at the Tabernacle and heard some good singing, but it was too long and drawn out.

April 8
Did some writing and some business about town. Got Sam. To do some spading in the 10th Ward. Went out with Mattie Cowley and rode through Liberty Park with Annie.
(To be continued.)

1893 Playbill and The Wards of Salt Lake Map from Nicholas Groesbeck Morgan's collection at Special Collections, Marriott Library, University of Utah.


  1. Wow. What an amazing story. With your notes, it's very easy to read and sure is dramatic!

  2. Thank you, Amy!
    This gives me the opportunity to add one more journal entry I forgot to include. From JHM journal 1884, Mar 18 ..."Brother Mattie Cowley has aided me greatly during the past few days, a kindness I shall not soon forget."