Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Rex Family’s Ordinary Hero.

L-R Diana, Yara, Judd, Harold, and Jay Rex. Percy Harold (P.H.), Marion, and Mary Rex. Helen Rex, Glenn and Susan Frazier.

In about 1962 P.H. Rex family members were hosted by their Montana, Victor Rex Jackson, cousins at a Rex Family Reunion in Cook, Montana. I well remember how excited my mother, Helen Rex Frazier, was to go to that reunion. She is the lady with her genealogy binder under her arm.
If you click on these pictures, perhaps the enlargement will make it easier to recognize some of the family members who gathered in Montana forty-seven-some years ago for a William Rex Family Reunion.

The three P.H. Rex grandchildren I know for sure are on the back row. Back left corner is Yara, center, is Marion, right back corner is Susan. I’m guessing Jay and Judd are in the right front corner. I don’t know who their other teen aged cousins are. It would be nice to know.

Yesterday’s Lee Benson column in the Deseret News, featured an "Ordinary Hero," Victor Rex Jackson. Thank you for the tip Flora Lee.

Note: Victor Rex Jackson (1912-2010) is Helen Rex Frazier’s (1913-1982) cousin. He is the son of Ada Rex Jackson, Percy Harold Rex’s sister.

Pictures from Susan Frazier's scrapbook.
Note: Check the John Hamilton Morgan Descendant's latest Newsletter here.

Friday, February 26, 2010

1884 John Hamilton Morgan September trip to San Juan, Utah.

Hole in the Rock, looking down at Lake Powell, by Wikipedia

This post is part of an addendum to John Hamilton and Helen Melvina Groesbeck Morgan. Part 17. Posted here January 10, 2010.

Part b
Part c

I asked cousin Flora Lee (a John Morgan descendant also) to review some of John Morgan’s journal pages and write about his 1884 trip to San Juan, Utah. That was such a good idea! Thanks, Flora Lee, for your great work!

By Flora Lee--
If you have read Gerald Lund’s historical fiction novel The Undaunted. I think you will enjoy these John Morgan journal entries about his 1884 trip to the San Juan Mission. You will also recognize many of the names he mentioned. If you haven’t read The Undaunted, you may want to after reading these summaries and original journal entries. I am honored to know that my great grandfather knew and associated with the faithful and courageous Saints of the Hole in the Rock Expedition.

John, and his wife Mellie, left Salt Lake by train on September 1, 1884, soon after he had helped arrange transport and memorial services for two murdered Southern States Missionaries; Elder Gibbs from Paradise, Utah, and Elder Berry from Kanarraville, Utah. They met President Joseph F. Smith, and his wife, as well as Erastus Snow, and his wife, in Price. Then they continued by rail to Denver, where they did some sight seeing in the Denver and Colorado Springs area.

Their party arrived in LaJara, Colorado on September 5th, where they were met by Elder B.H. Roberts and San Luis Stake President, Silas S. Smith. President Smith was captain of the Hole in the Rock Expedition in 1879, and the first president of the San Luis Colorado Stake.

Several conference meetings were held in the area over the next three days. On September 8th, the group left for Antonito, Colorado, and then took the train to Durango, Colorado. On the 9th, Sisters Morgan and Smith returned to Manassa, Colorado. Elder Morgan, Apostle and Sister Snow, President Smith, and some other local men, continued by wagon to Mancos, Colorado. They held an evening meeting and called (in today’s terminology) a Branch President, Sunday School President and some teachers. On that day Elder Morgan recorded passing Corneluis Decker and family, as they were leaving the San Juan settlements.

Arial Bluff, Utah, San Juan River, with Comb Ridge, by Wikipedia
From the John Morgan Journal, Marriott Library, University of Utah


Sept. 10
Started early for the San Juan, brother Jno. Allen driving and accompanied by brother Henry Hollyoake in an extra wagon. At mud creek, just outside of Mancos settlement we met Jos. B. Decker and family with a load of chickens. They were going to Durango to sell the chickens. At Mitchell’s Spring where we stopped to noon, we met a number of wagons loaded with pigs, poultry, furniture etc. from Bluff City, going to the settlements to sell, preparatory to leaving the country. During the p.m. drove passed Aztec and Navajo Springs, camping near the south base of the Ute Mountains and on the southern Ute Reservation. Cool and pleasant weather.

Sept. 11
Started early this morning from our dry camp to drive to the San Juan River for breakfast, where we arrived at 10 a.m. Rested, watered the stock, and met Wm. Hyde and family, moving to a trading post four miles above the Peaks. Arrived at brother Allen’s and Hollyoake’s about 5 p.m. where we remain tonight. The evidences of the disastrous flood which occurred in June are to be seen on every hand. A number of houses gone and many fields covered up with sand and mud.

Editor’s note: The first time I read this, I missed the “disastrous flood” sentence, and so I kept wondering why these people were all leaving. A history of the 1884 flood, and the area, can be found here. Search for “A critical year.” After a careful study of the entire article, it appears that “1894,” in this instance, is a typographical error. That date would put this incident out of the chronological order that the article is written in.

I think seeing this area, and these people in this condition, would have been extremely hard on Elder Morgan and Apostle Snow. In 1879 Apostle Snow made the initial call to these Saints, mainly from Iron County, Utah, to leave their homes and establish these settlements. Elder Morgan visited these settlements in 1883, attended meetings with General Authorities in Salt Lake, considering the discontinuation of the mission, and he voted to continue the mission. I will write more about his 1883 visit to the settlements in the future. [Yeah! That's good news. From the editor's cousin. ]

(To be continued.)

Monday, February 22, 2010

Garrard III and Eliza Ann Hamilton Morgan of Champaign, Illinois.

Eliza's letter of 1895 to her daughter-in-law, Helen Melvina (Mellie) Groesbeck Morgan, is in three parts here.

Part 1.

Part 2.

Part 3.

In the letter Eliza mentions many different family members. In my attempt to learn who they are, I searched the microfilm of Champaign County Historical Archives at the Family History Library. The three following Morgan family history sheets are from that collection. Its my beginning.

The sources on the family history sheets are marked with the following Roman Numerals.

II = Cunningham’s History of Illinois and Champaign County, 1905, Urbana Library.
XII = Biographical Record of Champaign County., S.V. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, 1900.

It appears Garrard and Eliza Ann Morgan lived near two of Garrard's brothers, Woodson and William F. Morgan, a nephew, William H. Morgan, and some of their family members.

William F. Morgan

Woodson Morgan

Woodsen Morgan [perhaps Garrard's brother], from Kentucky
(F)1st supervisor of Crittenden Twsp., 1862
(II) lived in Linn grove area in 1850’s.

William H. Morgan

(XII) Notes: Received a liberal education in common schools of his native county. Became proficient in Agriculture on the parental farm. After reaching his mijority [sic], he settled upon an eighty acre farm in Crittenden Township which he owned and improved. Also engaged in live stock and grain. He controlled the major portion of the local grain trade and was manager of grain elevators.

Information on the places where family members lived can be found here. Tolono, Crittenden, Champaign, Urbana, Mattoon, Elmwood, and Peoria, Illinois.
Since discovering and studying Eliza’s letter, I’ve wanted to know who Rettie was. The woman who made, and sent Eliza, the magnificent blue silk darning bag, she so beautifully described to Mellie. The gift seemed to bring her such pleasure.

Each of these women apparently appreciated and enjoyed beautiful fine needlework. Presently I think Rettie might be Reverend Green’s wife, although “Rettie” seems a stretch for “Lucinda” to me. Perhaps she’s her daughter.

The picture of the handwork is Mellie’s. She embroidered the rose and framed it in hard-anger embroidery when her youngest son, John Hamilton Morgan received his law degree. Thank you, Eliza and Mellie Morgan descendant Karen M., for sharing that picture.
Champaign Historical Archives, Champaign County Library, Urbana, Ill. copied August 4, 1978, FHL #1,026,785. I found some very intersting information on Linn Grove, which I will post another time.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

William Harrison Morgan. Veteran's Invalid Pension Relief.

A further look into the Veterans Pension file documents of William Harrison Morgan revealed:

William Harrison Morgan applied for a veteran’s disability pension on July 5, 1899. He used the services of Oscar B. Barber & Co., Pension and Claims Attorneys, of Chicago, Ill. There were a series of claims and forms filed through them,

By Claimant, William H. Morgan
P.O. Room 1110 Masonic Temple
Chicago, Illinois.

William requested $6 a month. Thereafter there are a series of documents, and requests for rate increases. It appears the following document, stamped Jun 6, 1901 [sorry, my scanner missed it], finally satisfied the law, he could not earn a support by manual labor.

According to a History of the Department of Veterans Affairs, Part 1., "Until 1890, Civil War pensions were granted only to servicemen discharged because of illness or disability attributable to military service. The Dependent Pension Act of 1890 substantially broadened the scope of eligibility, providing pensions to veterans incapable of manual labor."

The following document, filed by a different attorney, added a post-office address nearer William's Middletown, Henry County, Indiana home. The document clarified where he received his debilitating injuries.
William Harrison Morgan died 17 April 1907. See his death certificate on the previous post here. It appears William is John Hamilton Morgan's "red-headed brother" mentioned in this post at The Ancestor Files blog.
The Picture is: General Rosecrans (left) rallies his troops at Stones River. Illustration by Kurz and Allison (1891). From Battle of Stone’s River Wikipedia

History of the Department of Veterans Affairs, Part 1.,

The documents are from Helen Rex Frazier's Garrard Morgan III file folder.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

William Harrison Morgan, 28 July 1840 – 17 April 1907.

During the last few months I have finally been able to understand the papers in my mother’s (Helen Rex Frazier 1913-1982) Garrard Morgan III file folder.

It is a legal sized folder filled with about twenty-five legal sized documents/papers. Among them are her Garrard Morgan III family group records, and the temple ordinance work she prepared and submitted in the late 1970's-1982. And there are twenty photocopied documents from William Harrison Morgan’s Veteran Benefits File, and his widow, Emeline E. Morgan’s, Widow's Benefits File.

Helen had a copy of a letter dated November 18, 1977 from the Vital Records Office, Indiana State Board of Health stating.

“We have received your request for a record of death for: William Harrison Morgan said to have died in Henry County, Indiana, April 17, 1907. … We have checked the original records of death filed in this office for Henry County, Indiana for the years 1905 thru 1909 and find no record to correspond with the information you have provided.”

Helen’s last noted genealogy work was February 7, 1982. She wrote “mailed” on a letter she’d received from the Chief, Correspondence Branch (NNCC National Archives and Records Service, indicating her order for copies of veterans records was “returned because it was not accompanied by the required pre-paid fee ($5 for each record ordered).”

Helen passed away June 26, 1982. The following document is one of many she received from the National Archives Service. They were shuffled around in envelopes for years, before being laid flat in her Garrard Morgan III folder. Where I finally took the time to study them.

It appears that William Harrison is Garrard III and Eliza Ann Hamilton Morgan’s oldest child. You can see him listed on two censuses with his family posted here on The Ancestor Files blog.
I've learned a little more about William Harrison Morgan and his family, that I will post here soon.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

A Valentine from Mary Elizabeth Herbert to Percy Harold Rex.

Percy Harold and Mary Elizabeth Herbert Rex about 1972.
Their biographies can be found here and here.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

1895 letter from Eliza Ann Hamilton Morgan to her daughter-in-law Helen Melvina (Mellie) Groesbeck Morgan. Part 3. Concluded.

Following is the conclusion of (Letter from Eliza Hamilton Morgan, mother of John Hamilton Morgan, to Helen M. Morgan, wife of John Morgan) from the John Hamilton Morgan Collection at the Marriott Library, Special Collections, University of Utah.

Part 3.
Eliza described the Morgan garden and Rettie Green’s exquisite darning bag.

Part 1

Part 2

Mr. Richard sent the 20 dollars as you requested (thanks to you both). We gave it out for insurance on the property for the next 3 years and Jimmie sent us 40 dollars to pay taxes. We manage to keep even by being economical and working. I have been trying to sew some and have had 2 rooms cleaned.

We have radishes, onions, tomatoes, beets, lettuce all growing in the garden next to the stable. I sowed some grass seed half way down from the house next to Mrs. Hill’s. It is coming up. Our hens keep us in eggs, averaging 5 a day. Nine hens but some are all the time tied out to keep from setting.

Some time ago, Rettie Green wrote me she was making me a darning bag and when it came for an Easter offering, I was taken clear back when I opened the package to find such a beautiful bag made of blue flowered thin silk all trimmed off with blue satin ribbon bows and strings made like the crestom [sic] one that Bettie Falls made me. It took a great many fine stitches to make it and in it were two large spools of knitting silk to darn with and a beautiful emery bag with silver top cord and tassel. Also a silver fixer to run in the glove fingers to mend them and silk of various colors to suit the kids and a fancy painted easter egg with Forget-me-nots painted on it and Easter greetings and a very handsome silver handle; sissors
[sic] and fine steel blades and a very heavy gold thimble beautifully carved with my name carved on it and besides a very handsome box of the very finest candy. The box is made of [Print page 4.] beeds [sic] and white satin. The box was ready filled, I think, at the finest confectionary.

Now you better believe I had to try to write her as sweet a letter of thanks as I was able to do and sent her our Pictures as they had asked for them. They are at the Adam’s House, Boston. I think they will go to Lynn again in the summer. I hear Dr. Morgan does not like Mexico and is coming back.

(Letter from Eliza Hamilton Morgan, mother of John Hamilton Morgan, to Helen M. Morgan, wife of John Morgan)

Letter concluded.


Lynn, Massachusetts

Adam's House, Boston

Jimmie may be John Morgan's brother, James.

The following entry in the John Hamilton Morgan journal, eight years earlier, in 1887, may have had Jimmie in Kansas City, Kansas/Missouri.

1887, June 5. Arrived in Kansas City at 7:50 a.m. Met Mr. Geo. T. Nicholson and had a conference about rates West of the Missouri River. Came to an agreement at last. Called and had a talk with Mr. Lockwood about railroad matters. Met Jimmie, [blank] ? his wife during the evening. Left for Memphis at 9 p.m. [Note: The ? written after the blank space in this entry, could mean the name was unreadable, or not there. Perhaps John Morgan couldn't recall her name, as he wrote the entry. That's happened in other places in his journal.]

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

1895 letter from Eliza Ann Hamilton Morgan to her daughter-in-law Helen Melvina (Mellie) Groesbeck Morgan. Part 2.

Following is the continuation of (Letter from Eliza Hamilton Morgan, mother of John Hamilton Morgan, to Helen M. Morgan, wife of John Morgan) from the John Hamilton Morgan Collection at the Marriott Library, Special Collections, University of Utah.

Part 2

Visits and birthday wishes to “Pa” are recapped by Eliza.

Continued from here.

You have been hearing from some of the family who perhaps have told you all that is worth telling. I believe all are well now for the first time. I venture out into the street. I went to see Woodson’s babe who had been very bad with a cough and cold, but it is well now and Hattie brought it to see us last week as she was having it out to have a picture of it.

Millard sent us some very fine pictures of Stella and the children and some he had taken for Garrard. He sent me a large one to frame. He sent a picture of the minister that preaches at the M. E. Church that Stella attends. He is a very nice looking young man. Those was for Pa’s birthday and Henry wrote and sent 10 dollars. Gertrude brought him a dozen oranges—very large. Amelia brought him a basket of fruit. Florence brought him 2 segars
[sic, sugars?].

You ask about Harry’s salary. I thin
[k] he gets $35 per month. He gave me 5 dollars a few days since and $3 to give to Maude. She was not to know who gave it but must think it came from me and I must not speak of my gift. I made no promises except to not tell Maude, so--. You are so far away and want to know ever[y] thing—so I tell you.

We do not see much of Amelia and Gertrude but hear of them being over in town often. Mr. Richard was here a few minutes yesterday—found your Pa asleep. He does not come often. He went from here to call at Woodson’s. Don’t you speak of it but a young Mr. Stanley Boggs is very attentive to Gertrude; Harry Marble to Velma; Max Beck to Maude—the last two are kids.

Your Pa is sitting out on the porch. I wish he had a new one, but it is better than none at all. We are having fine spring weather—everything is green and the trees are in full bloom—fine prospects for fruit.

Billy’s business is picking up but his feet still hurt him. Woodson’s business is still good. Garrard is still running over with his new found hope. He sent Florence some money last week. Told he
[r] he wanted them to get up a real good dinner for her birthday [Print page 3.] and have strawberries and when they seated themselves at their little table they must all bow their heads and ask God’s blessings and have Velma read the 8th or 10th chapter of Romans and have Irine sing “Amazing Grace,’” He taught her to sing it so nice when they lived out on the farm and told her that her Grandpa used to sing it to him early in the morning sitting by the fire side when he was a little boy. Velma told me they carried out his request all but having the strawberries. We are all so glad that he is so happy.

(To be continued.)

[Editor's notes.]
As I’ve studied this letter I made a list of forty different people and places; named or generalized that Eliza writes about. My hearts warmed by the love her letter exudes from several generations ago. And it is sobering to consider the kind of research needed to “chart” this family.

1) It appears John Morgan’s siblings may have communicated with Mellie after John’s death. And Eliza knows about it.

2) Did Mary Ann Linton compile family group sheets for any of Garrard Morgan III siblings? My mother (Helen Rex Frazier) didn’t have any.

My head’s finally wrapped around the reality that three of Garrard III brothers: John Sanderson, Woodson, and William Franklin married three Bruce sisters; Eleanor, Elizabeth, and Ann Threlkeld, respectively. It appears that the nieces and nephews named in this letter could come from these families, as they are listed in Life and Ministry of John Morgan, Appendix II, pgs. 588-590. That helps me understand a “Bruce Family” booklet my mother had. I’ve never seen a book about the three Morgan brothers’ legend. I will ask other family members, and at the Church History Library.

Perhaps Garrard, in the last paragraph (above), is Eliza's youngest son, and Velma, Florence, and Irine are his daughters/and/or wife. And could his reflections to Florence, of her Grandpa, be of "Pa?"

3) I wonder if John Morgan’s brother, “Lon” Leonidas Morgan, worked at John Morgan’s school.

4) Mellie showed interest in her husband's family.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

1895 letter from Eliza Ann Hamilton Morgan to her daughter-in-law, Helen Melvina (Mellie) Groesbeck Morgan.

To learn of the lives of Garrard and Eliza Ann Hamilton Morgan III, of Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois, read this excellent four part history by Amy at The Ancestor Files blog.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

Following is a copy of a typed (Letter from Eliza Hamilton Morgan, mother of John Hamilton Morgan, to Helen M. Morgan, wife of John Morgan) from the John Hamilton Morgan Collection at the Marriott Library, Special Collections, University of Utah. I found it in a folder marked “miscellaneous.”

I’m going to post the letter in three parts, which I have titled:

Part 1
Eliza received a letter from a stranger, Mathias F. Cowley.

Part 2
Eliza recapped birthday visits and gifts to “Pa,” named numerous family members, and described a family birthday celebration.

Part 3
Eliza described the Morgan garden and Rettie Green’s exquisite darning bag.

In 1895, Eliza would have been about eighty years old. And born in 1806, her husband, Garrard, would have been nearly ninety. There is a death date, prior to this letter, in Family Search for him. Amy couldn’t find a source. It appears to me that Garrard Morgan was living the Spring following his son, John’s, untimely death in 1894.

I inserted some paragraph breaks, to make it easier to read. Other than that, it reads as I found it.

Part 1
Eliza Ann received a letter from a stranger, Mathias, F. Cowley.

Champaigne, [Illinois], April 29, 1895

My dear Daughter [Helen Melvina Groesbeck Morgan]:

It is Monday morning and wash day but I must not let another day pass without writing to you—my dear one. I have thought of you each day as it passed and knew I ought to write you, but so many things to do and have done. I have been kept busy and have had so many enexpected [sic] letters to answer from the children and nieces and nephews and even a great niece that it seems a task for me to write; but nevertheless, I have written. This makes the thirteenth letter this month. Yes, this is your Pa’s birth month and all the children have written him such nice affectionate letters and he puts all the letter writing upon me. Says he cannot write—and I am sorry to say it is true—he cannot collect his thoughts. I am very fond of writing letters, but oh how I dread to write your Pa’s.

Received a letter this morning from a perfect strange
[r] from Preston, Idaho (Mathias F. Cowley) inquiring about the far back relatives of the Morgans. Said he had always held the highest esteem of the Morgan family ever since he heard of them. Said he had a book which gives the account of three brothers by the name of Morgan who came from Wales about 1836 and settled in Connecticut. Their given names were James, John, and Miles. The book says the one named John went to Virginia and located soon after their arrival in America. This man goes on and asks a gret [sic] many questions.

He says he went to school to John and Lon Morgan in Salt Lake City when he was about 15 years old. He said John died 14th last August in his town after an illness of 5 weeks; he said he was by his side when he passed away. Said he was a noble man and one so full of kindness that to know him was to love him and he was very desirous to know something more of his kin[’]s people. And as a token of deep esteem he wished to record in a book all he could learn of his relatives.
[Print page 2.] He said he had letters from your Aunt Eliza and she referred him to your Pa who knows so little.

(To be continued.)

Sunday, February 7, 2010

John Tate Journal account of 1887 Irish Creek Shooting concluded.

The following John William Tate December 1887-1888 journal account is continued from here.
December 24th: After a somewhat restless night we arose very stiff & sore, from our wounds. After washing I rubbed my wounds with Olive Oil & changed clothes. During the morning the rumor of our being shot having spread, many callers came & expressed their indignation and regretted that such a thing had happened. At 2 p.m. although suffering considerable pain we started for Bro. John Laytons where we intended to hold a meeting on the morrow, having previously given out notice to that effect. Called at Sister Steels who desired us to stay all night, but thought it better to go over to Bro. Laytons where we arrived about 5 p.m. 2 ½ miles from Bro. Carrs. Bro. Layton went to Post Office for me, but no letters or word from home. I can’t tell what it all means – folks sick at home & no word for more than 12 days.
Note: Elder Tate’s concern for his wife throughout is moving. He was the father of seven children when he arrived in Virginia to serve this mission, and ever concerned for the safe delivery of his wife, Lizzie’s 8th child. The last he’d heard, she was ill.

From Lizzie's letter dated December 18, 1887:

Oh, John, I have got the sweetest little babe that we have ever had. She is so pretty. She has got a lot of hair as dark as Ethel’s was. What would your like to call her … I will write soon, and so must you. I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and may God be with you in all your trials is the desire of your faithful and ever loving wife. Lizzie Tate

P.S. Give my regards to Sister Steele and tell her that I kindly thank her for the leaf and all the kindness that she showen [sic] toward you. Write often, the children all send papa a kiss and I send one to. God bless you. Lizzie
Sunday, December 25th: “Christmas” On arising this morning was very sore and stiff. Bro. Hendricks wounds appearing to be more sore than mine, perhaps on the account of him possessing a cold & his blood being somewhat out of disorder. At 11:30 a.m. we called our meeting to order some 18 or 20 present. I spoke a few minutes on the Gospel, also Bro. Hendricks spoke about 35 mines, but on account of our wounds paining us we did not feel to stand up long. About 2 o’clock, our force was increased by the arrival of a new Elder from Utah, Moroni Gerber of Midway, Wasatch County, U.T. … In the evening we anointed our wounds with Olive Oil & asked God to let this blessing be with it. We had them wrapped up in tallow & turpentine when after prayers, we retired for the evening.
December 26th: On arising this morning found my wounds very painful & almost impossible to move around. Bro. Hendricks appearing to be much worse than myself; during the day Bro. Hendricks wrote a letter to Bro. Morgan in relation to the affair, explaining the circumstances & asking what he thought about prosecuting the perpetrators of the deed, yet knowing that it was almost useless for a Mormon to get justice in the Courts at home & much more so in the world as past experience has taught us. I wrote a letter home to my wife, but did not mention the shooting affair, thinking it would be better to wait until I was thoroughly better …
December 27th: On getting up this morning did not feel any worse myself, but Bro. Hendricks seemed to be worse on the shot in the fleshy part of his leg appeared to pain him very much, besides he was somewhat sick & feverish, still we hope to be around and about in a few days.
December 28th: On arising this morning felt more sore than day previous and had to lay down in the afternoon. Bro. Hendricks still seemed to get much worse & suffer from the one wound on the calf of his leg & had to keep to bed the most part of the day. During the evening had slipery[sic] Elm poultice on him. After reading a chapter in Bible had prayer and retired.
December 29th: Felt some better this morning, ligaments of my leg not so stiff this morning, but was much bother for me to move around. Sister Steele sent us over some sweet cakes. Bro. Hendricks still getting worse & suffering much from wound in fleshy part of leg. Sister Laytons baby was sick today. After prayers we administered to it & dressed our wounds & rubbed with linament [sic.] & retired.

December 30th: Did not rest much during the night. Bro. H. scarcely closing his eyes, but as soon as morning Bro. Gerber prepared to bathe his leg with cold water & salt by wrapping it with wet cloth. During the day Sister Steele called in & brought a nice young chicken to cook for us, also Bro. & Sister Carr came to see us and to see if we would be able to come and spend New Years with them, but owing to the condition we were in we did not think we would be able to do so, although we would have liked to. After prayers retired for to try to rest.

December 31st: After a good nights rest, I arose much improved & feeling better. Bro. Hendricks also appeared to have made a turn for the better, the bathing with cold water cloths having apparently done some good. During the day Br.[Brother] Car[r] & daughter called upon us to see if we could spend New Years with them, also bringing us some pies and cakes. We thought we would not be able to accept their invitation this time, went to bed early tonight after prayers & dressing wounds …

January 1st:
During the night my wounds were very sore & on account of this & the dampness caused by the snow and rain did not rest very well. Bro. Hendricks much worse & did not sleep any, at about 12 o’clock by his request Bro. Gerber & I anointed & administered to him. After fasting during the morning we again administered unto him after which he felt some better. I wrote a letter to my wife, but did not mention my circumstances …
January 2nd: Bro Hendricks wounds troubled him so much that he did not rest during the night. On arising my wounds were about the same. … After singing some hymns we had prayers, then we dressed our wounds, I rubbing mine with Arnica salve, Bro. Hendricks poulticing his with ___& red oak bark poultices, when we went to bed.

January 3rd: My wounds were about the same. Br. H. wounds run some. He was feeling much better. During yesterday Bro Gerber made a litter for to carry Bro. H. over to Sister Steeles, but Bro & Sister Layton would not listen to it, so we had to stay here some longer. Bro & Sister Layton have been very kind to us, for which we feel very thankful to them … During the evening, Mr. Wm. Hamilton called in & passed the evening and informed us that the people were trying to raise a mob to drive us out of the country, this was news to us, this being the first intimation, however we feel if they came we cannot help it. We feel that we are doing God’s service and he is able to take care of his children, therefore, we feel to put our trust in Him and always crave his protecting care …

January 4th: Not feeling very well this morning as did not rest well during the night. Bro. Hendricks appeared to be somewhat better. During the day I wrote a letter to Prest. Morgan for Bro. Hendricks stating our condition … and also the prospect of us being mobbed, etc. Bro. Gerber went to Vesuvius to get his valise. He was accompanied by Bro. John Carr & another young man. They returned about 2 p.m., bringing another letter from my wife in which was a copy of my Patriarchal Blessing. They were all well at home on Dec. 28, 1887. After dressing our wounds retired for night.

January 5th: Fast day which we observed. My wounds on the guiders were very sore this morning more so than for a week past. This is the notable day the mob had intended to come upon us. However not being able to go away we put our trust in God and cause that there would be no harm come to us. Several friends came during the morning and said they would stand by us, among which was Bro. John Carr, Sister Steele, M. Ed Campbell, Saml Carr and others. We also wrote a request that the Magistrate be present so that in case of need he could deputize some constables so that we would be enabled to arrest any person that should commit some overt act. He came at our request and said he would do whatever he could for us; we waited until about 2 o’clock, but no mob as yet, although the time set to meet at the store one miles from here was nine o’clock and parties (Bro Carr) had seen Mr. Ramsey & his son and another one going to the place appointed early this morning so we supposed naturally that we would see a mob indeed. But about 2 o’clock two of Bro Jacob Hamilton sons came down from the store and said from appearances the mob was a failure as there was only four persons met, viz.: Jack Ramsey, Charly Ramsey (his son) Wade Jerald and Len Mahon, who when they found no more they left for home disgusted no doubt with their failure …
Note: Through the month the wounded Elders rallied and then regressed, and then rallied again. They continued at the Laytons, nursing their injuries, and enduring colds and sore throats. Elder Tate continued to keep his condition from his wife. There is no further aggression against them mentioned.

January 10th: Felt somewhat improved from yesterday, but very sore. During day made door latch for door of Bro. & Sister Layton’s house, read some in Bible and tried to commit some of the 12th Chap 1 Corinthians on Spiritual Gifts …Bro. Hendricks received letter from Prest. Morgan inquiring to our condition and for us not to fail to report to him, also stated another elder would be here next Friday evening, advised us to try to get the Saints to emigrate. If we succeeded in doing this we would be doing a good work … I anointed my wounds with olive oil & after prayers, retired.

January 11th: Felt well this morning in getting up, but after moving around wounds began to be quite sore & painful. Bro. Hendricks wrote to Prest. Morgan, stating our condition and thought we would be able to resume our labors in a few days, also thought that perhaps three families would be able to emigrate with the next company. Passed my time in reading, but this confinement is too much for me for what I read I can’t remember … Sister Steele brought us some apples during the day. She has been very kind.
January 12th: Read Deseret News, doctored wounds by poultice of Axel Greese[sic]. Stormy night, had prayers & retired … 15th: My wounds apparently not so painful. Bro. H’s worse than what they have been for more than a week past, do not know what is best to do for them … Sister Hamilton sent us a nice sweet cake. Read some in the Voice of Warning. I have a cold and suffering from sore throat. Bro. Hendricks condition so much worse that we do not know what to do for the best. We administered to him, dressed our wounds & retired …16th: Did not rest so well last night, wounds about the same, leg somewhat stiff, cold no better and not feeling very well, troubled about Bro. Hendricks wounds which is much inflamed … seems to be worse than it was two weeks back … Bro. Gerber & I have an idea it would be proper for him to go home where he could get proper treatment and attention for though the people here do what they can, they are not able to do more on account of their limited means. I wrote a letter to Prest. Morgan stating our condition and especially that of Bro. Hendricks …

January 22nd: Still improving, wounds almost healed up. Bro. Hendricks still on the improve. Sister Steele called in and brought us some apples, Mr. Wm. Hamilton called to see us, his wife Sister Hamilton sent us a roast chicken, glass of preserve & light bread. Some of the people have shown us very great kindness. I received a letter from home of date of Jan 12th inst., all was well on that date for which I felt very thankful for, there was also enclosed a five dollar bill, some of which was sent by my little girls, after prayers, retired.

Thank you John Morgan and John Tate descendant Karen M. for sharing your grandfather’s journal entries.
According to the list of the Southern States Missionaries in the John Morgan Collection, Marriott Library, University of Utah, Milo A. Hendricks was released April 12, 1888. Elder Tate’s release date is not listed, nor is Elder Moroni Gerber's.

Friday, February 5, 2010

1887, December 23rd, Irish Creek, Virginia, Shooting!

I received a note from a disappointed John Morgan descendant. She couldn’t find her Great Grandfather, John William Tate, in front of the Carr Cabin with President Morgan, posted here. John W. Tate began serving a mission to the Southern States Mission, October 31, 1887, arriving there after the conference.

Several sources record John William Tate serving with Elder Milo A. Hendricks, who may be pictured at the Carr cabin near Irish Creek. On December 23, 1887, they were making their way towards that cabin.

1887, December
Some threatening indulged in many parts of the Mission, but nothing of a serious nature occurred until the 23rd inst. When Elders Milo Hendricks and Jno. W. Tate, of the Virginia Conference were shot near Irish Creek, Rockbridge County, each, in his right leg. They were making their way from Stony River to some of the Saint’s homes, and, in passing along a road running past Jack Ramsey’s house, they were rudely accosted by himself and two young men and prevented from proceeding further. They turned and went another road and in the meantime, Ramsey and the young men had taken a short path and intercepted them on their way. After more threatening and the brethren had turned to take still another road, Ramsey fired both barrels of his gun, the first only taking effect. Sixteen (16) shots were found in Elder Tate’s leg and six (6) in Elder Hendrick’s. The Elders had a hard task in reaching the home of friends, where their wounds could be dressed. There was no further trouble to the end of the month.from John Morgan History of the Southern States Mission, in the Marriott Collection, and from Latter Day Saints Southern Star – Google Books, Vol 1, Pgs. 289-290. Milo A. Hendricks’ wrote a letter to Josiah Burrows, 23 December 1887, about this event, later published in the Deseret Evening News, 10 February 1888 (I could not locate it).

In 1909 Elder John William Tate’s daughter, Ethyl Sophia Tate Morgan, married President John Hamilton Morgan’s son, Nicholas Groesbeck Morgan. Their granddaughter sent me a copy of Elder Tate’s journal account of the shooting, and his entries for the month following. And permission to use it here. Thank you, Karen!

From Elder John William Tate’s journal.
Friday, December 23, 1888. Left Bro. LeRoy Campbells at 9 a.m. for Bro. John Carrs, calling on the way on Mrs. Campbell. After we had got almost to within a quarter of a mile from Bro. Carrs on nearing the place of one Jack Ramsey, one of his sons (Charley) called out to one of his chums by name James Lotts to come on & have some fun. By this we knew that something was up. Mr. Ramsey ordered the boys back to the house, we continued on our way up the narrow passageway that led us to our destination, but on nearing Mr. Ramseys house we found him standing in the road with a double barrelled[sic] shot gun, on something to within four or five yards of him he commanded us to stop, saying at the same time that he didn’t want any [expletives] crossing through his land.

We told him that if we had trespassed on him in passing over the regular traveled thoroughfare that we would pay him for such damage or he could take us before the courts make us pay it or suffer the penalty. We did not think we were infringing as we supposed it to be a public road. He said he did not intend to take us before the Courts, but would give us the contents of this (meaning the gun) & we could take him before the Courts.

I told him that I was not aware that I had been trespassing in going this way. He said he did not really blame or mean me, but said Mr. Hendricks knew of it. Bro. Hendricks said he had never been forbidden to go this way, by this he moved away a little & said you go up the way if you want to but if you do you take the consequences. We again told him we did not wish to intrude & would go around, at this he said in a threatening manner & with most foul & profane & abusive language “To Get” during this conversation his son & Mr. Lotts came out threateningly but he ordered them back saying he would attend to this business himself.

After trying to reason with him that we did not come here to work against the people but do them good if we could, we turned around & retraced our steps a short way when taking the road went around about a half a mile when turning up another road which after traveling about two hundred yards on looking up who should I see but Mr. Ramsey sitting on a log with the gun pointing toward us. I called Bro. Hendricks’ attention, but not before we had to within four or five yards from him. By this time Mr. Ramsey had jumped up with a string of oath that the devil would be ashamed off [sic] & said we had run into it now & would get it this time.

Bro. Hendricks laid down the hand satchel & told him that we was not aware that this was his ground & asked him to show us the way to where we wished to go. The answer was with an oath—“You find it.” (just previous to this our last meeting Bro. Hendricks & myself were talking about the first affair & other things in which the names of Mr. Ramsey, his son & Mr. Lotts names were mentioned, which they having heard their names it seemed to put the devil into them to a two fold greater degree, for on Mr. Ramsey saying they had heard us mention their names, when Mr. Lotts pulled his coat in which was a pistol & drawing his knife (razor) said he would cut our
[expletives] hearts out, Mr. Ramsey all the time having his gun drawn upon us both hammers up, swearing & cursing all the time that we “were going to get it this time as we had run into it.”

After finding it was no use talking with them we turned and retraced our steps a second time, but had not gone more than ten or twelve yards before we had the contents of one barrell[sic] in each of our right legs. On this we broke in a run when a second shot was fired, but only received a few shots of it. From the way we felt there were quite a number of the first shot in our legs. I was a little behind Bro. Hendricks & a little to his left, therefore, my right leg shielded his left & we both took it principally [sic] in our right legs although I was hit with some in my left, after this we went away around by the County Road out of Nelson Co. to Rockbridge Co. by way of Rawlins Store, thence to Sister Steels on Irish Creek. I found that one shot had passed through to my glove & most through the little finger of my right hand, which after arriving at Sister Steels I cut out.

We had dinner & rested ourselves some. Br. Hendricks rode to P. O. but got no mail from home, which was somewhat disheartening to me, as it had been some eleven days since hearing from the home, the last news stating they were sick. After resting some, we then started for Bro. Carrs by another road, where we arrived just at dusk, having traveled some 5 or 6 miles to get there & not being more than three or four hundred yards off when were stopped & shot.

Up to this time although our wounds were very painful we had not examined them. Bro. & Sister Carr were not at home when we went in but when they came they were very indignant and enraged against Mr. Ramsey for the mean act he had done, saying that Ramsey & his son and Lotts had passed his house in the morning cursing & swearing against the Mormons etc.

After supper we undertook to examine our wounds & found that Bro. Hendricks had got some twelve shot, six of which was in very deep. The others mostly only going through his clothing. On examination of myself I found I had received some forth shot through my clothing, some fifteen in my right leg, 3 in my left, one in my right arm, one in the back of my left hand & one through the little finger of my right hand, making some twenty-one effectual shot. I cut out some & there were some fifteen shot in my right leg that were in too deep for me to get out & if got out would have to be done by an experienced surgeon, the principal ones that pained me were on the girders of my right leg. After rubbing our wounds with St. Jacobs oil & Camphor, we retired to try to sleep.

In concluding the recording of this days events, Bro. Carr said some time after the shooting which was about twelve o’clock, Mr. Ramsey, his son & Mr. Lotts came around their place & crossed over on an elevated rise so as to see if we came to Bro. Carrs, but as we did not come til about dark, they left about sundown. From this it appears that they were not satisfied but wanted to give us more.

I never saw a more demon-like person than Mr. Ramsey when we met him the second time as he sat upon the log in the bushes & when he got up & came to within ten feet of us, both hammers of the gun up & pointed directly at our bodies, loaded as we afterward found heavily with No. 3 shots. Also Mr. Lotts jerking his coat in which a pistol could be seen & flourishing a razor & saying we would cut our
[expletives] hearts out, during which most foul cursing & swearing was going on.

On the other hand two men, ministers of life & salvation stood unarmed, doing harm to no one, trying to talk reason to them. After which finding no use to talk to them to be shot at like dogs & hit with somewhere near 60 shot in us, & on starting to run, was hooted at “go you
[expletives] Mormon cowards.” Is no pleasant picture to be a witness off [sic], much more a recipient off [sic]. However he that is the rewarded [sic] of all mankind will reward all men for the deeds done in the body. They will get the full penalty of their misdeeds.

And again all rational people will see the folly & evil in such a course & I think the same or the tragedy will make us more friends than enemies in this part of the country & while our reward will be a blessing in eternity & in the Kingdom of God, the commuters[sic] of the act although drunk will have to suffer the penalty eternally.

(To be continued.)
Note: I inserted some paragraph returns in this document. Thank you to descendant Karen M. for sharing her great grandfather's journal and picture.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

President John Hamilton Morgan and Elders, October 1887.

This picture is used with permission of, Special Collections Department, J. Willard Marriott Library, 295 South 1500 East, Salt Lake City, Utah 84112-0860, Tel: (801)585-3073, Fax: 801)585-1115, Do Not Copy This Picture. You may contact the library to purchase a copy, or link to this Post.

John Hamilton Morgan (8), Mission President, and missionaries, Southern States Mission. (Picture presumably taken October 18, 1887, by Baptist Preacher Fitzgerald, at Brother Jno. Carrs, a nine mile walk across the Blue Ridge from Vesuvious [train station], Virginia.)

From John Hamilton Morgan Journal, Special Collections, Marriott Library, University of Utah.

On October 13, 1887, from Mission Headquarters in Chattanooga, Tennessee, John Morgan made preparations to go to Virginia and West Virginia on a two week trip to attend Conference …left on the East Tennessee 10 p.m. train. On the 14th … arrived at Vesuvius 4:30 p.m. where I met Elders Milo Hendricks and T. A. Williams. Accompanied them on a nine mile walk across the Blue Ridge, to brother Jno. Carrs where we met a number more Elders and spent an enjoyable evening.

On the 15th and 16th they held meetings at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. each day. On the 17th Met the Elders in council and we decided to divide the Virginia Conference and appointed Elder Miller to preside. New arrangements were made for the Elders as to traveling companions. We spent the greater part of the entire day together.

October 18
Raining this a.m. Elder Hansen from Utah got in last night. We all met at about 9 a.m. and read the General Epistle of the Twelve signed by President Woodruff. After which we had our pictures taken by a Baptist preacher named Fitzgerald, a former mobocrat.

After dinner, I started and walked to Vesuvius station where I took train for the West Virginia Conference …

If only the numbered legend for this picture had survived with it! Is that Brother Jno. Carr’s home they are in front of? If so, there must be a Sister Carr. Note the curtains at the window. Presuming Elder Milo Hendricks, T. A. Williams, Elder Hansen, and Elder Miller, mentioned in these entries, are in this picture, who is who? And who are the other four Elders?