I do hope you got your watch. Your pictures came
Thursday, December 29, 2011
I do hope you got your watch. Your pictures came
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
It is very possible that Mellie met John Morgan before she enrolled in The Morgan Commercial College in January, 1868. John roomed in Serepta Heywood’s boarding house across the road from the Groesbeck home. According to the early Salt Lake Valley mock-up in the Church Museum, an orchard separated the two properties, and both households were members of the 17th Ward.
John Hamilton Morgan and a friend arrived in the Salt Lake Valley in 1866 and delivered a large herd of cattle they had contracted to drive from Kansas City to Salt Lake. They had to wait it out a week or longer in Salt Lake to receive payment for their work. John liked Salt Lake so much that he stayed.
Following his Civil War service (1861-1865), John attended and graduated from Eastman’s Commercial College in New York. Salt Lake didn’t have a commercial college. John recognized a need and an opportunity. With encouragement from Robert L. Campbell, Territorial Superintendent of Schools, John developed and established The Morgan Commercial College. In January 1867 John opened his school in a small downtown Salt Lake Building. On November 26, 1867 Robert L. Campbell baptized John Morgan into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
By January 1868 John moved his school to larger quarters he rented from Nicholas Groesbeck at 257 South Main Street. In exchange for rent, Nicholas sent some of his children to John Morgan’s school. Fifteen-year-old Mellie, was included--however, not for long--because Elizabeth needed her help at home.
Family history tells us that Elizabeth was pleased to have John Morgan call on her daughter, Mellie, and encouraged their courtship. Elizabeth’s home and graciousness beckoned to John, perhaps reminding him of his own mother and comfortable home. Mellie played the piano, and John wrote his mother earlier how he felt about the warmth and attractions he found in an Alabama home. Perhaps he found the same at the Groesbecks.
[December 21, 1863 letter from Maysville, Alabama battlefield] “There is a pleasant little village close to camp and I have formed some pleasant acquaintances there. There is one particular friend, a Mrs. Hall. It appears more like home than anywhere else that I have been in the South. I have passed several pleasant evenings there and the little Yankee soldier boy always receives a kind and polite invitation to call again. Well, besides that, Miss Jennie Hall and her piano are not the least of the attractions of this kind family.”
John and Mellie were sealed in the Endowment House on October 24, 1868, and that night the Groesbecks held a reception for them at their home.
According to the 17th Ward Relief Society records for the February 20, 1868 meeting, Mrs. J. Morgan was among the members listed.
Elizabeth's son John Amberson was married to Ann Dilworth Bringhurst on September 27, 1871. The following year Elizabeth and her 14-year-old daughter Josephine, traveled with her son Nicholas Harmon and his wife Rhoda, to New York City and Maysville, Kentucky. Their they visited Elizabeth's father, John Amberson Thompson and Elizabeth's oldest sister, Mary Thompson Dunlap. After their six-seven week trip, they returned to Salt Lake in August of 1872.
Note: the January 2012 DUP (Daughters of Utah Pioneers) lesson is The Pioneer School Room. Pages 208-212 discuss the "Morgan College," which I will post here soon.
Thank you to John Morgan descendant, cousin Gail H., for this additional picture of John Hamilton and Mellie Groesbeck Morgan at the time of their marriage.
Sunday, December 18, 2011
Friday, December 9, 2011
Serepta M. Heywood was Bishop Joseph Heywood’s wife. He was bishop of the 17th Ward, and Serepta ran the boarding house, where Great Grandfather John Morgan lived soon after he arrived in the Salt Lake Valley.
On a whim I “googled” Serepta Heywood and discovered a wonderful site, Hallowed Ground Sacred Journey where Brigham Young University professors tell the story of the sites that are of importance to members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Friday, December 2, 2011
Henry Sanborn's gravestone in the Ogden, Utah Cemetery.
A few years ago I met one of Henry Sanborn’s descendants at a DUP convention because I introduced myself to a woman whose last name was Sanborn. She led me to some of my husband’s never-before-met relatives.
Recently Henry Sanborn’s great grandson wrote me and sent me newspaper clippings that cleared up some misinformation I was perpetuating in my post here.
For anyone interested in reading through the following newspaper accounts, they clarify several things. The tale is every person’s fear and heartache; it only draws me nearer to Henry’s mother, Sarah Jane Rawlings Smith Sanborn.
The dates handwritten onto the newspaper articles are incorrect. Henry Sanborn’s Utah Death Certificate states he died January 12, 1915.
December 18, 1912 [sic 1914] – Two Husbands File Suits for Divorce
SL Tribune Jan 12 1913 [sic 1915] -- Wounds his wife; attempts suicide, Henry Sanborn, Estranged Husband is in Jail, Spouse in Hospital
The Ogden Examiner, Jan 13 1913 [sic 1915] -- Bullet Taken From Mrs. Sanborn
SL Tribune Jan 13, 1913 [sic 1915] -- Takes own life in presence of niece; Henry Sanborn Drinks Poison; Child Attempts to Stop Him.
SL Tribune Jan 14, 1915 -- Funeral Notices; Henry Sanborn funeral noticeThank you so very much to this Henry Sanborn descendant for sharing these clippings with us.
Friday, November 25, 2011
This history of Elizabeth Thompson Groesbeck is continued from here.
Early in the year following their October 1856 arrival into the Salt Lake Valley, Nicholas and Elizabeth went to the Endowment House and were sealed there on February 19, 1857. Elizabeth had accepted the doctrine of plural marriage, the opposition of which led to her estrangement from the Church in the years following her 1841 Nauvoo baptism. On February 19, 1857 Nicholas was also sealed to Elizabeth McGregor in the endowment House. That marriage however ended in divorce. According to New Family Search NFS their sealing was cancelled April 24, 1859.
The Utah War confrontation lasted from May 1857 until July 1858, and the Groesbecks, along with everyone else in the Salt Lake Valley, packed up all of their belongings and moved South (some time after baby Josephine’s October 1857 birth). Nicholas settled his family in Springville, Utah where he set up another store, stocked with the merchandise he brought with him from Salt Lake.
The following year, 1858, when the Saints were given the go-ahead to return to the Salt Lake Valley Nicholas and Elizabeth left the store with their son Nicholas Harmon, who remained in Springville and purchased the business from his father.
The Groesbecks returned to an adobe house and an adjoining lot on the southeast corner of Main Street and 2nd South upon their 1858 return to Salt Lake. They lived there until 1864 when Nicholas purchased a home and land from Alfred Randall at 1st North and West Temple. There they were members of the 17th Ward, and Nicholas and Elizabeth lived out their lives in the home on the land that became known as the Groesbeck Homestead.
Nicholas built the Kenyon Hotel on the southeast corner of 2nd South and Main Street, where the family lived from 1858 to 1864. It is not yet clear to me when he built the hotel, but looking at the picture of it does clarify why his son-in-law John Hamilton Morgan aspired to do the same thing.
Nicholas Groesbeck became a very wealthy man, and any privation Elizabeth suffered as the oldest of ten children in the back woods of Pennsylvania surely was alleviated by the affluence she enjoyed as an adult.
A granddaughter wrote, “The floors of her home were covered with fine English velvet carpets. The furniture was made of the old solid walnut of those days. Her finest china was imported from France and she enjoyed buying the very best in silver, jewelry and glassware. Her choice was always in good taste. Her children and grandchildren are now enjoying the use of the lovely things she left to them.”
DUP Pioneer History of Elizabeth Thompson Groesbeck written January 28, 1999 by granddaughter Barbara Rex Wade
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Monday, November 7, 2011
Friday, October 28, 2011
Sunday, October 16, 2011
The account of Nicholas and Elizabeth Thompson Groesbeck’s trip from St. Louis, Illinois to the Salt Lake Valley is continued from here.
After securing the release of their son Nicholas Harmon from prison, Nicholas and Elizabeth Thompson Groesbeck and family began their journey to Utah on June 3, 1856. They spent a few days with relatives in Schuyler County, Illinois on their way to the old Winter Quarters of Florence, about six miles above Omaha on the Missouri River, where Nicholas had sent all of his wagons and cattle. Their children, who traveled with them, were Nicholas Harmon, 14-years old, William, 12-years old, seven-year-old John Amberson, Helen Melvina (Mellie), four years old, and three-year-old Hyrum.
Their trek wasn’t without its share of blessings and disasters. Twenty days after their group left Florence they had to make a dry camp. That entailed digging wells to obtain enough water for culinary purposes. Their efforts provided very little water for their stock. The following morning as they started out, two of their teams became unmanageable and ran away. An eight- or nine-year old boy in one of the wagons attempted to jump from the front of the wagon, slipping. He fell in front of the wheels and was killed.
One night they camped by a shallow stream-let. A heavy rain fall during the night to the north turned the stream into a raging torrent of water six to eight feet deep. All were spared, however, they were required to continue camp until that night when the waters receded enough for them to cross over. When it rained again the next night raising the waters five or six feet, they considered themselves fortunate for they had camped on the south side of the river. They continued their journey, and camped on the south side of the next river. Unexpected deep stream waters weren’t cause for further delaying the Groesbecks’ journey.
The caravan saw their first buffalo on July 27 and some of the men took their guns and went out killing two or three. They brought in the first meat they’d had for some time which everyone enjoyed. The following morning, soon after they began their travel, they came upon some sand hills that were literally covered with buffalo. Two of their horses became frightened and ran into the midst of them. In the course of recovering the horses they came to the top of the hills and looked down on the valley below where, “we there saw the sight of our lives, for as far as the eye could see west, north and south it was a heavy mass of galloping buffalo.”
As the train proceeded they sent some men ahead shooting blank cartridges to scare the buffalo out of their way, and they traveled that way for a couple of hours. A row of buffalo traveling two abreast from the north then broke through their train separating the travelers. And it was with great difficulty they were eventually reunited. They traveled until reaching a bend in the Platte river where they stopped to camp for the night, turning their horses and cattle into the bend, and guarding the north side so their stock could not get our during the night, and the buffalo could not get it.
“It was a terrible night for all concerned for we were surrounded by those wild animals whose bellowing was like the roaring of the ocean.”
The following morning the company captains agreed to lay over a day to get some buffalo meat and jerk and dry it. During the day there was an accident that took the life of one of the Groesbeck teamsters. Solomon Hall was shot through the thigh, severing an artery, and causing him to bleed to death. They “buried him that evening in a very deep grave to keep the wolves from scratching him up.”
Four-year-old Mellie forever remembered her encounter with the buffalo, and for the rest of her life she recalled and retold the story of running into buffalo on her way to Utah.
They continued their travel for another ten days without incident, until they came upon a village of about three thousand Sioux and Cheyenne Indians who demanded a toll of provisions from the company. Through the course of a few days they experienced fear, they shared provisions, exchanged services, traded some and continued on their journey peacefully.
After they arrived west of Fort Laramie, Wyoming, their company split into five companies, each going on by itself. They crossed the Platte River--twice--and on September 4th they were in a great alkali bed where they gathered enough crude soda to last for years.
The day they camped east of Independence Rock, was the warmest they’d experienced on the road. The next morning they woke to six inches of snow on the ground and about “thirty head of oxen had been chilled to death. Fortunately there were some Indian traders there who sold us what cattle we wanted at a very reasonable price.
Notes: From Nicholas Harmon Groesbeck’s August 1916 autobiography. The copy in my possession is from cousin Karen M. Information about the John Banks Company may be seen here.
Thank you to cousin Nancy for the picture of "Brigham Young's Arrow." She took it three weeks ago about thirty miles east of Evanston, Wyoming, when she revisited the site where she'd walked on Pioneer Trek fourteen years earlier. She said there isn't a marker at the site. The rock arrow is fenced, and when she was on trek she was told this is the arrow President Young left, pointing the way for those who followed him. I assume the Groesbecks passed by that way also.
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Saturday, October 8, 2011
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Monday, October 3, 2011
Guest Post by Karen Matthews
The Dress made for a Wedding
Elizabeth was very fastidious about her clothes and wore clothing that was distinctive. It was at Emigration Square that she met Mary Hansen. Mary was an excellent dressmaker who made many of the dresses for Elizabeth. One particular dress was made for the wedding of Priscilla Paul Jennings and William W. Riter, which took place April 11, 1883. Elizabeth and daughter, Helen Melvina Groesbeck Morgan, assisted Mary Hansen in its completion.
The material was mainly heavy black satin over a foundation of heavy black lining. It was a two-piece costume, with a caught-up bustle effect at the back of the short train skirt. The skirt was decked with two draped flounces of satin trimmed in black velvet, and edged with jet bead and chenille fringe. The back of the skirt was draped and caught into the side seams to give a tucked draped picture across the back. There was a short train which was lined with black lining laid into wide box pleats to hold the velvet train away from the feet and the floor.
The jacket was made with a shirred V-shape vest which extends to the waistline. It was edged with wide black lace. Open reverse of the jacket below the waistline was trimmed with a facing of black velvet. It was also edged with black lace around the bottom of the jacket.
The velvet was purchased by Nicholas Groesbeck while in England. He paid $25.00 a yard for it. As Elizabeth always wore a watch and chain, there was a small velvet pocket placed at the left front side on the waistline for this purpose.
It was a custom with Elizabeth to wear lace caps as so many women of her day did. With this dress she used a black one. It was made of the same lace as trimmed the dress. It had back ruffles which came down over the back of the neck. Between these ruffles she always wore a few dainty flowers.
B. H. Roberts said of Elizabeth, “She was a quiet, calm, dignified, splendid pioneer queen—no less!”
Thank you cousin Karen for your wonderful account.
John Morgan would have missed this wedding because on April 1, 1883 he arrived Pueblo, Colorado with Southern States' Emigrants. And On April 10 he recorded, “assisted to plant some walnuts around my lot”
April 13, 1883 he was traveling home to Salt Lake, "Slept all night soundly and had late breakfast at Pleasant Valley Junction. Arrived at home at 2:30 p.m. and found all well."
John Hamilton Morgan Journal, Special Collections, Marriott Library, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah.