Friday, November 19, 2010

Building! Is John Morgan talking about doing it, or working on one? (1889-1891) Part One

I’ve tried to understand the building of the “Morgan Hotel,” which took place in 1890-91. A closer look at John Morgan’s journal entries has helped. And I looked at his son, Nicholas Groesbeck Morgan’s, biography, The Man Who Moved City Hall.

It says, “in the first eight years after the death of the Groesbecks, (Elizabeth Thompson Groesbeck died December 28, 1883; Nicholas Groesbeck died June 29, 1884) the extensive estate was being distributed and the heirs were living well. John Morgan, emulating his father-in-law, attempted to make real estate work for him and his family.”

“Part of Mellie’s inheritance, Nick [Nicholas Greosbeck Morgan] had heard his mother say, was a 10-acre plot of ground between Main and State streets and between Thirteenth and Fourteenth south streets. This was sold for $300 an acre, a total of $3,000, money they used to build five modest rental homes in November and December, 1889. John had workmen tear down an old barn in the rear of their home, and by using a lot to the rear of the Chamber of Commerce Building, just being erected, found room for the rentals. All five of the dwellings, each of which had four rooms and a summer kitchen, cost $2,300.

You might want to acquaint yourself with John Morgan’s family members. A list can be found here on the Ancestor Files.

From John Hamilton Morgan's journal at the Marriott Library, Special Collections, University of Utah.

June 26
John went to Manassa, and as part of a committee, drafted ordinances for the newly incorporated town of Manassa, Colorado. “We selected some covering misdemeaners [sic] and prohibited the sale of liquor.” …

June 28
Arrived in Denver at 6:30 a.m. Had my hair cut and cleaned. Breakfast, etc., and then called and had a talk with Mr. Pedrick. Agt. of the Maxwell Land Grant about the sale of some land. Visited Rollins Investment Agency for the purpose of selling some school bonds. Then called on Mr. [blank space], Secretary Land Board and arranged for the sale of a section of land on the 26th of July. Spent the rest of the day looking around the city and at 8:30 p.m. took D. and R. G. train for Salt Lake …

July 9 [back in Salt Lake City]
Went to Juvenile [Instructor] Office and then into town. Met and talked over a trade of real estate with Frank Armstrong. Fixed up a number of screens about the house.

July 10
At work about the place during the morning … Brother Cannon loaned me his horse and buggy and Mellie and I drove out to the Penetentiary [sic] and had a pleasant visit with B. H. [Brigham Henry] Roberts who was looking and feeling well.

July 11
… Met brother Wooley and looked through the Hotel building with the idea of tearing down and rebuilding. …

July 12 [John Morgan's trip to Manti, Utah is posted here.]

On the 27th In company wife and Nicholas, went out to the Penetentiary and had a visit with brother B. H. Roberts. …

July 29
Arranged to start to Colorado. Arranged for the sale of three acres of land south of the city to Fred Heath.

July 30
Had the deed for the land made and received $500.00 on it with note payable in 18 months at 10%. At 4 p.m. took train for Nephi [his 3rd wife, Mary Ann, was living in Nephi].

July 31
Remained at aunties quiet all day and enjoyed the rest very much.

August 1
Left on early train and went to Provo… At 11:40 a.m. met brother George Goddard on the D. and R. G. train and in company with him started for Colorado … on Aug 3 arrived opposite town [presumably Manassa], at 12:00 noon. Annie [his 2nd wife] with the team waiting for us.
On the 4th Sunday Schools of the Stake met at Manassa at 10 a.m. A large attendance …

August 5
At work about the place getting ready for haying. Obtained Pinckards machine and rake. Visited among the saints with brother Goddard. Held meeting at Sanford; well attended and a good spirit prevailing. Returned home after meeting.

(To be continued.)

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