Sunday, October 31, 2010

John Hamilton and Helen Melvina Groesbeck Morgan, 1890. Part 23


The last entry I posted about John Hamilton and Helen Melvina Groesbeck Morgan, was part 22, here, on April 9, 2010.

Lately I’ve been studying the months and year that John Morgan spent building his Morgan Hotel in Salt Lake City. I plan on posting about it soon. In this course, I’ve found a few journal entries that shed light on the typed transcript of a letter cousin Karen M. sent me earlier this year. I’d tucked the letter away, for the right time. It is a treasure, and tells me more about my great grandmother than I’d learned from her husband’s journal entries.

The letter was written in 1890 by Helen Melvina “Mellie” Groesbeck Morgan to her brother, Joseph Smith Groesbeck, while he was serving a mission in New Zealand. It came to my mind last week after reading here of the tragic death of one of John Morgan’s descendants. The following letter is the only thing I’ve ever seen written by Mellie.

“Seventies Council Room [letterhead stationary]
“Salt Lake City, 12 November 1890
“My Dear Bro Joseph
[Joseph Smith Groesbeck (1864-1933)]

“I hardly know how to write to you, under the sorrowfull(sp) circumstances, but I do hope the Lord has made it known unto you and prepared your heart and mind for the dreadfull(sp) ordeal you are called to pass through, but Joe be comforted for the day will soon come when we can see through and thank God for all these bitter trials – although it is hard today, your child must have been wanted for the work behind the veil or surely he never would have been taken so sudden especially when you and Sarah [Sarah Blood Groesbeck (1867-1958)] were doing the work for the living and the dead. Morgan saw Mother [Elizabeth Thompson Groesbeck (1882-1883)] that night and in his dreams and said she look so natural, and he knew nothing of the ocurance(sp) till he read it in the paper that morning about ten min before going to the train and he knowing Sarah was at Logan thought she might be there so he had the painfull(sp) duty to perform in telling her, although Will [William Groesbeck (1847-1912)] & myself went up to Ogden to meet her, he happened to be at Kaysville with Bro [Brigham Henry] Roberts & I think they were the best ones to meet her Will and I were to much broken up to be any benefit to her.

“I hope dear Joe that your faith won’t be shaken or your interest in your work be shackened(sp) it will take time to heal the wounds but ask God to help you to bear your cross and he will. I know by experience (sp) for I have had my heart healed instantly after a few days of sorrow after the death of my Flora
[Flora Groesbeck Morgan 1882-1885] and I thought I could not live but the sorrow was taken from me instantly and death has had no _______to me since and I have parted with one of mine rather than have this news go to you, I expect you get the sad news of Harm’s Eddie’s misfortune. The poor child is suffering a thousand deaths & hear it will be a miracle if he gets well. I am in such poor health [pregnant with 9th child, Bessie, to be born January 1891] or I would go down, but I would only be a nuicence (sp) around. Morgan [husband, John Hamilton Morgan] has told you how well Sarah is doing and how like a Saint & a woman she is feeling & acting. I hear she said she didn’t want any of boys to write to you to come home for you could do no good and if you remember Will was only a cypher when he left his mission to come home, but I do feel thankfull(sp) you haven’t got the kind of a _________that he has. I know Sarah wants you to stay till you have filled an honorable mission & get your release without asking for ______________so put all your faith in God and he will be your comfort. I am so thankfull(sp) that you have John [John Amberson Groesbeck (1849-1904)] there with you for he will be more company for you than any one else could be so praying God to bless & comfort you in your hour of sorrow & trial, I remain your loving sister,
“Mellie

“Give John my love and tell him is always remembered in our prayers with you although I am a poor one to write I never forget you.

“Letter written from Helen Melvina Groesbeck Morgan to her younger brother, Joseph Smith Groesbeck while on his mission to New Zealand.”

[Note: I added the bracketed information. Mellie's brother, Joseph Smith Groesbeck, and nephew, John Amberson Groesbeck, were serving their missions together in New Zealand.]

My sincere thank you to Cousin Karen M. for transcribing and sharing this letter with us.
Some of the many things I learned from this letter:
Mellie had deep love for her siblings.
Mellie called her husband “Morgan.”
She said she was “a poor one to write.”
She had a personal knowledge of the healing power of the Lord.

From John Hamilton Morgan’s journal, Marriott Library, Special Collections, University of Utah.
1890
October 29
At work about the building …

October 30

Busy during the day about the building. Attended Council Meeting at 11 a.m. Present were S. B. Young, Jno. Morgan, B. H. Roberts, and George Reynolds, also brother Walker. Quite a large amount of business attended to. In the evening accompanied brother Roberts to Kaysville to attend a political rally. A good attendance and much enthusiasm. Stayed with brother Barnes.

October 31
Visited a brickyard manufacturing red pressed brick on my way to the Depot. Read in the “Herald” of the killing of little Joe Groesbeck by a runaway train last evening. Met his mother on the train on her way home from Logan. During the day was at the building most of the time.
November 1Gave note to State Bank of Utah for $1,800 and paid the men off during the day.
November 2Attended funeral of young Joe Groesbeck at 11 a.m. Bishop Whitney and J. E. Taylor were the speakers. A large attendance. Attended 14th Ward Meeting in the evening. Moses Taylor spoke.
November 3
Pushed the work on the building and endeavored to raise some money to go ahead with my work.

1 comment:

  1. I am taking a short break from writing a biography to present at my niece's funeral tomorrow and clicked over to your blog and read this. Thank you for this beautiful post. The feelings Mellie mentions are so familiar now. The situation of losing a loved one in a sudden accident is such a sadness, and it is good to read some of the same sentiments and see the same love and support between siblings and church members that we are experiencing right now.

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