Friday, April 29, 2011

Bessie Morgan and her brother Nicholas Groesbeck Morgan. Part 2. Concluded.

This picture of Bessie looks very similar to the one posted here. Years ago her daughter Winnie wrote on the back of the picture, Bessie abt. 18 yrs.

I was recently introduced to a beautiful Blog called HeritagePaperDolls. I recommend you become acquainted with it. The 1910 popular tailored outfit pictured on HeritagePaperDolls here reminds me of what Bessie is wearing in this picture.

This post is continued from here and includes another note from a letter Nicholas wrote home to his mother, Mellie, a portion is directed to Bessie.

From Washington DC
November 25, 1907 (p3)
Last Sunday Mollie [daughter of Harmon and Rhoda Groesbeck] and her hubby were here. We had a fine time. We all went out to Alexandria, the first Capitol of the U.S. It is the quaintest town in the country. It was founded in 1740 or somewhere there about. The same church is still standing that Wash. [presumably George Washington] attended. The old home of Lord Fairfax, where Wash. Did his mechanical drawing after he had been out surveying is still intact and is in very good condition. The streets are all made of cobble rocks and they are certainly the roughest I have ever seen. I saw and stood on and cut a piece off of the platform or veranda where Wash. Stood as he gave his last public address-- 2 months and 3 days before he died. I am enclosing it here with. Give it to Bess and tell her to keep it. She has seen the picture in the history book where Wash. Is giving the address; well this wood is from the great pillar that he leaned his arm against as he read his address.

I went to the pictures I took of Grandmother Bessie’s scrapbook a couple of years ago. (Here is a post with some pictures and a note about the scrapbook.) I don’t recall pictures of, or references to, President Washington, and the piece of wood Nicholas sent home to Bessie, but I looked for them anyway. Bessie was a keeper too.

Below is a picture of an open page in the scrapbook, and the boot-box it ended up being stored in. Recalling Grandmother Bessie’s scrapbook again reminded me of some more treasures I’m planning on posting here soon.

Thank you again to cousin Karen M. for this picture of Bessie from Nicholas Groesbeck Morgan's family collection.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Bessie Morgan and her brother Nicholas Groesbeck Morgan.

I’ve always wished we had more pictures of Grandmother Bessie Morgan Rex. Her daughter, Helen Rex Frazier (my mother), explained away the lack with, “Mother didn’t like to have her picture taken.” Surprisingly, Bessie did have her picture taken rather frequently while she was growing up in Salt Lake City.

It wasn’t until I began blogging two years ago, met cousin Karen M., and she sent me copies, that I knew of their existence. They were in Karen’s grandfather Nicholas Groesbeck Morgan’s collection of family pictures. Nicholas was Bessie’s older brother.

Perhaps Bessie wore this smocked dress to the Assembly Hall when she graduated from the 8th grade. She looks like she might be fourteen years old. I wonder who did the smocking on her dress, she or did her mother, Helen Melvina?

You can read other posts of Bessie’s life linked from the Rex Family Index Page here:

Cousin Karen Gray Matthews just published this book, Copyright 2010, using Blurb creative publishing service at

This volume contains twenty-five letters written by Nicholas Groesbeck Morgan while he attended law school in Washington D.C. to his mother, Mellie Morgan, in Salt Lake City. The book includes picture postcards, dozens of beautiful pictures, additional historical insights, and is full of wonderful information about the Morgan family.

Nick mentions his sister Bessie (1891-1938) in the following excerpts from his letters. These letters to his mother tell us a little about his younger sister, his affection for her, and their relationship.

Oct 3, 1907, pg3: Bess’s letter was also very welcome and interesting. I offer congratulations on her promotion to head teacher in the kindergarten Dept. at Sunday School. I am afraid tho, that now that Bro. D has been sustained as my successor Bessie will consider him more earnestly and give him another chance. Don’t Bess—don’t turn a fellow down just because he is a Dutchman.

Nov 9, 1907, pg8: How is Bess getting along in her school work?

March 8, 1908: My dearest Mother, I received your dear letter of last Sunday and also Bess’s which accompanied it.

Apr 25, 1908, pg2: I received your welcome letter of the 19th inst and was as usual delighted with its contents. … Perhaps Bess is the most sensible one of us all she seems to be unaffected by the [illegible] smiles of the young gentlemen.

June 22, 1908, pg5: I know Bess will make a no. 1 teacher and also that she will have no trouble in passing the examination. Lots of girls who have developed into the best teachers have started out before graduating.

(To be continued.)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Pine Tree in the Randolph Cemetery. 2011.

Sometime after Aunt Doty (Dorothy Virginia Tipton Rex, married to Maeser Morgan Rex) was buried in the Randolph Cemetery on November 25, 1979, her brother and sister-in-law (Glenn Frazier and Flora Rex Lamborn) planted a tree in the cemetery in Dorothy's memory. Dorothy is pictured here and here.
It grew and flourished there. Flora is standing beneath it in 2008. Flora is also pictured in these posts.
When Aunt Flora (Flora Elizabeth Rex Lamborn, 1930-2011) was buried in the Randolph Cemetery on February 19, 2011, the beautiful evergreen she helped plant towered overhead as her grandsons placed their boutonnieres on her casket.

Almost all of the Percy Harold (P.H.) Rex family is in this mid-1960's reunion picture in Liberty Park, Salt Lake City, Utah. L-R in front; Rich Lamborn, Ross Andrus, Harold Rex, Flora Rex Lamborn (looking back) P.H. Rex, Mary Herbert Rex, Helen Frazier Rex, Winnie Rex Andrus, Diana Haycock Rex, her mother Sister Haycock. On the back row the in the middle is Maeser Rex, with his wife Dorothy to the right.

Pictures are from my collection.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Civil War began 150 years ago!

Be sure and check out The Ancestor Files here for Amy's great post remembering the Civil War.

Monday, April 11, 2011

When did William and Mary Elizabeth Brough Rex’s home burn down? May 1937.

William and Mary Rex home, Randolph, Utah (Built prior to 1900, burned down May 1937)
My Aunt Flora Rex Lamborn (born 1930) told me once she remembered the day her Grandfather Rex’s home burned down. She didn’t know the exact date, only that she was being “watched” by one of her aunts on the day. They were walking hand in hand along a street and saw the smoke rising from the northeast part of Randolph. They seemed to know it was the Rex home, but Flora wasn’t permitted to go look.

According to Aunt Winnie Rex Andrus (born 1918), the house burned while she was in Salt Lake City completing her nurses training in about 1937-38. My mother’s cousin, Kathleen Rex Thornock, recently answered my question. She helped write History, Descendants, and Ancestry of William Rex and Mary Elizabeth Brough of Randolph, Utah.

William and Mary Elizabeth Brough Rex, West Canyon Street home, Randolph, Utah, and Elizabeth Bott Brough

Mary Elizabeth Brough Rex’s father, Samuel Brough, was a brick maker, and he made the brick for some of his children to build their homes. William and Mary got a lovely two-story brick home on their lot northeast of Randolph by the canal. They probably moved in it near the turn of the century. The only home Kathleen remembers them living in was their home up West Canyon Street, pictured above.

The large two-story brick home, known as the William and Mary Rex home, was then occupied by their son John Oseland Rex, his wife Edna, and their family. The brick house burned down in May 1937. Ada Rex was going to graduate that spring, and she lived with Kathleen’s family [William and Edna Rex family] until then.

Pictures from Helen Rex Frazier collection.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Thomas John Rex. 1893 letter to brother William Rex.

This 1893 letter was written by Thomas John Rex of St. Louis, Missouri, to his brother William Rex in Randolph, Utah.

Note: I added light punctuation, capitalization, and paragraph breaks to make this letter easier to read. Original spelling retained. It was written with what appears to be an indelible pencil.

St. Louis Feb 16.93 [1893]

Well Bro Bill [William Rex 1844-1927] Its so long ago since I roat you a few lines that I don’t know how to start. Well I got home early to night and Mead [presumably daughter Mary Mead Rex, 1880-1942] started me at gessing hoo she got a letter from and I gave it up. Then she red it to mee and I found it was you. So I thought I would ansor it for hir and that is how I got started, and this is what it is.

Well Bill I was glad to hear from you and to hear that you ware all well and in good health, as this leaves us at present. Thank God for that. You say you have plenty of snow and cold. Well have the same, none its Yoro [zero] Wilham hear and 4 inches of snow. Well Bill the girls was glad to hear from you and say they would like to be

out thare with you and have lots of slaying with the boys and have a good time of it. Thay would like me to take them out thare again and stay out thare for good. But I cant take them out thare none for my bisness is not good enough now. Thare is nothing in it any more. I am getting pororer every year and if I don’t soon stop I will have to sell a house to liv on. I am not making any thing none my work is not stedy no more. What I make this weak I can pay it out the next, so that is how I am getting along.

The store has thare one [own] teams and I get what they cant doo. All the stors has thare oen teams so that a outsid man cant get any thing to doo except when they are bisey. Its that way all over, so you see thare is no show for any one else so I don’t know what I will doo. The girls want me to sell out and go to Kirkwood and try to make a livin thar. But I cant
see anything in it for me and I don’t want to go to work for any one else now. I have been my own bos for so long that I don’t like to have a boss now. Well Bill I am glad to hear that you are all dong well out thar and that your little town [Randolph] is improving so well and to hear that you are a granpaw the same as I am, and soon to bee a grandpa for one of Toms, for Tom [Thomas John Rex II, 1876-1963] was married last June and thar is a show for it. Well such is life in St. Louis.

I am glad to hear that Marie Pearce [Mary Mead Clucas Pearce, his half-sister] is getting along and hope shee will get all wright again. The world fair will bee in 1904. They are pushing it along fast. The beat is at Forist Bark which lies in the western party of the city, a nice place it was to spend a Sunday or evening at when the wether was hot. That is about all I know at present so I will have to class [clarify] this for the next time right.
I will have more to say and tell you about so give my love to all inquirings friends and except the same yourself. Ancor soon.

From your Big Brother T. J. Rex

Tom as got a hors shoning shop and doing pretty well now and Will [William Rex, 1874-1941] has little coal yard and he is making a living that way. He has a fine boy and he likes his grandpaw, you bet. He comes to see mee every time he can get at the gate, he trots dowe to see mee or the girls. They are well and sends thare love to all. No more this time, good night.

Tom & Will and old man Rex

Thomas John Rex died October 12, 1908 at Kirkwood, St. Louis, Missouri. His family is listed here on an earlier post.

Picture from Wikipedia. New Family Search. Letter from Helen Rex Frazier collection.